Tuesday, February 16, 2010

You gotta fight. For your right. Assault and B a t t e r y !!!

(I do not condone violent behavior, nor do I encourage it.)

With that disclaimer... Have you ever have those fantasies where you beat up your boss at work? Or a customer leaves you some change for a tip off of a check for over a 100 dollars, and you walk up to them and throw it in their face?

Welcome one and all to the world of the service industry. Just the other week, I had one of "those experiences" with a guest. This said guest was staying in the most expensive room of the hotel. The Presidential Suite at $1500.00 a night. She was sat in my section and I was told it would be a four top. (Four people in her party.) She didn't want to see any menus. She simply told my manager to send out a three course meal and a couple of bottles of wine. She finally was sat. I greeted her and quickly assessed that she would be "high maintenance." Not a big deal, if handled correctly.

If there were ever a training video on how a guest/server relationship can go wrong, this would be the template. There were too many plates on the table. Not enough silverware. (Apparently you need a new fork and knife in between every bite.) The candle's too bright. The wine's too cold. The food's too hot. Apparently I was serving "Goldilocks." Get more cocktails before more wine. Don't open that wine until the last two bites of appetizers are left. This woman was like a bad GPS. North was South. East was West. But she had no idea where the hell she was going. Just as long as the GPS voice pointed her towards the direction of food and booze, this broad was in.

At this point you got to be saying, "Why did you put up with all of this?" It was hard, trust me. All of this going on AND I had other tables in my section that I basically had forgotten about. I kept going with it because it reminded me of the girl fights in high school. I couldn't believe this was happening, and I was anxious to see how it would end.

Here's how it ended. Can someone say assault and battery? Between all the confusion and clouded thinking with this woman, she managed to stack up the dirty plates on her table. In between demanding that I remove them and ordering me to get two more bottle of wine, she arm-barred me across my chest and pushed me away saying, "go get the wine. Now!" Being the professional that I am, I calmly said, "Get your fucking hands off me." I turned and walked away. Told my manager to gratuity the table, that I wasn't going to wait on this bag any longer, and that I was getting the tip. And my manager complied.

Lesson learned: "Don't walk where you're not supposed to walk because there might not be someone with super human strength to save your little ass." Okay, no. But I love that line from "City Slickers."

Until next time,

Bartenders and Servers don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter? Party of 1. Your table is ready."
www.thebitterbistro.com