Girl: “Hi ma’am can I take your order?”
Inner Monolog: Yes, but first of all, despite my mink coat, oversized black sunglasses, tight pants and four days worth of facial stubble, I am a sir.
Me: Awkward laugh Yes, I’d like an iced tea with raw sugar, a cup of chicken soup and could you explain to me, what’s in the “Sensational Salad”?
Girl: “Ummm…I don’t really know, (insert classic girl giggle here. That giggle that would be endearing to future sexual partners but conveys to girls and gays that you are in fact, an idiot) I don’t really eat that. I eat the chicken sandwiches. They’re all pretty good. You want one’a those?
Inner Monolog: Are you stoned?
Me: “Is it possible to ask someone who knows what makes the salad so sensational and what the ingredients are? I want to make sure I like it before I commit.”
Girl: Incredulous eye roll, straight off “da block”. “Gimme a minute.”
Now, I am no expert on the service industry or what it entails. I have worked in “service” only a couple times and they were usually as a bit for a television show, but I do know how to sell a bored housewife shopping next to me on a new purse or how to sell my parents on a particularly wonderful television program that they wouldn’t normally watch. I am also an expert at eating in restaurants, fancy or dumpy, small or big, and I have come to expect a certain level of decorum and service if you want your twenty percent tip and my return patronage. I do understand that being a waitress, bus boy, front of house, or restaurant manager can be a hellish ordeal and most of them deserve their full twenty, but this girl made me crazy. After about fifteen minutes she comes back, wreaking of cigarette and somehow completely changing her accent and race.
Girl: “Didya make up yo mind yet?”
Inner Monolog: Why is she talking like Jay Z? Fifteen minutes ago I had at least Miley Cyrus. Is it that wild rap music? Is Eminem to blame?
Me: “Yeah, fifteen minutes ago I asked what was in the “Sensational Salad”. What’s in it?”
Girl: Staring at manicure “I think there’s some lettuce, some tomato and some other shi…stuff in dat. You want it?”
Inner Monolog: She must be a crack baby.
Me: “No it’s ok. I’ll be leaving.”
Girl: “Okay, shoot, dat’s aight, lemme get yo check.”
Me: “Miss, I didn’t eat or drink anything. I’m just gonna go.”
Girl: “Thanks.” Pulls out iPhone, starts up Facebook
I am still reeling over this encounter. When there are millions of Americans out of work and starving and who would love a job, any job, even this girl’s job, don’t you think you’d try harder to be good at what you do? I was in a middle-budget establishment, well dressed and I’d been before, but this girl, this Bon QuiQui imposter, has ensured I will never visit again.
Of course I immediately checked myself to make sure I wasn’t being difficult, harsh or unmannerly and realized that this teenaged twenty-something is just trying to get enough money to pay her text messaging and tanning bills and if I wasn’t tipping well, maybe the next guy will. This has nothing and everything to do with me. It also made me think, are all young professionals like that now? Wasn’t America built on our inappropriate overbearing will to succeed?
In a time of reality shows about duck decoy makers and Amish and big money endorsements for all, it’s easy for the population to feel entitled and bored about their own lives when you see normal people up on the TV screen every day and it leads many to feel that tomorrow, we too will be the next American Idol. Something to remember, you don’t get something for nothing in this life, and if you are blessed enough to work in this economy, you need to work to be the best, no matter how “beneath” you it may be.