Sorry to disappoint the fans, but the King will not be taking the stage in this Pre-Fathers’ Day Drama.
An employee’s father went berserk today at work, throwing us all off kilter and causing some outrageous emotional responses. He walked in riled up, with his daughter in tow. Unbeknownst to them, she was scheduled for 86-ing due to her incompetence. Unbeknownst to us, he felt entitled to unmask the “conspiracy” against her and straighten things around. The manager came out of the office and met them at the entrance to the kitchen. The girl’s father started his tirade, hissing, eyes mere slits, nostrils flaring, lips taut. He leaned his tall and muscular body towards the manager, his index finger gun-shaped inches from her face. We were all milling around, in and out of the kitchen, feeling the pressure slowly rising. I was working in the section closest to the developing drama, and when his words became audible, louder with each menacing phrase, customers started fidgeting and the air became heavy with foreboding. His voice intensified in volume and malice. He loomed in the entrance to the kitchen, ready to pounce on the manager, who seemed to grow smaller and paler with every horrible second.
I had just put an order in the computer for a Daddy and his 9-year old, when the lunatic’s crescendo reached its peak. He bellowed at the manager, accusing her of ruining his darling daughter’s young life. He threatened to beat her down and mop the floor with her useless body. We were petrified, stunned, unable to say a word. He roared and pounded his fist in the air. In a voice shaky with swallowed tears, the manager repeatedly asked him to leave the restaurant. He would not budge. He was not going anywhere until he was finished. In a corner booth, two small boys huddled closer to their parents; an elderly couple decided to get out of there, barely touching their food. Daddy and his little girl were not there and I set their food on the empty table. I apologized to all the remaining customers with a quivering voice, while my hands were shaking.
The ex-employee daughter finally convinced her father to let her talk this out by herself, in the office. She left, and he leaned against the post separating two booths facing the kitchen, crossed his arms across his heaving chest, while his eyes machine-gunned anybody who dared meet his glance. I went looking for the little girl and her Dad, and found her, face swollen after crying for ten minutes in the bathroom. Her father put his arms around her shoulders, apologized to me for leaving, having lost their appetite. And much more, I suspected.
My whole section cleared out amazingly quickly. Inside the office, the manager reached for the phone to dial 911. The girl laughed in her face and said: “My Dad is the cop!” She left to go sit in the car and wait. But this little piece of information added a big note of hopelessness and despair to our frightened crew. For a while the psycho-father/officer-of-the-law guarded the entrance to the kitchen, armed with a swelling fury ready to be unleashed, his business evidently not finished. I was the official scout, while the manager hid in the office in tears, terrified and unable to endure the abuse of the unhinged brute.
When he finally left (we watched the car drive away to make really, really sure he was gone), I heard an audible communal sigh from all over the restaurant. People hesitantly picked up their utensils and started eating their semi-cold food. A giggle was heard, then another. We started joking, while the adrenalin was crawling to normal levels. The manager called the corporate higher-ups and the sheriff’s department. Following the company’s procedural policies, she handed us a notebook to write our individual official statements. I wrote three pages in one breath, prose flowing in catharsis, while my co-workers chuckled and begged me to inform them the minute my script goes into production. Ha, ha. I tend to be melodramatic at times. This scene awoke my reptilian emotions and I needed a valve to release the pressure.
Just before I left for the day, the manager took me aside and told me that the HR bigwigs suggested some therapy for the two of us mostly affected by the episode. An attorney customer gave her a business card, just in case she decided to press charges for harassment and abuse. We joked about joining a group for the emotionally traumatized and cursed the maniac for causing so much stress, not only to warrant a visit to a nearby loony bin, but to send a surge of cortisol that in an instant added pounds to our waistlines. As I was leaving I looked at her, grinned, and said, “Therapy? I’m thinking liquid therapy. There is nothing in this world a good Cosmopolitan won’t fix”.
- 2 oz good quality vodka of your choice (Stolichnaya would be my drug of choice)
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- 1 oz Triple Sec orange liqueur (Cointreau if you want to make it top shelf)
- 0.5 oz lime juice (Freshly squeezed… meaning the juice was still in the lime when you poured the vodka)
Place 7-8 ice cubes in a shaker. Add all the ingredients and shake vigorously for several seconds. Pour through the strainer into a martini glass, kick back and let the healing begin.