Devin Dearing Preston: NYC writer, playwright, and storyteller

Fake it

August 19, 2009

The long days of summer drag on and on and people are just not coming into my restaurant. I wouldn’t either. If you have lived in New York for any length of time, you have learned that the dumbest thing you can do is eat in an empty restaurant. First, its probably empty for a reason. Second, you will get the worst service of your life guaranteed.  And lastly, you miss out on the fun of eavesdropping on the tables that completely surround you. Am I the only one who does this?

If you wanted to eat alone you could have just stayed home.

So working in an empty restaurant is even more fun than eating in one. Its like going into work and having your boss say, “Well, we don’t have anything for you to do today, but don’t worry, feel free to stand around and do nothing. I wasn’t planning on paying you for this time anyway.”

This might explain the terrible service. Logic would follow that my server doesn’t have any other tables to worry about, so they can pay extra close attention to me. Pamper me, entertain me if i so wish, make this a truly memorable experience.

“Honey, remember when our server sang 16 bars of If My Friends Could See Me Now. And the way she twirled that tray! The steak was okay, but what service! 

Reality of the situation is, your server forgot to put your order in because she is board out of her mind and in the back actually reading an OK magazine cover to cover. That or shooting dice with the kitchen staff for quarters.  You need another glass of wine? Well, that’ll have to wait, I got to make rent some how, and these dice are hot. 

With extreme boredom, comes the desire to punish the guests you do have. This is very tempting. Lets face it, you resent them. One, for being off of work. Two, for making enough money at whatever it is they do to afford a fancy meal.(Your plan for dinner is to steal something from the kitchen) And three, for pulling you away from the news of the drama on the set of the latest Twilight movie. 

So now you have a choice. Do you respond honestly to the situation and spend all day tomorrow looking for a new job. Or, fake it.

This is where the actor training really starts to pay off. You establish new given circumstances for yourself. You decided to wait on tables tonight “as if” you really wanted to be there. Instead of rolling your eyes when they order an iced tea, you compliment them on their excellent taste. “Its tropical, you’ll love it!” You refrain from sighing when they order the prefix, and instead congratulate them on taking advantage of a really good deal. “I know, 35$ is a steal. You’d be a fool not to get it!” When they ask if they can share a steak, you fight the impulse to scream “Fuck NO! You think I do this for my health?”, and instead redirect that energy into assuring them that one steak would be plenty for a family of four. “Would you like me to slice it for your convenience?”

Now I know what you are thinking, “I had an amazing meal the other night and my server seemed thrilled to be waiting on me. Was she faking it the whole time?”

Lets just say 9 out of 10 servers surveyed have admitted to faking it at least once. Chances are it has happened to you. But don’t worry, we do it out of love.

Just because we aren’t up for it doesn’t mean you should have a bad experience.

Categories: Waiting is the Hardest Part

Comment (1)

  1. Katie Bearden says:

    August 22, 2009

    Devin, I'm so excited I found your blog! I love it! Thanks for sharing your adventures with the world! Reply

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