gail gastelu, high societea house, wayne, nj, a day in my shoes, tea room hostess, tea room server
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March 2013 Posts


A Day in My Shoes
Blog Entry

Episode 3, Part 3 - A Day in My Shoes - Serving My Family with Gabriella at High SocieTea House

Monday, March 25th 2013 @ 12:00 AM

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A Day in My Shoes – Serving My Family! - with Gabriella at High SocieTea House, Wayne, NJ – February 10, 2013

Welcome to A Day in My Shoes – a blog and sometimes vlog as The Tea House Times publisher, Gail Gastelu, puts herself in another person’s shoes for the day – going behind the scenes in the tea industry!  If you are just joining us, go to the Archived entries in the left column to catch up - beginning with January 2013.  OR Click HERE for a complete listing/directory of entries and topics.



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EPISODE 3, Part 3

Serving My Family! -  with Gabriella at High SocieTea House, Wayne, NJ

OK, so back to Feb. 10 – Serving with Gabriella.


Not only was I trying to learn all the ins and outs of serving different tables through reservations – whereby everyone is getting a unique order, different tea, etc. (unlike the party where everyone was served the same food) – I was also faced with serving my family when they showed up – a party of 5 including my parents, my in-laws and my sister.  They were a tough crowd and really enjoyed giving me a hard time.  (not that bad really, but I was exhausted by then!).

Serving my family was a challenge since a table of 5 was much more than I could handle alone.  Five separate pots of tea were a bit much for me to handle and keep in the right order. (I later suggested that perhaps they could use a dry erase marker on the lid to keep track – Bernadette liked that idea!) 

Now, do you remember the “after” video of myself that I shared with you when this Episode began a couple weeks ago?  No, I was not crying!  Everyone thought I had been crying or was about to cry. I know it sure did look that way.  I was just completely drained, sweating, exhausted and as I announced and everyone else agreed, like a deer in headlights. This experience of serving the public was overwhelming for me.  Servers need to be at least 20-30 years younger than I am to pull this off.

When I was serving my family they actually asked me if I had ever considered waitressing.  I said, sure I have considered it. Who doesn’t? When I was younger and first had my children, I thought perhaps it could be a great little side job to waitress and make good tips – never did it – and now that I have tried it, I never will again! (well, unless I neeeeed to for Another Day in My Shoes!) 

By the way, side note on the order taking.  The first table I served was tough. I could not figure out how to keep up with everyone flying comments my way.  In my head, I was screaming – You are talking out of order !  I need # 1 right now!    OMG – First I wrote down an order for the person who first spoke, then someone else jumped in and another than jumped in. I had a hard time figuring out who should be written on what line. Even tho the order ticket has little diagrams for table seatings and customer numbers, my brain just did not work that way.  Once I figured out that I need to do this the best way for me to manage it, it all went more smoothly.  I simply numbered the people in my head going clockwise in front of me from where I was standing – forget about the little diagram on the paper!  Then if someone spoke out of turn, I knew where to write their order.

Smile! Be nice! Take the order! Don’t appear tired or unhappy!  Be attentive!  Be sure everyone is happy with their tea selection!  Be sure their order is delivered! Move around the room and take care of everyone equally well! 


Coming up next – NY International Gift Fair with High SocieTea owner, Bernadette Solari.

After that – we are mixing it up with some great tea execs! and will move on to other types of tea businesses.

Stay tuned!


If you would like to visit High SocieTea House yourself,
Call High SocieTea-reservations required: 973-696-8327
Location: 20 Old Newark Pompton Turnpike, Wayne, NJ 07470 (


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