6/16/2008

I Feel Bad



I went to the same local restaurant yesterday morning (prior to Father’s Day dinner, although I am not officially a father) just as I do almost every morning. As I was seated in the non-smoking section, my usual waitress (for the past four months anyway) did not come to my table to take my order. Most times I order breakfast. But, sometimes I just like to drink coffee and read my newspaper.

I asked the waitress where was Renee (not her real name). She looked around carefully and said she had been let go. Shocked, I asked what had happened. I knew she was thinking of going to a local cosmetology school. But, she had given no indication last Saturday this was her immediate plan. The waitress told me Renee had been terminated for “physical interaction” with customers. Now, it was time for me to feel bad. Renee is young, attractive and very friendly. She is also a big flirt. Renee flirted harmless I thought and I always gave her a good tip for doing so. She is also the “touchy feely” type where she would touch you on the shoulder, pat you on the back. Hell, I admit it, I liked it. I looked forward to seeing her each morning I went to this restaurant. But, I kept my hands to myself. I just am not that forward. I know I wasn’t the only one she acted this way toward. It always earned her lots of tips that I do believe made the other waitresses envious. I didn’t see the harm in it. When you’re my age, it’s a helluva ego boost to have a young, attractive waitress make over you even if we both know it’s for that tip.

Apparently, the restaurant has a company policy about touching the customer intentionally. That took some of the sting out of my guilt since Renee knew about the company policy of keeping her hands to herself. But, she had been warned several times about the touching of customers. Damn. It’s not just that I will miss her smile and the “touchy feeler” aspect. She was an excellent waitress. Always had my coffee cup filled and brought my order promptly. I understand the restaurant’s reasoning for fear of a lawsuit. But, that doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better. I’m sure Renee will find work elsewhere. Especially, at a restaurant where a bunch of old goats like me are there to eat breakfast.

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