One Potato, Two Potato

This could have been the post about the lunch shift from hell–the shift when a loaded tray of beverages gets dumped on the most easy-going of our regulars, who tells you and everyone that he is fine and almost jokes about it, then cancels his large dinner “because of the incident.”

This could have been the post about the likable but so-nervous server who dumped the tray of beverages on the most easy-going of regulars, the earnest and intense and intensely emotional server who makes me look like an ever-calm, even-keeled Restaurant Gal.

This could have been a post about how I figure I bear some responsibility for the cluster that kept unfolding at lunch yesterday, although I am not sure what I could have done to stop the implosion as I continued to water tables, slice bread, answer phones, greet guests, run checks.

Instead, it is, for a brief second, a post about my curious unemotional reaction to it, because some days are just horrible that way in a restaurant. I felt like, for once, I was the observer who kept her cool. It is also about how I took the call when the server quit, leaving us in a really bad spot for the rest of week, at first feeling empathetic, then just being annoyed that he up and quit over something so idiotic. Crap happens, every day, in every restaurant. If two managers are telling you it’s okay, let it go, LET IT GO.

He couldn’t. He quit, instead. Well, then, I guess that’s that.

This could be a post about being fearful to face my GM about the whole mess. But because I wasn’t, it is partially about beginning to turn a corner with one’s manager, and feeling like eggshell walking is slowly being replaced by the beginnings of quiet confidence.

This could be a post about how much I loath having to train hosts, because I figure each will last about a minute, anyway, so why bother to invest the energy? Until I trained someone who doesn’t complain about her shoes, grew up in the industry, worked for her dad, and just gets it–at an absurdly young age.

This could be a post about how I watched a young guy train on his first night as a server with us, a guy whom I barely know but have a feeling will be okay and thus, recommended as a hire to my manager. How I watched this guy seem at ease on his first night, and be more than okay.

This could be a post about almost anything else. But what sticks with me most on this day is how Chef brought me, unsolicited, a giant portion of “my really good escalloped potatoes.” They were piping hot, gooey with cheese, and loaded with garlic.

I have no idea why he did this, at 10 p.m. during the 12th hour of a double. I just know it was really nice of him to do so. That the portion could have been a full entree shared by two means the leftovers will make a perfect breakfast.

I don’t know what today will bring; it could all be crap. But I know peace won out over angst for me yesterday, topped off with an unexpected gift of potatoes. Fat and calories be damned, I am savoring the moment.






15 responses to “One Potato, Two Potato”

  1. Brave Astronaut Avatar

    OOH! potatoes. With cheese and garlic no less. Sometimes comfort food makes everything else seem manageable. Just remember, RG, keep smiling. It will make everyone else wonder what you are up to. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And get that recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Joe Avatar

    Quiet confidence is always nice…

    Mmmm… Cheese!!!

  3. Canadian Girl Avatar

    I’m impressed. You handled a crazy day with calm confidence – an inspiration to us all. And comfort food as a reward at the end of the day. mmmmm

    By the way, thanks for being the first commenter on my blog. You made me smile.

  4. Julie Avatar

    Congratulations on getting through that day with confidence. They’re difficult for me and I usually fall into bed when it’s over.

  5. Jennifer Avatar

    Is there anything on this planet that can brighten a day better than potatoes and cheese? No. No, there is not.

    You’re doing GREAT, lady, hang in there!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Shannon Avatar

    Gal, I like you. I like your blog, and I like this post. I like your word choices, cheesy potatoes, and quiet confidence. I like FL too, and if I lived there I feel like we’d be good friends.
    Pulling for you,

  7. Natalie Avatar

    I love some good cheesy potatoes.
    I like those days when despite how I could’ve acted (based on precedence), I managed to keep my cool. It’s a great feeling. I’m glad to read that you feel like your turning the corner.

  8. m Avatar

    Cheesy potatoes are the most comforting of all comfort foods. It sounds like Chef is someone else who ‘gets it’.

    Tonight is the night we were headed out for sushi – and now I won’t be able to get those potatoes out of my mind!

  9. The Pensive Penguin Avatar

    Potatoes and cheese.

    Isn’t it the best feeling ever, as a trainer, to train someone who doesn’t really “need” to be trained? They make training the people who need to be taught what escalloped means, and why it’s called comfort food worth the effort.

    “Those” nights do happen, and the only way to survive them is to scotch guard your shoulders a little and let them roll off your back. You did good.

    Potatoes and cheese…

  10. Ex-Restaurant Manager Avatar

    I always thought that you’d be someone I’d like to work with. Having a competent, un-flustered floor-leader is what makes the rest of the restaurant so much easier to run. You go, RG!:)

  11. Kim Ayres Avatar

    spoilt for choice with the stories – you picked the best one though ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Augs Avatar

    I wish I had 1/2 the calmness you have. Seems everyday is a struggle at a job I dislike and people who “I” have to bail out everyday. I believe I am taking away a good lesson from this post. A good read indeed.

  13. namaste Avatar

    Bravo! I love this post!

  14. savannah Avatar

    your posts always cut right to the most important part…for me, it was taking pleasure in the small and unexpected.

    thanks, sugar!

  15. google Avatar

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