“Don’t put your heart in this business,” my counterpart always warns me. “It’ll just get broke.”
He’s right. He always is.
How can one develop a personal connection with any co-worker at a restaurant podium? I’m not talking fun and laughs and let’s-go-out-later relationships. I’m mean explore an honest camaraderie, knit a tight friendship, share a what’s-in-your-heart closeness.
You can’t, really. Even casual conversations are fractured at best, starting and stopping and starting again in between two-finger waving deuces, tourists who “just want to see the menu and look around,” and large groups who congregate in my foyer like it’s their personal party staging ground.
No, it’s not an environment conducive to developing emotional attachments.
Yet, today, in the midst of the noon crunch–which wasn’t too crazy because it was the Tuesday after a long holiday weekend–a co-worker shared a glimpse into his soul. In that instant, all activity and sounds around us seemed to stop. In that instant, I only heard his simple, direct, and unembellished words.
In that instant, I could only look into his eyes and silently hope to convey that I knew. I got it. I was his friend.
My heart may be broken someday in this business. But never by this friend.