A World Without Shrimp

Anya: It’s possible that he’s in the land of perpetual Wednesday, or the crazy melty land, or you know, the world without shrimp.

Tara: There’s a world without shrimp? I’m allergic.

“May I have everyone in the kitchen!” my manager Greg said. We all followed suit, because Greg was the no-nonsense GM at Red Lobster, and many of us feared him.

“We have run out of shrimp,” Greg said. “We are 86 shrimp.”

It figured. You don’t even understand the chaos that was Red Lobster. Mad intense at all times. They were big into “saving labor,” which meant that at any given time on a weekday afternoon, there would be no host, no bartender, nobody baking bread, no manager to be found, much less a cook, and like, one server with 12 tables. Craziness, always.

So the fact that we had run out of shrimp didn’t surprise me, just pissed me off.

“What kind of shrimp?” someone asked Greg. “Butterflied or regular?”

“Both,” Greg regretfully responded.

“What about the cocktail shrimp?” someone else wanted to know.

“All the shrimp. We have no shrimp in the restaurant. We’ve run out.”

Filled with indignant rage, I cautiously approached my new table out in the dining room. And now the thing you need to understand is that despite the “Lobster” in its name, most of the place’s guests get something involving shrimp. Heck, I always get something involving shrimp.

Sure enough, my guests wanted shrimp! I spent quite awhile convincing them that we really, truly didn’t have any while trying to sound sympathetic and also hide my frustration with the whole ridiculous situation. Finally, finally, we were able to figure out new meals for them, which was tough for me to do objectively, because goodness knows the fresh fish was a total crapshoot. Sometimes our salmon filets looked gorgeous and huge and triangular, but more often than not they looked like one of those pictures on a shampoo bottle where they show x-rays of split ends, only in this case, tiny, burnt, and orangish black.

But I think my guests decided on crab or something. They still wanted to speak to a manager though, since they did come after all, for the Unlimited Shrimp Fest.

I informed Greg of this, and he stared at me so I stared back all, what is the problem? I hadn’t even fought with anyone in like, 20 minutes. I was a model waitress that day!

“You told them we were out of shrimp?!”



And then he began cracking up and wouldn’t stop, and everyone else started laughing too and I was NOT IN THE MOOD FOR THIS.

“We have shrimp!”


“Did you not see what day it was?” and he pointed to the board.

“April 1st…”


“…I hate you.”

Everyone laughed some more, then Greg looked worried. “I should probably go explain to your table.”

I never did learn how everyone else seemed to understand that this anger-inducing 86 was just a joke. But that’s pretty par for the course, for me. Often times, I’m being laughed at for reasons I don’t understand. It’s awesome.

Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! I hope you find the time to piss off and stress out someone today!

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5 Responses to A World Without Shrimp

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s me! TARA

  2. inspireshine says:

    I hope Greg gave your table a free-something to make up for nearly ruining their meal when they’d come for shrimp, and you something to make up for it to you too. So April 1st comes often at that job, you say? Heh heh.

  3. Pingback: 10 Awesome Memories From Waitressing at Red Lobster | judisunshine

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