Lori Borgman | June 14, 2021
Nearly every restaurant has “Now Hiring” signs posted. Our closest McDonald’s has a sign on the drive-through menu that says, “Now hiring 14- and 15-year-olds.” A pizza place has jammed “Now Hiring” signs in the easement every three feet for the entire length of the block.
Not long ago, a favorite local burger restaurant (with three locations) was on the news talking about how they attended a job fair needing to make 50 hires. Only a handful of people came.
I told the husband maybe I’d apply for a job just to help them out for a bit.
He looked stunned.
“It’s not that different from what I do around here,” I said. “Long hours and low pay.” I also reminded him I had worked in food service three different times in my teens and early 20s.
He reminded me I wasn’t in my teens or 20s. Then he asked exactly how I planned on helping — waiting tables or working in the kitchen.
“I could do either one,” I said, tilting my nose in the air.
“You couldn’t wait tables,” he said.
Sometimes the man has no idea how close he is to danger.
“Why not?” I asked.
“You don’t hear well in big crowds. No restaurant wants a food server yelling at the customers, ‘Speak up, can you? Spell that for me. Here, just take this pad and write down what you want. Great. Now pass it around the table to your buddies.’”
“You shouldn’t make fun of my hearing,” I said.
“What’s that?” he said.
“I could help in the kitchen,” I snapped. “I’m very efficient. I made lunch for 13 yesterday on short notice and at warp speed.”
“You did,” he said, “but everybody had the same sandwich, the same chips and the same veggie sticks thrown into plastic red baskets with paper liners and you announced that if anybody didn’t like it, you didn’t want to hear about it.”
“And the problem would be?” I asked.
“Well,” he hesitated, “you can be inflexible sometimes.”
“Inflexible? Who are you calling inflexible? I am the Queen of Flexible and that’s that!”
I may have raised my voice. He took a couple of steps back. The Queen of Flexible can get hot under the collar (or apron), not to mention inflexible, when discussing flexibility.
Undaunted, he continued: “The first person to send back an order because it has onions and they didn’t want onions, you’d rush out to the table and start lecturing about showing a little gratitude for the food in front of them and tell him to eat it anyway.”
It’s possible, just possible, the man may have made a few good points. Our best contribution to the restaurant industry is to keep doing what we’ve been doing—patronize the locals and tip big.