I’m taking his order and he asks for a hot dog. On club bread. And I have no clue what that is and I’m thinking maybe he wants the bread that our club sandwiches come on because that’s a logical conclusion to come to and I pride myself on my critical thinking skills.
“Did you want Egg Bread? That’s what we use for our clubs.”
“You don’t know what club bread is?”
Well, no. No I obviously don’t because I’m asking you what club bread is and if you used your critical thinking skills you would understand this.
“Typical Californian. It’s a hard roll.”
So I take it to mean that Club Bread is an East Coast thing, meaning we don’t have it here in California, meaning that it is perfectly reasonable for me to have no idea what the hell that is. I should have suggested that he top off his hot dog with Real California Avocados because, you know, I’m just a dumb, blonde Californian.
“We have Kaiser rolls and French rolls and onion rolls or rye bread or egg bread or whole wheat bread or you can just get it on a bun because we don’t have club bread here.”
“I’ll just get it on a bun.”
Great. Great, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… “Do you want it grilled or boiled?”
“[Insert annoyed sound effect] Obviously grilled.”
Well, no. Not obviously because about 40% of my customers order it boiled and if I guess which way you want it, there’s a good chance I’ll guess wrong. I’ve got a lot of old people that come in here and they’re missing all their teeth and their dentures are too fragile to bite into grilled meat. The odds are almost 50/50. Which means they are not in my favor. Critical thinking.
“Steak fries okay?”
Another obvious question. I’m so sorry I asked but see the thing is, the last six customers all got something else instead of steak fries, like one of the other 49 sides we offer on our menu.
And you’re such a jerk but I’ll get over it it’s fine don’t worry about it I’m just doing my job I’m sorry if that inconveniences you. Because if I don’t ask these questions than, the majority of the time, I’m wasting precious moments running back to the kitchen to get things I could have already had.
And so the cooks make his hot dog and I bring it to the table just like I’m supposed to and I ask if he wants ketchup just like I’m supposed to because he ordered fries and people eat ketchup with their fries it’s a pretty common condiment, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it.
“No. No I don’t want ketchup. We use mustard.”
Okay so I don’t know who “we” is and I know you think hot dogs are some sacred Jewish right of passage and there’s only one way to eat them and that’s the way your Bubbi taught you, but again, I’m just doing my job.
And I walk away and I wait a moment. I wait a moment because I know you’re just a dick who thinks I’m just another dumb Protestant girl who knows nothing about food and who is trying to sell your soul to the devil by convincing you to commit the cardinal sin of putting ketchup on your hotdog. But you forgot about the fries. The fries you gave me shit about. And so I wait a moment.
And then you call me over.
I already have the ketchup bottle in my hand I know what you’re going to ask me for. Again. Critical thinking.
“Miss, I need to apologize because I’ve been rude.”
Yes, I say. Yes you have, but that’s all right.
“I need some–”
“Ketchup? For those steak fries you ordered?”
And he smiles sheepishly but it’s still a little smug and I know he’s not really sorry. He just wants something from me. And you all want something from me and that’s okay because my job is to get those things for you. But act like a human being. Treat me like one as well, while you’re at it. I’m not here to play mind games with you I don’t know where you grew up or how you take your meals. You’re lucky I even asked you these questions in the first place go anywhere else and they serve you shit like it comes. This isn’t a hot dog stand in the Bronx this is a restaurant and we serve a very diverse group of clientele.
You think you’re cute and funny and witty but all I see is a lonely old man giving me shit for doing my job right and doing it well. Next time, order like respectful human being. Because you don’t known nearly as much as you think you do. Remember, you’re still in California. And we do things a little differently out here.