Running Tables

needmanrunaroundtablesWhile waiting to get into a popular phở restaurant in San Jose, my daughter tried to read the sign taped to the window. “Dad, what does that say?” she asked.

“It’s a help wanted sign,” he said.

My daughter studied the sign to see if she recognized any words. “What does cần mean?”

“Need. It says they need a man to run around tables. It’s for a bus boy.”

I took a look at the sign. “Nam chạy bàn” is literally “man run table.” “Does it mean running as in managing the tables or running around them?” I asked.

My husband laughed. “Probably both.”

We all agreed the Vietnamese term “man running tables” sounded more accurate than bus boy, whether it meant running the tables or running around them.

3 thoughts on “Running Tables

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *