Don't ever tell me you're easy to wait on. I won't believe you. People who are easy to wait on don't have to advertise, just as people who aren't assholes don't have to constantly remind everyone they're not assholes. If you tell me you're easy to wait on, I know the next hour or so is going to have me reaching for my Midol martini (crushed Midol + Chopin vodka, it's divine, you should try it).
Recently, three polite people waited in my section for their fourth to arrive. They waited, and waited, and waited. They apologized for the delay. Finally, the tardy Matthew arrived with all the positive energy and warmth of Ann Coulter at a Black Lives Matter rally. Matthew was a studio executive of some sort, no doubt the kind who relishes telling 30-something actresses they're going to shrivel up and die alone without a single credit because of their old age.
"Could everyone please scoot over?" he asked in tone saturated in fake warmth. "Sorry...I just can't deal with sitting on the far right, the sun can shine directly into someone else's face."
"Oh boy," I said. "May I bring you anything to drink?"
"What's the sodium level of your sparkling water?" he asked.
"I have no idea," I said.
"Well can you go get an idea from a manager?" he asked.
"Oh sure," I said.
I walked back to the kitchen, grabbed a french fry, drank an Arnold Palmer, chatted up the hot pastry chef, posted something on Facebook, waited two minutes, didn't get any likes so I deleted the Facebook post, then circled back to Matthew and his poor captives.
"No one knows the sodium level," I said.
"What? Oh, I don't want sparkling water anymore anyway," he said. "I'll try your fresh-squeezed lemonade."
"Our lemonade isn't fresh-sq....I'll be right back with that fresh-squeezed lemonade," I said.
"Great, thanks," he said. "I promise I'm not fussy; I'm actually super easy to wait on!!!"
With my head cocked to the side and a non-smile on my lips, I stared at him then walked off to fetch the freshly squeezed lemonade from its container of concentrate.
I set the drink in front of him. He stared at it as if I'd just placed a racially insensitive figurine on the table.
"Could you try this again but with maybe just, like, two ice cubes?" he asked with disdain. "I want to be able to actually savor the lemonade..."
"Oh sure," I said."
I refilled the lemonade and added a scant two ice cubes with my bare hand. I returned to the table, dreading Matthew's lunch order. His colleagues' orders were easy and brief, which meant there'd be fresh Hell with his.
"I'm not really in love with your menu, this place was NOT my first choice," he said pointedly, "What I really want is four of your sides instead of an entree. But I'd like three of them on the same plate and one of them on a side dish. Oh, and I want the cauliflower prepared like the broccoli, and the broccoli prepared like the cauliflower. Are the sweet potato fries gluten free? And I know this isn't a Mexican restaurant but can you do a chicken quesadilla, preferably on a gluten free tortilla?"
My soul left my body, flames filled my face, my neck started to shake my head around maniacally. I just laughed, walked off, downed a shot of rubbing alcohol and turned in the complicated order.
The food arrived.
"This...isn't quite what I pictured," he said. "Like, these just look like four sides, not a meal."
CONGRATULATIONS, you've correctly identified exactly what you ordered! Your prize is a life of everyone hating you!
"So, do you want something else?" I asked.
"I don't know......." he said with great pause. His companions weren't certain whether or not they should dig in yet, so we were all at a stand-still. "I'll just grab a salad back at the commissary. It's......fine......." he said, not fine.
"Would you like to try my cobb salad?" one of his co-workers asked timidly. "You might like it!"
He took a bite, a slow, slow bite. He swayed his head side to side. He tapped his fingers. He was going to dissect, diagnose and deliberate on that small morsel.
"You know, I actually think I like this salad!!" he told me. "I'll take one as well."
"Oh sure," I said, and started to walk off.
"But wait," he said, "I need to modify it just a bit..."