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The Dance

September 11th, 2013 · No Comments

Most Waffle House staff have this fluid balance of shared duties. It’s reminiscent of a romantic waltz with each participant rhythmically moving in and out of each others’ space; never missing a beat or stepping out of place. Seamless like Gene Kelley, Cyd Charisse or Fred Astaire…

The server’s randomly call out menu items in a cryptic (pneumonic) code in which the line cooks ambidextrously concoct something called, “Flop Two, drop a ring and make it scattered, smothered and covered”. Within minutes, a plate of breakfast edibles lands on the table in front of you!  24 hours a day/365 days a year! Mind blowing! Glorious!

I firmly believe that the Waffle House employees are the hardest working people on the damn planet. However, recently I was at a Waffle House in Franklin, Tennessee. This particular store, had a bit of a different vibe… gone was the synchronicity…gone was the magic…in its place…sheer chaos.

The servers seemed to have a secret “X marks the spot” on the floor for calling out their orders. Apparently, no one cared to quite stand on the secret spot properly. Orders were being called out on top of one another, servers were yelling at each other concerning whose turn it really was to bark. Grill cooks were yelling back at the servers, “Wait up! I got 6 waffles burning.”  And one cook called out to a particular server whose name, I presume is Ashley…because he called her “Ass-Holey”.

Our server, Cindy, just mumbled under breath like a tired, beaten down homeless person does when you pass them on the sidewalk. Head shaking from side to side, lip curled, eyes rolling up in her head…I almost expected her to declare that the end is near. Repent!

One server, after trying several times to call out her order, just gave up and walked straight out the front door! We heard another server state, “She don’t have to do nothing now, her Momma’s here.”  Was this a take your daughter to work day at Waffle House? Or was this a new experiment with a mother-daughter shift? Either way, the motherly one “just cleaned the manager’s office”. I hope that was not code…{shudder}

I think I just saw behind The Great Oz’s curtain and I was disappointed. But, let’s be fair, this is a Waffle House and some days everyone’s feet hurt.


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