Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tales From The Darkside

I'm going to divert from my usual mom/parenting stories and tell a couple of what I think are funny as shit (pun intended... you'll see) stories from before I had kids. They are from when I worked at a restaurant in college and I love them. For me, there was little joy in serving people in restaurants and so I cling to these stories like Titanic survivors clung to life rafts (too soon?).

* I waited on a table that consisted of two couples in their sixties. Maybe fifties. Maybe seventies. I was 19 or so at the time, so everyone over 50 looked old. My judgement was probably off. Anyway, we went through the entire dinner and when I dropped off the check, one of the ladies asked me "Where are the dancing boys?" I was shocked as I thought they were asking where the strip clubs were and didn't know what to say. But finally, my bluntness and lack of shame propelled me to say "Are you asking me where the male strip clubs are? Because I think there are a couple in downtown Portland, but I don't really know for sure..." 

Everyone at the table started cracking up, and while I stood there like an idiot, wondering if the old folk were fucking senile, finally one of the ladies said, "Oh, you must be too young to know, [gee, no shit] but back in our day, when you finished eating at a restaurant, some dancing boys came out and sang to you at the table, as a thank you and goodbye." I laughed it off and probably made some stupid and completely inappropriate remark. But I will never forget the time that I thought some old ladies were asking me where the male strip clubs were.

* There was another table that I waited on, comprised of two middle-aged couples, and one of the women disappeared to the bathroom for quite some time. Like, so long that eventually the other woman said she would go check on her. It was obvious the chick was dropping a deuce, so I dropped the check to the guys, they cashed out, and I thought the day was done as far those patrons were concerned. 

Shortly after, my shift was over and I went to tip the hostesses, and they were talking about the woman who had asked them for a change of clothes because she had shit all over herself. They rummaged up a bag for the shitty clothes, and an extra chef's uniform for her, and she promised that she would bring it back the next day. THEN, she told them she left a mess in the bathroom that needed to be cleaned up. And she didn't even apologize. 

When they went to check the bathrooms, they discovered that not only had the woman shit all over herself, she had shit all over the fucking bathroom stall. Like, ALL OVER. Apparently, your colon is capable of exploding, and you'll still live. Poop was sprayed at least three feet above the toilet, on the floor, and on the walls to the side of the toilet. And it smelled like death. It was so bad that the manager of the restaurant could not find it within herself to send the busboys- who typically did the clean-up jobs- in there to clean it up, and cleaned it herself. I put two and two together and figured out that it had been the woman from my table who had done the deed. That must have been a fun car ride home, with a bag of shit-saturated clothes stinking up the car.

The next night, one of the hostesses that had been present during the shit fest the night before was on shift when I went in. She told me that the woman had come back to return the chef's uniform. I was like, "Oh my God, how did she act? Was she super embarrassed? I would DIE having to bring that thing back after the mess I left in the bathroom. Did she send her husband in with it? I would have!" She looked at me and said that not only was the woman seemingly not embarrassed, she handed in the uniform like it was the most natural thing in the world to possess a chef's uniform from a restaurant, and said something like, "I had to borrow this last night, and I washed it and and am now returning it." No apology, no apparent shame.

* The restaurant I worked at was in Oregon, which has extremely strict liquor control laws. Like, we had to card people who looked thirty, for Christ's sake, or risk losing our jobs, losing our OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission) cards, face jail time, and the restaurant would be fined $5,000. Or maybe it was $50,000. Either way, stiff penalties. Fuck serving the minors. So one day, some chick came in with her dad and her little brother. She ordered an alcoholic beverage. I asked her for her i.d. She flipped out. She pointed to her brother across the table and said, "How could you possibly card me when I am here with my son!? He's nine! I think I am old enough to drink!" I said something like, "Good for you, but I thought he was your brother; that's how young you look. You should take that as a compliment. Show me your i.d." She huffed and puffed and blew the straw house down produced her i.d. I looked at it. She was twenty-four. 
Twenty-four, with a nine-year-old son. Excuse me for thinking that was your brother, and that you weren't old enough to drink. And after spending some time serving the table, I figured out that "dad" was actually her boyfriend. Or maybe her husband. Who knows. I'm not judging. I swear. To each their own.

* A disclaimer before this one: I love old people. I have nothing against them. They can be funny as shit. However... another time, a busload of elderly people came in one afternoon and I was the lucky one who got to be their server. There were probably about 20 of them. I went to the table to get drink orders and tell them the specials. They were old, and deaf as Helen Keller. And their brains didn't quite work as well as maybe they used to at intaking and processing information. And, they ALL wanted to hear the specials. Well, for them to hear, I had to literally lean down between two of them at a time and yell the specials, speaking at the pace of molasses so they could process what I was saying, too. It took me like, thirty fucking minutes just to tell them the specials. I'm pretty sure a couple of them fell asleep and one may have died by the time I was done.
The kicker? None of them even ordered any of the goddamn specials.


There are many more, like the time the pregnant woman's water broke mid-meal and she leaked amniotic fluid on the foyer floor when rushing out, and the other time the old lady died (not from choking, probably natural causes) on the floor of the foyer, but I think I'll stop at these four. Those other two aren't really funny, anyway. And sorry if you didn't think the four I told were funny, either. :-) 

Be nice to your server, my friends.

Funny, the restaurant I worked at was a seafood restaurant....

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  1. OMG, I miss the "interesting" people i met when i was a server. I worked at a few places, but when i was at Applebees, i had a guy order a steak. He wanted it RARE, as in "put on the grill on each side for 10 - 15 seconds". I told him that was not going to happen. He kept insisting, and i said i would have the cooks make it as rare as possible.
    1. That is DISGUSTING to eat that way.
    2. You are at Applebees. Seriously. Applebees. Who the hell goes to Applebees thinking you can get a decent steak, let alone one you dont want cooked to kill everything on it?
    3. I got a horrible tip from him. Should of let him have his e coli.

    1. That's SO gross! I can't imagine he gets that request honored in many of the places he goes! A server definitely sees the sides of humanity that most others don't.

  2. Those were some good times at NB! I haven't heard about the lady dying on the foyer floor, and though I've heard the others, I'll listen to them again and again! Thank God we don't need to wait tables anymore, eh?

    1. Yeah, she died right in front of the manager's office, like on her way to the bathrooms! She had told her son she didn't feel well, went to the bathroom, but collapsed in front of the office. The bartender, I'm pretty sure it was Denise, was trying to give her mouth-to-mouth while the ambulance was summoned, but it was futile. By the time the ambulance arrived, she was pretty much non-responsive. It was freaky. And she was gurgling fluid up out of her mouth... yikes. It might have been before you were there; I just realized that I may have still been hosting, not serving.
      I AM so glad we don't have to wait tables anymore, but I sure miss you, and some of the others we worked with!!

  3. I waitressed from the time I was 15 until I was 24. There's just something about a waitressing job, I swear those of us who have done it are somehow wiser than those who haven't. Oh, the stories we can all tell. I kind of miss those days... wait, 15-24 year old me would kick my ass for saying that...

    1. Yes, it just gives you a glimpse into people you don't otherwise get! And the 15-21 year-old me kinda wants to kick your ass, too, for having said that... hahaha! Just teasing, it has its upsides, too!


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