Just as I was about to finish a particularly trying shift, the hostess sat me with a party of three guuurl-friends and two small children.
"Hi how are....," I began
Sharmeeka interrupted by putting her index finger directly in my face.
"You know how long we been waitin?" she said, head bobbin', arms folded, sass simmerin'.
"No," I replied. "But I'll bet my dirty apron you're about to tell me."
"We waited for almost...UH HOUR...for a table!"
You're kidding. At a popular restaurant? On a Saturday night? You had to WAIT? I'd sue.
"Yes, that's pretty typical for a Saturday night," I said.
"UHHHH WRONG," she said. I could see Whitney Houston was about to make an appearance, drug-addled crazy-speak, hand gestures and all. "No no no no no no no no no no NO no no no no. When I say, 'We waited for almost an hour,' you say 'Oh-I'm-so-SOR-ry.'"
"Oh," I replied. "Anything to drink?"
Sharmeeka's head spun as she gestured to her friends with her fingers.
"UH...HA...There goes HIS tip," she said.
And I had such high hopes.
Before I could say something witty, Sharmeeka's young daughter began screaming in her high chair, no doubt tired and hungry. It was, after all, almost midnight in a loud bar.
"Damn, would you SHUT UP ALREADY!!!!" Sharmeeka screamed, only making her daughter cry harder.
Because it had been a long night, replete with tacky dressers, stupid customers and bad tippers, I knew my fuse was especially short. So I told the group, "I'll be back when you're ready to order," and walked off.
At this moment, the hostess informed me that I was "cut," which means the opening servers are through for the night because the restaurant has died down. It's my absolute FAVORITE thing to hear, mostly because it means I can transfer all my current tables to the closing server....
So with that, I was done with Sharmeeka, her finger gestures and her screaming children. I let the next server take over and I was out the door.
But I'd love to rant about a few things, if you'll allow me.
1) Why should *I* apologize for how long you've been waiting for a table? Do I control the influx of people on a Saturday night? Is it my fault you were too stupid to make a reservation? With people like you (and by "people like you" I refer to anyone with a sense of entitlement), if I apologize for that, I'll be apologizing for everything else you complain about during the shift. And you will literally complain about everything else in hopes of a free meal and an ass-kissing from the manager. It's not my fault you engaged in a common American phenomenon -- exercising patience -- and the only person to whom I'm remotely tempted to apologize is your poor, screaming daughter. God knows she was already born with strikes against her courtesy of your parenting.
2) What kind of mother brings her small children to a BAR at midnight on a Saturday night? Did your screaming kids disrupt your night out, causing you to berate them in public? Then hire a babysitter and don't drag them to a nighttime establishment where men are groping Armenian prostitutes in public and where Armenian prostitutes are groping their coke stashes in the restroom.
3) You're going to threaten me with no tip? That's not how this works. I don't tremble in fear of your dangling purse strings and I sure as Hell don't bow down and play jester because you might leave a tip. I don't need your tip. Your bill will amount to nothing, and I'd rather sacrifice the maximum earning potential of five extra dollars in lieu of treating you how no doubt EVERY SINGLE PERSON YOU ENCOUNTER wants to treat you -- like the disrespectful, classless, entitled drain on society you are. So take your tip and purchase some birth control.
That's all. I feel better.
*"Waiter rant" is a new recurring category in which I will tell the usual restaurant tale but will follow it up with searing, unfiltered commentary. Have a blessed day.