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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Waitress Interruptus.

So you're at your table at a popular Pachyderm Eatery, a restaurant chain specializing in Jumbo Burgers, Mammoth Burgers and Woolie Mammoth Burgers (named after a famed Disney animation director), Mastodon Fries, River Horse Fish Sticks and other catchy little appetizers.

You're meeting a few colleagues to go over some business, discuss work-related problems, deadlines, maybe tell a few stories, share a couple of new jokes. There are four of you at the table and you have about one hour to eat, talk, laugh and head back to work.

Your waitress today is Angie. Angie's job is to take your order, bring your food and take care of any of your lunch needs. But Angie thinks you and your friends have all come to listen to her. She walks up the table and starts talking as if you had all been sitting there waiting for her to come to the table and start talking.

Whenever you're about to make a point, deliver a punchline or present a brilliant thought, there's she is, like a Jill-in-the-Box ready to say something totally unrelated to the topic of conversation at the table.


",,, so four days later the flea's back. The travel agent says, 'I don't believe it. What happened?' The flea says, 'Well, every day she was out in the sun by the pool, people were waiting on her hand and foot...' The travel agent says, 'What was wrong?' The flea says...

"Hi, guys. My name is Angie and I'll be your waitress today. Can I get you anything to start? Ice tea, coffee, beer, soda? Our specials today are Minced Moose and Hippo Jerky. Are you ready to order?"

Hint #1 - As you approach a table, check to see if anyone is in the middle of a sentence, about to deliver a hilarious punchline, make an important point or finish a great story. Pause for a moment, let them acknowledge your presence and, if appropriate, say what you have to say. DO NOT walk up to the table and start talking just because you have arrived.

Hint #2 - Don't interrupt to ask who gets what. You took the order, remember who ordered what, and serve it to whoever ordered it.

Hint #3 - Holding a pitcher of water is a silent way of asking if anyone wants more water without asking, "Anybody want more water?" (See Hint #1)

Hint #4 - If there's an obvious break in the conversation at the table, it's all right to ask questions, see if everything's all right, ask if anyone needs anything.

Hint #5 - If someone puts their fork down, that's not your cue to whisk in and remove their plate (usually silently and with great stealth. This is the only time the waitress or the ninja busboy never say anything.)