By Bo Culkeen | firstname.lastname@example.org
Working at a restaurant is easy. If anyone tells you otherwise, they probably didn’t last very long in the business.
The job is simple: greet the customer, take the order, run the food, drop the bill and bus the table. There really is nothing else to get into about that. However, not taking away from the easy task of serving tables, there are some odd customers. Most customers I get are relatively nice and relaxed when they come to eat at the restaurant I work at. I get the occasional rude person who makes the meal worse for everyone, including me.
But there is something that never fails, no matter what type of customer I’m waiting on. At some point in the exchange of words between myself and the people at the table, an awful, pointless, corny joke is said and I am stuck in an awkward, uncomfortable silence with a very important decision to make; to laugh or not to laugh, that is the question.
Never, at anytime should a waiter, under any circumstances make a customer feel stupid. If I insult this customer by not laughing when he asks me for the winning lottery tickets it will poorly affect the tip this customer leaves. I’m a broke college student so I put on my best smile and with a fake laugh I reply, “If I knew those, I wouldn’t be here.”
Boom, nailed it.
Now he is honestly laughing and I am 100% fake laughing just to make sure this customer thinks he should be doing stand up comedy shows. But he shouldn’t and I shouldn’t give him the satisfaction of thinking that. But damnit, I need a huge tip and I’ll do whatever it takes, I’ll sink to the lowest of the lows to make my money.
(Insert dirty joke here)
I don’t know what it is with customers who think that I haven’t heard it all before and that the “joke” they are telling me is original. Maybe it’s to impress whoever is at the table. Or maybe they think that my life must suck because I’m a waiter and the only thing that will make me smile is when they say after I drop off the bill, “Oh, I thought you were paying for us.”
I’m not and I never will.
I’m not bitter towards my customers either, there are some really sweet, kind folks that I have waited on and they have honestly made me laugh just by being their selves. I try to be that way when I go out to eat but unfortunately, I have found I am who I despise.
An annoying, corny joke telling customer. Dun Dun Dun
Just the other day, my girlfriend Brittany and I went out to eat. When the waiter greeted us I responded, “No habla ingles.” The waiter looked at me with a look I made so often. The look of, “You have got to be kidding me. Out of all the customers to sit in my section, I get the foreign couple. What did I do to deserve this? There goes my tip.”
After I let him know that was the only Spanish I knew, he did what every server is trained to do in this situation, fake laugh your ass off (flyao if you’re texting). And I must say, he fake laughed like an Academy Award winner. He even threw in a few tears of laughter. I felt great about it too. I left him a nice, fat tip and continued making corny jokes.
After dinner, Brittany and walked over to Starbucks for some coffee. After we ordered and the lady behind the counter was handing me my change, I threw in what I thought was a belly buster.
“Thanks a latte.”
Unlike my excellent audience at the restaurant, the cashier looked at me, smirked and walked away. I was heart broken. That was one of my best coffee jokes ever and it was the most appropriate time to use it and I got totally denied.
WTF coffee lady?
As I looked at Brittany for some support on my awesome sense of humor, she looked at me dead in the eyes and said something that may have changed my life forever.
She said, “You’re stupid.”
That’s when I realized I’m no better than my customers who drive me crazy with corny jokes. I’m just as bad as them and I need to change. No more “thanks a latte” or “I’m sorry, I left my wallet in my other mocha jean-o’s.” No more asking the waiter “Is the cook killing the cow back there” or “Can you get me a wheel barrel? I’m too full to walk.”