Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sharpest knife in the drawer?

Sharpest knife in the drawer

I was over reading INSANE waiter’s blog tonight and his latest post entitled “Quote” reminded me of something that happened a long time ago. If you would like to check out his blog(another of my favorites), it can be found at

So I am working thanksgiving several years ago. It may have actually been Christmas I am not sure but I am pretty sure it was Thanksgiving. Ahhhh Thanksgiving and Christmas, the two BUSIEST days of the year. I don’t think I will EVER understand that if I live to be 400. I won’t go into my “why the HELL are we open on those days when employees should be home with their families diatribe, but it isn’t because I don’t want to. I will ask though, doesn’t ANYONE have thanksgiving or Xmas dinner with their families at home anymore? I just can NOT imagine for the life of me the idea of having missed those days with family growing up. Turkey with all the trimmings, football(both on tv and in the street with the family), and passing out on the couch, floor, or dining room chair for the best nap of the year. I don’t see how going out to eat, no matter where you go could EVER be anywhere NEAR as good or make such an impression.

Anyways, back to the story……It is Thanksgiving, and as usual we have done the place up quite nicely. We are serving a rather nice Thanksgiving day buffet. The buffet has Turkey, ham, all the fixins, and is decorated quite nicely. We are getting pretty busy, and I am pretty much in the middle of the weeds. For those of you that may not know, “weeds’ or ‘in the weeds” is restaurant talk for really freaking busy. Think, stuck in the middle of the ocean, your boat has sunk with no land in sight, and you are getting really tired from treading water. I imagine sometimes that must feel about the same as knowing you are ‘in the weeds.’ Now,,,imagine, the coast guard shows up, you are about to be saved, but instead of tossing you a life preserver, they throw you a 20 pound brick. Sometimes, I think THAT must feel about the same as being ‘DEEP in the weeds’. So there I am , running back and forth, barely treading water, the buffet is being eaten as fast as we can restock it, when one of my tables calls me over. Great, I think, here come the complaints.

yes sir? What can I do for you?” I ask the man with 3 plates STACKED with food. Hmmm now I know why the buffet is running short. Over here folks, we seem to have moved the buffet, sorry for the confusion.

"waiter, THIS, is unacceptable” he almost screams at me around the mouth full of food he has shoveled into his grill. I glance at his three humongous plates of food, involuntarily and then realize I am as busted doing so as a man getting caught staring at a beautiful woman. What’s the matter sir, 3 pounds of turkey isn’t enough?

I am sorry sir, we are bringing out more food as quickly as we can get it out here, but it will probably be a few minutes.”

Lifting up his dinner roll, he bangs it on the table, producing a sound that only in hindsight, is reminiscent of a whiffle ball bat striking the table.
“Oh my” I stammer as my mind shifts immediately into damage control. Okay maybe he isn't just being an asshole after all. I am already thinking, this is going to cost a free drink, or dessert minimum, and possibly comping the entire dinner but lets see if I can save it.

I am horribly embarrassed because he is correct. Rolls THIS stale are absolutely inexcusable. My first thought was damn I know they(the cooks), are busy but who in their right mind would put that out on the buffet?

“I am really sorry sir, I, I, ummm you are right that is beyond unacceptable, let me see if I can get you some more bread.”

“Please do” he says louder, and proceeds to bang it on the table a few more times. Other tables are starting to look his way, and much to my chagrin he seems to enjoy the attention.

I head back to the buffet and go behind the line to where the bread is. Hmmm it is not empty, don’t tell me they filled that thing up with more of the same. I open up the bread basket grab a couple more with the tongs and am pleasantly surprised to see they are quite fresh. Maybe this can be salvaged after all. No sooner is this thought out of my mind than I hear another loud banging, and look up to see him announcing:

“see this? THIS is the kind of bread they are serving here! You would think for $16.95 they could do better than this!”

that's two votes for asshole and one for legitimate complaint and suddenly the ever tricky option C) all the above is getting votes as well.....

I am now all but running back out to the table, fresh bread in hand and fully prepared to have his whole meal comp’d just to make him shut up. I am also thinking of various ways to torture whichever cook was responsible for it. My mind's eye flashes on ideas of firing squads and poison but discards them immediately. Stoned to death is the obvious choice. By the very bread they put on the buffet. I DO love irony after all.

As I get back to the table I see that one of the plates is empty, and hand him the fresh rolls and whisper.

“I am really really sorry sir, here are some fresh rolls for you.” And your meal…..

“well you should be!” He interrupts me louder than ever. Thank you sir for that nice view of half chewed turkey,stuffing and mashed potatoes...

he continues, “you know, I am not a genius or anything but I would say if you didn’t leave them laying out in the open like that they wouldn’t end up like this.”

As he Bangs the roll on the table again for emphasis, I hear that whiffle ball bat sound again,,,,but still as of yet things haven’t clicked in my mind. All I am thinking is wow that is some stale freakin bread! That and damnit, if he would just put it down for half a second I could grab it but I may be forced to snatch it directly out of his hand.

yes sir,” I start to turn away then turn back and ask,

“wait, what do you mean leave them out like that sir? They are covered except when guests are getting them.”

“no they aren’t , they are laying out in the open all over the place. And why would you put them way up on top like that anyways? That is just dumb.”

I look over at the buffet where he is pointing. As I said before, it is decorated quite nicely. All around the top of the buffet, are Horns a plenty, fruit, vegetables and such. When I say, ‘on top of the buffett’ I mean on TOP of the sneeze guard,,,,like eye level. Now, I take a moment to tell myself not to laugh too hard and actually succeed for a moment……only a moment. Have you ever tried NOT to laugh when something strikes you as funny? Telling yourself not to is like someone saying "don't look down'. Besides, i have re-tallied the votes in my head and 'asshole' and 'all the above' are so far ahead even Floridians don't need a recount. So i start of giggling, and before long am laughing hysterically. Other customers are looking at me like I have lost it and in a way I suppose I had. Meanwhile,he is getting more and more angry.

“I want to see a manager!” he exclaims. “This is preposterous!”

“um sir” finally trying to gather my senses, “I am sorry that I am laughing but I don’t think you really want to do that.”

“Why not?”, slamming his hand on the table. “I want to see a manager!”

“okay sir, but first, can I see that roll for a second?” By now,a waitress has already gone to get the manager who is walking into the dining room. The gentleman in question sees him coming and apparently decides it is safe to hand me the evidence now. I take the roll bang it on the table again with a giggle. This time I recognize the whiffle ball sound for what it is, but I am still thinking it can't be! I take the knife from the table next to him, slice it open, and place it back on the table. Don't laugh BD dont laugh,,,,

"Sir, this roll along with all the other stuff around the top of the buffett is only meant for decoration."

Needless to say there was no free dessert, drink or comp'd meal.

So, if you have ever been to the store and bought a package of say sheets and found one of those little freshness packets in them you have probably seen some version of the following printed on them. “this packet is intended to help preserve the fabric, please do not ingest as doing so may make you sick.”

Have you ever seen this warning and like me wondered who the hell would be stupid enough to eat it? Have you ever wondered just how many people had to make that mistake before the company agreed to spend the money on warning against such blatant stupidity? Well, it is safe to say that i have once met one of those people responsible.



christine said...

Hahaha! Ok that was hilarious. Awww that reminds me of my abuelita (granny) who almost was trying to chew on plastic grapes from our centerpiece. I miss her so much. :)

Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read »