I got my game back.....
Cows chew their cud for up to 8 hours a daySeriously put me in a room full of 40+ women, all giddy as teenagers, before they go and see The Osmonds' and I'm in my element. I didn't refer to any women as men, or forget to ring up any food. I didn't have to fight with anyone but if I had to I was ready. I'm an odd sort of waiter.
oh it's relevant...
oh it's relevant...
But that said it has been a bit weird this week. I seemed to have dipped a bit for a few days...
For example Tuesday night. I had a table of regulars in, a nice couple if a bit dull. He likes to chew his food, I mean really likes to chew his food. It can go on for minutes at a time. Each fork full is processed for like two or three minutes. It's almost hypnotic watching him, as I do from afar. She chats away to him as he sucks the very life from each morsel of food in front of him, He nods along, never for a moment missing even but one chewing action. This is a serious fucking drag for me as it means that each course takes an eternity. It's livable with if they are in early but on Tuesday they arrived in about a half hour before closing.
"Please have the soup. Please have the soup. Please have the soup. Please have the soup. Please have the soup" I chanted in my head as I approached the table to get their order. I reasoned that soup doesn't need to be chewed ergo it wouldn't, nay couldn't, take 40 minutes to eat their starters.
"I'll start with the soup." He said. I could have kissed his beardy wee face when he said that.
Starters delivered at 9.13pm.
Starters removed at, wait for it, (I fucking had to) 9.43pm!
Like how is that even possible? It must have been freezing by the time he scooped the last of it. Moments later the mains were delivered. The chefs were near in a state of apoplexy by the time I called the starters off. I was catatonic with rage by now myself. Mainly we were suffering from extreme hyperbole though.
The mains took the best part of an hour to eat. This was due in part to his extreme chewing but also by an unscheduled trip to the bathroom which took a very impressive 20 minutes. Not to be out done herself managed a good fifteen minutes in there too. All this when there was still food on their plates. I could feel my hair growing.
The restaurant was empty when they asked for liqueur coffees. I made them and served them in a state of anger, some of which was passive, but not all. My last table had left over an hour ago and I could have been at home tucked up in front of my Mac killing ancient hordes of Goths and Huns (Age of Empires). All my side work was complete with the very obvious exception of their table.
The minutes dragged. The minutes seemed to be going backwards. With each second I was growing more and more frustrated and angry. The thing is they are very "nice" people and I didn't want to rush them out. But I did want to get home and sometimes my happiness comes first. I reasoned that they had enjoyed a fair crack at it, meaning my hospitality, they had enjoyed their food and wine and their Irish Coffees all they needed to do now was piss off home.
I was approaching the table to clear the coffee glasses when himself got up to go to the toilet, again. Mother of fuckity fuck what was he doing in there, I thought, and I wasn't being rhetorical either. Yet another mammoth toilet visit of twenty minutes passed when I decided it was time to force the issue of the bill. I just left it on the table and told them we were closed.
It wasn't very pleasant but I had gone passed pleasant and onto a dark and nasty place called selfishness. I like it there.
Ten more minutes passed when they got up and meandered over to me with the bill and their credit card. I perked right up. Don't you just hate it when the waiter perks up when the cash is produced? I engaged them in a bit of chat as the card was processing.
"Folks you seem a bit quiet tonight, was everything okay?"
"Ah Manuel..." said she "....we were at a funeral today." It was at that point I realised they were indeed dressed for such an occasion, black suits and ties and what have you.
"No one too close I hope" I asked. I was thinking it was probably another waiter who had probably topped himself with the wait.
"Ah it was his mother." Said she as she clutched his hand, tears welling in their eyes "We came here as we knew you would look after us, and you did. Thank you." And she stuffed some money into my hand.
And off they went with, one holding the other up, lost in their grief.
And off I went feeling like a very very bad person.
Bad waiter, very bad waiter........