You Made Me Feel Dumb

My last table tonight was a group of 12 women and 1 man who just finished some religious function.  I was bone tired.  I worked all day and my feet were killing me, my right leg felt like it was undone at my hip, my back hurt and my lips were so chapped I thought they might crack if I smiled.  When they came in I had 5 other tables spread out across the restaurant and my brain had stopped working an hour earlier.  I really wanted to sit down in the wait station and either fall asleep or cry.  Maybe both.

Added to this, they all wanted separate tickets.  Usually, this isn’t a big deal, but tonight it was one more step in a day filled with too many steps.  I took them water and gave them ample time to look at the menu before I went to take their order.

The first woman ordered a dinner and asked if she could substitute the salad bar for the side dishes.  I said, “I’m sorry, but the salad bar can’t be substituted for the side dishes.  You can add it to your meal for $4.29 if you would like.”  She asked what the side dishes were.  I said, “They are listed at the top of your menu.  We have Cole slaw, potato salad, French fries, corn on the cob, baked beans, baked potatoes, new potatoes, onion rings for $1.99 extra or a tossed salad for $1.49 extra.”

The second woman ordered a sandwich and a tossed salad.

The third woman ordered a dinner and asked if she could substitute the salad bar for the side dishes.  I said, “I’m sorry, but the salad bar can’t be substituted for the side dishes.  You can add it to your meal for $4.29 if you would like.”  She asked what the side dishes were.  I said, “They are listed at the top of your menu.  We have Cole slaw, potato salad, French fries, corn on the cob, baked beans, baked potatoes, new potatoes, onion rings for $1.99 extra or a tossed salad for $1.49 extra.”

The fourth woman ordered a dinner and asked if she could substitute the salad bar for the side dishes.  I said, “NO!  THE SALAD BAR CANNOT BE SUBSTITUTED FOR THE SIDE DISHES!  YOU CAN ADD IT TO YOUR MEAL FOR $4.29 IF YOU WOULD LIKE.”  She asked what the side dishes were.  Very slowly and clearly I said, “They are listed at the top of your menu.  We have Cole slaw, potato salad, French fries, corn on the cob, baked beans, baked potatoes, new potatoes, onion rings for $1.99 extra or a tossed salad for $1.49 extra.”

The rest of the women ordered without incident and as I was gathering the menus the fourth woman said, “Can I tell you something?  I didn’t care for your tone of voice with me.  You hurt my feelings and made me feel dumb.”

My response was, “I am very sorry.  I didn’t mean to make you feel that way.  I thought perhaps you couldn’t hear me or that I was speaking too fast.  I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings in any way.”

What I wanted to say was:

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
  • Well Forrest, stupid is as stupid does.
  • If the shoe fits…
  • Holy fucked up shit, lady!  Clean the wax out of your ears and pay attention.  Even Jesus would get sick of repeating himself this many times.
  • I’ll bet people make you feel dumb all the time.
  • Sweetie, I didn’t make you FEEL dumb, you ARE dumb.

For crying out loud.  The average person has only so much patience.  I have less than the average person; something I’m not proud of.  You can’t expect people to not be exasperated when you blatantly don’t pay attention.   

After the restaurant was closed Cora and I laughed about, “You hurt my feelings and made me feel dumb.” until I cried.  Oh, if she only knew.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Catherine
    Apr 10, 2010 @ 23:56:55

    Brilliant. I am going to name someone I know, Forrest.

    Oh, the ridicule he will face.

    By the way, if I visit your restaurant can I swap the salad for a side order? And what are the side orders again?

    Sure, just this one time. Haha!

    Reply

  2. blogmella
    Apr 11, 2010 @ 01:16:47

    Haha! Fucking hell. Some Americans are like great big babies. The whole dialogue with the table of 12 sounded like a scene from Sesame Street, including the lady “sharing her feelings” at the end.

    Maybe I should have started singing the Barney theme…”I love you, you love me…” What a dumbass.

    Reply

  3. Bob
    Apr 11, 2010 @ 07:32:35

    What is “new potatoes”?

    Little red potatoes, boiled and served with butter. They are very sweet and tasty.

    Reply

  4. DarcKnyt
    Apr 11, 2010 @ 08:35:57

    You should have said any and all of the things on your list. You know what else? You should have started your speech with, “Oh, did I? Well, let’s see … what would JESUS DO?” and then rattle them all off. And at the end, just for good measure, added “Amen.”

    HAHAHA! I’ll bet her self esteem/assertiveness coach is proud of her.

    Or you could just have said “You felt dumb because you ARE dumb and made me feel bad and insulted too. I’ll promise to be nicer if you’ll promise to be smarter. Deal?”

    That was how I felt in a nutshell. Please listen to me! It is disrespectful and rude to make someone repeat the same thing over and over just because you can’t be bothered to listen. I know I’m paid to put up with shit and keep a smile on my face, but there are limits.

    I really want to know what she was doing when the other three (!) got their “Here are the sides” and “No you can’t have the salad bar” speeches?

    Talking and not paying one damned bit of attention. I expect that shit out of a bus of middle school kids, not from a group of women my age.

    Reply

  5. DarcsFalcon
    Apr 11, 2010 @ 13:08:24

    That’s just sad. I mean really. Why bother giving people a menu if they’re not even going to read it?

    That pisses me off. I have so many people who don’t even bother to look at their menu, instead they ask, “Whatcha got?” I want to punch them in the forehead.”

    And then whining! Oh my gosh! I might have asked, “Would you care for some cheese with that whine? It’s only $4.99 extra, just like the salad bar.”

    HAHAHAHA! I forgot that classic.

    Reply

  6. whatigotsofar
    Apr 12, 2010 @ 04:05:21

    There should be a law against splitting bills. One table, one bill. It should not be the restaurant’s responsibility. A group of people should be able to deal with it themselves. When a group all wants separate bills, that’s because people in that group don’t trust each other. And breaking bread with people whom you don’t trust isn’t worth it.

    Guys ask for separate checks only when they are on a business account, otherwise guys split the bill between themselves. The older women are, the more likely they are to want separate checks. I never ask for separate checks.

    This past Saturday, I went out for dinner with three friends. I just paid for the whole dinner and one friend gave me some cash. Don’t know if that was more or less than that friend should have paid, but that friend trusts me and I trust that friend. I can always have a meal with these friends and not worry if I don’t pay enough. They got me. As I got them.

    That’s the way it should be. When I go out to eat with friends we usually all order the same thing so it’s no big deal to divide the ticket.

    Reply

    • Bob
      Apr 12, 2010 @ 06:58:58

      Did the other two friends pay their share of the bill?

      There were 12 people in this group and they all wanted separate tickets. I think they all paid.

      Reply

  7. heif
    Apr 12, 2010 @ 15:46:47

    Haven’t these people ever been to a BBQ restaurant before? Do you think you would be frowned upon if you just told them you have all the usual BBQ side shit?

    I don’t know if they had ever been to a RESTAURANT before. It’s not hard to figure out what goes with BBQ…cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, corn, yeah the usual shit.

    Reply

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