My wife asked how it is that so many diner waitresses are “like that,” refering to the bantering style we had just encountered. We had never been to this particular restaurant before. I knew what she meant without further explanation, and after a moment’s thought offered that it’s mutually selecting, and likely reinforcing. If you go to a diner, as the bikers, boy scouts, and people after church we shared the place with had, you know at some level that such interactions are possible. If you don’t like that, you learn not to go to diners, whether consciously or not. Food and time are not our only considerations, even though it is what we are focusing our thoughts on.
I figure they don’t test waitresses for banter on interview, and certainly some are quiet types who simply take your order and serve you. Yet if that’s your style, you learn at some level “maybe I’ll fit in there.” The customers are seldom going to mind, and will often encourage that instant familiarity. We all like to have places we belong, even at some cost in other considerations, such as pay and amount of work.