It’s a busy weekday night at the Bistro. Fluvio’s taken his kid somewhere so I’m in charge. The door chimes. Two women walk inside.
“Hello ladies,” I say, “How many for dinner?”
“Two,” a rather glum looking woman says. “We have a reservation.”
“What name is it under?”
I look at the reservation computer. Nothing reserved for Lyons.”Uh oh.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t have your name listed,” I say.
“I made a reservation this morning,” the glum woman says.
Maybe she made a reservation. Maybe she didn’t. It’s possible someone talked to her this morning and forgot to key it in.
“That’s OK ladies,” I say. “I still have a table available.”
We requested a table in the back, the glum woman’s companion says. Of course, those tables are full.
“I’m sorry, but those tables are occupied,” I say.
“But we requested to sit in the back,” the woman repeats in a clipped voice
“I apologize for our mistake Madam,” I say, “But I have nice table for you on the aisle.”
“We want to sit in the back,” the woman says, again.
“Very well ladies,” I say, grabbing some menus. “Follow me.”
There is one table in the back but it’s by the men’s room. We usually offer it to walk-ins as a last resort. I show the ladies the table and, for honesty’s sake, tell them about its proximity to the commode.
“But we want one of those tables,” the glum woman says, pointing to a table occupied by four senior citizens.
“Not a problem ladies,” I say happily. I pull out my restaurant issue phaser and promptly disintegrate the hapless oldsters.
“Holy shit!” the glum woman screams.
“You wanted this table, no?” I ask.
“Not like this!”
“Oh Madam,” I coo soothingly, using my table crumber to scrape away the remaining bits of ash and bone, “They were almost done anyway.”
“Here’s your table,” I say, kicking some charred dentures under the table. “Sorry about the mess.”
“We don’t wanna sit there now!” the other woman yelps in horror. I level the phaser at her.
“We’ll take the table,” she says quickly.
“A wise choice Madam….”
I smile inwardly at my little fantasy. “I’m sorry ladies, I say, But this is the only table I have in the back.”
The ladies look at each other, shrug, and sit down. I offer them a free drink as an apology. Problem solved.
As I walk back to the front a young woman waves me over.
“Excuse me waiter,” she says angrily, “But there’s a hair in my salad.”
“I look at the plate. On top of the radicchio is a long blonde hair. I look at the woman. She has long blond hair. We have no blonde haired people working tonight. The hair must be hers. But, of course, I can’t tell her that.
“I’m very sorry madam,” I say, shifting into obsequious mode, “I’ll get you another salad straight away.”
“Ugh,” she says, I’ve lost my appetite.
“I’ll take the salad off your bill madam,”I offer.
“You better, ” the woman snorts.
I feel a hot spurt of anger. I want to tell this woman the hair’s hers. But what good would come of it? None. The best course of action is to kiss ass and run away. I take the salad into the kitchen and dump it in the garbage. What a waste of perfectly good food. But that’s the lot of a waiter half the time – kissing ass, copping to mistakes you didn’t make, and beating strategic retreats. I sigh deeply.
It’s a good thing phasers aren’t real.
I get so sick of copping to mistakes that I didn’t make. Good for you for holding your ground. I would have told her it was hers, and made her feel dumb. But I’m obviously not a very good waiter, or very bright.
To add to the fantasy, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could say ‘well I have a hair analyst kit right here, we’ll find who in the kitchen *cough* is shedding’.
Love that phaser bit 🙂
Having to eat shit from smug assholes like that is why I could never hack it as a waiter. When I eat out I am extremely polite to the servers. Always say please and thank you. Always tip well. Its not because I’m concerned for the plight of the server. It is because I am not a rude asshole who thinks the world revolves around me.
One time I watched these people put glass in their salad at a steakhouse I used to work at. It wasn’t my table, but the poor server was so devastated i told him. Then he was just pissed as all hell, but did pretty much the same thing you did. smart move.
people think they are just so clever sometimes ….
My sister works in fast food and had a similar hair experience, she offered to replace it but the crabby lady wanted her money back, and the sad part is it was the lady’s hair, no one had that shade of green hair on a cup lid no where near her drink.
Now I consider myself a pretty intelligent individual- but after working at a restaurant for six months, I remember still getting ‘duped’ by people. This man said there was a hair on the very last bit of his steak. A long, WHITE hair. His mother? Of course. White hair, very long (actually very nice for an older lady). So I of course apologized and comped his dinner, completely unaware until they left that in the past 2 years, the man had not ONCE paid for his meal. We were a chain and therefore not allowed to refuse service to the man- so he just kept coming back, eating his entire meal and complaining until he got comped. If the waiter/waitress didn’t comp his entire meal, he requested a manager and wouldn’t stop until he went all the way up to someone who would comp the meal. … for a $20 steak. The things people will do to try to save a buck….
Not a problem ladies,” I say happily. I pull out my restaurant issue phaser and promptly disintegrate the hapless oldsters.
So there was more than one person working who happened to have green hair?
“What color are you gonna dye your hair?”
“Good! it won’t clash with my ‘double pneumonia’, or Chartreusse’s ‘Gangrene’
I’d have stabbed her in the tit.
I will never be a waiter, obviously.
Whilst working at T.G.I Chiligan’s, I was having a smoke out back. A group of four ghetto women parked, then one of them picked up two crickets and put them in her purse. I immediately went inside and explained the situation to the manager, and to the server who was to take the table. These women were going to try and get their meals comped for ‘finding’ crickets in their food. I begged for them not to let these women get over on us, but as management is wont to do, they did nothing. Then, lo and behold, at the end of the meal, two of the women ‘found’ the bugs ‘under’ their 99% eaten (well done) steaks. The table ate for free! Damn management
And, situations like this are exactly why I had to switch from waiting tables to retail. At least in retail (working at the register) we have a little more freedom to tell the customer “no,” instead of having to bend backwards for them (of course we do bend backwards for the customers who actually have manners.)
UGH I wouldn’t have been able to keep my mouth shut on that one. Seriously? Long blonde, no blondes in the kitchen? I would have picked the hair up, and told her straight out, “We don’t have any blondes working tonight, ma’am, i believe this is one of yours.” but that’s just me. HAHA
when i was managing, i had a woman send back her salad because there was a mystery piece of paper in it. after searching the kitchen for the source, i went back to the table to satisfy a suspicion. she was drinking iced tea. she had a brown sugar packet on the table. in what might have been a dick move, i placed the piece of paper from her salad like a piece of a puzzle next to her sugar packet. her friend tipped 30% and looked apologetic. she tipped 5%. whatever. it’s the small triumphs that count sometimes.
omigod this made me laugh so hard. thank you. I also liked the comment about the DNA hair testing lol.
As a server who’s not likely to take much crap from people, I’ve employed a server’s only tool many times, a condescending tone. I say all of the right things but with a tone that communicates, “If you really want to go there, you won’t like how it ends.” it usually amounts to nothing more than a pissing contest between us both.
In thousands of tables, though, I’ve only given one up–someone so condescending toward me I stopped service in midstride. The best part was that my manager was well aware of the situation and the lady tried to call in the following day and compain. She got my manager.
She told her, “Actually ma’am, he’s one of our best waiters and had a lot of requests last night. He thought he couldn’t give you the level of service you deserve so he asked another server to take care of you.”. While it seems to happen so rarely, it’s nice to have managers who are behind you when the customer’s a condescending jerk.
Hahaha, Phasers! That’s was hysterical!!!!
I once had an older woman return her caesar salad because there was wax paper all over it. It was shaved parmesan cheese.
I was bartending tonight, and had someone return a drink simply because she “didn’t like it.” It was made correctly, and is described in vivid detail on the menu, so she either did not read the menu, or was taking a chance on something she didn’t know about, I put the new one at the very end of the line of tickets, it took another 15 minutes before I got it to her, that felt pretty good.
I had someone return a panini half eaten at one point. Tuna and cheese and onion, and they managed to talk it up so well even -I- couldn’t work out what it was until after they had had their refund and left… sad thing was? The “foreign object” in their food? A piece of onion!