Saturday, July 31, 2010

freddy's nightmares

one night when i was working at the 24 hour chain a drunk white guy wearing a Freddy Krueger looking striped sweater came stumbling in. When i took his order he told me he wanted no lettuce. He elaborated on how much he hated lettuce and if there was any on his plate he'd send his food back and demand it be remade. Seeing as he'd ordered pancakes, eggs, and hashbrowns i felt pretty confident when i told him "absolutely!" Sure 'nuff his breakfast came out lettuce free and all was right in the world. Freddy shoveled it down all sloppy drunk style, dropping bits everywhere, and then he weaved his way up to the register to pay. (Dark clouds begin to gather on the horizon). I was working with a new girl that night and she went to cash him out. He paid with a credit card and after she swiped it she entered the wrong amount. Seeing her mistake New Girl called me over but it wasn't something i could fix, i had to go find the manager (K). Well when we headed up to the register we were greeted by a wall of stench. Freddy had dropped a bomb in my absence. It was like one of those Looney Tunes Pepe Le Pew cartoons (you know what i mean), where you see the stink wafting behind the skunk and the sun pulls a cloud over itself and people are jumping out of picture frames and running away and shit. I swear i saw the fake plant in the lobby wilt and a crack form in the glass on the door. Drunk guy emissions are the WORST. New girl stood there stoically while K fixed the problem and i ran away. I could feel my chromosomes mutating so i decided i had urgent business on the opposite end of the store to attend to. After Freddy left K hunted me down to say "you bitch! How could you leave me up there with that?!" Interestingly the new girl never came back after that night...

so a few weeks go by and Freddy pays us another visit, drunk again and wearing the same striped sweater. First he tells me he wants a big glass of milk with his meal, and then he orders buffalo wings with no lettuce, 'cause he hates lettuce and will send the wings back if there's any lettuce on the plate. I dutifully typed in NO LETTUCE on the computer screen just so i could hear the cook carry on about it. K came out onto the server line right when i was about to take Freddy's food out, she took one look at the combination on my tray and exclaimed "oh my god! Don't tell me he's eating THAT!!" The cook had just come out of the kitchen to see who the "no lettuce" guy was and we told him about Freddy's cash out adventure. Then the two bastards stood there giggling and watched me have to try to keep a straight face as i delivered his food.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Creepiest Table of the Night awards

honorary mention: that would be my last patio table of the evening. A young hyper guy with spiky blonde hair and an older foreign woman wandered in 15 minutes til close and told me that they were just there for drinks. I had to ask Young Guy for his ID and it seemed awkward not to ask for hers too. So i checked out his "high on life" picture and her Italian identification card. Young Guy joked around about how it was his big chance to get a girlie drink since nobody else was on the patio. After a prolonged "so what's good?" routine i went inside to get their drinks, a Bloody Mary for him and a delightful drink we offer called a Berri White for her. I dropped them off and noticed that his pants were unzipped. Once i went back in they proceeded to make out. 'Nuff said.

1st runner up: mom, dad, 2 young kids (son and daughter), grandma and grandpa. All was going well until it was daughter's turn to order. She asked for chicken and dumplings, with a baked potato and macaroni as her sides. Mom: "No, that's too many can't have the macaroni, pick something else." Kid: "French fries?" Mom: "No!! That's a starch!" Kid: "Corn?" Mom: "No more starches!!" Kid: "But i want macaroni..." Mom: "I said no! That's too many starches--how 'bout some spinach." Kid puts head down on table and starts to cry. Mom: "If you're gonna act like that you're not getting anything." Meanwhile the son was allowed to order a grilled cheese sandwich with macaroni, no issues. Helloooo future eating disorder!

the grand prize winner: this award can only go to you, table 32. Yes you, lady drinking Miller Lite out of a wine glass and your bleary eyed husband (?) who kept knocking everything on the table over...they kept staring around all crazy throughout the meal and at first it made me think i'd messed something up, but once i realized they weren't really seeing me i didn't concern myself anymore. Toward the end of their visit i noticed a big glob of what appeared to be tartar sauce on the guy's chest. But--but--he was eating pot roast, and she had grilled chicken--there WAS no tartar sauce on the table. There was nothing on the table that could be mistaken for tartar sauce, such as salad dressing, butter, gravy, etc. I started pointing him out to the other servers and we all stared at him from across the dining room. He had a black shirt on so the big chunky looking glob of ?? couldn't be missed. Someone optimistically suggested it might be soap. But he'd never left the table and it wasn't there when he sat down...i'm probably better off not knowing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

side of thighs and a Dr. Pecker

not too long ago we had an ongoing issue with someone calling the restaurant and hanging up. They wouldn't just hang up the second the phone was answered, they'd wait through the "thank you for calling _____, this is _____, how may i help you?" spiel and THEN hang up. After multiple nights of this the GM went and got a set of new phones with caller ID. And what did we find? Turned out one of the (now former) cooks was going in the walk-in cooler and calling the restaurant number every chance he got and hanging up. I guess that's a better way to work out pent up workplace aggression than shooting up the place or starting a fire.

when i worked 3rd shift at the 24 hour chain i had to field prank calls on a nightly basis. I'd have people calling up to order food they knew we didn't have (pizza, burritos, raisin toast), i'd get numerous Sling Blade imitation calls, i'd have guys calling to ask me what type of underwear i had on. I'd also get a number of variations on the "i just left your restaurant/ya'll gave me food poisoning/i can't get up off the toilet" theme, complete with sound effects. But my all time favorite has to be this one:

years ago when i was still willing to train new people (those days are long dead and gone) i'd always have a hard time getting them to answer the phone. Anytime it'd ring they'd try to look busy or they'd walk away real fast like they had pressing business to attend to. Well on the night i'm thinking about i got the new girl to answer the phone and from a distance i watched her start to put a to-go order into the computer. Things seemed to be going well at first so i started doing something else, and when i finally glanced back her way i saw her looking franticly for something on the computer screen. I hurried over and i whispered "what are you looking for?" Covering the mouthpiece of the phone New Girl cried "He wants to get a muffburger--i've looked everywhere and i can't find it! It's not under sandwiches--where's the muffburger at?"

"you know, i really can't help you with that" i said, and i walked away. Eventually dude on the phone said he wanted to get a side of thighs with his muffburger and a Dr. Pecker to drink, and New Girl finally figured out it was a prank call. So see kids, you really do learn something new everyday!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

i dream of popsicles

we all have work dreams, right? Normally they follow the standard crazy busy/everything's going wrong/angry customers theme. A former co-worker once told me she had a dream that she was working at her current restaurant as well as a Waffle House up the road--at the same time. She kept having to run up and down the street to wait on her section in both restaurants. Personally, having dreams like that makes me feel more tired than i was before i went to bed.

friday afternoon i had this dream: it was winter and yet i had two tables inside and three out on the patio. Understandably i was pissed. There was a small snow drift alongside the railing surrounding the patio and it was windy. "So basically i just have a two table section!" i bitched to someone. Well lo and behold four people entered the restaurant and made a bee line for the patio, seating themselves at a table out there. They were all bundled up in coats and i could see them through the window doing the classic "craning their necks looking for a server" self seater routine. I took them menus. The two men at the table ordered normal shit on the menu, a country fried steak and a grilled chicken dinner. The women however went a different route.

"what type of popsicles do you have available?" I admit that i'm not sure but i'll go find out. I went back inside and headed to the kitchen. We have a big pie case by the salad station (we regularly have twelve plus pies available on any given day) but in the dream there was a large standing freezer in it's place. I opened it and it was full of popsicle boxes. Just like it would be in real life it was in total disarray, some of the boxes were totally empty, others were mis-labeled, a few boxes just had a lone empty wrapper in it, and i had to root around in there to see what we actually had. I scribbled all the varieties on a cocktail napkin and went back outside to recite them. One woman ordered a blue popsicle called Aquarium and the other ordered a red one called Red Ignition.

so then i'm running the food. I'm walking through the dining room with two plates on one arm and two unwrapped popsicles in the opposite hand. I drop the Aquarium popsicle. I cuss while picking it up off the floor and i take it back to the kitchen. I rinse it off in the sink, kinda shake the water droplets off it, and notice that now it looks shorter than the red one. "Maybe they won't notice" i tell myself, and i run the food.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

sorry kid, i ain't takin' THAT ID!

late Saturday night two surly looking girls wandered in and sat themselves in the back of the restaurant. They looked to be college aged and had a smug entitled look to them. Once i decided to finally acknowledge their presence i grabbed two menus and headed back to where they'd seated themselves. One of them was avidly inspecting the drink menu and the other was just sitting there with a general look of disdain. I asked what i could get them to drink and the girl looking at the drink menu ordered a foofsy Peach Tea Vodka Lemonade thing we have on there.

"can i see some ID?"

cue a beleagured sigh and eye roll. The girl dug an ID out of the depths of her pocket and handed it off to me. Now let me tell you about this ID...the back was in perfect pristine shape but the front--seriously it looked like it had been placed face down in acid. There was a vague ghost outline of a person on it and i could almost make out some letters. Hell, i couldn't even tell if it was from my state. There's no way an ID can get that f-ed up on one side only unless it's intentional, ya know? So i lied and said "i'm sorry but i'll have to show this to the manager--we have a policy about damaged cards like this." (That card was too good not to share with someone). I received an even louder sigh and more dramatic eye roll for my announcement. Normally i'd make some sort of jokey "Whoa! What happened to your card?!" type of comment to see how they'd react but i really didn't see the point with the wall of attitude i was getting. I took the ID over to where the manager was sitting and i said "hey ____, would YOU take this ID?" "What the hell is this?!" he said, holding it out at arms length with a furrowed brow.

(needless to say these girls got mad and left when they got the official Hell No, taking my potential 50 cent tip with them. Geez.)