What a difference a day makes – or in my case, a week. This past Thursday I arrived at Fernihurst with a whole new attitude. If I survived my last experience, I should be fine this time. And now that I knew what to expect, I was a whole lot more relaxed.
My assignment was an early table of two, a lovely older couple who had been to the restaurant several times and loved it. We started off with friendly conversation about the school, the community and the great food. I took the order AND entered it correctly, remembered to bring cream for the coffee, refilled water glasses, explained the menu, everything was a delight. And then, the woman didn’t like her appetizer. I apologized, went to the kitchen to get information about how it was made, offered her another option. But she was totally cool about the whole thing. And the interaction was not unpleasant. Hmmm, now I know what it’s like for waitstaff when I don’t like my food. They are practically helpless in that situation – they didn’t cook it!
Just as I was delivering the entrees, which they both enjoyed immensely by the way, the hospitality student who was general managing that night called me over and announced that because I was doing so well she was giving me another table! I thought it was going to be an easy night, maybe to make up for the stress of the previous week. No such luck. But the second table was just two as well, and they had been waiting without a reservation so were so grateful to be seated and easy to serve. I managed to complete everything for the first table, graciously serve the second, and get through the entire evening without any major mishaps. Not to say it was perfect, but at least I was smiling, chatting, and just beginning to feel confident about being able to actually do the job.
I embarked on this culinary school adventure to stretch myself, find new challenges and learn new skills and information. Perhaps the ins and outs of restaurant service weren’t exactly what I had in mind. But the experience certainly met my goals. I am reminded to keep an open mind. We may not always get what we want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.