Late, Sunday Night
It was right before close a few years back on a typical slow Sunday night when I noticed I had a new table.
They one of the regulars, one of the ones that we wish weren’t regulars and hoped would move on soon. They were a young couple in their mid-twenties, and the man of the relationship was a snide jerk.
Every time he came in it was something.
I understand every now and then the service is slow, food cold, dinner not what you expect or even a long wait at the door.
But I had waited on this guy for the last three weeks straight and it was always something.
He always wanted a free dessert or a comped meal…
And he always tipped shit, like 5% style.
So being set up for disaster I took the table with my usual Oscar Award caliber performance.
“Well hi folks how are we tonight?” I asked.
The gentleman looked at me from under his troglodyte like brow.
“Iced Tea.” He replied.
I wasn’t shocked at his answer, it was one I’ve heard many times before.
“And for you miss?” I asked the lady.
“Ya’ll have Mountain Doooooo?” She asked.
“We sure do!” I answered enthusiastically.
She had ordered Mountain Dew the last three weeks straight.
I know, I refilled it at least six times.
So they ordered the usual basic Italian, Chicken Marsala and Lasagna…
Hell I still know what they ordered and this was three restaurants ago.
So by the time I had placed their order with the kitchen they were in need of refills.
These definitely are the type to down as many as possible, although my record for customer refills was eleven raspberry iced teas, they never did quite break that feat.
So naturally I slip up.
The gentleman’s drink had begun to perspire and as I set down his refill of tea it slipped from my hands, and although I caught it about a third of it had spilled on his brown shirt and blue jeans.
He almost exploded out of his chair at me.
The man started freaking out about how I ruined his shirt (brown, no stain) and how I ruined his experience.
“Sir, It was an accident, let me get a towel.” I said reasonably.
I almost had to reassure myself that indeed it was an accident.
But I’m not that petty to spill on someone purposefully for a few weeks of hassle and bad tips.
His girlfriend had to almost hold him back.
“Its ok honey, just let it go, let it go.” She said soothingly to him.
He was still breathing heavily.
For a second there I thought I had a fight on my hands, then he eased back in his chair and started breathing normally.
So a few minutes pass, I talk some smack about the nutcase at table 102 to the kitchen staff, and their dinner is ready.
After dropping it off a minute or so pass and the bartender catches me in back grabbing a coffee.
“Hey man that wack-job is looking for you out there” He said to me.
I reapply my oh so genuine smile.
“How is everything doing so far?” I asked.
“This is crap, what is this?” He said pointing to his date’s dinner.
“Chicken Marsala.” I replied earnestly.
“I worked in a kitchen for two years, and this shit isn’t Chicken Marsala, that’s just gravy over a chicken breast.” He said menacingly.
“Well sir that’s our Marsala sauce, not gravy, and that’s how it is prepared.” I said.
“Well I want you to get her a new one, right now!” He exclaimed.
“Sir, I’d be more than happy to do that, but that’s how our chef makes the Marsala, it’ll come out the same way.” I explained.
“I want another one.” He said.
“Hey Jeff, I need a remake on this Marsala.” I said walking back in the kitchen.
“What’s wrong with it?” Asked Jeff.
“I don’t know, nothing, they didn’t even take a bite. Guy says that it isn’t Marsala, its gravy.” I said.
“We don’t even have fucking gravy!” Jeff replied.
“Just make it, please, this guy's being a fucking prick.” I said.
Jeff graciously complied and out popped a new Chicken Marsala, looking just like the first one.
Why? You may ask.
Because it was prepared properly the first time.
So I went back to the table with the new dish
“Well apparently your chef doesn’t know shit, he can’t even make a fucking Lasagna, mine’s cold!” The gentleman said as I arrived.
Probably because he didn’t eat any of it in the time it took to replace his girlfriend’s dinner.
“This is bullshit, I don’t even know why I come here, your chef sucks, your food is shit and you spilled crap all over me, I want to see a manager now!” He said.
So I went on the hunt for the shift manager, this would be a fun one to explain.
The search took me past the kitchen.
“Hey man how was that Marsala?” Jeff asked.
“The man says you can’t cook and your food is shit.” I replied.
“Yo fuck him!” Jeff replied.
“No shit man, no shit,” I said.
So by the time I had snagged the manager the bartender had ran in the back.
“Hey, your shithead buddy there just walked out the door and was bitching me out on the way.” He said.
Great, a walk out on top of everything.
Sarah, the shift manager just sighed.
“At least I don’t have to talk to them.” She said.
She voided their ticket and it was almost like they were never there.
They never returned to the restaurant, and thank goodness for that.
I hate that type of regular, if only I hadn’t accidentally spilled his iced tea. Then he’d be back the next week with another complaint and another shitty tip.