What the heck does that mean?

All about working as a waiter, pursuing my dream, eating vegetarian, and loving where I live!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Absurd Customer of the Week #6

Sometimes, you have a customer you just know you're going to blog about the minute you encounter them.

Three older people (two very nice ladies and one PILL of guy) give me their orders like I'm an idiot, as if they require special explanation. One of them had also been asking me, what's the difference between *this* dish (pointing) and the Linguine di Mare. Well, I explain that the two are essentially the same... same pasta, same sauce. One just has an assortment of seafood while the other is only shrimp.

"Clams," she says.
"I'm sorry?"
"Clams. Not shrimp."
"OH! I'm sorry, I thought you were pointing at the dish above that. Well, the only difference between the Linguine with Clams and the other dish is that with other one you get a variety of seafood, and in this one you only get clams. And a choice of white or red sauce. The two red sauces are the same."

I don't know if she couldn't read the menu descriptions without glasses or if she was just too lazy to read. But I eventually get their order, making sure to repeat it back to them. Apparently, though, when the food came out to the table, the old man barked at the server who ran it.

PILL: What is this??
SERVER: Veal Picatta?
PILL: Why is there sauce on this?! I don't want sauce! Take it off!

So the server takes it back. I didn't witness this exchange, but saw that the food was on the table. Realizing the veal picatta was missing, I told the old Pill I'd check on it for him.

Tyler Florence Veal Picatta
PILL: There was SAUCE on it. I didn't want sauce! Just tell them to dump it off and put it on another plate and bring it back out.
ME: Oh... so just, dry? Or easy sauce?
ME: I'll go check on it in the kitchen.

So I scurry off to the kitchen. The new veal picatta is already ready. They left the lemon zest and capers on it, but the veal is dry and the spinach isn't cooked all the way. I bring it out  and try my luck. I drop it off on the table and hesitate to see what he says. Which turns out to be nothing, but the ladies at the table ooh and ahh and say it looks great. So I leave to attend to my other tables. Minutes later, another server tells me that this table wants to speak with me. I return.

ME: Yes, sir?
ME: Um....  you said you didn't want sauce, so they made it without sauce.
ME: Um... would you like us to make you a new one with just a little bit of sauce?
PILL: Where's the lemon??
ME: Well, they did leave some lemon zest and capers on there for you...
PILL: It's terrible!
ME: We can get you something else or make you a new dish.
NICE LADIES: No, no. Just bring some sauce on the side for him.

So I go back to the kitchen and request some sauce and grab a plate of lemons. I bring it out promptly and let him know that they're heating up some sauce for him right now and will bring it out in a jiffy, but here's some fresh lemon.

PILL: ACH. Just take it. I don't want it. It's terrible.

So I take it back and tell the kitchen not to bother with the sauce. I let my manager know and ask him to take off the veal for me. Ironically, when a different manager stopped by at the end of the meal (not knowing the story), the group told him that everything was great.

Meanwhile, while this whole thing was going on, I was trying to accommodate a lady who was allergic to wheat, corn, soy, dairy, and who was also avoiding hormones. Luckily, our restaurant offers gluten-free pasta made out of rice that fit all her specifications. She asked me to make it with oil, garlic, and basil with a side of spinach and salmon. I repeated her order MULTIPLE times to make sure I had it right... and when I brought it out, she said, "Oh! I wanted tomatoes!" Never, ever, did she say tomato. Was that supposed to be implied? Perhaps she could have just saved us both the trouble and asked for pomodoro.

On a completely different note. Tonight, I had a table leave me the most ridiculously large tip I have ever received. I don't know if they misread the bill, or someone gave me more money than they thought they did, or their math was bad, or if they just felt generous. Even when the tip was already absurd, another person came up to me later and gave me even MORE money. I guess they felt bad for coming in so late and staying there so long. I mean, they didn't leave until TWO HOURS after closing. But, with the money they gave me, I wasn't going to complain one teensy tiny bit.

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