Connection

To supplement my income until filmmaking brings in the dough, I work as a reader and part-time lunch server. A couple of months ago, I was laid off from the serving job I had worked at for about six years. I primarily worked Mon thru Wed lunches and not only did I have these same shifts since I started, but I rarely deviated from them.

The math tells a story. For six years, serving the same three lunch shifts week in and week out, one can only guess how many people I’ve met in terms of this job only. I think a number in the mid thousands is a fair estimate, yes? With that number in mind, think about how some of those people were regulars, meaning they came in on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and how those same people could start to become more to me than simply another human I was serving.

Well, for the first time for me as a server (and I’ve served on and off for about fifteen years), this happened. I thought about it today and realized something about these people. Can’t say we were friends but hard to say we weren’t. Can’t really say I thought much about them outside of work but while with them there, conversation flowed and carried over to next time. Can’t say I wanted to see them all the time but after two months, I do miss them. This may not be the typical relationship I have with people in my life, but I can say something for sure.

With many of my regular customers, I’d be lying if I said them all, I felt a connection.

Perhaps it was just being in the same place at the same time, over and over again, but is it not a connection nonetheless? For some, this may be the UPS guy who comes into your office everyday or the sandwich shop girl who makes your meal the moment she sees you coming. These connections, while seemingly random and lacking in depth, can be very real and meaningful.

So this blog is dedicated to those connections I made while at my last job. Due to circumstances outside my control, I was unable to say goodbye to most of them and they went from being in my life for years to being someone I’ll probably never see or talk to again, unless our paths just happen to cross… And while this is what it is, and life will go on and I’ll likely forget many of these people, the connection we shared will always exist and just maybe, we’re all the better for it.

I think I am.

So Cheers!

to the pretty lady who sat at the counter, ordered quickly and treated everyone with respect and a smile;
to the silent businessman who appreciated good service and being left alone;
to the adorable senior citizen couple who were both sharp, witty and kind;
to the vendor who came in for a pulled pork sandwich every now and then and told us about his poker games;
to the couple who were outside the door exactly at open so they could get the booth;
to the business lady who kept to herself but let you know she appreciated you remembering her order;
to the lawyer who became part of our restaurant family;
to the outspoken Italian who still came in after the passing of his dear significant other:
to the woman who was his significant other, who had become my friend before she left us, RIP Andy;
to the group of guys who came in, ate quick and made you laugh;
to the owners of the building the restaurant was in, who were cool and respectful;
and to the guy who came in for the same to-go and always made a point to say hello.

Some rules are made to be broken.

A couple of days ago, I walked into a restaurant with the boy who I’m dating. When the host seated us, my date asked if we could have a table where we could sit next to each other rather than across from each other.

I paused.

Hold the phone.

First, allow me to explain. I’m an ex-server. I’ve waited tables for more years than the average three-year old can count up to and therefore, I know the rules of serving. And one of them, which most servers would back me on in a heartbeat is this: sit where the host seats you and don’t ask for a table with more chairs than your party is going to sit in.

Dilemma though.

Truth is, I wanted to sit next to him. Plain and simple. So I glanced around and saw there were several open tables and so I justified it in my head. But this got me thinking about rules. Are some to be broken? Or do we break them only when it’s convenient to us?

Well, I decided this. Considering it was nice to sit near him, that I want to do it again and that I liked how he asked for a table in which we could do so, I figure some rules are meant to be broken.

BUT

I am now taking that one off my server rules list. Let couples sit near each other! I will never again roll my eyes at the thought, even if they take up my four top.