Michaela Merz

Apprentices

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Tuesday we were in the restaurant. A small restaurant beside the lake with a wonderful sunset. The atmosphere was fantastic.

In the small room there were four people taking and serving the orders. We wanted to order a drink as aperitif. It soon became clear that communication in German or English will be difficult. It was after work, we were all relaxed. We were not worried that we had to repeat the five drinks time and again until he had succeeded in registering them. But with the aperitif „Spritz», nothing helped. It was obvious that he did not know what it is. We had to go to the bar and show him the bottle.

When he later came in our direction with the tray and five drinks, I became aware that certain skills have to be practised. I had the feeling that he would not reach our table and that the drinks would crash to the floor. I was wrong. He did make it. Except that there was no glass for the bottle of beer and we had to insist that he bring one; it worked. I watched how he poured a “Stange” and was surprised, because it looked as if it was the first time in his life he had done this. The beer ran out of the glass, then he poured some out, re-filled it and spilled it. The same happened several times. Everything has to be learned.

The whole evening it seemed as if the employees had wandered in here for the first time in their lives and had no idea how to serve. The highlight was when one of them came with two plates in his hands – in each hand one plate. He stood before the table at a loss and I assume that he was considering how he should best put the two plates down on the table. Before I could help him, he leant sideways and the contents of one plate slid onto the lap of our youngest.

That evening it was again clear to me that many things that we consider to be absolutely obvious are not obvious. Much has to be learned, practised and rehearsed. Finally one should not get so excited about what goes wrong, and rather take pleasure in what functions effortlessly. In all honesty, it was a lot of fun for me to act as an honorary assistant that evening in the restaurant.

Image source: Anja Müller / pixelio.de

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