As a server (I prefer this term over 'waitress', I can't even tell you why), you have some fairly entertaining interactions—whether positive or negative. In my 3 years of experience, I think I can say I have seen it all. I've been stiffed on a high tab just to spite me, tipped 3x the bill's price, and met some interesting people. I have had some great nights, and some nights that end in tears, but my most interesting story by far is the afternoon that I waited on Harrison Ford.
It was a breezy Monday afternoon and we were starting to receive our lunch rush for the day. Being that our restaurant is self seating, the A-list celeb was able to slip in inconspicuously and grab a seat with his company (no assumptions here about his relationship to them). In the heat of my 10 table rush, I greeted them, and followed my typical routine that consists of a bubbly introduction and a couple of dad jokes that typically always land. In this case, they landed with smooth sailing. As I processed the attitude of the table, addressing how I would interact with them for the remainder of their stay, I remember making a mental note that the older gentleman shot me a subtle grin of approval as his comrades howled with laughter. In short, I knew they would be a great table.
It was not until one of my larger parties pulled me aside in the peak of our rush. Mentally scattered with a million tasks to complete, I was not expecting the conversation I was about to have. In utter shock, the mother of the table had me crouch down as she asked me, "Is that who I think it is??". Doing a complete 360 in pure confusion, I shrugged and said "I don't…think so?". She then responded, "Behind you, that's not Harrison Ford??". I suddenly stood up, processed the plethora of dad jokes and witty responses to questions I had supplied their table with, and did a Michael Scott-esque bridge-of-nose pinch. Something like this
The Michael Scott facepalm.
In shock, I looked to the woman and told her, "Yes. Yes it is. He is almost done with his meal and for this entire time, I have treated him like a normal person." Granted, as everyone tells me when I first tell this tale, he probably appreciated it, and maybe it's for the best that I had no idea.
As a server, my days are often clouded by bad tippers, rude guests, and exhaustion. I often dream of the days I can sass guests because my career is taking off and my days of serving are soon to be left in the past. When I served Indiana Jones, it made me take a step back. I never thought I would wait on my father's idol in my cute little restaurant that I've known for so long. My English major brain took this momentary philosophical trance and ran with it. When I stepped onto my community college campus for my first college class, attending USC was something that never crossed my mind. Walking into my first USC class, Comparative Literature (The Place of Literature in Cultures Around The Globe—please take it), I never thought I would meet my best friend, roommate, and inspiration to be great, and yet, all of those things happened. What may seem minuscule can actually harbor a world of opportunity. In the moments you feel hopeless and stagnant, think of all of the amazing things that have happened to you, and the journey to which you unexpectedly took to get there. Because who knows, you may go to a restaurant in Palm Desert during a family vacation and wind up meeting Harrison Ford 4 years later as an employee. And yes, he tips very well.