Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Help

Usually when someone asks me what I do, I usually drop the server/waiter and instead play up the "bartender" aspect; it's all shaking manhattans and schmoozing with execs and their lush wives. This of course, isn't the whole reality.

It's not that I disdain the serving aspect, as I get to mostly chill with my friends and watch Sportscenter's relentless diagnosis of the state of Tiger Wood's sex addiction. It's probably the easiest job I'll ever get, and the pay is pretty good, or at least good for the amount of work one actually does. Most of the members at the country club I work at are pretty likable and easy to chat with, but you always run into that one person that just makes you question why the hell you signed up for a job where you are at the mercy of somebody's whims.

Last weekend this chick sat down in the empty restaurant area for some drinks and to wait for her two friends/coworkers. My co-server got her first drink while I was in the kitchen, most likely pilfering french fries. When I returned outside, my buddy was gone and this lady's two friends had arrived. I asked what they would like and they both ordered two glasses of wine.

I return with the wine. As I place the two glasses on the table, the original lady slaps my hand with a good amount of force and yells, "What did I just tell you about putting your fingers on my glass!?"

The sudden jolt of being touched as well as the venom with which she yelled left me wide eyed and backing up a few steps. It was like being bitten by a bitch of a snake. I must have given her my best "WTF" face, as she followed up with, "Oh were you not the waiter that gave me my glass? You must simply know that you should never put your fingers anywhere on the wine glass." Her friends that had just joined her were noticeably as confused as I was at the sudden outburst. I forced out, "Well I guess I don't know how to do my job," and stalked back toward the kitchen.

I found my co-server had returned to the bar and asked him, "Did you just see that?"

His response, "Yeah, that bitch just slapped me as well. I put the glass down and she nailed me."

So that's what happened; she, in her immediate disregard of the people who were attending to her, thought I was my co-server who had not heeded her warning the first time around, thus incurring the full brunt of her rage at being ignored.

I was steel reeling and furious. Who could be that self-important that they could be so demeaning to another person?

Though my co-server was willing to let it slide, I brought it up as soon as our Food and Beverage director walked through. I asked, "Do you see those ladies?"

"Oh man, we've had a few run-ins with them before," he responded.

"You should probably go ask Keenan (my co-server) what just happened, then."

"Oh, fantastic..."

After word of the story spread around the club like wildfire, all the managers were in agreement that they had no idea what to do or how to even broach it to the lady, but it was something they had never encountered before.

The food and bev. director took it upon himself (with a recording iPod in his pocket) to confront the woman. She immediately goes into complete denial, asking who could say such a thing about her. Then, suddenly as if being flipped like a switch, she changes her tune and says, "Oh well maybe I did, but your help shouldn't be touching the glasses with their finger." 

My boss went into a silent rage and he marched her to our station. He called me and Keenan to come out and accept her apology. In what has to be one of the most awkward things I have ever encountered, she takes my hand and strokes, all the while saying that she was just trying to get her point across. I told her, "I guess we just aren't used to be treated like that around here."

The HELP - that's what she called us! Come to find out that she wasn't even a member of the club, and that she was there after being part of a seminar on etiquette. She was so warped by her zealotry to what was proper, that she was willing to strike and berate another human in the must offensive and improper ways.

Not a week before this incident, I was called a "fag" by a 11 year old that had skipped out on golf practice because I wouldn't give him free food, five minutes after him and his accomplice were bragging about using their golf clubs to fish turtles out of the pond and stuff them in ant piles and flattening them on the road.

People get a little bit of money and it warps their whole gene pool and gives them the authority to treat us like slaves. No matter how many good days you can have out there, because of the nature of the job I'll potentially have to potentially serve and bartend for assholes that will ruin your day. Anyone would deserve better than that.

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