The Allergy Customer

For me, the hardest part about waitressing is the wind down after a shift. After a 15-hour workday I would love to come home, shower, and pass out immediately. My body is begging for sleep, but my brain is still scrambling for a pen, memorizing orders, fighting with chefs, and sucking up to guests. I have found blogging to be helpful in relaxing my brain and encouraging sleep. Yes, my readers may suffer as the ramblings of an exhausted woman can’t be thrilling to read, but oh well. Here you have it. A 12:30 AM post after the gruesome inhalation of chicken tacos. 12AM Courtney thought tacos would be a great idea. I can’t wait to see what 8am Courtney has to say about that.

Anyway, back to the point of this post.

At work tonight I was taking orders at my first table of the evening (4 men in their 40’s) and the last man to order looked a little anxious. I asked what he would be having for dinner and he sighed “well, I’m going to be a difficult one. You see, I have a really really severe allergy to dairy” and before he could finish his sentence I said “oh, I’m anaphylactic to egg, I’ve got you covered.” Immediately his worried expression dissipated and he grinned from ear to ear. “You had me at anaphylactic”, he beamed. We then joked about our epi-pens (always close by) and I helped him decide what to get for dinner.

YES!!!! I get really excited when I have customers with food allergies because I can relate. I know how stressful going out to eat is, even more so if you have a server whose intelligence isn’t something to write home about. People without food allergies don’t usually have to put their lives in the hands of someone who may or may not have just been snorting coke in the bathroom with the dishwasher.

I love to wait on anxious allergy people because I have the power and ability to give them a worry-free dinner. I become the type of server that I DREAM of having when I go out to eat (barely ever happens). For example, earlier tonight upon setting down each course, I assured the man that not only was his dish dairy free, but there was no cross contamination. I knew this because I watched the chef make the dish and had multiple discussions with him about how cross contamination could kill my customer. The look of relief and gratefulness in the man’s eyes was touching. He said “my wife is going to be so happy that you are taking care of me, she gets so worried when I go out.” I can relate.

We chatted more about life as a food allergy sufferer, but I won’t go into the details. I found myself grateful that I worked tonight just so I could wait on this table and give a fellow allergy sufferer some peace of mind. It’s funny, the man and I instantly bonded over our allergies. We knew what the other person had been through, and will continue to go through. I guarantee that if I had sat down with him, we could have shared “war stories” for hours. He would have loved my “egg white in my martini on my birthday leading to an ER visit” story.

The man’s dinner ended with a sincere “thank you” and a 25% tip. It beats a trip to the emergency room any day.

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5 thoughts on “The Allergy Customer

  1. Oh poor baby! I’m glad he grew out of the egg allergy though! Since I last saw you I developed anaphylactic allergies to all seafood too! BOO!!!!! Oh well as long as I can eat all the cheese I want, I’m happy!

    For Nick’s eczema, have you tried Cetaphil Restoraderm body wash and/or body lotion? I bought it 2 months ago and use it every single day, my arms/legs have never looked so good. I haven’t used steroids on my arms in 2 months!!! It is the best eczema treatment I’ve found. You should check it out! It works a lot better than the regular Cetaphil products.

    Here is the link for the bodywash: http://www.amazon.com/Cetaphil-Restoraderm-Skin-Restoring-10-ounce/dp/B003UF0RB4

    I buy both at Walgreens or Harris Teeter though. Hope it helps him!!

    • Omg! I can’t believe you are anaphylactic to seafood, I’m sorry : ( I still remember bringing you to the ER freshman year in Mattie’s car! I eat cheese all the time i ferl like I live on it lol! And that’s funny because that is the body wash and lotion I use for him, you are right it is wonderful!

  2. That is great that you could make him feel at ease eating out : ) I am sure that made his night! And now you probably have awesome return customers. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to eat out for you and trust your life with restaurant staff! Nick has a couple food allergies that I know of so far but nothing like you and I still get nervous!

    • It can be difficult, there are a few restaurants I frequent but other than that I never eat out! I don’t mind it, I’d rather be safe than sorry, but I do feel bad for Isaac! Poor guy never gets to try new restaurants if I’m with him. I insist that we can go to restaurants and I just won’t eat but that’s not too much fun for him :p

      Sorry your little guy has food allergies! What is he allergic to?

      • Aww Court you can’t go to a restaurant and not eat that would be sad but Still a nice offer for Isaac : ) But on the bright side it is much healthier and saves money to eat at home! Nick wa allergic to eggs when he was born but thank god he grew out of it so now he is only allergic to strawberries and mangos. But I honestly didn’t know how much those things are in kid friendly foods. And I think he is getting seasonal allergies which is aggravating his ezcema : (

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