I'm not referring to observations about the food service industry, but from inside it.
Customers never cease to amaze me. That's probably because people never cease to amaze me.
For every jerk, there's a set of intelligent eyes right behind him that diffuses any anger and allows me to see the humor in situations.
Then, there are my favorites: customers so outrageous, or quaint, or intriguing, or off-putting, or mysterious, that they belong in the pages of a novel! That's when my mind really goes to work and the wheels start turning, as I set their omelets in front of them. Who are you? I think I know and it makes a really good story.
Of course, I have two such characters in mind. Let me start by saying I don't like them. Strange vibes about the unsound things they might do in private. Or maybe I just question their characters.
They come in, about once every two weeks, and order sandwiches with pickles and chips. (Our sandwiches here are delicious, made with soft, homemade bread). He is tall, immaculately dressed in a dorky sort of way, with hair that is greying at the temples and a false-distinguished air. He stands up very straight and I get the feeling if he saw a little homeless dog he might kick him.
She is slightly overweight, void of aesthetic or inner personality except where he's concerned, meaning she fawns over him and has nothing left for anyone else.
They spend a long lunch hour leaning close together over their sandwiches, talking and laughing up a storm. They're an odd couple, and a new one. They recently met online (I just know). At the end of their meal, they leave the plates on the table instead of bringing them up to the counter. He eats his entire sandwich, including the pickle. She barely touches hers (too nervous, I suspect). They never, ever tip.
These people have a story to tell, and they are not from the Land of Oz, I can tell you that.