Thursday, 14 August 2008

Waiter, comedian, marriage counsellor.....

So there I was at work one Tuesday evening a year or two ago. It had been a fairly happy little evening so far with little or nothing to report. The customers were cooperative and pleasant and I was in surprisingly good form. I was skipping around the restaurant like that little girl at the end of Little House on the Prairie, my imaginary hair flopping about as I weaved my way through the tables delivering joy and happiness (steak and champ actually) to all who wanted it. The birds were tweeting and the chefs were laughing.

All was well.

It felt good to be alive.

This is of course a far cry from my usual feelings of begrudgery and cynicism and the constant desire to run amok with a blunt instrument had itself been blunted.

not in my restaurant you don't

A new table arrived. A seemingly delightful couple, probably both in their mid to late forties. New people thought I, how tremendous. I practically hugged them such was my excitement. I was starting to creep myself out and wondered if my pre shift espresso had been spiked with something.

"You're not booked? Oh don't worry, come on ahead this way" and I lead them to a lovely table I wouldn't normally give to unreserved tables of two. Christ I sometimes barely use actual words to unreserved tables.

"Hey can I get you guys some drinks?" said the, worryingly, peppy Manuel.

"Vadka, large and coke. Nat skinny coke, ordinary coke" said the lovely chap from behind his menu.

"Ah'll order me own then" says the lovely lady peering over the top of her menu at where her dining companions eyes would be if she could see them through the menu.

"You do dat der" he responded without taking his eyes off the menu.

"Pine af harp" she barked.

These two were ruining my Tuesday. But I headed to the bar to get their vadka and pint of harp without commenting. Maybe they needed a moment to let whatever was annoying them dissipate.

I delivered their drinks with ordinary coke as requested and checked to see if they were ready to order. Their menus were flat on the table but there was still no cross table communication. She was hammering out a text message on her mobile phone, something told me it didn't read, "Out 4 dnr, havn a gr8 time. C u sn. xo." Probably more like, "He's a bstrd"

"Aye just two schteaks, well done like awnd chips, no sauce." I wrote down this challenging order and then turned to the woman and asked her what she wanted. I couldn't resist.

"What?" she snapped. She looked at me as if I was a total moron. Distracting her from her texting appeared to have been a mistake. She returned to it after giving me a very dirty look.

I sent her a text in my mind, "FU"

"NO, here mate, dat's fer the two af us like, I couldn't eat two ofvem." interjected yer man.

"Yes sir, just a little joke." I wasn't sure if they just didn't get it or just weren't in the mood for my witty(?) repartee.

I placed their order and asked the chefs to get it done asap as I didn't want these munters hanging around the restaurant all night with their stinking attitude ruining my Tuesday buzz. I headed off to check my other tables but my buzz was indeed lower than before. My skip from earlier was becoming a dander. But before I could even set off yer man was right behind me with his empty vadka glass.

"Gi us a nuver one of those, mate." He was doing that really annoying shaky glass thing that people do when they want another drink. Must see if that works in the supermarket, you know walk in with an empty tin of beans, shake it whilst making a stupid face and see if someone brings me a new one. Bet they fucking don't.

"Certainly, mate. I'll bring it down for you in a moment."

"Schweet" says he and off he heads for a smoke.

"I'm not your fucking mate, mate" thought I but never actually said, obviously. I left the drink on their table but before I could even lift my hand from the glass yer woman, clearly annoyed at the lack of more booze for her asks,

"Did he nat get me one?"

"Eh no but..." I was about to ask her if she wanted another pint.

"...the fat fucking prick." Oh crikey mummy.

"Don't worry I'll get you another now." I said trying to calm her down.

Her fine collection of Elizabeth Duke "gold" jewelry was rattling like a train as she hit the text messaging again. He wasn't back by the time I delivered her second drink. But we - customers, chefs, people in other buildings, all knew when he was back.

"WHY THE fuck DIDN'T YOU GET ME ANUVER PINT YI FAT prick." She thankfully managed a bit of audio control on the swear words. Which is nice.

Happy Tuesday was now over. Done. Gone. History. I knew it couldn't last. A battle raged between them, all verbal I should add. There was pointing of yellow fingers (him) and rattling of golden arms (her). Oh this wasn't fucking cool, not cool at all.

Their behaviour was garnering a few worrying looks from the other guests. If people wanted this sort of entertainment over dinner they only have to put on their favourite soap opera, they tend to not want it when they are out.

Someone needed to step in. Guess who?

I normally have no problem with telling people to lower their voice and what have you but these two didn't look like the cared about the social niceties of dining out. I feared for my pretty face.

"Sorry folks, can I ask you to keep your voices down please. You are disturbing the other guests." There was fear in my voice. Customers can smell fear, much like dogs.

"What?..." Says yer man, "I could nae give fuck. Anyways it's nat me it's her."

"Sir, it's both of you and like I say it is disturbing the other guests." I really didn't want to get into a debate about it.

"Who d'fuck youse talking to?" Please be talking to him, please be talking to him, please be talking to him.

No, she was talking to me.

"Where d'fucks out food? Telling us to be quiet and you haven't even served our fucking schteaks yet. Cheeky...."

"Aye dats right, where is ar food?"

They smiled at each other big yellowy brown smiles. She put her phone away, he put his phone away, they took big gulps of booze. Harmony for the first time.

I slowly backed away. This was a result, not what I expected, but a result all the same. Focus you ire on me if you must, but just stop shouting.

And they did. There was no more shouting, just dirty looks for me and some of the other tables and the moment they finished they left. He threw some money on the table and they two of them walked out together all smug looking as if everybody else was mental.

I'm like a marriage counsellor sometimes........

19 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

eguinan said...

Now *these* fucks are the types whose soup I'd spit in (if I were in a position to do such a thing of course...).

I may have asked you this before, but HOW ON EARTH do you put up with it?

Manuel said...

eguinan: you'd think I wouldn't be shocked anymore, you'd think I'd be used to it....but events like that just take your breath away......I swear and smoke a lot......it's the only way....

bendersbetterbrother said...

I sent them in too.

Manuel said...

bbb: two years ago? before we"met'? now that's dedication!

savannah said...

you are impressive, sugar! i swear, i would have been tempted to toss them out immediately! ok, in my mind, i would have, but in reality, i would have found the manager or you!

xoxoxo

note to self: nevah evah cross BBB - he knows people

Manuel said...

savannah: spreading love and bringing people together through fear and the need for a quiet life....

Silverstar said...

This is precisely why cops hate to answer domestic violence calls. Inevitably, the parties quit bashing on each other and turn on the cop. Also why I'm not married.

Melissa said...

Shame on them for taking the spring out of your step!

Imagine what their spawn is like. Scary.

The Idle Wanderer said...

"I placed their order and asked the chefs to get it done asap as I didn't want these munters hanging around the restaurant all night with their stinking attitude ruining my Tuesday buzz."

Superb.

These wrongun's are an odd bunch though. Never can see when their behaviour is out of line.

Manuel said...

silverstar: it's a wise position to adopt....

melissa: oh what a frightening thought.....hideous I'm sure....

wanderer: but the at least the tommy hillfinger sweaters are advanced warning of what to expect.....

Conan Drumm said...

I like that she first referred to him as a fat prick and then called him a fat prick to his face. Consistency like that can be hard to find, like a good soup. I'd say they're very happy.

redleeroy said...

how the well done steaks did not end up down the front of your pants before they hit the plate is a mystery to me. Also I think some sort of award is due for both bringing them closer together.....maybe a Friday night off?

Donal said...

I hope that should we ever meet- you shall have long pigtails just like the girl from little house on the prairie!

Crispy said...

Wayne and Waynettea Slob spring to mind, was she sporting a fine velour tracky to match her Elizabeth Duke bling!?

sheepworrier said...

I think I was stuck on a plane to barcelona with the same couple. Complete fucktards they were.

Medbh said...

I find that generational custom where men order for women most disconcerting. I was tending bar once and this woman in her early forties asked her boyfriend if she could have another beer.
I shuddered.

Maxi Cane said...

I would have been resisting the urge to ask him just as loudly:

"Where's your girlfriend tonight, sir?"

Then sit back and enjoy!

Caro said...

Your transcription of the accent is excellent!

Heh heh to Maxi Cane.

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