“Dominick will be in tonight and you will take his table”
The statement is thrown at me while I happily bounce down the steps to work
“Thanks for the heads up” I smile and venture off to change from ‘work’ clothes to ‘work’ clothes
“His family will be ordering off of both menus!” My manager is trying to impress upon me the importance of his visit
“Heard” I bounce off with her fav word command, not sure she’s so happy to hear it under these circumstances
2 hours later, on time as usual, I greet his table introducing myself as I have so many times before, not sure he ever remembers my name.
“We’ll be ordering off of both menus and we have quite a list of specific food allergens to accommodate” I sense my eyes attempting to roll back into my head and try my best to remain focused. What once was so very intimidating has since transitioned into more of a yawner for me.
I take the first round of demands to the kitchen where my manager is waiting impatiently, the entire kitchen nervous for what will transpire over the next few hours.
“Does he seem happy? You introduced yourself, right? Do they want to order right away? We should see if they want to get their order in before we get busy.” I pause, and deliver the information needed. Pondering in the back of my mind why one guest can turn an entire restaurant upside down every time they appear onsite. I sigh and go back to the table for the next ‘beating’…I mean order.
I begin writing everything down feverishly and repeating it all back to him like a mocking bird. Of course he speaks so quietly I’ve had to ask 4 times for the same information. I’d love to be polite, but feel someone of his monetary level and stature most certainly did not get there by talking under his breath.
His mother would like hot water, but not boiling hot so I will need to mix it with our luke warm water to arrive at the perfect drinking temperature. My mind is laughing out loud as my face remains completely placid. (thank goodness I’d taken years of theater in high school and college)
The demands from this table are not only unreasonable, they are intolerable. And this will occupy most of my evening for a 15% tip on a bill that will not be over $200. Don’t do the math, it will only cause a rise in blood pressure. I’ve learned to control it over time; it no longer has that effect on mine.
I head back to the kitchen as we all attempt to decipher and enter in the items over the next 15 minutes and radio our sister restaurant to ensure all the insanely modified items will arrive at the same time to the table.
I return and attempt to remove the first round of plates and utensils only to find a spoon falling lightly brushing the shoulder of their 12 year old son. The son and mother look up suddenly, startled and taken aback.
The table of guests becomes completely silent….concerned.
“Are you okay sweetie? Did you get hurt?” They are appalled at my lack of polishedness if that were to be a word.
I apologize quietly and remove myself from the table. The child will live. I have work to do.
While Dominick is a wealthy investor who has no issue telling you this over and over for lengthy amounts of time that you will never get back in your life as well as the insight that his wife is a very prominent and prestigious surgeon, what they will not disclose is that we are all VIP’s. Not one of us more important than the other. All designed uniquely and exquisitely. All having to give a final account of how we have treated others. I silently pray for his family and the way they mistreat so many. I know this account will not be a comfortable one for any member of this family, my hope is that they will see the grace requested on their behalf during that moment. That this grace will make the memory so much less painful to view on that important day.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:31-46
Just a simple reminder of who the true VIP or king is and always will be.
Sometimes it’s good to keep things in perspective.