Working in the food service industry (read: indentured servitude), is a crazy combination of the best and worst of humanity. Many stories have been told. Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica, and Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg, are just two of the interesting and informative, true accounts of the restaurant world from the side of the server. Waiting (2005), starring Ryan Reynolds, is an amusing, caricature of servers lives. And thousands upon of blogs tell of servers triumphs and woes.
Well, my lifelong friend and co-conspirator, Dan and I have worked in the Restaurant world for a while. Dan is the best server I've ever seen. The worst things you can say about him are that he wants it all to be perfect, and that he's a little brisk. Nevertheless, he is engaging with all of his tables or bar guests without being intrusive. This may sound a little like hero worship but...it's not. When I've served, I have seriously thought "How would Dan do this?" in response to a challenging situation. He really is that good. Don't believe me? Go visit him at Graffiato in Chinatown DC...OH WAIT!!!
You can't. Because Dan became a scapegoat. A reality of dining out is not being a part of the preparation of your own food. For some people this is only inconvenient as a matter of personal preference. For others, it's a bit more than that. Anyone in the service industry is no stranger to food intolerances and allergies. We mechanically recite notices about nuts in desserts, etc. much like Liverpool hospitals note "the usual rubbish about equal opportunities employer etc." And Dan gave the standard "nuts in the crust" notification to the people at the bar, upon whom he was waiting, at dear old GraffiatoDC. However, those present at the ordering of the dessert, should communicate warnings to the bathroom dwellers.
In his own words:
woman with a nut allergy sat at my bar with friends. she left, friends ordered a dessert that had nuts. woman came back, ate her friends dessert, and i got fired for it, even though i told the friends it had a nut crust. The lady popped an allergy pill and drove herself to be checked out.
"Dan the man", however, became "Dan the unemployed."
This also won't have a punchy takeaway either. What it will have is a "To Be Continued" And a chance to stick it to the man.
Tune in next time. When we recount the tale of servers forced to pay a manager's salary, and other sordid horrors at Graffiato in: DAN the Man VS. Just the man.