I thought of Chris this morning as I refilled The Husband’s coffee cup. Chris served a cup of coffee like no other waiter ever had or ever would again.
(Before I get too far and you start to love Chris too much, let me tell you Chris is no longer with us. An accident with a train took his young life. Sorry.)
If you've never been a waiter or waitress, let me assure you that we all hate it when a customer orders a cup of coffee “right away.” Usually, this kind of customer selfishly does not consider that we are also taking the drink orders of his/her tablemates, and gathering everyone’s drinks will slow down the arrival of his/her coffee in even the best scenario. Everyone gets their drinks as soon as humanly possible, but that is somehow not good enough for this kind of person. This kind of customer is never happy and does not tip well… if he/she tips at all.
Chris replied, “Yes, ma’am!”, turned his back on her and her table full of friends, and sprinted (sprinted!) through the quiet but crowded dining room to the kitchen. Coffee pot in hand, he sprinted back through the room to her table and poured her coffee… right away.
It was fate that brought the parents with the fussy kid to Chris’ table. The parents were apologetic, but their young son insisted that he did not like the giblets in his gravy. He could not be convinced to accept this "contaminated" gravy, but Chris was cool with it. He offered to take it back to the kitchen to get a new bowl that had never ever had giblets touching it. Of course, he simply took the gravy to the kitchen, strained out the meat, and brought it back.
He called the boy his little buddy. The parents loved him for creating a peaceful mealtime.
Chris further encouraged his little buddy to follow his parents’ instructions to eat just a little more and finish his veggies because Chris had a very special dessert for his “little buddy”.
What is it? What could it be?
The boy bounced in his seat, could barely contain himself, as Chris carried the final tray from the kitchen to their table.
And with great flair Chris presented the “very special” dessert:
A sherbet cup filled to overflowing with… giblets.
The parents burst into laughter as their son recoiled in horror.
Chris patted the boy’s shoulder. “Just kidding, buddy.” He removed the giblet cup and replaced it with two sherbets.
Before the family left, the father stood up and shook Chris’ hand. And pressed and very nice tip into his palm.
So, now you understand why, whenever The Husband asks for a refill on his coffee, and I ask if he wants it right away, he always replies, “No! No, just whenever you get to it.”