Subpar Humans

On Friday night, I walked into the restaurant I part-time at feeling optimistic. Money has been good lately and after dealing with so many lovely customers, I was ready for another night waitressing (read: selling my soul for tips). Little did I know it would be hands down the worst night I have ever had in the restaurant industry. For 8 years I have listened to customers whining, bitching, and even occasionally screaming at me:

“I don’t feel like reading the menu, can you tell me everything that is on it?”
“Turn the music up”
“Turn the music down”
“I will pay you $20 if you treat me like I’m really important during my business meeting. C’mon sugar, give me a good show”
“This tastes like dog food”
“This coffee doesn’t taste like decaf, are you sure it’s decaf? I will hunt you down at your house tonight if it’s not” {because we all know you can TASTE the difference. And is that a threat on my life?}

My night from hell began when my manager, I’ll call him Joe, informed me that he sat a party of 10 for me. Great I thought. A table of 10 adults is sure to put at least $60 in my pocket. I walked up to the table, introduced myself, and began taking drink orders. A few of the couples ordered appetizers with their drinks so I hurried off to warn the bar and kitchen. A few minutes later I returned with 15 cocktails (some of the men double-fisting) and appetizers. As I rounded the table taking entrée orders, I was caught off guard by a gentleman named Tim who pushed his chair back, threw his napkin on the table, and started screaming at me. He was furious that I had not brought him any appetizers, when he hadn’t even ordered any. Last I checked mind reading is not one of my superpowers. I refused to get upset and my big smile and good attitude pissed him off even more. He made it a point to start trash-talking me every time I walked up to the table. About two hours into being verbally abused, I started imagining myself taking Tim out to the parking lot and curbing him American History X style. Nasty customers bring out my evil side that I can normally keep tucked away nice and neat.

For the next few hours I obediently listened to the demands that Tim and his minions barked at me. It didn’t upset me too much because I knew that at the end of the night, I would have a 20% tip off of their table, yay for auto-gratuity on large parties. I could not have been more wrong.

After splitting checks and delivering them to my lovely guests, Tim’s wife stormed inside and requested to speak to my manager. She screamed at him that her food was so awful he needed to take her entrée and Tim’s off of the bill. Because the customer is always freakin right, Joe did it. I was shocked when Joe told me he discounted their bill because when I asked Tim and his wife how their dinner’s were, they both said “great.” Still playing nice, I took their discounted check to them and said “I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy your food, I had no idea. I wish you would have told me and I could have done something about it.” Tim, his wife, and another nasty couple then let ‘er rip. They all stood there chewing me out for being the “worst waitress they had ever had” and accused me of having a MAJOR attitude. Up to that point, I had not shown an ounce of attitude. Up to that point. I gave my sweetest smile to the son’s of bitches and said “Wow I am SO SORRY for ruining your entire night. How about you make sure I NEVER wait on you again, clearly I just ruined everything for you.” Tim’s wife’s face turned the color of her fire-red hair. She pointed her finger in my face and said “LISTEN HERE LITTLE GIRL, WE DID NOT REQUEST YOU.” I only smiled bigger and replied “oh, I’m well aware of that, and THANK GOD! Make sure THAT never happens.”I was so confused. I still didn’t understand what in the world had happened to make them so angry. I had to stop thinking about it though because the answer was nothing. They were drunk and angry and needed somebody to take it out on. A plethora of other paper cut comments were made to me throughout the night, but I don’t think they are necessary to repeat. I think you get what a waste of space these “humans” were.

It’s not hard to guess what happened next. Tim’s wife ran, yes actually ran inside and started cussing out Joe. She told him they waited an hour to be sat, and another hour before I even brought them a drink. In reality they waited 10 minutes to be sat and 10 minutes for drinks. I am actually glad that she so blatantly lied to Joe, and he knew it, because it only made her look crazier. To make matters worse, Tim and his wife threw their check on the table and left the restaurant. They didn’t pay a dime of their almost $200 check. On a $700 total check for the table, I received a $50 tip. If it hadn’t been a table of arrogant, drunk, angry,  tantrum-throwing, wife-abusers (literally), I would have made $140!

The saving grace to the situation that didn’t make me look a complete failure in Joe’s eyes was a man who had been at the table named Hollywood. That’s what I called him at least. He was most likely from LA and would say things like “Oh 2007, that was a great year for wine; this wine has notes of butter, almond, cafe late, last of the Mohicans, and a gingery after taste. It speaks to my palate, it melts in my mouth.” So Joe and I were standing behind the bar playing over in our minds what had just happened when we see Hollywood making a beeline for us. Joe mumbles “oh great, here we go again.” I felt numb. I was 2 million miles away by this point, completely checked out. Hollywood could have come up to me, spit in my face, pissed on my leg, and I probably wouldn’t have flinched. Instead Hollywood said “Joe, I don’t know what happened tonight. Courtney was great, everything was perfect. I just don’t understand what they were yelling about. I had a really lovely time.” That snapped me out of my pity-coma pretty quickly. I was so grateful but also wanted to shake him and say “why wouldn’t you stand up for me when your friend was ripping me a new one, over and over again?!” I know why. Tim is a cop, and a wife abuser. He was drunk and if any of his buddies protested his actions, it would be hell.

What I learned from this experience:

  • People can be cruel for no reason and no matter how poorly they treat you, you can’t let it ruin your night. Karma is real, and Tim better watch his back.
  • Other people’s kind gestures can makeup for the idiots (Tim’s) of the world. Last night at work two regulars sitting at the bar heard the story of what happened on Friday night and gave me $20 on their way out the door. That $20 worked like a Men In Black Mind Eraser and caused me to forget about people like Tim. So to J and M, you’re probably reading this, thanks!! 🙂

From Tim and his Ginger

Funny he should say that– because he walked out on the check! Didn’t pay a dime.

You promise you’ll never come back? If so, I did my job.

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3 thoughts on “Subpar Humans

  1. Pingback: One Year of Blogging « The Other Courtney

  2. Ugh I probably should not have read this while breastfeeding because boy did it make me mad!! This is exactly why I had to quit waitrssing, it made me a hateful person. I’m so sorry you had to deal with those awful people! I Kobe you and am proud of you Court!

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