My Faith In Humanity
My faith in humanity is put to a test on a daily basis, from looting in New Orleans, wars in the poorest of nations, to the crazy bitch that yelled at me for forgetting her side of ranch, even though she didn't order one.
Yes, there are more important things than tips or rude customers, but ever now and then someone shows me that the world can be full of kindness...
It was a normal night, and one that sticks out in my mind.
My old restaurant was falling apart before my eyes, everyday I wanted it to be my last there, then it happened, one of the kindest things a customer has ever done for me.
My GM came up to me and said he needed to see me, he was a great guy and I we had a good rapport so nothing to worry about.
We go into the office and he hands me a hand written letter, addressed to me.
As I went over the words I remembered the night, it was a week before.
I had an African American family of six come in right before close, on a Sunday night.
Right or wrong, and please I'm not going to debate this issue on this column, for this is a happy one, there is a stigma against both blacks and church goers in the Restaurant industry.
Needless to say I try to wait on my tables all the same, even those I suspect might go one way or the other.
Well this family was the grandmother, a husband and wife, and their children.
Everyone was well behaved, especially the children, which is very nice in this day and age.
Except the Grandmother...
She was a little crazy, she ordered her steak well done with onions, it was a Porterhouse, an automatic twenty minute cook time at the least.
Well she started gripping about how long it was taking, she was chugging down her iced tea's like no other.
She was mad the salad came with dressing on it, she raised her voice to me several times, her son and family had apologetic looks on her face the whole time.
The steaks came out with her onions...
She looked at me incredulously," Sir do you call these onions grilled?"
They sure were but of course,"Ma'am I'll cook them longer"
I had them put on again and brought them out, still not good enough.
"Sir this is the worst experience I've ever had, you can't do anything right!"
Finally I had the cooks throw a handful of onions in the fryer...
This time perfect.
When clearing their plates the Grandmother had gone to the restroom, her daughter in law put her hand on my wrist, with an apologetic look she said she was sorry, everything was great and Grandma just gets that way.
I sincerely thanked her.
I dropped off the check, I remember it was about $100. (kids meals, no drinks for the adults, this was a family)
After running the credit cards and thanking them, the gentleman shook my hand and thanked me for dealing with any difficulties with such grace.
I picked up the folder...
I was admittingly pissed, stereotypical thoughts raced through my mind.
I hate to think that way, but I'm only human
Well on that next Sunday I stood in the office with a note in my hand, and a Fifty Dollar Bill...
It was from the family, he had written down the wrong amount, he was managing kids and wasn't concentrating.
Once again he thanked me for the great service and meal, he was so sorry that he made me feel like they weren't happy or I wasn't appreciated.
His mother can get crabby he said, the kids loved me and their dinner and chocolate milks, and he would love to have me as their server anytime they came in.
I was grateful for the Fifty...
But that heart-felt note that someone cared about the way I did my job and recognized how hard it could be, that meant something so much more.
My faith in humanity was revived, at least for that one Sunday night.