cynicism

September 4th, 2008 by chivrypdx Leave a reply »

So this fellow in New York waits tables.  He just published a book explaining that every guest is a dollar sign to him and nothing else.  He mentions that he won’t mess with your food if you don’t mess with him.  Mutually assured destruction, he calls his policy.  Really? Have we gotten so cynical? 

What happened to the sanctity of food and drink.  In arabic the word for blasphemer and someone who withholds water are the same.  I learned a long time ago from a very wise man that any job done well, regardless of its importance, is a job well done.  

It may be as simple as picking up the pancakes in the kitchen window and dropping them off at the table, but I don’t think so.  Every human needs food to survive.  Folks can survive off the processed junk that comes reeling out of the factories, and survival is the lowest common denominator, but isn’t there more to life than survival?   People flourish when eating food made with love.  People enjoy themselves and come away uplifted when eating food served with love.

Sure, some tables don’t want much personality, and some may even be rude.  And that hurts.  Some folks live dirty, mean, closed lives and it hurts to come into contact with those sort of people.  One may receive a crappy tip, which does not help pay for rent or food or electricity, as well as being treated rudely.  But that should not affect the basic, spiritual nature of providing food for another human being.  I may hate you and complain to my associates about what a cheap, low class dog you are, but your food will arrive safely, cooked and served with integrity.  

When you come back next time I will smile and hope that my kindness might elevate the tip from 10% to 11%.

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1 comment

  1. Marlin says:

    I read this and it makes me so sad to remember that there still are people like this in the world – small, petty, unpleasant people who can only find happiness by treating others rudely. I had a brother-in-law like this (delighted emphasis on HAD) whose behavior in restaurants was so shameful I had to excuse myself from the table to find our server and apologize each time we ate out with him. Once he wouldn’t allow the waitress to serve us our meals because “I’m not done my cocktail!!” – never mind that the rest of us had nothing to eat/drink. He always insisted on paying (because he’s such a big man!) so we’d sneak back to leave a decent tip (over his 10%). Why? What are people like him thinking?!? How does that make your meal a pleasant experience? Eating is supposed to be a nourishing, communal, enjoyable experience, isn’t it? I believe you get back what you give, usually ten-fold. I’ve certainly found that to be true at my favorite neighborhood joint – hmmmm, maybe that’s why it’s my fave… BTW, nice to have you back ;-)

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