nobody knows anything anymore

by katlipari

Most people think they are smart, they are not. I am
currently employed at a place that I enjoy working at so
I will be as vague as possible while also being specific
about these interactions. I may or may not work at a
moderately popular restaurant in the Burlington area
and I encounter probably the dumbest people every
shift, and these are their stories “DUN DUN” (Law and
Order: SVU, 1999.)

Picture it: a gloomy Tuesday brunch rush, there’s an
obvious wait, people congregating at the host stand,
when it seems that Moses has now arrived in Burling- ton and she parts the crowded vestibule. Then this
lady snatches our paper menus and I imagine that she
would use context clues and would follow through with
the go, but she does not. After a few minutes of reading
the menu she says, “Can I have the avocado toast?”
Certainly she can, but not today! I let her down easy
and told her we are not doing take out orders. If you’re one person, asking the host stand for food, it is assumed that you are doing a takeout order. But she fires back with “Oh, I didn’t want takeout,” hmm… maybe
I misheard her and naturally I apologized, “Oh sorry
what did you say?” She reaffirms my thinking “Can I
have the avocado toast?” Wait what… babe what did
I just say… I tell her again “Right, so we are not doing
takeout,” then she tells me that she wants to sit and eat.
Then she asks the question that I encounter way more
than I ever thought I would working at a restaurant
“How does this work?”

HOW DOES THIS WORK? HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN ANYWHERE BEFORE? Are you genuinely asking me how a restaurant works? You’re asking the host, at the host stand, with the sign that says please wait for
the host to be seated, ‘how this works.’ “Oh, you wanted
to sit down and eat?” I ask and after letting her know
that the wait is probably around 30-45 minutes
even for one person, she leaves.
Every so often I will check our yelp page and
see if anyone left any fun reviews. Monday I was graced with a one star review from a party that I had dealt with that Sunday before. Now, let me preface
this by saying of course there are two sides to a story,
however hers is filled with lies and mine is the truth so
listen to me!

Here is what the yelp review claims [edited for clar- ity]: “We went there yesterday at 11:30am and were told the wait would be 40 minutes. We decided to wait. After we saw a number of people pay and leave I went in to check on where we were on the waitlist. The hostess said ‘you’ve only been waiting for 20 minutes and you have a 45 minutes to an hour wait’. I told her she had
told us it was a 40 minute wait. She said ‘no it’s a 45
minutes to an hour wait.’ After an hour I checked again
and she said it was another 15 minute wait. I asked her
why it was taking so long. She said because it was move
in weekend (I found out later that move in weekend was
the weekend before), it was a holiday weekend and it was lunchtime. When we finally got seated it took another 30 minutes to finally get our food. The only good thing was that we had a great waitress and she even said she didn’t know why it took so long for the food to be
ready. The hostess was very rude and the food was just
ok. The hostess needs to learn about good customer ser- vice skills. When she sat us down at the table she said
‘menu is here washrooms are over there.’”

Here is the truth: Janet comes in at 11:30 with one
other person. I let her know that it is a 45-60 minute
wait. Never in my life would I have not given a range for
her waittime, nor would I have said 40 minutes. After
about 5 minutes she says “my husband is very elderly, is
there any way we could be seated now?” I tell her that
I can’t do that, “What if I give you a little tip?” Again I
tell her no and she very angrily says, “you just lost $20”
boo fucking hoo. She checks back in after waiting 17
minutes and I tell her the time estimates were based
on the average time it takes for someone to eat and
leave their table, so people can be done eating but just
linger and increase our wait times and there is nothing
we can do about it. Janet seemed to understand, but
asked what was taking so long. First of all, it is Sunday
brunch… 45-60 minute wait really isn’t a lot! But I
tell her 1.) the students just got here (not that it was
move-in weekend), 2.) it was a holiday weekend, c.)
our patio was closed due to weather, 4.) it’s a Sunday
brunch…Maybe 10 minutes later she asks if her table
is ready and at this point I’m like okay whatever I want
her to leave me alone and I seat her even though she
was not up next. THEN, get this, her husband comes
in (remember she said her husband was ‘very elderly’)
and he is 70 tops. Janet was acting like he would hobble
in there with a walker, but he leapt up those stairs and
walked just fine to his table. Lastly, when I sat them
I said, “the specials are in the middle, bathroom is
through the door with the [redacted for job privacy], and your server will be with you shortly,” which is ex-
actly what we are supposed to say.

As much as I love lying on the internet, this was
cruel, does no one know how to act anymore? Where is
the humanity? SERENITY NOW!

Categories: kat lipari, reflections, wt staff

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