A Tale Of Two Garths. Chapter Fourteen. Spit and Stilettos.
I am so weeded! I thought to myself as the hostess at Stanley’s sat me yet another table. What is that, 11 tables? It’s okay… I can do this, I told myself as I dumped off a pile of menus into the menu slot next to the kitchen and dropped off some food orders to the cooks. The trick was not to order all the food at once. I knew if I could stagger the orders my food should keep coming up with a couple of minutes in between orders to refill drinks. I had been working in the resturant business for many years and had this down to a science. It was my fault I was in this perdiciment in the first place. I was one of the closers that night and I was desperate for some cash so I sweet-talked the manager into letting everyone go early leaving only me on the floor. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but I guess there was some sort of convention in town that had heard about Stanley’s famous Chinese Chicken Salads because the customers were just rolling in.
I was turning the corner with a tray full of drinks when the hostess sat another table. Give me a break! Doesn’t anyone want to sit at the bar? Luckily the hostess was doing a pretty good job keeping all the tables in one area so keeping up wasn’t too difficult. Just as I had dropped off another round of food to one table and a round of drinks to another I approached the table that has just been sat.
“Hi guys, can I start you off with some drinks?” I asked the two good-looking 40 something men.
“I forgot my glasses and can’t read the menu. Can you read it to me?” The man on the left asked me.
“The whole menu?” I asked him back while looking around at the other 11 tables and just picturing their food sitting under the heat lamps as I sat down and read this guy a bed time story.
“Yes,” He replied.
“I can tell you we have an amazing Chinese Chicken Salad, and if you don’t like that our Rotisserie Chicken is also really popular.”
“But what else do you have?” he went on. I could see that Mr. Magoo was not going to give up on his quest to have me read him the menu. That’s when I noticed the guy he was with had a pair of glasses on.
“Sir, I would love to read you the menu. But as you can see, we are really busy right now and I’m the only server on the floor. I noticed your friend here is wearing his glasses. Maybe he could read you the menu,” I said while motioning to the man who was smart enough not to leave the comforts of home without his glasses. My internal timer started buzzing, letting me know that table 3’s food was probably ready at this point. This conversation had already taken way too long and Blindy Mc Blind was throwing me off my groove.
“Why don’t I give you gentlemen a couple of minutes to look over the menu and I’ll be right back,” I told them as I made a beeline for the kitchen.
Just as I suspected, I had food up all over the damn place and one pissed off head cook.
“Stacy! Your food is up!” the head cook scolded me. A little back-story on our kitchen staff. Most of them were wonderful, but some of them could be real assholes when they wanted to be. This was Martin’s night behind the window. Martin, (pronounced Marteen) and I had gone round and round in the past. He was a machismo Hispanic man and I was a tall woman who wasn’t going to take his shit. The problem with the back of the house was that they didn’t understand that we really didn’t have any power. So when someone ordered something totally bizarre and off the menu, they would take it out on us. One time I ordered a half a Chinese Chicken Salad for myself and they told me they couldn’t make that. So then I ordered a Chinese Chicken salad in a smaller bowl. After about 10 minutes of mindless yelling they finally gave me what I asked for but made me pay full price for it.
“I just don’t want to waste the food you asshole!” I ended up yelling as I took my small salad out to the bar so I could eat with the other serves that had been abused by the cooks that day. Needless to say Martin and I would get into some ugly fights that would usually result in him doing what I wanted in the first place and him being pissed off about it and taking it out on me for the rest of the shift.
“I know Martin, get off my ass!” I yelled back at him as I grabbed my plates out of the window and headed back towards the dining room.
“Habejksjfls fkls flsjfls Grandota dlakdsjfs gsd…” I heard behind me. I didn’t know what he was saying but I knew they called me Grandota so I knew he was talking about me. One day I’m going to get him deported I swear it.
There I was running all over the damn place. Food, food, drinks, checks. I was flying through the restaurant trying to make up for the time I had spent with the poster child for the Braille Institute Of America and our stupid conversation about me reading him the menu. After I had caught up by getting all my food out, and grabbing my cocktails I had just enough time to flip Martin the bird before I had to go back to the “Read me the Menu” table.
“Have you decided what you would like to eat?” I said with a smile. That’s when Mr. Magoo took his first two fingers of his right hand and firmly placed them on top of the menu and slid it aggressively across the table at me.
“Read it to me,” he said as if I worked for him personally. His friend just sat there in silence. I then took the first two fingers of my right hand and placed them on the menu and aggressively slid it back across the table towards him never dropping eye contact.
“I want to see your manager,” he said.
*Sigh* “Fine by me,” I said as I walked towards the office shaking my head and cursing under my breath.
I walked into the manager’s office to get my manager Steve who was counting out the server’s checks for the day.
“Steve, table 13 wants to see you.”
“What did you do?” he asked, as he looked at me in all his famously gay perfection.
“Why would you automatically assume it was something I did?” I asked. He just raised his eyebrows. Steve knew me pretty well.
“Fine,” I started. “I refused to read him the menu.”
“He wanted you to read him the menu?” he asked me looking at me with total disgust like I had just told him I thought camel toes on guys were all the rage.
“I have 12 tables out there. Well 9 now. Three of them paid. I don’t have time to read him the menu.” But I did have time to sit in the back and talk shit on the guy with Steve for 5 minutes. Hey, we all have our priorities in life. Steve just sighed and got up to go out and face the stupidity. I loved Steve. He was the best manager because he had been a server himself for years and knew what we were all dealing with. He had more love for us than he did for the customers. Unfortunately the higher ups in Stanley’s didn’t feel the same about their employees. One day one customer went completely off her rocker and cried racism because we didn’t have an open table on the highly coveted and highly packed back patio. It didn’t matter if she was black, white, brown, blue, green, or pink. No tables on the patio meant no tables on the patio. They were all taken.
“You don’t know who I am. I’m a model,” she started yelling. Not a very good one because you’re right, I don’t know who you are. Then she proceeded to take her shoe off and attack Steve with the stiletto end of it and then she spit on him. She did this in front of a huge group of customers and employees also known as witnesses. But when she threatened to sue, Stanley’s chose to pay her off instead of defending Steve. Steve left us soon after that. I can’t say I blame him. Rewarding someone for bad behavior only ensures that they exhibit more bad behavior. I’m fairly certain that woman is probably terrorizing restaurants all over the LA area, and spitting on people as we speak.
So Steve now had to deal with this jackoff, who, if he had just played by the rules, would probably be eating by now.
“Hello gentleman, I’m Steve the manager. How can I help you?” Steve asked with his customary “I hate these people” painted on smile.
“Yes, I don’t have my glasses with me and I can’t read the menu. I asked your waitress if she could read it to me…” I could only hear some of the conversation as I was walking by clearing plates off of other tables and dropping off checks and change.
“Why didn’t you just have your friend read you the menu?” I heard Steve say as I walked by.
“BAH” I blurted out as I ran away from the restaurants current hot spot as quickly as I could. Before I knew it both men were getting up from the table and walking out. Mr. Magoo looked pissed and his friend looked irritated and hungry. I walked back towards the kitchen and ran into Steve waiting for me in the service station where we both laughed at what a dick the guy was being.
For the rest of the night we pretended we were blind and would run into walls and each other. We both thought we were witty and hysterical. Martin on the other hand didn’t think we were very funny at all. Especially when I would walk into the kitchen screaming his name while grabbing his face.
“MARTIN! IS THAT YOU?”
“Pinche Loca,” he said looking his usually pissed off self.
“No habla espanol Marten. Pinche Indio.” Stupid Martin. Even with all our fighting we ended up being friends and I ended up being one of his favorite servers. I think calling him a fucking Indian was what did it. I have no idea what they have against Indians I just know that they liked to use that word to insult each other. Maybe I should have gotten an English to Spanish dictionary and had Martin read it to me. I think he would have liked that.
To be continued…
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