It's funny, the little secrets your waitress keeps from you when she's had enough.
I had a table the other night where the parents verbally abused one another in front of their teenage daughter. I just smiled and took their order. They lightened up once they got their food and even joked with me a little -- turns out, the parents work at a local sports bar, so, "Yeah, we know how it is! Food service, chuh! We know what y'all go through!" And then they left me less than 10% for a tip. My secret here is that I wanted to slip the phone number for a divorce lawyer to either one of them. And call CPS for their kid.
Seriously, it was like this, except with more than just a dash of Indiana redneck, and while someone was trying to take their order:
To the old man with the antiviral facial mask: I've now told two managers about the waitress that publicly humiliated you. Please come back to see us, and request me. (I know he isn't reading this; as I was talking to him that night, I was told, "Oh, no Miss, I don't 'go online.'" But just writing this makes me feel better.) My secret here is that the next time he comes in, I'll remember that he can't eat much food at one time, so I'm going to suggest that he gets a "kid burger" instead of the adult-sized portion, and I'll put all the toppings (remember my "LTOP?") on the side.
My favorite table on Sunday night was a family of five, who are in the process of moving back up here from North Carolina. They seemed like such a happy, well-adjusted family; their kids (three of them, aged maybe 7-15) were very polite and intelligent. The father/husband of the family reminded me of my dear friend Nathan, who'd I just seen earlier that day. They tipped well. My secret here is that I didn't charge the kids for their sweet teas (this was a judgement call, because they were kids, but two of them ended up ordering adult entrées), I'm going to give The Arctic Monkeys a listen, and I hope they come back to see me when they move here.
So I had this couple at a table who requested a lot of modifications on their drinks and food, listing them off rapid-fire, so fast that I had to take extra time to write them down. The wife laughed and said, "Does it really take that much work to write down a food order?" and (I fucking smiled at them) then I joked with them and said I was still working on my shorthand. She said, "Well, maybe if you go to college or something, you won't have to do this anymore." She said "this" as if she was referring to a pile of animal dung. "Oh, haha! I do have a Bachelor of Arts, but I'm waitressing for a while until my next professional opportunity." (Me, thinking, "Smile. Smile. Smile. Smile until it hurts.") "Oh," she said with a smirk, "An art degree, so that's why you're here." My secret with this one is that I have a degree in English, bitch; also, I not only pulled the oldest salad we had in the fridge out for you, but when your husband winked at me, I winked back.