I happened to read an article about how restauranteurs in Washington, DC are dealing with a severe lack of experienced restaurant help. Having once waited tables myself and knowing how difficult it can be to do that job competently, I suddenly realized how awesome SeaDream's wait staff is. And then it occurred to me that if any of those guys wanted to wait tables in Washington, DC, they could work at one of the city's very best restaurants without any trouble.
Last night, we were sitting at the dinner table and I started talking about Jose, who is one of my favorite SeaDream waiters. He's one of those rare people who has the service bug. He's always laid back, friendly, and seems genuinely interested in seeing that his guests have a wonderful time. That is quite a gift, and SeaDream and its cruisers are the benefactor's of Jose's tremendous gift of hospitality. I love to see him smile. He has a very genuine, warm smile that just makes me feel good. One time, when he was waiting on us in the Caribbean, I blurted out "Jose, you are just adorable!" I was rewarded with yet another amazing smile.
Jose waited on us the night of our 9th anniversary... Pablo is holding the cake up.
And he waited on us the last night of our most recent cruise. I see Bill is wearing the same shirt as he was the last time. Time to take him shopping!
But Jose is not the only gifted server on SeaDream's team. In fact, just about all the guys we ran into were excellent. And it makes me wonder what SeaDream does to attract such talent when a city like Washington, DC is having so much trouble attracting good restaurant help... if I am to believe that article, anyway. I think it probably has to do with the fact that DC is full of Americans, many of whom don't really get the concept of providing excellent service. When your pay is determined pretty much entirely by tips, you'd think it would be worthwhile to learn to be really good at your job. But I don't think American culture, by and large, respects people in the service industry. In our country, service jobs for many people are just jobs... not careers.
I joked yesterday that if Bill can't find a new job after he retires, we can go back to Washington, DC and maybe someone will let me wait tables again. I don't have near the gift of hospitality that any of the SeaDream wait staff has, but I do have some experience working in a nice, fast-paced restaurant. On the other hand, I kind of got my fill of the restaurant experience fifteen years ago. I think the ship has sailed, so to speak. ;-)
It amazes me how fast a month can pass. It seems like we were waiting forever to go to Europe and now it's been a few weeks since we got back. And in a couple more weeks, we'll be on another trip. It may be the last trip for awhile, though I'm still thinking about what we're going to do next. Maybe it'll be another SeaDream cruise... but I think it's more likely, it'll be something else.