Monday, September 14, 2009

Everything is relative.

I was less than pleased when I got to work today and saw I had a three table section, but I was in a good mood and didn't let it get to me. I had two six-seater booths (30 and 31) and one four-seater (10). My several tables at the 4-seater were unremarkable; so was my first table at 30.

My first table at 31 was a mother and four children. The woman looked sorta snotty the whole time, but they ordered without incident--other than one girl who was about 12 and kept making weird noises, like she was disgusted, or like she was in pain, or like something was stupid. I don't know what that was about.

So they get their food, and the mother says "Can I have some cheese sauce?" Well, the meal she ordered had a sort of cheese sauce on it, so I asked what kind she was after. She looks at me like I'm stupid and says "Uh, for my broccoli" in the snottiest tone possible. I got it for her and went about my business. Later, I came back and they said they didn't want dessert. There were two plates pushed to the inside of the table, so I stacked them up and took them to the kitchen. I came back with their ticket, and the rib plate from the person sitting at the other end of the table had been set on the outside middle of the table. See dorky diagram.

While explaining that I'd take the ticket when ready, I picked up the rib plate and went along. After checking on one of my other tables, I went back to see if the woman I'm now calling Bitch was ready to pay. As soon as I approached the table, she drew her teeth back and snarled, "Can we get those fries back, he wasn't done, and you didn't ask." I apologized, although not too sincerely, and got him fresh fries. In print it doesn't seem like much, but she really was just hateful and rude--to the point that I wasn't expecting a tip. I got 10%, which is gravy considering I was expecting zero, but I just don't understand why people have to be so nasty. Not to mention, if Fry Guy was still eating (and I don't even know which plate he was supposedly still eating off of, but I think it was the rib plate), why was the plate shoved to the middle edge of the table, and why didn't they say anything when I reached for it?

But, you know, whatever. I still didn't let it get to me. While finishing up with that table, I got sat a three top at 30, and it was a regular we somewhat affectionately refer to as The Shrimp Guy (TSG). He's super picky, and he's sort of cranky we no longer carry a sauce we had three years ago--he used to order nothing but shrimp in that sauce. He had his brother and son with him, and they're all very cranky. While getting their sodas (TSG wanted three inches of ice), I saw three people come wandering down the ramp in to the bar area .... and seat themselves at 31, which had been cleared but not wiped down.

Why they decided to walk past two hostesses and plop their asses down, I don't know. I decided to make them feel like assholes, so I went to their table to say hi and then said "Oh, the hostess didn't give you menus?"

The guy on the right said they didn't have a hostess, they were so abused, blah blah. I extracted a drink order from them and returned with it, because TSG still wasn't ready to order. There were two guys and a woman at the table, and the two guys would not stop talking long enough to order. I love people who act like I'm imposing on them by trying to get their order. They were that way the entire time. Plus the one guy just thought he was hilarious; when I told them we had a temporary chip shortage, he started in about "oh, what do permanent chips look like?" Har, har, har. They were just obnoxious because trying to take care of them took so freaking long.

Meanwhile, TSG finally decided to order. The son orders mini cheeseburgers "with fresh fries! Make sure they're fresh! I hate it when they double-dip the fries to warm them up!" Okay, that's fine; but I have never in four years seen our cooks do that. Then he orders a broccoli cheese soup first--"but make sure you ladel it from the bottom of the container, I like my soup to be thicker!" Okay, fine. TSG's brother orders the same thing. TSG then starts. He wants salmon, plain, not cooked on the regular grill but cooked on the flat top, and cooked so it's just a little bit crispy but not hard to chew since he doesn't have many teeth; he wants Heinz 57 "just over on the side" since we don't have the sauce he likes and he's just heartbroken; he wants plain broccoli; he then argues with himself and his son about if he wants rice or a baked potato, maybe he wants both, is that too much food, oh you don't have butter you only have margarine blend I don't want that I'll just have rice and let me reiterate my entire order for you twice and then my son can do the same.

After they get their soup, TSG's son tells me they're going to want some shredded lettuce and mustard with their mini burgers. I pass it along to expo. They get their food, and he tells me he wants tomato as well. Okay, that's fine. When I bring the tomatoes, they tell me everything's great! After the son and brother finish, TSG finally tells me his salmon is "too fishy". His son proceeds to elaborate on what that means; his brother eats a piece and says it's great. TSG starts talking about the mini burger he took from his son. Then he says he'll want dessert later, but not right now. There was something else, too, but I've forgotten what it was.

After all that, I was rather irritated ... until I saw a giant horde of teenagers swarming in, and being sat in the section next to mine. Suddenly, my night didn't look so bad.


eternalcarryoutgirl said...

Maybe the guy talking about "double-dipping" fries was referring to prepping fries? The cooks where I work will kind of halfway cook the fries, then put them aside. When an order comes in, they put the amount of prepped fries needed into the fryer and finish cooking them.

I've eaten both prepped fries and fries that were not prepped (which take twice as long to cook), and haven't noticed any significant difference in taste.

Steven Nicolle said...

I am surprised the guy didn't go on and tell you his life story. The rib plate on the edge of the table I mean what did they expect. Unless the kid likes to eat with his arms at full extension???!!

The Veteran Server said...

Yay!! You avoided the table of teenagers!! That is the absolute worst. Teenagers should not be allowed in restaurants in groups of more Lol! God bless.

teleburst said...

Actually, the best way to cook fries is along the lines of what eternalcarryoutgirl said. First you blanch the fires in hot oil until they're pale but not brown. Then you set them aside to drain the oil. When you're ready to finish them, you put them in 350 degree oil until crispy brown. That's the way the French do it (pomme frites). That's the way that Anthony Bourdain recommends (the whole procedure is in his book "Les Halles Cookbook"). That's the way Thomas Keller does it. And that's the way my restaurant does it (does it with our famous home-cooked potato chips and fried onions as well).

That's assuming that you're using freshly cut potatoes of course, but it actually works with frozen as well.

So that guy was a dork. Probably calls them Freedom Fries in his mind.

"So You Want To Be A Waiter" blog

OhioWaitress said...

"too fishy", lmfao. It seems like you get some real characters where you work. It was salmon. It's a fish. what the fuck did they expect it to taste like? Beef?

purplegirl said...

Wow, an entire thread of comments I somehow missed before. Sorry!

Ohio, forget being a character, I think that guy's just losing it!