If you’re ever feeling like you’re somebody, just talk to one of the older waitresses at Janie’s Café in Longmont. Try to be friendly with them, they will give you a sidelong glance, not even bothering to shake their heads.
Parisienne waiters can give you a similar feeling. You’re invisible, they’re invisible, with pleasure.
Both the old waitresses in Longmont and the young ones in Paris move swiftly, doing their job with competent ease. They are a little funny looking. I suppose being friendly with tourists is for them what kissing clients is for prostitutes. You just don’t.
We had one tall, slim, (good looking) waiter in France with a wicked sense of humor and tattoos up and down one arm. He was also swift and graceful. He whisked the bread away whispering, of the food, “It’s coming!”
I wonder who was the butt of that joke – him or me? In Dinan we sat on the quai, having fish soup Brittany style, and our waitress had a severe birthmark all around her right eye. In Binic, on the quai, we had something they called tea du gormound, which was a pot of tea along with an abundance of tiny pastries, served on a slate platter. My friend complained to the waiter that there was no card explaining the different pastries, but I found it perfection. We had three servers that afternoon and the last one didn’t speak English, if you can believe it. At a café across the street from the chapel St. Michelle, in Paris, for a moment the waiter stood under the canopy, gazing at the rain.
At one highway gas station, in France, they make their own bread, and had several exercise bikes for travelers to use on their break. The woman behind the counter was taken aback when I didn’t want the whole lunch deal, just the sandwich, but shrugged a shoulder in the end.
In Grand Lake, CO, at the end of August, we had a waitress who was blatantly surly.
There is no wait staff at the Wing Shack in Longmont Colorado. You approach the counter efficiently or else. The kitchen staff will make you wait 20 minutes for your wings. Or smother them in so much bbq sauce you have to eat them like a barbarian. You can’t help remembering the soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld, except here they don’t bark at you, they’re more sly and sneaky.