From the day shift host the minute I walked in, regarding the completely fried and clearly dead Open Table computer:
“Do you know how to turn it back on? I don’t know if it’s broken, but it looks like water spilled all over it last night.” I got the real scoop on whose drink spilled where from my night shift host.
From every server:
“How many tonight? Gonna be better than last Sunday?”
From the chef and each line cook:
“How many tonight? Gonna be better than last Sunday? Oh, and who wants pasta for family meal, except you RG?”
From the first dinner reservation, who also happened to be the first guests at 5 p.m.:
“Gee, do you think we really needed these reservations? Ha ha ha.”
From one of two guests, regulars at lunch, speaking loud enough for my benefit as they pass their cell phones back and forth to one another:
“Do you think she’s mad? Look, no smiley face at the end of the message that says ‘Fine.’”
From the other of the two guests:
“Do you think? Ha ha ha. Hey, what’s the one thing you wish someone had told you before you got married?”
From the first of the two guests:
“Don’t? Ha ha ha.”
From an unhappy guest who clearly feels a need to manufacture a portfolio of complaints in any unlucky restaurant in which he happens to land:
“I asked for a manager. You’re a manager? You?” I knew I should have worn a suit tonight.
From the same unhappy guest:
“Do you even KNOW your restaurant’s motto? Do you? Huh? No, I thought not.” Wait, give me a second, you jerk.
From the unhappy guest’s friend after I explain that we are happy to comp dessert and not charge them for the items they have sent back to the kitchen–one filet and one side dish:
“Do you really think this is about the money? It’s not! It’s about this…this…”
From the unhappy guest who started this nice conversation, who now completes his friend’s thought:
“Comedy of errors! You know who is going to hear about this? Your manager! And then I am letting Open Table know.” Oh no, not Open Table!!!
From a guest sitting adjacent to the table of unhappy guests:
“Can I tell you something? This was the best meal I have ever had here. Sure there were some loud people sitting near us who seemed to want to complain about everything they could make up to complain about, but you know what? Even that couldn’t take away from one of the best dining experiences we’ve ever had!”
From the gentleman sitting at the bar, who didn’t appear drunk, but whom I finally had to shake awake and offer to hail a cab:
“I am so sorry. I am just exhausted. Was I really asleep? Thank you.”
From one of the owners who walked in at the end of service:
“What’s that on ESPN? Why would you have that on? On a Sunday? The biggest football day of the week? Seriously, why do you have that TV on ESPN? Who do you think really wants to watch that?” Although I pointed out that I have Sunday night football playing on the one TV at other end of the bar, and that I thought we were supposed to keep the two TVs tuned to different sporting events, I found out that no, after all these months, I should have them both on the same channel if it’s an “important” game like Sunday night football. Oh, okay. Sorry.
From the nice bartender with whom I have only worked a Sunday night twice before:
“Is this really your last Sunday, RG?”