Can I get you anything else?

 

*the names used are not real for privacy purposes
“Um, yeah,” says the boy, probably in his early twenties or late teens, sitting next to his girlfriend, staring up at me with one of those vacant expressions. “…can I get some ranch?”
“Sure,” I reply, smiling. Of course smiling doesn’t have anything to do with being happy. The table I was waiting on that day was one of those tables. It was one of those tables where the minute I greeted them, they greeted me with the infamous deer-in-headlights stare, staying silent for a few aggravating seconds as though I was some sort of alien deformity, then finally saying in quiet little voices, can I get a coke. It was one of those tables where they claimed to be ready to order, then lost their brains somewhere along the way when I asked what they would like, while I’m busy as hell and don’t have time to stand around until they finally retrieve their runaway brains and figure it out.
Being a good server takes a very special kind of talent: unlimited patience. Not to mention the multi-tasking brain of a computer. I consider myself to be a “good server” after being put to the test at *The Restaurant and Brewery where a server can be triple-sat (meaning three of your tables got sat at the exact same time) with six to seven-top tables (that means six or seven individuals) while the rest of your section is already full (that section being as big as seven to eight separate tables). A good server can handle all of this without freaking out and I have successfully passed this test. 
To be a server at The Restaurant and Brewery you must have a certain level of tolerance. The table I described earlier would be a type C (A being great, B being okay, C being tolerable, F being bad, bad, bad—there is no D). I have never understood why some people don’t speak up to servers and look them in the eye, as though they’re deathly afraid of us.
Thankfully most tables range from A to B and are very normal. And yet, I cannot seem to escape the annoying tables. Imagine a table with five women. They’re nice, but short with you, so you know they’re not in the mood to socialize. That’s fine; it’ll save you some time to visit your other tables without worrying that one will take up too much of your attention. They have ordered a round of beer, which you have already gotten for them, and all five of them are drinking happily. Then you pass by and ask if there is anything else you can get them. They don’t pay too much attention to you, even though your voice was loud and clear, but one lady does turn and asks you for a water. You smile and nod, saying to the other ladies, “is there anything else I can get you—nothing, okay,” then returning a minute later with a water, after you’ve already been pulled over by other tables needing something. Easy. So you set the water down and suddenly the rest of the four women turn to you, each one saying, “Oh, I’ll have a water too.” As they say this, you see that another one of your tables has been sat. So not only do you have to greet the new table and get their drinks, but have to make an extra trip carrying four more waters because these women didn’t pay you any attention. All you’re thinking is why couldn’t they ask for waters when their friend did?!!
Not that bad of a situation, really. Just irritating as hell. I would rate that table a B. Then there are the tables that don’t listen at all. Picture this: one person asks for a coke, and you respond with “is Pepsi okay?” The next person asks, “Can I have a diet coke?” and you respond with “is diet Pepsi okay?” Then the next person asks, “Do you have Coke?” and you say, “No just Pepsi products” when you really want to scream PEPSI!!! in their face.
I also love the tables that think you have eight arms. Here I am carrying two hot and heavy plates on my left arm and hand with another hot plate in my right. I set them down in front of the rightful owners on a table of six. I was only able to bring three plates on this trip. One woman says in a condescending tone, “Where’s the rest?” I look her straight in the eye, smile and say, “They’re coming.” But what I’m really thinking is, “sorry I left my other two arms back in the kitchen, let me reattach them just for you.” 
Then there are the F-type tables. These tables can be obvious or clever. And I hate them. We all hate them, and I know of some servers who claim to take revenge on them on their last day of work. There are many different types of F-tables. There’s the typical “something in my food” table, the incredibly rude and needy table that is impossible to satisfy, the table that complains about what we offer in the menu to either me or the manager, the table that leaves without paying the bill, the table that comes in automatically in a bad mood (don’t go out if you’re in a bad mood!), and then there’s the infamous “verbal tip” table. This is what I call the sneaky F-table.
This kind of table is what we all consider to be an enigma. Thankfully these tables are rare. However, they can really put you in the worst of moods. I had a couple once that, I thought, loved me. Everything was fast and efficient, and on top of that, I was “working it.” They also proceeded to tell me how wonderful I was, that I was a “great server.” After they left, I picked up the bill and gawked: four dollar tip on a sixty dollar bill. My initial reaction was to chuck the bill book across the room, hoping it would hit the exiting couple. But instead, I stood at the computer in a controlled, inner fury with a dash of sadness, my last thought echoing what the fuck! I certainly can’t pay the bills with a fucking “you’re great” tip. A totally irritating enigma! F, F, F!!! 
I try to remember the faces of those kinds of people for next time. However, I always seem to forget about it by the next day. I suppose that’s a good thing for many reasons. My job is to serve you, but remember, in order to get your food and drink, you have to go through me. 
Can I get you anything else?

“Um, yeah,” says the boy, probably in his early twenties or late teens, sitting next to his girlfriend, staring up at me with one of those vacant expressions. “…can I get some ranch?”

“Sure,” I reply, smiling. Of course smiling doesn’t have anything to do with being happy. The table I was waiting on that day was one of those tables. It was one of those tables where the minute I greeted them, they greeted me with the infamous deer-in-headlights stare, staying silent for a few aggravating seconds as though I was some sort of alien deformity, then finally saying in quiet little voices, can I get a coke. It was one of those tables where they claimed to be ready to order, then lost their brains somewhere along the way when I asked what they would like, while I’m busy as hell and don’t have time to stand around until they finally retrieve their runaway brains and figure it out.

Being a good server takes a very special kind of talent: unlimited patience. Not to mention the multi-tasking brain of a computer. I consider myself to be a “good server” after being put to the test at *The Restaurant and Brewery where a server can be triple-sat (meaning three of your tables got sat at the exact same time) with six to seven-top tables (that means six or seven individuals) while the rest of your section is already full (that section being as big as seven to eight separate tables). A good server can handle all of this without freaking out and I have successfully passed this test. 

To be a server at The Restaurant and Brewery you must have a certain level of tolerance. The table I described earlier would be a type C (A being great, B being okay, C being tolerable, F being bad, bad, bad—there is no D). I have never understood why some people don’t speak up to servers and look them in the eye, as though they’re deathly afraid of us.

Thankfully most tables range from A to B and are very normal. And yet, I cannot seem to escape the annoying tables. Imagine a table with five women. They’re nice, but short with you, so you know they’re not in the mood to socialize. That’s fine; it’ll save you some time to visit your other tables without worrying that one will take up too much of your attention. They have ordered a round of beer, which you have already gotten for them, and all five of them are drinking happily. Then you pass by and ask if there is anything else you can get them. They don’t pay too much attention to you, even though your voice was loud and clear, but one lady does turn and asks you for a water. You smile and nod, saying to the other ladies, “is there anything else I can get you—nothing, okay,” then returning a minute later with a water, after you’ve already been pulled over by other tables needing something. Easy. So you set the water down and suddenly the rest of the four women turn to you, each one saying, “Oh, I’ll have a water too.” As they say this, you see that another one of your tables has been sat. So not only do you have to greet the new table and get their drinks, but have to make an extra trip carrying four more waters because these women didn’t pay you any attention. All you’re thinking is why couldn’t they ask for waters when their friend did?!!

Not that bad of a situation, really. Just irritating as hell. I would rate that table a B. Then there are the tables that don’t listen at all. Picture this: one person asks for a coke, and you respond with “is Pepsi okay?” The next person asks, “Can I have a diet coke?” and you respond with “is diet Pepsi okay?” Then the next person asks, “Do you have Coke?” and you say, “No just Pepsi products” when you really want to scream PEPSI!!! in their face.

I also love the tables that think you have eight arms. Here I am carrying two hot and heavy plates on my left arm and hand with another hot plate in my right. I set them down in front of the rightful owners on a table of six. I was only able to bring three plates on this trip. One woman says in a condescending tone, “Where’s the rest?” I look her straight in the eye, smile and say, “They’re coming.” But what I’m really thinking is, “sorry I left my other two arms back in the kitchen, let me reattach them just for you.” 

Then there are the F-type tables. These tables can be obvious or clever. And I hate them. We all hate them, and I know of some servers who claim to take revenge on them on their last day of work. There are many different types of F-tables. There’s the typical “something in my food” table, the incredibly rude and needy table that is impossible to satisfy, the table that complains about what we offer in the menu to either me or the manager, the table that leaves without paying the bill, the table that comes in automatically in a bad mood (don’t go out if you’re in a bad mood!), and then there’s the infamous “verbal tip” table. This is what I call the sneaky F-table.

This kind of table is what we all consider to be an enigma. Thankfully these tables are rare. However, they can really put you in the worst of moods. I had a couple once that, I thought, loved me. Everything was fast and efficient, and on top of that, I was “working it.” They also proceeded to tell me how wonderful I was, that I was a “great server.” After they left, I picked up the bill and gawked: four dollar tip on a sixty dollar bill. My initial reaction was to chuck the bill book across the room, hoping it would hit the exiting couple. But instead, I stood at the computer in a controlled, inner fury with a dash of sadness, my last thought echoing what the fuck! I certainly can’t pay the bills with a fucking “you’re great” tip. A totally irritating enigma! F, F, F!!! 

I try to remember the faces of those kinds of people for next time. However, I always seem to forget about it by the next day. I suppose that’s a good thing for many reasons. My job is to serve you, but remember, in order to get your food and drink, you have to go through me. 

Can I get you anything else?

*the names used are not real for privacy purposes
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~ by Christanna Rowader on June 8, 2009.

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