From Zero to Livid

It’s no secret that I don’t like to be touched.  Co-workers ask permission before they hug and friends either pat me on the shoulder or tell me to “brace for impact ‘cuz you’re gonna get hugged.”  I don’t go all crazy if someone I know and trust touches me, but when strangers or people I don’t like (or a combination of the two) put their grubbies on me, I tend to go a little apeshit.

There’s this old guy who used to come in the restaurant quite a bit.  He seems harmless, but I know he’s not.  He was kicked out of a couple restaurants in town for “innocently” touching the servers.  Pawing by customers is never innocent.  It’s invasive and rude.  Just yesterday I realized I hadn’t seen him in a long time and I wondered if he’d (ahem) died.  Apparently not, because as I was taking an order from a table, Angel led him by me and he stopped to grab me from behind by both shoulders and whisper hello in my ear.

I bristled and went from pleasant to dropping multi-word F-bombs in about 3 seconds.  I completely wigged out in the waitstation, forgot my joy at getting my W2 early, as I raged at the cooler until it wanted to cry and told Boy Cook Jarrod he could go fuck himself for not wanting any of the cake I brought.  Dani and Angel looked at me as if I sprouted another head, but really, my first one was probably bad enough.

Every time I’ve had to wait on this guy I’ve forced all my energy outward, to form a barrier and repel the fool.  How I did not see him coming is beyond me.  I usually have a pretty good sense of stranger danger and step out of the way while grimacing smiling a warning.  As many times as I’ve waited on this jackass you’d think he would take the hint that I DON’T LIKE HIM, but I’ve come to realize that most people don’t have a clue.

In addition to being a creepy fuck, the guy is one of those original jokers…he shakes his coffee cup while I’m trying to pour, he requests a sack of money when I ask if he wants anything else, he tells me to give the bill to the government when I drop the ticket on his table.  He’s also the type of customer who is one step behind me…he asks for more coffee as I’m standing at his table with the pot in my hand, he asks me to take his plate as I’m reaching for it, he asks for the bill as I’m pulling it out of my folder.  He’s also they guy who looks up from his food and draws in a breath every time I walk by, which makes me stop to see if he wants anything, or he wanders around the restaurant, which makes me track him down to see what he wants.  It takes everything in my power not to crush his skull every time I hear his keys jingling.  Oh yeah, he wears a big freaking key ring with about 10,000 keys strapped to his belt.  The jangling is enough to make me claw out my eyeballs and stuff them in my ears.  Add one shrieking kid to the mix and I’m a facial tic away from justifiable homicide.

Bring it on!

It took half my shift to get the feeling of the creep’s hands off me and calm down enough that I wasn’t cussing at walls and throwing things.  He seriously needs to learn the difference between good touch (pawing the toothless hag sitting across from him) and bad touch (me) before I show him the error of his ways.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherri
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 06:09:29

    Oh, that creeps me out just thinking about it. The worst thing about old guys like that is they’re being “nice” and “funny” and “playful” so if you rant at them they’ll be all wide-eyed and hurt and you’ll look like an ass.

    Exactly. He’s being “nice” and I’m being a bitch.

    And I kind of wonder if there’s a creepy old guy school somewhere, because I’ve had a different one at every job I’ve ever had.

    HAHAHAHA! I never thought about it, but I think you’re right!


  2. wigsf
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 06:17:54

    Okay, I’ve been trying to come up with a composite of the worst possible customer for you to have at the restaurant. Tell me what you think about this guy.

    The guy smells like he pooped his pants.

    The guy is seated at your table. He asks you to read the menu to him. Then he asks what you recommend. Then he asks you to read the menu to him again because he “forget what you said.”

    He orders only a small side dish and a glass of water.

    He doesn’t eat the food, instead he pours it off his plate onto the floor beneath the table. He then walks over to the salad bar and loads up his plate with salad. He uses his hands, not the salad tongs to load up his plate. Every other time he reaches for a handful of salad, he looks at it in his hands then he puts it back down but in a different place, thus mixing all the different salad stuff. He occasionally stops to pick his nose or ears with his fingers.

    After being presented with the bill, he reaches for you and grabs you in between the legs. After you break free he says “I thought you were a guy.” Then he sprints out of the restaurant without having paid the bill.

    Am I close to being right?

    Dear Lord. I would either need hospitalization in the mental ward or I would be in jail. I totally lose my mind when I see people sampling off the salad bar or touching things with their hands. I was light headed while reading most of your comment and I might need to go lie down for a bit. Thanks.


    • Bob
      Jan 06, 2011 @ 07:32:37

      You are not right, you didn’t mention his visit to the washroom.

      Oh hell yeah. Don’t forget pooping on the floor.


  3. skippymom
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 06:41:46

    Completely off topic – but as someone who was forced to watch the “Exorcist” as a [right of passage] freshman at the University in the town it was filmed in I couldn’t read this post coherently.

    Linda Blair [in make-up and well, out of it] still scares the f*ck [sorry] out of me.

    And this is 20 years later. I hate that movie.

    Don’t scare me like that again.

    Sorry, but sometimes I feel as if I look like Linda Blair in makeup. Maybe I should carry that picture around and show customers what I look like on the inside.


  4. thelifeofjamie
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 08:09:05

    we used to have this guy who came in that we called the Perv. We always said that he sat in his car doing something *ahem* before he came into the restaurant which was all younger women. He had very shiny lips. We would bring him a carafe of iced tea and he thought he was so special, but really, no one wanted to stand at his table for too long because he would ask you out on a date. He bought some of the girls Victoria’s Secret lotions, and even offered one girl money. Totally gross! I still see him in town and I run the opposite direction, even though I am sure he doesn’t remember me!

    We have a guy we call Creeper Jim. He’s the same way and I will only wait on him if he’s ordering food. If he comes in for coffee someone else has to take care of him. He brings the girls rocks and jewelry he’s made out of rocks, then he makes nasty comments to them and tries to find out where they live. If I never saw him again, it would be too soon.


  5. Brea
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 10:46:57

    Ugh, I hate those. I work in a real estate title company, but we deal with a lot of realtors and lenders that have the same “touchy feely” crap going on. They think that just because our office is all women, that it’s ok to get all “handsy” with us, that we won’t say anything. Usually I just duck and bolt.

    Why! do people think it’s okay to invade personal space? Even my dogs know better than to get too invasive with me.

    I also used to work as a bartender a few years back, and WHEW – almost got dragged over the bar by my arms by some jackwagon who thought he was hot, turns out he was just a Hot Mess. My boss told me to cut him off, and that it was ok to tell handsy customers that “You grab it, you lose it.” He said he’d back me up anytime with the cops. Thankfully, I never had to actually test that resolve!

    I would HATE to be a bartender/cocktail waitress. All those drunks who love everyone, especiall YOU. I would either be in jail or passed out on the floor.


  6. izziedarling
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 11:28:29

    I swear, I got the shaky creeps reading about him. GROSS. GROSS. The last time a creep asked me where I’d been, I said in prison. For manslaughter. He didn’t bother me again.

    HAHAHA! I’ve been known to say that sort of stuff. I also talk about my anti-psychotic meds and pending domestic violence conviction when creeps are near. They tend to find someone else to annoy.


  7. Ahmnodt Heare
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 17:17:52

    I would tell him if he touches you in ANY way, you will call the police. Nobody has a right to touch another person. I don’t even touch myself without permission.

    I’m hoping he goes back to wherever he’s been for the last few months.


  8. Sparty Girl
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 18:49:56

    I agree with Brea’s bartender boss and Ahmnodt. You could complain (with perfect legitimacy) that you feel as though you’re in a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment by this customer. The law says your boss has to address it. If the customer does it again you could file a complaint. I bet if you called the police and filed an assult charge it would have a similar result. Forgive the lecture, but there’s no excuse for that kind of crap.

    In the end I will look like an asshole because he’s just a harmless old pervert man. Unfortunately, this goes with the job and you have to learn creative ways to protect yourself.


  9. DarcsFalcon
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 23:42:50

    I hate it when people I don’t know touch me too. People do that to pregnant women all the time, like having a baby in there makes it okay. Um, NO! That just makes you even MORE sensitive and protective! What I always found so weird is that women are the worst culprits in that.

    Creepy old men – I sometimes got them where I once worked too, when I was a teen, but fortunately, there was a counter between me and them. They’d say stuff though. I think Sherri’s right, there’s a creepy old man class they have to take once they turn 60 or something. Ick!

    What is it with creepy old men and girls? I would never hit on a 20 year old guy at my age, why do 60 year old men think they have a chance with a 20 year old girl? The fantasy world they live in must be a wonderful place.


  10. Beebs
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 21:04:59

    Next time whip around and elbow him in the ribs. Tell him you’re so, so sorry, it was a reflex from this self defense class you took, and it’s probably best to avoid touching you from now on…

    And then if he does it again, knee him in the groin. Just in case he ducks.

    I hope to never see him again.

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!


  11. Armond
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 08:26:55

    I would have done the same thing. I AM EXTREMELY ticklish. last week I punched someone by mistake (it really is a jerk reaction) and like two years ago a back handed someone by mistake…. DON’T FUCKING TOUCH ME!!!

    I’m used to getting touched by the other servers so I usually look around to see who it is. By then, it’s too late to blame it on a reaction. One of these days though…


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