Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I'm Waiting...

So I've been thinking that I ought to blog more about waitressing. It can be so fun, and the people can be so interesting, that I think it might be fun to share. Yes, we get everything from tables of demanding, non-tipping teenagers, to the table of 14 good-natured construction workers that come in 5 minutes before closing. (I'm not kidding.) On Monday night, one of the other servers came up to me and told me that she was so angry at somebody that she couldn't stay long enough to close--she said she'd pay me $20 to close for her instead. Crazy, huh? I ended up getting $75 in tips that night too--much better than I would've expected. On a Monday. I don't get it.

I still haven't broken the Valentine's Day record, but I've been enjoying the steady tippage. I've had lots of fun getting to know my coworkers, and even my tables. One night, a couple weeks after we'd opened, I got triple-sat (three tables seated at the same time). I just quick-greeted each table, told them my situation, and assured them that I'd get to them as quickly as I could. They were all really cool about it, and later on my manager came up to me. I said, "Uh oh. Did I do something wrong?" He said "Yeah, uhm, actually--you have the vice-president of Red Robin at one of your tables." I looked over at the table he was indicating. It was the table I'd helped last out of all three tables. Oh boy. My manager continued, "He says you're doing a great job. Just treat him right, okay?" I said, "Yeah. Alright." But I couldn't believe it. My manager almost turned away, and then he said, "Oh, and one of the girls said that her table left a tip for you. Here it is." I looked at the slip--table 114. Earlier that night, I'd greeted the table, even though I usually don't do bar tables because I'm 19. I just wanted to make sure that they'd at least been greeted, and I could pass them on to one of the servers who could legally wait on the table. But the couple said, "Everyone else has passed us by. You're the only one that cared enough to stop. Can't you just be our server?" I told them that I wasn't old enough and that I'd get a manager to find them a server that could wait on them. I helped them as much as I legally could, and then talked to the manager. She pointed me to a server, and I handed everything on to her. I told the couple who their server would be, and said goodbye. I continued my night until my manager told me that they'd left me that tip--the slip was for $10. I couldn't believe it! They were so nice, when I'd hardly done anything to help. I kept waiting on my tables, and even got to talk to the VP of Red Robin a little more. He said he totally understood the situation I had when I got triple-sat. He said he would've done things exactly the same way. I got to meet his wife and his little boy too. That was a really cool night.

You get quite the assortment of people when you're waiting tables--everybody from the family that tells you that they want you to marry their nephew in Montana, to the little girls who draw you pictures on paper napkins, to the frail little old lady who can down a two-patty monster burger and numerous cups of tea, to the thirty-something ladies celebrating the latest baby born in their group of friends, to the mother-preteen son dinner dates, to the two guys who come in late and have the exact same burger and beverage.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Brother...

We were talking about one of the (much loved) ladies in our church who really enjoys Tim, and I was saying how she's part of his fan club. Mom was listing off all the people who would qualify as fan club members. We were having fun with this, and Mom said at one point that she was fan club president. I said, "No, I'm president."
Tim made us both laugh when he said, "Well, I'm king."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Little FYI

Just so you all know (and I know you all would want to know), I got whipped cream in my hair at work tonight.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What will you give for love?

Today on Oprah, (yes, I know it's lame that I'm blogging about Oprah) there were several families featured. I switched it when it got to the family with "two daddies" but before that, there was a really cool segment about adoption. The story was so cool, I had to share it. An African Boys Choir was touring in North Carolina when their orphanage back in Liberia was attacked and they were left homeless, here in the states. One lady was sitting and watching them perform, and she claims that as she watched, God spoke to her heart, telling her that two of those boys were hers. (I know, I know. It sounds kooky, but it's a cool story. Just read and come to your own conclusion.) She knew about the ordeal these boys were facing, but it was too hard to imagine that she could possibly adopt two teenagers, having three young girls of her own. After the performance, two of the boys walked up to her, gave her a big hug and called her their mom. After she and her husband had discussed the whole thing, and actually agreed that they would adopt the boys, she found that her four best friends were trying to talk her out of it. She brought her friends to a performance, and they each found a change of heart. Each of their families ended up adopting as well. One woman had two sons who recently left for college, leaving her and her husband empty nesters. They adopted six kids! This spread throughout the community, and, as Oprah's website says, 14 families in the community adopted a total of 31 kids from that orphanage.

So the story really got me thinking. What would it take for me to actually take action on the needs I know to exist? These women had seen the news reports about African orphans, but by their own admission thought that the problem was just too big to possibly be able to make an impact. (Never mind the fact that if we do nothing, the problem will just be bigger.) But changing one child's life is such an impact, let alone what they ended up doing. It's interesting how we need the evidence to impact us--we need to talk to the orphans, to go to the country, to really see and smell and hear the need. Why can't we just know and do? I'm not, by any means, criticizing these women. I know I'm the exact same way--neglectful until something kicks me in the head. But really, how many steps can possibly keep us from making a difference? We can give a few dollars, and if we can't, we can volunteer for a few hours, and if we can't, we can pray. My selfish, Americanized consumer mentality has to stop. I can and must divert my views from this little plot of dirt, beyond, to the needs on the wrong side of the tracks, or to the needs far across the ocean. It shouldn't take the gigantic to make me do my small part.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Thoughts from my little ledge...

I'm sure more could be said of this, and I may not say it exactly properly from a theological point of view, but tonight as I sit at the computer in my Red Robin uniform, I know I have to just say it, properly or otherwise. So...

I checked Tony's blog a little bit ago and read his post about God's glory. He wrote about (and Andrew Peterson sang about) how we have such a tiny vantage point from which to see God. And I really tried to contemplate that thought as much as I could post-work. I pictured a person on a ledge, trying to peek around the ledge and seeing something bigger than life itself. I then pictured Moses, naively, passionately asking the Lord to show him His glory. And God mercifully agreed to let him see His back, but Moses would not be able to see His face. (The passage can be found here.) Then I thought, we can't even remotely see that. We don't see the burning bush, or the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day, or the leper being healed at Jesus' command. We don't see any of that. We do, however, see so many things that God mercifully allows. He lets us see His glory in a small way. But we see such a very tiny corner. And I thought about that. How do I think about that corner that I see? Very often, I think and live in such a way that would make it seem that God's glory is all limited to that corner. That's walking by sight and not by faith. That's putting God in a box. That's living with a little more joy than an unbeliever, with a Christian sticker on my lapel. God is so vast, beyond anything I can comprehend, but the little I may comprehend isn't impacting me as much as it should.

So much to change, such a little lifetime.