AS BAJAN AS FLYING FISH – Tips from a waitress
My name is Robyn Williams and I’m a waitress. I was named after the American comedian, Robin Williams. My mother was a huge fan. I’m from Merricks, St Philip. I’m not necessarily religious. I only started going back to church last week Sunday. Coming up, I did more partying than going to church, so I guess I can flip the script now and go to church. I’m not married.
I have one daughter, three years old. Her name is Gabriella. Her godmother chose that name for her and it has a real, real good meaning, but I can’t give it to you offhand right now. I was an athlete at Bayley’s Primary.
The 100m, 200, relays – you name it, I ran it. At Springer Memorial, I did the same events; plus throwing the javelin. I represented Springer in inter-school sports. Being that it is an all-girls school, we’re on top at all times because there are no distractions of boys. I love to smile. I’m not saying if you mash my corn, I not going to tell you. When mum and dad separate, it has an effect. That was one of the things I had to deal with in my last couple o’ years in Springer. They split up after 27 years. She is married now and he, too, so I guess things happen for a reason. My daughter’s dad and I were together for six years. We broke up when she was about a year. But he still looks after her. Everything is blessed where parent-daughter relationship is concerned but we don’t really speak on that level anymore. People say daughters cling to their fathers. But the mother’s love for a child is always there, regardless what happens. Your child could be a murderer and you’d still love your child. Bajans like to watch other people. If you don’t dance, them ain’t dancing. One of my sayings is, “Bet who bet you!” In 2010, if you study people, you not going to get anywhere. You got to bet who bet you. I hate stupid people. I have a very low tolerance for them. I don’t wear makeup or lipstick. Springer girls have the hottest hairstyles for Sports Day. I would see girls shaving their eyebrows to put on eyeliner but it was never my thing. A little lip gloss and that’s it. I eat a lot and I don’t exercise at all: don’t go to the gym, don’t run on the beach, don’t walk on the boardwalk. I was always this size. Even when I was pregnant with my daughter. People say: “You can’t stay this size forever without working for it,” but I say: “Yes, I can!”You learn from your mistakes but you never miss the water ’til the well runs dry. I’m involved with a man now but he has to play his cards right. If not, he has to go. Some men, not all men, want to sponge off some women. Car want gas? Woman has to put in the gas, because he’s not holding. He want to eat? Woman got to pull she pocket! I always tell the younger girls, “Get something for yourself”. If you working for your own dollar, you can go to the bar and buy yourself a drink. You don’t have to wait for someone to offer you one. When you get paid, go buy a fork, go buy a spoon. So that, as my father says, “when the . . . hits the fan”, you can say, “My money buy that stove or that chair”. At 26, when I moved out from home, I had everything you could put into a house: fridge, stove, microwave, washing machine, wine glasses, everything. If I’m in a relationship with you and you’re down-and-out, I will help. But you can’t be down-and-out every possible day!
I love going to the beach but I haven’t been since March. I had a fishing boat and lost it at sea. My father built it with his hands for me when I was a baby and named it after me. It was 26 years old, just like me. My dad was on it when it started to sink. When he called me, he said: “You under the water!” So if my boat was 150 depths under the water, why should I go into the water? It had me kind of disturbed. When I get home from work at night, the news is already done, just enough time to get a bite, a bath, deal with the daughter and drop to sleep. So when I read the papers the next day it’s like, “But wait, how I miss when this body dead?” Some evenings, I go and meet my mum and we sit down on the beach behind Dacosta Mannings and just chill. Enjoy the sea breeze and watch the people running. I’ve been a waitress for nine consecutive years, since my last year in Springer Memorial. I used to waitress ‘pon an evening after school. I’ve worked all over. I like waitressing because you get to meet a new set of people. I love to give customers the best service. You can give excellent service without being subservient. Good service reflects in how much tips you get a night. When you come through the door as a waitress, you’re dealing with service. You not dealing with if you and somebody in the kitchen had a noise five minutes ago. We’re dealing with who comes into the restaurant to put that dollar in our pocket. After service, you can laugh, talk, whatever. From six to ten, it’s strictly service. The bad thing about waitressing is customers do like to complain and managers and bosses always say the customer is always right. In my book, customers aren’t always right. A Bajan is somebody that runs from rain and runs to fire. The saying is actually correct. Bajans live life to suit other people. If I lived life that way, I’d get nowhere, achieve nothing. Barbados means a lot to me, but Bajans take it for granted.