Posted: September 29, 2012 in Uncategorized
This is the weekend of the Ryder Cup and I’m amazed at how many of our patrons at the bar have traveled here from Europe to attend.
The majority of the seats at the bar today were occupied by Europeans with tickets for tomorrow’s competition. Five lads from Belfast and three blokes from outside of London sat at the bar for several hours eating, drinking and cheering as they watched the cup on TV.
They were all good natured gents and I enjoyed chatting with them as we watched the cup. After about three hours, 35 pints of beer and two platters of ribs the Irish chaps had to leave and go back to their hotel rooms. They had accumulated a bar tab of about $200 dollars. When they closed out their tab they gave me a generous $30 dollar tip. I thanked them all and shook hands with them, wishing them well on their stay in the city.
About ninety minutes later I was nearing the end of my shift and I asked the boys from England if they would like to keep their tab open with a credit card or if they would like to close it out. Their check totaled $88.20. They said they were about to leave and they would be glad to pay their check. They gave me $90.00. When I brought them the change they told me that it was mine. I said, “oh no, that’s yours”.
Milos was my relief tonight. When he came on to begin his shift I pointed out the cheap Brits to him. I closed out the remainder of my tabs and prepared to leave for the evening. Before I left the bar I stopped to say good-bye to the Brits. I said: ” I enjoyed visiting with you today, if you decide to stay here this evening I hope that you will take better care of my co-worker. The change you left for me is not an appropriate tip” One of the guys just said: “sheit”.
I wish I had told them that the “boys from Belfast” were much better tippers.
just another day at work
Posted: January 12, 2011 in Family
In June of 1981 I had the pleasure of visiting my family in Sicily. I spent 3 weeks in Cefalu with my parents and sister.
We stayed at the villa that my grandfather had built. He had passed away several years earlier. We were well taken care of by my step grandmother Maria, her daughter Therese and Therese’s family. At that time Therese was married to Salvatore and they had two amazing children, Danielle and Chiara.
We would walk out the front door of the villa .. cross the street..and lay on the beach as the Mediterranean splashed up upon us. It was the best tan I ever had.
The winds blew in from Africa ( the sirocco ) , Maria prepared wonderful fresh meals (the fish had been caught only hours before we ate it ) and I spent hours and hours with my cousins. Dani would sit and listen to us ( I think that Chiara and I would talk non-stop) ….I would be talking in English…Chiara and Danielle in Italian.. Sometimes the three of us were completely confused. But I think mostly we understood each other. I remember Chiara talking and talking and looking at me as if to say: “common…you know what I’m talking about”.
Twenty-nine years have passed and in my head I have romantic memories of this special vacation. We promised ourselves we would go back…but we have not kept that promise.
For so many reasons ( bad, foolish reasons ) the connection was lost. I lost contact with my Sicilian family.
I couldn’t sleep…..6 days ago…I kept waking up…. at 2am I could see the email alert light flashing on my blackberry. “Facebook friend request” … “Chiara Di Giorgi” … I was surprised and thrilled )) …… and then a message: “cousin!, turn on the facebook chat” )) there was no reason to worry about sleep now…I had a good reason to stay awake. i chatted with my cousin in english for the very first time. and it felt as if the last time we spoke was only days ago. …..so, now I am grateful that my cousin has found me…the amazing child that I remembered is now a remarkable adult. Yes, I am upset about the years that I have missed…((why hadn’t i put more effort into finding her))…but I am grateful for the time I have now.
And grateful for the technology that allowed my cousin to find me…..grateful for the technology that allows me to see that the smile and the attitude have not changed.