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Life is only what you wonder.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

"Waiter, There's A Fly In My Soup!"

"Not so loud, sir, or everyone will be wanting one!"

Sometimes things get weird.
Here's the story:

Along with my other tables I'm serving a party of ten at the restaurant. Everything was going fine, everybody's happy. The air is filled with the murmur of many conversations and the clinking of flatware against china plates.
Everyone in my section is satisfied (for the moment) and I duck into the Server Station to take a breather for a minute and that's when the dung hit the fan.

One of the party found the corpse of a small little gnat hidden amongst his Buffalo wings and started totally Kirking out about it.

(Let me just state for the record that this was not my fault. He had gotten the wings from the All-You-Can-Eat buffet, which means he himself had scooped up the fly -- along with his chicken -- onto his own plate.
I don't want anyone thinking I'd bring someone a plate of food with a nice juicy fly in it.
Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

"That is (expletive deleted) disgusting!" he shouted (among other things), rising to his feet and pointing at his plate.
He was being so loud you could hear him all over the restaurant without even trying.

Suddenly there was dead silence in the restaurant as all the guests stopped everything and stared at the scene this guy was making. You could have heard a pin drop.

When I heard the commotion I dashed right over.

"I want to see your manager NOW!" he barked at me.

"What's the problem, Sir?" I asked. I knew he was upset about something, but at this point I had no idea what it could be.

"Look at my Goddamn plate and you tell me what my (expletive deleted) problem is!!"

The rest of the party looked embarrassed, like they wanted to crawl under the table and the woman next to him (his wife?) was trying to calm him down, but he wasn't having none of that.

So the manager comes over, listens to him rant for a few minutes and then offers to comp his meal, but he says that isn't good enough and starts ranting again.

"You need to refund ALL our meals! We've ALL lost our appetites! I found a GODDAMN RODENT in my food!"

He's SCREAMING at this point, he's trembling, his face is all flushed, and the entire restaurant is spellbound watching the drama unfold.

It was only my inhuman self-control that kept me from saying, "Sir, a rodent is a mouse, gerbil, or hampster. That's an insect."
I can only imagine what would have happened if I had.

So the manager gives them a full refund and they just get up and leave.
I had a big mess to clean up and needless to say they didn't leave a tip. Even though, as I previously stated, none of it was my fault.

I could never imagine myself making a scene like that in a public place no matter what happened. There's a better way to handle something like that.
I mean, what would you have done?

I remember one time a woman in my section found a hair in her Caesar salad and she totally flipped out about it.
Let me explain that this woman had long, kinky, flame-red hair. (You've already figured out where I'm going with this, haven't you?)
When we examined the salad in the back, the hair that was in the salad was long, kinky, and flame-red.
I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but it was pretty obvious it was one of her own hairs she found.
She demanded a refund and of course we gave it to her, but I ask you, is it our fault this woman's hair was falling out?

Things like this shouldn't surprise me.
When you deal with the public, you need to prepare for the fact that every once in awhile you're going to have to deal with a crazy person.