Watch Out for the Swindling Waiter

Some of them will squeeze money out of you

Photo by Petr Sevcovic on Unsplash

I have immense respect for people in the service industry.

Waiters are hard-working people and greatly underappreciated. Think of all the worst people you’ve met in your life, now think about the fact that waiters have to answer their every beck and call.

Then those assholes probably don’t even tip.

But one time, I found a waiter that would be impervious to all of that. And that’s because that slick motherfucker could talk you into anything.

I was in Louisiana on a work assignment, and I was looking for a good meal. I didn’t have much to look forward to on those work trips, but I always got a killer per diem and the chance to explore the local cuisine. And, given that I was in rural Louisiana, otherwise known as America’s sweaty asshole, the obvious choice was sushi. Because if there’s one thing America’s sweaty asshole is known for, it’s fine dining.

So I went to this Asian restaurant. And when I pulled up, I was immediately a little nervous. It was at the end of this dingy strip mall, and the parking lot was full of those weird, floating parking spaces that aren’t connected to anything.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose. I just think seeing a bunch of unconnected line segments in a series is off-putting and comes off as a little culty.

But as I descended into this dank building, I was greeted by a chic, carefully decorated interior. Everything, even down to the lighting, you can tell was done with intention.

You know that type of lighting where it’s a little dimly lit and it makes you feel classy? Yeah, that’s the type of lighting they had going on.

lighting when I met waiter
It was like this type of brightness. You can see what I’m talking about here. This is some shabby little community center basement, but those strung-up lights are emitting a classy amount of lumens. Photo by Blake McCleary on Unsplash

After entering, I was ushered to the finely crafted table I’d be dining at. It was one of those where you could tell it was fancier because it was intentionally asymmetrical.

And when I sat down at this exquisitely crafted table, I was handed the biggest monster of a menu I’ve seen in my entire life.

After all of the glitz and glamor of this finely crafted interior, I was forced to weed through 8 pages of menu, front and back.

Now, I’m already what you may call a “deliberate” decision-maker to begin with, so when you give 47 options to pontificate over, I’m going to need a minute.

But this was no ordinary waiter. No, this waiter was an eager beaver.

Within minutes, he was back at my table, and he wasn’t just asking for my drink order.

I was feeling the pressure. I had to figure out my order and figure it out immediately. I was in too much of a people-pleasing mood to make this man wait.

So I pointed at the sushi roll with the most fun name because when in doubt, I always make decisions based on which name gives me a giggle.

After telling the waiter my order, he promptly responded, “What else?”

This response confused the shit out of me. I looked around at the rest of my table, a table I was notably the only person sitting at, where I ordered one full entree. Which, correct me if I’m wrong, is the appropriate number of entrees for a table of one.

In a fit of confusion, I replied with the only answer my flummoxed mind could surmise. And that response was, “Huh?”

My response confused the waiter, because clearly he thought I was a dipshit. This waiter looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Usually people order two entrees.”

Normally, I would’ve just brushed this off and bought a regular amount of food. But as I said earlier, I was already flummoxed. My mind was polluted with flummoxed thoughts.

Plus, the waiter had a very cool demeanor. He was generally very chill and had a smooth, confident way of speaking that made him seem like he knew what he was talking about.

And as I was sitting there, pre-flummoxed from all the stuff I mentioned before, I couldn’t help but be swayed by this man’s conviction.

I caved, and I got a second entree.

I shouldn’t have gotten it, and I didn’t really even want it, but I took that entree, and I ate all of it.

And it was fine, I guess. The entree I actually wanted to order was outstanding, and the other one was, ya know, edible.

Ultimately though, I would’ve been happier not spending an extra $15 on a mediocre entree that stuffed me til it hurt. But that smooth-talking waiter was just so convincing.

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