Last night we had a compulsion for ribs, so we went to Smokey Bones, one of the best rib places around. Our waitress (if you are obsessed with political correctness, you may read waitperson or waitron or whatever waste of time you prefer here) had a great personality, was attired perfectly for the place (casually inelegant) and was clearly pregnant (see, you would have guessed it was “waitress” anyway).
While she was describing the specials, a young girl ran up yelling “Mommy!” and it turned out her daughter had escaped from her husband who was dining across the room. Cindy told us she had two children, this third one on the way, and she and her husband were planning and hoping to have four in total.
She did a great job, handled a lot of tables really well, and occasionally herded her daughter back to her husband.
I doubt that she and her husband were college graduates or that he held a white collar position. They were a two-income household, with Cindy holding down a demanding job with long hours while she is pregnant, happy as can be with her newest blessing. Not a complaint, not a whimper, not a whine. She had piercings and tattoos. She also had a great sense of humor.
(I remember once listening to a waitress moan about her life and her finances so much that I left her a $10 tip for our two cups of coffee. She pompously told me she couldn’t accept it. It seems to me that if you whine for help, then you should accept the help. But you can’t have it both ways: Take the alms or don’t beg in the first place.)
People such as Cindy make my day. They take accountability for their actions. They don’t expect to be helped by anyone but themselves. We’ve all had waiters who have bemoaned their pay, the management, or the fates for forcing an inappropriate job on them. Cindy appeared to be really happy with her work, which is important work, and which makes a difference to a lot of people, from the owners to the customers.
You never know where you’re going to find nobility. Sometimes, it’s in a rib joint.
© Alan Weiss 2007. All rights reserved.