Monday, August 17, 2009

Who raised these people?

Friday night I was told there would be a softball tournament that weekend. Knowing this allowed me to prepare before the multiple teams entered the bar. The field is nearby so when the teams are in between games, they come in to the bar to grab lunch and beer before playing their next game. Teams always want water, pitchers and pitchers of water. Saturdays I am waitress and bartender.

I get to work 20 minutes early Saturday morning. As soon as I enter the building, before even setting up the bar, I fill 7 pitchers of water three quarters full so I can add ice to them when it is time to serve them. Pitchers of water take a while to fill with a bar gun, so this should save me precious time later.

By noon the bar is filling quickly. Two teams have already walked in the door, three tables are seated in the restaurant for lunch, and a man is sitting by himself at a table, but he is wearing a team uniform so I know more will join him soon. As I am rushing to get beer and sodas for the teams I am thankful I had the foresight to prepare water. I have already gone through three of the seven. Manager J is working today so I know I will be fine. The teams walk to the bar to order (thank you) and all is going well. As soon as the orders have been entered, the lunch tables’ orders are up and ready to be taken out. As I am running these, two more teams walk in the door. With Manager J’s help everything is running smooth. I am having a great time being so busy, although it feels like a continuation of the previous night.

The last team to order approaches the bar. I am still busy and feel hurried to take their order so my cook can get it started. He is quite busy in the kitchen as he is alone as well. The first man to order compliments my tattoos before giving me his order. I thank him and am ready to move on to the next person when his voice interrupts their order.

“What are they, the tattoos?” He is referring to the ones he already complimented me on. Funny that someone should like something without knowing what it is. I could understand him saying he liked the colour or the style without knowing, but this particular line of questioning has always struck me as odd. I know what is to come and have my canned answer designed to cut the questions short.

“Japanese symbols,” I begin.

“What do they mean?”

“Honestly, they have a very personal meaning that would be hard for me to explain to someone that doesn’t know me, but thanks for the compliment.” Usually this stops the questions.

“Do they mean love?”

“No,” I reply as I turn to his team mate and ask what he would like to order.

“Well what do they mean? Tell me anyway.” At this point, his friends are making quiet comments to him to cut it out and just let me take their orders.

“Like I said, it really won’t make sense if you don’t know me.” I again turn to his friend.

“Are they your favorite sexual positions?”

OK, that’s it. I can humor questions and comments about personal things, things that strangers should not ask someone they don’t know. I can handle rudeness, demands, and even the occasional drunk trying to pet my arm. I refuse to be spoken to in this manner. Who raised this man, who is old enough to be my father, to think that asking someone a question like this is OK?

“No. Honestly hun, I’m by myself today. I don’t have a waitress, and I’m a little busy. I appreciate your compliment on my tattoos, but I don’t really have time to discuss them right now.” I say, looking him square in the eye. His friends, to my surprise, back me up and I hear several voices restating what I just said; “she’s busy man”, “leave her alone”, “I’m hungry.”

After the teams leave I have two people at the bar. It doesn’t pick up again until 30 minutes before I am scheduled to leave. My relief is 30 minutes late, but I don’t care because she called to let me know. I am working again tomorrow, so I just want to get off my aching feet and watch TV. Tomorrow will be a long day. I am bartending from 11 until whenever it is slow enough to close. Ugh.


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain.

purplegirl said...

That's the rudest thing I've heard all day!

AK said...

I've found that a lot of times people do want to show interest in servers' lives (maybe too much interest) but they are oblivious to how busy the server is. Probably because we don't try to appear out of breath and stressed at our tables. Drives me crazy though.

Sanity of a Server said...

I once had a customer ask me if he could try the bread pudding and then have sex with me to see which is better, the bread pudding or sex. I just walked away I was so stunned!

LW said...

That's gross! I prob would have reacted the same way. What else can you do?