The Five People You Meet in Hell
In which Hell is a restaurant in the Hamptons where you are working over Labor Day Weekend
- •The Big ShotHe will stride in like he owns the place and see himself to the best table. If you try to move him, he will explain with an air of authority that he has been coming here for years and ALWAYS sits at this table because of the amazing sunset views. You bite your tongue and do not mention that this restaurant is east-facing and has no sunset views, because he has the potential for excellent tipping (although he and his big-shot friends will first try to split the bill between seven credit cards).
- •The Family ManHe has rented a vacation house for the long weekend for his enormous extended family and dammit, they're going to have a good time. Expect his group to include a perpetually dissatisfied ageing parent, a middle-aged sibling who has had too many drinks and is making off-colour jokes in front of the children, and a teenager attempting to order alcohol. (After refusing due to lack of/totally unconvincing ID, you may pass by the table and hear her mention how much fun she had at cheerleading camp.)
- •The LonerThis person will sneak in unnoticed while you are busy with another party and seat himself at one of the better tables. Despite your desperate pleading (as your boss has a strict no-single-diners policy on busy weekends) he will not be moved to the bar. The only person you have ever seen make a bottle of wine and two baked clams last three hours. May or may not leave a tip, but tip will not exceed ten dollars.
- •The BroComes only in multiples, usually after a long day of fishing on a charter boat. Sunburned and consistently dressed in polo shirts, flip flops and sunglasses. You tolerate their teasing and occasional tackling of waitresses because they will almost certainly leave a hefty tip; however, beware, because if left unsupervised they pose a significant risk of spilling beer on the oldest/prissiest member of the Family Man's table. Constant vigilance required.
- •The Vaguely Confused Out-of-TownerHe has come out for the weekend because he read about it on a blog somewhere, but is very uncomfortable with the reality of sunshine and fresh air. He will make confident but bizarre requests - like sea bass served medium-rare - and not understand why you cannot follow through with them. Reactions to his meal may range from vaguely disappointed to a full-scale panic attack when faced with a green lobster liver. Will return to the city early and probably not come back.