Saturday, February 26, 2005

He Is Quite Tall

“So what do you do?”
I get this question often as a server. It smacks of commentary. Those who say it seem to imply that my job as a server is beneath my natural standing. And while I don’t want to serve for the rest of my life, I do think that there is nobility in the profession. I've always believed that service is not servitude. And hopefully without sounding arrogant, I can say this: I’m good at it.

Tonight was among the highlights of my service career. I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t meet or work with people you admire or revere because they’ll never meet the standard you’ve set for them. Tonight this gentleman proved that sentiment wrong. I served Conan O’Brien. He turned out to be among the kindest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of serving. Accompanied by his wife and a friend, they were delightful. They weren’t demanding and did not ask for preferential treatment. They were grateful for the extra course we sent out to them and tipped over 20%. His wife even started a couple of mini-conversations with me.

Rewind. A couple tables over from the O’Brien table, a very large inebriated man grabbed my arm to get my attention. When I was clearing the aforementioned extra course she said to me, “Did that man just grab you?” It was wonderful the way she asked—equal parts concern and outrage. I responded that he had and that I hadn’t taken offense, which in truth I hadn’t. (If he had maliciously done so that would be a different story but he was just a little drunk.) Move to dessert when Mrs. O’Brien had given her husband her glass of wine. This was close to the end of their evening and they had polished off a second bottle of wine. So as I was clearing the dessert course, I can see that she had pushed her glass towards him. “I can see you pawned that off on him.” She smiled and whispered, “Yeah I did.” At the end of the meal, when I brought back the bill to Mr. O’Brien after running his credit card, he took a moment to stop his conversation and shake my hand. “Thank you for everything. You were wonderful.” His wife and friend concurred. I was dumbfounded. All I could say to my co-workers the rest of the night was, “He shook my hand. Conan O’Brien shook my hand!” Now I have this anecdote to tell when I go on his show.


Blogger D said...

That's fucking awesome!

Monday, February 28, 2005 2:56:00 PM  

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