Scary People

I give up.

I give in.

And I will give you this: Forget Halloween. Forget full moons and any other weird days of any other months during the year. The week between Christmas and New Years brings out the absolute worst in every single person on the planet–every single day.

It brings out the worst of people in my city because they are:
1) Unhappy they are not sunning themselves on a beach;
2) Jealous of the friends who are skiing in Europe or out west;
3) Off their meds.

I have been seriously scolded about being booked on New Years Eve, verbally pummeled for my inability to take another 10-top, and scathingly eyed for telling patrons we are on an hour wait–every day this week.

My friends and family members have experienced the same anger from strangers. And they don’t work with me.

What the hell is going on?

Mr. Restaurant Gal was screamed at by man driving a dented Olds in a grocery store parking lot. He doesn’t know why. He had no previous interaction or conversation with the man. He didn’t take a parking space or even get near the one the crazy man was parking in. But he was screamed at nevertheless. Yes, people stared. Yes, people shook their heads and smiled in sympathy at Mr. Restaurant Gal.

And the scary crazy man kept on yelling, following Mr. Restaurant Gal into the store. All the while Mr. Restaurant Gal kept silent, never engaging with the man. But what Mr. Restaurant Gal thought was: “What’s your problem, pal? Didn’t kill your quota of kittens today or something, you lunatic?”

I, too, was scolded by a most unexpected couple today.

Two bussers kept hanging around the podium, flirting with the 17-year-olds I am working with this week, asking to use the phone to make personal calls, asking to place a carry-out order at another restaurant, none of which is even remotely allowed. I finally told them to “Go away.”

One fought back. “You tell me to ‘Go Away?’ Fine, I go!’” he blustered, making a rude gesture, knowing full well guests were within earshot.

This would be the same one who doesn’t change dirty table cloths, then places clean silver and glassware on the dirty cloths, which makes the people I seat at these tables very angry. I then have to reset an entire table as the guests sit there and watch, asking me if we always re-use dirty cloths. I do this multiple times a day, despite my complaints to his manager. I cannot stand this lazy slob.

He finally backed away from the podium.

Five minutes later, a couple was leaving the restaurant. They sought me out–me personally.

“I want you to know,” said an attractive woman about my age, “that we enjoyed our meal, as we always do here.”

“Thank you,” I smiled back, even though I knew the biggest “But” in history was coming my way.

“Yes, the meal was perfect,” she now sneered. “But the way you treated those employees, those bus boys? Well, it was disgraceful, disgusting. I thought you should know. It was disgusting to watch you and to hear you.”

I kept silent. I didn’t engage. But what I thought was: “Shall I get a manager so you can properly complain? Because any one of them will back me 100 percent. What the f— do you know about any of what I do you sanctimonious b—-?”

And she walked out, shaking her head, still eying me to make her point.

I cannot wait for January 2.

That is when all the scary people have to go back to work and go on diets.






11 responses to “Scary People”

  1. Ax Avatar

    Crazy people.

    I think Christmas brings out the worst in people. Don’t know why. But I refuse to fly anywhere at Christmas anymore.

  2. Shannon Avatar

    I completely agree. I work in a resteraunt and this week is absolute hell. It’s seems as if the “holiday spirit” that everyone had went out the window the second Christmas was over. Now, for some reason, it seems completely acceptable to them to tip next to nothing, and yell at the hostesses and wait staff because they do not feel that they should have to wait for food or tables when we are on a 45 minute wait.

    Insanity. All of it.

  3. Jay Sun Avatar

    keep your chin up…just a few more days to go to Jan 2nd… 🙂

  4. restaurant Gal Avatar

    Thanks, Ax, Shannon and Jay Sun. Unconditional support always welcome.

    However, I almost pulled this post down, knowing my writing was cryptic and didn’t capture the full extent of the madness of people because I was still reeling from the day’s madness. I also wasn’t real pleased with my reactions to it all.

    Rude people and nutty co-workers are the same everywhere, and they are manageable 95 percent of the time. I don’t know why, but the woman who vocalized her disdain for me regarding the bussers really threw me. There was a “How dare you!” part of me that wanted to respond to her, as well as an unsteady feeling inside myself of “God, I am as angry and bitchy as everyone else these days.” And, I must confess, I pretty much wanted to throw down the pagers and walk out the door at that moment. Happily, I work with some nice kids this week, and they coaxed me into a decent mood again–and the pagers were spared.

  5. Kepa Avatar

    You handled that much better than I could have. I would have flipped out.

  6. j Avatar

    Hah wow I would have straight up told that lady ‘I’m sorry you feel that way but you don’t work here.’ People are so self-rightous. Your husband is crazy, if some nutbag was following me around yelling at me, I would have found out and resolved the situation real quick. Maybe I’m used to people yellng at me all day, but toss a little steel into your voice and they really can’t do too much, you know?
    Hope your week gets better 🙂

  7. briliantdonkey Avatar

    Playing devil’s advocate here(sorry it is a fault of mine)

    In a sense I agree with her though not at ALL with the way she put it, or the tone I am imagining her saying it in. If she happened to just overhear you telling them to ‘go away’ (though she probably only heard the busser’s outburst not you) then I can see why she would say something in an attempt to stick up for the ‘poor 17 year old worker’. I am guessing you probably tried nicely to get him to ‘go away’ several times before finally getting fed up and spelling it out for him and all she caught was the ‘fed up’ version of it. That said, it sounds like she totally skipped over the ‘nice way’ of telling you and went straight in to the bi*** mode which was clearly just wrong on her part. I am glad you didn’t launch into her , you would have regretted it to say the least. Just my 2 cents. Keep up the great work.


  8. angstycola Avatar

    hmm, maybe that’s why my favorite diner is closed this whole week.

  9. Liz Avatar

    i also cannot wait until January 2nd, when all the amateur consumers go back to work and go on diets, so i can actually have an experience in a top notch restaurant that isn’t beseiged with the crowds of people who will expect four star service and leave one star tips.

  10. Jedi Jaz Avatar

    See?? It’s weird isn’t it! People go nutso, you can tell who doesn’t work with customers by how they treat people this week. I’m glad I got the week off. Otherwise i’d probly go off and start throwing the stupid people.

  11. class-factotum Avatar

    I’ve been working a seasonal job at a department store. Most customers are nice, but a few are downright rude. I have learned that the best answer for me to give nasty customers is “Yes ma’am” or “No ma’am” — even when I want to slap them upside the head and tell them how stupid they are being and that there is no money in the world, much less $9/hour, that makes taking their crap worthwhile.