Friday, February 26, 2010

Wine Institute of Walgreens

I love me a good wine snob. I really do. There is a part of me that wishes I was one of them. Dashing from winery to winery with a navy blue sweater thrown around my shoulders while discussing my father's political campaign.

But, I come from a family of pizzeria owners. Instead of talking wine cellars, we talk deep fried foods. We keep our deli slicer as shiny as a new set of golf clubs and if we go out to eat where the foodies go, we always make sure they have an option of steak and french fries. And, because of this upbringing I know an average Joe when I see one.

While I lived in Chicago, I worked as a waitress like a good average Joe should. The restaurant I worked for wasn't a five star restaurant, nor was it a diner. It was right in the middle, like my family. It was the type of restaurant where people are referred to as "customers," not "clients." But, every now and then we would get a "customer" who thought they were at a place where they should be treated like a "client" and unfortunately I wasn't the waitress who would give that kind of service. By the end of my "career" waiting tables, I was one diet coke away from suicide.

This one Saturday evening, a man was sitting at a table in my section all alone, awaiting his date (so he said). He scanned the wine menu and ordered the cheapest glass of wine. But he didn't say it like he just ordered the cheapest glass of wine; he said it with the same arrogance a man ordering a $500 bottle of wine would be allowed. Personally, if I go with the cheapest glass of wine, I at least give the waiter a nod or a look of apology.  But I mean, good for him, he's confident. Or, so I thought.

A few minutes later, I came back with the glass of house red I could have gotten from Walgreens. He motioned for me to stay while he tested it. I restrained from rolling my eyes as he swirled and wafted and swirled some more, then dramatically dipped his nose as deep as it could go into the glass (again, he was waiting for his date) and then he
Finally, after what seemed like a hour, he shook his head with disgust and said "this is no good."

I couldn't believe it! Really? No good? Maybe it's no good because it was $4! Of course I couldn't say that so instead, I sucked it up, smiled and said without the least bit of sincerity, "Oh, no. Let me go back to the bar and open a fresh bottle for you." But, as I made my way to the bar, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to conduct a d-bag experiment.

When I got to the bar, I told the bartender I wanted to see if this guy really knows what he's talking about. Perhaps the wine was bad OR perhaps it was fine. We would soon find out.

I asked the bartender to transfer the same wine to a new glass. So, when I bring out the "new" wine to him, it would actually be the old wine he had already rejected. If he rejected it again, okay, he knows what he's talking about. But approve the "new" glass and BAM! Confetti goes, balloons release, buzzers scream and a giant sign drops from the ceiling that flashes "asshole, asshole, asshole." The whole restaurant starts pointing and laughing and I am the hero (but I'm still wearing an apron and my shirt is still smeared in barbeque sauce so I'm a humble hero).

So, I bring back the same wine, carefully set it on his table and apologize for the first glass. I tell him this glass is from a brand new bottle. And, once again he swirled and wafted and.. swirled some more then dipped his nose as deep as it could go into the glass (again, he was waiting for his date) and then he slowly
Finally, after what seemed like another hour, he shook his head up and down, smiled at me with his now purple teeth and said "Oh, yes. This is much better."

I got him! I caught him being a fake wine snob; an average Joe trying to be something he's not. I have never tasted such sweet revenge in my life.  Nothing in the world could make me feel the satisfaction I felt that night, not even a shiny deli slicer.


Heidi said...

Cute! Memories of being a server. Good times....

Harvey K said...

Hilarious. I really wish there was confetti though.

Martie said...

Great story! For a the few minutes it took me to read the story, I found myself in your apron dealing with this 'somebody' wannabe and having your own private victory over him must have been very satisfying. Love your writing, keep up the good work!

The Business Student said...

HAHAHA, that's awesome!!! I worked at a diner called "Liars Cafe" last summer. I had never waitressed before, and everyone was always "willing" to extend tips,comments, and advice on how I needed to improve. I totally understand the "humble hero" line!!!

I LOVE the humor of your blog!!! I am going to subscribe, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

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Hilary Swenson

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