You know, this kind of shit happens all the time with the right (wrong) type of individual. I really, really don’t appreciate it when I’m almost done with a very long shift with my shiftless GM. And yet…
When I have all of my side work done and all I have to do is take care of a few late afternoon tables and wait for my relief to come in, it should be easy. And yet…
Someone always has to fuck it up, don’t they?
There is a certain breed of individual out there. Maybe they have been burned by other servers. Maybe the scars are still healing. Maybe it’s permanent. Like permanent brain damage, an affliction they will never be free of.
Last table of the day. They look normal. Good hygiene, average clothing, middle-aged. It should be fine. It begins so normally.
They want a Coke and an iced tea with no lemon. I thought the gentleman emphasized the NO lemon a little more than necessary, but I forgive him. We don’t know each other yet. He has no idea if I understand simple instructions. I know I’m getting a little tired, kinda winding down towards the end of my shift. Maybe I need to work on looking like I’m really paying attention, even though this is a simple request. Maybe he has some kind of citrus allergy and he just wants me to know it’s important.
I bring their beverages and ask if they are ready to place their order.
The lady begins, but she is so hesitant to ask for what she wants, I have trouble at first understanding what she is so worried about. It turns out she wants to substitute crispy chicken instead of grilled chicken on a sandwich. “Um, well, I was just wondering…if I could ask you…would it be alright…could I have…”
It takes so long to get it out; I’m completely relieved to tell her yes.
I turn to the gentleman, naturally assuming his order will be easy. It’s the law of averages and it works for me all the time. If one half of the couple is timid and has a difficult time ordering, the other half is authoritative and succinct, which is basically easy for me. Tell me what you want, I will bring it to you exactly as you require.
And that is how he started out – right before he took it to crazy town (CT).
CT: I’ll have the Patty Melt, well done, with fries.
Me: You got it! Patty Melt, well done, with fries. I’ll get that started for you!
CT: Hold on.
Me: (half turned to leave) Yes?
CT: I want that Patty Melt WELL DONE!
Me: Ok, no problem! Well done on the Patty Melt! (turning to leave again)
I MEAN IT!
I WANT MY PATTY MELT WELL DONE!
I WANT MY PATTY MELT WELL DONE!
I WANT IT COOKED ALL THE WAY THROUGH!
He’s red-faced, pointing his finger at me, shaking it in my face as though I’m a naughty puppy that shit on the floor.
Me: Yes, sir. I know what well done means. I’ll take care of it. (I’m trying to keep my reply short and simple and I’m hoping to Christ he’ll calm the fuck down.)
CT: Ok, well, alright but, the last two places I ordered well done at, it came out medium.
Me: I’ll make sure the cook knows. It’ll be fine, I promise.
And it was.
I told my favorite Mexican the “well done guy” was crazy. I shook my finger at him and re-enacted the whole bullshit drama with him. He pretended to come after me to kill me with a kitchen knife. “No!” I cried, “At least kill him FIRST!” We laughed our asses off and I hope Crazy Town heard us making fun of him.
Mister, are you fucking crazy?
I don’t know how you treat the women in your personal life, but we don’t know each other. I’m not your wife, or your mother, or most of all, you daughter. In fact, you don’t know me at all.
I could be anyone.