Wow. Brunch at Chuy’s in Dallas produced close to the most painful service in the history of eating in a restaurant. Everything about our server screamed Big Lebowski. While being a fan of Lebowski, this does not mean I want him in charge of all brunch happiness.
Fresh out of TABC class, Lebowski carded me. Being carded is great, but in no way warrants a 12 minute whine about potentially losing your driver’s license at any given moment. He gave details of imagining officers sneaking in through the back door of Chuy’s just as he forgets to card someone. This guy is an example of traumatized at its very best.
Three small talk sessions prevailed over getting water. Let’s see, if there’s a guy wearing a cast in your section, pouring sweat, this would bring any request for water to a higher level of importance. Some people order water for drink security. We didn’t just want the water for a potential in-case-moment. This was a real deal water request. Cast wearers with forehead sweat deserve fast water delivery. By the 4th request, Lebowski leaned in to say, “Dude, the ladies at that table over there are SO high maintenance. They are taking up all of my time. Just wave if you need me and I’ll try to check you out.”
Is this guy nuts? Not only are we begging for drinks, we haven’t even ordered an app. At this point we are entering a massive moment of water drama. He rolls by again to pre-bus the table of ladies he complained about. This is when a mystical moment of massive server shock occurred.
Cheryl, a fellow bruncher, requested a margarita. Rocket science service industry worker advice: Your answer to a customer’s question should never be: “You are s!$t out of luck.” Really? I’m sorry. We are just wondering what is up with that. Who says you are s!$t out of luck to a customer? Our server, that’s who.
As pigs began to fly, Lebowski delivered water. With the water, he dropped a gigantic blue pitcher on the table. This is around the time we realized he had morphed into a jokester. If you totally suck at your job, do not be a jokester. Nobody likes this. Nobody. Would we rather hear a joke or see your lips closed and plates moving? You tell me. There’s almost nothing worse than a suck-server-jokester. Service Industry Rule #243: Do not be a jokester if you suck.
Was the restaurant slammed? No. Bar? No. The back of the house was as calm as a kitten with a belly full of milk. This was his deal. All diners must take front and back of the house situations into account before professing a service industry worker needs to leave. No pre-bussing happened until the end. A debacle of finally given glasses, salsa, plates, and chips were everywhere. Did the shrimp fajitas taste just peachy? Sure.
Begging for food and drinks, only to finally have food and drinks that never disappear, is not my idea of rainbows and sunshine. Give your shifts away and hang up your apron, for this is the end of the waiter road. It’s time to move on, Lebowski.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch