Nya Brook is one of those people who just can’t keep from smiling. If she has bad moods or unhappy times, which I suppose we all do on occasion, she keeps them well hidden. I’ve never seen her without that smile on her face, and it’s the kind of smile that lights up entire rooms.
Nya started working as a waitress back in high school, although she wouldn’t tell me how long ago that was. She did tell me she’s worked at the IHOP where my friend and I meet for around five years.
The first two or three years we ate there (we usually meet there once every two weeks), we had others waiting on us. We had one waitress for quite a while who left due to health problems, and a waiter who left also, and now and then we’d have different people wait on us.
All that time, I would see Nya and her infectious smile. She would stop to speak to us from time to time, but she never waited on us. One day I flagged her down and asked her why she never served us. She explained that her section was across on the other side of the restaurant from where we always sat. Since we were between regular servers, she agreed to take us on anyway, but it caused her to have to do a lot of extra walking, so we finally decided to switch from where we liked to sit to her section. She’s taken care of us ever since then.
Like most of the people I’ve interviewed for this series, Nya said what she liked the most about her job was the customers. That was easy to see from the way she treats everyone. Even though we’re only there every other week, she remembers what we want and, more importantly, how we want it. She also takes time to visit for a few minutes with various customers while she works.
When I asked what she liked least, she said “drama.” I asked her what she meant, and she said that, while most customers were nice to her and appreciative of the food and service, there were always a few “drama queens” who had to make a big deal out of every minor fault they could find. She also gave me a sheepish grin and said she didn’t enjoy rolling the silverware in napkins. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying such a fun and rewarding task.
Nya is a single mother raising two boys ages 17 and 15 by herself. Raising two teenagers can’t be easy, especially by herself, but whatever problems she encounters never seem to dampen her good nature.
For hobbies, she mentioned shopping, dancing, reading and watching television. I’ve never understood how anyone could actually enjoy shopping, but I realize lots of people do, so I guess that’s not so weird.
When I asked her if there was anything else I should know about her, she just said that she enjoys work. I already knew that. It shows on her face.
How many waitresses, cashiers and others who serve you do you know anything about? What do you do to let them know you care about them as individual human beings? Readers want to know.
For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.
For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.
Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.