I run into so many nut jobs on a daily basis that I am beginning to question whether it could truly be a coincidence. I have a sneaking suspicion that it may actually be a sign from the universe. I don’t know what it is a sign of, though. That’s the problem with ascribing meaning to randomness. It doesn’t always make much sense.
In true Saturday night form, there were problems tonight. There always are. For whatever reason, dining out on Saturday brings out the worst in normal people. Mental patients and Saturday nights make for a highly unstable combination: think bleach and ammonia.
Enter Loony Louie, who complained very vociferously and animatedly about me tonight to both his waitress and the manager because he was convinced that I said something to him that I did not say, by way of explaining his wife’s missing lobster tail. What I said and how I said it isn’t really important, neither is what he decided I said and his perception of how I said it.
His behavior and his interpretation of events is where it gets interesting. After I left the table and while I was in the process of procuring the either “never ordered” or “forgotten” lobster tail, the waitress came to tell me to stay away from the table because the guy was very unhappy that I had accused his wife of “missing the order”. Yes. Of course I did. I always hold customers responsible for their missing food items. Luckily the server is my best friend in the whole world and knew that his version of events was pure horse shit.
When she, and later the manager, tried to defend me, he got angrier and became even more agitated. Why he didn’t just ask me if I had said what he thought I had said, instead of stewing about it and making up stuff, I’m sure I don’t know. What I do know is that this crackpot insisted that I not cross into his field of vision. He had gotten himself pretty worked up. I couldn’t help but wonder where I could get ahold of some Lithium. Clearly he’d missed a dose.
Of course the ridiculous request that I make myself scarce could not be honored, as my work requires that I enter the dining room on a somewhat consistent basis; every three minutes, or so. When the waitress advised me of his request I told her to please get the manager to visit the table again to explain to this obviously insane guest, as calmly and reasonably as possible, that unless he was in possession of food running skills that we would be unable to indulge him this particular flight of fancy.
Every manager loves to make two table visits on a busy Saturday night. God love him though for at least trying to calm this maniac down. When he returned to the kitchen he was laughing so hard that he could barely speak. He was told by Captain Crazy that he could not stand to look at me “yukking it up with other tables because I was a mean, terrible person and that he did not want to be exposed to my act for another minute!”
Now I have an act. If only.
What, I would like to know, did this idiot think was going to be the result of his bitching and moaning? Did he believe that his nonsense would cause my “on the spot” termination? Has anyone ever seen that happen outside of a Hollywood movie? Was he convinced that his behavior would drive me to storm out in a huff? He’d have more luck trying to find a nun in a whorehouse. Did he honestly imagine that I would be sent home or be prohibited from entering the dining room on a Saturday night when we were on a two-hour wait simply on his say-so? Did he, unbeknownst to the rest of us, own the joint? Talk about your delusions of grandeur.
Really. Does anyone else encounter these mental cases as often as I do? Or am I the only one whose patience is so regularly tested? It’s just me, isn’t it? I feel so very special and so incredibly honored that the universe has chosen to shower little old me with this kind of attention! For what am I being prepared? What? I really wish it would reveal itself. Sooner would be better then later. Because I don’t know how much more of this bullshit I can take. I really don’t.