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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Annoying Kid Story

Every time a child does something in my station that melts my heart a little bit, leave it to another child who will be a raging asshole and turn my heart harder than Paula Deen's arteries. Honestly, I don't hate the kids, it's their parents that I want to beat in the face with a pillowcase filled with salt and pepper shakers. Four top and one child. They roll in with the stroller and head right for the best booth in the restaurant; you know, the one next to the patio so they can park that fucking stroller right next to the door so that I have to walk around it every single time I need to go outside to tables 21 to 28. Real convenient. I watched them settle in and was surprised to see that they realized that the stroller was in the way, so they moved it to in front of the bathroom door. Yeah, that's better. The four adults sat down, but left the baby in the stroller over by the bathroom. I could understand if it was asleep, but this kid was full on awake and looking around like, "Why the fuck y'all bitches got me parked over here by the mother fucking toilet, yo?" I approached the table and quickly recognized an accent that told me they were from Europe; French or Danish or something. I remembered a news event from a several years ago where a couple from Denmark got into some hot water for leaving their baby in a stroller on the sidewalk while they ate inside at a Dallas BBQ restaurant. It was a cultural difference but the mother ended up suing the city and blah blah blah. I think the real crime in that situation was that someone was actually eating at Dallas BBQ's. That should be a life sentence of irritable bowel syndrome with no chance of parole.

After a few minutes, little Cheery Danish got tired of listening to people dropping their kids off at the pool and started hollering to get out of the stroller. They brought her over to the high chair I had lovingly placed at the head of the table and they started to order something for her to eat. "Do the home fries have peppers in them?" they asked. I let them know that they did in fact have some diced red peppers in them but they weren't too spicy. "Do they have salt?" was their next question. Of course they have salt. It's a freakin' potato. A potato without salt is like a margarita without tequila-why the fuck bother? "Oh, can you make a batch with no salt?" What do you think? It's not like we make the home fries per order. They are made in advance and get thrown onto the plate. Hell, no we can't go make a new batch just so you can have a sodium-free Cherry Danish. I told them it was impossible but I could make sure they didn't add any additional salt to the order and they were satisfied.

Two minutes later, I see Cherry Danish wandering around the back of the restaurant while her parents and friends were oblivious to various servers and a bus boy dodging her. If they weren't careful, Cherry Danish was going to get turned into crumb cake. After a couple of near misses, the dad finally got up to hold her. He walked her around the restaurant and took her to the patio to look at the plants. Once outside though, he quit paying attention and before I knew it she was standing in front of the patio door just waiting for someone to open it and send her flying onto the cobblestone sidewalk. What is with these parents? Maybe they were from Amsterdam and totally baked but it just seemed like they had no clue that their kid was in the way and possibly going to get hurt.

I rushed their food out to them so they could hurry up and eat and move on. The little girl sat in her high chair and was pretty good for the rest of the service with the exception of a few blood-curdling screams and an annoying habit of banging a spoon on the table while her parents laughed at how adorable it was. When they left, I went to see the damage under the table and found a good portion of the home fries on the floor underneath the high chair. I swept them up and gave thanks this brunch shift was coming to an end. It's rare that I work the brunch shift and it was a good reminder of why I don't like to do it. Too many kids, not a high enough check averages and being at work at 10:30 is too damn early. I punched out and went home feeling relived that it was over but I couldn't shake the feeling that a Cherry Danish would be better if it was toasted in the oven first and then left in Denmark.

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10 comments:

ChiTown Girl said...

And, let me guess, they didn't tip, right?

People like this piss me BIG time!!! One more reason I completely agree with the establishments that want to ban children. It's not really because of the kids, it's because their dumb ass parents can't be bothered with them. If you don't want to pay an ounce of attention to your child, leave her at home!!

Anonymous said...

This story makes me squirm. I was at a restaurant with my sister over the holiday break in December, and she let her toddler loose to walk around freely. My sister's back was to her kid. I could see the waiters and other people dodging her, but I was seated tightly against the wall with people on either side of me, so couldn't easily get up. I told my sister that she shouldn't let her daughter walk around like that. Her response: "Oh, she can't escape; the door is closed." Arghhhh!!

Mary A. said...

Now I want some danish. Cheese please.

Practical Parsimony said...

I don't think it is cute to let children wander around. Besides wandering in a place they can get hurt, they are in the servers' way. However, a kid toddling to my table where I am expected to suspend eating to have a conversation with the kid annoys me and just encourages the child. I HATE the parents who smile and think it is soooo cute that adults who feel they must converse with a 14 month old is appropriate for the time and place. I have started telling children to go back to their parents and to get into their chair. I don't care what the parents think.

I am sorry, but just because it is McDonald's or some other chain of fast food, roaming children are off the charts of what is right. Take them home and let them walk around YOUR house with sticky fingers, food dripping from their mouths and YOU talk to them. but, be careful not to teach them manners as you speak.

The parents are the ones at fault, not the children. Yes, parents, they will listen and mind. Just keep talking and let them run outside, not indoors.

Thomas said...

You say cultural, I say clueless. Maybe they thought you'd all be like family watching out for the little crumb picker. That would entitle you to voice your opinions on their slack parental skills. Otherwise you're babysitting, which means an extra $20 (per hr., 1 hr min.) plus tip. And what would happen if she disappeared, they sue the restaurant?

LS said...

Those sophisticated Europeans...

Practical Parsimony said...

Can't you quote a "Fire Marshall" saying blocking the entrance is not allowed? My daughter allowed her 2.5 yr old to run half a block ahead of her in Brooklyn, saying he would be okay as I was dismayed and in fear for his life. What if a car jumped the curb? What is one of the people carrying large bags or boxes whacked him and knocked him down? What if she lost sight of him for an instant and someome snatched him?

She thought I was too worrisome when I suggested she demand he stay withing an arm's reach. Well, she and her two siblings were not allowed to run so far away that I could not reach them with a giant step and grab, just in case of danger to themselves or if they were in the way of other persons. I watched others side-step and he zoomed along, never watching anything.

Sorry for the second post, but this is a sore spot of mine...parents who do not wish to control their children in public.

Haayls said...

This always happens whenever I go to an Old Country Buffet or Hometown Buffet or whatever. Little kids getting stir-crazy from having to sit in their seat for 5 freakin' minutes then running around the restaurant like it's a Chuck-E-Cheese. And since it's a buffet, it's not just the waiters' and waitresses' (or whatever they're called at buffets) problem either. I always have to make sure there's no kids coming so I don't drop my plate. :P

adoseoftlc said...

My husband is a server & hates Sunday nights at his restaurant: kids eat free. Very low tickets & VERY low tips.

Anonymous said...

Rest assured.there IS a special place for people who let small children run loose in restaurants in HELL!