My first collaboration piece! I’m pretty excited about this. This is written with Jeff from Content Unrelated, so be sure you check out some of his funny stuff! It’s a bit different from the ones I’ve posted so far — more of a storyline and less of the conversation. The post-customer interaction where the majority of the complaining starts, if you will.
Also, if your name is Springs1, keep it moving. I don’t have time for your negativity here.
Happy hour. It’s the saddest three hours of every server’s life. People rolling through, demanding cheap beer, cheap liquor, cheap food, wielding cheap purses and snooty attitudes. With no host to assist in seating people, a mound of chaos always arises as people wait for their tables, or just come in for a quick bite.
On one particular Friday, the restaurant was flooding with people. The fire marshal would have had a heart attack if he walked in and saw all of the people attempting to crowd themselves into the restaurant. Alongside the bar area, guests are also able to be served in the foyer, where couches sit for a more comfortable waiting room. The foyer is the hardest part of working the happy hour, because it is located behind the host stand and almost impossible to see the people on the other side; especially when there’s 800 other ones trying to get your attention before you can even make it to the front door.
“Excuse me, how does this happy hour well drink work?” asked one obnoxious lady, forcing her way to a spot on the couch because she couldn’t bare the thought of standing up for ten minutes.
Server Brain: “The f*ck do you mean how does the well drink work? Have you never done a happy hour before?”
Server Says: “Oh, well, it’s any of our well liquors for only $4.”
“Well, am I supposed to order a shot of it or can I order a Tom Collins or what’s the deal with that? How do you disperse the drinks?”
Server Says: “A Tom Collins would be extra, but we could do that.”
“What wouldn’t be extra?”
Server Brain: “Shut the f*ck up already. I do not have time to sit here and get into a ridiculous argument with you over a .50 cent upcharge for a drink you want. I have no control over the prices, so shut the f^#k up.”
Server Says: “Well, you could do vodka tonic, rum and coke, gin and tonic, vodka and orange juice, that sort of stuff.”
The woman smiles, and it was obvious this was only going to go downhill from this point on.
“Do you even know what a Tom Collins is?”
Server Brain: “Here we f^ck!ng go.”
“A Tom Collins is the gin of your choice with Collins mix, so I don’t see how a Tom Collins wouldn’t apply to your happy hour.”
Server Says: “It does apply to the happy hour, ma’am, but we charge extra for Collins mix.”
“OK, well, you’re not a bartender, so you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Server Brain: “First of all, there’s no possible way you would know I was not a bartender. Bartenders also serve, so you wouldn’t have any f*ck!ng way of knowing this before you sat down. Second of all, even though you’re correct in assuming I’m not a bartender, I still work here which means I know the menu better than you do you f^ck!ng ignorant f*$%!ng piece of $h!t. How dare you walk in here and try to act like you know everything about everything in the middle of a Friday night dinner rush and try to fight me over .50 cents that’s going to be on your f*^k!ng bill whether you like it or not.”
Server Says: “All right, I’ll go put your drink in for you.”
Once the drink is made and brought over to the table, they place an order for the food. As it’s being put into the computer, the host comes up.
Host: “She says she ordered a Tom Collins, not a gin and tonic.”
Server Brain: “F*^$!%g psycho b!tch that is a f*ck!ng Tom Collins what do you want from me right now?!”
Server Says: “Well, you can let her know she has a Tom Collins and if she doesn’t like it she can take it back to the bartender and tell them that herself. I don’t know what else to tell her, but she clearly doesn’t know the drink because that’s what she’s drinking and as she so rudely put it, I’m not the bartender anyway so there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Ah, bartending. Luckily, that woman decided it was a Tom Collins (after taking a sip of it — she was merely judging it by its color.) But bartending is a different side of the same shitty coin. Bartenders aren’t only responsible for the obvious role of making drinks for the entire restaurant, but they’re also trained servers (which this woman should take note of); as some people who sit at the bar do so because they want a quick in-and-out dining experience.
You’ve got things to do. Not everyone who dines out has two hours to spend. Understood.
There are a few things you need to consider before you sit at my bar though, friend. The bar is first come, first served. Depending on the restaurant, so are the surrounding tables. Depending on the day, your bartender is responsible for not only the bar, but also the aforementioned tables. It’s during lunch rush where things can get crazy.
“There’s a wait? Oh. Well we’ll just sit at the bar,” they said from the lobby.
Up until this point, it was early into the shift and I hadn’t really done much but make a couple martinis. “Cool,” I thought to myself, “They’ll sit up here and I’ll have something to do.”
Here’s the thing about the bartop and those wonderful first come, first served surrounding tables: Imagine these areas are like a big, fat sub sandwich. Now take that sandwich to the beach and throw it into the sand. A single seagull flies down and begins to enjoy the deliciousness and immediacy of this food. But that seagull isn’t alone for long, because in the distance, 34 other seagulls see what the hell is going on and are about to be all up in that sandwich.
The bar is a sandwich at the beach. People are seagulls.
So at 11:35 a.m. on a Tuesday, I go from zero to seagulls in a matter of a few minutes. “Don’t let ’em see you panic,” I thought, “Just go with it. Don’t be a b!tch. They’ll see how busy you just got. They’ll understand.”
Most of them did, but there was one lady who was determined to test my verbal restraint. After I’d gotten drinks for the three bar tables and the nine people who’d just sat down at the bar top, I began telling this woman I’d come right back for her order.
“We only have an hour,” she scoffed. Thankfully my manager had seen my insta-shitstorm and overheard her. He took her and her party’s order as I grabbed everyone else’s.
You only have an hour? And you came to a restaurant during lunch rush? Brilliant! You obviously thought you were going to be the only ones there and the 18 servers, four hosts, six line cooks and three bussers all clocked in that day just to take care of you. Go to McDonald’s. They have a drive-through. You could pull up, order your combo, pay for it and shove it up your stupid, impatient @$$ in less than the amount of time it took you to come here and tell me you only had an hour.
Fast-forward past the part where I’m prepping all the pre-food food (salads that come with entrees and all that). I drop off everyone’s stuff and, three minutes later make my way back to Ms. We Only Have An Hour. I ask her how everything is so far.
“It’s okay, but we’re ready for our real food.”
This is when my brain started to argue with my mouth on what I should and shouldn’t say.
Server Brain: “What the f*ck do you mean, ‘real food’? That salad isn’t real? I’m sorry, are you in the f*&$!%g Matrix because there is a spoon and I can f^ck!ng see it right there. Whatever. Just don’t say anything stupid, juuust don’t say anything stupid.”
Server Says: “Well ma’am they have to cook the food first.”
Server Brain: “Nice one, champ. See you at the unemployment line.”
Thankfully, she didn’t respond by telling the manager I was an @$$hole, the way Ms. Tom Collins did. But from that point on, the only contact she had with me was when I dropped off her food and her check. I hope she enjoyed every last drop of her iced tea because I wasn’t about to refill it, nor did I give one single, solitary sh!t about how her food tasted, so I didn’t ask.
This was clearly someone who had never, ever worked a day in her life at a restaurant. Waiting for your “real food.” Get the f^ck out of here, you sloth.
The next time you go out, take a good look around. Guess what? You aren’t the only one there. As much as we make it appear it’s all about you, it isn’t. You need to understand that first come, first served situations are like the Ten Items or Fewer lane at the grocery store. You aren’t the only one with fewer than 10 items. You aren’t the only one in a hurry. There are other people who had the “Oh, I’ll just go in the Ten Items or Fewer lane” idea, so you’re still going to have to wait.
Suck it up and deal, crybaby.