From DabblesInDirewolves, TalesFromYourServer
So it's Sunday night. Sunday, funday, eat-a-fucking-gun day. I've spent the better part of twelve hours catering to my beloved fucking public. Gently prodding the hungover college kids in the direction of something slightly less greasy. Consoling babbling football fans who seem to be under the impression that I coached their shitty team last night. Attempting to prove to various church groups that I deserve a higher percentage than God, a task that usually works out about as well as showering naked with a cat.
But there's a light at the end of the tunnel. It's twenty five minutes until close, there's a shit-ton of the chicken special left for us foraging scavengers, and best of all, I'm off until Wednesday. Whatever comes in now, I can handle.
The restaurant has cleared out by now, and my fellow closer and I get to work deep cleaning the dining room. I'm focused on sweeping as we shoot the shit, until the sudden, deafening silence peaks my intrigue. I glance at my co-worker, who is staring out of the window, his expression similar to one who is being eaten by a shark from the feet up. I slowly pivot, preparing to duel-wield a broom and dustpan against whatever monster is about to descend on us...
Jesus Hoagie-Eatin' Christ.
Lesson Number One: The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an oncoming train. Or in this case, the headlight of an oncoming bus...and before I can hit my knees in despair, they're here, careening through the front door like so many anchovies into the Krusty Krab. I catch a fleeting glimpse of our host, all ass and elbows as she flees through the parking lot.
It's a party of 30. Party of 30, twenty-odd minutes before close. Well, it's my job, and they can literally bury me in bodies if I try to escape. I decide to make the best of it, ignoring the only good advice Ramsay Snow ever uttered, "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention."
Issue Number One in this Subscription of Bullshit: A lady orders a cheeseburger, PLAIN. "I need it absolutely plain. I'm allergic to most vegetables. No vegetables at all, please. PLAIN."
Yes ma'am, I'm well-schooled in the vernacular. One plain cheeseburger coming up. Except it wasn't plain, cause cheese.
"I said I needed it PLAIN! I'm allergic to cheese!"
I must have had one of those blackouts where I write down my aural hallucinations in a perfectly confident hand. Really should get that looked at. "I'm sorry, ma'am, for some reason I wrote down: Cheeseburger, plain."
"Well, YEAH! If it's a plain cheeseburger, you take off the cheese!"
"Ohhhhhhh...so a hamburger?"
"If you want to nitpick, yes, a hamburger. WITH NO CHEESE. I'm allergic to dairy."
I return to the kitchen for another burger, silently grieving for the innocent cow who would come to rest in the belly of this beast.
Issue Number Two, otherwise entitled, "Why Don't These Assholes Sell Their Merchandise for a Reasonable Price?"
I was first alerted to this issue when a grumpy-looking gentleman on the end complained loudly to his wife: "Why don't these assholes sell their merchandise for a reasonable price?" I finally work out that he's referring to the old-timey horseshit we have hanging on our walls: Citizen fucking Kane has been transfixed by an old sled hanging beside the table. He wants this sled. He NEEDS this sled.
If it were my decision to make, he would be gleefully riding that one horse open sled to hell, preferably on the heels of some shit-yourself-to-death disease. I settle for politely explaining that the items on the wall are not for sale, that the tag he saw on the sled was its inventory number, which is why it was over 1000.
No. HE is the true Mufasa, rightful owner and master of everything the light fucking touches. I simply shrug, assure him that this asshole didn't have anything to do with it, and avoid that end of the table indefinitely.
So we're finally nearing the end of the meal, and I'm just pleased as punch that I have an extra 4.38 (ie, two extra hours) to add to my paycheck. I gather them up boxes and to-go drinks, check to see if anyone wants dessert. Nope, good deal. Head back to the kitchen for a few minutes, eat half a bag of chocolate chips as a reward. Then return to the dining room for clean-up.
They're still there. One lady spots me peeking around the corner and frantically waves me over. "We forgot it's his birthday!!" She points to a teenager in the center of the throng.
Now, I love celebrating shit. It's a lovely break from the ranch and gravy encrusted reality that is my life. Granted, a better break is going home, but still. This particular kid hasn't wronged me, so I grab his cake and get it back to him. Someone grows vastly upset that there isn't a huge group of birthday singers.
What can I say, dude? All I can do is enlist the help of night maintenance, and he's covered in mop water and fryer grease, way too overdressed to serenade gutter rats such as yourselves.
So they forego the singing. I tell the kid "Happy Birthday," and pick up a couple of plates. That's when I hear it.
"Hey, it's MY birthday too!" I glance over, and of course, it's Cheeseburger-With-No-Cheese Lady. I can automatically tell, just by the way she says it and then glances coyly downwards, that she's full of shit.
I haltingly ask, "Really?"
"Well, it was a couple of weeks ago!" she said with a laugh. I chuckle weakly, thinking this has to be a joke...I reach out to take a plate from her and she says, "I'll have the apple dumpling with two scoop of ice cream."
Shit of ten horses, she's serious.
Now, I'm not gonna check your fucking ID to make sure it's really the day you frolicked forth from the womb, but Christ, at least own your fucking lie enough that I don't doubt you. At this point I'm sick and fucking tired of dealing with these jerks, so I go talk to my manager and explain the situation. At this point he's itching to get me off this fucking clock, so he says to make them happy and just give it to her. Great, a fine example we're setting here.
So she gets her fucking cake, bravely fighting through her dairy allergy to choke down these two scoops of ice cream. Then, after what feels like a immortal's lifetime, they finally meander out into the night and onto their bus, probably off to terrorize some poor Waffle House just for shits and gigs.
I clean up, and then two hours and forty five minutes after they first broke down our gate, I clock out. An $11 experience I'll never forget.
A few days later, I'm closing again, hanging around waiting for another manager to check me out. She's going through the comp and void receipts, and does not look pleased.
"You know, I'm beginning to think (District Manager) is right when he says that all these dessert comps can't be birthdays."
If you only knew, miss. If you only fucking knew.