(A foreword — This is a repeat of a column I wrote a couple of years ago. I am re-printing it because of an incident I witnessed at a restaurant right here in our area recently, whereby the ill-tempered, obnoxious snobs whom I wrote about at the restaurant in North Carolina could have been carbon-copy twins of the two whom I overheard berating a local waitress. I am hopeful they will read this and see the true reflection of themselves that others in that restaurant also saw that day. — Tommy.)
I am normally a patient person, or at least I try very hard to be, and have very little use for whiners, complainers, and chronic, self-centered “me, myself and I” bellyachers.
You know the type ... it wouldn’t matter if Jesus himself came down and handed them a 48-ounce ribeye on a platter of pure gold, it wouldn’t be cooked right .. and then they’d find a hair on the plate!
A couple of years ago, while enroute to help my daughter and her family move from Georgia to North Carolina, I stopped at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast.
While I was sipping on a cup of hot coffee and waiting for “Momma’s Pancake Breakfast” — God’s gift to breakfast lovers! — to arrive, a hostess brought in a couple and seated them at the table next to me.
Before he even placed his substantial backside in the chair, the man found fault.
“Don’t you have anything that isn’t so crowded?” he demanded.
(There were maybe a dozen people in the place at the time so it wasn’t like it was Grand Central Station.)
Before the hostess could respond, the Mrs. Whiner chimed in.
“You’d think they would space out these tables more to give people more room,” she announced to anyone in earshot. “Oh, just leave us here. We’ll try to keep from being trampled.”
Okaaaaayyy, I thought. This pair of cheerful souls isn’t going to be satisfied with anything that happens here today.
The waitress came over, not a minute after they were seated, and Mr. Loudmouth immediately jumped her case.
“Honey,” he said, with sarcastic, condescending emphasis on “Honey”, “were you on break? We’ve been sitting here for a while.”
Really? If they had been there 60 seconds I’d have eaten my coffee cup.
The waitress, bless her, looked to be almost ready to deliver her child, and even though it was early, she had a look on her face of total exhaustion.
She nevertheless apologized profusely for their having to wait and asked if she could bring them something to drink before taking their food orders.
“Coffee,” Mrs. Loudmouth said. “And it better not be cold.”
Mr. Loudmouth echoed his spouse’s drink order.
“Me, too,” he said. “And don’t bother with the creamer.”
Now a lot of my senses may be going south in my older years, but hard of hearing I am not: the man distinctly told her to not bring creamer.
She came back not two minutes later with the coffee.
“And is there a reason I don’t get creamer?” he demanded.
The poor girl just looked at him, flabbergasted, and again apologized, as she walked back to get creamer.
I was sitting there shaking my head to myself when Mr. Loudmouth said to Mrs. Loudmouth, “I’ll just bet she’s not married. Another welfare kid to feed, no doubt.”
Well, that just about did it. It took all I could muster to keep from jumping up and kicking the chair out from under that judgmental jerk.
What if she wasn’t married? The woman was working, obviously until the last minute before her child was born, probably because she desperately needed the money. Didn’t look like a welfare case to me.
Returning with the creamer, she took their orders .. a lot more politely and courteously than I would have.
Again, I wasn’t eavesdropping but I heard exactly what they ordered: two orders of pancakes with bacon. Nothing else.
About five minutes later when the orders were delivered ... you got it ... more whining, bellyaching and complaining.
“Don’t hash browns come with these breakfasts?” Mrs. Loudmouth criticized.
Yes, they do, the waitress said, but the couple had plainly said ‘pancakes and bacon only’.
“Are you disputing what we ordered?” Mr. Loudmouth said in a huffy tone. “You need to bring your manager over here, we need to speak to him,” with a pointed emphasis on “him”.
I almost laughed out loud when the waitress returned with her manager. A woman.
“Ohhhhkaaay,” Mr. Loudmouth said, eyeing the manager with disdain, as she asked if there was a problem. “No problem. You’d just take her side, anyway,” he muttered.
Well, as I sat there and ate my own meal, that pair griped, fussed, and fumed over every nit-picky thing they could come up with.
It was too hot in the dining room.
The chairs weren’t comfortable.
The framed antique pictures hanging from the walls weren’t straight.
The prices were too high.
They should ban children from the restaurant because they were so obnoxious. (I almost choked on that one!)
When their meals were over and the waitress brought the check, another shower of criticism.
“I guess you now expect us to pay after all we’ve been through,” Mr. Loudmouth stated.
“Those pancakes were horrible,” Mrs. Loudmouth added. “Cold and impossible to chew!”
Odd, I thought, glancing over at their plates, looks to me, honey, like you scarfed down every bite … musta not been that horrible.
The poor girl was almost in tears at that point and just stood there with a pitcher of juice in her hand not knowing what to say.
The couple got up and as they were leaving, turned around and coldly said, “You don’t need to look, honey, we did NOT leave a tip.”
When she walked past my table I asked her to stop for a second and thanked her for being such a wonderful waitress. She said it meant a lot to hear a kind word from someone.
“Boy or girl?” I asked.
“A girl!” she said, with a huge smile. “I’m going to name her Eva after my grandmother.”
Well, if I wasn’t a fan of that waitress before then I was at that point because my own grandmother’s name was Eva!
I told her to forgot those pathetic dirt clods who wouldn’t know decency, courtesy and kindness if it jumped up and bit them in their complaining, self-centered ying-yangs.
I left a larger than usual tip and as I was walking out, I remembered the pitcher of juice she was holding and thought to myself, lady, I know just where I woulda put that jug of cold OJ if I had been in your shoes ...
Right down the collars of those two pompous, whining windbags.