The Devil Within…

I worked my fourth shift in a row today. I’m doing seven in a row. I have no idea what I was thinking when I said that I would pick up someone’s shift for Monday. It was in cocktails. He needed off. I said yes. Now I wish that I’d just said no, and that I could sleep till 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. Ah, but what can you do? I said yes, so I guess I’ll do it.

I do know this, although my ankle really doesn’t hurt, I’ve had intense swelling in it for the last two days. I have no idea what that’s about but I’m going to try and get into see my orthopaedist on Thursday, just to make sure nothing is wrong.

Ah, I don’t even know where to start tonight. Do I talk about the obnoxiously, precocious 15 year old kid that I waited on that I wanted to slap. Or perhaps I should talk about the four top of foreign teenagers that came in tonight that were just there for drinks, and then ordered four waters. Or perhaps that four angst filled teenage girls that ordered three waters and a quesadilla all without speaking to me. Or perhaps I could discuss that I still made 13.5 percent of my sales tonight even though I was stiffed on seven differant checks. Or there’s the girl at work who had a nervous breakdown at work and had to be sent home. Or even better is the girl on the street this afternoon as I was walking to work having the nervous breakdown and was handcuffed and escorted away by police. Ah, so much material so little time.

I think I’ll discuss the “precocious teenager.” For our purposes, we’ll call him “Devil Child.”

First off the only people who think precocious children are cute are relatives of said child. I personally think if you slapped the child and told him to stop, things would be much better for all involved.

Second, at no time and I repeat NO TIME should children be allowed to control the situation. Unless the child is 42 and the parents are dead.

This actually happened on Friday night. I got four people from the lobby and deposited them at table 71. I knew the minute that I returned that it was going to get interesting. I approached the table and asked if I could get them drinks while they were looking at the menu. I say this four hundred times a night. And for the most part I get an answer of we are not ready or yes here’s what we want, or can you come back, etc. etc. So I approach and ask my question and “Devil Child” replies that they are not ready to order drinks. I tell them to take their time and that my name is Maddog and if they need anything during the course of the meal to just let me know.

And I go away.

And I return.

And I ask about the drinks again.

And Devil Child replies. We have some questions.

I say, “Okay.”

And then Devil Child begins to ask about every non-alcoholic drink we have. And not just the ones on the menu like Virgin Pina Coladas or Strawberry Smoothies. We had a ten minute conversation about the soda choices. And the iced tea. And the coffee. And the smoothies. And the glassware each drink came in. Are refills free. How much does each drink cost.

Then he responds that they’ll just take water for now.

And I stand there.

And he looks at me.

And I look at him.

And he looks at me.

And I say. Okay I’ll be right back with those four waters.

And I check on everyone else. And I return with four waters.

And the immediate response is not thank-you. It’s…”Where are the lemons.”

(I don’t put lemons in anything other than iced tea because I don’t like lemon in my water or Diet Coke. And once it’s been dropped in the glass you can’t take it out).

And I look at Devil Child.

And he looks at me.

And I look at him.

And he looks at me.

And I take a deep breath and say I’ll be right back with lemons.

And once again I check on everyone else and since it’s clear that this tables going to be a while deciding I take my time getting back with the lemons.

Once again there is no thank you.

But Devil Child is till in charge. Up to this point the parental units have barely spoken to me.

So I drop the lemons and ask if they are ready to order.

I’m going to skip ahead and come back to the taking of the order.

For the duration of the meal Devil Child ordered me around like I was his personal slave. At one point I was walking by the table and he thrust a plate at me and said, “Take this!!!”

This was clearly one of the tables that it’s better to ignore and take the bad tip then get pissed off and get fired. What’s funny is that his parents and younger sibling were actually quite pleasant when he allowed them to speak.

So back to taking the orders.

I arrive and I ask if they’ve made any decisions yet about dinner.

And the questions start again. And I answer them best I can, getting more and more annoyed.

And things were going okay until the following question was asked of me.

Devil Child: What kind of meat is in the Mushroom Swiss Burger?

Huh?

Huh?

Huh?

I say excuse me. And he repeats the question?

What kind of meat is in the Mushroom Swiss Burger?

And at this point I’m as annoyed as I can be. And I’m laughing on the inside, because I’ve finally figured out what is going on. Devil Child is trying to act older than he really is. As if he’s been around the block a time or two. And mom and dad don’t seem to realize that they need to reign in their rude, asshole child.

So I say, excuse me again, because now I’m just having fun.

And Devil Child says, “I said, what kind of meat is in the Mushroom Swiss burger?”

And I say, with a straight face: HAMBURGER!

And he looks at me.

And I look at him.

And he replies: Yes I know but what kind of meat is it.

Now I’m laughing really loudly on the inside and I repeat. Hamburger.

And he looks at me.

And I look at him.

And now he’s beginning to get annoyed with me, as if I’m not answering the question.

And he asks again. What kind of meat is in the Mushroom Swiss burger?

And by now it’s clear that if this isn’t dealt with soon everyone else I’m waiting on is going to be pissed.

So I say: “It’s hamburger. Ground beef. From a cow.”

At this point I’m trying not to laugh or reach across the table and knock some sense into him.

And he replies: “So it’s not a turkey burger.

I politely say no. But on the inside I’m saying the following.

Really? Really? Do you really fucking think they’d call the thing a Mushroom Swiss Burger if it was a turkey burger. And if it were a turkey burger don’t you think it would clearly be stated in the menu, instead of being listed in the section that says 10oz all beef burgers. Really. Stop being a little prick and trying to act like a know it all. Now shut the fuck up and order.

And finally he orders. The mushroom swiss burger.

With a salad.

And then we had a ten minute conversation about the salad dressings we had, and which ones had fat and which ones were this and which ones were that.

And I just resigned myself to the reality that I just had to deal with this for one hour longer.

Of course I wanted to say to Devil Child at the end of the meal that he wouldn’t be fifty pounds over weight if he didn’t drink 14 Mountain Dews at dinner.

But drink refills are another story.

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9 thoughts on “The Devil Within…

  1. Peter August 11, 2008 / 04:30

    I know it’s an offence, but I would have strangled the kid, after slapping him in the face!

    Those parents should leave him standing alone somewhere in the middle of nowhere, like the Mojave Desert.

  2. Rick August 11, 2008 / 04:38

    There is nothing more annoying than an out of control precious child. You handled it well. I like the “Hamburg” back and forth. Too funny.

  3. sorted August 11, 2008 / 04:58

    I see these types of monsters on a regular basis. Fortunately, for me, I can put them in their place and remind them WHO IS and WHO IS NOT in charge. I usually end those conversations in my Sha-nay-nay voice, “I’m just sayin, okayyyy”

  4. Lemuel August 11, 2008 / 05:09

    Someday, somewhere this kid is going to get his comeupance and it’s not going to be pretty. He’s going to piss off someone who is not as patient as you and he will quickly learn what it is like to be the meat that is in the mushroom swiss burger.

    I’m hoping it happens to him soon.

    In a dark alley.

    In the ghetto.

    At night.

    Far from home and his parents.

    …and by the way, despite the parental units being “polite”, I think there needs to be a gov’t program that requires them to have their tubes tied.

  5. Cincy Diva August 11, 2008 / 08:44

    I am betting you PDC (precocious devil child) turns out to be a bitchy queen later in life. He has all the makings.

  6. Aaron August 11, 2008 / 12:05

    Devil Child will almost certainly outgrow it. Right now, he’s surrounded by people who coddle him and allow him to run rampant.

    The rest of the world will be less indulgent.

  7. Bill August 11, 2008 / 22:21

    I love your stories.

  8. Sarah August 12, 2008 / 08:02

    OCD? High functioning autism? Idiot-savant? Over-indulged brat? Just trying to figure out what might cause family to sit there while their child nitpicks a menu to death.

  9. Mike G August 13, 2008 / 14:31

    I love your stories as well. Great post. I agree with the other posters, the karma train will come round and give this kid a good smack, probably soon, if he’s 15. 16 is a tough year for a teenage boy.

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