Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Why It's Scary Being A Teacher
Because S got a coupon for a free appetizer at TGIFriday's, we decided to grab a bite and catch up. It was supposed to be a low-key evening, nothing fancy. We waited about twenty minutes for a table.
After looking over the menu and deciding on a combo app platter--oooh, we're craaaaazzzyyyyy--our server appeared. S was ordering soda and asking questions. Meanwhile, I'm dying inside. Then I started to ask a question and the server starts to answer it before I'm done, but S is asking questions about the drinks again, so the server goes back to answer her.
So then I just interupted them both and was like, You were my student, right?
She was like, yeah, I was over there and saw you and said, Okay my teacher is at my table and I wrote about this job once.
So I did what any normal human being would in this situation. I just apologized. I was like, Sorry about this. I hope this isn't uncomfortable for you. Basically, I was apologizing for existing.
She was like, No, no, it's okay, really.
On the inside, I'm going nuts, trying to remember what class she was in which semester and what her final grade came out to be. When she said it was okay, did she say it in a sinister way? Oh, man, was this revenge time? Think! Think!
S was fairly amused by this turn of events, so she suggested that I order the apps. Now I'm multitasking--figuring out this gal's grade while simultaneously deciding what deep-fried crap I'm going to put in my mouth. To enhance this already bizarre experience, someone was having a birthday, so as I'm stumbling over baked cheese and BBQ wings, a chorus of Happy Birthday To You is erupting and I stop all distracted and the server gives a faint, Heh huh yeah that, and I finally finish by pointing. Then S reminds me that I want an iced tea. At first, I wasn't going to get it. I was gonna go with water because water is clear and can't really be messed with a whole lot, but I got the ice tea anyway.
When the server leaves, S asks if I remember anything about what she wrote. At the time, I didn't. I do now. She was a good writer. But in the moment, I answered, I don't remember what her grade was and now I'm freaking out. S asked, why is she gonna do something to the food? I was like, I hope no one spits in it. S, very concerned with me of course, asked, Well is she gonna spit in my food too? I was like, I don't think so.
Not that this girl was the do-something-gross-to-someone's-food type at all. She is a lovely person, a smart and studious student. It's just that, I've heard things, I've seen movies, and I've created enemies.
I wound up eating the food and drinking my ice tea. S did the same. My student/server came back only twice--once to check on us and once to give us the check. We'd been there a really long time and had only apps and drinks, so even though our goal was to have as free of a night as possible with the coupon that started us off on this idea, I was like, We need to leave a good tip. I felt like I owed her reparations. You know, again, an apology for existing.
In the end, we had a huge discount on the apps and didn't pay much at all, yet the bulk of the money pretty much went to her tip. That way, she could magically take out any of the gross stuff she did to the food if she did anything, right? Next time, maybe I'll just pay the tip up front. In any case, I'm still standing, and I think she'd gotten a B+ in the class, which is nothing to be too angry about. So I'm fine, right? I just have one less place to get a meal at. No need to encounter another very awkward situation in which I feel the need to apologize for wanting to eat at a restaurant.