The Mermaids and a delightful young waiter named Noah have a great ‘cute meet’ story. For those of you who may not have heard us gushing all over Facebook, personal websites, Twitter and the Internet in general, this past April was the Washington Romance Writers annual retreat. A very special occasion in its own right, it was made even better when a handful of Mermaids were able to extend our stay for a few extra days of writing. And what better way to celebrate than with a fine meal and impecable service!
Enter the eight of us to New York J& P Pizza restaurant. Poor, poor guy is all I could think. Here was this young man, with a table full of loud, laughing, story-telling, grown women depending on him for this good sevice and food. At one point, he came by to check on us and I whispered to him that I was sorry.
Instead of shying away and murmuring a “Yes, ma’am” or “No problem, ma’am”, the kid asked, “Why are you sorry?”
Me: “Oh, I was just feeling bad that we might be too much for you to handle, that’s all.”
Noah: “Oh, I can handle it.” And then he grinned.
And he did a superb job. This kid had confidence on top of gumption and wouldn’t you know it, I’d been on a long, dreary search for a waiter with charisma to interview for our Guy Day segment. But would cute, young Noah be up for the challenge? My fellow mermaids beat me to the punch when they told him we were a bunch of romance writers, to which he said, “What’s that?” I think it was then that the entire table cackled in delight and realized we’d hijacked the right restaurant and harpooned the right waiter. Just to be sure the kid was legal, I asked his age. “Yes ma’am. I’m 22,” he said proudly. Hallelujah, I was sold!
So, without further ado, I give you Noah–brave of soul, young at heart, bursting with charisma, ready to serve!
Me: Hi Noah (waves), can you tell us a little about your profession? How long have you worked as a waiter and what about this job keeps you coming back for more?
Noah: I’ve worked as a waiter on and off for about 6 years now. I always switch between cooking jobs and serving jobs because I enjoy working in restaurants. I guess I find myself coming back for more because I love the busy atmosphere. It’s a great way to meet people and personally it is a great place for networking. I also work at Meriwether Post Pavilion which is a concert venue in Colombia, Maryland where I work as a cook and I got that job thanks to networking myself in restuarants.
Me: I imagine your job is very hard. Do you think the reward is getting to meet people and know that you’ve helped make their nights?
Noah: It’s not that the job is very hard, it’s just very fast paced. Any serving job is the same. It’s all about knowing the menu, putting in orders and taking food out. The hardest part is how you walk into work that day. I find that walking in with a smile and can-do attitude is the way to go because I am very personable and an easy talker so waiting on tables comes second naure to me since I love meeting and talking to peole. I love making peoples’ nights because I’ve been the victim of a “bad time” in a restaurant and I love hearing people tell me that I’ve done a wonderful job or in your table’s case, to strike a “Blue Steel” look for a camera!
(He actually struck this pose for us and it was fabulous!)
Me: What personal quality makes you great for this job? Don’t be afraid to brag a little here. And tell the truth, do waiters crank up the charm on purpose or does it just come naturally?
Noah: The personal qualities that make me perfect for this job are that I am a very friendly person, I smile all the time, I am confident in myself to where I have no problem flirtng a little bit with my tables and my friends always tell me that the super power I possess is “Super Charisma”. And to be honest, a good server does turn on the charm when you can tell it can be beneficial towards your evening but it really is a natural gift because if you’re naturally an angry prson, you won’t be a good server!
Me: Do you have a really memorable experience with diners that you could share (besides waiting on a table of extremely exuberant and talented fiction writing ladies)?
Noah: One actually happened a week after I waited on your table. On this night, I waited on two older women and I was on my A game. Long story short, I made these two ladies’ night just by being flirtatious and suggesting which meals they should get and a good place to go for dessert. They ended up leaving me a $65 tip on a $40 bill! So that was probably one of my better experiences.
Me: Have you ever come close to losing your cool while at work?
Noah: I do lose my cool at work every now and then but never in front of the customers because that would be unprofessional. But I’ve definitely been brought to tears by bad tables before but mainly because I’m a pretty emotional person and I cry very easily.
(Awww, nobody better mess with our Noah! The Mermaids have your back!)
Me: Now let’s get to know you a bit outside of your job. Afterall, a hero must be well-rounded. What’s your favorite song and why?
Noah: This is a hard choice because I enjoy a wide variety of music but if I had to choose one, I would pick……drum roll…..GET DOWN ON IT by Kool and the Gang! This is my favorite song because I love to dance and this song makes me super happy every time I hear it. When my best friend’s sister got married in the summertime, I requested this song and it started out with just me on the dance floor and after two minutes, I had nearly the whole reception dancing!! So needless to say, I bring it to Kool and the Gang.
Me: Loved your answers, Noah! You definitely brought it the night we sat at your table! We’re almost done here. So, as is traditon for my contributions to “Bring a guy to the pond” days, please read the scene below and tell me how you, as a real guy, would react:
Scenario: Two guys are at a bar and grill. One is currently finishing up his shift while the other,his buddy who has just been dumped unexpectedly by his girlfriend, is waiting for him to finish. Let’s raise the stakes and say the poor dumped guy was just getting ready to ask her to meet his family when she kicked him out. Now the first guy, the one on duty, knows this girlfriend pretty well and she’s generally a nice girl to his buddy so he has a clue that something might be wrong.
(I know what girls would do–we’d console each other, coming up with X,Y and Z to make our friend feel better. But would two guys do that? Yep, you guessed it. We’re trying to get a crack at guys’ senstivities in a situation like this.)
Noah: If I was the waiter on duty and my friend came in with this problem, I would tell him clearly she’s not seeing him for how awesome he is (depending on the friend) but no I would not put her down because everybody has their reason as to why they do something in a relationship. She couldn’t be held accountable. If it wasn’t meant to be then it wasn’t meant to be. When all is said and done, I would make him feel better because that is the kind of person I am. Depending on how hard he took it, I would wing man with him and help him move on. If he took it really hard, I would get off work and probalby talk him down from being upset and make him see that it was probably for the best.
There you have it folks–real guys do indeed possess a sensitive side and turns out can be quite understanding in a given situation! Thank you so much, Noah! You’re a real good sport and women everywhere appreciate the time you took to help us understand a true male perspective today! I officially proclaim you Romance Novel Hero Worthy 😉