Dinner and Deception - The New York Times: "NOT everyone can do this kind of work well. Captains joked that it wasn’t worth learning a person’s name until he got promoted at least once. But get promoted and suddenly you were admitted into an inner circle of people who excelled at this sort of thing. Most members of the service staff shared one thing in common — a quiet alliance against our betters: the guests, and our managers. When someone spoke about the “swan” in lineup, a metaphor for the ideal server, churning tirelessly beneath the surface while maintaining the impression of absolute poise to the casual observer, there was never a hint from management that, like us, they understood the psychological dividedness their favorite symbol suggested. But as captains or servers or sommeliers, our job wasn’t just serving food, it was playing a part, and we did it with a degree of self-conscious irony that our bosses seemed incapable of.
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