If you want to instantly find yourself on your server's hit list, wave your hand in the air like a charismatic Jehovah's Witness when you need a water refill (or a side of dressing, or an extra napkin, or some other tedious accoutrement) and see what kind of reaction you get.
I promise that NOTHING you need merits this obnoxious gesture, a symbol of self-entitlement and high maintenance. You're not drowning, you're not dying, you're not on fire (yet...). I'll check on you soon enough, as it IS my job. That annoyed look on my face as I race past your table, with 12 plates stacked in my arms, ignoring your salute to Hitler? That looks means I'M BUSY!!!
In a shocking, unconventional ploy to pad my pocketbook, I've done something really crazy: I've taken other tables besides yours! Yes, those polite people waiting patiently around you? With NO hands in the air? Those are my customers, too.
But I digress to today's story. I can't tell you why a hand in the air frosts my cookies so, but it does.
On one recent rainy LA night, towards the end of my shift -- i.e. when freedom is imminent, i.e. when I can practically taste the martini awaiting me at home -- a cougar woman from another server's section flagged me down.
This woman had the (current) cheekbones of Faye Dunaway, the eyes of Joan Rivers, and the desperate attempt at normalcy of Heidi Montag. In short, she looked like a Halloween mask.
She and her date were on the same side of the booth, sucking suckling each other.I walked by...12 plates stacked in my arms...and she flagged me down like I was her last chance of fleeing the sinking Lusitania.
"WHAT?" I asked, stopping dead in my tracks.
She raised her empty water glass and shook it as if she were Annie Sullivan teaching Helen Keller to speak.
"I take it you need more water?" I asked.
"Uhm....YEAH. And I've asked you five times," she said, slurring and spitting her way to incoherent speech.
"Uhm....I'm not your server," I countered. "You haven't asked me for a thing."
"Oh. Well you look like him."
"He's about 6'3"?" I asked. "Waivy hair down to his neck, perpetually startled look on his face? Yeah, we look nothing alike."
"Buddy," her sleazy date intervened, no doubt taking a brief respite from selling sweat shop workers online. "She just needs more water, ok?"
Before I could walk away, he added:
"Oh, and she'll take another apple martini."
I fled, so grateful they weren't in my section, and told their server that he needed to pay them a visit pronto.
"Can you just refill her water?" he asked.
I reluctantly obliged, grabbed the water pitcher, and returned to Cougar Town.
"Uhm...I still need more water!" she said.
What do you think is in this pitcher, you reptilian bitch? Juvederm?
Sleazy protested, "Hey, I thought I ordered an app..."
"TELL YOUR SERVER!" I shouted as I made a mad dash away from the jungle.
I clocked out, stripped to a T-shirt and jeans, and made my escape. My exit wouldn't have been complete without one last raise of the hand from Mizz Cougar, a raise of the hand that I this time ignored with a smile. Once again (but only temporarily), free at least.