IF I HAD GIVEN IN TO THE MADNESS


NaBloPoMo14DayFourteen Did your children read those adorable Laura Numeroff books when they were little? There was a whole series of them. One was “If You Give a Moose a Muffin”. I think there was one about giving a mouse a cookie. Do you know the ones I mean? Fangette’s favorite was “If You Give a Pig A Pancake” — I, too, was partial to that one. We always laughed and laughed at the dancing, tutu-wearing pig. She was very cute!

Not as cute, but hopefully just as funny, is the adult version that I was inspired to write following a horrendous couple of shifts over at “The Annoying Bar & Grill”. It is my sincere hope that should Laura Numeroff get wind of this that she, too, will laugh and laugh. Truly, that is my hope. It is not my intention to piss her off, as I am certain she is a very nice woman.

It seemed, over the past few days, that it was the intention of almost every one of our “guests” — none of whom could be classified as “nice” — to piss me off, to annoy the ever-loving crap out of me, to drive me round the bend. Luckily, I have more fortitude than to have let them. Plus, there would be far too many negative consequences to my losing my job — none of which would have included a delightful little pig pirouetting on top of a couch covered in maple syrup.


IF I HAD GIVEN IN TO THE MADNESS

To the guy who condescendingly tells me each and every time that he enters the building that he is “in a rush”, but then proceeds to sit for almost an hour texting and watching videos on his phone or yukking it up with his equally idiotic co-worker, I would have like to have said:

YOU, SIR, ARE FULL OF SHIT. Yes, you heard me correctly. SHIT! Do you think I don’t remember you and your antics? Have I given you some indication that I am senile or in some way addle-brained? Or is it just that you think, because you are wearing a shirt and tie and have a “real” job, that servers are stupid? My money is on the latter.

If I had said that, if I had allowed myself to be angered by his treatment of me, I would have lost my job. If I had lost my job, my kid would have to drop out of college.

To the hoodie-clad bar patrons who fancied themselves some type of gangsta rap stars, I would have liked to have said this:

YOU NEED TO LEARN SOME MANNERS AND, WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, YOU OUGHT TO BRUSH UP ON YOUR MATH SKILLS, TOO. THREE AMERICAN DOLLARS ON $130 CHECK IS NOT JUST INSULTING, BUT SHOULD RESULT IN A GOOD BITCH-SLAPPING. WOULD YOU SHORT YOUR DRUG DEALER 12.5%? NOT IF YOU WANTED TO STAY ALIVE, YOU WOULDN’T.

If I had said that, I would have lost my job. If I had lost my job, my kid would have to drop out of college, and, as a result, might become a drug dealer herself or, worse, a bartender.

To the woman who got loaded and weepy on two drinks and who fancied herself my new best friend, I would have like to have said this:

GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, HONEY. YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE. YOU EITHER CAN’T HOLD YOUR LIQUOR OR THAT TRIP TO THE BATHROOM WASN’T JUST TO EMPTY YOUR BLADDER. YOU ARE TOO OLD FOR THIS STUPIDITY. IF YOU WANT TO LIVE TO SEE 60, I KNOW OF A GOOD REHAB FACILITY. THEY’RE ALWAYS OPEN. I CAN CALL THEM RIGHT NOW. I WILL ACTUALLY BE YOUR FRIEND IF YOU GET SOBER. HOW’S THAT FOR AN OFFER?

If I had said that, I would have lost my job. If I had lost my job, my kid would have to drop out of college, and, as a result, might become a drug dealer herself or, worse, a bartender. If she were to become a bartender, she might become as bitter and crusty as her mother.

To the several customers who thought that I was enjoying their company nearly an hour after we had closed our doors, I would like to have said this:

I SPEND ENOUGH TIME HERE. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT “WORTH MY WHILE” TO REMAIN HERE FOR ANOTHER MINUTE. THAT CARROT YOU ARE DANGLING IN THE FORM OF HOW WELL YOU ARE GOING TO “TAKE CARE OF ME” WHILE YOU’VE BEEN NURSING YOUR DRINKS AND TELLING ME STUPID STORIES FOR THE LAST FORTY-FIVE MINUTES IS NOTHING BUT BULLSHIT. I’LL TELL YOU WHAT — I’LL GIVE YOU TEN BUCKS TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. I THINK THAT’S VERY GENEROUS OF ME. DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE ASS!

If I had said that, I would have lost my job. If I had lost my job, my kid would have to drop out of college, and, as a result, might become a drug dealer herself or, worse, a bartender. If she were to become a bartender, she might become as bitter and crusty as her mother. If she were to become as bitter and crusty as her old mother, she might take up blog writing.

To the nincompoop who claimed to “own a restaurant” and, therefore, “knew” that he was being “hoodwinked” by our cuts of steak, I would have liked to have said this:

YOU DON’T OWN A RESTAURANT. IF YOU DO, EVER DID, OR HOPE TO, IT IS FAILING, HAS FAILED, OR WILL FAIL. BECAUSE YOU ARE AN IDIOT. YOU WOULDN’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FILET AND A SIRLOIN IF IT HIT YOU IN THE FACE. A PORTERHOUSE IS A T-BONE. IT SIMPLY HAS A LARGER FILET THAN A T-BONE. THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE. A PRIME RIB AND A RIBEYE ARE ALSO THE SAME CUT OF MEAT. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS IN THEIR PREPARATION. ONE IS SLOWLY ROASTED, THE OTHER IS GRILLED. I’M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU WHICH IS WHICH, AS A RESTAURANT OWNER, YOU SHOULD KNOW.

YOU HAVE NOT BEEN BAMBOOZLED. YOU ORDERED INCORRECTLY. IT HAPPENS. YOU WERE SIMPLY MISTAKEN. GET USED TO IT. I’M CERTAIN A PERSON SUCH AS YOURSELF WILL BE WRONG AGAIN IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE. EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES. THE PROOF OF THIS CAN BE HAD BY TAKING A LOOK AROUND AT YOUR TABLEMATES. THEY ARE, RIGHT NOW, THINKING HOW MISTAKEN THEY WERE WHEN THEY MADE THE FATEFUL DECISION TO DINE WITH THE LIKES OF YOU.

If I had said that, I would have lost my job. If I had lost my job, my kid would have to drop out of college, and, as a result, might become a drug dealer herself or, worse, a bartender. If she were to become a bartender, she might become as bitter and crusty as her mother. If she were to become as bitter and crusty as her old mother, she might take up blog writing. If she takes up blog writing she might get some “big ideas” about herself — ideas that may lead her to believe that there is something better out there for her.

To everyone everywhere who has never done this job, but who thinks they can make helpful suggestions as to how those of us who do it might improve our performance, I’d like to say is this:

THANKS! NOW, HOW’S ABOUT YOU GIVE ME ACCESS TO YOUR PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT AND I WILL COME THERE ON MY DAY OFF WITH PAD AND PENCIL IN HAND AND PROCEED TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AN INDUSTRY THAT I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. I HOPE IT’S SOMEWHERE EXCITING, LIKE AN OPERATING THEATER. I’VE ALWAYS FANCIED MYSELF A SURGEON. HELL, I CAN TRUSS A CHICKEN LIKE NOBODY’S BUSINESS! OR MAYBE AN AIRPORT. YEAH. I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY TO DIRECT PLANES THAN HAVING A GUY STAND ON THE TARMAC WITH A COUPLE OF GLOW STICKS.

I’LL BET THERE ARE REASONS THAT THINGS ARE DONE IN A CERTAIN WAY IN AN OPERATING ROOM OR AT AN AIRPORT, THOUGH. I’M CERTAIN I WOULD BE TOLD WHAT THOSE REASONS ARE AS I WAS ACTING AS AN EFFICIENCY EXPERT IN YOUR CHOSEN FIELD. WELL, GUESS WHAT? THERE ARE REASONS THAT WE DO CERTAIN THINGS A CERTAIN WAY HERE, TOO. I KNOW IT DOESN’T SEEM LIKE ROCKET SCIENCE OR BRAIN SURGERY AND, TRUTHFULLY, IT ISN’T, BUT WE DO ACTUALLY HAVE A SYSTEM. WHERE OUR SYSTEM IS FLAWED, THOUGH, IS THAT IT IS PREDICATED UPON HUMANS ACTING RATIONALLY. THIS IS, SADLY, A FATAL FLAW. I MEAN THE CONSEQUENCES AREN’T FATAL HERE, AS THEY WOULD BE IN A MEDICAL OR AEROSPACE ENVIRONMENT, ALTHOUGH YOU’D THINK THEY WERE CONSIDERING HOW WORKED UP PEOPLE GET ABOUT AN IMPROPERLY COOKED STEAK OR AN OVERSEASONED PORK CHOP.

FURTHER, I AM NOT ALLOWED TO TELL YOU HOW YOU HAVE MUCKED UP THE WORKS WITH YOUR DEMANDS TO SIT IN A CLOSED SECTION, YOUR PROPENSITY FOR TAKING YOUR SERVER HOSTAGE WITH THE PROMISE THAT “WE’RE READY TO ORDER NOW” WHEN IT IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR TO ANYONE WITHIN EARSHOT THAT YOU ARE FAR FROM READY TO ORDER. THE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION OF BOTH YOU AND OUR EMPLOYERS THAT WE MUST MAKE YOU HAPPY AS IF WE ARE CIRCUS PERFORMERS IS NOTHING SHORT OF MADDENING. WE ARE NOT CIRCUS PERFORMERS. WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS. ALL OF US FLAWED, MOST OF US JUST DOING THE BEST WE CAN TO MUDDLE THROUGH OUR DAYS WITH THE LEAST POSSIBLE AMOUNT OF DRAMA. PLEASE KEEP YOUR “SUGGESTIONS” TO YOURSELF. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, WE TAKE THEM PERSONALLY.

If I had said that, I would have lost my job. If I had lost my job, my kid would have to drop out of college, and, as a result, might become a drug dealer herself or, worse, a bartender. If she were to become a bartender, she might become as bitter and crusty as her mother. If she were to become as bitter and crusty as her old mother, she might take up blog writing. If she takes up blog writing she might get some “big ideas” about herself — ideas that may lead her to believe that there is something better out there for her. If she began operating under the delusion that there was something more worthwhile that she could do, but just couldn’t figure out a way to do it, she might become even more bitter and crusty than her mother. That’s a lot of bitter and crusty. And, really, no one would wish that on her own child. Even someone as bitter and crusty as me.


Admittedly, it’s still a work in progress. I am, though, right now imagining it illustrated in a cute way, with badgers or wolves or, dragons, even! I don’t know. I think I might be on to something here. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve finally had that “big idea” I’ve been searching for.

37 thoughts on “IF I HAD GIVEN IN TO THE MADNESS

  1. Scott says:

    Can I steal this idea? After reading this I have an idea for a series of post entitled, “What I really meant to say.”

    Great post, by the way. It’s amazing how much we hold back on a daily basis simply in the name of surviving, or keeping our jobs.

    Like

  2. I have always LOVED Laura’s books! I do however feel bad for most people working in the service industry because I do see so many rude people out there. I’m sure it’s maddening!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I loved reading those books to my kids when they were little. If you continue to write these awesome blog posts, you would then want to turn them into a book. If you turn them into a book, you will become rich and famous. If you become rich and famous, you can quit your job and tell all the jerks to screw themselves. If you quit your job and tell all the jerks to screw themselves, you will need to find something new to write about in book two.

    Like

  4. Wow, I hope your boss doesn’t read your blog. But I do know that people can drive you around the bend.

    Like

  5. CaptCruncher says:

    People can be such morons, can’t they? I worked in a bar and grill 2 blocks from the Capitol building on State Street in Madison, WI when I was a Freshman in college. Unlike you, I got fired…. Good for you for have the strength to hold your tongue!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. elinwaldal says:

    It blows my mind how many idiots there are out there. I am so sorry that you have had such a crappy go of it. And for what it’s worth, I love those books and so do my kids. Hugs to you funny lady!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. People can be so rude! Sorry you had to deal with that.

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  8. There IS something better. Yep, there is. Y ou’ll get there.

    Like

  9. Roz Warren says:

    I, too, work with the public. Your post makes me all the happier that this is my DAY OFF. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Carol Graham says:

    I used to own a bistro – i HEAR you!

    Like

  11. Jackie you are funny, but I want you to know you deserve to only be with nice people. I know these might be colorful people and add to your rich stories, but seriously? Fuggettaboutit! Oy, oy, and double oy. Makes me embarrassed to be a Jersey native.Then again, you probably find these people anywhere!

    Like

  12. Oh, my goodness! I have GOT to share this with my three daughters, all having worked at a bar and grill into their college years. You’ve hit on the head some of the very same stories and slouches they recounted over the years. Cheers to you for not spitting in their food. And if you *do* write picture books of their misdeeds, I think they’d make fine gifts for anyone who has ever worked restaurant.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m sorry that people can be so rude. My best friend worked as a waitress as a way to pay for her education (she is now a high school math teacher, which has its own challenges). She told me war stories about rude patrons, so I have tried to be extra nice to my servers. Even if my server is snippy with me, I realize that he or she may have had the customer from hell just prior or they’re working a longer shift to cover for someone. I just imagine my friend as the person waiting on me and give them the benefit of the doubt. Hugs to all restaurant workers.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. kimtb says:

    can we end with “and then I will have to have wine with my bloggy friends” ?

    Like

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