Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Notable Customers - Part II

Mr. $100 Pair of Sunglasses...

So this girl calls up one night at work and I happen to be the lucky one that answers the phone. She says that she and her boyfriend “ate there the other night and he left his sunglasses”. They had called earlier in the week and someone told them that they still had them. So, apparently, instead of coming and getting the sunglasses when she called before, she decided to wait a couple of days and call again to see if they were still there. I put her on hold, searched the hostess desk, go find a manager and ask if there are any sunglasses in the office, manager says “no”, go back up front, pick up the phone and tell her that we can’t find any sunglasses of her description anywhere. She then asked me if I was sure because “those are hundred dollar sunglasses”. Okay, I know she couldn’t see me search the desk (or anywhere really), but I was gone a while, but I don’t like people questioning my competence or honesty. I assured her that we couldn’t find the sunglasses anywhere.
An hour or so later, the boyfriend comes in. He tells me his girlfriend called a while ago and asked about the sunglasses. I tell him the same thing I told his girlfriend. He tells me the same thing his girlfriend told me, “those are hundred dollar sunglasses”, and asks me to check. I check the hostess desk again, making a lot of movement and moving things around so he could see that I really was looking, and there’s not much to our hostess desk. I tell him they aren’t there, he asks me to check the office. I go and find a manager to open the office, we look in the office, the only pair of sunglasses we find are a pink pair that don’t match the description he gave me. I go back up front and give him the same report, no sunglasses. He asks “could you check again? Those are hundred dollar sunglasses.” I look again, because the customer is suppose to always be right. I’m sure that if he has me check the desk enough times the sunglasses will magically appear and he’ll be happy because he didn’t really waste a bunch of money on something that is easily lost. Again, I tell him there are no sunglasses and he leaves not so happy. He might have talked to a manager, but it happened so far back I can’t remember if he did or not. I just remember telling people, when I told them about this guy, that he just shouldn’t have spent so much money on a freakin’ pair of sunglasses! I have a pair from the dollar store that do the job just fine and I love ‘em.

We’ll Work It Out When We Get There...

On a Friday night, not particularly busy and not a very long wait, we get a call. This woman has a party of 8 people and they want to sit in smoking. The hostess who was talking to the woman explained that the bar was pretty busy and it was all seat yourself, so she would have a tough time finding space for 8 people. The hostess asked the woman if she would just like to put her name on the wait list for nonsmoking for call ahead seating, but the woman declined, saying, “No, we’ll work it out when we get there.” I shook my head when the hostess told me that she said that.
“Well then she better not whine and complain when she wants nonsmoking and has to wait at least forty-five minutes for it.”

About a half an hour or so later, the party came in. They told us it would be about 8, they wanted smoking, and they had called a little while ago. While we knew that they had called a little while ago, their name wasn’t on the list because they didn’t tell us to put it on the list, they wanted to wait and see when they arrived. On top of that, they took one look at the bar (the smoking section) and didn’t want to sit there, but they didn’t know that the bar was all of the smoking section. They had spotted a six-top booth that we were about to seat (but didn’t because this party came through the door and needed to be dealt with) and were just about to go and cram themselves into it when we told them it was for another party.
“Isn’t that smoking?” The woman in charge asked.
“No, that’s all nonsmoking, over here in the bar is smoking.”

They then wanted to know how long it was going to be for nonsmoking (who saw that one coming?). I took a quick survey of the dinning room and, at the moment, didn’t see anything available, told them it was probably going to be about 45 minutes. Needless to say, they didn’t want to wait that long (should have put your name on the list when you called then dummy!), and were on their way out the door when I saw an open six-top booth waaaaay in the back of the restaurant. I told them that I had another six-top booth open in the back. You would think that since a few minutes before, they had voluntarily offered to cram into a six-top, that this offer would be fine. No. The woman in charge had to go and LOOK at the stupid booth! It’s the same as the other one you were about to get into genius! They took the booth though, in the end. I hoped it was because they realized that if they went anywhere else it was going to be a longer wait and they didn’t feel like doing that (they also had kids with them, which could have added to that, but all the kids came in carrying McDonalds bags!).

With a Heat Index of Over A Hundred...

This one didn’t happen to me, this was one of our other hostesses who told me about it the next day. This particular hostess, Kelly (name changed), is not a particularly big girl, you could definitely say she’s skinny, but it’s not an unhealthy skinny, she’s just thinner than most. One day, as she’s holding the door for these two guests, (an elderly woman with a walker and what was assumed to be her son who was also middle-age-looking) the guy says to her in a rude tone, “With the heat index over a hundred, and you being eighty pounds, I recommend you go and get yourself a drink of water before you wither away!”

What do you say to something like that? How is it that teasing someone because they’re skinny is okay, but if you tease someone because they’re fat, it’s offensive? If this guy had been big pounds and Kelly had said, “With a heat index of over a hundred, and you being 300 pounds, if you don’t go get some water you’re gonna have a heart attack”, he could have gotten her fired. But, since she was a skinny employee of the restaurant he was patronizing, that somehow magically gives him the right to comment on her weight, manners be damned.

I wish I could tell you that was the last of this guy, I really do, but it’s not. His mother was friendly and nice as anything, I wonder what happened to her son that made him as mean as he was. At the end of their meal, he comes up to Kelly with the little black book in his hand and demands, “What do I do with this?” It’s a common thing for people to bring us their checks, thinking they pay the hostesses for their meal and we’re hiding a cash register somewhere in our desk (even though all the servers say “I’ll take the check when you’re ready” after dropping it off at the table). Other people don’t want to leave it on the table because they think someone is going to steal their information (yeah, all of the last four digits on their credit card, whoopie), or they don’t want to leave any cash sitting on the table.

So Kelly thought maybe this guy was thinking that he paid up front, not before she noticed that he didn’t have the check for very long before coming up to her.
“Oh,” She smiled. “You can just leave that on the table and the server will get it.”
He didn’t seem to like that idea. “I don’t think so, that wouldn’t be very convenient for me because I need change. Actually, I don’t think that would be very convenient at all do you think I want to leave that much money?”
Like we can tell what’s in the book when it’s closed and being held in our faces...
“Okay, just a minute, I’ll go get your server.” Kelly replies and heads back towards the kitchen. This guy follows her as she’s going back and into the kitchen! While in the kitchen, he spots one of our managers and demands (see a pattern?), “Are you a manager?”
“Then I assume you can take care of this for me.” Says the guy as he hands the manger the check.

The manager did take care of the guy and his check and he left in a huff, though his mother was all sunshine and smiles to Kelly on their way out. Some people are just rude for no reason aren’t they?

Salmon Guy’s Evil Twin...

One of our servers who somehow ends up with Salmon Guy on a regular basis, got what she called “His Evil Twin” one day. I remember this guy too, I got his drink for him. He wanted an ice tea with the ice, not only out of the glass, in a completely different glass and he wanted it filled to the brim (with ice). He didn’t read the menu right at all, thinking for some reason that the sandwich he wanted came with a salad so instead of this salad that doesn’t come with it, he wants something else. So the server explains to him that his sandwich doesn’t actually come with a salad, but would he like the whatever-it-was-substitue anyway? Nope, of course he didn’t.

I saw him eating his sandwich later. It was a naked chicken sandwich, and I mean naked! This thing came just plain chicken on bread, and he wasn’t even eating the bread! The bread was on a completely separate plate than his chicken, which he was proceeding to cut up into small, infant-bite-sized pieces with his knife and fork and eating it that way (with his ice-tea-ice-in-a-separate-glass to drink). I’m not sure how much he tipped the server, I hope it was more than what Salmon Guy does.