Friday, March 16, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Waiter.....

When I say I'm going to write about our favorite waiter, you may have an image of us eating at the same restaurant every weekend and having the same waiter almost every time.

That's not really the case, and the restaurant where we ate tonight isn't even my favorite place to go, but there is a waiter there whom I would cheerfully adopt.

In a rare case of the stars aligning themselves correctly, we got that waiter tonight, I took my purse into the restaurant, and my camera was in my purse. In an even rarer case, though, I got shy and didn't take Randy's picture. I didn't want to embarrass him, and I certainly didn't want to tell him it was so I could write about him on my blog tonight. I'm already flirting with being entered on the Stalkers' Registry as it is.

Yes, as a matter of fact, it's 6:10 PM and we've already had dinner and come back home, what of it?

Randy isn't cute in the Derek Hough or George Clooney or Johnny Depp kind of way. He isn't even Donny Osmond cute. He's cute in a goofy, friendly kind of way. But I'm not really here to write about his looks. Did I really just write about Derek Hough and George Clooney in the same sentence?

Back to Randy.

He is just about the perfect waiter. He is attentive in a way that doesn't make you think he's just being nice so he can get a bigger tip. (He WOULD HAVE gotten a bigger tip, but Hubby was watching me sign his name on the credit card receipt.) He pays attention and anticipates needs, but he doesn't hover until you want to scream at him to leave you the hell alone. For example, tonight Hubby's entree came with a salad, but mine didn't. No problem, I was too busy gorging on their little poppy seed rolls with cinnamon butter. When Randy brought the salad (Hubby chooses thousand island dressing), he brought an extra cup of dressing - ranch - because as he said, "That's a big salad and I didn't know if you might want to share it." He brought ranch dressing because I'm sure that's what 99% of American women order (I always choose honey mustard myself), but it was still a nice touch. He didn't have to do that.

He always addresses us as "sir" and "m'am," which makes me feel slightly old, but it's still a nice, polite touch. He's genuine about it, though, again not appearing just to say it because he's trying to kiss up.

I was sitting here trying to think of some more examples of what makes Randy so special, and they sounded so banal. So ordinary. They sounded like things ANY good waiter or waitress (I know, I know, the politically correct term is "waitperson" or "waitstaff" but I can't do it) should do in an effort to provide even minimal service. I can't exactly explain why Randy is exceptional. He just is.

We had a little ... situation, as they say in Jamaica ... at dinner tonight. Hubby found a rather large piece of plastic, probably chipped off a mixing bowl, in the cinnamon butter they serve with their delicious poppy seed rolls. (Did I mention gorging on them? I did? You're sure? Well, okay.) Hubby was NOT complaining, he certainly was NOT trying to get something free, but he did want to let them know there may be other pieces of plastic floating around in unknown places.

Randy was very professional, saying only, "Let me take this to my manager right now." He apologized profusely, but he didn't start running around like Chicken Little either. He later offered us a complimentary strawberry-something dessert, which we declined, and apologized again. The manager came over to apologize, Hubby said it wasn't a big deal and they shouldn't worry about it, and the manager gave us mother-in-law's take-home dinner on the house. Hubby was embarrassed, because that's not what his goal was in pointing out the piece of plastic, and he said the manager didn't have to do that. But the manager insisted, and we still felt kind of icky about it. (I know there are people who have made it their lives' missions to get by on getting free meals and merchandise in a similar manner.)

Randy came back by after the manager left and told us what a good guy the manager is. He said, "He's the reason I work here." He kept complimenting his boss over and over again. So refreshing to see an employee who appreciates his employer.

That is one of the many reasons why Randy is our favorite waiter. And it's not just us. One night when we went there to eat, I heard someone else who was just arriving ask, "Can we have Randy as our waiter?"

See what I mean? I think the young man might have a career.

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