“A Table for Two A$$holes”

My restaurant opens at 5:00 for dinner. Being the opener, I arrive at 4:30 to restock, make the coffee, set the tables, polish the silverware, sweep the floor, and sit in the bathroom and cry. This day, I punch in at 4:31 and immediately pull the ketchups and butter from the reach-in. As I am filling the pitchers with water, two people waltz in as if they own the place.

“Hi, table for two and we need to use the restroom,” the man says.

I look at them and wish that either I had remembered to lock the door behind me or that the sign that says what time we open was about a million times bigger than it is. “Oh, we don’t open until 5:00, but you can use the restroom if you want,” I tell him.

“Well, can we just hang out?” he asks me.

“Well, we’re not open yet.”

“Can we have a drink while we wait?” he asks me.

“No, I literally just got here two minutes ago. We’re not open. But you can use the restroom.”

They both head to the back of the restaurant and each go into a restroom as I set up the bread station and restock the napkins. The guy finishes first and seats himself at table 15 to wait until the woman is finished. Or so I think. When the woman comes out of the restroom, she joins him at Table 16 and they start chatting like they are on a fucking park bench or on their couch at home and not sitting exactly where I always sit to eat my shift meal. (When I say “eat,” I mean “take a picture of it for my Instagram account before I throw most of it away.) This is when the bartender arrives.

“Sorry, I’m late,” she says. “Finding free parking is a bitch in this neighborhood. What the fuck?” she says when she spots the King and Queen of Assholeland.

“I know, I just fucking told them we’re not open, but I guess they’re gonna sit there until we are.”

This is when I look at the owner/chef of the restaurant and wish that, for just once, he wouldn’t avoid uncomfortable situations and go tell them to get the fuck out of here. But he doesn’t.

“Whatever…fuck it. I’m ignoring them until 5:00,” and I proceed to do my sidework making sure to be extra loud every chance I get. At 4:55, I see my two regulars Ann and Jerry park in front of the restaurant. They come in every Thursday at 5:00 and always sit at Table 16. I am not going to ask Ann and Jerry to sit somewhere else, so I go to talk to my unwelcome visitors.

“Guys, we’re just about ready to serve you now, but I have some regulars who sit here every Thursday at 5:00, so I’m gonna ask you to pick any other table in the restaurant.”

“Oh, not a problem,” says King Asshole. “We’ll sit on the patio.”

I look at the patio door which is sealed with tape to keep the winter winds from howling through the restaurant and also has a huge fern sitting directly in front of it.

“It’s 38 degrees outside,” I tell him.

“That’s alright, it’s kinda nice out.”

“Yeah, no. It’s winter. The patio is closed.”

“Oh, not a problem,” he repeats. “We’ll move to another table.”

They then move to Table 15 which is about 12 inches away from Table 16. Yes, I just told them that someone else is going to be sitting here and they don’t think it’s annoying to decide to sit directly next to them, despite the entire fucking restaurant being empty. I hate these people a lot. I intercept Ann and Jerry to explain why there is someone already here and why they are sitting next to them, but they are fine with it as long as I bring their Chardonnay and Malbec right away.

Mr. and Mrs. Asshole order their food and I try to be as nice as possible despite my severe dislike of them. All is well and good until I place his hamburger and fries in front of him.

“Oh, I didn’t want fries, I wanted vegetables,” he tells me.

“Well, you didn’t tell me that and the burger comes with fries.”

“I wanted kale.”

Kale? He wanted fucking kale with his burger? In what fucking restaurant does anyone go to where the burger automatically comes with kale? Maybe you’ll have a choice of fries or a salad, but if anyone can show me a restaurant menu that says the burger comes with kale, I promise to take my own restaurant menu, roll it up and deep throat it.

“We don’t even have kale, so… spinach maybe?”

He agrees to the spinach, so I take his plate to the cook who gives me some serious side-eye when I tell him the fries aren’t wanted. I return the burger and tell him this Popeye Wannabe Asshole that his spinach will be out in a couple of minutes. Once I serve the spinach, they are officially dead to me. I go to the sidestand to eat the fries that now belong to me and patiently wait for them to eat and get out. My smile is the fakest it has been in a very long time when I present them with the check. I thank them for coming in and make a joke about not being open at 5:00 that isn’t really a joke.

They left me a 20% tip and I got to eat their french fries, so overall, I’m glad that the two fucking assholes showed up at 4:30.

20 thoughts on ““A Table for Two A$$holes”

  1. Nance

    A former boss once saw a couple outside waiting for my restaurant to open and invited them inside because it was cold outside (probably in the 50 degree range, but I live in California 🙂 ). My boss explains to them that we are not open for another 15 minutes or so, but at least they can have a seat and warm up. They proceed to ask if they can get drinks. My boss explains, again, that we are not open yet and they need to wait. They then inquire about ordering appetizers. The boss explains, for the 3rd time, that we are not open yet, while looking at me with a WTF? face. I end up waiting on them after we open and all they do is complain about the no drinks/no appetizer shabby way they were treated. I got a whopping 10% tip and a huge headache. My boss was just trying to be kind. So those two assholes ruined it for everyone. It could be raining cats and dogs or hot as hell outside, it didn’t matter. The boss never let anyone inside before opening again. Maybe next time you could tell the early birds that legally you are not allowed to have them in the building before opening hours. I use that “legally” term for lots of different situations very successfully.

    Reply
    1. Ana

      No good deed, right? The gall of people is amazing. Most are decent, but that minority think they’re entitled to anything because they’re buying something from you (even if it’s underpriced or the employees serving them aren’t getting a living wage) ruin it for everyon.

      Reply
  2. Kyra

    “Mr. and Mrs. Asshole order their food and I try to be as nice as possible despite my severe dislike of them. All is well and good until I place his hamburger and fires in front of him.”

    You’re a wizard, Bitchy! Just kidding. I wish that wasn’t a typo and your dislike for him made his fries combust.

    Reply
  3. Geoff

    There’s nothing quite like food service, except maybe straight-up retail, to make you realize that human beings could not possibly have been created by any god other than one with a decidedly twisted sense of humor. Or misanthropy, I forget which.

    Reply
  4. Cassie

    Our owner expects us to take a customer at any time we are at the reataurant, before we open or after we close. This means we’re NEVER allowed to tell people we’re closed (the owner thinks that shows an unwelcoming atmosphere). If we open at 7:30am for breakfast and someone shows up at 6:30 but a server is there… we have to serve them drinks and free bread until the kitchen opens in AN HOUR. We’re not allowed to turn anyone away, even if we’ve been closed for 25 minutes and the fryers are being cleaned. It makes no sense. Worst part about my job by far. 🙄

    Reply
    1. Just A Poor Server

      It IS an unwelcoming atmosphere. You are NOT welcome before we open and after we close. That’s why there’s hours of operation listed. If it was a 24/7 place, then fine, but since it’s not (I’m assuming), no you don’t get to be served before open and after close. Don’t like it? Tough shit!

      Reply
  5. Tracy Roberts

    Oh honey. I now own my parents’ pizza shop. I have 37 YEARS of this kind of stuff. Bless your awesome server’s heart!

    Reply
  6. Shelby

    Hello! I love this blog and your book. Thank you for sharing your tales and humor with us.

    If you have a moment, read the 1-star Yelp review by Glenda for House of Wah Sun in Chicago.

    P.S. i used to always clean my purse out at restaurant dinner tables until I read your blog. It didn’t even occur to me the server would hate it.

    Reply
    1. Shelby

      I should add that I would love to see you take the side of House of Wah Sun. They’re a fantastic restaurant, and her children sound like little beasts. Two spilled glasses of water and spilles food, and she is upset about not getting an apology.

      Reply
  7. Ugh!

    “They left me a 20% tip and I got to eat their french fries, so overall, I’m glad that the two fucking assholes showed up at 4:30.”

    —Still…what a couple of douchebags.

    Reply
  8. MildlyDepressedBartender

    Im the opening bartender every Sunday morning where I work, so I come in at 10:15 to set up and stock the bar. The closing bartender comes in at 4. I had a guest come in at 3:30, ordering 2 22oz Bud Lites and 2 jagerbombs. He even asked me when the next bartender came in and knew that the opening bartender leaves around 4 because he’s somewhat of a regular. He stayed until 5:30 and I wasn’t able to pick my boyfriend up for work who is also a server at my same restaurant. The dude knew I was staying super late past my shift for him and because of him we weren’t able to count my drawer and transfer it to the next bartender so she couldn’t ring in her drinks for an hour and a half. The dude tipped me $2 after making me stay late, making him his drinks and shots, and making conversation with him despite the copious amount of bar glasses I had to wash, other bar guests I had to take care of, plus tables of my own. I cried in the car on my way home and fell right into bed. But I’m fine it’s fine. Can people just finish their shit and get out in a timely manner?

    Reply
    1. Slumslut

      That’s just dumb. Why should a customer have to leave just because it’s time for employees’ shift to change. Your management needs to get their act together and figure out simple things like addition and subtraction. That is just BS, making an employee stay hours past their scheduled time because a customer came in just before their shift ended? Is this the first time this sort of thing has ever happened in the history of the restaurant universe? I’m sorry (not), but this was not a customer problem, it was an employer problem.

      Reply
      1. AR

        The restaurant wasn’t fucking open yet. It wasn’t a shift change they literally were not open. The first sentences of this post says “My restaurant opens at 5:00 for dinner”. I’m sure this piece about people who can’t read clearly posted information hits close to home.

        Reply
    2. KarenL

      I read this like 3 times because it didn’t make any sense to me whatsoever. I thought I was missing that you had to work extra because your replacement never showed up. I don’t think it would ever occur to any customer that they need to leave because of a shift change. That is insane.

      Reply
    3. Serenity

      Are you not allowed to transfer tables/tabs at your bar?? Because of course a guest shouldn’t have to leave bc their server is, but the server shouldn’t have to stay, either. That makes no sense to me…everywhere I have worked, you inform the guest you are leaving, and offer to either transfer the tab to a new server, or “if they prefer”, they can close out with you, and start a new tab. If the owner or manager doesn’t allow that, that is poor management on their part.

      Reply
    4. Michele

      Why didn’t you just transfer the ticket to the 4:00 bartender? Its quite the common practice. When I waited tables I transferred checks and had checks transferred to me and I have been a customer and had the server changed to someone else.

      Reply
  9. Lou

    I’ve a good one. I’m at work for 10am to set up for lunch at 12. Coffee machine on, spot check toilets sweep the restaurant etc. Now the restaurant has an electric shutter for the front door. It’s down nearly fully maybe about 3 feet off the ground. So I’m setting up my stations etc and I pop into the kitchen for a few minutes to get butters and whatnot. Come back into the restaurant and there’s this fool standing in the restaurant??!
    “Hi are you open, i just want a coffee!?” She says.
    “Sorry but were closed miss… we don’t open for another hour and a half?” Says I, wondering how the fuck did she get in?
    “Not even for a quick coffee?” she again requests.
    “No, Sorry the restaurant is closed” I repeat
    Que the long stare that customers do when they are hoping for a different answer….
    “…….well will ya open that shutter for me, I want to get out?”
    This complete troglodyte crawled in under the shutter on her belly to a closed restaurant for a coffee. so I says to her “oh I’m sorry but the Shutters broken (it wasn’t), you have to go out the Same way you came in!”
    Petty I know, but i saw an opportunity and I went with it, and it was so satisfying watching this flute wiggle herself back under the shutters. Haha.

    Reply

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