There’s a story behind every bodily-fluid laden dish a restaurant serves up to an unappreciative customer and, typically, the story’s unrelated to plumbing issues or free-for-all jerk-off fiestas in commercial kitchens. Almost always, contaminated entrées are the direct results of a guest pushing one too many buttons of a justly embittered waiter.
Waiting tables is not glamorous; children don’t lie awake at night thinking, “I hope someday I’ll get to be on my feet for hours dealing with the general public for non-guaranteed wages.” Their entire job is an exercise in servitude and coerced, artificial friendliness (1). You walk into the restaurant and maybe you’re with a ponytailed guy, or a painfully white kid in a sideways 59fifty flatbrim, or an adult wearing a Dave Matthews Band t-shirt, but the waiter immediately judges your party and rationalizes his hatred for all of you (2).
The hostess seats you and the waiter represses his misgivings and forces a gritted smile. He brings over waters, but for one person in your party the lack of lemon, non-bottled quality, or presence of ice is unacceptable and the waiter’s taxed with an unrewarding errand (3).
After thanklessly returning with the particular water order for the high-maintenance diner, he’s met with blank stares when he asks if anyone knows what they want to drink (4) as if none of you have ever been to a restaurant before. Subsequently, no one pays attention the first two times he runs through the drink specials (5) and he has to stifle an urge to scream and face thrash when reciting them a third time.
Food orders are no less aggravating. Your co-diners raise inane questions and concerns (6) and you see the waiter’s fist clench, likely around a small shard of glass to distract him from the outpouring of stupidity. “What’s the kitchen’s pollen count?”, or “I don’t want it to taste too much like chicken,” or even “Can you make sure no minorities prepare my food?” Requests for ridiculous substitutions ensue (7) and the waiter is left looking like the bad guy as he calmly explains to his audience that “Sir, you’ll have to order items off our menu,” and “No, a second lobster tail is not considered a side.”
The orders come up and are relayed to the table. No one shows any gratitude; your group just starts shoveling the food into your faces like a pack of feral homeless veterans (8). Other tables take notice at the cacophony of slobbering grunts as the tranquil restaurant atmosphere is destroyed.
The waiter returns ten minutes later to check in and is met with sneers and stares (9) as if he just disrupted your grandfather’s funeral with a deafening fart blast. Your finicky party member voices dissatisfaction about the meal that she’s already completely finished (10). It’s passive aggressive; it’s like she’s saying she took the high road by tolerating the restaurant’s ineptitude. In the waiter’s mind though he’s merely wishing she’d left something to “fix” so he could return to the kitchen and top it off her selection with a thorough dusting of pube trimmings.
The game is the game; customers gonna bitch and waiters gonna hate.