Do You Even Vegan Bro?

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FAIR WARNING: If you clicked on this post thinking you were going to get an insightful entry about the joys and wonders of veganism (is that what it’s called?) then you are very much in the wrong spot and I’m going to very much encourage you to just go away now because, I’ll be honest in saying that I will never be in the mood to deal with your bull in the comments later. In addition, I’d like to point out that grammar check hates that sentence because it’s so damn long and I will not be changing a damn thing about it.

 This post is very much about a nightmare guest I had at my bar one night.

I have no idea why this story popped into my head the other day but it did, and as I very recently celebrated two years away from the nightmare that was working at a restaurant. It’s also been a hot minute since I’ve written about my bartender life (SEE: The Restaurant Revolution: Why I Left Industry and Why I’m Not Going Back) so I figured it was time to return.

I will, proudly, mention that the above-mentioned post found 15-minutes of fame back when I posted it, which is always a fun time for me. When it was making the rounds, plenty of people rightfully assumed I was talking about working for Chili’s. I was always tightlipped about where I worked when I wrote about it primarily to discourage stalking (I have been stalked before and did not enjoy it) and because of a weird sense of loyalty I felt to a company that treated me like shit. Even in my post raging against the industry, I still didn’t drop the name because I felt a wildly stupid need to protect them.

The Stockholm syndrome was real and I didn’t even realize it.

Anyway, back to my demon vegan story.

I was working the bar one night and this woman took a seat at my least favorite end of the bar, so I should have known she was going to be trouble.

SIDE NOTE: Yes, I had a side of the bar that I hated. It was the furthest spot from everything I needed to do my job and I just irritated me to no end. I’m not sure if other bartenders feel this was about spots on their bar top or if I’m just crazy but, here we are.

I greeted her and gave her a menu with the standard “let me know if you have any questions” and went about my duties as the world’s okayest bartender. I returned a few minutes later and the fun began. She started asking me about vegan options, at which point I directed her to the horrible little computers (at that time known as Ziosks) on the bar that gave a list of what was vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc. Her annoyance began immediately.

She began grilling me on different menu items and how to make them vegan friendly, and I continued to refer her to the ziosk because a) I really didn’t have a clue and b) I didn’t really have the time to baby step this woman through the whole damn Chili’s menu. Also, you’ve come to the place know very much for serving up as many dead animals as possible to someone at once. Seriously, Google the Boss Burger and tell me how much Chili’s cares about vegans.

She is getting pissed at me because of my lack of vegan knowledge and is essentially calling me an idiot for not bending over backwards for her. I just keep smiling and try to move things along by getting her to at least pick out something to drink.

Her response to that? She rolls her eyes and lets out with, “I bet you don’t even know how to make a vegan margarita.”

I. Am. Flummoxed.

“Um, margaritas are vegan,” I respond. I might not know much but I do know that there is nothing that came from an animal inside of a margarita. The drink is made of three ingredients: tequila, orange liquor, and lime juice. All of them come from plants. She chose to ignore me.

“Wow, they really need to train you people better, it’s not like this job is that hard.”

Through gritted teeth I ask again what she wants to drink and she finally just orders a Corona. (I think… I was either Corona or Coors Light- both are standing out in my brain right now.)

With the drink portion of the meal experience taken care of, we are back to the meal. This woman has honed in on the salad portion of the menu so we are getting somewhere. I just looked at the Chili’s menu to try and jog my memory about what salad we could have possibly been talking about but it looks like they’ve removed quite a bit since my time with them so who knows.

She continues to be awful and belittling and eventually orders a salad. Considering it was a salad I knew that the most that really needed to be done to make it vegan friendly was to remove the cheese from it and the only dressing option was one of the vinaigrettes.


At that point I wasn’t even going to ask any questions as I had very much lost my patience with the situation and let it be. I put in the order and carried on with my life because this woman was clearly not right in the head. When the salad came out, I had noticed that the kitchen had put the normal toppings on the salmon which included queso fresco crumbles but my capacity for giving a shit had ended.

I dropped off the plate and asked if she wanted another drink. She once again asked me if I had any idea how to make a vegan margarita and I just stared at her because I really didn’t know how to response anymore.

She took a silence as my answer and said, “this is why people end up in jobs like this, they are incapable of learning” and then she dug into her salmon covered salad.

It’s stories like this that remind me why I can’t even fathom the idea of returning to the service industry. Between the stupidity of people and how rude they can be, it’s just not worth it.

WILDLY UNRELATED: While writing this post, I was watching the movie Hell Fest which is currently available on Netflix and it is not great. Do with that information what you will.

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