>Take Away Sagas 1

>We have very many regular customers at the fine dining establishment which employs me, and I've decided to share the joys and pains of having said regulars. I don't think I can get in trouble for this, because there's a system of "free speech" in this country and by some of these people showing their faces in public, the lack of signing a waiter-customer privacy agreement, and the fact that the actions they do they do repeatedly and are unashamed at their actions. *If any of my regulars read this and have a problem with any of the things that I write about them, you guys know how to change that. Thanks.

We'll start with the very first regular customer I ever met (and, to this day one of my favorites), Mr. Standifer. He drives a white jeep, and usually calls around 4 on Saturdays. He is one of the nicest men I've ever met, and certainly a breath of fresh air because of his patient and gentle disposition. He usually shows up about 5 minutes early, backs in to his parking spot, and quietly does his crossword puzzle. We've always connected through this, because we both share the joy of completing them. He is one of those people that make me proud to do the job that I do, and it is a pleasure to wait on him.

Next up, probably the second experience with a regular that I had was Mr. Bowers. Oh, Mr. Bowers, if you weren't so cool I would hate your guts. I have to go into the walkin, chop up an entire box full of celery, get you extra monkeys of ranch and blue cheese, huge orders of crab legs, clam chowder, just a random splattering of obnoxious food to suit your little stoner needs. He pulls up in a filthy van, always wearing the exact same clothes that he was in the time before, his total is always around $85 and he always tips one dollar. Rumor has it that he comes from tons of Chattanooga money too. I don't have any credible source for this, other than our very own gossipy Terry. Oh well. I'd probably hang out with Bowers though.

Next is walkin lady. She works at Pier 1 and she never calls ahead, instead opting for the annoying walkin approach. She sits in our chair, rants about George Bush, and gets mad when people don't tip us. Oh yeah, that's right. She doesn't tip either. Olivia and Terry walk out of the room whenever she walks up because they simply cannot stand her. I can't either, but I happen to be the most patient of the bunch, so I get stuck with her. Oh well.

Mr. Mcorder is the oddest of all of my regulars. He sounds exactly like Mickey Mouse, and always starts off his order with "hm. I'd like to try the Ribeye." He likes his wings "hot and spicy" hahaha and he blinks excessively all the time. He's extraordinarily patient and kind, and he tips 20% so I have nothing to complain about at all. We find his little quirks amusing, if anything, and we're usually happy whenever we hear his cheery voice.

OK I take back what I said about Mcorder being the oddest of all of our regulars. I'd have to say that Dotson in the silver truck is by far the most bizarre but at the same time our favorite regular. His voice is distinct, sounding like a mix between a radio announcer and somebody making fun of a radio announcer, and he looks nothing like he sounds. He's somewhat tall, I'd say 6' and probably around 220 pounds, maybe less. His friend that he always comes in looks like somebody out of Metalocalypse, with long long blonde hair and an endless array of black t-shirts. We're fairly sure that these two sit in their basement and play dungeons and dragons or something like that, but to be honest we don't care. They are the coolest people that we have come through take away by far. If we're busy, they'll wait as long as they need to, and they most of the time drop $10 or even more on the tip. I think they take turns paying for the food, while the other one tips, and we straight up hook them up with bread and any free things we can give them. Buckets of honey butter, bags of bread, mushrooms, ranch, everything they would need for a week. They are the epitomes of the perfect customer, and we're sure to let them know it through excellent service.

I'll let you know something about take-away. We seem like cold hearted judgmental jerks, and I suppose we, in a way are. But we're not judgmental for judgment's sake. It's my view that the way you treat your server is how you treat anybody else in life, and if you don't treat him well, frankly you don't deserve to get whatever food you're about to eat. So here's what we give you: one shot. You get one shot to prove that you deserve to be treated like the king we're treating you like. The first time you call, we're going to do everything in our power to make sure that everything you get is as perfect as we can make it. But be aware that we remember just about every order every night, and we remember who tips and who doesn't. If you have a reputation for not tipping or for complaining about random, stupid things, you need to know that as soon as you call we are not happy about it. As soon as you drive up, mean things are said, and when you're gone we breathe a sigh of relief. I'm sorry if that seems mean, but we're people too. Is it too much to fake a smile? Didn't think so.

I think for one day, I'm gonna say exactly what I want to to everybody that orders. If they're short with me, I'm going to tell them to hang up and call back later when they can be a little less pissy. If they are impatient on the phone, I'm gonna quote them 50 minutes and make them wait for it, and let them know the reason for it. If somebody calls back (like they did on friday) and complains that there is "broccoli on their steak, and it's unappealing so I'm not eating it" I'll tell them that they can bring it back and I'll eat it for them and they can go on home, pick up a steak from bi-lo on the way and cook it themselves so that they know it's cooked exactly the way they want it. I'm sick of people treating me like a robot, and it's about time they started treating take away people around the country the way they should be treated. Just remember, make a good impression on us or we'll make your next experience one that won't make you very happy :)

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.