Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Humorless bitches.

Sunday was my first day back after being sick, and it wasn't all that much fun. That was partially because I was exhausted within the first hour--that post-cold, weak sort of feeling. But it was mostly because apparently a Cranky Bitch convention was in town that day. It wasn't just me, either--all my coworkers were saying the same thing.

The worst example, though, was in the middle of the dinner rush. A mother and two daughters (about 12 and 20) were in my corner booth. The 20ish daughter had a six-inch thick hardcover literature book with her. I thought it might be a good prop for some conversation, so after the initial greeting I said something slightly sarcastic, like "That looks like a lot of fun!" and I smiled at her.

She looked back at me like she didn't understand English. So did her mother. Not having a stepping stone, I floundered to move forward. "I just took a class where I had a big book like that. Can I get you blahblahblahicedteasomealocholicbeveragebasicwaitressspiel?"

They very curtly ordered three water (good times!) and away I went. came back and took their order, uneventfully (or so it seemed). A few minutes later the older girl's water was low, as was her mom's tea. With a pitcher in each hand I approached. "Let me top those off for you!"


Filled the tea; filled the water. Unfortunately, the water pitcher was in my left hand, and apparently my hand-eye coordination was a little off in my non-dominant hand that day. Horror of horrors, I spilled about a tablespoon of water on the table. It was nowhere near her book, but she jerked the book back as if I were trying to light it on fire.

"Oh, I'm sorry! Guess I can't pour with my left hand today, I'll be right back with a towel."

Silence, and death glare. I grabbed some convenient napkins on a nearby ledge and had the offending spot wiped away within thirty seconds. Still silence. Their food came up a few minutes later; the mother hadn't finished her salad yet at that point, which I think contributed to what happened next. I listed each item as I delivered it to them, and was not corrected. They said they didn't need anything else, so I took an order a couple of tables down, then a drink order on another table. While I was ringing those in, another server came up to me with the mother's reuben sandwich.

Supposedly, the woman ordered the turkey club. Thing is, she pointed at the picture of the reuben. The picture of the reuben that takes up half the freaking menu page. Personally, I think she just wanted to finish her salad first and not have her fries get cold, so she lied. But of course, we got her the turkey club right away. She picked it apart and didn't eat it; when I asked how it was I got "it's okay". So I asked if something was wrong with it. "Well, it's a little cold in the center!"

Yep, she complained that the center of her sandwich was cold. You know, the center of her sandwich, where the turkey cold cuts were. WTF? So Pot Smoking Manager took it off the ticket for her. I was so aggravated. That's right up there with the jerk who sent a ham sandwich back because "it's too hammy!"

When I delivered the check, I looked her right in the eye with a big smile and said, "And next time if you want us to make that club a hot toasted sandwich, just let us know. We'll be happy to!"

Silence. Are you surprised? Because I know I was.

I got an order next door, went to the computer, rang it in. Then I headed back to see if they were ready to pay, only to see the mother and younger daughter walking to the door and no cash on the table. The mother finally deigned to speak to me to say "She took it up there." with no indication of where "there" was. I assumed it was the host stand, but after scouting the crowd didn't see her. Next stop, bar. Yep, she'd elbowed her way through the crowded lobby, down the ramp where people were lined up waiting for tables, and through the bar guests to give the bartender their ticket. Instead of, you know, waiting two minutes.

Imagine how surprised I was when they left exact change.


Lesley said...

Just finished reading your blog over the past week; I'm kinda sad there are no more archives. You're an excellent writer... I feel like I'm a fly on the wall at the restaurant! I spent some time in retail, which I thought was horrible, but apparently it's a breeze what with not having to depend on customers for a paycheck and dealing with food and human detritus! You guys must have the patience of saints... I know I would need chemical help to deal with just one shift!

Lesley said...

By the way, I also love the color purple! Purple people unite! ;)

purplegirl said...

Hi Lesley! Sorry you've run out of archives, if you really plowed through all four hundred entries I feel like you should get a (purple) medal or something. :) I worked retail too, and boy does it have it's own particular challenges! I wish I'd thought to start a blog about that stuff.