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.