I’m a waitress in a diner. I have a good customer who I enjoy serving, but every time he comes by, he tells one corny joke after another. It’s nothing offensive but I have to pretend to laugh and then, once he’s on a roll, he continues his comedy routine for everyone else in ear shot. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, or put the knock knock on the comedy show, but how can I tell him I need to get back to work?
Curtain Call in Toms River
Dear Curtain Call,
That is no laughing matter. You’re in a business where you have to be welcoming but efficient. You have many customers to serve and he should respect that. I think I would give him a little clue that it’s time for the show to close. Say “just one more and I have to go back to work”. Or give him a little round of applause when you’ve reached your limit. If that doesn’t work, you’ll just have to tell him you wish he was appearing at a comedy club where you could sit and enjoy, but that this is your place of business. You might also suggest that he take his comedy show on the road. There are dozens of senior residences that would enjoy having a comedian put on a little performance. In the end, you have to worry about your living. He visits often because you’re a good audience. Maybe once he knows the show can only be five or ten jokes long, he’ll finish his lunch and take the show on the road.