Chronicles of trading in Corporate America for a waitress's apron during my very own quarter-life crisis.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A couple of customer stories

I'm still taking things a bit slowly this week, so I haven't posted as much; however, I'm still writing every day.  A small update on the car accident -- guess what it would look like if a pick-up truck towing hitch and the front end of my Camry got together and had a baby?  Why, it'd look just like $4500 in damages.  Fortunately, I only have to pony up $500 of that in addition to my rental car fee, which isn't covered by insurance.  My soreness from the accident went away after a few days (Saturday, the day after, was the worst day), so I was able to play softball with relative ease last night.

Last night?  Whaaat?  On free dessert day, where I'm a nervous wreck for nine hours?  That's right!  I was finishing up my lunch shift around 3 p.m., and a manager informed me that we had a few extra servers on for dinner, and "Do you want the night off?"  I drew in a breath and my eyes grew wide.  And then I totally accepted, as I'd had a softball game scheduled and a chance to see my fiancĂ© that I would've otherwise missed; plus, I'd gotten my ass kicked at lunch.  I think my manager was a bit amused by how excited I was.

Also, I was getting a little overloaded by co-workers asking my opinion on some drama between them.  I'm at the point, with some of these younger servers, where I want to remind them that I'm 29 years old and no longer care about certain things.



Anyway, in lieu of a real post, I just have a couple of customer stories that I've kept track of for the last six days of my bloggy absence:

I had a party of 11 people the other night – a lovely kitchen employee of TGI O’Chilibees and his fun, low-maintenance family.  Keep in mind that when I have a really nice table like that who treat me well, I tend to get a little protective of them and their experience.  They were sat at three rectangular tables that were pushed together lengthwise, and across from them were parties of six or so at round tables.  Space was an issue, as we had a lot of large groups come to the restaurant at nearly the same time (ugh, Sundays), and accommodation was almost becoming a problem.  

A lady was standing near my table, chatting with the people at the table next to mine.  Well, she wasn't so much standing near my table as she was practically sitting on top of it.  “Excuse me,” I said, as I approached behind her with a tray of food.  “Excuse me, please… Ma’am?”  She didn't look away from her conversation, ignoring me completely.  I gently tried to deliver the food to my table, working around this woman, and in doing so, I bumped into this lady’s ginormous purse.  Not her, but her purse, which of course she didn't hold tightly at her side, but instead she had it behind her arm, jutting out even farther into my table’s personal bubble.  And, seriously, this purse was big enough to hold a piano.  The lady turned and scoffed at me, then rolled her eyes at the table she was chatting with, as if to say, “idiot waitresses, amirite?”

Lady, you were completely blocking my access to my table, and they deserve the hot, timely meals they ordered way more than you deserve to gossip with your friends while standing in everyone’s way.  This is a restaurant.  Not bingo night.


Another table, after I dropped off the check, sat for a little bit and finished eating while I was scampering around my section.  I had about four other tables, and it was free dessert Wednesday, so I was a little on the busy side.  They handed me their check presenter and said, “That’s all you,” so I thanked them and went back to the kitchen.  I opened the check presenter, and the only thing in there was their bill.  Uh, what?  Are they about to dine-and-dash me?

I went back to my section and saw they were still sitting there.  Great, I get to have an awkward conversation now.  I approached them, opened their check presenter, and said, “Um, sir?  There’s nothing in here for payment.”  And my customers roared with laughter.  They were playing a prank on me.  Now, I have a pretty good sense of humor, but I don’t enjoy being fucked with, especially when I've got a million other things to do.  I left the check with them again and continued serving my other tables. 

“Alright, here you go,” they said, handing me the check presenter.  This time, I went to the wait station across from my section to sort out their payment.  And… wow.  They’d done it to me again.  No money was in the check presenter.

I take two long strides to their table and opened the check presenter to them.  “Sir…?” I asked, and the table once again cackled and clapped.  “Okay, okay,” the man said, and stuffed some dollar bills into the book.  “There you go, sweetpea.” 

All I have to say about this story is (1) If you’re going to play a prank on your waitress, could you do it in a way that doesn't involve her making two extra trips to your table while she’s busy?  And (2) Calling me “sweetpea” should cost more than just a 10% tip, bud.  

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It may be a few more days before I get back on track posting regularly, but stay tuned.  I'm taking notes and writing stories nearly every day, so I have a backlog of stuff... including a server stress dream about getting rejected for a neck massage from a British officer who looks like Mr. Feeny.  You read that right.