Category Archives: old people

Old People Like Decaf

I'm old and cranky.

I’m old and cranky.

Ahh, old people: you can’t live with ’em, you can’t hold a pillow over their face until they silently drift off to a better place. Don’t get me wrong, I love senior citizens although I can’t help but wonder what happens to tastes buds after the age of 70 that makes every cup of coffee or hot tea seem cold. A four-top has arrived at Table 11 and two of them are people I have waited on many times before. Adding up the ages of all four people, I realize I am dealing with about three centuries worth of crotchetiness. The one couple I am familiar with are not my favorite people. The last time they were in the restaurant, the woman disappeared for about twenty minutes only to finally emerge from the restroom. She came right up to me and said, “In case you were wondering, I just dropped some paper towels into the toilet bowl.”

No, I was not wondering.

I approach the table with trepidation because I know from past experience that the old woman always need substitutions and is never happy with what she ends up getting. I don’t know why she insists on coming back time after time if she is never satisfied. (“Tell me about it,” says her fossil husband.)

“Hello, everyone, how are you tonight? Can I get you anything to drink right now or tell you the specials?” I ask.

Old Lady Toilet Bowl Offender pipes in. “I already spoke with the chef. My husband needs very bland food so whatever we order just tell them it’s for me so they’ll know to make it bland.”

“Bland it is, yes ma’am.”

“But we need some time. Want to bring us some bread?”

Ordinarily, customers say “can we get bread?” or “will you bring us some bread?” but she specifically asks me if I want to bring her bread. I lie to her face and tell her that I do want to bring bread. I return two minutes later with a basket of bread and four plates and begin to set them down.

“I don’t need a plate,” she tells me.

I recall from her last visit that she most certainly does need a plate. Her and her husband are the biggest pigs I have ever seen and when they leave there is always a pile of crumbs and food remnants scattered about the floor and table, but I remove her plate as she grabs for a piece of bread.

“And we’re ready to order. I’ll start with the asparagus and prosciutto appetizer and then I want the cod but I don’t want roasted potatoes, I want mashed. And put the sauce on the side and tell them to use as little oil as possible. It doesn’t need to be bland because this is for me and not my husband.”

The other woman orders a salmon and the other man orders a Caesar salad to start and a soup to follow.

“What can I get for you, Mr. Bland?”

“I’m afraid I will just be an observer this evening as I am recovering from a digestive issue'” he tells me as he rubs his stomach.

I repeat the order and remind the man who ordered the soup that it is a chilled soup and not a warm one.

“Oh, well that changes everything,” he says. “I didn’t know that.”

The truth is he did know that, he just didn’t pay attention to me when I described the soup as a chilled corn soup with a green onion garnish.

“I’ll have the roasted chicken instead.”

“Okay, so I’ll bring out the Caesar salad and then the chicken, is that right?”

I take his silence as a yes and go off to ring their order in. As I am standing at the computer, I watch Old Bland Ass reach for a piece of bread. He doesn’t break a small piece of it off and then eat it, as that would indicate manners and class. Instead, he grasps it with both hands and heads in like he is eating a slice of watermelon or ribs. When he gets to the crust, he discards it onto his plate and grabs another piece. I watch as the Salmon Lady’s jaw drops in disbelief and then as she brings her hand up to cover her open mouth. The man eats bread like a cartoon beaver cutting down a tree; crumbs flying in every direction. It is mesmerizing. I imagine if I gave him a whole fish to eat, he would put the entire thing into his mouth and then pull it back out as a skeleton. I tear my eyes away from the freak show and continue to ring in their food.

A few minutes later, I take the two appetizers to the table. When I place the Caesar salad down, the man looks at me with surprise.

“I don’t want this. You misunderstood when I placed my order. I told you I didn’t want the salad anymore when I found out the soup was cold. Take this away.”

I remove the salad knowing full well that for the second time that night he did not listen to me. I specifically asked him if I should bring the salad out before the chicken and he chose not to answer.

The rest of their meal goes without incident, but I can tell that the one couple is ready to get the hell out of dodge by how quickly they eat their food. As I clear their plates, Mr. No Caesar Salad asks for the check but Old Lady Toilet Bowl has other ideas.

“Oh, but I think I want some coffee.”

I can see Salmon Lady’s face fall with disappointment knowing she has to sit with them for at least ten more minutes.

“Anyone else want coffee?” I ask.

No one else does and Madame Commode decides she wants decaf. “Hot decaf.” I let her know that I don’t have any ready right now so it will take a few extra minutes but I will bring it out as soon as I make it. I offer a look of apology over to Salmon Lady for adding another few minutes to her night of hell.

“Make sure it’s decaf,” she says as I walk towards the coffee maker.

Five minutes later, I am filling her coffee cup.

“Decaf, right?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Are you sure?”

‘Yes, ma’am. We didn’t have any decaf so I made decaf just for you. This is decaf.”

“Because I can’t drink regular coffee this late, it has to be decaf.”

“It’s. Decaf,” I  say through gritted teeth.

Finally, I give them the check and they pay leaving me a 10% tip which is customary for old people who have lots of special needs and then leave gigantic messes on the floor.

“We’ll see you soon,” she says to me as they head out the door.

“Not if I see you first,” I think.


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Old People (occasionally) Warm My Heart

Old people: you either love ’em, hate ’em or are one. There have been other blog posts about old people that painted them in a less than savory manner. Yes, old people may have a distinct smell to them but it’s not their fault. (Honestly, I don’t know why we smell this way. I don’t even own moth balls, but I smell like I slept in a drawer full of them.) Old people may move too slowly when you are stuck behind one on a busy sidewalk on your way to work. You may resent feeling obligated to giving up your seat to one on the subway when you see a 103 year old lady who is hunched over and grasping at anything to stay upright. (Hint: sunglasses and an iPod gives the illusion that you just didn’t notice her.) Old people are the fabric of our lives and don’t let that pushy bitch Cotton tell you anything else.

The restaurant opened at 5:00 yesterday and at 5:10, two senior citizens came in for the early-bird special even though we don’t have an early-bird special. They looked like they had been married for about 150 years, give or take a decade. I imagine that their honeymoon was bathed in candle light since Thomas Edison was still a baby then and had not yet invented the light bulb. I told them they could sit anywhere they wanted seeing that we had just opened and every table was available. They chose a table on the patio that was as far away from the entrance as possible so they started walking to it as I grabbed a couple of menus and began following them. Thirty minutes later they got to table 28. The man walked way ahead of his wife who was moving slower than a drunk snail on quaaludes with jet lag after just waking up from a ten hour nap. “How rude,” I thought. “He can’t even wait for his wife?” But after he got to the table he came back to help her and I realized he was just inspecting the floor to make sure there was nothing that was going to trip her and send her out for an emergency hip replacement. There is one step down to get to the patio and he took her elbow and gently escorted her down it and then he pulled her seat out for her and helped her sit down. “I am seeing some real gentlemanly behavior all up in here,” thought I.

When it was time to take the order, he did all the talking because he was the man and that’s how things worked. They had their calamari and one glass of wine that they shared and then they enjoyed their two entrees. When it came time to offer dessert, I spoke to the husband because I could see that he was the one who wore the pants and that’s the way she liked it. After the specials were told, she told him and then he told me that she didn’t want any. He ordered a piece of chocolate cake. “Alright, one piece of chocolate cake coming right up but I’m going to bring you two forks because I know you’re gonna want some,” I said as I pointed to the woman. She laughed and shook her head. The dessert made it to the table and by the time I got over to check on them, the woman was eating a bite of the cake. Two minutes later when I went to clear the plate, it had moved directly in front of the woman who was scraping every last little crumb of chocolately goodness onto her fork. I crossed my arms and looked at her. “Uh huh, so look who the plate ends up in front of; the person who didn’t want any dessert. It was good, wasn’t it?” Her eyes lit up and she smiled the sweetest smile. She pushed the empty plate towards the center of the table and said, “I couldn’t resist. Thank you for bringing the extra fork.” I removed the plate and said. “It was my pleasure.” And you know what? It really was my pleasure. I think they had a wonderful dining experience and I made them laugh. Those two seniors were my first table of the day, but by far the friendliest one of the week.

He helped his wife up from the table and they shuffled their way out of the restaurant, arms interlocked with one another. They left me a 15% tip which was perfectly wonderful with me. The love they showed for each other put me in such a good mood that the percentage didn’t really matter. Sometimes even I, the Bitchy Waiter, can forgo the tip if I get something else out of serving someone. From them, I got that love lasts and relationships can work. They gave me hope that when I am an old lady (in about five years) I will still be going out to dinner with my husband and having a good time. I can’t, however, imagine sharing one glass of wine. That’ll never happen. Maybe share a bottle of wine, but one glass? That’s crazy talk. These old people were sweet, but maybe a little bit senile to think that was okay to do.

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Old People: Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Remember Shit

Over the course of time while working at one place, you get accustomed to seeing some of the same faces over and over again. These regulars are sometimes welcome sights and sometimes not so much. Admittedly, I am not the best at remembering people who sit in my station more than once. It’s not that I don’t have the ability to recall that Suzie Side Of Mayo sat in my station two weeks ago, it’s more that I just don’t give a shit. Eventually though I will recognize if someone’s a regular. On the other hand, I certainly don’t expect customers to remember me. Most of the time.

A few weeks ago I had a couple come in that I knew from another job. The man and his wife are really old and somewhat famous. He’s a songwriter who wrote some really big hits for Frank Sinatra and wrote a couple of Broadway shows. I met them about five years ago when I was doing a revival of one of his shows and got to know him then. He was at rehearsal with me everyday for three weeks and then watched every performance for two weeks after we opened. When I saw them come in, I went up to say hello. Seeing that he’s 91 years old, I didn’t expect him or his wife to remember me. His wife must be about his age but she doesn’t look a day over 106. Her face is pulled so tight that she makes Joan Rivers look like a fresh clean daisy. Seriously, her lips are practically above her eyebrows now. I reintroduced myself and saw the flicker of recognition come into their eyes as they placed me from their past. It was sorta like a light bulb went off and they should know what that looks like because I’m pretty sure they were close personal friends of Thomas Edison. They were very happy to see me and raved about how great I was in the play. They went on to say that I stole the show and that I should have been the lead because I sing like an angel. (They may or may not have said that last little bit, but they did remember me.)

A few days ago, they were back in the club and again sitting in my station. Seeing that it had only been two weeks since I last saw them I greeted them warmly and told them it was nice to see them again. I saw a tumble weed blow through his head as a cricket chirped in hers. They had no idea who I was. Again. Granted the man is older than rocks and she’s had so many face lifts that her brain may now be in her shoulder blades, but I figured they would at least think I was familiar. Nope. I got their hot teas and moved on. At the end of the night after they had paid, the husband asked me where his credit card was. I told him I had given it back to him at the table but he assured me he did not have it. I found his wife in the lobby and asked her if she had it and she freaked out. “Oh my God, I don’t have it. Did I lose it? Oh my God, he’s gonna kill me. Oh my God, we have to find it.” I half looked in the trash can and around the table knowing it wasn’t going to be there. By this time, the Mrs. had a flashlight at the table and was fearing for life. I think she still lives in the 50’s where the man rules the roost and he was kind enough to let her touch the credit card and now that she lost it her privileges would be revoked and she would be back to a $10 a week allowance. I quit looking because, I had already been paid and tipped.

Five minutes later, the husband burps out that he found it in his pocket. Old people. Their minds are as mushy as the Ovaltine they eat for breakfast. Gotta love ’em.

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Hungry people suck

Not only do I have the joy of serving food in a restaurant, sometimes I get to do it as a cater waiter. The best thing about these gigs is that the food is what it is. There is no ordering and if they don’t like what we have, they can suck my left nut instead. Last night I was serving at this low-rent holiday office party affair where their budget was obviously really shitty. I worked the same event last year and they had a full bar with a huge buffet with tons of food. This year they cut the budget in half. I am sure that today at work they were all talking about how lame the holiday party was this year. They all showed up ready to chow down and all they got was my ass passing around a plate of mini grilled cheeses and some Pepperidge Farm cookies that got cut up and thrown on a plate with a flower. They was not happy. There is always one fat bitch who will knock people over in order to get to the tray of food and I found her right away. She hovered her fat ass right next to the kitchen door so she could grab whatever was on the tray. Seriously. She put something in her mouth and started chewing it and THEN asked me what it was. Lucky for her it was food, but for all she knew it was a used up condom on a cracker. Bitch was hungry. At the end of the night she was sitting at a table (because her legs were tired of supporting her huge ass) and she let her muffin top plop over her pants. It was clearly visible because she thought it was wise to wear a halter top. In December. On the East Coast. Another bitchy waiter acted like he was being nice to her and brought her a plate full of mini-donuts that were filled with Bavarian Cream and put it right in front of her. We wanted to see how many she would shovel in her mouth. Turns out, most of them. I think the other people at the table wanted a donut too but were scared to reach out for it in case she accidentally ate their arms off. Another lady grabbed me to ask me when the “real food” was coming out. I told her that this is all the food that is coming and it is in fact “real.” She went on to inform me that she had not seen any food being passed and she needed food because she was pregnant with twins and had not eaten all day. It’s my problem that bitch got knocked up with twins and then failed to eat breakfast or lunch? I let her know that the food is being devoured by Hungry Hungry Hippo over there next to the kitchen door. Pregnant lady tells me “Well I guess I will just wait by the kitchen door too, then!” Too bad she didn’t know there were two kitchen doors, because I went right into the kitchen and told everyone to only use the back door for the next half hour. Hopefully she did not die of starvation. Or maybe one of the twins could have just eaten the other twin for nourishment. Do we really need another set of twins in the world anyway?

Yes, the coffee is hot, bitch

I don’t know what it is with old people, but I hope when I am old (in like six years from now) I don’t lose my taste buds. I guess after living through the depression and having to eat boot soup and newspaper sandwiches, they just don’t have the ability to taste anymore. Old people always send shit back. It’s never hot enough. Yesterday this lady asked me for a cup of coffee making sure to tell me she meant hot coffee and not iced coffee. Like I am an idiot. So I got her coffee and made sure there was steam coming from it because when there is steam that means it’s hot, right? Well, not when you serve it to an old dinosaur like this lady. Seriously, I think she was a first grade teacher for the caveman. She calls me over to tell me the coffee is cold. Not warm or luke-warm or even room temperature, but cold. She acted like it was one step away from being a coffee popsicle. So I smiled and resisted the temptation I had to knock her fucking false teeth out and went to get her some more coffee. OUT OF THE SAME POT. And guess what. By some miracle of miracles this coffee was much better. It must have been a magic freaking coffee pot that made it’s contents change temperature by 20 degrees in a matter of two minutes. I was nice to her because old people make me sad. I just made fun of her in the side stand because she had a huge herpe on her lip that she probably picked up from blowing men for apples in 1933. “Blowjob for an apple, sir?” I can just see her. She counted out her pennies for my tip and shuffled out of my station. She should have saved the money she spent on coffee and bought some fucking Abreva for that cold sore. It was so big, I almost gave it it’s own menu.