If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know that I’m outlining the five types of annoying people that you encounter in the restaurant business.
If you didn’t read my post yesterday, (a) re-read sentence 1 of this post, and (b) click here to go back and read it. Or don’t, this isn’t like a requirement. I’m trying to help you, but you’re an adult. Incidentally, if you are NOT an adult, you should probably go elsewhere, as I tend to cuss and make sexual innuendo that is intended for adult audiences.
Notice I didn’t say “mature” audiences, because let’s face it: if you read my blog, you’re at least a little childish some of the time. Oh, and also, poop.
With that, on with the show.
Restaurant Patron 2: Ms. “Surprise! I’ve Entered A Financial Transaction!”
This one is tricky. Unlike most restaurants, we require our guests to purchase their food. I recognize that such a tacky demand can come a surprise to many people. That explains why so many people get through the line and arrive at the register, only to be shocked into the reality of the situation: it’s time to pay the piper.
The expression “pay the piper” comes from Scotland, where people often hire bagpipers to roam the streets six feet behind them, following them around to provide a setting-appropriate soundtrack. But in our restaurant, left devoid of bagpipers due to assimilation of Scots into American culture and rampant cuts to school music programs, we’re left to sub in a common cashier.
Our lunch rush is busy. We’re in the middle of Northwest DC on 7th Street. There are thousands and thousands of people milling around all the time, but the milling reaches a peak around 12:30 pm, or as Washingtonians call it, Peak Milling Time (PMT).
At PMT, we need our guests to order and pay the bill quickly. There are people waiting to do the same, so the faster we can transact, the more transacting we can do.
About thirty times a day, a guest arrives at the front of the line. Cashier/Piper asks them, “Would you like anything else?” and then gives them their total.
THAT MOMENT is when the shocking, harsh reality of the situation presents itself. What should have been a handout from a charitable institution, disguised as a restaurant, has now taken on an ugly, capitalist hue. The adage becomes literal in that moment: there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Now, this is going to sound sexist, and I don’t mean it that way – it’s just a function of how men carry their money vs. how women carry theirs. Also, women are not as smart as men, but I’ll save that for another day.
NOTE: for the folks from Mississippi, that there is what we call SARCASM. It’s a form of comedy. I don’t really think men are smarter than women. I do, however, think everyone is smarter than people from your state, because you’re a bunch of hill people, just without the beauty of hills. “Hill people” is a euphemism for “ignorant, inbred, racist people.” I just didn’t want to say something so direct in writing. But now look what you done up and made me do, y’all! Typical hill people. SMH.
The guest hoists her duffel purse to chest level, and the manhunt begins. She searches through make up, Ziploc bags of Multi-Grain Cheerios, a Danielle Steel novel, two cell phones (one for each ear), her high school diploma, a loaded Glock 9 mm, her rejection letter from NAHBRO, and a bag of It Works!® protein powder. Where is my money? It was in here earlier. She calls in bloodhounds to aid in the search, but luckily finds her debit card before the sheriff’s dawgs arrive on the scene.
If you weren’t packing heat, I might confront you about the fact that you’re making everyone in line wait while you demonstrate for all of us that your life, as represented by your bag o’ surprises, is a giant fucking mess. I would pray for you, but God stopped listening to me once I compared him to Donald Trump.
Instead, I’ll leave you with the same advice I got from the madam down at the brothel: this is always going to end in you paying. Please be ready when the time comes.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s next installment, when we’ll learn about the third and fourth types of less-than-fun customers: the families that are genuinely confused by life itself, and the people who play dumb to get extras from us.
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