The Potato Shover

nablo13dayfourteenNEWS FLASH!!! Your server does NOT cook your food.

On a related note, there is a right way and a wrong way to lodge a complaint about how your food has been prepared.

I think it’s safe to say that shoving food into your server’s face, to indicate your displeasure with some aspect of its preparation, would surely fall into the category entitled “The Wrong Way to Return Your Food”.

I recently had a woman pick up her potato and shove it in my face. For the record, this was supposed to demonstrate that its temperature was not up to par, you know, BECAUSE she could easily pick it up.

I would also caution any “food shovers” that might be reading this that IF, for some ungodly reason, you feel the need to engage in this type of ridiculous behavior, you know, to drive home the point that your food is not hot enough, you may want to take note of what your server actually looks like so that, in fact, you shove your potato into the face of the CORRECT person. This will still, I daresay, NOT be the person responsible for the temperature of your food, but, at the very least, it will be the person who will be receiving whatever pittance you are going to leave him or her at the end of the meal.

Not that any amount of money is worth having food shoved in your face — not by a long shot — but, it would be nice if you would try to shove things at the correct person. I know it’s easy to mix us up — we are, after all, wearing the same uniform. I would argue, however, that I do not even remotely resemble a six-foot-two, black man in his late twenties. Frankly, I have to wonder if you would dare to shove anything into the face of any of my male co-workers, regardless of their race.

I’ll tell you what, this woman is lucky she got me on a good day. While my male counterparts may look more intimidating than little old me, I’m sure that they would tell you that I am not nearly as nice as I look. Nor am I renowned for my patience, particularly in the face of outright rudeness.

Really, this woman was fortunate that she wasn’t MY customer. If she had been, I’m not sure how I would have reacted to her display of bad manners and lack of respect. Because she was someone else’s customer, I did not go ballistic. Instead, I left her holding the potato while I retrieved a plate for her to put it on. It was my attempt at teaching her the proper method of returning something to a restaurant employee. I thought that was nice of me.

As the situation unfolded, her server came into the kitchen. He was smiling as he asked me, “Do I even want to know why that woman at table ____ is holding a potato in her hand?” By way of an explanation, I responded thusly, “Sure. I’ll tell you. That vision of loveliness decided that it would be a good idea to shove her cold potato at me. She expected me, I suppose, to take the saliva-laden food out of her hand. Do I even need to tell you that she ‘supposed’ wrongly? So, I am procuring her a new potato as we speak — and, I will be bringing an empty plate on my return trip for her old, cold, partially-masticated potato. You know, because I like to look for those ‘teachable moments’ throughout this journey I call life!”

His response, God bless him, was “You, go, girlfriend!” Some days I really do love my co-workers!

18 thoughts on “The Potato Shover

  1. […] got away from me. I had other, more serious, things to discuss with you people — things like why I find it offensive to have masticated food shoved at me, how I’m not trying to kill my husband, why I’ll be grateful when the whole college […]


  2. Rather than serving in the armed forces, all citizens should be required to serve in restaurants. It is humbling and you learn so much about character, your own and others’.


  3. People seriously behave this way? I have a rule when dating that if the guy is rude to our server (or a bad tipper for good service) then we are not going out again. I want to hug every server who has ever waited on me because it means I DON’T HAVE TO COOK.


  4. Some people!!
    I remember my first night working in a dinner house, I had a large tray of drinks and I had to dodge the kitchen door that flew open as I was walking by. With that quick side step, I spilled the tray. A husband and wife were siting in the line of spill, and a bit of margarita splashed on the wife’s pants. You were swear I had thrown acid on her, Screaming about her slacks, she went on and on about the stains, etc. When the manager asked her to bring him the dry cleaning bill, she admitted her pants were machine wash polyester!


  5. elinwaldal says:

    Nothing shocks me anymore. Absolutely nothing. People talk about youth? Every teenager I know would treat you (and the team you work with) a million times better than that disrespecting individual. Pretty sure I said this before to you but…I seriously feel people shouldn’t be allowed to dine out unless they have first served people! Love that you make the most of it!


  6. Man oh man, some people!! Servers deserve a medal for all the crap and lousy wages they encounter. My daughter served for 3 years while I college. The stories she shared made my hair stand on end. And all for $2.30 an hour plus tips. R E S P E C T!


  7. My momma taught me to avoid people who are rude to wait staff. She said it is a sure sign of low character. And she is right.


  8. inkyspider says:

    That’s the sort of story that’s funny until you remember that it’s real, and people actually behave that way!

    As a customer I often find myself biting my tongue when I watch other customers behaving so rudely. I feel like giving them a lecture on their manners, but something tells me it wouldn’t go over well.


    • javaj240 says:

      This story was in no way “embellished”. That’s the sad truth.

      I never expect another customer to get into it with a rude person — I find a way to deal with them myself. These people, by and large, and as you so aptly point out, would not learn anything from being lectured, LOL!


  9. I’ve never been a server in a food outlet, but I have had some sorely trying experiences when I worked in a shop. and when i worked as a delivery driver. Jeez Louise. At least in a restaurant there are other people around. we used to deliver in country areas where they were still waiting for the news that Mafeking had been relieved.


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