“We’re in a Hurry”

June 20, 2016

in Diner Stories

The bane of every server’s existence are the words, “We’re in a hurry.” This means two things:  1. These people don’t understand the concept of a sit-down restaurant and 2. Nothing you do to rush is good enough for their tight schedule. The tip usually reflects these facts.

My first serving job was in a chain country place that catered to a wide array of generally lower income populations, both because of location and price. I got hit with “we’re in a hurry” quite often.

So I have a young family who comes in and lets me know that they need to order right away; I think they said they needed to make a movie or something. I stand there while they look over the menu. I readily suggested some dip chips that would come out in less than 10 minutes. Of course, they don’t want any of that.

He’s taking a while so I offer to bring their drinks and come back. He’s like no, no, I’m in a huge rush. There I am standing there, awkwardly waiting, pen in hand. Finally he’s like, “I’m ready.” They want two ribeyes, well done. OK, I thought you were in a hurry and that’s the longest thing on the menu, but whatever. So I ring it in.

It’s kind of busy so the steaks take upwards of 20 minutes. The whole time the guy is glaring at me like the heat from his gaze is going to cook his food faster. I’m going back periodically to annoy the kitchen on his behalf. You know the drill.

So finally the food comes. He cuts into his steak and it’s pink. God forbid this steak had any goodness left in it. So I take it back and beg the cook to just refire it, but our policy is to cook a new steak to avoid cross contamination. So this guy has to wait for a whole new steak. So another 10 grueling minutes goes by with him staring at me angrily while his lady eats her perfectly charred piece of tragedy on a plate. He asks, “Hey, how long my food gon’ take?” every two minutes.

Thankfully the new steak is cooked throughout for his dainty palate. He wants to speak to a manager. His food gets comped just because it took so long and he was in a rush. I apologize profusely even though I did nothing wrong, as is the nature of the beast.

I leave the bill so they can pay when they’d like because, if you remember, they were in a huge hurry. They can go pay the cashier whenever they please. The check sits, and sits, and sits. They want refills. And they sit. I’m starting to think they just told me they were in a hurry so they’d get priority service. Ugh.

So they FINALLY leave, with a lousy tip to boot, and I’m stuck there wondering why they didn’t just go to McDonald’s.

– The Imitation Krab

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