"Are you on the menu?", biting my tongue, buttered toast, Captain Obvious, common sense, diner nights, drunks, dry toast, Food, Humor, ignorant customers, midnight menu, midnight shift, restaurants, rude customers, sarcasm, things customers say, wheat toast
Some of the things customers say to me are simply…. Bewildering.
Welcome to the ‘Captain Obvious’ list.
Unless requested to be dry, any time a customer orders toast, we automatically butter it. The amount of people who ask me for dry toast is pretty low so on occasion, I accidentally put butter on toast which is supposed to be dry. If this happens, the customer usually points it out, and I ask them if they’d like me to make them new toast.
Just this morning, I was helping a day-shift lady with her tables and I buttered the toast. To be fair, it wasn’t my table so I had no idea until it was too late. The elderly couple pointed out my mistake. “I’m sorry,” I answered them. “Would you like me to make new toast?”
The woman looked up at me, and nodded her head. “Yes, we’d like new toast. Without any butter on it, please.” As I picked up the plate of toast, she some how found it necessary to add, “It’s wheat toast.”
In moments like that (which are WAY more common than you’d think) I find it rather difficult to not answer with sarcasm. “Oh, really? This is wheat toast? I simply could not tell by it’s light brown color. I thought it was a bagel this whole time! Thank you for pointing that out.”
Another favorite question of mine to hate: “Can I get anything on this menu?”
Keep in mind, the particular menu I use is small. It’s one page, with breakfast on the first side and sandwiches/deep fried foods on the other. The top of the menu even states: Menu served from midnight-6am. But, while biting my tongue, I often find myself thinking the same thing. “No, this is a list of foods that you can’t eat. I want you to stare at it and suffer, dreaming of the things I’ll never let you have. You can have the real menu once you start crying.”
Most servers can relate to this one: There’s always that one guy under the impression that he is really funny, when actually, he’s really just an ass. “Are you on the menu?” This question is usually followed by lots of laughter and either a sleazy stare that makes you feel dirty, or more sleazy attempts to be funny.
I -r-e-a-l-l-y- wish I could say something to that. Maybe… “Yes, this is a black market for sex slavery, you must have seen our ad in the local newspaper.” Unfortunately, the only thing I can really get away with is a disapproving look and to ask, “No, I’m not. Are you ready to order or should I come back in a few minutes?”
Another sleazy favorite: One of the omelet’s is labeled as a ‘three way omelet’. While I agree that the name could be better, I still don’t think it’s that hard to figure out. But! That doesn’t stop the slime-ball perverts. “A three way omelet. Is that when you bring out two girls to join me?”
“Is that two blondes and a brunette?”
“Do I get to pick which two girls I get?”
The list for that particular conversation could go on for miles. I’ve heard so many different versions of that joke, I could start a comedy club. If I wanted it to fail miserably… What’s worse is, I’ve yet to come up with any good rebuttals to that. All I can manage to do is shake my head in disgust and explain what it really is.
I can usually pick out these…. fun… tables as soon as they walk in the door. There is a sign near the front door which states: Please wait to be seated. Of course, for some reason that doesn’t seem to be clear enough. More than a few customers walk in, stare right at the sign, and then turn to me (or one of their friends if I’m across the room). “Do we just sit anywhere?”
“I don’t know. Can you re-read that sign outloud?” Oh, how I dream of working in a place where I can say these things…. I’ve heard of such a place. A restaurant where the theme is to actually have rude servers. I WOULD BE FANTASTIC THERE.
Especially when I verbally tell a customer at the door that they can follow me to their table, only to turn and find them still at the door. “Oh, are we supposed to follow you?”
“Did you decide to ignore me when I asked you to follow me? Or did something else catch your attention that was more important than listening to the person trying to lead you to the location of your future food?”
Generally, I check for drink orders before I take the food requests. “Can I start everyone out with something to drink?” There’s always someone during the shift who’s either impatient or not paying attention. Instead of telling me what they’ll take for a drink, they order their food instead. This is actually somewhat entertaining to me (despite being a big pet peeve), because I’ve come up with a few ways to let my sarcasm out without it being obvious.
My response is generally around the idea of: “That’s not a drink, silly.” Said with a laugh and head tilt, to look like I’m amused. Or, again with a laugh and forced smile, “We’re not at the food part yet. That comes after the drink part.” About 95% of the time, this occurs at a table with 3 or more people (at least, for me it does). The other people usually notice that their friend has answered my question wrong and relentlessly make fun of them. (Have I ever mentioned my customers are usually drunk? I have? Oh, well. Let me say it again. Most of my customers are drunk.) So half the time, I don’t even have to say anything. The other people at the table do it for me, and with much more bluntness than I can.
The only thing that bothers me more in those situations is when an entire table ignores my question about their drinks, and proceeds to order food all around. And then someone else speaks up before I can ask a second time. “Can we order some drinks?” (Imagine that being said with a snotty tone, as it usually is.)
Annnnnd that’s the story of how my simple list became a mildly lengthy rant… :)