for February 25, 2004
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for today's rant...
[Inscrutable Links: John Peel Says "Hi". FM106.3 Staff List. FM106.3's 1988 playlist.]
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman
Paulie Gonzalez, charming companion to Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love, took the Acela to D.C. Sunday on business. On Saturday night, however, the whole Gonzalez clan sat down to dinner in Philadelphia's Cuba
Libre, where the décor is exotic, the music lively and the patrons were tall, well-groomed people who shopped at the Gap. Your Delight didn't know why she left the Garden State for Cuban food when it could be easily obtained in her own zip code, but the thirty foot trees in the dining room made up for the one-hour drive.
A pitcher of sangria later, one of Paulie's several random sisters told us she chose the restaurant because the food was so good. And the appetizers were. The same sister disliked her dinner more and more vocally until there was nothing to do but flag down the staff. Unfortunately for him, a busboy responded to her wave. Unfortunately for us, she told him to tell the waiter she didn't like her dinner, and listed reasons why. The frightened busboy said, "I'm sorry I speak no English" and brought back the offending dinner, wrapped for her breakfast enjoyment.
Next thing you know, the random sister found the waiter and told him more and more loudly how her dinner had no flavor and she didn't want it wrapped and the busboy spoke no English. Then the manager circled and the whole story was repeated, and still the busboy spoke no English. Paulie and Your Sweetness excused ourselves to go smoke cigarettes in another county, but not before Paulie said in a mocking whisper, "And then the manager complained that the Spanish girl spoke no Spanish."
Mamie talks fast, as only a stylish Jersey girl can. She's gruff when buffeted and gentle with the meek. Mamie has lunch with her delightful beau in a particular restaurant on the same afternoon every week. One day he went to the restaurant alone. The next week, the hostess tattled.
Mamie: ...she asked if I knew he'd been there and she'd asked about me. I did not know! His reaction was, "Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you that everyone asked about you." I was both horrified and amused.
Moi: How horrifying and amusing!
Mamie: So anyway I had the chicken.
Overlook at your own peril the valet, the cab driver, the lawn guy, the babysitter, your children's teachers, the barber or beautician, the aid who cares for your aging parent. They see enough to know you, and know things about you, and whether or not you know it, they have power. You think of them as servants and employees, probably because they're good at what they're doing. You don't own them, and you're not entitled to step on them. You're a swift thinker, and you would never antagonize a service industry worker, but who hasn't seen some idiot go off on an emergency room nurse?
If you think annoying your doctor's receptionist is a moronic move, you should also know that there's no dumber way to wreck an evening than by insulting your waiter, waitress or bartender. For some reason, everyone doesn't know this, and jerks go off on these people all the time. It's such a bad idea. The injured party may speak pretty words to your bullying friend in the dining room, but back in the kitchen someone's peeing in your seviche.
If you think this is an exaggeration, ask anyone who's ever worked in an industrial kitchen. No lie, the angry server will turn your dessert into a bacteriological nightmare and your coffee into Drano for your digestive tract.
Don't screw with the waitstaff.
©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
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