Basically: Shut Your Mouth

, , , | Working | September 20, 2019

(I am working as a waiter in a sushi bar. Some evenings are pretty crowded because of our all-you-can-eat buffets. One evening, a group of four women is, chatting loudly, basically interrupting each other all the time while eating and enjoying themselves. This is not a problem, but the noise level in the rather small restaurant is higher than usual. Following my routine I come to the table to ask if anyone wants to order some new drinks.)

Guest #1: “I’d like some dry white wine, please. And I have a question.”

Me: “I’m happy if I can help.”

Guest #1: “The wasabi always burns so strong. Is there a way that we can enjoy the taste without it being hot?”

Me: “Yes, of course. First of all, you have to keep your mouth closed…”

(All the guests have shocked looks on their faces, because they were chatting like crazy beforehand.)

Me: “…because if you leave it open, the essential oils in the wasabi will be sucked into your lung and when you breathe out you’ll have these in your nose, which causes the burning. So, if it burns, keep it closed and calmly take some breath through your nose.”

(This has always worked for me, and my manager also told us to explain it like this.)

Guest #2: “So, it’s not working like chili?”

Me: “No, more like mustard.”

(They thanked me for the answer and silently ate the whole evening while having some conversation and not cutting each other off all the time.)

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Karen Wants Her Pudding

, , , , | Right | September 18, 2019

(A Yorkshire pudding is a savory item made of batter and baked until it rises and looks kind of like a mini bowl. Aunt Bessie’s is a famous brand of supermarket-sold Yorkshire puddings. It is Sunday. Our pub is well known in the local area for doing really good roast dinners. I am serving a family. They all look fairly normal, apart from the young grandmother — middle-aged — wearing pearls and a cardigan. Everyone else at her table is in jeans.)

Me: “Here you go, everyone! Here’s your roast beef, your lamb, and your veggie sides. Does anyone need any more sauces?”

Woman: “Excuse me?!”

Me: “Is everything okay?”

Woman: “Take this back to the kitchen at once! This roast pudding is burnt!”

Me: “I can do that for you now. I’m so sorry! I’ll get this changed right away!”

(I rush off to the kitchen.)

Me: “One of the ladies at table eight says that her roast pudding is burnt. Could you swap it for a lighter one?”

Chef: “It’s not burnt. Bloody h***. Let’s take a look at this batch and find one she might like.”

(We find the palest one we can find and I go back out.)

Me: “I’m so sorry about that. Here’s your meal. The chef assured me that they aren’t burnt. The Yorkshire puddings just look a bit darker than you would expect because they are made from scratch and baked. If you pull it apart, it still comes apart like bread and doesn’t flake.”

Woman: “Hmmf!”

Me: “Is it still not to your liking? If not, the chef cooks them in batches, so I can get another one for you in about five minutes. If you don’t want to wait, I’m more than happy to get you some more meat or potatoes, instead.”

Woman: “What I want is an unburnt roast pudding!”

(She shoves the dish at me and spills hot gravy on my hands.)

Woman’s Daughter: “For God’s sake, Mum! Every restaurant!”

Me: “It’s no trouble.” *forced smile* “I’ll just go check on the kitchen and get you a new one.”

(I go back to the kitchen and the chef hands me a plate of roast puddings.)

Me: “What’s this for?”

Chef: “That’s the new batch. Check if she can find one she likes. Let the table have the rest if they want them.”

(I go back to the table.)

Woman: “Every single one of these is burnt! Can’t you do anything right?! A roast pudding is meant to be beige! Light brown! Not mahogany! Not the colour of my bloody coffee table!”

Me: *silently goes back to the kitchen and explains what happened*

Chef: “I’ll make her one special. The colour she wants.” *sarcastically* “As this woman clearly knows how to cook a roast pudding better than me! You know what? I think she’s thinking of those cheap crappy ones you buy at the supermarket.”

(I take out the newly-cooked Yorkshire pudding. It’s light brown, undercooked, and almost raw in the middle. Her family has finished eating.)

Woman: “That’s what I’m talking about! Finally! That’s the right colour!”

(The woman takes a bite of the gooey mess, only held together by a ring of almost-cooked batter. I see the look on her face. It’s clearly underdone, but she’s made such a fuss to get what she wanted, it’s obvious she can’t back down.)

Me: “Is it to your liking?”

Woman: “It’s perfect. Thank you!”

(As I walk away, I hear…)

Woman’s Daughter: “Next time, we’re leaving you at home with your cheap Aunt Bessie’s!”

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Will Have To Take That Up With Mother Nature

, , , , | Right | September 18, 2019

(We offer both hand-cut regular fries and sweet potato fries as choices of sides on our menu. A group of three older ladies sit and order, one of them ordering a side of sweet potato fries. Once they receive their food, the lady that ordered sweet potato fries beckons me over.)

Customer: “I am not happy with my sweet potato fries.”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that. Is anything wrong with them?”

Customer: “They’re not very crispy or cooked. I would like a side of regular fries, instead.”

(I bring her a side of regular fries, which are fairly crispy. I know that our sweet potato fries are dropped raw, which will never result in a crispy texture like regular fries. To get a crispy sweet potato fry, you have to do something to it, like put flour or cornstarch on them.)

Me: “Here is your side of fries, ma’am. We cook our sweet potato fries raw, so they won’t get crispy like you wanted, I’m sorry.”

Customer: “Raw? Well, you put your regular fries in raw, as well, don’t you?”

Me: “Yes, but they’re untreated–”

Customer: “Then they should be the same!”

Me: “But sweet potato fries are more fibrous; they won’t cook the same.”

Customer: “If you cook regular fries raw, then the sweet potato fries should be the same.”

Me: “Okay. Enjoy your meal, ma’am.”

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The Cats Demand You Pork The Butt

, , , , , , | Related | September 17, 2019

(We’re the family from The Cats Demand You Spill The Beans. This time, my husband is in the kitchen grinding pork butt and mixing it with spices to make sausages. I overhear the following exchange between him and one of our cats.)

Cat: *whiny meow*

Husband: “This is pork butt. You don’t want this.” 

Cat: *whiny meow*

Husband: “This is raw pork. Does the word ‘trichinosis’ mean anything to you?”

Cat: *whiny meow*

Husband: “Even your wildest ancestors could not have taken down a pig. Why would you even want raw pork? It doesn’t taste like ham. This is ham before it’s ham. It doesn’t even smell like ham.”

Cat: *whiny meow*

Husband: “We already discussed this, remember? You told me you wanted it, and I told you no, because it would make you very sick? Now stop it.” 

(The cat whined once more and apparently accepted defeat because she wandered off to sit in the hallway, staring wistfully into the kitchen. Life is hard when you’re a cat whose humans love you.)

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Karen Has Friends To Stop Her Karen-ing

, , , , , | Right | September 13, 2019

(I am a food runner, which means that I don’t take orders, I just bring food to the table. Because of this, I don’t know who ordered what, so I just name the dish and ask who it is for. Today, I am bringing two women their lunches; one ordered a standard burger and added cheddar cheese, and the other ordered our garlic tri-tip plate with a side of vegetables. Obviously, they’re two very different looking entrees, one being a burger and one being a steak. I approach the table and hold the garlic tri-tip plate out in front of me with the burger behind and underneath.)

Me: “Good afternoon, ladies! Who has the garlic tri-tip plate with a side of veggies?”

Woman #1: *looks at the burger I am holding behind the tri-tip plate and SCREECHES at the top of her lungs* “OH, MY GOD, I thought this was an entree! And I can’t do cheese!*continues screeching and whining indiscriminately, red-faced*

Woman #2: “[Friend], I ordered the cheeseburger. Your food is in her other hand.”

Woman #1: *beet-faced and stammering* “I… well… I didn’t know.”

(I set their food down without another word and walked away. Clearly, she came in that day looking to be angry about something, and the fact that her friend embarrassed her was retribution enough for me.)

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