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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Old Ladies Can Be Annoying

Everyone is born for a reason. Perhaps you were born to make a difference in the life of someone you have yet to meet or maybe your purpose in life is still being determined. Or it could be you were born simply to trap the baby-daddy in a relationship he didn't want because all he did was hook up with your mom one night at that club after she had too many Long Island Iced Teas followed by two Fuzzy Navels and a hit of poppers. Who knows? What I do know is this: the women who sat at table sixteen last week were born with the sole purpose of getting on my last fucking nerve. Mission accomplished, ladies.

Two old women came into the restaurant. I only call them that because they referred to themselves that way. They both had their hair in buns and they looked like they just popped in from the Amish flea market and needed a quick bite to eat before auditioning to be one of the little old ladies in The Producers. In truth, they were probably in their 50's, but they were the old kind of fifty-something, not the young cool hip fifty-something.

"Table for two, ladies?" I asked all chirpy and happy because that is my natural demeanor when wearing an apron.

Old Lady #1 cleared her throat and said, "Well, there are going to be three of us." Fine. No problem. I began leading her to a table but she stood still. I turned around to see what the problem was and she said, "One third of our party is not here yet." Well, I kinda figured that, Miss Pythagoras but thanks for the math lesson. Unless your friend is the Invisible Lady or you have her hiding in your back pocket, I assumed she wasn't here yet. I told them they could choose a table and sit wherever they wanted and I would bring them menus. This confused them.

They looked at each other and muttered back and forth, "Do you want to sit here or do you want to sit there or should we sit on the patio or inside? Oh my God I don't know what we should do." Old Lady #2 said, "Why don't we sit at that last booth?" to which Old Lady #1 replied, "But how will Old Lady #3 find us when she gets here if we sit all the way back there?"

Keep in mind this is a very small restaurant. It only has fourteen tables. It was ten minutes after we opened and there was no one else in the place. Unless Old Lady #3 was blind and/or retarded, she would easily find her friends.

After much discussion and thought, Old Lady #2 finally made the decision. Waking me up from my self-induced coma, she said, "We are going to sit at that back booth but if you see another woman come in who looks uncertain, that is our friend." So let me get this straight: if another old lady with her hair in a bun comes into the restaurant and tells me she is meeting two other old ladies who have their hair in buns, then she would be referring to you, is that it? Thanks. Got it.

By the time we eventually made it to table sixteen, it was time for me to color my roots again. They were so fucking slow, examining every table we passed as if it might be the one they should sit at instead. Before they sat down, Old Lady #1 said, "And who would we need to talk to in order to discuss the volume of the music? It's too loud and we want to be talk. We're old ladies and can't hear very well." Okay, you just fucking contradicted yourself, old lady. If you can't hear very well, then I should turn the music up, shouldn't I? Isn't the truth that you just don't like the Pandora 1980's music channel I created so that I could listen to the music of my youth while at work? Maybe she would have liked me to create a Pandora channel of music from her youth, but who in the hell wants to listen to an Andrew Sisters and Doris Day channel. (Okay, honestly, I would totally listen to that channel...) I agreed to turn down the music.

About ten minutes later I saw their friend come into the restaurant. Of course she immediately spied her friends and headed towards them. It was truly remarkable how she found them. It was like she was Christopher Fuckin' Columbus or something. She walked right to them like she knew where she was going. The bartender told me that she must have studied a map of the restaurant in advance or we decided she may have been equipped with a GPS because how else could she possibly have found her friends among all the empty tables and nobody else? The woman was a true super-sleuth with the nose of a bloodhound and the problem solving skills of Jessica Fletcher. It was amazing.

They stayed way too long and never said anything when I turned the music back up about fifteen minutes later. They were pretty self-sufficient after they got their food. Two of them had a glass of wine so that must have chilled them out. They were probably trashed and were going to leave the restaurant to go home and do some wild and crazy drunk old lady stuff like embroider pillows with with dirty sayings and can some peaches without sterilizing the lids first. They left me a good tip which I appreciated since they occupied my booth for so long. I will be ready for them the next time I see them. The booth will be prepped with a flare gun, some knitting needles and Pandora will be set to play the Top 40 hits of the turn of the century.

(And yes, they sat at table 16 even though there are only 14 tables in the restaurant. I don't know why there is no table 6 or 10 in the restaurant, but there isn't...)

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Chunky Mama said...

You are such a smartass.
I also love Doris Day. :)

ChiTown Girl said...

Let me start by saying, I HATE this about myself, however, I can't help being a stickler about details. You said this was a 14 table restaurant, but then the ladies chose Table 16. For the love of all that is holy, which is it?!

Ok, I feel much better. And, yes, of course you can ignore this. I don't actually expect a reply. ;-)


Jennifer said...

Whew, at least they weren't WWLs. (For you non-waiter-types, a WWL is the worst lunch customer ever. It stands for "Water With Lemon," and they come in groups of usually 3 or more demanding separate checks for their split plates and are too cheap to even order a lemonade or iced tea. Instead they ask for water with lemon and "extra lemons" and then they dump packs of Sweet-n-Low in their lemony water. Each one of their separate checks--for which each pays with her own credit card, which takes half your shift to run all the stupid cards individually--comes to $9.32, and each one of them invariably leaves you exactly one dollar.

Anonymous said...

I love you Bitchy Waiter... I really do, but I must say... a little proof-reading goes a long way...

Love, Me =]

The Bitchy Waiter said...

The table numbers in the restaurant are as follows:

1,2,3,4 and 5 and then 7,8 and 9 and then 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! I totally have a WWL friend!!! She's the cheapest person I know and I feel SO embarrassed for the $1-ish tip she leaves that I leave extra on mine!!! Why do people do that???

Aunty Pol said...

OMG..I so have to repost this to my blog with comments...thanks from a die hard 56 year old reader.

Waving from Houston.


Anonymous said...

A flare gun. What a lovely idea. I wonder if I could one past airport security?

Practical Parsimony said...

I was going to ask about the 14 tables and #16. But, you cleared that up, sort of. I can only assume that at some point there were at least 16 tables and two were removed without any renumbering. It makes sense! Really.

You are probably going to hate me, but I bring my own instant tea to put in the water I order. Why? Restaurant tea is usually horrendous. I drink decaffeinated and don't trust waiters who say they tea has no caffeine. Plus, tea left over night gets a fungus-y growth AND I hate tea from the refrigerator. I quit brewing tea when there was just me and throwing it away every night.

But, I never tip less than 15% and usually more. I also know that if I am using a coupon to tip on the price the meal would have been.

I cannot hear well. If music is loud, that drowns out voices. Surely, you knew that.

When they were confused and wanted to wait on their friend, I was expecting the friend was hipper, no bun, and wanted to make the

"[C]an peaches without sterilizing the lids first." HI-LAR-IOUS. We old ladies know how to live dangerously. Sometimes, I jaywalk.

Vicki said...

DUDE! I'm not that old and I know how to can--LOL! But I'm not like those crazy old bats who take a walk on the wild side and don't sterilize the lids--that's just crazy talk. ROFLMFAO!

I also like Doris Day and have some of her music on my iPod (I'm only 43 so she's not the music I listened to growing up.)

Jennifer--at the restaurant we own, we charge the cheapskates for the lemons with their water now...Paul saw them making their own lemonade one too many times and that was it! Like I tell my servers, if a customer complains then you ask them where the free lemon store is and I'll go get them and STOP charging them for the lemons. Those WWL people don't realize that it's not just the lemon that costs a restaurant's the server bringing them the drink, the filter for the water, the dishwasher having to wash the glass, etc...since we started charging for lemons we've noticed a sharp decrease in lemon usage. =D

I figured that you had 16 tables before and probably lost big deal...=)

Okay, have a great night! =)

akwaitress said...

Glad it'snot just us. The restaurant I work in has 15 tables and we have a table #16. What we don't have is a table #4.

Joanne said...

I remember when someone tagged along with a friend and me to HofP on Westheimer. We were regulars and had one waiter in who's section we would always sit (easy enough since there are only two sections). I had never seen the WWL trick, but he pulled this on us and showed us how he could make his own, explaining it like he'd discovered something as new as fire or the wheel. Really embarrassing, the drinks there were a buck. When he asked for more, our waiter told him they were all out of lemons. Hahaha
We made sure to never let him sit with us after that little lesson.

Maria said...

Great post!

Jennifer said...

Glad everyone liked the WWL story. I hate those bitches. I worked lunches at a large restaurant in Bethesda MD and they were a NIGHTMARE. I was head wait so I'd cut everyone early and run 10 or 12 tables by myself so I could make more money, and invariably as soon as I cut the last person a group of 6 WWLs would come in, each getting a salad with 85 substitutions and the dressing on the side (I had to get the dressings, so I had to go to the kitchen and ask them for ramekins and fill them all myself, then make a second trip back to put them on a tray). Then they run your ass off for "more dressing," "more lemons," then separate checks, etc., now I'm totally in the weeds because of these bitches. I learned quickly to give them the least attention of all my tables because even if I was the World's Best Waitress they were still going to hand me 6 different credit cards and leave me $1. So why bother?
I love love LOVE that Vicki charges for lemons at her restaurant. "If you tell me where the free lemon store is, I'll run and get you some." Also...the lemons are usually the ones left over from last night that have been sitting on the bar, unrefrigerated, after having been cut by a bacteria-laden knife on a disgusting unwashed cutting board. So if you want to make your own day-old cesspool fruit drink, have at it. I drink club soda and I tell them to never ever put a lemon or a lime in it, I've seen some nasty bar lemons. [shudder]

Erin said...

As a service worker for years, head waiters who cut everyone to suit their own paycheck are the absolute worst. The rest of your staff secretly hate you.

Erin said...

As a service worker for years, head waiters who cut everyone to suit their own paycheck are the absolute worst. The rest of your staff secretly hate you.