I don’t know what it is about the hospitality industry, but having worked in it for around seven years I’ve noticed that it seems to attract the dickheads of the world. Whether it’s a co-worker or a customer, certain people can make you want to press your own face against the grill, just so you have an excuse to leave that hell hole.
As a wise friend once told me: ‘If you can’t pick out the dickhead at work, it’s probably you.’
The saying, “The customer is always right”, really fucking kills me because sometimes the customer is so fucking wrong. There is nothing worse than having to smile through gritted teeth as you take the blame for a mistake that you know wasn’t your fault!
Then you have the customers that treat you like a slave. You’ll know from the beginning, because they walk through the door and they don’t make eye contact with you. They will march over to a table and sit with the newspaper, which provides a convenient barrier between them and you so you can be easily ignored. Another wise friend once said, you can tell a lot about a person from the way they treat the wait staff.
The list really does go on. That group of mother’s that demand you completely re-arrange your table plan in order for them to fit their seven prams inside. The ladies dressed head to toe in Lorna Jane, even though it’s obvious they’ve only walked from the car park into the cafe. They’ll sit for hours, trying to kill time until they have to spend time alone with their kids again.
Finally there’re those ones that leave a banana peel behind when you don’t even sell bananas. They will clean the goop from their child’s face with a wet-one and leave it behind for you to poke at with a fork. I mean, whatever it was they were cleaning up, a tissue obviously wasn’t going to do the job, it required heavy duty wet-ones and now it’s a soggy, grey colour. Like I want to touch that shit with my bare hands.
For some reason, baristas seem to think they run the joint – frothing the milk with their noses turned high, rolling their eyes while letting out dramatic sighs that reek of stale coffee and cigarettes and getting worked up every time you touch their precious bench. I once worked at a place where the barista was so painful that I actually went out of my way to offer people alternative drinks such as juice or water, to avoid having any contact with him at all.
Setting aside all my bitching, baristas do have a hard job on their hands and they work very hard. But just keep in mind guys; you’re making coffee, not ending poverty.
Throughout my hospo years I’ve probably only met one or two chefs that weren’t pathologically angry. It’s like it’s a requirement for the job or something. Wanted: Chef. Must know how to cook. Must feel as if the world owes them. Must be easily ticked off and must look good in all white attire (which, lets face it, is hard to pull off).
I know it’s a very high pressure job but the last ten minutes that you spent yelling at me really could have been used in a more productive way, don’t you think? I’m not out to get you, I promise.
With a boss you never quite know what you’re going to get, but power certainly does corrupt.
The biggest dickhead that I’ve come across, was the one who stepped on me and then called me Hitler. In the same day. After accidentally stepping back onto me (he’s huge), I thought I was doing the right thing by telling him when I was standing behind me. Thinking I was being pushy, he turned to me and burnt his eyes deep into my soul, saying, “I’m going to call you Hitler, because all you do is push in front of people.” Heavy, dude. I’m pretty sure Hitler did a little more than push in front of people and if anyone is an evil dictator here, it’s you.
Needless to say, I didn’t go back to work after that. I came in to collect my last pay that next week and was greeted by my former boss, who looked me up and down and said, “Nice dress, you floozy.”
So, I stepped on him.
This post was originally published at Hijacked.com