My father and I once had a funny conversation about the absurdity of people vouching. First of all, the word 'vouching' sounds as if it could have a definition that includes the phrase 'alternative sexual orientation,' and more importantly, the actual definition is 'to give personal assurance.'
Im going to take you out on a little ride here and make the argument that the measurement of success is how far into the scope of a voucher you are, as opposed to a person who requires vouching from others. I believe it safe to say that everyone I included in the reference section on my resume is more qualified than I am for any position in any company that I would be using their reference for. Dig?
With that settled, I want to cruise into the life and world of restaurant employees, and work out my thoughts on a common phenomenon that we all experience from time to time. The phenomenon is something I like to call, 'The reverse vouch.'
Hypothetically, a man walks into a bar and sits down. The bartender approaches him, throws down a coaster or bev nap in front of the man, and asks him some version of the question, "What kind of alcohol do you want me to pour into a glass for you so that I can earn a dollar?"
The man responds, "Is Dominique, the owner, here right now?"
"No, Dominique isn't in right now. Would you like me to leave a message for him?"
"Well, I was just hoping that he could pick out a wine for me. He knows what I like. We're old buddies."
"Okay sir," the bartender replies, "Maybe I can help you out. Are there any particular regions or grape varieties that you are partial to?"
"I like cabs," the man comes back with, not realizing that his answer strips him of any and all human credibility, not realizing that his response exposes him as a 'reverse voucher,' not realizing that the bartender is now aware of the fact that he is not a wine snob who requires conversation about 'notes of chocolate and a smoky finish' before he can make a purchase, nor is he a man without knowledge of what he likes, who requires a point in the right direction from Dominique. He likes cabs, after all.
And so we can now visualize. A name is dropped, typically in a manner that is poorly disguised from being an overt announcement of self importance, and the bartender, knowing the truth of the intent, inevitably demotes the customer a few notches down the list of 'customer status(see list below),' accomplishing the exact opposite of the initial intent. Sad.
This is actually most sad, this phenomenon, because it speaks of a common personal desire to have a voucher, as opposed to the desire to be one. The man in the hypothetical above was only trying to prove that Dominique would likely vouch for him. If the dumb bastard spent more of his life trying to become a voucher instead he would likely own his own restaurant where he could swim in cab and shower in deserved ego. Hell. Ill go so far as to say we could beat the Japanese in electronics production if we all tried a little harder to become vouchers.
Well, Im off to get some letters of reference for court next week.
Highest - Pleasant. Non demanding. Tip well.
High - Any 2 out of 3
Normal - After our encounter I wouldn't be able to pick you out of a line-up.
Low - Nasty. Demanding. Does not tip well.
Lowest - Exerts some form of power over server with the intent of being regarded as a super v.i.p.
Im onto you bastards. And Im not alone. There are plenty like me out there, lurking in the service stations at your local Dennys, tending bar at your favorite dive, running plates of truffled this and that to you at white glove restaurants in Manhattan, and everywhere else. We got your number, Mother Fuckers.