Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Friday, September 30, 2005

I hope you washed your hands ...

Tonight's shift was one of the smoothest, but definitely the strangest, that I've had in recent memory. I was working with Welsh Boy in our usual section and asides from a minor delay (which I shall describe below), everything went swimmingly. We got tipped, we had tables leave on time (or early), we got our resets done. We even sat a table three times. Yet it didn't seem busy. Strange, like a lot of our customers.

There were small weirdnesses like the kid who ordered two drinks at the one time, and the kid who refused his free ice cream. There were slightly bigger weirdnesses like the Australian family who left Welsh Boy their contact details but no tip and the Chinese man with the driving cap who nearly sent his steak back cause it had bacon on it ("That's the pancetta sir, it's Italian bacon,") and then scraped the bacon onto the table for me to clean up later ($10 tip, very surprised). Then there were the major weirdnesses (the first one is just outright disgusting though, and I don't think I'll be over it for a while):

Gross story of the year:

I arrived 15 minutes into shift. There were only two tables in my section, so far, so good.

I took over from one of the girls, who had taken the order from the first table (family with kid with two juices). She told me that the couple at the table next to them had ordered nothing yet, and she wasn't too keen on approaching them since they hadn't stopped touching each other the entire time. The woman looked to be in her late 30s, the guy about 10 years older.

And he is drinking water with NO ice. Fine.

I eventually interrupt them and take their order.

No drinks, one steak, one venison, no sides. Good-o.

I bus their table and give them bread. They are still touching each other.

About 15 minutes later, I notice that their table is empty. Hmm.

I do a lap around the restaurant. No Touching Couple.

I walk past the hot line and their food is up. AG takes it to the table, and comes back empty-handed.

"Didn't you notice there was nobody at the table?" I ask.

"They'll be back," is his idiot reply.

Thanks for your prediction, Australian Goober the Psychic Foodrunner.

I collect the food and put it under the heatlamps.

I check the ladies' bathroom. No Touching Lady in there.

I am concerned that the door to the disabled bathroom is closed. I wait.

I talk to my manager, who confirms that the guy asked where the bathrooms were, and they left together. I am starting to get highly disturbed.

Their food is getting cold, but I am too disgusted to care. Quite frankly, they can just eat it that way. I consider taking their meals and knocking on the door with a cheery "Delivery!". They can damn well eat off the baby changing table.

Welsh Boy and I casually stand guard outside the exit to the bathrooms. About 15 minutes after their food was ready, they emerge. I avoid eye contact, but notice that the woman looks quite dishevelled, is fixing her hair, and isn't even fully dressed yet. Unbelievably gross.

I give Welsh Boy the signal to away their food while I'm taking an order for another table. Ms F*cking (nee Ms Touching) is sitting in Mr F's lap, canoodling. Her top is on the floor behind the chair. Their chair is directly behind the chair of the two-juice kid, who is about 8. I am angry. I go to the hot line to tell them that they are now both on seat 1. They think I'm joking. Their food arrives. The man has moved his chair so he is sitting next to her, not opposite. Closer proximity for inappropriate behaviour in a (nearly) fine dining establishment.

The time comes for me to check on their meals (we have already made a thousand sex jokes in the short time it took for the rumour to spread around the restaurant). I am quite happy avoiding them, to be honest. I consider asking "How are you enjoying your meat this evening?", but manage a quick "How is everything?" before running away after Mr F told me they were doing "Very well." ("Excuse me, sir, while I douse my entire body in disinfectant to make myself feel less dirty!")

After their meals are cleared away, they order a single coffee, no dessert. They begin an extremely thorough exploration of each others' tonsils, again right next to the little juice kid. The senior runner walked by and suggested I get the manager to tell them to cool it. I sincerely think about it.

The next thing I know, the family with the juice kid have gotten up and left, their leftovers still on the table. I do not blame them one bit. I hope they were oblivious, but I know they likely weren't. I feel bad.

Mr and Ms F get the bill and pay promptly (I wonder why ... but don't need to wonder too much). They leave us a $10 tip.

Cheaper than a hotel room, I guess.

Weirdly related but totally different:

We had a party of 12 booked for 7pm. A man and a woman arrived early and had drinks. More women arrived at 7.15. The man leaves to watch the rugby somewhere. The women wait for more friends and don't order til nearly 7.45, although they know they have to leave by 9 (2 hour dining limit, harsh but necessary). The women are lovely though and seem to be having a really good time. At least some of them are lesbians, not that that matters a dime. It's just semi-relevant to how much they love me! Time ticks on by and their hostess has asked me for quite a few things and seems to be really keen on making sure the other ladies enjoy their night.

Mandatory Departure Time looms, and I manage to convince them they don't need (or have time for) desserts or coffees. The hostess is extremely good about our desperate need for tables. They all have to pay separately, so head to the reception desk.

I stop and say my thanks and goodbyes on my way past, and the hostess, her sister and her mum all tell me how wonderful I am (*blush*). The hostess tells me "If I were a millionaire, I'd tip you!" Gee thanks, lady. I'm all smiles though, and she quite sweetly adds "I'd tip you a million dollars!" See how much I'm worth in If I Were A Millionaire Land?

I'm resetting their vacated table when the hostess and her sister come and find me. They rave on again about how great I was to them and how they wish they could tip me. They tell me they have found a way to tip me, and hand me a $50 voucher.

What for, you ask?

Well, the hostess runs a store specialising in "female satisfaction". Oh God. The blood is rushing to my face. [And I was just reading this the other day. Excellent industry site. Funny stories.] They tell me I can just buy a t-shirt, some underwear, even something of the "vibrating variety". They make me promise to spend it, and that they will keep an eye out for that voucher number. I don't think they know quite how embarrassed I am. Don't get me wrong, they seemed like wonderful women, of the motherly yet Girl Power-y type. I have just never been XXX-tipped before. And I swear the old British couple at the next table heard every word.

We pool our tips. I didn't pool that one.


takin chances said...

I stumbled upon your blog and really enjoyed reading it. Sounds like you had an "exciting" evening. I'll be sure to bookmark you. My blog is also a collection of the random Feel free to stop by.

T / Kitty said...

My god Wendy - how gross is that?! Think you should have made the meat comment, with a sugar-sweet smile and dead-pan face of course - would have been so worth it.

With your fluid plans are you still planning on being over here in the Spring?

Have given up my job at QM so we are considering extending our honeymoon by a couple of weeks so won't be back at home till mid-February or so, but would be great to see you if your plans fit by that stage. T

Myxhele said...

Dude.. I have no words. Almost.

The first story was insanely gross, and reminded me in many (horrible) ways of certain stories I could tell about working in a cinema. Because you've been grossed out enough, I will spare you.

I would go with t/kitty and agree you should have made some kind of comment though - although, considering they obviously had no shame, they probably would have either not picked up on it or it would have fed their enjoyment of the situation. Ew.

The second story made me laugh so hard I was glad I wasn't reading it at work. Also it made me cringe. Plus: how rude? To keep going on about how great you were and saying how they 'wished' they could tip you? If they wished it that much, they'd just do it instead of telling you about cash you're missing out on. I guess at least they gave you something though, no matter how random it was.