One of my favorite things about waiting tables are the short relationships you get to have with people who come in and out of your life, your shift, your tables, your care. I get to learn more about humans every time I go to work.
And one of the very best things about these fleeting relationships is that each one is unique. Each one lasts, typically, about an hour. Yet in that hour I am privvy to incredibly private and sensitive conversations, if only the snatches I overhear as I approach or walk away.
Here are just some of the bits of conversation I've overheard of late:
- "They were fucking each other's balls."
- "How was it?" / 'It was awesome. There were naked boobies everywhere.'
- "I told my dad I didn't want his wife in my life. And that's when my dad and I started to get really close."
And then there are the things people tell you outright when you ask if you may clear their plates. For instance:
- "We just got back from our first marriage counseling session. So we're still talking."
It's always incredible the sorts of sensitive information people will reveal to their server. Or even just around their server. My aim is always to provide attentive but unobtrusive service. In doing this, I can often be viewed by tables as invisible, just a ghost collecting unneeded butter knives who they think can't hear the heartbreaking language about how their mother's life is ending.