‘The customer is always right’ has to be one of the stupidest expressions going. The customer is not always right. Sometimes he is right, but sometimes people just humor him so that he’ll shut up and go away. You know, the way I am about to humour the customer who just asked the most ridiculous question.
“Excuse me, miss. I’m highly sensitive to gluten. Could you please tell me what your lasagna noodles are made of?”
“I’m not entirely sure. Would you like me to go to the kitchen and ask our chef?” I reply in my sweetest voice ever.
“If you could.”
So I trudge off to the kitchen and ask.
“Durum semolina wheat,” I say upon my return.
“Ohhhh,” he says, dragging the word out longer than Bill O’Reilly drags out his nightly rant for the television cameras.
“Not good?” I ask, wishing that I could instead address the real issue: why would you come to an Italian restaurant where ninety percent of the menu is made up of pasta dishes if you can’t eat flour?
“Not good,” he tells me. “But I may be able to get away with a small portion depending upon the other ingredients. What goes into your lasagna?”
This man looks to be about fifty years of age. How do you live that long and not know what goes into lasagna? I want to tell him that it’s made with the blood of virgins, the souls of kittens, and the hair off of his dead grandma, but I need this job to help pay for college so I behave myself.
“A tomato based meat sauce, plus parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses,” I answer, again in a super duper chipper voice.
“Are the tomatoes organic?”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
“Are the cheeses freshly imported from Italy or are they made in some plant here in the U.S.?”
“I’m afraid that I don’t know. I’m assuming here.”
“I’ll just have your garden salad then,” he tells me.
“Very good, sir. What type of dressing would you like?”
“Are any of them homemade? I can’t have anything that comes from a bottle.”
Seriously? Is this man next going to ask me if our toilet paper was plundered from some sensitive rain forest?
“Our chef makes a lovely lemon infused dressing,” I lie. Technically, it may be the truth – if one can count transferring said dressing from one of Kraft’s bottles into one of our glass bottles as homemade.
“Bring me that.”
“Right away, sir.”
Although the only I’ll be doing right away is switching my major from chemistry to theatre because I just gave the performance of a lifetime.