Rubber and Dessert
As I was delivering the entree course for my table the other night I was interrupted...
"Excuse me, this calamari is rubbery" The patron pointed out.
Of course there were two pieces left."
I'm very sorry sir, is there anything I can do?" I asked.
It's not like I can make a new order or anything, he ate nearly the whole thing.
"Just tell the chef." He requested.
I'm sure Javier, our Guatemalan cook, will be quite broken up.
It's calamari, it IS fried rubber.
I finish delivering the entrees without a hitch.
This is the last table of the night, I know my luck, they'll be the worst and stay the latest.
Calamari boy started off on the right foot.
When I greeted the table and asked how they were doing he started describing what his bunion was doing to him.
"Maybe you shouldn't ask how people are doing, you might get the truth," he said.
Maybe he's right, its just one of about ten generic greetings I hold in my head when I'm not giving a shit.
For the most part I use it as a way to test my table from the get go, see how they are going to be towards me, friendly or sour...
Well back to the table.
They're almost finished, I start to pre bus the table of their entree platter when I put a feeler out for deserts.
"We have this delicious panna cotta that you folks might want to try," I stated.
"Well lets see the menu," one of the ladies responded.
I moved toward the front for menus and made a mental note to tell them we sold out of gelato and that the espresso machine was down.
"Here we go folks, you might want to note that cappuchinos and gelato are unavailable tonight." I said.
Senor Calamari throws his hands in the air.
"Why aren't they available?" He snorted.
Because we ran out of gelato and our owners are too cheap to buy us a decent espresso machine that actually works.
But instead I answered, "Well our espresso machine is down and we had a run on gelato earlier."
I knew full well it would make us sound unprepared and such, management usually likes us to make up shit to "protect" the restaurant, I'm not as worried as they are.
Once again snorting the gentleman responded, "Well I want a Grasshopper then."
"I'm sorry, we don't have a blender in the bar," I said.
He rolled his eyes.
By the way, it is the greatest thing ever to not have a blender, we're not exactly going for the Strawberry Daqueri and Brandy Alexander crowd.
Coming from a former bartender, those drinks, and the people that order them, are generally a giant pain in the ass.
"Well can I get some ice cream?" He asked.
"I'm afraid don't carry ice cream, I'm sorry," I said.
I thought his head was going to explode.
"Here I bring friends from out of town, I told them this was the best place in town, I am not happy." He went off as his friends sat there with embarrassed looks on their faces.
"First our calamari was rubbery, then we can't even order dessert! This is ridiculous!" He exclaimed.
I tried to point out to him the multitude of other desserts we had available, but to no end...
He continued sputtering, "I want you to tell your manager I am very unhappy!"
With a wry smile I replied, "I'll get right on that."
In the back I had his calamari comped, maybe at least I'd get a descent tip.
As I returned with the table's ticket the gentleman spoke up once more.
"Now I was a waiter for sixteen years and I know how a restaurant is supposed to run..." And yada yada he continued.
"Did you try a piece of that calamari off of my plate?" He said.
"Umm, no I don't eat of the customer's plates," I replied.
"Well how do you know it was a valid complaint, I used to do that when I was a waiter." He said.
I drop the bill and walk off, luckily I see his friend reach for the tab.
All that shit and he wasn't even paying.
For being a waiter for sixteen years he sure forgot about the unspoken rule, never fuck with another waiter.
He of all people should know we handled his food.