I found myself in a rather peculiar position recently, and I don't mean "waking up in my car at 5:12 a.m. next to a strange couple in a Yum Yum Donuts parking lot" peculiar.
A restaurant guest, who was being pleasant and warm to me, was being suuuuuch a bitch to her two perfectly lovely assistants.
Apparently, it was revealed minutes after they were seated, there'd been a miscommunication regarding rescheduling an appointment. They worked in a nearby casting office.
I was dropping off their waters and Diet Cokes when the boss said, "Do you know how nice it is that I'm even letting you still eat lunch?!?" She wasn't saying that playfully or at all in jest. She'd switched gears with Satanic agility.
Assistant 1, a demure and softspoken young girl, tripped over her own words apologizing, offering to have her meal boxed up and take a cab back to the restaurant.
The other assistant said nothing.
The boss, feigning warmth and patting herself on the back through her condescendingly sympathetic tone, said, "No no."
I'd stood there like I was watching an old episode of "Melrose Place," like the really great stuff in the third/fourth seasons when Heather Locklear, Kristin Davis and Courtney Thorne-Smith's characters all cross-hated one another because of Andrew "Do Something" Shue.
(Except that - these three in my section, bless their hearts - they were not attractive.)
"I think we are all set for now, thank you," Nice Boss told me with a smile.
I wanted to tell the girls that I understood, that I wanted to hate their boss on their behalf, and that if it were up to me she'd be shitting buckets for three straight days with the help from my friends in the kitchen.
But...the lady was directly kind to me. And I didn't know the entirety of the story regarding the appointment mishap, how often these girls messed up, etc. So I remained impartial.
I returned to see if they were ready to order. I'd clearly interrupted an awkward silence. They each ordered variations of the same salad, and more Diet Cokes. More caffeine to really soothe the tension, good idea.
Once I'd arrived with the food, the tension had returned, but via a different discussion. Assistant 2 had apparently made the egregious error of saying she did not care for Sandra Bullock's performance in "Gravity." Bad Boss was back, using the same bitchy, condescending tone, but this time implying that the assistant had no taste, attacking her for her opinion.
The first assistant remained silent.
I returned to the server's station, this time definitely siding with the assistants. Still, what could I do? The food had been served, all drinks refilled. She later paid with cash, so I couldn't use the whole "Sorry your card was declined" bit, which she would have likely blamed on the assistants.
But unless those two assistants were just completely hopeless, which neither of them appeared to be, they'd find a way to either get out, or at least get back (i.e., write a mean-spirited blog, etc.).