20 November 2009

It's Friday, we should break up - Hovering Servers

You know what time it is, guys! Time for another breakup. Read past breakups here!

To be fair, this particular thing has only happened to me at Asian restaurants. I'm trying not to stereotype and suggest that only Asian servers do this, though. I'm sure that's not the case.

Normally, when you go eat at a restaurant, half the time you're searching for your server. Your drink is empty, you never got any silverware, you need a new napkin, you spilled red wine down the front of your dress. Usually, they're nowhere to be found. Servers develop this skill which, frankly, I would love to master. It's the focused "I'm not going to look at you because I know you want something from me" skill.

They walk past your table, careful not to meet your eye. You see them coming, of course, so your heart lifts, you raise a hand, you catch your breath, ready to speak and're ignored. It's quite the letdown.

Not the case at Asian restaurants. At least, when the restaurant is less than packed. They stand behind you, hovering, in case you have an iced tea emergency. They pick up every stray piece of paper or crumb or lemon seed you deposit on the table. They ask if they can get you anything...every five minutes.

While all of that can be really really annoying, I've found that the solution is just to take incredibly graphic reading material to the restaurant with you. And no, I don't mean pornographic. That might not work.

When I was in college, I often went to this little sushi place across from campus. The waitress would hover behind me as I ate, quietly judging my less than masterful skill with chopsticks, I'm sure. I, personally, don't want anyone to be standing behind me for an extended period. Ever. It makes me nervous. Like when your step-dad hovers around the back of the couch when you're trying to watch television. SIT DOWN!

Anyway, I noticed that when I started taking my forensic anthropology and anatomy books in to study, she had absolutely no interest in standing behind me. I like to think it's because she couldn't handle all the pictures of dead people, but, to be perfectly honest, my anatomy lab book smelled like formaldehyde and rotting shark. So it was probably that. (No one really wanted to sit next to me in my other classes when I had my lab book with me, either. Go figure.)

One day, however, this woman just CROSSED THE LINE. Now, I know that this was her job and she probably notices how much food everyone ordered and that kind of thing, but woman, it is NOT your place to comment. You see, that day, I had ordered an extra two sushi rolls to take home with me for dinner. I just ordered them all at once, because it's not like it matters. I ate two rolls and then asked for a box. She had already looked at me like I had two heads when I ordered four rolls, but now she said (and this is not me being a giant racist, this is what she said, verbatim), "That too much sushi. I didn't think you should eat all that. You get fat."


I said, "Just bring me a box. And my check." I never went back.

Then yesterday, it happened again. Sort of. I went to this Thai place across the street from work. I ordered a Bento box with some sashimi and some sushi. It also came with a seaweed salad. Now, don't get me wrong, I like seaweed salad. I just wasn't in the mood for it that day. So I didn't eat it. I HAVE THAT OPTION.

The woman came to pick up my mostly empty Bento box and she said, "You no eat salad? You no like it? It good for you."

Thanks. But I don't have to eat it. I'm still going to pay for it and I just don't need your commentary on my eating habits or food choices. Though I appreciate that she at least didn't tell me I was going to get fat.

To me, these women are as bad as the ladies who try to suggestive sell you a lip wax when you go to get your eyebrows done. You know what? I don't really HAVE a mustache. Please don't try to tell me "I need lip wax. It ugly." Screw you. We're finished!

Except, of course, I'll still be eating in Asian restaurants, so I guess, um, we'll still be seeing a lot of each other. I hope this doesn't make things awkward. Please don't put any puppy in my food or anything. I was kidding! It was a joke!


The Peach Tart said...

That is rude and I would probably say some smart ass remark back.

Aubyn Peach said...

While on a business flight I ordered a couple bloddy mary mixes. No booze, just the mix. I love bloody mary mix and I am going to take advantage of getting a couple for free in my life. It is part of the cost I pay for the flight. The flight attendant said "Before I get you this I just want you to know how much sodium you are taking into your system." I am well aware of my nutritional intake. Now give me my mix.

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha ha ha!!!

We have a restaurant in town where after you order take out she'll ask how many people so she can dole out the fortune cookies and if you order a lot of food and only say two people she raises her eyebrows at you and mutters under her breath about it being too much food for two people.

So I always tell her six people so she can't pass judgment then I get more cookies.

That Kind of Girl said...

Dude, that is absolutely beyond the pale! I can't even imagine what I'd do if a server ever had the nerve to suggest I'd put on some weight from what I was eating! I mean, aside from, obvi, force-feeding him or her a knuckle sandwich.

mylittlebecky said...

yes. yes, yes, yes! they do that to me all the time. mostly because i'm the designated picker-upper of sushi and they're all like, asking me about fictional "parties" and stuff. mabes they can survive on half a roll but when i'm eating sushi with the chuck we're getting a lot of sushi! because it's all little and yummy... now i sound like a piggie. *sigh*

Phronk said...

That is pretty rude. I'd rather have a friendly server tell me I'm going to get fat than a rude one though. Or one that takes an order and never comes back.

Jodey/Fat Chick Biker said...

I had that happen at a movie theater some years ago - I ordered some candy or something and the girl looked at me and said "Do you know how many calories are in these?" Um...fuck you?

And yes about the friend and I went to Pei Wei and it became a running joke between the 2 of us. We'd sit there for 2 minutes and I'd take one sip of my tea...out pops a server "can I get you some more tea?" "Can I get you a new napkin?" "Can I wipe your ass for you?"

LEAVE ME ALONE! I'll let you know when I need you.

Just A Girl said...

Oh I hate that. But if a server ever said something about me being potentially fat, I would ask for a manager like THAT FUCKING SECOND. As for the salad one, it's ok to say "Was there something wrong with the salad?" but that's IT. No more. Shut your face.

Johnny Virgil said...

Ha! Reminds me of an "overheard in NY" I read the other day:

The Food Police Are Everywhere

Larger woman in elevator eating Snickers bar: No matter what I do, I can't lose no weight!
Less fat friend: Mm-hmm.
(elevator goes one floor up and stops. Both go to get off)
Suit #1: Unbelievable, no wonder you have weight issues.
Larger woman: What? 'scuse me? What you know about me?
Suit: Other than you are fat, can't take the stairs for one floor, and are stuffing your face with a king size Snickers?
Less fat friend: Shit, he do know you.

--40th & 8th

Amy said...

I was eating at Saltgrass with a friend one evening and we had the BEST server. He made sure to take all the extra plates and flatware off the table as soon as we were finished. Took the damn steak knife right out of my hand, mid cut. Surprised at his own action, he gave me a puzzled look, then smiled and said "I'm just going to bring you a new, cleaner one."

Jenny said...

At a japanese restaurant a few weeks back (where you'd have thought they'd have major Curse of hte Hovering Server) P and I stood at the door waiting to be seated forEVER. Well, probably only two minutes but they WERE NOT THAT BUSY. Eventually P said, I give them another minute. No-one even looked at us or came over to say 'give me a minute and then I'll find you a table' or something. So we left. Personally I'd rather they'd hovered! Although you're right, it does make me feel a bit...judged.

Meg Kathleen said...

Whenever I get a manicure the manicurist always tells me I need to get my eyebrows waxed and AND my arms. MY ARMS! Who waxes their arms?