Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I hate to say it, but I actually really like working register at the restaurant on the weekends. Don't get me wrong, I hate getting up early...getting out of bed and leaving my husband behind...having to look somewhat presentable on my "days off". But once I get over my normal complaining about having to get out of bed and get dressed, I actually like the work. I get to be that happy asshole that greats every one when they come in, take your money on the way out, crack jokes and send them on their way telling them we'll see them next week. I like it.

I've really gotten to know a lot of people. We have regulars who show up on certain days. We have regulars who show up at a certain hour. One of the things that we liked about coming to the restaurant initially, was being recognized by Rene and the waiters. It's what kept us coming back. I can see that people love that recognition and like to feel like we really know them. I honestly like when they are excited to see me also.

Of course, for every ten to twenty happy people who come through, though, there is always that one person who has to bitch and moan about something. I have no problem dealing with these people. I totally believe we need to hear the tough stuff or you'll never improve. But what do you do with those customers who complain about bullshit stuff?

Enter the strange guy, mid forties, who comes in every Sunday with a newspaper under his arm. He looks disheveled like he just got out of his office job...even though it's only 9am on a Sunday. Tie is always half pulled off and all crooked, shirt usually half tucked, hair standing straight up. He never really looks happy. Tends to look serious, so I don't say a lot to him. I just keep it simple.

A few weeks after I started working here, I finally got him to talk a little. I think most people had to get used to a new person in their restaurant. I had to gain some trust. Instead of just grunting, he finally made a little small talk while he was paying.

Weird guy "I really like this music."
Me "Oh good. We had a really bad love song station for a while, but we changed it up."
Then he'd grunt a good bye and leave.

That was it. Which was fine with me cause his creepy factor is pretty high. As the weeks went on, he would talk a tiny bit more.

Weird guy "I really love this oldies station you play."
Me "Oh good...thanks"
Weird guy "Yeah"
Then he'd grunt a little and leave.

A month or so passes and he comes in every Sunday like usual. It's the same every time. He likes the music. Grunt. Leave. This time though, he says a little bit more.

Weird guy "I really love this station. They play a lot of songs that the oldie radio station doesn't play."
Me "Yeah, it's got a good mix of songs."
Weird guy "I used to sell music to businesses, so I have a very sensitive ear. This is nice."
Me "Well, I'm glad you like the station" (Man this guy needs some socialization. He seems to be a bit excited about an oldies station.)

One day though, something was different. No not him. He still walked in, grunted, ate, and came up to pay.

Weird Guy "The music is different."
Me "Oh, ah, I suppose so. I can't really here the music up here very well."
WG smiling "Oh it's different. I used to sell music, so I have a very sensitive ear. I dont' like it"
Me "Well, I'm sorry"
Then he grunted and left.

The next week, like clock work, he was back disheveled as always. He paused at the door, then went in and sat down. I waited for the strangeness. He didn't disappoint.

WG smiling in a very creepy way "Ya know, I really don't like the music you have playing here. I want the oldies station back"
Me "I'm sorry. I'll let the owner know."
WG "I used to sell music, so I have a very sensitive ear. I prefer the oldies station."
Me "Ok, I'll let her know."
WG "Next week, if I come in and it's not the oldies station, I'm not coming back."
Me pausing and trying not to say good, "Wow, well, I'll let her know."
WG in the happiest voice "Well, off to three more church services! I've already been to two."
Me "Ok, have a great day."

I did tell Rene. She was as shocked as me with this weirdo. Was he serious?  Well, we kind of found out the next week.

WG pauses inside the door and then decides to walk in. He sits at the table to eat. I really can't here the music from where I am, so I really have no idea what station is playing. From where I stand, I can see him order, so I assume that the music is ok. Wrong. He walks back like he's going to use the restroom, but then thinks better of it and comes up to the register.

WG "You know I have a very sensitive ear, and I don't like this station you are playing"
Me...no shit. I've heard about your sensitive ear before "Oh, I'm sorry. I let the owner know last week. It must have slipped her mind"
WG "Next week, if the station isn't back to the oldies station, I won't be back. I'm serious."
Me "Ok I'll let her know."
When he comes back up to pay, he acts like he never acted like a spoiled brat.
Me "Well, besides the music, how was your meal?"
WG "Oh great as always!"
Me "Good good. Well, have a nice day."
WG "off to services!"

I'm curious how his fellow church people feel about his threatening a restaurant to get the music he preferred? What a jerk! I couldn't wait for the next weekend!

He came in for the next three weeks as if nothing had happened. I kept waiting for the threats. There were none. I'm not sure if he realized how weird his threats were or he couldn't find any other restaurants that had the station he wanted, but he kept coming in like nothing was wrong. Finally this weekend, I noticed that the station was back to the oldies. Good. I really don't know what else to say to this guy. Luckily, he's been quiet about it, but you never know. After he finished eating on Sunday, he came up to the register...

WG smiling and happy "I just love this song! Such a great song!"
Me "Yeah"
WG "This is just a great station!" kind of swaying with the music.
Me thinking this guy is sooo weird! You can't even here the music up here! "I'm glad you got your station back."
WG "I used to sell music to businesses, so I have a very sensitive ear to music and am very particular."
Me "wow. Enjoy your services."

He walked out as if he had won. I guess he has.  Luckily he wasn't that bad...he just sets the "crazy" alarms off. If it starts to get boring, I might have to change the station for a few weeks to see what happens! When you are a business open to the public, you have no choice but to let the crazies in.  I just wonder what other situations are going to come through those doors!

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