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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rice Tragedy at Table 16

Maybe kids have been playing it good for Santa the last few weeks, because I haven't had any horrible children to deal with. But re-reading this posts reminds me that now that Christmas is over and the Elf on the Shelf is gone, kids will be back to their horrible ways any minute now.

Obviously, any post having to do with children really touches some nerves. I'm referring to the post about children being banned at a restaurant which received over forty comments and 1,500 hits. There were some good points made on both sides of the argument. I was almost convinced that maybe a restaurant didn't have the right to ban children but then a couple showed up to work last night with their two-year old son. Thank you, couple, for reminding me why I bow down to the greatness of any restaurant owner/manager who says, "Take your kid and shove it."

The lovely young family were very kind and polite. Without any hesitation, they ordered a glass of wine, a beer, some calamari and two roasted chicken breasts. They did not order for their son. I assumed that were going to let him eat off of their plates. I wish. As soon as I dropped off the chicken, they asked for their check because they said they didn't know how long the kid was going to remain being so calm. "I totally understand, I said. As I printed their check, I thought about how conscientious they were being. They wanted to be able to make a quick getaway if he started to act a fool and I really appreciated it. They gobbled down their chicken and bolted out surprisingly fast. I thanked them as they breezed past me at the bar and I headed back to clear the table. What was waiting for me was a shocking mess.

I thought the parents were both humans but I now realize they must have been made of grains, for they had produced a spawn made of white rice. The kid had left piles of rice all over the place. I didn't even serve them rice. Is rice the new Cheerios? There was enough rice on the floor to make a dozen California rolls. It looked like a rice ball had exploded. Or maybe a rice and bean burrito, hold the beans, had thrown up. It looked like the monkey cage at the zoo. When I was kid, I went to the Houston Zoo once and saw a monkey taking his own crap and throwing it all over the place. Was this kid pooping out rice and doing his best chimpanzee impersonation? There was rice everywhere. On the table, in the booth on both sides, on the floor, under the table next to the booth. There was probably some on the ceiling but I refused to let myself look up to see because then I would be responsible for cleaning it. No wonder they left the restaurant so fast. They were ashamed of the Terror of Rice that was happening at table 16.

I went to get the broom and dustpan and started sweeping it all up. Have you ever tried to sweep up cooked rice? It doesn't sweep. It sticks to the floor and the broom and just moves from one spot to another refusing to go into the dustpan. The table next to Rice Hell gave me a look that said one of two things: "I'm sorry you have to clean up after that messy kid" or "I'm sorry about your whole life choice situation." One of the women at the sympathetic booth was very pregnant and it was hard for me to not tell her something like "You'd better not become one of these kind of hateful parents who let their kids do whatever they fucking want in a restaurant." (By the way, when Preggo ordered her hamburger she made sure to to tell me three times that it needed to be very well done because she was pregnant. As if I care why she wants her burger well done. And as if I couldn't tell she was pregnant. I think elephants gestate for less time than this woman. Her baby's arm was practically hanging out of her vagina trying to grab a french fry.)

Mr. and Mrs. Rice Paddy had a check that was $63.00 and they left me a $12 tip which was right at 20%. However, when I have to get on my knees under a table with a roll of paper towels, I expect more than 20%, people. My knees are weak and it takes a lot of effort to get on them. (And no I am not talking about when I get on my knees under a table with a roll of paper towels to give a blow job. That is 30%, thank you very much.) Cleaning up enough rice to feed a Chinese family of four deserves at least a 25% tip and also a "really sorry about the mess" acknowledgment. So ban children under the age of six? Bring it on.

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Anonymous said...

I'm with you! I'm all for a ban. Maybe not a total ban but, at the very least, a "childless night" of some kind.

On the other hand, I'd rather dine at a table next to a kid that's quietly spilling rice than a kid that's screaming his ass off.

30%, huh?

Mark W said...

I think the rule should be that if your order is taken and delivered at the counter, children may eat there. If a person has to come to your table to take your order and bring you your food, children should not be allowed. If you order your food at the counter, but the food is brought to you and beverage service is done at the table, then children over the age of 16 may dine.

clkindy said...

As a mother of two and grandma to one of the most wonderful grandson ever, I must say, I have NO patience for screaming children in restaurants. I will say when my children were little and we went out to eat, they were expected to act right, and did. I have even been complimented for how well behaved they were. However, it took some work to get to that point, if I thought even for a moment a tantrum was coming on, I picked the child up, took them out and explained why we were out there. I really feel parents set the tone for how a child acts. Of course as infants who cannot reason as of yet, I really don't recall being out during a time where they would be hungry or ill. If we ate out at that age they were sleeping quietly next to us or at grandmas. Now that I have aged, I find myself gritting my teeth at the scream of child in a restaurant. How can a parent sit, knowing their child is disturbing others is beyond me. Would I patronize an establishment that has banned children? Absolutely.

Kala said...

At least it wasn't diaper filling. Luckily it wasn't my table but one of my co-worker's tables had a little girl who ripped apart the diaper she was wearing (luckily it was clean). The mother did not attempt to clean or apologize for her child.

bxsweetiek said...

I'm a mom of a 1 yr old and a waitress. And I hate when kids come in where I work. However, I don't believe in a ban because my daughter is well behaved and should be allowed to eat wherever. I do believe there should be a mandatory 25% gratuity added to the check for having to clean up after anyone's child. (kinda like a mandatory gratuity added for 8 people or more) I tip usually 25-30% AND I usually clean up any mess she makes. I just wish people understood how annoying and messy MOST children (not all) are. And appreciate what a pain it is to clean up!

JoeinVegas said...

30% huh?

Not being the one that cleans up, I too would rather have a rice child than a screamer sitting in the room. But I too go for the kid ban at 'better' restaurants. (ones with wait staff)

Jen said...

Your rice debacle sounds like the macaroni and cheese explosion of 2011 I had at one of my tables. My busser walked up, looked at it, said something in spanish(im sure it wasnt very nice)and walked away.I imagine cleaning up cooked rice is the same as macaroni and cheese. As for the kid issue, Im torn. I enjoy the well behaved kids that come in but to be honest, I would rather cut my right arm off and possibly an ear than work Kids Eat Free night.

Thank you for your blog. I laugh everytime I read it, and I feel better knowing there are others who share in the suffrage that is the service industry!

Biki said...

What I'd like to know is why parents dont make their kids behave? Way back when my boys were little, we went to Hawaii. Usually we are lunches out and dinners at the condo. But it was my b'day, so we went out. The hostess's face fell to the basement level when we walked in with 4 little boys. yes, 4. At the end of dinner, she brought out a slice of pie for the boys to share. She said the pie was free, from the entire waitstaff because our kids were well mannered, and stayed seated the entire meal. Unlike several other tables with children.

It can be done, but it seems as though people are just lazy now.

If its a nice restaurant, what most ppl would term "romantic" then no kids unless they are 16+

Anonymous said...

Where were you when I was a waitress? Reading your blog brings back memories I can now laugh about.

Anonymous said...

Where I work, people love to let there kids throw up at the table and make the servers clean it up. Or the child pukes on the floor while they are leaving. Of course the parents don't stop and ask to try to clean it them selves, so the servers have to clean it. Luckily I've never been that server ( knock on wood). The day I have to clean up vomit is the day I'll quit my job.