The word “služba” sounds like a shaved-ice treat for a hot day. Yet Service is the meaning of the word.
In America, “sluzba” can be overwhelming. The server at Denny’s introduces herself, “Hi I’m Diane, and I’ll be your waitress today.”
Of course, it’s just an act she performs to get more money in tips. Since practices differ here, a lot of Czech servers lack a “Nas zakaznik, nas pan” attitude, instead turning the cliche on its head. “Nas pan, nas zakaznik” can be seen wherever tourists are ill-treated downtown, then stiffed with an extra-large “special price for our foreign friends”.
But the real artists are the sloppy, indifferent, and arrogant food servers who somehow make the customers feel guilty. When these customers not only pay extra, but even help clear the table and empty the ashtrays you are seeing the work of a master…a food service guru who might become Prime Minister.
Ministers perform another service, “Sluzba Bozi”. This is a “God’s Service”, where ministers take communion. This shouldn’t be confused with “Sluzba Zbozi”, where government ministers overpay for computer consulting contracts.