Okay, so I’ve had a lot of crazy jobs in my life. This one’s had its moments, to be sure, but I don’t think I’ve ever, so casually, in the midst of a workday just straight out damned somebody.
I mean sure, I’ve probably helped a poor soul or two (hundred) down the path to fiery eternity, but never so inadvertently or with such ease.
I didn’t even have to show the woman my ten inch tongue or breath through my ears!
You owe me one, Scratch! You should know better by now than to think I give freebies!
After the jump I’ll give you the whole story. It’s somewhere between Waiter Rant and The Screwtape Letters.
Okay, so I work in Beeg fancy restaurant in Beeg fancy hotel. I’m a waiter, server, food whore, whatever you wanna call it. It’s a living. I do well, industry strikes not withstanding. (knock wood)
Anyway, so toward the end of the evening a three top comes in; a woman and two men. They’re nice enough, they’re kind of in a hurry, they order a bunch of stuff, I punch it into the computer tell the kitchen to move it and go about my business.
One guy even mentions that he’s not eating meat, or at least not any land animals, because it’s Good Friday or something. Cool, whatever. Is it Good Friday? I have no idea. Maybe it’s just a decent Friday, but he’s sticking to seafood. The other guy and the woman agree they’ll split some chicken.
The apps come out pretty quick, I check on ’em, they’re happy. I say the chicken, which is their only entree, will be out in a minute. (Usually they’d get their whole table cleared and reset between courses, but they were in a hurry, so I was doing it all in one course.)
So, I’m kicking back by the side station, talking shit to one of my co-workers, (as is my wont) when a Food Runner comes up to me:
“Hey Robert, do you have table 42?”
“They say they ordered the chicken, not the pork.”
“Damn right they did…” I pull up the table on the computer, ready to give the kitchen the riot act…
But no dipshit, not the kitchen’s fault. I pushed the wrong fucking button.
Oops. And did I see a big chunk of that pork missing? Oh. Shit.
That’s right, kids: turns out the lady’s Jewish, she’s Kosher, and she’s just had her first bite of pork ever, thanks to me.
Nice work, Genius.
Okay, now I know there’s Kosher and there’s KOSHER. We don’t have a strictly kosher kitchen, or anything close, but a lot of people, Jewish and Muslim and otherwise, will overlook a lot of it, but get pretty upset about the Pig. We can mix the meat and the dairy utensils and everything else, as far as they’re concerned, but keep the damn pig away from the table.
Don’t ask me, it’s their belief system. Mom raised me to be a Good, Practicing Agnostic.
In any case, this is a Fuck-up of the Colossal variety.
So, after sheepishly apologizing and getting her a new plate, I go to tell my manager.
“You are kidding me. You have got to be kidding me right now. This is April Fool’s time isn’t it?”
“Uh, no. You wanna go talk to table 42? I think I just damned her soul to hell, or something.”
Apparently the woman asked my manager what religion I am, and how would I feel if something like this happened to me. My manager said she didn’t know my religion, but assured her I felt horrible.
Good dodge. I doubt the answer would have helped any.
And, well, I did feel horrible. (I always snicker like that when I’m upset. Nervous reaction, I’m sure.) And, yes, I know she’s not going to hell, even by most Jewish standards. (Though some Muslims would be pretty freaked; they’d also be eating out of a stricter kitchen, one would imagine.)
In the end, she was remarkably cool about it; amazing what some free liquor will do.
But still, I can’t help but wonder one thing:
Did she like the pork?
(Someone’s going to Hell, anyway…)