Sometimes I wonder how people get the jobs they do. I wonder what they said or did in the interview that gave the employer the confidence that this person could indeed do they job they claim they can do. Once, at the private school at which I taught, an English teacher was fired because she claimed on her resume to have been published in Time Magazine and to have held some professorship somewhere. One would think the decision-makers would have checked these "facts" prior to hiring her, but somehow in Education, that doesn't always happen. It wasn't until a student's parent who actually did teach at the college the teacher claimed to have been on staff at, outted her as a liar, that she was escorted from the building and out of our lives. Why don't employers check more carefully before handing over a job to a moron?
Yesterday I was out to lunch with my friend Amy. I fed Ethan, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Ethan behaved like a pro. The waiter, however, seemed to be under the influence of something that made him very, very stupid. Whether he was sneaking out back to smoke up or he was naturally just that vacuous, we'll never know. But believe me when I say that he rivalled the dumbest of the dumb.
I am no one to complain about bad restaurant service; being a waitress would have to be one of my biggest nightmares. I doubt I would last through one night, what with the keeping track of who ordered what, remembering to smile, carrying giant plates of food without dropping stuff and let's not forget the math involved in settling checks. BUT...
He seemed utterly confused that we wanted food at all in the first place. "Can't you people just sit here quietly for awhile, then get up and leave?" Taking our orders seemed to confuse and pain him, even though it was as simple as "I'll have spaghetti and meatballs." Amy ordered spaghetti and meatballs. He asked if she wanted Alfredo sauce on it. Alfredo on meatballs?? i.c.k. He returned to our table no fewer than three times to reassure himself that he had our orders correct. Seriously...spaghetti and meatballs, people. And he wrote it down...this was not a fancy, "I'm so skilled I can recall your 5 course order off the top of my head. Go ahead make substitutions, I can handle it" sort of place. It was Bertucci's.
We were at a "bottomless salad bowl" place--he brought us two separate salads that had definite bottoms to them. Huh??? We longingly watched the table-sized bowls go by on other waiters' trays and cursed the lucky patrons who got that waiter. When Amy asked for more salad, our waiter seemed offended that we didn't appreciate what he clearly saw as the "individualized attention" he was giving us by deciding for us how much salad we were allowed to have. Finally, he caved (seriously, we had to put our collective foot down about the more salad thing), and brought us the "to be shared" bowl of salad.
When our entrees arrived, he stood at the table, holding each bowl up, hesitating, clearly unable to remember which one of us got what. Even after the whole "do you want alfredo sauce on your spaghetti and meatballs?" query to Amy, he didn't remember it was her who got the spaghetti and meatballs---with tomato sauce. We had to remind him. Please keep in mind, he had only taken the order moments earlier. It was lunchtime; you know there was no chef out back preparing each meal individually and taking 30 minutes to do so. All he had to do was reach into the big vat of spaghetti, put it in the bowl and bring it to the table.
By the time we had finished eating, Little E decided he was no longer content to nap quietly in his stroller and needed to hang out in mom's arms. That's fine, right? No problem to have a 3 month old lounging in mom's arms at a restaurant after a meal, right?
Well...unless your waiter decides to come over to the table and clears it by attempting to balance every plate, glass and utensil in one hand, creating a potential scenario in which plates, glasses and knives fly everywhere within inches of said 3 month old. Amy and I sat there, unable to see eachother through the "leaning tower of tablewear", but when the waiter walked away, our expressions said the same thing..."I cannot even believe this guy is for real!"
I left the restaurant irritated at the lousy service, but on the other hand, relieved to find that there really is something out there more incompetent than my cervix...