Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Dancing Busboy

I have been told by supervisors on more than one occasion that I lacked a "sense of urgency." I wonder, as I lay on the couch now and ponder their words, just what they meant. The first time I heard these words came when I worked as a busboy for Red Lobster restaurant.

I remember the first table that I cleared. I walked slowly to the table and picked up each glass and piece of silverware individually, raising them up close, inspecting them, then dropping them into the gray rubber tub. Then I wiped the table in wide, careful arcs. I brushed out the chairs gently, stepping back to assess the job. It took about 20 minutes. Afterwards, I looked into the tub with satisfaction and counted up the booty.

"Yyyyep, I cleared 6 glasses, 4 plates, and 16 pieces of silverware."

Then I swaggered off to the next table, toting that gray tub like it was a suitcase of 100 dollar bills.

The manager had a little talk with me about my speed of service. He stated that I did my job appropriately, but that I needed to work on a "sense of urgency." I didn’t grasp the exact meaning of his words at the time.

Later, but before my exit interview, I saw an ad in the paper for my restaurant. It read:

"Looking for a busboy who knows how to hustle."

I recall reading the post (slowly) and thinking,

"Hu. But I’m the busboy. I wonder why they want another one. And why do they want one who can dance?"

8 comments:

  1. Too cute! Thanks for sharing. Great punch line. My daughter (18) works in restaurant kitchen and I sense they are not thrilled with her. It is EXACTLY what she lacks--a sense of urgency. She's -- dreamy! And I LIKE IT!

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  2. I am laughing so hard as I read this. Hilarious. Just hilarious. Please, please, keep writing as fast as you can. If you run out of ink, I'll send new pens. Love it.

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  3. I had such a sense of urgency when I was a waitress (summer of '77, Atlanta area Western Sizzlin'), I dropped a medium-well filet mignon right onto a lady's thigh ... said extremity being encased in powder-blue polyester slacks. I'll never forget how nice she was about it. Never. I didn't lose my job but I believe I did lose some illusions that summer ... mostly about my own ability to balance sizzlin' steak plates.

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  4. Genius post, absolutely brilliant & hilarious too ! Loving your whole blog. Thank you & best wishes...

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  5. Hello from IBIZA, island SPAIN. Your blog ist very interesting.
    Hugs from IBIZA
    Maria

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  6. Writing an abstract

    Hilarious and brilliant
    Wonderfully written.
    Really a very great post
    STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!

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