and it came upon me wave on wave

that was just the song in my head... i think the Eagles sing it.

Anyway, so I've been thinking about my top ten waitress 'things I never knew or expected' and here's the rundown:

1. Computers are smart - sometimes too smart... with the touch of my fingers someone's order can be a grilled chicken dinner instead of a grilled chicken wrap. And, of course the description on the screen is GRD CHCK, which is delightfully ambiguous.
2. I learned quickly to never expect anything by way of tips. It's always so much more exciting to be wonderfully surprised, regardless of percentages. It works out that I don't do math very well in my head, so percentages aren't all that important to me anyway.
3. The customer is always different. I don't think I've had two tables that I've served alike. I found quickly that I have to gauge my conversation, when I check up on them, how often I ask for refills, etc. Because I'm always surprised by their expectations.
4. Some couples come in to the restaurant just to be around other bodies. They don't necessarily enjoy the person sitting across from them, which is why their eyes wander to the silent TVs in the corners. So, for these tables, I try to provide extra social interaction, because they're obviously struggling to create it on their own.
5. I LOVE serving grandparent age people... they are by far my favorite. I really try to wiggle my way into their conversation because they always have some advice, wisdom, or joke they'd love to share. I end up telling them that it's great to talk, because my grandparents live miles away. Even though they are a bit stingy on tips, I just remember that my gram and gramps used to share a cheeseburger for 25 cents and think, "Golly that waitress was happy to get a nickel!"
6. NEVER let your co-workers know that you frighten easily. I suppose this is not a good idea in any job, but I've been in a crowd of wait staff in the kitchen, heard a pan clang and screamed, ducking for cover. Once they caught on I was a goner. I figure it'll happen at least a couple times every time I work.
7. I have realized the challenge in showing Jesus through my actions at Ruby's. I see people who are better servers than me, better smilers, better at being happy, quicker, smarter, well better everything. So - I tried to figure out just what it was that could make me different. After meeting a beautiful friend from Texas, I realized that it's not me that makes me different, but Jesus in me. I started praying on my way to work and God is already giving me joy beyond happiness and open doors to share about Him. WOW!
8. The restaurant crowd is different, but I've learned that the crude conversation and behind the swinging door gestures give me no reason to judge. This is another lesson learned from my Texan kindred spirit - I can love them through changes in the conversation, questions about their life, high fives, and crazy dance moves.
9. I've gotten used to the deep rose color that creeps up into my cheeks when: I bring out food to the wrong table, bring out the wrong food to the right table, have to run back and ask, "Now, I'm sorry, how did you want your steak cooked?" and apologizing profusely for the long wait on their dinner.
10. I learned that people are people are people. Hmmm, another way to say that I'm encouraged, challenged, sharpened, sad, angry, depressed, and joyful when I spend a night just being around people. I think that's beautiful.

okay, so I know this isn't near as funny (if the other one was at all) as the paint crew :)

BUT I also have to say that my wonderful mother is here this weekend. We've had the most amazing time just hanging out, reading (Just finished Frank Peretti's The Oath), walking, hiking, beaching, changing my oil (everything's fine dad), and enjoying each other's company.

Now if I could just get a hold of my brother William...
well, I'm off to Ruby's for the lunch shift. grace and peace!