Last Friday I went out to lunch with my grandma, and realized that she really is the kind of person I'd hate to wait on. She answers "how are you?" with "I'd like iced tea with lemon". When asked if she's ready to order, she doesn't say "yes". She just says "I want the ...." even if the server has their hands full. It's a little thing, but it drives me nuts when people just dive into their order without me having a second to get out my notepad. Should I approach with my notepad out? Then people think I'm rushing them.
My grandma never says please or thank you. She never sets her plate to the side when she's done. On the other hand, she never rattles her glass at a server, snaps, whistles, etc., so I'm grateful for that. I'm not so grateful for the fact that she complains to whomever she's with.
When we went to lunch the other day, we went to a 50s-throwback burger joint. First, she was a little rude to our server. Everybody there has what are obviously fake names on their nametags ... but apparently she doesn't get it, because she looks at him, ignores his greeting, and asks, "How did you get a name like Cadillac?"
We ordered our drinks ("water AND" for my grandma), but when the nice waiter came back she didn't know yet what she wanted. So we ordered fried muchrooms (um, YUM!). About four minutes later, the waiter took our food order. We sat and talked; and we happened to be right by the kitchen, so I heard when one of the waitresses called to the cooks "Can I get fried mushrooms? They're on ten minutes." Thirty second after that, my grandma grumbles that our waiter is sure slow on those mushrooms.
If it'd been anybody else, I might've just gone off on them. It made me so mad. But I just quietly told her that it was in the cooks' hands now, and the waiter had nothing to do with it. She didn't seem to be listening. Thirty seconds after that, we had mushrooms. Now, if we'd ordered all at once, maybe 11 minutes to get our appetizer would've been long. But when you think about it, we'd only really put our menus down six minutes ago when we ordered our burgers, which I think is when most people would've subconsciously started the clock.
When he dropped off our food, our server told us very nicely that he would be taking a break, and Daisy would get us anything we needed. We started eating, and not too long after, the guy who greeted us asked how things were (manager type). His name tag said "Jughead". My grandma, again, doesn't answer his question and says, "You don't look like a Daisy!" Of course, "Jughead" had no idea what she was talking about--but my grandma is one of those people who thinks if you work in the restaurant, you know everything going on everywhere.
The rest of the meal was uneventful; but when the check came, she didn't ask me what to tip like she's been doing lately. I started stacking and organizing our plates so I had a line of sight to the check, and saw that she was leaving slightly less than ten percent! I debated whether to say something, but knew it wouldn't do any good. Luckily, I had cash in my pocket, so I tossed it on the table after my grandma had gotten up.
There was one time when I met her somewhere and she did that, and I didn't have any cash. She had to leave right away, so I pretending I was going shopping and walked across the mall parking lot to get to an ATM. Then I came back, got change from the bartender, and tracked down our server to give her a decent tip. At least she's better than my other grandma, who once left one of my coworkers a dollar on $30.
Anyway, I realized that day that my grandma really is the kind of person who would get under my skin if I were to wait on her. It's not that she's terrible and rude, or even super demanding ... it's just the little things like not answering questions, combined with being a subpar tipper. I didn't really realize it until I viewed our lunch experience through the lens of my job.