I think I have mentioned a few times that Lindsey and I have bad luck when we go out to eat. Nothing terrible, just sometimes we get pretty crappy service. Look, I realize some of you right now are thinking “well Josh, maybe it is not that you guys get bad service, maybe you are just an asshole when you go out to eat.” And that is definitely far from it. I work in the restaurant industry. I was a server and a cook. I am pretty sympathetic. I never complain. Does not matter if the server spills soup on my lap or the kitchen takes an hour to cook our food. I am not going to complain. I always give them the benefit of the doubt.
During our vacation, we went out to eat a few times, mostly for lunch. At the one restaurant, we go in and there is no one to be found. So we stood at the entryway for a minute and then found a seat. There was like one or two other tables there, so it was obviously not busy. A lady comes over, drops off two menus and gives us the exasperated “someone will be right with you.” The tone was definitely “well you assholes sat yourself, so you can just wait a minute!” I know that tone because my employees do it when someone seats themselves. Here is the difference though, my restaurant has a podium and a sign that says “Please allow us to seat you.” This place did not have a podium. In fact, it was set up like a diner. Placemats on the tables, very open feel. We figured you were supposed to sit anywhere.
Anyways, the waitress comes over and takes our drink order. She brings them out and we order our food. The two other tables have left at this point and it is just us. She brings out the food and does not ask if we need refills or anything. I am about half finished with my Pepsi. I ordered a quesadilla and about halfway through it, some of it went down the wrong pipe. So I was choking on quesadilla (any of the folks reading this remember Raj? Remember how he used to always say kwess-a-dilla when he had to cook one? He was so annoying.) and out of Pepsi. I tried to flag the waitress down, but she was nowhere to be found. The lady who sat us sees me and comes over and I ask for a Pepsi and she says she will let my waitress know. Our waitress comes over and asks if I want a refill. When she finally does bring it, she comes over all out of breath like she is super busy with a bunch of tables. She then comes back with our check.
Look, I ain’t sayin’ I was the best server in the world or anything, but I at least checked on my tables and would notice if one of them was out of a drink or maybe choking on food. Also, if you do not want people to seat themselves, then someone has to be up front telling people where to sit. Oh, the quesadilla was really good.
The next day we went somewhere else. This time though, it was more the conversation with the waitress that annoyed me:
Waitress: And what would you like hun? (I hate being called hun/honey/dear/sweetie…)
Me: I will take the Ham Club Panini. Does that come with mayo?
M: Can I have mayo on it?
W: Yeah, I will have them put it on the side.
M: They can just put it on the sandwich.
W: No, I will have it put on the side.
M: Umm, okay, on it is fine, but whatever.
I need to explain something. Cooks and servers hate each other. If you have never worked in a restaurant, then you do not understand. They are constantly battling. I could probably write 1500 words about the different ways they can do things to ruin each others day. However, to save time, just trust me when I say this: the way she said about putting it on the side made me think that she had no faith in the cook back there. And that the mayo thing was probably a battle she and that cook had been having for years.
I did not want to be apart of that war. I just wanted mayo on my damn panini. If it were a normal sandwich, then who cares. However, a panini is grilled in a press and the cheese is melted and to put the mayo on it, I will have to pry the damn thing apart. The cook could easily squirt some mayo on it while building the damn thing.
Other than that, everything was great and the lady was a fine waitress.
Alright, real quick. I will tell you about one of my favorite things from where I work. A chicken salad does not have onions on it. And yet, servers will still type in no onions. When someone would type that, my brother would usually yell for them and when they would come to the window, he would be like “hey, you don’t want onions on that chicken salad? The salad that has never had onions on it. The salad that I have made a thousand times and never once included onions? Oh okay, I was just checking.”
You probably think that is funny, but imagine every chicken salad coming in with “no onions” on the ticket. After awhile, you start to become annoyed.