Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Washington, D.C. for the first time ever and it happened to be in the middle of yet another polar freakin’ vortex. Since I had never been to D.C. there were a lot of things I had to do despite the weather. I trudged though the snow in a -5 º wind chill just to see monuments, art museums and Julia Childs’ kitchen at The Smithsonian. There also happened to be a pro-life rally happening while I was there so I quite enjoyed watching teen girls write “pro-life” and “Save the Babies” in the snow so that I could walk right behind them and brush it away with my foot.
On my last day, I am having breakfast in my hotel before leaving for the train. I sit down and see a four-top eating in the corner. They all have plates and are clearly in the middle of their meal. A few minutes later, another woman wanders into the dining room and sees her friends at the table.
“Hello,” she says. “I’m so sorry I’m late. Oops!”
“Oh, we didn’t think you were going to make it down for breakfast,” they say. “We’re already eating…ummm…”
Now, I can see that they are sitting at a four-top and that the table next to them already has people at it. I can also see that Miss Tardy For the Party wants to be invited to join them even though there is no place for her late ass to sit. There is awkward exchange of pleasantries as four people try to eat their eggs while they are still warm and one woman just stands there like bump on a log waiting to be asked to dance at the barn social. Finally, Miss Un-punctuality says, “I’m just gonna ask the waitress to find a place for us all to sit. C’mon, everybody. Let’s go.”
She has them all pick up their plates of food and cups of coffee and off they go through the restaurant searching for a place to accommodate all five of them. As the leader, she heads right to another four-top and like little ducklings they all trail behind. I imagine that this woman must be some kind of boss to them which is why no one had the courage to say, “Look, lady, we all got here on time and now you’re letting my poached eggs go cold. Fuck you.” But they didn’t. They dutifully followed along.
This is when the waitress notices that half of her station is wandering around the dining room carrying plates. “Would you like another table?” she asks.
“Yes, says the woman. We can’t all fit at that table so I thought we could just sit at this one instead.” She points at the table in front of her which is the exact same size as the one they had left behind. One man, I notice, takes a bite of biscuit as he stands there and another woman looks longingly at her plate of pancakes, unable to hold her coffee and use her fork at the same time.
“Well,” the waitress says. “This is for four people too. Let me find you another table. Give me a second.”
“What about over there?” says the woman who I have grown to hate, pointing to the side of the restaurant that is quite obviously not being used.
The waitress goes to the other side of the restaurant where no one is sitting and the five people all follow her, four with food in their hands and one woman with no food and obviously no fucking watch because if she would have shown up on time in the first place, none of this bullshit would be happening. Another table is found and they begin to sit down but then Miss Late Lady spots another table that seems to be more to her liking. Again, the original four pick up their plates and move. When they are finally seated, I see the original tardy bitch approach the waitress.
“It’s really cold over here. Can you adjust the thermostat?”
The waitress does so with a smile on her face but we all know there is a reason they were not seating that half of the restaurant, right? It’s two fucking degrees outside and the staff knows it’s cold on that side and that’s probably why no one was seated on that side to begin with. At last, they are all settled in and I notice one woman is sitting directly in the sun; like major 8:30 AM blinding you in the face kind of sun which is probably another reason they had not seated anyone at that table. The poor woman is now forced to eat her room-temperature omelet while holding one hand up over her eyes to shield them from the sun.
“Can I order?” asks the latecomer? “I just got here.”
No shit, bitch. Everyone in the dining room knows you just got here. We watched a restaurant version of the Keystone Cops happen as you made sure everyone accommodate your ass just because you failed to arrive on time. If you’re late, it’s your issue. You should have just made your apologies and settled for a table on your own so you can sit there by yourself and think about how your lack of time management affects not only you, but everyone you deal with.
The waitress was a real pro. She never did anything hut smile and be helpful, but my Bitchy Waiter x-ray vision revealed more than that which is why I told her at the end of my breakfast the following:
“I saw what was happening there and you were good. Real good. I write a blog and in a few days you are going to see this story on it. Here’s my card.”
So, I wonder if she will see this.