As you know, I am a warm, caring, open-minded, genuine person who only wants the best for people and strives to make others happy. (Did you just see that lightening strike my keyboard?) When I start a new restaurant job, I think the most important relationships that must be built right away are those with the kitchen staff. They are the ones who can make or break you. If I forget to ring in a dessert, I wanna know that if I run to the pastry station, they will be willing to help me out in a pinch. At a recent training day, I was trailing my server and trying to get the lay of the land. We headed over to the dessert station to pick up some cake or something and I noticed a surly looking woman behind the line. My trainer picked up her dessert but then Grumpy Dessert Lady (GDL) made evil eye contact with her. “Is that order done?” she barked. It looked done. The ticket had two items on it and those same two items were sitting there, so we assumed it was complete. GDL thought otherwise. “It’s a VIP order so I am going to add something to the ticket. You don’t take the dessert until you see the ticket next to it.” Now she could have said this in a nice way, but she said it like it was the most irritating thing that has ever happened in her whole grumpy life. She slowly placed a plate of cookies on the shelf and then set the ticket next to it. “Now, it’s done.” We stabbed the ticket and moved on. I gave my trainer a look that said “what crawled up her ass, made a nest, had babies, and died?” My trainer simply responded with, “She’s a bitch. Everybody knows it.” It was then that I decided to make Grumpy Dessert Lady my new best friend.
A couple of days later, I saw her there being all pissy and angry that she was making desserts all day and approached her. I didn’t want to speak to her until spoken to first because that is how it’s done with big time fancy ass Grumpy Dessert Ladies. I stood there with a big smile on my face for about forty-five seconds. I could see that she noticed me out of the corner of her eye, but wanted to make me wait. I was fine with waiting because really all I wanted to do was yank her fucking chain a bit. She finally looked up at me and said, “What is it?” No smile, no hint of friendliness to the new guy, no nothing. I put out out my hand and said, “Hi!” She didn’t shake my hand. She just looked at me trying to figure out what the hell I wanted. “I’m new here and I am just trying to get to know everyone. My name’s Bitchy Waiter, what’s yours?” She told me her name (which I forgot already, because I never really cared to begin with.) I continued. “I just am trying my darndnest to learn every body’s name here. So now I know your name too! I will try to remember your name, but my goodness there are so many people here. Don’t hate me if I forget your name.” It was clear that she didn’t need me to forget her name in order for her to hate me. I pressed on. “Well, have a good day. It was nice meeting you. See you later alligator.” Big wave and I was on my way. I could see that she was confused by my friendly behavior. I got a kick out of it, because I knew that nobody liked her and it was the first time someone had been friendly to her in a long time. And I didn’t even want to be her fucking friend. I just wanted to lay some groundwork for the first time I needed something in a hurry from her.
I haven’t seen Grumpy Dessert Lady lately. I suppose our schedules have not crossed, but rest assured. If I ever need to get a dessert on the fly, that Grumpy Dessert Lady will think back to how friendly I was to her and bend over backward to help me. Or maybe not. Who cares? I just wanted to freak her out a bit by showing her that some people in that restaurant still knew how to use their smile muscles.