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At Your Service: Holiday Hoedown

I cannot express the relief I feel that the holiday season is over. No more running out of things a restaurant should never run out of (no more pizza pans? really?), no more trying to figure out how to cram not just the usual crowd into our tiny restaurant but their shopping bags as well. If I see one more American Girl doll for the next two months it will get annihilated. Happy holidays my ass.

One night at the beginning of the holiday season, a group of five came in. One of the women was obviously not in shape to drink more alcohol. The server was told by the manager on duty to tell her she could not order an alcoholic drink from us. This did not go over well. The group threatened to leave and the manager told them they could go ahead. The conversation went something like this. You may want to skip over this if you're not a fan of profanity.

One of the men: She's only had two drinks tonight.

Manager: Her tolerance is not my problem.

Guy: It's her bachelorette party. Do you really want to ruin her night?

Manager: Sorry, but if someone appears intoxicated. we cannot serve them.

Guy: Well fuck you then. Asshole.

Manager: Have a good night.

Guy: Don't fuck with us. My boyfriend will kick your ass. Eat shit and die.

Manager: Good night.

Guy: Asshole. Go fuck your mother.

Manager: I get off in four hours if you want to talk about this later.

Guy: Are you threatening me? Asshole. Do you really want to threaten me?

Manager: I'm not threatening you. Just saying we can talk about it when I get off work.

Guy: Fuck you. Fuck you. Go fuck your mother.

My manager tried to follow the group as they walked out. I tried to hold him back but he's a big guy. I was just dragged behind him as I told him not to lose his job. He regained his composure.

The excitement didn't end there.

Not even half an hour later, after everyone had gotten over the excitement, five women walk in. I walked them to the same table the "bachelorette party" had occupied and they tried to take their seats, I noticed how intoxicated they were; one woman even had to be helped by two of her friends into her seat.

The poor server was told, once again, he could not serve alcohol. The women were outraged. They threatened to take their business elsewhere and were politely informed by the manager they were welcome to stay and eat but were not going to be served any alcoholic beverages. They decided to leave.

On their way out, grumbling and complaining, one of the women turned to my manager and said, "You made a big mistake. I'm going to tweet about this!"

He laughed and told her to go ahead. A minute later, she came in. She forgot her jacket and purse. We just stood by and laughed as she scurried back out.

* * *

With all the craziness, screaming children, and two-hour wait lists, we had to keep each other sane. One of my favorite staff moments was hearing one of the women in the kitchen learning her ABCs. She doesn't know much English so a couple of other people in the kitchen were teaching her the alphabet. It was so cute hearing this 4-foot-11 woman sing her ABCs that we all stood around listening. When she got through it on her first try, we all clapped and cheered for her. Those few weeks of mayhem brought us all a little closer.

Not all the moments were quite so warm and fuzzy, though. A sampling of wonderful things I overheard various co-workers say:

- "They've got Ritalin in their trigger-happy little fingers."

- "I need two feet to trip his big ass."

- "Why are they asking me for directions? I ain't your TomTom, bitch!"

- "Remember that health nut? The guy who ate wood but is dead now?"

- "How am I supposed to know what she wants? I guess it's mind-reader Monday."

- "Let me kick you."

I've had some great customers, too, don't get me wrong. Thank you to the man who offered to set me up with one of the new young lawyers at his firm; to the two separate tables that told my manager they liked me so much they would only sit with me every time they came back to the restaurant; and to the gentleman at the bar who got drunk because his daughter likes American Girl and left me a great tip when I said I hated the dolls too. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

-

The pseudononymous Patty Hunter brings you tales from the front lines of serverdom every week. She welcomes your comments. Catch up with the rest of this series and its companions in our Life At Work archive.



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Posted on January 11, 2010


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Corporate Spies Like Us.
SPORTS - Why Was This Game Even Scheduled?

BOOKS - Postdictatorship Argentina.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Public Lands Matter.


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