Miso Sorry

I feel like everyone has been a server of some sort at one point in their life and that means everyone has some pretty horrible restaurant stories. But I have a feeling that I can top them. The first time I ever serve a table as a waitress, I spilled Miso soup in the lap of a young man sitting at the table. Let me back up.

When I was in college, I needed a part time job. You know. For the moneys to pay for the things. I had applied to a few restaurants within walking distance of my home and it was about 4 months later that I got a call asking if I wanted the job at a sushi restaurant. Not even if I would come in so that they could interview me. But if I wanted the job. That should have been my first warning sign. So I go in, I discuss my hours, and then I start training the next day. On my first day, I come in wearing the uniform: jeans and a black T-shirt, and the door is locked. This place had some awkward hours, it was open from 11am to 3pm and then closed from 3pm to 5pm when it reopened from 5pm to whenever the drunk people are done singing karaoke. So I waited outside for a little bit and when the guy who interviewed me rushed up to the door and lets me in. “Sorry, I forgot this thing is locked. Part of your responsibility will be to unlock it. You can come in through the back door of the basement, we almost never lock that one.” That should have been my second warning sign. He gives me an apron and gives me a general run down of the menu and the register system. It’s not too difficult and everything is going relatively smoothly when I realize that there are no other people with me. So I ask, “Where are the other people who work here?”  He gives me a blank stare. “Well, another one should be here tomorrow. You will have to train her.” I don’t know why I didn’t start running right there and then.

But because I was a stupid, broke college student I decided to stay. I spend about half an hour following that guy around the place, watching him wait on tables before he cut me loose. This is when I get my first table. My first table was group of 4, other college students just trying to have a little dinner out. I introduced myself and then immediately said “It’s my first day, so sorry if I mess up and it takes me a little longer.” Three of them were very sympathetic and gave me nice smiles of compassion and understanding. The fourth looked annoyed and his eyes said that he wanted me to shut up and take their order. Poor guy, if he only knew what was about to happen in about 5 minutes.

In this place basically every order came with a complementary bowl of miso soup that came out of a huge pot in the backroom. There was a huge ladle that came with it that was almost the same size as the bowls themselves. This pot was very hot and just about an inch to tall for me so it took me much longer to pour out the soup that I thought it would and because I couldn’t really see the top of the pot, my bowls were filled right to the brim. More and more people were coming into eat, the bell was dinging for food to be picked up, and my name was being called to learn something new. So I picked up my tray and speed jogged to the table trying to minimize the dripping. Surprisingly, I put down three bowls of miso soup with no problem and then that fourth bowl went down on the table, where a good amount of soup sloshed up and landed with a splat right on the crotch of the guy who already wasn’t amused that it was my first day.

Everything  suddenly went quiet as the realization of what I did hit me. I actually thought I was about to black out. I almost wanted to walk away and when he complained to the manager I would explain “Look, he came in like that. I don’t know what his problem is.” But the angel on my shoulder told me to do the right thing. So I started blurting out apologies and throwing napkins at his groin, stopping myself just in time from trying to wipe it off myself. His friends were all crying with laughter which just irritated him more. He looked like he might actually throw the soup right my face until I made his drinks on the house. I didn’t even know if I actually could do that but at that moment I genuinely didn’t care. Drastic times call for drastic measure. If you made someone look like he peed his pants, you should at least buy him a beer.

And that’s how I met my boyfriend.

No, Just Kidding. That guy seriously hated me. I never saw me again and I spent the rest of the day trying to not spill any more soups. But sometimes I find myself thinking that in some alternate reality, that would have made a great wedding story.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

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