I walked into a restaurant with a friend the other day because I’d heard their sandwiches were outstanding. The waitress took my order for a sandwich, and I asked for a glass of water with a bunch of limes. She said, “How about lemons? We don’t have limes.” I said fine, and within moments, she placed a glass of water in front of me with one lemon in it.
As she walked away, I looked across the booth at my friend and softly said, “Didn’t I ask for a bunch of lemons?”, at which point the waitress, who was a good fifteen feet away with her back to us, said over her shoulder, “I’ll bring them.”
She soon arrived with a bowl containing about twelve lemon wedges, way more than I would need for one glass of water, and even more than enough to see me through all the refills. I thanked her and squeezed two or three of the lemons into the water. Pretty soon the sandwiches came.
Not too long after that, I asked for a refill on my water. She took my glass away and returned moments later with a new glass of water and another bowl full of lemon wedges, about ten more, and set it right next to the first bowl, which still nearly overflowed with lemons. She threw me a sly grin and left the table.
Now, at this point, I had to take my hat off to her. She’d heard my original murmured comment about asking for a bunch of lemons, and decided to simply shove it up my ass, which is exactly what I would’ve done if things had been reversed. The fact that she did it without showing any attitude at all is further reason for tribute. Her intention was to stay well ahead of me and let me know it. There was no doubt she was expecting me to make some smarmy remark about how I didn’t need all these lemons or don’t you think you’re overdoing it with the lemons or something like that. Probably nineteen out of twenty customers would say something in that circumstance. Instead, I kept my mouth shut, knowing I’d been bested, yet refusing to fall into her scripted trap.
As we finished up our meal, I left a 50% tip, ending my little minuet with this very sharp waitress. I do plan on returning there someday.