Anyone who has worked in customer service, especially food service, knows about the customers that just really irk you. This is my first waitressing job, and curbing my attitude has been a challenge I’ve had to be spoken to about more than once. I don’t like customers telling me how to do my job, and I especially don’t like being inconvenienced. Yes, I know, two traits that are working against being a good waitress.
Take for instance the other night. There’s an upper middle class family that comes in maybe once a week: dad in pastel polo with a mustache and a weight problem, son constantly in slacks (future or current Hampster), the textbook “cool mom”, and a daughter with three chins but diamond earrings and nice dresses. They’ve always tipped well, and haven’t been too bossy, but it’s their kids I have a problem with.
The son must be fresh into his 20’s, because every time he comes to the bar he hesitates and contemplates his drink order as if he’s writing his will.
“Hmmm, I think I’ll have the Sam Adams Summer Ale. Actually, no, how does the Fox Barrel Peach Cider taste?”
“I don’t know, I’m underage, but I like peaches.”
“I’ll just take a Natty pitcher.”
The daughter has never bothered me, until the other night. After the dad’s Guiness, the mom’s Mich Ultra, and the brother’s constant struggle always ending in Natural Light, I asked the underage daughter what she wanted. “Well,” she said, “I’d like an order of cheesy waffle friends and a cup of coffee.”
Coffee. Few words are more deadly in a restaurant than the C word. It was 10 p.m. and she was trying to stay awake for karaoke night.
Here’s what goes into making a pot of coffee at 202:
1. The coffee maker is upstairs, and you can’t afford to be up there too long if it’s busy.
2. It takes 5-7 minutes for the coffee to brew, or whatever coffee does.
3. You have to carry the heavy canister back downstairs and put it behind the bar.
4. You have to clean it at the end of the night.
Why in the name of all things holy would someone order coffee and cheesy waffle fries anyway?
I struggled with the best way to word a response in order to prompt her to change her mind. “Alright,” I said with a smile, “we don’t have any made right now but I can make you a new pot.”