Conversations With Food Service Trainees
"I'll have the special." I considered this a simple request.
"What is the special?" said the new guy behind the counter.
"Nachos Grande," I replied. "With rice and beans."
He looked a bit confused, but dutifully started filling a to go container with chips. "You want beans?"
"No, who puts rice on nachos?" The confused look returned and he reached up to look at the sign that advertised the special.
"It says with beans and rice," he said.
"I think that means it comes with beans and rice on the side, like, in addition to the Nachos Grande."
"Because how grande could the nachos be if they only came with rice and beans? I mean, you've got beef and chicken and pork here, and pico de gallo and guac and sour cream and I want that stuff on the nachos."
I might as well be discussing astrophysics with a mule.
"So you want carne?
"Okay, that's extra."
"Why is it extra?"
"Because it says...the sign says...only rice and beans."
It was at this point I suggested he ask someone else, because we were clearly going to do this circle dance for several more minutes, perhaps indefinitely, if we didn't get outside intervention. A seasoned vet walked by and, after brief consultation, it was determined that yes, the nachos grande comes with anything I want and the rice and beans are on the side. So I'm telling the New Guy all I want on it and he's perplexed and I'm excited I'm gonna get to eat and both of us are so distracted by our various emotions that it's not until the chips are piled high with all manner of fatty goodness when I realize he's forgotten something. The nacho cheese.
I point it out. A silent beat passes. Again, he looks at the sign. Finally, he turns to a co-worker and says, "Is cheese extra on the nachos?"