First Letter From Edd to the Infallible

1 The owner of an upscale Italian restaurant decided to implement an incentive program for his wait staff based on customer surveys. 2 Some employees grumbled and some looked forward to the opportunity to make some extra money.

3 When the survey results began coming back in, the proprietor concentrated on the remarks made about his two best evening waiters who handled the most guests and the most expensive meals. 4 At first, the comments were mixed. 5 Each waiter received both praise and criticisms from customers. 6 The owner called both of them into his office for a meeting.

7 ‘One of the most common complaints was slow and inadequate attention from servers,’ he said. 8 ‘I want both of you to work on that before I start handing out cash. 9 If I see significant improvement, you’ll be compensated handsomely.’

10 The first waiter replied, ‘Yes, sir,’ and went back to work while the other stayed behind. 11 ‘Boss,’ he said, ‘those people are crazy! 12 I bust my ass every night filling tea and wine glasses and bread baskets and rushing to take care of their every need. 13 You need to get after the kitchen; it’s their fault the orders aren’t ready sooner.’

14 ‘Hmmm, you may be right. 15 I’ll look into it, but try anyway.’

16 The next night, the employer called the two waiters back into his office. 17 ‘Guys, we have a serious problem. 18 Two customers were served the wrong dishes last night. 19 They were both Pastafarians and those people really know their vermicelli! 20 One ordered spaghetti with American marinara sauce and he was served angel hair with Italian marinara and the other was served ravioli instead of pierogi! 21 Thank the FSM neither took offense at the ‘angel’ hair or was allergic to seafood. 22 I convinced them to come back next week but, since I only spoke to them over the phone, I don’t know what they look like and they might come in incognito, so you have to be at the top of your game.’

23 Again, the first waiter replied, ‘Yes, boss,’ and rushed out, but the second remained.

24 ‘You don’t really think I can’t tell the difference between those dishes even if I am rushing around from table to table, do you? 25 Pastafarians or not, I don’t make those kind of mistakes.’

26 ‘It doesn’t matter,’ said his employer. 27 ‘Just make sure it doesn’t happen again the next few nights.’

28 A few days later, the proprietor was tallying surveys at his desk when he heard a crash out in the dining area. 29 ‘Oh, no,’ he groaned as he sprinted out. 30 When he burst out the ‘In’ door he saw his two evening waiters and a table full of guests covered in red wine and pesto. 31 The first waiter was picking up silverware and plates while apologizing to the customers. 32 The second was arguing with one of them, claiming that he was not at fault because someone seated at that table had spilled water, causing him to slip and fall. 33 As the owner hurried to intervene, the waiter yelled, ‘I quit!’ and stalked out.

34 Much later, after closing, the first waiter went to speak to his employer. 35 ‘Rough day, huh, Boss?’

36 ‘Definitely. By the way, thanks for staying calm and helping out. 37 And your surveys have improved remarkably, even though they weren’t too shabby to begin with. 38 I’ll get your bonus to you as soon as I pay for cleaning, or possibly replacing, the clothes that were ruined tonight.’

39 ‘No worries. My tips have gotten a lot better lately. 40 I’ve been paying more attention to my tables and learning the subtle differences and nuances of the dishes on our menu and the customers really notice and appreciate it. 41 Thanks for the constructive criticism.’

42 So remember, humility is a virtue, pleasing to the FSM and those around you. 43 It will help you recognize the areas where you need the most work, which, in turn, will open up more opportunities for you. 44 Hubris was the downfall of many a tragic hero and even the FSM stumbles when he’s had one too many.

45 (And don’t forget to tip your server)