Thursday, October 29, 2009

I AM: The chosen one. For today....

I am being left alone.
I have been allowed to take parties bigger than 4 (ahhmazing...)
Perhaps I am invisible? Awesome....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ohhhh, Canada!

Oh, Canada! The many wonderful things you bring us: snaggletoothed hockey players, questionable beer (Molson anyone??), the expression "dooontcha knooo" and Shania Twain (right? I'm pretty sure.) I like you Canada, I like that you have superrad healthcare, the law that people can booze it up at 18 and the fact that you measure your roads in kilometers, which confuses the bejeebers out of me. I must confess though, you have sent me some really atrocious tippers during the past few weeks. That gives you a terrible, terrible reputation (at least in my little world.)

I was inundated with a Canadian estrogenfest during my last shift. While this proved to be an excellent distraction from The Flighty Waitresses's lamentations about her prom night dumpster babies, I was not altogether delighted to see their perky Canadian faces. I knew that this table was going to burden me with requests for bloody mary's made with clamato juice, create complex orders, nickel and dime me to death and then ask for split checks. Which I would refuse to do because I don't have to and I'm not a complete nincompoop.

Sure enough, they all ask for water with lemon "and a couple containers of sugar, eh?" (homemade lemonade! what a splendid idea!) and Bloody Mary's with the bizzaro Clamato juice, which we do not have because it is disgusting. When I brought them their ingredients for their self created drink of choice one of them bumped me and all the waters cascaded down the tray and into my ample bosom. Better than of the floor. Attempting to heroically stabilize my tray I commented that I was clearly a pro to have made such an amazing save. And then..... The same lady bumped me AGAIN (and I had moved! she had the flying elbows of terror!!) My luck had run out and a glass went flying to the floor with an earsplitting crash. They all rolled their eyes at my horrific incompetence which I thought was a bit rude since I had been crashed into, not once but twice. Since I'm a helluva good sport I laughed off the rudeness and invasion of my personal space and cleaned up the big glassy mess. Very pleased to say that I only lost 2 or 3 fingers in the process!

After a lengthy explanation on my part regarding the rules and regulations of splitting entrees "it is a $6 charge to share an entree. No, I have to charge you even if you eat from the same plate. No, I do not make the rules around here. No, we still do not have any clamatto...." they ordered and off I went. These ladies really did not want to pay for their food (and who does really? but if it's all that bad maybe scamper on off to the Mickey D's??) some ordered apps as entrees, perfectly acceptable and something that I have done before- and then sneakily shared their neighbors food. In my Very Smart Brain this is no big deal- go ahead and share, live it up! have a good time! But in Capt Rig's world this kind of behavior is on par with first degree murder and is not to be tolerated. I had to intercept Jan many times so that she would not go over there and bust them (me, actually because she would have thought I was in on the food sharing conspiracy.)

In the end, they finished up pretty happy and were ready to leave. They were ready to leave NOW, or maybe yesterday. BUT they wanted me to divide their check, to split some of the prices of the entrees in 1/3's, and to give them my best song and dance routine while I was at it, all while balancing a plate of food on my nose in the manner of a trained seal. ME: "Not gonna happen, cheapskates." (it does say right on the menu that we DO NOT split checks, and it is honestly frowned upon because so many mistakes can happen what with the archaic check system that is implemented there.) I also have many years of knowledge under my belt and know that even if I painstakingly split up the check they would only leave me twelve cents so it's not worth my time and trouble. (this is how bitter waitresses are created- we all start out so hopeful and innocent only to have our dreams of world domination dashed by large parties of foreigners!) All was fairly well in the end, because I did not split the check I got the bill to the lickety-split and they skedaddled, leaving me closer to forty cents than twelve. Lucky me! I planned to head right out for a major vacation with all the sweet moolah that they had so kindly left for me...

Oh Canada. Whatever are we going to do with you?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Knife..... Behind you.

Just a few words of wisdom from out middleaged heroine today:
Interesting how a few little words can take on a whole new meaning in the right situation. In the literal sense, "knife behind you" means something exceptionally obvious "I'm passing behind you with an enormous meat cleaver and I do not wish for you to suddenly spin around and catch it between the shoulder blades." Given a different set of circumstances you can see "knife behind you" in a whole new way. I definitely feel that there are a lot of knives behind me on any given day in Hell's Kitchen. The harpies spend a lot of time sharpening their collection of santokus in order to be ready to pounce at any given moment. One must develop eyes in the back of their head, or equip themselves with a rearview mirror in order to stay out of harms way.... I have no such mirror, so I will have to work on my back-vision.
It pleased me to see the lot of them all pulling (figurative) knives on one another the other evening and leaving me out of the mess. I needed a quiet evening to recover after the "f-ing POS lazy waitress" incident, as that took a bit of the spring out of my step. To get thru my next shift I amused myself by pretending that I could not see or hear anyone else. For a couple hours I also imagined that I had absolutely no need to speak to anyone (and was a bit alarmed when I discovered that it took two hours for a real need to speak to present itself!) These things, paired with the fact that all of the lovely ladies who I work with had turned on each other made things tolerable, if not enjoyable.
Much to my dismay Ashley had taken a shine to me again (whiplash! arrrrrgh!) and filled me in on all the disturbing details of her dysfunctional ex-relationships and her blooming new love life. Ewwwww. Now, I am not a prude and am always intrigued to hear the tales of love (and other things) if it happens to be an actual friend of mine doing the story telling. I might have mentioned before that Ashley is not, NOT my BFF and to get the sordid details of her most recent conquest, in HD level detail is a bit more than this middleaged waitress can tolerate. I am still trying to erase some of her more vivid comments from my imagination, not that her details left much for my imagination to elaborate on. Oh dear! I must admit, that I am torn between what I like less: Mean, spiteful "knife behind you" Ashley, or broken hearted but lovestruck and sex-starved Ashley. Ick.
Once again, Jan proved to me that she is nothing if not honest. "Knife behind you" she rasped, as she trundled past me in the kitchen "and I might just stick it in you." Um-hmmm, I appriciate that level of brutal honesty. At least I know where I stand (or shouldn't stand, perhaps?)
Anyway, I continue on in an attempt to preserve my last shreds of dignity and fricking self respect. I am hoping to develop the superhero skills to avoid knives in the dark, although I think bringing in my own collection of freshly sharpened deboning knives might be my best bet... (watch out ladies. knife behind YOU! hahahah!)
(ps from author, I am really not scary enough to bring knives anywhere in reality. I'm pretty friendly as a rule. I don't want cops banging at my door....)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The world is a Vampire. And not the sexy kind.

All of you cool kids from my middleaged generation know what I mean from my blog title today. Essentially, that the world (AKA my life & times at Capt Rig's) is draining the life blood/soul/will to live from me and that soon I will walk among you as one of the undead. Sadly, I am not making reference to having a fleet of heart-throbby Bill Compton's or Edward Cullen's prancing their immortal selves around making everything all sexy. (which is too bad really, either of them would distract me nicely from the Evil people I work with.)
Very bad night at Capt Rig's last night. My head is in a very bad, dark place right now.....
I had previously written quite a long post about the events of last evening. It was bitter, verbose and thoroughly detailed the interactions and exchanges that happened thru the course of the evening. But I erased it, due to the fact that it was just TMI and I do not want to bore my readers (I also do not want you to think that I am a pathetic looser for tolerating this crap. Which I am not, I am not a quitter though and I have dedication and tenacity. Suuuuuure...)
So here you go.

Dear Staff at Captain Rigatoni's,
Why does it feel to me, every time I step in the door as though I have gone in a time machine back to High school? Is it because you are all petty backstabbing little people with no regard for each others feelings? I think this is quite accurate. You might not like me, because I refuse to engage in petty conversations with you about how the other staff members look, smell, walk and talk. But I do not care. I can still look at myself in the mirror and know that I did not bad mouth anyone because of things that they simply can not help. Also, I know that you most certainly talk about me the same way when I am not listening because you do it to each other, even the people you declare your undying friendship to. This is not nice way to act, young ladies, and what goes around comes around.
Why, when we run out of something earth changing like liners for the bread baskets can you not simply ask for more? Why (Bobbi) must you steamroll into the kitchen and call me a "fucking piece of shit waitress" and also call me lazy? Is that a nice way to speak to someone, especially someone who is much smarter and kinder and clearly cuter than you? I look at your skinny stilettos and consider kicking them and watching you take a nasty tumble. That would be very bad for you, so watch yo' mouth when you talk to me suckah....
Why, when you do not take the time to tell me how you want something done (Ashley) and it still comes out looking just the same way that it does every single day must you run around telling all the other servers that it looks like shit? Either show me exactly how you want it done, or please kindly shut up about it. I do not have time to listen to you ranting about my idiocy when you have put zero effort into making sure things are done to your high standards. Also Ashley, please start lifting some weights or similar if you insist upon being so critical of everyone else's physique. I hate to tell you, but you are painfully far from being a Maxim cover girl. Gosh.
Ashley and Jan, you two are normally such nice people that I was shocked to overhear you talking smack about me behind my back. You tried pretty hard to cover your ample behinds when I walked in like stealth but it was too late. Perhaps it was not enough that I was carrying a rack of glasses, two checks, a bag of takeout food and a stack of plates out when I last left the kitchen. I'm sorry that you think I am not working hard enough at removing things from the kitchen, I'll really buckle down and get right on that. I might need an extra arm, but I am sure I have one in my closet at home.
And table 27. I honestly am sorry that a $10 bill fell on the floor when I got you your change. But, you let me know and I was actually able to find it (and if I had not, I would have given you a $10 out of my tips- obviously.) You were so happy with the rest of your meal, and since I fixed things for you so quickly why did you stiff me and leave me no tip? I was not trying to steal your money. I was not trying to steal your husband or your first born child. I am sorry that you are asshats.
I'm sorry Staff at Capt Rigs, but you can not push me out and force me to quit. You are messing with the wrong lady. Yes, you are making me very unhappy but I am not going to let all of you know that and I am NOT going to let you bulldoze me out the door. So screw all of you.
Love and hugs,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Please take your meds. Please do not be a close talker and a space invader!

Sometimes working with Capt Rig and Co reminds me of how one might feel if one had an Aunt who was completely off her rocker. Unlike when you have a cuckoo parent or spouse, an Aunt (or similar) you would only have to deal with occasionally and you'd feel ok about avoiding her at times because maybe she'd have a spouse to deal with her unpredictable shenanigans. However, you would still see her from time to time and would move around her with great trepidation, unsure if she was going to hug you and give you a cookie, or punch you in the face and then kick at your unconscious body. Yikes!
Not only is Capt Rig really insane and unpredictable, in the manner of an enraged ticking time bomb but the staff is pretty bipolar as well. It is a daily question, "Am I going to be everyone's BFF today? Or are they all going to be pretending that they can not see me? Or is it going to be let's all criticize and berate the new-girl day?" This level of inconsistency tends to make one slightly on edge. And when I say slightly on edge I mean seconds away from having a complete coronary. This past weekend was a prime example of waving goodbye to a group of people who passionately hate your guts, and to go back the next day and to be welcomed with loving arms. Oh man-it's a whole lotta crazy.
In other news....
The new girl who I have been referring to as Shrek got sick of the madness and quit on Saturday. I was hoping that she might have taken a stand and left in the middle of a huge dinner rush. Thinking about the chaos that would have created was amusing to me for a moment, until I learned that she had simply given her notice. Boooooring! Poor Shrek, I hate to be a critical mean beeyotch but she was truly horrendous. Not only was she very bad waitress, and a person with very questionable taste in professional waitressing attire but she was well on her way to becoming (ahem) "An Enforcer." I was pouring myself a sensible coffee the other evening in a strofoam cup designed for just that purpose. She snuck up behind me, heavily mouth breathing. "HEY" she panted "WHAT" I said with an unseen eye roll. "You are going to get in big trouble for having that cup out here. We are not allowed to have those OUT HERE." "I know we are not allowed to have cups in the dining room" I replied with exaggerated patience "But I can not move the coffee to the kitchen with my mind so I must bring the cup to the pot." "Well whatever" she said, pushing her thick glasses up her nose with great disgust in my inability to comprehend the gravity of the situation "but seriously, you're going to be in big trouble." "I'll take my chances" I declared as I attempted to edge past her enormous bulk. Later that evening I was greeting a table when I felt eyes boring a hole in the back of my head. Peeking out of the corner of my eye I saw Shrek (actually I saw the peaks of her pointy frizzy hairdo in the edge of my peripheral vision.) As I recommended some drink choices I heard the heavy mouth breathing draw closer and closer. The hairs on the back of my neck definitely started to stand on end. As I prepared to walk away from the table I could feel her sweaty presence within inches of my back and I was not pleased with her intrusion upon my personal space. "Shrek" I declared to her in my Giving-A-1st-Grader-A-Talking-To voice "I Need for you to NOT be so CLOSE to me when I'm at a table. Or anytime, to be honest with you." "Oh Gosh" she simpered "I was just standing there to see if you needed anything." (Calm, deep breaths. Remember, it is bad karma to be rotten to someone who clearly can not help herself.) Very calmly and patiently, I explained to Shrek that I did need something, and that was for her to please remember that a waitress needs her freaking personal space, and does NOT need to be panted upon.
My kind and patient advice was all for naught though, since Captain Rig made her life so hellacious that she had to quit. The day after she gave her notice she came back for another round of torture. Capt Rig was expediting on the line, which is so scary that it gives me the cold sweats and heart palpitations. I have to remind myself, as I feel the panic setting in that he is just a person. A very scary person. And that I need to not let him scare the bejeebers out of me, because I am BIG and TOUGH! RAWWWWR! If I had given my notice I would have stayed as far from that line as possible- but not Shrek. Being totally clueless (poor thing) she stepped right up and called back the food for a big party. Completely and utterly wrong. There was a gigantic pause in the kitchen as we all collectively held our breaths and waited for the ax to fall. Capt Rig's eyes bulged, he took a huge breath and prepared to eat her alive. And then..... He exhaled. "F**K it" He declared "I'm in a good mood today and I'm not going to let any of yous bring me down." And indeed he was- instead of screaming at us at the end of the night he told us all to get a pastrami sandwich at a deli he had discovered earlier in the day. It was completely insane, and a prime example of the epic mood swings that each day at Capt Rig's delivers.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In which our Heroine screws up. And introduces you to some of her favorite people....

There is no motivator as great as a Holiday weekend to get Captain Rig all up in a fine fury. His rage had been building for a couple weeks, and the blatant incompetence of his staff of clowns had just become too much for him to handle. We all know the drill by now- "WHY do I pay ANY of you F***ING IDIOOOOOT CLOWNS!!!" What are all of YOUS thinking??? All of YOUS are ruining my business- CAPTAIN RIG isn't doing anything wrong but all of YOUS ARE!!!" The constant reference to himself in the third person plus his lack of discrimination of the popular word "YOUS" made for some very interesting rants. There was an epic issue with the bread. Yes people, the bread. On a busy night when the bread baker is running late and the bread doesn't come out of the oven until 15 minutes before opening it is tempting to start slicing it up while it is still warm. We're talking about 1,000 slices of bread that need to be butchered (along with a few fingers) before that special little task is completed. With this in mind one of the newer staff members went for it and started slicing away, gingerly attempting to protect the warm bread from breaking. Well, this caused an atomic bomb of fury to go off in the kitchen. We were all summoned, and lectured for many many minutes about the level of idiocy that this particular person showed with the premature slicing. We were all kindly, and lovingly reminded that the restaurant would continue to run fine without all of us and that if we did not start shaping up we were going to be asked to ship out. And if we continued to MAKE HORRIBLE waste of Capt Rig's amazing product that we could go and F**K ourselves (all said in loving tones. clearly.) When some of the bread had cooled sufficiently to insure that I would not have any of my fingers chopped off for bad behavior, I rescued it from it's hostile home in the kitchen and stuck it in a basket to bring to the waitress station. As I arrived at my destination the unthinkable happened: The basket broke. All 5 loaves fell to their doom. NOOOOOOO!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!! I actually anticipated that Hell's Minions would rapidly descend upon me and poke me with those little pitchforks that Devils are known to have. When nothing happened I made a very reasonable decision that the 5 second rule clearly applied in this situation and that I was going to take my chances that the ever-present surveillance camera had missed my accident. I dusted those loaves off and rebasketed them. (and I continue to nervously await my fate. Will an instant replay of camera #7 at 4:11 on Friday seal my fate?? We shall seeeeeee....)
Mistakes, horrible fate deciding accidents and Hell's Kitchen fury out of the way I continue to see some interesting character development from my fellow staff members. It is critical to note that I am the lone survivor from the first round of post summer hiring's. Why is this, we all might ask. Am I certifiably insane? A masochist? Secretly in love with Captain Rigatoni (oh, GOD. I'd rather be alone and celibate FOREVER, so we can rule that one out) Or am I just a glutton for severe and constant punishment? Beats me, but I know that I continue going in several days a week in hopes that I can just do my freaking job and not get in big huge trouble for having my drying rag (It's NOT A RAG, it's a TOWEL) in back of my hip bone instead of in front. Gosh.
My coworkers, (along with the fact that the "rules" change every 48 hours whether they need to be changed or not) are what make this job horrendous. Oops, I mean enlightening and meaningful. Ok, ok in all fairness there are one or maybe two people who have a heart that is not made from rotten apples, but they are few and far between. And soon going back to their homeland (read on, friends.) Let's take a moment to talk about the players in this dirty little game called survival of the fittest (and YES. I am FIT.)

JAN: Ahh Jan, how I love you. Your patience, your willingness to kindly show me the ropes and to gently tell me how I could improve my evil ways. You are the wind beneath my wings, Jan. You inspire me to greatness, make me long to have a Grand Canyon sized chip on my shoulder, and you help me to become the best I can be.
Shall we all take a moment to gag? As I have already mentioned Jan is second to Capt Rig in the competition to be the Axis of Evil. She is rude, crude and loves to tell you how much of an idiot you are and how wrong you are. She is pretty much a beeyotch, and that's that.
One good thing about our sweet and lovely Jan. She is an honestly rotten person- she actually admits that she is horrible and does not try to play her bitchiness off as being "nice." she is also very consistent in her level of awfulness, and there is never a doubt that she will act nasty. I enjoy giving her a hard time and watching her get all wound up about it. "F**K off, middleaged waitress" she will tell me. And oddly, she says it in a way that kinda warms my heart (and I'm not kidding, which proves that I am quickly sliding off the deep end! ahhh!) Jan is one of the group of divorced, and angry 40-something year olds who are in a deep rage over the failure in their relationships. This is too bad. and so not my prob.

Ashley: A very bad person who tries to come off as the "sweet one." Ashley, let me let you in on a tiny little secret- you are NOT fooling anyone. Just because you don't yell as loud as Jan, just because you are slightly less trollish ion your appearance, just because YOU passively-aggressively try to play off your cutting comments- just because YOU don't hit the freak out button quite as hard- does not make you a nice person. If our little pal Ash was not BFF's with Bobbi, Capt Rig's sister she would probably try to compete for the Axis of Evil award too. But she tries to play the nice card because of the "friend" status. The nicest thing about Ashley is that you can be her best new girlfriend one day, and her biggest enemy the next. This might bum me out if A: I actually wanted her to be my friend, or B: if I gave a shit. Which I do not. Ashley is not divorced, but has recently ended an off again on again many year relationship. She is very angry and bitter about this and will tell anyone willing to listen all about it. Lucky them.

Julio: One of the few male members of the staff. Also one of the only nice ones. Julio comes to the US for a few months every year, to support his family in Columbia. He is fracking fabulous, and one of the few people who seems to have a grasp on reality. His English is not the best- but he fully understands what everyone around him is saying. When he gets sick of listening to Jan's endless snarking he runs away crying "no comprende! no comprende!" He regularly announces that everyone working at Capt Rigs is "crazy garbage" which is a remarkably accurate assessment. His tables are quite taken with his broken English and he makes boatloads of cash. Sadly, he is leaving us to return to his Fam in just a few days. Which means there will possibly be zero normal people left in Hell's Kitchen. Awesome.

Gina: so I'm in the kitchen with Gina the other evening when the call goes out to run an onion soup. She calls the order back (and when you "call it" you "CALL IT", like in 6th grade when you would "call" dibs on the cutest boy.) since she called it I did not, and went about my business. "HEY" she snipped at me "YOU really should have taken that SOUP." I pointed out to her that SHE had called it, and that it is strictly forbidden to steal someone's "called item." That threw her on her fanny for a moment, and I watched as she struggled to find her words. "WELL" she bitched "If you had called it I would not have had too." (no shat.) I was baffled/bemused by her line of thinking and pointed out that when someone calls back an order instantly it is challenging for someone else to do the same. At this point she had no leg to stand on and was very sad to have lost an argument. That pretty much sums up her personality. She is in the cool-kids-club of 40 something divorcees who are very, very angry, and are dealing with all sorts of child support/custody problems. **sigh** I hope that crap isn't contagious.

And finally for today....

Dan: Dan seems to be a pretty good person. He is in his own part of the cool kids club which we will refer to as amicably divorced with shared custody. He is a plethora of information and seems to be hesitant to chuck people under the bus.
He is what those of us in the industry refer to as a lifer, or a pro-server (meaning that not only does he not claim to have a higher ambition but he also takes serving very seriously- like VERY SERIOUSLY.) I admit that Dan is one of the best servers that I have seen in action, but I can not listen to him without having the urge to crack up. You can tell that he is trying to make an art form out of table waiting- he has the hand gestures, the waiterly accent, the correct pronunciation, he is super into it. And because I am a card carrying member of the ass-hats club I constantly have the urge to make fun of him. (which he would NOT take kindly too.) HOWever, I am so appreciative that he is not a royal raging miserable cow like the rest of THEM that I'll try to keep my teasing thoughts to myself.

So, there are a few of the key members of Capt Rig's restaurant of insanity. In the past the people I have worked with have played a small part in what might make an evening interesting. Here, they ARE what makes the evening interesting....

Friday, October 9, 2009

Give me your money, not your love. (Or your life story..)

Working in a big gigantic restaurant like Captain Rigatoni's definitely allows one to see a huge melting pot of customers. Unlike where I used to work, where 90% of business was driven by locals at Capt Rig's 99% of business is made up of tourists.
This is a rather interesting dynamic, and certainly brings a lot of variety and non English speaking people to the table (haha). Here's the thing about tourists though- either they are out and about having the time of their lives and throwing cash around like it is their job, or they are really cross because their vacation is costing them so much so they hold on to every dollar as tight as possible. This brings me to a very good point- if you can't afford to tip (or claim to not know how **ahem** French Canadians) stay home and have a cup of Ramen!
At work the other evening I had a good variety of people, all in different moods and situations. Things started off poorly, with a table of 4 non english speakers. "No English" they declared as I told them the specials "No French" I replied, sighing sadly to myself. Things went fine, they pointed at what they wanted (they read English? I don't know) and gestured vigorously for more water and pretty much ran me around. As expected, they left me something like an 8% tip, and I'm sure that they felt that was going to pay my 2 mortgages just fine and dandy. The good thing about the foreigners is that they do not demand too much of my time, at least from a conversational perspective. Some of the more local tourists love to tell me about their kids, grandkids, travels, psychic friends, medical maladies, horrible divorces, you name it- it's fair game to tell the waitress. If I'm really bored on a slow night I quite enjoy these little exchanges. However! If I am running around in a full house of starving people I do not have time to hear about Grammas run in with the hostile postal worker.... After spending serious bonding time at a table, sympathizing and offering an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on I really think it would be acceptable to add a few bucks onto my tip. Seriously, I do not need your love but I DO need your money! Show me the love with a few $20 bills y'all and I'll be more than happy to listen to you talk about your granddaughters cat's hernia operation or about the run around that your evil ex husband is giving you! But, when I spend the evening being your shrink, BFF, and partner in crime to stiff me with a 12% tip is offensive.
There are the tables that you know you are fighting a loosing battle with even before they order their drinks. Very Angry Women make up some of these customers, and Couples Who Are Fighting make up the rest (we have already touched on the Non English Speakers, so I won't bring them up again.) Very Angry Women are ticked off at their waitress before they even lay their eyes on her. They might be slightly less angry with a charming waiter- or not, depending on how mad at their cheating Ex-es they are.... Nothing you do for VAW is right, the wine list will be sadly lacking their favorite brand of White Zinfandel, the table they are at will be too small, too large, or too dark, you will be unable to fulfill their insane requests for specificaly prepared foods (containing ingredients that the restaurant does not even stock.) They will snip and snap at the waitress, make underhanded snide remarks and complain predictably about the temp of the food (too cold! too hot! it was hot when I started eating but it is COLD NOW!!) They will not be pacified in any way and will leave a 10% tip, a big mess, and the feeling of hatred in their servers heart. Couples Who Are Fighting are something like a ticking time bomb. They come in all pissed off at one another, and manage to make the life of their waitress uncomfortable at best. Usually nothing on the menu looks good to these people, a direct result of the fact that nothing in their relationship looks good either. If the wife (or girlfriend) is mad at the husband (or boyfriend) she will almost definitely become defensive if the husband speaks to the waitress at all. "Leave that poor girl alone" she will hiss, when he has the gall to ask about the soup of the day. (but to be honest, I have seen some in-trouble husbands attempt to flirt with the waitress, which results in justified fury.) They will bicker passive aggressively throughout the meal "you don't even LIKE salmon" "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I LIKE!!" and will leave angrily before dessert but after leaving a suitably poor tip. To match the poor quality of their looooove.
It is a ton of fun to get all of those bad tippers together in one place and to get them all seated in your section during the same evening. Throw in the guy who sends back beer #1 "too warm" then beer #2 "too cold" and you might be left feeling that the world has gone insane!