Not Your Everyday News

Monday, August 07, 2006

put on a happy face!

why the happy face? well today I work night shift, and then I have the
next 2 days off...yes folks, happy face! :) Not sure if I will see any of
my fave regular customers tonight, it is monday after all, but I am
sure to get a visit from my 'concerned observer' Mrs. Reagan, and
Lola might pop by for a spell. And more than likely, the older couple
I have mentioned in the past may come by, the entertaining Lisa
and Peter. There is another couple, even older that Lisa and Peter,
who have become regulars just in the last month, and may be in
tonight.....I will call them Tom and Marion. They are in their early
80's, and I am afraid that Marion is in the early stages of Alzheimers,
as she has good and bad days memory wise. Tom is very doting,
taking great pains to ensure she is comfortable and happy. Oh, Mrs.
Reagan and I call him the 'whistler', as when he is not either
eating or speaking, he is whistling this merry tune! He occasionally
will bring this book in about architecture; his father apparently
was a leading architect in the early 1900's in the Pittsburg, Pa. area,
and there was a book written with pictures of his designs. Tom is
very proud of that, which I think is just neat! But what is the most
amazing thing about Tom and Marion is the connection they have
made with the waitress that usually takes care of them, I will call
her Shaniqua here. Yes, she is African-American, around 30 or so,
and is one of those 'tell it like it is' type of folks. Yet this old, very
white couple adore her! Apparently Tom mentioned once to
Shaniqua that they occasionally have problems being 'regular'
(yes, they did say that, and believe it or not, they are not the
only regular customers to discuss their bowel movements with
us!) and how they need to eat more vegetables. Well, our
restaurant isn't exactly a health-nut's dream, we have no veggie
sides, just potatoes....but we do have cole slaw. So as soon as
Shaniqua sees their car pull into the parking lot (the restaurant
has windows on 3 sides, we can see everything and everyone!)
she goes to the back and gets the cooks to prepare 2 dishes of
coleslaw for them, and then pours their drinks (iced tea for
him, white zinfindel for her!). She then asks what they are in
the mood to eat, then recommends dinner options for them,
and even deviates a bit from the menu when necessary to suit
their needs. And when Marion asks for something and Tom
says no, well, Shaniqua just ignores Tom and gets Marion what
she asked for! It is great to see and listen to the interaction
between these 2 very different worlds, and how the older
couple completely trust the young 'miss thang'! And during
these days I was working dayshift, I heard that they had come
in one evening, and the person covering for me gave Tom and
Marion another waitress, much to their dismay....but then
Shaniqua proceeded to tell me she made sure the other
waitress 'did her job' and went to their table several times to
make sure everything was ok. Shaniqua is 'the truth' in the
restaurant, telling it like it is, and putting new staff members
in their place (as in telling one new girl to not look at or talk
to or laugh with this one cook, Melvin, who happens to be her she said, 'if you need to talk to him, write him
a note!) And yet, in the 5 or 6 weeks that she has worked for
us, she has become one of the most popular staff members,
as everyone loves her, and a myriad of customers are
asking to be sat in her section, as they love her bubbly
personality! But it is the 'whistler' and his wife who seem to
have made a truly special, albeit UNUSUAL, bond with
Shaniqua; as she is working tonight, I hope they come in!


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