Not Just The Food Getting Roasted Tonight

, , , , , | Right | September 20, 2019

The restaurant I work at has an “Indecisive” section of the menu with two items: Chef’s Choice and Chef’s Special. Chef’s Choice is just an excuse for the kitchen to use the most underused dish; if the fried chicken isn’t selling well that day and it looks like we’ll have extra at the end of the day, that’s chef’s choice. 

Chef’s Special is fun. The chef starts a timer, runs out, and asks the customer questions about their food choices for two minutes. He then dashes back and makes what he guesses to be the perfect dish for them. To keep the kitchen running, he only does this once an hour and we have markers for people who want to order it to form a queue. There’s a countdown clock we display for the next time he will do a special. 

Keep in mind, this is a free service. The chef does it because, and his exact words, “Cooking the same things all the time gets boring. I’d have to change the menu every other month or so to keep my interest. Getting to do this three or four times a day really lightens things up,” so he doesn’t charge customers who essentially keep him doing what he loves. It’s a real treat to see him do this. You can really see the passion he has for cooking for others when he does and the customers love it. Sometimes we get customers who are angry about it, but generally because we only allow people to join the queue when the clock hits five minutes. 

The worst one I’ve seen, though, is an entitled woman who comes in with her party at about ten minutes to go. She refuses to let anyone order — not even appetizers — before the timer hits five because she doesn’t want food coming out at different times. She ends up being third in the queue and loudly attacks the two people in front of her because, “It’s my birthday and I deserve to get the special!” This is not uncommon to experience; people give up their spots for anniversaries or birthdays all the time. The other two relent and finally, it’s time for the chef to come and ask questions.

Now, let me start by explaining that this is an ordeal. The chef has a little public kitchen that he set up for it. The wait staff help prep the area before he comes asks questions so that it works seamlessly. Most patrons will stop eating for the three minutes just to watch the questioning and most stay to see what was made. The chef even keeps a score card on the wall with wins/losses for the month for all to see. It’s his own personal game, and everyone loves it. 

It comes time for questions. He starts the same way I’ve always seen him start: “Do you have any dietary restrictions?”

“Um…” 

That’s it. For ten seconds, all she has said is, “Um…” And bless that man’s patience, he waits the ten seconds and then moves on with other questions. Despite his best efforts to move it along, after two minutes all he’s gotten out of her is, “I like sweets.” Now, I’ve seen this man do some amazing things, but I have no idea how he’s going to accomplish this.

The chef comes back out with a bowl full of ice and water, and a cookie. He puts them in front of this woman and says, “Here! Ice soup and a cookie for the dumba** who wasted everyone’s time! Kindly f*** off and get out of my restaurant”

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The Dumbest Animals In The Park Are…

, , , , , | Right | September 5, 2019

(I work in a coffee shop in a Wyoming town that gets a lot of tourists in the summer since we are so close to a national park. I am asked or overhear this question, or something pretty close to it, at least once a summer.)

Tourist: “We’ll be visiting the park. What time in the morning do they let the animals out?”

Me: “Umm… They’re always out. It’s not a zoo; they’re wild animals. That’s their home.”

Tourist: “Is that… safe?”

Me: “Just don’t, you know, go up and pet a bear or a bison and you’ll be fine.”

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I’ll Have Some Passive-Aggression For Breakfast

, , , | Right | March 30, 2019

(I work in a small gas station and gift store. Unfortunately, we do not yet have card readers on the pumps. We offer two options: leave a card or drivers’ license, or prepay and we can always refund if the vehicle doesn’t take all that is applied. A family pulls up to the pumps. They are already fighting in the parking lot, and I’m just hoping they decide to leave all the visible attitude outside. The older man of the family approaches me.)

Older Customer: “So, what do we have to do to get gas?”

(I explain the options, and immediately the older man is outraged.)

Older Customer: “I would never leave my card!”

(He offers it to the woman with him and I explain that that is okay as long as she remains in the store. Of course, they think this is ridiculous, but I’m just trying to be reasonable, because no card reader is an inconvenience. The woman then stands directly in front of the register, arms crossed, leaning forward against our register touch screen, staring daggers at me. I put up with it, because whatever, it’s not quite eight am and maybe she needs coffee. She continues to comment on what crap it is and tells her daughter they won’t be purchasing anything else.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but that is our store policy. It’s not up to me.”

Female Customer: “I’m just doing what you told me to do.”

(I brush it off. At least they’ll leave when the gas is done. This goes on for another five minutes or so. As annoying as it is, I let it go. Then, her daughter decides to make faces at me, and they start laughing and making fun of me. That’s about all I have for patience. I take a deep breath.)

Me: “All right, you can have them stop the pump. We’re done here. You’re being very rude.”

Female Customer: “I’m just doing what you told me to do!”

Me: “Have them stop the pump or I will stop it in here. You can pay for what you’ve already pumped, and then you need to leave the store.”

(She leans out the front door of the store and hollers to her family outside:)

Female Customer: “She said to stop the pump, but just keep pumping; she’s being rude to me.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can stop it in here, or you can stop it out there. Your choice.”

(The older man then comes back into the store throwing an absolute fit about how this would never happen where they’re from.)

Older Customer: “Where’s your manager?! We need a number to call your manager.”

Female Customer: “Don’t pay with your card; I don’t trust her. She’s self-conscious. That’s the only reason she’s doing this.”

Me: “You can pay with whatever you are more comfortable with.”

(I give them the receipt and point out the store’s number, tell them my manager’s name, and inform them that they’ll have to call during the week to reach her.)

Female Customer: “We’ll have your job for this; you’re going to get fired. We’re taking pictures of this store and sharing it everywhere.”

Me: “Okay, have a nice day.”

(It doesn’t pay to be passive aggressive at eight am. Keep your bad day out of the store.)

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Snow Wonder They Crashed!

, , , , , | Friendly | February 27, 2019

A few years ago, in December, my wife and I were driving south on an interstate highway in Wyoming. It was early evening, full dark, with a snowstorm and strong winds blowing snow across the road making for near whiteout conditions. Driving was extremely hazardous and we were in the right lane travelling at 25 mph or less.

Suddenly, in my driver’s side mirror, I saw headlights rapidly approaching in the passing lane. A moment later, we were passed by an 18-wheeler. I estimated he was going at least 65 mph, probably faster. My spoken thought was, “That stupid f***er is going to crash!”

Less than ten minutes later, the prediction came true. On this portion of the highway the median was very wide and depressed below the N-S driving lanes, and there on its side was the truck. The skid marks in the snow were fresh enough that it had to be the same driver. I have to admit that the Schadenfreude I felt at the instant karma was extremely satisfying as we passed.

Before the commentariat get in an uproar over my failure to stop, read on:

1. One car had already stopped to render aid.

2. Under the driving conditions, stopped cars were very dangerous and I didn’t want to add to the risk.

3. From the tracks, it was clear that the truck hadn’t rolled, just toppled and slid, and there was no fire. Assuming the driver had been wearing his safety harness correctly, he was unlikely to be seriously hurt.

4. Even if #3 was incorrect, the human race just became marginally more intelligent.

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Microchip Micro-Aggressions

, , , , | Romantic | February 25, 2019

(My husband and I have just dropped off our kitten to get spayed and microchipped. It’s important to note that we have other dogs and cats, and my dad is a narcissist who tried breaking us up several years ago.)

Me: “Let’s get the Bengals microchipped when we get their next shots.”

Husband: “Deal. Do they mark the ear to show they’re microchipped?”

Me: “I don’t know. I know dogs get tags.” *pauses and glances at my husband* “I wonder if they microchip husbands.”

Husband: *laughs* “Man found on side of road, bump on head. Doctors say his last memory was telling wife that father-in-law was right all along.”

Me: “Yep, that’d do it!”

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