Still Waiting For Godot’s Tip

Waiting For Godot’s Tip

 

some people

you know

expect to be thanked

just for sitting at a table

if you don’t say

thank you for eating here

thank you for looking at the menu

they start making demands

with their eyes

 

mind you

you know

they expect you to know

what they want

expect you to apologize

if the specials aren’t special enough

if you don’t

bring water fast enough

they are waving their hands

 

you know 

I do this for hours

keep track of every little motion

every wrinkle of the brow

to stay on top of their needs

to fulfill

because that is my job

that is the job of the world

to be constantly aware

and ready to happily fulfill

unspoken desires

all for lousy 10% tip

 

you know

most days it isn’t worth it

but it’s better than

starving 

right

 

then I think

this is the job of the world

to be constantly aware

and ready to cater

to the unspoken desires 

of those around us

particularly

when we don’t know

what we want ourselves

Back to the 224 Rules for Monks after the October boo break 🙂 The rule that prompted this one is about not being too pushy with someone who is supposed to supply you with something. As I often do I changed the point of view to someone upon who we often make demands – in this case waiters. Have you ever tried to catch the eye of a waiter expecting them to guess you wanted another glass of water?

The notion of waiters easily lead me to the title – a play on Waiting For Godot – a play in which the lead characters wait for this guy to show up and offer them some sort of salvation – spoiler alert: he never shows up. The tip is what is awaited here – the hope for something of size – our reward to them for being pleasant. 

I’ve seen customers take it out on waiters for things that aren’t the waiter’s fault. Waiters bring the food, they don’t cook it, they don’t plate it, they bring it and let you eat it. They don’t wash the dishes, the cutlery, or decide on the portion size of your drinks, the strength of the coffee, or even what tables are available. Trust me they’ve heard that joke (whatever one it is) hundreds of times.

In editing this for more than typos (I’m sure there’s at least one) I expanded it as I realized that in life we all serve someone – bosses, partners – we live in a world of unexpressed expectations & cultural conditioning. The tip we get is the other person’s approval. This construct is impossible to transcend without being a hermit. It ends with admitting that often we really don’t know what we want, merely what we think we want or what we’ve been taught we want. That’s what the ad industry is built on. We get sold the ‘smoke’ but end up getting the cancer.

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