Bleep My Waiter Says : What Do You DO for Birthdays? Part 2 (Guy's Waiter Blog, Ch 16)

in food •  last year


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Hey by the way, sorry no bloggie for several days there. Been busy.

Busy dropping off resumes, that is...

Yeh, things have slowed down considerably where I work. Our "season" is drawing to a close, and there's not as much money to be made here right now. For instance, I earned $6 for my whole shift earlier this week. So, while I don't intend to quit, I kind of am in the market for a part-time second job right now. 

We'll see how that goes.

ANYWAYS ... As you might remember from my last post I got asked by an 11-year-old boy "What do you do for birthdays?" 

Just wanted to share with you how neat it was for me to hear what came out of my mouth, especially in comparison to what has in the past traditionally been my poor attitude about this question (as detailed in Part 1). 

I answered him,

"Awww man! First, we set off fireworks.. Then dancing hula girls come out and sing to you!

"And THEN, Regis Philbin comes out and starts asking you questions FOR MONEY! 

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"HOW COOL IS THAT?!?"

Yes, I literally said all that.. and said it just like that, right off the top of my head. Odd, huh?

Well the little boy didn't really know what to think, and just stared at me, blinking. But his parents thought it was hilarious! And tipped me awesomely too. (I'm just glad they didn't call me on the offer.)

I've never answered this question in anyway remotely like this tho. Usually that question can be met by myself with the correct answer to the question (free cake, singing, balloons, whatever) but with a tone that sounds like I'm really saying "just another day in paradise..." Or perhaps "time to make the donuts."

And I'll confess here that I'm sorry that my overall jadedness makes your special occasion, well, less special.

But as I've mentioned previously, this starting over waiting tables, and this place, have been good for me, sometimes drawing out forgotten or unknown reserves. Unlike so many other times in my career, I don't hate my job, I don't hate my customers, and I don't hate my life. At least not today.

So why that answer worked so well, I think, is simply because rather than non-verbally communicating to my guests how boring and routine "a birthday table" was for me, I instead matched the Birthday Boy's level of excitement and enthusiasm about the whole thing. (If you're a server, a salesperson, or a person who ever has to deal with other human beings, there might even be a sort of lesson for you in there by the way.)

I can see myself using that line again in the future (and I do have my "lines") but ONLY if I can do so by sincerely matching my guest's excitement. If you are a server, feel free to steal the line in fact.. but do so cautiously...

The danger to you and me in using such a reply would be that it will crash like a led zeppelin if there's even a hint of sarcasm or same-old-boring-routine-ness in the voice when saying it. Without some genuine enthusiasm, that same line could be genuinely offensive to people, and get you in trouble.

Here, try it out yourself to see what I mean. Let's pretend you're my server. I'M going to ask YOU "What do you do for birthdays?" okay? And I want you to answer as I did, OUTLOUD, but I want you to sound either bored, or like you're dripping with sarcasm when you reply.

Ready? Come on, it'll be fun. Let's do it...


"Hey reader, "What do you do for birthdays?"

Say it outloud for me now :

"We set off fireworks.. 

OUTLOUD .. !

"We set off fireworks. Then dancing hula girls come out and sing to you. And THEN, Regis Philbin comes out and starts asking you questions FOR MONEY! How cool is that?!?"

So, did you say it sarcastically, or without any enthusiasm? 

If so, then you just got stiffed.

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Thanks for reading Guy's Waiter Blog : Chapter 16 "What Do You Do for Birthdays? Part 2"
Read other chapters starting at TheWorkingGuy.com's Table of Contents page  

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