Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A new career path

Great news – I think I found a new job! Apparently the only qualification for this job is that you must be able to grunt.

I am going to get a job at the restaurant down the street from our office.

My friends and I go to this restaurant at least one day a week – it’s fast, cheap, and the food is usually pretty good. And by pretty good, our usual definition is that it doesn’t send you running for the john when you get back to the office. Our standards aren't very high, as you can tell. And typically, the service is very good and fast.

Two weeks ago, we took a larger group than normal to lunch and they seated us at this really awkward booth with a u-shaped bench, a long table, and a few chairs on the outside. We had a new waiter – we’d seen him there before but usually the manager waits on our table. This guy is short, kind of greasy looking, and really only either grunts or repeats exactly what you say….

“Yes, I’d like special #9, with one chicken and one cheese enchilada.”

“Mumpf, mizzlepluck.”

That’s it. Period. No chattiness, no questions – just some random grunts and a word or two that is difficult to understand. And when the food came there were a few things wrong, some of us didn’t have silverware, the drinks were empty…and the crowd at our table was getting restless.

“Could we please get some more chips? And she needs some silverware too, please.”

“Fuflemante mizzlepluck.”

And so he would disappear into the kitchen, never to be seen again. My friend B, who happens to get a little on the testy side when she is hungry, discovered that one of her enchiladas was missing…so every waiter that came by our table was lassoed and B would begin wildly gesticulating with her hands as she asked, “Isn’t this supposed to have a cheese enchilada?” And there would be nodding and they would disappear into the kitchen, never to reappear. Finally, the manager came over and managed to figure out that B was ready to go totally postal, and the cheese enchilada magically appeared.

Today was no better. We got the same weird table, the same creepy waiter….

“Could we have some straws please?” was met with a puzzled look.

“Zastrim?” he asked and scurried away…came back three times with no straws. Finally, the busgirl came over and put about 30 straws on the table, and walked away snickering. I think she’s been a witness to this fun before.

He returned to the table. “Could we have some more salsa and chips please? And they don’t have silverware, either.”

“Mumslufnm,” he replied, and disappeared into the kitchen. You can imagine what came next. And it wasn’t him returning to the table.

Eventually, the food came out…and miracle of miracles, everyone’s order was right. Except C, who by some luck of the draw ended up being the Big Lottery Winner in the Crappiest Lunch Contest and received no lunch whatsoever. Finally after three waiters came by, we hailed the manager and poor C ended up getting her lunch after all. And by that point, she was so pissed off that she didn’t eat much at all.

“Damn, that’s the worst waiter EVER,” said my friend R to the group.

“Yeah, he must be the idiot unemployable brother or something like that,” replied L.

We never got the check, and you know what? He didn’t get a tip, either – and I can count on less than one hand the amount of times I’ve refused to tip a waiter, so you know that means it was bad.

So there you go – I think I could definitely get a job there if things with Eeyore go any further south than they already are. All I need to do is mumble a lot, and when things get too stressful just disappear into the kitchen, never to return.


Anonymous said...

Never got the check? Doesn't that make it a better place to eat? BYOS - bring your own silverware...

mama2munchkin said...

Your restaurant must be owned by the same people who have several down this way!

I thought of you today, after reading this post this morning, when I saw a sign outside of a local pub that had written on one side: "When in doubt, mumble."