20 Days of Chill 2020 - May I take your Order?

Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash

Welcome back to 20 Days of Chill. Today's prompt is 

May I take your order?

Since I'm sharing bits of my career history, why don't I add another episode, here goes... 

While I have never worked for a full service restaurant, as a college student, I helped out at a local café on busy Saturdays and during school breaks. It wasn't a Starbucks style coffeeshop, it was a sit down and order with your friendly waiter kind of coffeehouse. 

Being on my feet all the time was tough on me, but otherwise it was a fun job. When I arrived in the mornings, my colleague who started earlier would have a batch of croissants in the oven, and it smelled heavenly. We were allowed to eat them, too, but sadly we were just too busy.

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

The café was being frequented by regular guests, and by regular I mean seriously regular. Like sitting at the same table if it was available, ordering their coffee exactly the way the liked it (and those were times before SBUX even started doing business in Switzerland, mind you) and having the same pastry. 

Up to this day I happen to bump into some of those people at the train station or the grocery store, and when I see their faces, my mind immediately goes "doppio espresso" or "latte with extra milk".

Photo by Chase Eggenberger on Unsplash

One day a group of office people pulled a prank on me. It was a beautiful summer morning, and I was getting ready to set the outdoor tables. By the time they sat down I had distributed a couple of croissant baskets on each table, then I took their order. When I came outside, carefully balancing my tray with their coffees, they said "Miss, would you mind getting us some of those yummy, freshly baked croissants?"

I wanted to tell them to help themselves from the baskets, but… there weren't any
Huh? I must have been dreaming. "Right away" I said and rushed inside. I had to wait until a new batch came out of the oven, then I put the hot croissants into baskets and carried them outside. 

When I arrived, sure enough there were plenty of baskets on the tables, and the guys were enjoying croissants. They had hidden them just to confuse me, and they couldn't stop laughing as they were looking at my face. 

One day my boss asked me to cut class and work on a Monday, he was really desperate, coworkers had called in sick, you get the picture. He promised I could even bring a book to study, cause Mondays were usually slow, he just needed somebody to be there. 

You know what happened that Monday? Snow happened. LOTS OF SNOW! I almost didn't make it on time. The place was PACKED! People whose bus / train was late or didn't show up at all. People who treated themselves after shoveling their driveway. People who just felt like having hot chocolate on a Monday morning. People who took lengthy breaks because their customers didn't call - they may not have made it to their offices!

I think the only people who weren't at the café this morning were the street maintenance guys. Snow plows were going back and forth for hours - no breaks!

Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Jesus Christ, that café was as busy as on Saturday before Christmas!! Exceptional state would be an understatement. We had one of those industrial dishwashers that only takes a couple of minutes per load. Still at times I had to wait for clean cups and plates! 

(I was just having a thought: we were pretty lucky that there wasn't a power outage that day. Can you imagine?)

My colleague went down to the basement to get some outdoor chairs for the people that kept coming in - cause the others just wouldn't leave… 

We ran out of some pastry items and had to thaw alternatives from the freezer. In the meantime - getting desperate - I tried to suggest the guests had some ice cream. When they looked at me funny, I added "with warm chocolate sauce!?" Hey, I tried!

I had a blast that day! I wasn't responsible for the place, but I really rolled up my sleeves and did the best I could! My only worry was that one of my professors or a family member of theirs might come in and bust me, but I got lucky. 

I think the guests appreciated what they saw and left great tips.

When I came home I wanted to take a shower right away. I forgot to mention: back then people were allowed to smoke in restaurants, and my hair and clothes were terribly smelly. My mom wrinkled her nose as I walked past her. "You can't imagine how crowded that cafeteria was today", I said and made a beeline to the bathroom. School cafeteria - café… same thing. Right?

Two of my youngest café guests whom I used to help climbing onto bar stools so they could sip their juice (from a glass with a red straw, of course) and watch me work gave me an additional job: their mother asked me to babysit them once a week. 

One of the babies is a doctor today! Where did the time go? 

How about you? Did you have interesting summer jobs? Any memorable experience you'd like to share? 

Let me know in the comments below. 

Hope you'll be back tomorrow for 3 more days of chill! In the meantime why don't you visit my fellow bloggers' posts over here.

Thursday, January 2: A new decade
Friday, January 3: Beautiful places
Monday, January 6: Is that chicken?
Tuesday, January 7: Show me the way
Wednesday, January 8: Naps
Thursday, January 9: Snow
Friday, January 10: Fri-Yay
Monday, January 13: Social Media
Tuesday, January 14: Cheddar
Wednesday, January 15: Dream on
Thursday, January 16: Popcorn
Friday, January 17: Snapshot
Monday, January 20: Last Meal
Tuesday, January 21: Battle of the Phones
Wednesday, January 22: Sign it in ink
Thursday, January 23: Spam
Friday, January 24: May I take your order?
Monday, January 27: A cocktail, if you will
Tuesday, January 28: Bring me to you
Wednesday, January 29: Oh, thank goodness!


  1. Like myself you've had a variety of jobs over the years. But if not, how do we know what we truly enjoy.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  2. Unless service is really bad, I tend to tip on the high side. The work is crazy hard, so if they shows us good service, I like to return it. I never worked in food and not sure if I would have laster!

  3. I waited tables for a long time and boy could I tell you some stories! I'm always a good tipper I know what it takes to provide a great experience.

  4. I really couldn't get past the basket of croissants. And the photo.


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