I went out for happy hour tonight. Thanks to a great friend active in the service industry, it quickly turned into happy hours. That's right, plural!
We introduced new friends, we reminisced, we shared new stories and we convinced her co-workers to push the Hall & Oates station through the restaurants speakers. All in all — a very satisfying evening.
It made me think — what is happy hour? Is it really only cheap drinks and great specials from the kitchen? Well, honestly, that's one thing that gets my attention...but I think it's so much more.
It's something that gets you through a week that's dragging by, it's a time to draw close friends even closer, a time to vent your frustrations or toast to your successes, a time to meet new buddies and a time to thrust your obsession with Hall & Oates on to everyone within a 50 foot radius of you. Happy Hour is great!
I've always had friends in the service industry. Heck, I was a part of it myself as a barista in college and a cafe manager after graduating into a not-so-welcoming economy.
I'm sure we all have that someone — whether it's a barista or a bartender — or that waitress that gives a us a free dessert "on the house" every now and then. There's a certain bond between the server and the customer. If each knows how to play it right, the results are gratifying to each party. A nice tip, a free drink...or just the feeling of recognition and seeing that "familiar face."
I also find entertainment in the bond between the service industry employees themselves — from past experiences myself included! Those who really know what matters know the customer comes first. They can chitter chatter with friends who come to visit or other employees, until the customer appears and they snap into service mode. Filling water glasses, asking questions they've answered 10 times that night or smiling, despite the customer's attitude, through gritted teeth. I've done it and I've seen it a hundred times and to me it defines a good server. They don't get offended if you turn your back on them to tell someone their food will be right out.
All in all, happy hour proved to be a good choice tonight. Caught up with a great friend, joked with new friends and — the best part of it all — was coming home to a boyfriend, sprawled out on the couch watching Survivor Man, who understood that I needed to go straight to my computer and write.
Told ya — I'm back in action!