Is there anything better than a rude waiter? Oh golly, I clasp my hands together and oscillate with closed eyes at the thought of it.
Waiting is such a strange profession. I’ve been a cater waiter and I take my hat off to anyone who does this for a living. It is hard work. Writer Jani Allan, who moved to the USA and is now a waiter, said it best:
One of the most challenging lessons I am learning is that I am now a downstairs person.
Downstairs people live to serve upstairs people. The Americans who come to the restaurant believe that they are upstairs people.
This may sound counter intuitive, but I am here to defend rude waiters. This is, of course, no excuse for bad service. I recently went for a dinner with Marco and our waiter was Ryan.
He never smiled and spoke in an aggressive tone.
“Anything to drink?” he said as he marched to our corner table and leaned in, his biceps bulging; his brow furrowed.
At one point I thought he was going to point and say, “You lookin’ at me? ARE YOU… lookin at ME?” while pulling me up by the lapels and shaking me around.
The food was great and it arrived promptly.
When I asked for the menu to look at the desserts, his face seemed to say, “The fuck you think this is? A restaurant? What I look like? A waiter?”
My heart leaped with joy because it was so entertaining. I don’t take anyone seriously enough to be upset with them. I reserve all my energy and anger to hadouken racists, or to channel it into a kamehameha wave into sexists.
One of my favourite memories was going to Spur with my family when I was younger. If you’re not from South Africa, Spur is a beloved family chain restaurant that served the best meals that your taste buds could handle before they actually developed into functioning cells. Until then every birthday was spent at Spur and we were so oblivious to the cultural appropriation of Native American Indian culture to sell burgers.
I don’t remember the exact age, or who exactly was there, or even what I ate, but I remember Louis. And there my soul goes whirring like a firework into the night sky of happiness. He was white and this was soon after democracy, so he was probably bitter. But to me, that just adds to the character.
He rolled his eyes, his stiff upper lip never moved more than it needed to and he walked like we had asked him to kill the cow and peel the potatoes and manufacture the Coca-Cola himself. Now that I think about, maybe he did. I think about Louis occasionally, and hope that wherever he is, he is still as spicy, fabulous and deliciously bitchy as he was when he served us.
Sure you can go to a fine dining establishment and have a warm host float you over to your table on an air of pretentiousness, while a French snob gargles the expensive fare waiting to burn a hole in your pocket. But who wants that? I’m here for an experience. My name is JAW and I love rude waiters! What, you came here for the food?
<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>