On Serving

What is a server? There are many different types of servers. For example:

File server: a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on the network can store files on the server.

Print server: a computer that manages one or more printers, and a network server is a computer that manages network traffic.

So what does a server do when presented with a menu, and customers, and trays of food? Why, it serves it. It takes it from point A to point A.1, to point A.2, to point A.3, until everyone gets sick and tired of counting this useless half-measures, and finally we make the mental leap to point C, skipping B entirely because of all the trouble it tried to cause. Suck it up B, you big bald baby, basking in butter but bubblier. This is where we are now. You drove us here. In your fucking malibu caprice.

Do all customers deserve respect? Hell no. If someone doesn’t give you something, how the hell are you supposed to give you something back to them? No one gets something for nothing, and if a person is being an ass the surest way to get them to bootstrap themselves is to serve their own funky backside right back at em. It’s ever easy to see your own warts when staring into a mirror. What if the customer doesn’t realize you’re really a mirror masquerading as a person? That’s Advanced Serving, serving 301.

So rule number one is give what you get. If an order comes out wrong, if the kitchen takes too long, if things just can’t seem to go right no matter what you do, remember that the restaurant itself is a mirror too, much much much much much better at it than you, and if the restaurant decides someone needs to get spanked, well sorry messenger server, your job is to spoon feed that solution drop by bitter drop. And if you try and change someone’s karma, if you just can’t help yourself but jump in front of that overcooked, delayed, grotesque looking bullet, well guess who gets to eat that sweet burn, sweet bumblebee? So don’t sweat it when a customer’s dishes are dirty, or their water was lukewarm, or their particular special little gumdrop dining requirements weren’t met- guess what. YOU’RE NOT THEIR MOM. Your job is not to make the world perfect for them, your job is to serve them what the Universe has decided they’re getting (emphasis on ‘what the Universe has decided they’re getting’; don’t try and put on those big breeches yourself there, becky, the restaurant can spank you just as simple). And in return for all this impossibly hard work, you get…

Nothing. That’s the trick of it. The tips, the chicken scratches on those trashable receipts are a lie you see, they don’t mean what you think they mean, they’re a smoke screen, a mirage designed to keep you focused on the ancillary when your real score is the table that dropped it. Who are your customers to you? They are you. They are the Universe’s reflection of  your personality, your wants, your desires, your preferences. Every single facet of who you are comes, over time and patience and over all the ability to WANT to pay ATTENTION, to be reflected in the lives and proclivities of your customers. That one recurrent table that always gives you terrible time and always leaves you a terrible tip? Those fucking dicks are your dick, are your sense of pride and superiority. Those tables that appear out of thin air on your worst day, when you’re really ready to throw in the towel and give it all up? Those are your hearts, the precious beats of a system that not only cares about you personally, but wants to be personally cared for by you. Only you know how to serve you, right? So serve these tables as you would serve yourself, love them as you want to be loved, tend to them as you want to be tended. And the Universe will see it, and it will take note of how you act when no one is watching, and, well…who knows? These are just games we’re playing to try to make fun of a job that at best is a shitshow and at worst a leech at your throat that only sucks and sucks and sucks and never blows, and who wants a fan that makes the room hotter?

The Only Rule: Create and play and love and live whatever game it is that best allows you to create and play and love and live and serve as many people as you possibly can.


Advanced Serving 301: (Now enrolling for Summer Session!) Topics Covered:

  • When Your Tables Are Your Coworkers; Solving Interpersonal Problems
  • When Your Tables Are Mathematical; Solving Ideal Problems
  • When Your Host is Nobody; Solving Intangible Problems
  • When Orderup is Being Bratty: Solving Interstellar Problems
  • When The Dishwater has No Soap; Cleaning Your Body [(which are dishes) which are a Temple]
  • Make Love with the Kitchen, Not War; Solving Knotty Issues.

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