Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"What can I gitya?"

good morning folks,
Ya’ll have become acquainted with me and most of my moods.  I think I am a person with which is fairly easy to get along.  I got a small “gripe”.   Not with you folks and it ain’t a big one.
The Boss and I “eat out” a lot.  I mean a lot.  Hell, I buy her Christmas present in August and hide it in the oven until Christmas.  She ain’t found one yet.  She is visiting our middle daughter so I can talk about her.  Last night I stopped in at Cheddar’s after our writing meeting, for what we call in the South, “supper”.  We visit there on a frequent basis.  To me it is an upscale Dairy Queen on steroids, so you have to give them a little slack.  The food was good last night, and unlike several trips the food was hot. 
A few places that The Boss and I go, the waiter asks us if we will request them to be our waiters on our next trip.  I have two daughters and myself that worked in the restaurant industry in our college days;  I tip fairly, and toward the generous side if the waiter has made a good “showing”.  I am even lenient in what comprises a good “showing”.  Last night, it was only on the third (initial serving) glass of tea that I received the unsweetened version – and – I had to flag a separate waiter to bring the rolls (have to order separately) that I had requested.  The food came and it was good, so I was happy.
So see?  I am reasonable;  knowing that  a lot of youngsters now days see things differently than when I grew up.  I even heard the same things from the old folks when I was young.  “Long haired hippey, when ya gonna get a haircut?”  It was a sight to be seen.  The back of my hair actually touched my shirt collar.  “Them commie-freak Beatles are gonna be the end of our youth.”  I am getting off track here, but I just wanted to show that I understand the older generations misunderstanding of youth. The Boss has accused me of trying to “straighten out” these mislead young’uns with an explanation of what they obviously have missed.  Last night I decided I was going to skip any “lesson session”.
Case in point:  What is the waiter/waitress  thinking?   I haven’t really figured that out yet but I have a theory.  I want to know if any of you have ever experienced this situation.
You get your meal, you get drink refills,,sometimes,, and then you get you check.  That is about it.  Ok, you give the waiter cash.  (If you use credit or debit card then it is a different issue).   You figure the rate of tip 20-30% of food bill, I don’t use the tax as computation.  They bring back the change in dominations  and they are larger than the acceptable tip range.  I wonder how many people just leave the closest smaller amount using the one’s, ie singles.  Ok you may have guessed.  Because my daughters have told me this is the first and easiest lesson you learn when waiting table.  On the average, you are going to end up on the short end of the stick when the table leaves the lesser amount. 
Last night I decided that I was going to just go with the average;  one way she was going to be “shorted”  the other was that I was going to be long.  I was going to just let the chips fall where they landed.  You’re right .  It happened.  But,,these kids work hard and she was “working” instead of depending on someone else to tote her load so I relented.  I skipped the lecture about how this game works against her and let that part go.  I simply asked if she had a single dollar.  The tip should be about 2.60 and she brought back a five and two ones.  The food was good and to her credit there were a lot of people there so I was feeling a little sympathetic and I was going to give her the 5, take the one, and leave her 4.00 instead of the 3.00.  Her immediate response was;  “I brought you the right change.”  Ok, I wasn’t going to give here the “tip” that my daughters had learned early;  you bring small denominations and more often the customer will be more generous. (not my research).  I eventually had to say plainly, “Do you want a three dollar tip or a four dollar tip.”  She actually seemed to stop and have to consider my question.  Then, it seemed like a light went off in her head and she broke out in a big grin and said “ye’uh, four would be better.”  I don’t think it was the case with this young lady, but I am prone to believe that some think that you will always leave the larger, even though you have computed a proper amount.  Should I have explained any of this or just let her go on dealing herself a “short hand”?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"In a Bit,,," Repost

There is nothing like the glowing warmth of a campfire. Snapping and popping, the oak logs piled high with the yellow and orange flames squirting upward through the tightly stacked cracks from the bark still on the wooden fuel.

Too large to be intended for the fire, cut sections of trees served as resting stools for more than one annual trip to the familiar river bottom. Without confirmation, each has in intended occupant. Time has a way of etching routine without formality. The unceremonious act of who takes their place in cadence is stamped in time.
It seems one always has “one more thing” to sort out and put in its place. The last to take his place in line. The last to turn out the lantern. Beyond the reach of the campfires shine clattering of assorted gear indicates the restlessness. All, except this one, have gathered at their appointed places amongst the bark covered thrones.
“What are you doing out there? You gonna come on or what? We ain’t gonna wait all night.”

The strings are tuned and the whistles are wet. We wait momentarily.

“Well, are ya coming?”

From the darkness and damp, with clarity comes a chuckle and reply.

“In a bit, perhaps, you old codger, In a bit.”

The usual banter and ribbing of “always late” and “it’s gonna be daylight soon" offers a familiarity to the situation. We know we are going to have to wait. A round with flask and a dirge of song pushes the hour past.

The shifting of logs and flicker of flame, upward the embers struggle to rise. The glow still strong but not quite as bright, the warmth still surrounds us all. The sweetgum stump, awaits in quiet with sounds from just beyond. It seems the clatter is not intense as it was some time earlier.

“The music is old and bellies are full, if you’re coming on, then ya gonna have to do it soon. Not sure of the duration with this routine of fun.”

A chorus of laughter votes in favor of wit, but certainty not at all certain. Waiting for a reply I sit suddenly quiet as I listen for anticipated answer.

“In a bit, perhaps, when I finish. In a bit.”

The campfire out, the reminding ashes, what’s left of the mighty oak, a reminder that dawn is near. The river fog cloaks the forest near and water still between the banks flows. The cold ashes swirl about and, with a grin, I answer the wind’s invitation ; “are you coming”.

“In a bit, perhaps, you old codger, In a bit.”

CWM  "TOODLUMS"    July 24,1949  -  August 9, 2010