The restaurant business is nothing if not a team sport. No one works alone, so here are some thoughts on what makes someone into a favorite coworker.
Your favorite coworker can make eye contact with you from across the room and know exactly what you need.
Your favorite coworker notices you forgot to drop dessert spoons at Table 1 and quickly sets them down as you’re on your way to the table with melty sorbet.
Your favorite coworker spontaneously does your least favorite side-work task during closing just to give you a break.
Your favorite coworker fosters your most creative self when you’re struggling to name the new cocktail on the list – encouraging you to take inspiration from 90’s emo, The Simpsons, or modern snack food.
Your favorite coworker takes over your table when you have an unbearable customer.
Your favorite coworker is king of non-sequiturs deciding to say, “Cilantro,” in place of “Behind,” or suddenly informing you that the fine-dining establishment you work at is “86’d beanie weanies.”
Your favorite coworker picks up scraps of paper that hit the ground, wipes up spilled water that a server could slip on, puts pens back in the pen jar, and makes sure errant corks find homes in open wine bottles- all of their own volition.
Your favorite coworker has a weird vice like drinking Lemon Drops or insisting on listening to Black Sabbath’s “Master of Reality” while you open.
Your favorite coworker brings you tastes of their homemade nocino or canelés.
Your favorite coworker likes to chat at the end of the night, but is also fine with zoning out after a particularly busy evening.
Your favorite coworker doesn’t badmouth customers during service so that the vibe stays positive – but will have a sailor’s mouth about the chardonnay drinking blue hairs on Table 10a once they’re gone.
Sometimes you bicker with your favorite coworker, but you can both apologize and know there are no hard feelings. Service is stressful, but at the end of the night, it’s done.
Your favorite coworker doesn’t tell you that your table needs you, they take care of the table on their own because they understand the Grand Scheme of Efficiency.
Your favorite coworker picks up your shifts when you need off, knowing you’ll do the same for them.
Your favorite coworker is serious during the busy moments but can laugh it off at the end of the night.
Your favorite coworker has a brain like a library catalogue when it comes to stories of hilariously terrible customer experiences and she’ll whip them out to make you laugh.
Your favorite coworker loves to hate the inept and fumbling new manager with you.
When your favorite coworker moves on to another job, you’re never quite sure if you’ll be able to go on without them. But as long as you’re both in the restaurant industry it’s easy to stay in touch – you can always drink at each other’s bars on your off nights, even if it’s just a Topo Chico!