A Day of Inconsiderate Customers and a Night of Binging Netflix (10/7/18)

Today started just like yesterday. I woke up at 7:30AM, rolled out of bed, hopped in the shower, and ended up catching the 8:53 train towards Brooklyn. Just like yesterday, when I finally arrived at Emma’s Torch at 9:45, I headed to the Deli next store, bought a BLT, and headed back to chow down before Brunch began. On the books, today seemed like a very slow day– we had 34 (on the books), and once the shift began, everything felt very slow. We had one large party which included the owner of the restaurant and her family, and then some 2 and 3 tops. We decided to even close early, when things were seemingly slowing down to a halt around 2PM. Our plan was to close by 2:30, and begin the Holiday– Indigenous People’s Day, NOT Christopher Columbus Day. I could get into a huge rant about that man, and who knows, maybe I will tomorrow, but not today– early, which I am never opposed to.

As the clock struck 2PM, the other server mentioned that she had two friends coming in, and she bet that they would be the last orders for the kitchen for the day. I jokingly said to her “What if 5 tables just walk in?” It was a joke. I didn’t expect that within the last 45 minutes, we would receive more tables. Now the amount was not the issue. In all honesty we got 2 or 3 other tables after her friends. The issue was at 2:35, a woman walked in. Our sommelier let her know we would stop taking tables at 2:45, and that the kitchen closed at 3:00. Thinking it was just one person, our Chef said to take her as the last table, figuring it would be quick and easy. It turned out that that one woman was actually 5 people, which is already a pain in the ass. However, we obliged, and set up one of our front tables for 5. I brought her water and let her relax for a few minutes, since she said her friends would be there soon. I come back in a few minutes and she orders a tea to drink while she waits. I bring it back and let her be. I mean come on, I’m sure the rest of the group would be there soon. 10 more minutes pass. I check up on her, and she says that one of her friends said that she was 20 minutes away 10 minutes ago, so she would be there soon, and the other friends were close as well. I tell her the kitchen closes at 3PM, so if they wanted food, she should order it now. She ends of ordering six plates off the menu, as well as some dessert, which is fine, because at least the kitchen has something to work with. Another 5 minutes pass and finally the first of the other four people arrive. She immediately wants to change some of the food that was ordered, which I quickly let the kitchen know, so there is no issue. Another 10 minutes pass. The other three people aren’t here; Food is now beginning to come out– plate by plate. Remember this first girl has been here since 2:35.

After a good 10-15 minutes, all the food is now out, and the friends are still no where to be seen– It’s just two people picking at a BUNCH of food. Finally, at 3:35, a good HOUR after they were supposed to get here to eat, TWO of the final three arrive. Now I have quite a few issues for the party, but I’ll hold off until the end. The two stroll in, sit down, and begin digging in. I ask them if they would like any drinks, and the guy gets our Shacksbury Cider. After more time passes, they finally ask to box some of the food up. Reminder- the fifth and final person is STILL not here. They are the only people in the restaurant and we are trying to clean up without appearing rude. And finally, at 4:05, a good hour and a HALF after the first girl came, the fifth person shows up. Strolls through the door and greets everyone, as everything has just been boxed up. They then begin opening up a box or two and digging in, before finally asking for the check and leaving.

Now I think one of the easiest things in the world to do is to be kind to those around you. I thought everyone was taught basic manners growing up, and learned the world does not revolve around them. Now this girl, the one who came in first, knew we closed in under a half hour. At any point, she could’ve said “I’m sorry they’re not all here. I’ll just take the check, and we’re going to go to a different restaurant that is still open for a while”. That would’ve been polite and considerate, but no. She continuously tells me that her friends are almost there, while instead two of them are a good hour away, and one is 1.5 hours away. Secondly, Emma’s Torch is a pretty nice restaurant. It’s not like a Michelin star restaurant, or anything too high class, but you should still dress decently when coming. The first friend to arrive came in sweatpants, and the guy who came in with the other friend (numbers 3 and 4 to arrive), came in baggy sweatpants, and what looked to either be an old t-shirt, or a colored wife beater; meanwhile the other three were all pretty dressed up for the occasion. Like it just feels disrespectful when you come in looking like a bum, into a nice restaurant. Third, when you know this place closes at 3PM, WHY decide to come SO LATE for lunch??? If they showed up at 1 or 1:30 even, EVEN if the rest of the friends are running late, we still are open and they are fine. Instead 3 of the 5 guests show up at least an hour after we close, and don’t even apologize or anything. I know that don’t need to, but it just seems like common courtesy. They just stroll on in, greet their friends, and take their good ol’ time, as we attempt to clean up, eat, and leave. Fourth, I ask the guy what he wanted to drink, and his response was “What do you have.” “Here is our drink list sir.” “What’s good?” What’s good? How can I answer that? We have white, red, rosé, and sparkling wine, beer, coffee, tea. “That depends sir, what type of drink are you looking for?” He then goes to ask about the bubbly wine we have, and then goes, “I’ll get the cider.” So instead of bubbly wine, you skip wine all together and go with a cider? Okay dude, whatever floats your boat.

I think the most disrespectful thing was the last person coming in at just past 4:00. Like how inconsiderate and self obsessed do you have to be to think it is okay to just show up all nonchalant an HOUR after we close? They didn’t even leave that amazing of a tip! It was between 18 and 20%, and yeah they didn’t get the best service, (because we were focusing on closing), but because of how accommodating we were, I would’ve at least thrown in a few extra dollars. It just rubbed me the wrong way, with how disrespectful they were of us. We even took turns eating our lunch, before heading back into the front to continue watching over that table. After another 15-20 minutes, the group finally left, and we could clean up and go home.

The clean-up didn’t take that long, and I was able to leave and get back home by just around 6. I was excited because I had my dinner all prepped, since I brought Tupperware again to work and piled it high with food. For the rest of the night, I relaxed and binged the final episodes of Big Mouth Season 2. What a cringy, but amazing second season it was. They covered so many intense issues, including planned parent hood, in the funny and unique Big Mouth style. If you haven’t seen the second season, or even the first season, please do. The show does such a good job showing the transformation as people grow up and go through puberty. It’s utterly fantastic. The night ended with some League with my sister, and some Youtube videos before I finally decided to type out this Blog post and get some sleep. Tomorrow is finally the New Member Orientation and I am DAMN excited– Should be a lot of fun! I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Until next time,

-Michael

Closing Restaurant.jpg

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