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Meeting Mr. Mogul

By:Mel Ryle

 One


"Good evening, sir. Are you ready to order?" I asked with a forced smile  on my face while pulling out the white pad paper. I was poised and  ready to take his order. Unfortunately, I couldn't say the same for the  customer. He browsed through the menu once, twice, thrice, and so on,  clearly taking his sweet time. Around the fourth time he re-checked the  menu, he was starting to get on my nerves. I mean, come on! It's not  like the words would become different every time he flipped a page. I  just didn't understand what was taking him so long to decide. He finally  made his choice almost four minutes since he arrived, which was time I  could have used more productively.

"I would like your filet mignon with lemon sauce and some white wine to  go along with it. That would be all," the man in a gray suit briefly  stated as he closed the menu he held. He then looked away after he  pulled out his phone, which vibrated his inside blazer pocket.

"It will be served in ten to fifteen minutes, sir," I replied with a smile after jotting down his order.

"Oh, hello! I thought you were in Paris," the man said as he waved me off to answer his phone.

I excused myself with a slight bow before I walked towards the computer  on the far right side of the room to punch in his order. I scowled in  annoyance at the man's rudeness, but there wasn't much I could do about  that. Since I worked as a waitress for a three-star restaurant, this  kind of treatment was typical. Whenever someone started to shout and  scream, my night would go downhill from there.

"Why are you so serious?" Terry asked as I reached the small stall,  where a touchscreen computer was set up for us to place the order, which  is synced to an identical computer in the kitchen.

"First douchebag of the night," I stated, sighing in defeat.

"Ah …  so the contest for the number one douchebag is on," Terry stated  with a smirk while his fingers continued to tap on the computer screen.

"Anyone in your table up for the running?" I asked seriously as I quickly glanced at his designated tables.

"Oh, I don't know. I haven't come across one yet. But I'll get back to you on that," he answered and turned to me with a wink.

"Good for you. I hope he would be the only one for the night. I'm pretty worn out," I said with resigned disinterest.

"I'm all done," Terry announced and turned towards me. "Do you want me to punch that in?" he offered with a smile.

"Sure. Thanks," I replied, giving him the sheet with the orders. "While  you're at it, I'll wait on some of your tables. You sure there are no  assholes?" I asked as I slowly stepped away from him.

"None. Nada," he smirked. "Oh, there are orders on the counter. Check if  any of them are for my section," he continued as he glanced behind me.

"Right. Roger that." I headed towards the counter where loads of dishes were put on trays.

I checked if any of the orders were from my section or from Terry's  before I delivered them to their corresponding tables. When I was  finished, I went to wait on the new customers seated in my section. As I  headed back to the computer to punch in another order, I bumped into  Terry again.

"Andy, table fifteen's order is up," Terry whispered while I punched in an order.

"Thanks for the heads up," I replied with a soft smile.

I got the tray from the counter and carried it to its designated table.  Table fifteen. The douchebag. I smiled as I placed his order in front of  him, regretting that I did not spit on it when he rudely waved me away  again. I saw Terry giving me a sympathetic smile as I walked away.

To be honest, this job sucks. But I'm only doing it for two reasons:

1.) I have bills to pay, which are sent to me almost nonstop.

2.) This was the only job that accepted me without any fuss.

It's been a month since I got here, and I've applied for many jobs to  get out of this hellhole. However, it's not much of a hellish experience  with Terry here.

"If you want, I could totally ask some guys to follow him outside and  kick the living shit out of him," Terry offered as I went back to the  counter to place in other orders.   





 

"Thanks for the offer, Terry. It sounds appealing, but I'll pass. He's  not that bad," I replied with a soft chuckle as I got the tray filled  with plates  –  all orders from my section.

"Okay. But if you change your mind … " he offered, trailing off.

"You'll be the first to know," I called out in reply as I walked towards my section, balancing the tray in my hand.

After serving the customer's meal, I saw Reyna, the maître d', walk  inside the restaurant with a beaming smile. She gestured a man to sit in  the empty booth with a reserved sign, which was under my section.

I walked up to take his order after Reyna returned to her station by the  front door. She was giving him sly glances on the way back, which made  me raise my eyebrow in question. I was a few meters away from said  customer when I almost stopped dead on my tracks.

I don't want to exaggerate, but the man managed to capture every woman's  gaze in the vicinity. The women eyed him with this look that was almost  primal in nature. The man was capital H O T. His blonde hair, sparkling  blue eyes, and well-built arms, which slightly bulged in his slick  black suit, made almost everyone stare at him and sigh.

But I'm not like everyone else. I wasn't easily swayed by looks. This  kind of man is what you typically call a playboy, with looks, and  possibly a huge bank account, to boot. With my wit and confidence  intact, I walked up to him with a fake smile and a welcoming vibe.

"Good evening, sir. Are you ready to order?" I asked as I took out the white pad paper from my apron.

While I was waiting for him to dictate his order, I noticed him make a  short pause. I glanced at him out of curiosity since this rarely  happens. The only times customers pause is when they aren't ready to  order (made obvious when they say "Uhmm" while reading the menu), or  when they are listening to someone on the phone, both of which the man  wasn't doing. So you'd understand my surprise when he paused.

"Are you ready to order, sir?" I asked again while he kept on staring at me.

He finally snapped out of it and glanced down at the menu in front of  him. "I'd like tonight's special and my usual wine," he replied in a  deep, raspy voice with a slight British accent.

"And, what would your usual wine be, sir?" I asked nicely as I wrote his order down.

The man paused again, which made me look back at him in confusion. He  looked shocked as he stared at me, his clear blue eyes wide. "You don't  know who I am?" he asked like it was an absurd thing that I didn't  recognize him.

I gave him a small, apologetic smile. "I'm so sorry, sir. I'm new here,  so I'm not yet familiar with the regulars," I replied softly so as not  to offend him. I didn't want to cause a scene here on my first month.  I've been tolerable with people like him this long, I'm not giving up  now.

"Figures," he mumbled angrily as he shook his head. "You can ask your  manager what my usual is. That would be all," he commanded, signaling  the end of our conversation.

I was taken aback by his words. I wanted to slap him right then and  there, but I held it in. I bowed as I closed my mouth shut and turned to  walk away without saying a word. That man is definitely the number one  douchebag and asshole of the night. I stomped towards where the manager  stood as he scanned the whole restaurant. Once he saw me looking pissed  and fired up, he raised his eyebrows in question.

"Is there something wrong?" he asked when I finally reached him.

"Table nine's usual order, sir," I stated with clenched teeth.

He blinked in alarm. Surprised by my anger, he looked behind me to see  which table I was referring to. Suddenly, he gasped and looked back at  me in shock.

"Did you say anything stupid to him?" he asked urgently as he grabbed my shoulder.

"No," I replied, confused by his sudden fierceness.

One of the things I've observed about the manager is that he is a calm  man. Even when a customer was complaining or shouting in the middle of  the room, the man can handle any situation with a smile. So I was  surprised to see him disgruntled.   





 

"Why didn't you tell me that he's here? God, that woman! I'll have to  reprimand Reyna," he mumbled in annoyance as he walked away from me,  ignoring my presence.

"Uhmm, sir? What's his usual?" I asked softly as I followed him.

"You attend to your other tables. I'll take care of table nine," he  stated strictly, facing me a little before he walked towards the  direction of the kitchen.

I'm not really sure what just happened, so I just shut my mouth and  nodded in reply. I also followed the manager's orders of waiting on my  other tables except table nine. When the manager got back and walked out  of the kitchen, he had a tray of food and a bucket of wine in hand. I  turned to look at the man again, wondering who he was. Why is he getting  special treatment? And why did he get his order so quickly? The food  service here usually isn't that fast. Unless he called in early. Maybe  the man had booked in advance considering his table was reserved. That  was the only reasonable answer I could think of.

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