The Idler #3

Before I became an idler, I was a restaurant manager, and one of the skills required of me was an ability to improvise. When the dinner rush was on, all bets were off, and there were no rules except to keep a roomful of people happy.

No matter that people come from everywhere and are raised in all sorts of ways (for when you are raising a child, all bets are off) and all have different definitions of happiness. Some merely want hot food fast—how hard is that?

Some want their server all the time, to answer questions, pour wine, take dishes away, recommend a dessert, close that door, stop that child from crying, stop my child from crying, be a dear feed the meter, I can’t believe I spilt that twice, may I sample the cake, tell us your life story or at the very least a funny anecdote, no I won’t pay for my entrée but we can still be friends, tell the manager to stop by I saw him putting out a fire a minute ago, we’re old friends of the owner so you’d better do it—how hard is that?

If you can keep a roomful of people happy, you can keep a room full of people. And sometimes we had more than a room full of people, and that was often interesting. We weren’t about to turn people away—not so long as we could turn people around and fit another table in there. Or maybe a table out here—it’s still al fresco, even in the snow.

It is amazing what people will do after you tell them it’s an hour wait for a table. Some snuck in when I had my back turned and struck up conversations with single diners before easing themselves into a chair. Some glared at the diners who were taking their sweet time with, what was it, their third course? Some glared at me and used that line about the owner. The owner was a solitary guy, except for the people who needed things. Those were his friends.

I bring up my glory days because Avignon continues to blossom in the warm weather. The trees are turning green, the poppies are popping out at the roadside, and every nook, niche, and lonely place has grown a café table.

All the squares and sidewalks have been claimed and furnished. Sometimes it’s hard to know which restaurant you are dining at. I saw three sets of tables separated by color code, but only two restaurants. The other restaurant was across the street and around the corner. Just because they have no sidewalk of their own doesn’t mean they don’t get a sidewalk somewhere.

But if you want to know what it’s really like over here, well, it’s like this:


Coleen said…
i am DEFINITELY learning that dance...i really love the snapping
Reilly Owens said…
It's called the madison. I'll dance with you. (Apollonia doesn't dance any dance that requires learning. The music moves her, not intellect. But if she can't see the fun in the madison, well, who can save her?)
Leo's GM tells them all to give out his personal home/cell number anytime a customer has an issue.

Could you imagine customers calling the O/O ranch, leaving messages to voice their complaints? lol..

One of Lee's regulars insists that he can only have white women wait on him.
Courtney C said…
I'll learn that dance with you Reilly.
Reilly Owens said…
How's Tuesday afternoon?
she would love to learn on Tuesday. She is very intellectual. A good time girl like "A" is always in the mood for some swinging choreography..I am going to show it to Leo, he may be interested in learning it as well.
River Cougar said…
First, your rant on customers took me to a week ago before i went on vacation. I left work so freaking mad at humanity. Sometimes this job can get the best of you.... but a trip away always helps.

Second, your words on France in the springtime make me so jealous. I remember my spring days in grenoble in the town square sipping on hot cocoas with friends. The french love the outdoors and it shows.

Finally, I hope you are planning a trip to Provence for the lavender. I want to live vicariously through you in that trip. It's a dream of mine.

You should also check out the Gorges du Verdon in Haute Provence. It is the largest canyon in europe... At times 2000 feet deep with white limestone walls with a turquoise fluoride-ridden river flowing through. Amazing.

There is a village that sits atop the gorge called "Rougon". I list it in my top 5 places in the world. There are less than 100 permamnent residents with french culture practically untouhced and no one speaks english or has ever met an American. The Creperie (and gite attached) has a patio section on the rim of the canyon. perfection.

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