T Shirts for Servers 8: Does this count as a smile?

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I have one significant flaw as a server.  Well there is more than one, but one that is the standout among the flaws.  I have no ability to hide an emotion on my face.  Sure I can pretend to be happy if I am having a bad day, but in the instant you say something stupid to me my facial expression will let you know exactly what I am thinking.  This may not be the most fatal flaw in the world, but it has gotten me into trouble a time or two.

It seems to translate in manager’s minds to, “he needs to smile more.”  I have gotten this lecture numerous times.  The fact is that I don’t smile in my day to day life.  This doesn’t mean that I am sad or upset.  My default facial expression is just not a smile.  In nearly any other business this would not be an issue.  I can’t imagine accountants getting in trouble for not smiling as they do… ummm whatever it is that accountants do.

I compensate for this using the “Michael Technique.”  It is named for a restaurant manager I used to work with.  One day I was discussing with a friend the fact that a mutual friend’s boyfriend had said, “I love you” for the first time.  Michael happened to be standing behind the bar.  I asked him if he thought if a guy told a girl he loved her that he had an ulterior motive.  I will never forget his response:

“I tell my wife I love her maybe once or twice a year.  I never understood why people just say it all the time.  I mean when I tell her she starts crying and gets all lovey dovey on me.  You gotta save that for special occasions.  When I say it she knows I mean it.”

This is how I feel about smiling.  I don’t smile all the time, but I do make it a point to smile at every table.  When I do it, they know I mean it.

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