On Thursdays at work, I’m in charge of the three tables beside the bar until both lounge servers are on. During that period yesterday I went up to greet a table of two ladies, and, well..I guess all there is to do is to tell you what happened; maybe then I’ll know how to finish that sentence.
I did my little spiel, and the one lady seemed pleased that I was Paul and that I was going to be taking care of them and that Lisa was my partner and that she was going to be taking care of them. The other lady, in a nice enough manner, said, “Aren’t you the bartender?” to which I explained why I have tables then. It all seemed to satisfy her just fine, and she was in that moment when she needed to form some kind of connection.
We’re like that; we like to connect things and people and places to our worlds, a lot of us. “Oh, you’re from West Virginia; I have a cousin in Charlottesville.” (That’s an entirely different state, but, I understand, you need to make the connection.)
And so did this lady; she needed to make a connection, so she tells her friend, “I came in here by myself one night, so I sat at the bar, and I told him just to make me something and to put just as many fruit juices in it as he could.” And her friend is smiling and getting into it; she’s happy because her friend has some context, a connection. Her friend has a story just because I’m the guy who happens to be standing there. Her friend has a history with a fond moment, and it’s all just great.
And it’s all just great for me; connections and history and fond memories are the stuff good interactions with guests are built on. Sure, the present experience is the most important thing, but when you have these others to build on, you have a better chance at having a good interaction this time.
So, her friend is all smiling and nodding, bought in and just waiting to hear how this all turns out. I’m all smiling and nodding, happy that we’re building this interaction on good stuff from the past, and I say something like “I hear ya; well we certainly have a lot of juices back there to work with,” because I can’t imagine what else one might say then, and the friend is giving an appreciable nod that says, “Oh yeah I’ll bet y’all have got some juices to work with,” and the whole thing is just rolling.
So I ask her, “Was it good?” still all nodding and smiling and the friend all smiling and nodding, happy to be getting to the point she’s been waiting for, and we’re all just riding it along.
So, the lady, she thinks about it for a moment, and I think she’s trying to find the words to describe the drink. What she was actually doing was trying to devise a way to answer my question diplomatically. She didn’t come up with anything better than “No, not really.”
And it all stopped, the smiling, the nodding, nothing left but a big empty nothing for me to fill. I don’t even recall what I said to fill that void. Shortly after that, I got them a coke and an ice water, and I guess their experience went well enough. It’s not that I’d be privy to that knowledge, though; for that, I guess I’ll have to be around next time.
Much love, beauties. It’s Friday! Yes, it’s only Tuesday for me, but I’m happy for you folks who are looking ahead to your weekend off. I hope it’s absolutely joyous.