The Largest Heifer In The Herd

April 18, 2009

in Diner Stories

When I was in college I waited tables at a popular local Mexican restaurant. We typically had a pretty good lunch rush, so handling the bigger sections could be a challenge, which our management realized. As they were all former servers they were awesome when it came to backing us up.

One afternoon I was handling a ten table section. It was a pretty busy day – not slammed but no time to stand around either. I had a table come in that was pretty obviously a group of middle school teachers and students, about five of each. Several of my fellow waiters smirked at me and wished me luck – at the time I had no idea what I was in for.

Taking the order was no big deal – standard lunch stuff and lots of sodas. The first clue that I was in for an hour of utter hell was that between the time the busboy brought their water, chips and salsa and I took the order (maybe five minutes), they emptied every glass, basket, and bowl on the table. And yes, they wanted refills. So I put in ten orders (which takes a couple of minutes – there are ten of them, after all), refilled everything, got the sodas, and brought them back to the table. The fun started when the largest heifer in the herd (let’s call her Bessie) remarked that it “took you long enough.” By the time I doled out all of the sugar water and fried corn, four of the five kids had drained their sodas. And we want refills. Sigh.

You see this coming – this collection of inveterate lardasses proceeds to empty everything I bring them by the time I return after refilling the last round of what I brought them. I spend the next fifteen minutes just refilling things for this one table, with my other nine sitting there watching. Luckily for me, most of them are incredibly nice about it – a couple of them even grab my manager to tell her I’m in the weeds, and she takes over as primary soda dispenser so I can serve my other customers.

Of course, Bessie notices I’m not bringing her a Pepsi every two seconds anymore and gets mad. Her food order has been in for no more than fifteen minutes when I notice she’s standing at the head of my section and staring at me with daggers in her eyes. I swallow my fear, approach her, and figure I’m going to be asked for another basket of chips. Nope – “Where is our food, we’ve been waiting forever.” No, tubby, you’ve been waiting for fifteen minutes. And in that fifteen minutes, you’ve eaten no less than a dozen baskets of chips, drunk four sodas on your own, and earned my eternal hatred. But whatever, I’ll station my manager by the kitchen and she’ll bring out your lard enchiladas the moment they are ready, since you are so obviously starving and in need of sustenance.

They continue to find ways to make me hate them for the next hour – the chubby brats trash my area, they order deserts, but in groups of two or three, and of course they guzzle enough soda that if we charged for refills, PepsiCo could have used the money to build a new Pizza Hut. I anticipate the split bills (HA!), so I have them ready to roll when they finally leave. And when they finally depart, to my eternal surprise I find they have left me thirty seven cents. In addition to me making nothing on that table (I have my pride – I left the change sitting there for someone else), I had several customers leave pissed off because I couldn’t serve them very well, so my earnings for that shift were pretty dire.

I figure I’d write the whole thing off as a learning experience (i.e.- don’t be scheduled to work when they show up the next time), but got called into the general manager’s office the next day. Turns out that Bessie called him to complain, said I was slow, rude, the herd was considering another pasture for lunch in the future, etc. It’s a good thing for me he was a nice guy, because I saw red, lost my mind, and by the time I finished yelling was fairly sure I’d be looking for a new job without a reference. To my surprise and eternal gratitude, he started laughing. Turns out between the other waiters they’d done this to in the past, the report from the manager who was backing me up, and the incredibly kind diner who called to tell him she’d never seen anyone abuse someone like Bessie did me, he’d decided to tell her to take her business elsewhere.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Nacho May 1, 2009 at 7:37 am

I'm sorry, I might be a terrible person… but I laughed. Thank you for the pre-lunch amusement.

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theblackdog May 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Your managers rule!

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Aislynn May 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm

A great story, though I definately feel for you! And I hate people like “Bessie” and her ilk. Chances are, she’d read your take on it and not even recognize herself.

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ashley June 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Wow, is it still cool to hate on fat people? Go ahead and hate assholes — that's fine, but you sound like a bigoted little priss talking about "heifers" and "lard enchiladas".

No sympathy on this sadly written rant.

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Jess August 27, 2009 at 8:55 am

Wow. Fat people really have a chip on their shoulders… I wonder if any skinny people would give abuse if someone's described as being a size 4? Probably not. Stop acting like victims because you're not. I don't care if you eat healthily and exercise daily and fucking wrap yourself in clingfilm and sit in a sauna for 5 hours a day, stop making it everyone elses problem that you look rediculous in skinny jeans. Rant over x

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Katie August 23, 2014 at 1:38 am

Shush you lard enchilada (:

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ps September 28, 2009 at 9:30 am

Wow, I guess a few people that lack self control are upset by this story- truth is I’ve seen similar behavior in a number of places by people that closely resemble your descriptions and marvelled at servers’ patience with these supersized gluttons. Not to worry, the soda tax’ll bankrupt them-

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Regina September 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I doubt that size has anything to do with it other than the waiter's need to vent frustration over a rude, inconsiderate customer. I have waitressed in the past but do not recall any rude people. I have, on the other hand watched such rude abuse towards a waitress. The guy was a #1 jerk and had appeared to be angry from the moment he walked in the door. Before leaving the restaurant, he walked up to the manager and lodged a complaint! I was so appalled at the treatment of this poor waitress, that I spoke to the manager myself and explained what I had seen and heard. It is hard to imagine that such hateful people actually exist.

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Max October 24, 2009 at 12:28 am

@ Ashley

It isn't cool to make fun of fat people, no, but when someone is so horribly rude, the person on the receiving end of the rudeness usually uses derogatory terms for the rude person. The only reason that the fatness of the customer was overstated and made fun of was because of their appalling behavior and ridiculous consumption of food. I could easily make fun of the way someone acts (corresponding to the way they uh… carry weight) to emphasize a situation. Is it mean? Yes. Is it always necessary? No. Can it be used to prove a point and describe an annoying, obese, and rude customer? Absolutely.

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Jason November 17, 2009 at 10:01 am

To Ashley and the others complaining about the use of the word"FAT".

Okay, yea I see its the servers fault this woman was obese, HE forced down her throat the numerous fat saturated food items, HE made her not watch what she ate, HE made her sit around and do nothing remotely resembling excersice. Yea, The server is at fualt for telling her to wolf down the drinks and food. Really, Ashley, you're and idiot.

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RJ December 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Sounds like you really have terrific managers – good deal!

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College Kid November 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

sounds like ashley is a fattie

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julius falconi January 8, 2013 at 1:40 am

Bessie should go to taco tico if she wants to behave in that manner.

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Dawn November 11, 2015 at 10:50 am

Fat people got low self esteem hence the need to abuse others to feel better about themselves

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http://www.elcrudito.com/ June 21, 2016 at 4:34 am

My husband is a slim vegetarian so no turkey, stuffing, etc for us. It makes me sad sometimes but it’s easier for me to keep my weight down during the holidays. I am really vigilant about weighing myself once a week (same time, same day, same conditions). If I see the weight creeping up, I cut down on portion size and have two days where I do two workouts in one day. At the office, I don’t even allow myself to taste any of the treats as I have issues with self control. It’s hard (really, really hard) sometimes. But I guess that’s why its called self control.

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