Can you remember a time in your life when the Exact Correct Thing flipped out of your mouth exactly when you needed it. You know, a time when later you would normally look back and think, “Man! I wish I had said, (fill in the blank).” But, not YOU! You were dead on with your reply, timing, attitude, etc. I have saved up a few of those perfect moments in my memories and was reminiscing about one recently. I don’t even know what made me think of it.
I was a cocktail waitress for a short time in my younger, svelter days. I was working during a fairly slow time of the evening, yet things were due to pick up in the next hour. Happy hour? Quite possibly. I’ve forgotten. I digress.
There was a guy and a young girl sitting at a table that each had a drink in front of them. These two and their drinks were there when I came to work. They were getting a bit low so I slid on over and asked if I could get them anything else. The guy, immediately, without asking the girl said, “No.” So I just went my happy way. They sat there like that, talking a bit, but mostly just looking around for a little while. I asked them maybe once more if they wanted anything and was told they were fine. After I had been there for about 30 minutes they disappeared. Like I said, it was slow at the time and so I just left their drinks on the table because it was a very big place and I didn’t know where they had gone. Eventually, when things got really rolling and the table was needed, I picked up the two, virtually empty glasses. TWO HOURS AFTER THEY HAD LEFT THE TABLE. Almost immediately the guy and his mousy little girlfriend showed up and he wanted to know where his drinks were. I told him that they were empty and I had bussed the table. He said they were not empty and he wanted his drink back. I was pure professionalism.
Hot Young Waitress: No. Your drink is really gone…. Oh, hers too.
Jerk: Well you need to buy us another round cause you had no right to throw away our drinks. At this point he is noticeably raising his voice high enough above the music for little miss young-and-easily-impressed to hear. It is clearly going to be one of those things where he wants to save face with the eye roller.
HYW: Er, no. Don’t think so.
At this point Jerk pulls out a wallet and flips it open Miami Vice style, to show me a two part center fold of a drivers license and a police badge of some sort or another. I glanced at what he was trying to impress me with, shot a quick glance at the girlfriend that could only be read as, “Are you serious? This is the best you could do?”, and said:
HYW: SO? They check your ID at the door here. I know your old enough to drink or you wouldn’t have made it in.
Jerk: Obviously distressed that I wasn’t impressed with the badge he was flashing at me, You stole our drinks and now you need to replace them!
HYW: Loud enough for girlfriend to be sure and hear. Look, I noticed you have a badge and I know you people don’t get paid very much, but, really…I am here to make money not buy drinks for people that can’t afford it .
Jerk and girlfriend got themselves up and located a manager who, soothed them and bought them drinks, as any good manager would. But. He told me that if he had been in my shoes he would have done the same thing. I bet he wouldn’t have known what to say, though.