So, about six or seven years ago I was working at a 24-hour chain. I was a server trainer, which means I was training servers (just in case someone didn’t know!). I was training an adorable young lady, just turned 18, never waited tables in her life. We’ll call her Buffy. We’d been at it since seven that night, and it was now about 1:30 am. I was on until 3 am, and with sidework I probably wouldn’t leave until 4, but I was letting her go at 2, her first day and all.
Buffy was so nervous! Most of the night I allowed her to carry her drinks two at a time to the tables. In the last couple of hours she had graduated to three on a tray, and was doing pretty good with that. So, this table of six Frat Guy-Types (we were located in between two colleges, so they probably were frat guys come to think of it) walk in, all loud and jovial. I think to myself, she’s young, and blonde, these guys are young and drunk, they’ll probably order sodas and fries and that’s it and tip her huge, it’ll be a great way for her to end her first night. I give her the table, and, I’ll never know why I did what I did next. Maybe I was tired? I don’t know. I told her she could handle the table herself, I had to run to the restroom.
I came back out on the floor just in time to see Buffy painstakingly making her way across the room with a tray of six drinks wobbling in her two little hands. The glasses at this restaurant I worked at were 24 ounces. That’s huge. And the most she had worked with prior was three at a time. I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, but it was as though I was paralyzed. There was nothing I could do but watch, and pray.
Buffy finally arrives at the table, and begins slowly removing glasses from the tray. She has handed out two of the six beverages, when the tray begins rocking violently. The remaining four glasses tumbled out onto the Frat Guys! Mostly on one Frat Guy. We’re talking Coke, fruit punch, orange pop, the whole soda rainbow! Not one of the guys had ordered a Sprite.
Buffy bursts into tears and runs to the back of the restaurant. I spring into action, finally cured from my paralysis. I hand the guys all kinds of napkins, apologizing profusely, repeatedly stating the obvious, that Buffy was a brand new server. The guys were quite gracious about it, even the one wearing most of the pop. I took their order (cheese fries all around of course) and got them all fresh beverages. I went in the back to give Buffy a pep talk. I managed to get her to stop crying, and I illicited a promise from her that she would come back the next day, an hour early, and we would work on carrying trays. I sent her on her way.
I finished waiting on the Frat Guys, and went up to the register to cash them out. Once again I apologized for the incident.
“Don’t worry about it!” exclaimed the Pop Covered Frat Guy. “We went out to the bar tonight and it was so lame! That was the best thing that happened all night! Now I’ve got a funny story to tell tomorrow!” He hands me a $5 dollar tip and thanks me for all of my help. Then he hands me a $20 bill and tells me to give it to Buffy and thank her for an awesome night!
That’s class, ladies and gentleman, and from a Frat Guy, no less!
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