A Simple Request

1 Jun

Working in a bar has made me learn a lot about people.  It has made me realize that, on the whole and when combined with alcohol and a certain lack of respect for service professionals, people are poorly behaved and quite stupid. In the past, I have written a a few times about the poorly behaved subset, but today I wish to regale you with a tale, a short tale, of stupidity.

My bar, for those of you who have had the pleasure of drinking there, is a bar, strictly that.  We have weekly food specials — wings on Mondays, cheese and crackers on Wednesdays, bagels on Sundays — but we lack a kitchen.  All the foodstuffs are brought in from outside and are free.  Sometimes, this leads to some confusion.  People come in on non-food days thinking that there will be food out.  People take a seat at the bar and place an order for wings when the goods are located directly behind them in a heating tray.  People sit down and order a beer and ask to see the menu.  All these different misconceptions about the services we provide, or don’t provide, are completely understandable.  The conversation I had last night, however, was not understandable at all.

A group of four people came in and found a table.  The representative of the group, a tall guy in plaid, then came up, ordered the decided-upon drinks, and asked to see the food menu.  I responded the way I always do.

“Sorry, we don’t have a kitchen but you’re more than welcome to bring food in if you’d like.  I also have this big book of menus if you want to order something.”

He nodded at me vigorously.

“Would you like the book of menus?”

More nodding.  I handed him the book, which is actually a huge binder full of little laminated folders packed with tons of menus from local restaurants (mostly Asian Fusion, it seems) and went along doing my job.  About 45 minutes later, a thin girl in a green dress (a t-shirt, maybe?) comes shuffling, and I mean shuffling, up to the bar, holding the binder open on her extended forearms.  She slides the binder down onto the bar in front of where I was doing dishes and looks up at me, doe eyed.  She then looks down at the open menu laying across the binder, looks up at me again and then cocks her head to the side.  At this point, I was pretty sure I knew what was about to happen but I didn’t want to believe it.  I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

Me:  “Yes?”

Simple Girl:  “We would like to order take-out off this menu,” tapping her finger on the menu for a local Middle Eastern restaurant.

Me:  “That’s great.  Call them.”

Simple Girl:  “Oh, we have to call?”

Me, exasperated:  “Yes.”

She then picked up the book of menus and once again laid it over her forearms and headed back to the table where the rest of her party awaited her.  I looked in disbelief at two of my other customers who had overheard the entire interaction.  They looked equally as amused.  I shook my head and continued on washing glasses, chuckling about the stupidity of the request.  Then, it occurred to me, it wasn’t just this one stupid girl.  There were 4 people.  There were 4 people sitting at a table, deciding where to order from, and they all came to the consensus that the reasonable thing to do at that juncture was not to order directly from the restaurant that clearly had no association with the establishment in which they were currently sitting.  No.  The reasonable thing to do was to send someone up to the bar with the menus to request that the bartender order their dinner for them. I stopped being amused and got a little sad.  People.  So stupid.

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