The First A**hole Customer of 2017

I don’t know why I agreed to pick up a shift on Monday, but I did. I never work on Mondays, but a week and a half ago, we had a server quit with two days notice. He said he got a new job as a postal carrier and his first day was December 26th. Never mind that the postal service was closed on December 26th observing Christmas. I mean, if you’re going to lie, at least do some fucking fact-checking, kid. So boom, he quit three days before Christmas and I was asked if I could pick up a shift. My boss, knowing me very well, happened to give me my Christmas present of a bottle of tequila and a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolate minutes before he popped the big question. Of course I agreed.

I arrive to work on January 2, not sure if I am serving or bartending. Bartending is something I am quite comfortable doing at home, but at the restaurant it’s different. The restaurant has silly things like recipes and limits to how many ounces of liquor goes into a cocktail. I tell my boss I would rather wait tables this evening. This is when he tells me that who ever is serving tonight will be training a new server who will be replacing our lying future postal worker.

“Oh, I guess I can bartend then,” I say. “Training sucks. I hate dealing with new hires.”

“Hi, I’m (name I already forgot). I’m training tonight,” says a quiet girl I had not noticed sitting at Booth 9.

“Oh. Hi. Awkward.”

The other server shows up ten minutes later. We agree that I will show New Girl the opening sidework if he will set up the bar for me. She will follow him while I will stand behind the safety of the bar encouraging people to order beer and wine.

“The first person who orders an Old Fashioned is going to be severely disappointed,” I think.

The night goes without incident. Closing at 10:00 on Monday instead of 11:00 like I am used to is the one saving grace that gets me through the night. The most complicated drink I am asked to make is a daiquiri that is requested by one of my friends who mysteriously heard that I was bartending this night. I also make a Pimm’s Cup which makes me wonder, “who the fuck orders a Pimm’s Cup in January?”

By 9:15, it looks like the evening will be an easy one. And then at 9:20, three men come in for dinner. I suspect that one of them is who called me earlier asking how late we server dinner. I am grateful they are showing up 40 minutes before closing time. I begin breaking down the bar, preparing myself to waltz out of the door at 10:00 sharp. At 9:55, I mosey back toward Table 16 to see how close they are to getting the hell out when I notice that their food is just now being plated.

“What the hell? Why have they not even stared eating yet?” I ask the other server.

“They didn’t want to order. I finally told them at 9:50 that we close in ten minutes and we needed to get their food in.”

Of course they ordered the roasted chicken which is the one thing on the menu that takes the longest. They get their food knowing that we have been closed for twelve minutes. I do my best to not glower at them, but I can’t help it. It’s like my facial muscles have involuntarily contracted into a unending scowl that is permanently etched onto my face. My neck won’t let me look any other direction than the table of the three men who are discussing singers, musicals and Juilliard. Ordinarily, these topics would make my face light up with joy, but not tonight. At 10:40, I leave the bar and start clearing their table. Thankfully, they ask for their check and then pay it immediately, saying “we know you guys are closed.” And then they sit. And sit. And sit. At 11:00, they are still there. They care not that the candles have burned out, the kitchen has been cleaned, the trash has been emptied and the the lights in the kitchen are off. We have sent New Girl home for the evening.

“This is so fucked up,” I say to the other server. “Who the fuck does that? How can anyone sit in a restaurant for an hour after it’s been closed? What a bunch of assholes. This pisses me right off. I mean, seriously…”

“You can go home if you want. There’s no reason for us both to wait here,” he says.

Unsure if he is really that nice or if he just wants my Negative Nancy ass out of his perennially positive space, I jump at the chance to leave. We pool tips, so technically, we are both supposed to stay until the end.

“Are you sure?” I ask him.

“Totally. The paperwork is already done, I’m just waiting to re-set their table. I’ll take care of it.”

I give him my thanks and bolt the hell out of the restaurant, knowing I have just experienced the first asshole table of 2017.

8 thoughts on “The First A**hole Customer of 2017

  1. Dorie

    I waited on a young couple last night– she had a roll of toilet paper on the table! I didn’t know if she stole it from our bathroom or brought her own! Then she proceeded to blow her nose with it and leave piles on the table!!! Gross! Then to top it all off– they didn’t tip!!! Ugghh– my first asshole table of 2017!

    Reply
  2. Michael

    Ugh, try serving a 4-course fonde meal that takes 2-2.5 hrs to someone who comes in 10 minutes before close. FML.

    By the way, thank you for tearing up “Lady Fondue”

    Reply
    1. P.Sz.

      How on Earth? Our 8 course tasting (bouche, 2app, sorbet, 2 main, cheese, dessert) is not that long with wine flight and cheese presentation even shouldn’t take 2.5 with coffe and tea….

      Reply
  3. Kate

    I had a couple come in and split and entree, then pitch a fit because they felt they should BOTH be able to get a salad and not be charged for an extra salad. Weird that you can’t come in and eat for free! Honestly.

    Then she complained about her lasagna. I brought an extra piece. She asked for bread three times and extra napkins. Then they left me $3. Cool thanks I’ll give that straight to the busser then.

    Reply
  4. Cheyanne

    On New Year’s Day I ran into the exact same issue. We normally close at 8pm but with it being a holiday and all we were “supposed” to close at 7.

    I’m all excited to close early, I’m in a great mood and then in walks a table of four, with a small child, at 6:55. I was very confused because the sign on our front door that said we closed at 7 had mysteriously disappeared. So I give them menus, and the one guy asks what time we close. I tell him 7, he apologizes. They order food for the small child before even looking at the menu. An hour goes by, six root beer refills and 3 budweisers later, they finish eating. It’s 8:05 by this point. They continue to sit at their table until 8:30. I’m the only waitres there so I have no choice but to stay and nobody to vent to. The cooks are angry. I’m angry. And they’re angry because they don’t understand why they can’t order more beer even though we closed over an hour ago. I was as nice as I could have possibly been to them despite my frustration, and they had the nerve to write a comment card about how terrible their service was.

    Reply
  5. Lizzie

    Oh yes! I have so been there done that! So pissed that my jaw hurt from clinching my teeth! If my eyes could burn holes they would have went up in smoke. You have experienced the first ASSHOLE for 2017. And there will be more and more. Sometimes I think there’s a camera somewhere like a hidden camera show. Like they’re f***ing with me. But maybe you also experienced the first act of kindness of 2017. From your coworker. I said maybe.😉 You are awesome!

    Reply
  6. Sarah

    NetFlix should make a TV series about your posts. This business will make you hate people. I didn’t always hate people. People made me hate people. This was also my first complaint in 2017. How do people not realize they are the only ones in an empty restaurant? If you know a restaurant closes at X time, why would you stay past? Ugh. People.

    Reply
  7. Former Waitress

    I feel sorry for people whose life is so boring and empty that they need to sit in an empty restaurant after closing because they have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do.

    Reply

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