What’ll You Have?

by Marie B.

My first job, not counting babysitting, was waiting tables in a truck stop in Philippi, a rural West Virginia town.   Philippi was (and is) a small town with a big heart.  One can still ask, “Does anyone know what happened at the stoplight in Philippi” without causing undue consternation as to which intersection is meant.

I worked at a little restaurant off Route 119.  It was no Stuckey’s or Wall Drug Store, but it was popular with the truckers and locals.  Where else would I meet a kindly customer named “Rattler”?  He once tipped me $20 for a cup of coffee – in 1978.  The work was challenging, but it was also fun.  I learned to balance plates on my forearms, carry laden trays at shoulder height, and recall complicated orders, all while suffering through endless repeated plays of songs I couldn’t stand on the jukebox.  I also gained a lifelong affection for hardworking servers and diner-style cookery.

Wait staff tend to be reliably good-natured and quick-witted.  This comes in handy, because I’ll let you in on a little secret:  Not every customer is a ray of sunshine.  Occasionally waitstaff have been pushed to the edge of reason by unusual requests or circumstances.  Some servers develop amazing customer service skills for dealing with challenging diners.

At any rate, here are a few of my favorite books, films, and series featuring hard-working servers and delicious diner fare.  Please share your favorite restaurant-themed movies and books in the comments below.

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3 responses to “What’ll You Have?”

  1. Hey Waitress! The USA From the Other Side of the Tray by Allison Owings is a great book.

    • Marie B. says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, Carol. Sno-Isle Libraries does not currently own this title. For anyone interested in reading Hey Waitress!, use our Request an Item Not in Catalog form to see if Sno-Isle wants to add it to our collection. If approved, you will automatically be put in the hold queue.

  2. The video clips are priceless.

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