Some days I wake up happy; some days I wake up hungry; there are days when, even though I know it’s purely psychological and a product of attitude, I think I wake up “skinny”. Then there are days, like today when I wake up wearing the XXL Cranky Pants.
I am not entirely sure what made me cranky today. Indeed, most bouts of the Crankies come from indeterminate sources. And generally those that must bear the brunt are not the source material.
Today it could be the weather; the fact that yesterday I paid $27 to wash and detail my car and it looks like rain today; and the carwash no longer gives those free “rain checks” where they will re-wash the exterior for free if it rains within 48 hours.
Or it could be that my laptop has power management issues so severe it is on the verge of becoming the world’s first 3.4 Gigabyte Frisbee; or that the “clerk” at the convenience store that has worked there for over two years now, STILL doesn’t know how to work the damn cash register. It could be the guy with the cell phone tucked under his chin as he is (finally) trying to get out the money to pay for his coffee without a noticeable break in his conversation. Don’t you just want to grab these people’s devices and drop them directly into that vat of hot Nacho-Cheese Velveeta over by the Slurpee Machine?
Whatever today’s stimuli were, the Cranky Flag was flying this morning; and we are not talking half-mast with a slight breeze. We are talking American-Flag-in-centerfield-at-Candlestick, stiff-in-the-wind flying.
One thing that often brings on a bout of the Crankies is my low level of tolerance for a lack of planning and common sense, combined with poor short-term memory: people who make the same stupid mistakes over and over and over. Back waiters who come up to me at 8:00pm on a busy night to tell me we are out of bread. Not, “We might not have enough bread to make it through the night,” or “We are getting low on bread.” Out. Completely. I do suffer from an over-inflated sense of self, but I cannot do the loaves and fishes thing and make more bread from the crumbs on the cutting board. I need a little advance warning. Things like placing the cups, saucers and spoons on the table that has ordered coffee, along with the cream and sugar service, THEN going back into the kitchen to look for the second coffee pot to fill with De-café because you need to serve BOTH types of coffee at once; or POS printers that run out of paper at 7:00pm and all the paper rolls are still in a box way back in the office; or telling me you’ve “detailed your station” and as I am on my way to seat one of your deuces I see it is missing a CHAIR! Are you frickin’ kidding me? A fork, a wineglass, a butter knife, maybe; but a CHAIR?!
The main points here are: a) don’t do stupid shit, and b) don’t do the same stupid shit you did the last time when I politely told you why it was stupid shit and how to avoid it next time, then accuse me of being cranky when I tell you it was stupid shit, again, this time.
Another thing that bugs me no end is the recent trend of restaurant people calling each other “chef”. I have a deep respect for this title, and it should belong only to people who have truly earned it; people who have forgotten more about cooking than I will ever learn. I am not a Chef. Even back when I worked in the kitchen and actually held the position, I really didn’t consider myself a “Chef.” Just because you can play “Heart and Soul” on the piano doesn’t mean you’re a musician. You don’t automatically become a Chef just because you went to Culinary School. When I ask for a table to be fired: “Fire mains on 34, yes chef”; or “I wasn’t working when that happened, chef,” or “Slow down or you’re going to break something, chef.” Calling the Maitre’d, or a waiter, or a busser or even a fellow line cook “chef” is akin to the Pakistani guy on the Hewlett Packard “help” line calling me “sir”. The not-so-thinly-veiled translation: “asshole”.
Oh, boy, you need a nap, chef…