a lemon and a lime

Hey people….chill the fuck out!!! 

“I’ll be right there with an extra side of blue cheese dressing you fat shit,” I thought to myself as I went back to retrieve the third side of blue cheese dressing for this person (I use the term lightly).  This person who is more likely to be seen on the evening news washed up on a cape cod beach.  Ughh.  Deep breath, calm down…..

Then it occurred to me that I’ve been that same person….yes both washed up on a cape cod beach and the impatient, unforgiving restaurant patron. 

 It was a number of years ago….I was staying at a hotel in Waltham, Massachusetts for 3 or 4 nights.  Each night, after working about 15 hours I’d come back to the restaurant and grab a table by myself for dinner.  The first night the waitperson comes over and asks me if I want something to drink and I say, “yes, please bring me a bottle of sparkling water with a lemon, thanks.”  He promptly returns to the table with my bottle of water and a lime.  “Not a big deal,” I think and ask for a lemon.  A few minutes later he returns with a lemon and takes my order.  The rest of the meal is fine (uneventful).

Day two, finish working another 15 hour day and come back to the hotel, grab a table by myself for dinner.  Ah, my friend from last night is waiting on me again.  “Awesome,” I think.  He comes over to the table and asks me if I want something to drink and I say, “yes, please bring me a bottle of sparkling water with a lemon, thanks.”  He promptly returns to the table with my bottle of water and a lime.  “Not again,” I think to myself now wondering if the guy is even listening to me, so again, I ask for a lemon.  A few minutes later he returns with a lemon and takes my order.   The rest of the meal goes fine…

Day three, finish working another 15 hour day and come back to the hotel, grab a table by myself for dinner.  Ah, my friend from last night is waiting on me again.  “Oh boy,” I think to myself very sarcastically.  He comes over to the table and asks me if I want something to drink and I say, “yes, please bring me a bottle of sparkling water with a lemon, thanks.”  He promptly returns to the table with my bottle of water and a lime.  “Unbelievable,” I think to myself, it doesn’t matter what I fucking say.  Once again I ask for a lemon and like magic he appears a few minutes later with a lemon and takes my order.   The rest of the meal goes fine…

Day four, finish working another 15 hour day and come back to the hotel, grab a table by myself for dinner.  Ah, my friend from the previous three nights is waiting on me again.  “Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket,” I think to myself about the luck I have a getting the same waiter.  He comes over to the table and asks me if I want something to drink and I say, “yes, please bring me a bottle of sparkling water with a bluefish, thanks.”  He stands at the table with a quizical look on his face.  “What is this bluefish you are wanting with your water,” he asks.   “Bluefish or lemon it doesn’t really matter what I say because you’re going to bring me a fucking lime, right?”  I say with a tone that I didn’t know I had in me nor ever want hear again.  He looks as if I have just killed his dog, cat, goldfish, hamster, guinea pig, turtle, ferret, bird and pet squirrel.  He sulks off and brings me back the water with a lemon.

Rather than being jubilant about my victory I feel like shit.  This poor guy is doing the best job he can and here am I mr. pompous ass….Needless to say I apologized profusely and left him a tip so large he could go out and buy new pets to replace the ones I knocked off…

I make a promise to myself right then that I will never treat someone like that again.  Seven years later I still haven’t broken my promise.

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1 Comment

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One response to “a lemon and a lime

  1. As a former waiter I can tell you: that dude read you like a daily blog entry.

    “How many limes,” He asked himself, as he prepared your drink order the second night, “Will I bring this guy before he loses it rudely, insults my mother for raising me wrong; my 3rd grade teacher for teaching me wrong; and my manager for training me wrong?”

    What would happen when you did lose it? Two possibilities: 1.Wracked by guilt, you leave him a 40% tip and not be rude to a waiter again for at least 7 years. or 2. The dreaded, emotionally draining & financially worthless late night one-top tea totaler — that’d be you — storm out in an embarrassing tizzy and never come back.

    A finely calculated bet — one I admire — by a prescient waiter/gambler with nothing to lose.

    Thanks for the link — and good luck with the new blog & book!

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