Thursday, December 01, 2005

Festive Times in the Land of the Rich and Not-So-Beautiful

While the rest of the blog world got to socialize and make merry at happy hour last night, I was unfortunately stuck at the restaurant, feeding hungry, fat, rich people. I really hope you guys had a good time. I'm sorry I missed it. I was busy being yelled at by the chef, and dancing through the hell of fine dining while short staffed.

Normally, I'll have one fiesty customer about every week or so. No big deal. Some people are more demanding than others. I'm yet to figure out whether these people were either breast fed longer than the rest of us, or not enough. Last night, for whatever reason, I was the lucky front waiter recipient of not one but three grown kindergarteners with too much money and not enough prozac to share with the rest of the class. Let me name them: 1) Man Who Has Not Seen the Inside of Female Genatalia Since the Day of His Unfortunate Birth, 2) Post-Menopausal Emotionally Hollow Alcoholic Who Buys Her Friends and Commences to Ply Them with Alcohol to Satiate Her Own Empty World, and 3) Where Can I Buy Some Class?--New Money Douche Bag Republican (and his big, rough Asian wife) Who's Fucking Sweetbreads I Nearly Spit In.

Customer #1:

"We are catching a plane in twenty minutes. I would like a salad and the tenderloin well done. I would like you to butterfly the tenderloin to that it can be done quicker. I would also like a side of the sweet potato puree (which does not come with the dish). Also, I would like an amaretto sour now. With no ice. And with my dinner, I would like water. But not now. No. Don't pour me water now. Here. You poured it. Take back the glass and bring me a new one. I can't look at this. But I want my amaretto sour now. With extra cherries. NOW."

I throw the order at the kitchen, and the chef takes offense at the man's requusts. He yells at me, of course, like I have the ability to teach someone how to eat properly. I dash to the bar and make the drink. I bring it on my little stupid tray. I set it down and he immediate waves me back. There was too much amaretto in the amaretto sour with no ice. Ok, I made another one. He then says he wants more cherries on a little plate. "They all must have stems". Stems! Stems!? Yes, of course! Who am I to serve you cherries without stems, you fucking fruit!?

The kitchen refused to butterfly the tenderloin on the principle that they are gods who can read minds, and obviously know what the customer wants more than he does. Sir Non-Vaginal Intercourse Ever refused to eat the perfectly cooked tenderloin on the grounds that it was "still mooing". The kitchen then charred it and sent me back out with it. Non-Vag said it was burned and asked for another amaretto sour. The evening was off to a fantastic start...

Customer 2: We were already over-booked and under-staffed, but rather than turn tables away, the hostess just kept putting them in my section. And suddenly, I had four tables at once, bringing the total to 6 tables. Customer 2, the Menopausal Hag, is sitting alone, waiting for friends. I make my approach: "Good evening, how are you tonight? I see that you are waiting for friends. May I get you a cocktail while you wait?" Without eye contact she says, "Absolute Kurrant Cosmo. Up. And I wanted it yesterday." (If people think they are not being abusive then they say such things, they are wrong, so wrong.) I fly to the bar, and start with the cocktail set up, go to pour from the Absolute Kurrant, and guess what? It's empty. I then fly downstairs to the liquor stock to discover that we are completely out of Kurrant. Ok. I then fly upstairs and deliver the news. No Kurrant, lady, do you have another preference?

Menopausal Hag COMPLETELY FREAKS THE FUCK OUT. I have 5 other tables, and this woman starts lecturing me about how this is not good service. How every time she comes to the restaurant we are out of the only vodka she will "put to her lips". She's going to write a letter to the owner about this. Nothing else will do. No. She can't drink a cosmo without Absolute Kurrant. This is a "gross and terrible injustice!", says the wronged she.


So, I convince her that not only does she have incredible taste with her popular love of Absolute Kurrant, but that I have a great cosmo recipe that she will LOVE. (Ok, I lied, but FUCK HER.) So, I go back and doctor up a kick-ass martini with a splash of Absolute Rasberry and other sordid ingredients. I sample it. It's FREAKING AWESOME. There's no denying that it's good. I bring it to the table. She tastes. She asks what's in it. I tell her. She guzzles half of it down. Again, with no eye contact, she rolls her eyes and sighs and says, "I guess this will do."

She has another of "the same whatever you made" before her friends arrive. She then orders a $60 bottle of chardonnay. And another one. Her friends have two classes each while she practically takes out her IV and taps the second bottle. She finishes it herself. It is obvious that her friends hate her too. But I will venture to guess that no one is capable of hating this woman as much as she clearly hates herself.

Last but not least is customer #3, who rolled in around 8:45 with his **monstrously** big linebacker of an Asian wife who reminded me of an older and rougher version of Kimora Simmons, only with greasy hair, tons of un-touched gray streaks and, oh, yes, no style. None. She had the kind of skin that Asian women categorically do not have. Judging from her tremendous stature alone, maybe she was a genetic fluke, perhaps?-- I could have climbed into her equally monstrous pours without her noticing. If this wasn't bad enough, she was carrying an enormous Chanel purse, which she *literally* set in the middle of the table for all to see. Tacky, tacky, tacky!! If a man is judged by the company he keeps, it's enough to rattle on about Japzilla, but I'll stop here. Douche Bag himself was quite enough take in. He ordered the tenderloin well-done with nothing else on it. No madiera jus. No fingerling potatos. Nothing. Simple? No, because he then ordered ala carte items for his sides. Funny thing is, we don't do ala carte items. This is not Denny's, for fucks sake. I literally thought the chef was going to kill me. Last but not least, Douche Bag himself then ordered a $90 bottle of our boutique Virginia wine (which, by the way is overpressed and tastes like Mad Dog 20-20.). He then makes a flourishing toast to "all things Virginia", and attempts to wax political when he declares, "Isn't our country so great? Thank god we don't have to support the French tonight!". It took everything in my being not to say the following: 1) Need I remind you that you are eating in a FRENCH FUCKING ESTABLISHMENT, YOU MORON!!, and 2) Funny-- I didn't realize that your wife's $1000 CHANEL PURSE (that you've been bragging about to your friends since you got here) IS FRENCH---MADE IN FRANCE--CAN YOU READ?? (insert here: you fucking idiot.) But, of course, I smiled and shimmied away...

Possible morals to the story: 1) Money does not buy class. 2) Practice patience and kindness to the people serving your food. They can and will spit in your coffee.

And long story short: I should have gone to happy hour. Sorry I missed it. Next time, can we do it on a Thursday?


Heather B. said...

1) definately missed you at HH last night and cookie and I talked about you. And yay for me finally learning how to pronounce Namaste.

2) and you're fucking hilarious.

Namaste said...

thanks for the love HB. a little affirmation goes a long way these days.

you're the best!

flashpoint said...

"Namaste", two things.

Is calling someone a fucking Douche Bag a good way to honor the divine?

Why don't you quit your job? it sounds as if you are miserable.

just passing through and i noticed the irony. thanks. you write well.

DC Cookie said...

All I have to say about food service is...without it, I wouldn't have met you. Next time I'm in the Ville I'll swing by and sit in your section and make your day.

At least you can be satisfied that these people are unhappy...

Namaste said...

Yo Borges-

Unfortunately, Namaste (like Ahimsa) I'd like to think is what everyone is striving for. I don't claim perfection. And sometimes honoring the divine means being truthful: a douche bag is a douche bag is a douch bag. Let us not mince words.

Thanks for stopping by and submitting your comment. Do come again!

roosh said...

i hate old customers and their laundry list of needs. I made a mimosa the other week to a old woman who goes "but what about my strawwwwwberry. Mimosas usually come with one." no they dont you old hag. I gave her one and she used it as a garnish

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should work one customer service job in their lifetime. Preferably a food service one.

ryguy9296 said...

Brilliant stuff, really.

Please remember what an old Army sniper once told me: Tragedy, minus me, equals humor.

Their lives are clearly quite tragic and therefore, full of long as you're not in them. Sorry you had to be for a night but since I wasn't, I found your story HIGH LARRY US.

Oh, and I'm a good friend of DC Cookie. Isn't she the best?

Namaste said...

The best? Cookie is better than the best...

And, yes, even in the midst of hell, I couldn't help but sense the resounding hilarity of the situation as well as the irony.

I'm always happy to share!