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Breakfast in Hell

posted 5/25/2009 6:15:30 PM |
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This morning I was compelled to have breakfast with a client. I try to avoid going places with him as much as possible as the guy gets on my nerves and can be a public embarrassment. But he pays me good money to ply my craft so I can only dodge him so many times. I usually only see him when he invites me to go to professional sporting events with his tickets. He is pretty good to go to a baseball game with as he was a minor league pitcher in the Reds farm system and adds insight to the game.

I have never met anyone who tried so hard, so often, with so much failure at attempting to be funny. He will proceed to tell a story or something and break up laughing so much as he is telling it, that you cannot follow it and figure out what is so funny. It is like a bad sitcom with an overdone laugh track of one. He will then realize that his laughter blew the continuity of the tale and repeat it without laughter. Even without interruption, you can never figure out what is so funny. Additionally he is very type A and very loud.

This morning brought the invite I had to accept at a local independent casual restaurant known for its breakfasts. First he became loud and people would look over at us. Then came the constant barrage of failed humor and boisterous laughter, more stares. He tried several quips to the waitress. She didn't react.

Over an initial cup of coffee and discussing an ongoing project I am working on with him including his gushing about how wonderful the white paper is (it isn't wonderful or that good really, but that is due to an Indian client), it came time to order. I opted for one of the house specials, a omelet with top sirloin steak featuring a house picante sauce. I asked our server to hold the sauce as I am originally from California and have a mild palette. "If I had that sauce this morning, I would be afraid of belching and setting fire to the napkin." She laughed then he said, laughing through out, "He just doesn't appreciate the finer things of life!" She gave him a funny perplexed look and left (it was very busy).

Then he loudly said, "She must really like you! She laughed at your joke, but didn't laugh at any of mine." The people around us smiled, and though tempted, I didn't explain it to him, I merely nodded. The young lady was young enough to be my daughter.

When she came to refresh our coffee, he told her, in a long winded spiel how long he had been coming there and how often. She was busier than a cat in a dog pound, but was polite enough to listen to him. Then he said loud enough for those at tables around us to hear, "If you could make biscuits and gravy like ...(some competing restaurant)... I would be here every day...HAR HAR HEE HEE HAR HAR." She was literally taken aback and not amused, "I thought ours were pretty good." Meanwhile he is still enamored with his quip, "HAR HAR HEE HEE HAR HAR." I looked around at those around us some with mouths open. It was mortifying, but he was oblivious.

It continued like this through the whole meal. He finished his breakfast before I did. The server asked if he was done and he said that he was. She took his plate, then he grabbed a little plate of mine that had been provided for my English muffin that had my knife on it and gave it to her. I had my mouth full so I couldn't say anything with any manners, but I was not necessarily done with my knife. I finally said something, indicating that I my might not be done with my knife. He then thrusts his hand in the air as if saluting Hitler, but with one finger pointing to the ceiling and shouts, "Could we get a knife over here." I damned near died. More failed humor and loud laughter followed from him.

When I finally finished she came by and asked if I was done. I said that I was and he interrupted, "could we get a to go box?" That fucking did it. " I smiled at her and said softly, "That will not be necessary, thank you." The ass actually looked offended as if I had embarrassed him in public. My eyes turned steely blue and I looked him square in the eye after she left. "If I want a to go box, i will ask for it. Besides, who the fuck eats left over scrambled eggs?" He looked a bit sheepish as a woman nearby laughed.

When it came to go and pay up front, this lout had the balls to lay a dollar on the table for a tip. I covered it with a five. He asked why I left so much and I was tempted to state the obvious, but I merely said that she was good and I used to be a busboy in high school.

The things we put up with to make a living.

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May 25 @ 6:51PM  
Apparently he was never taught any manners. Sadly those people in the restaurant will probably judge you by the company you keep, except perhaps for the waitress who was interacting with the two of you so she knew which was the ass and which one was the one who just wanted to crawl under the table.

I realize you probably don't really want him at your house Bruce, but maybe from now on when you can't avoid him any longer, you could have him come over for coffee or breakfast. The downside of this is that he may be inclined to stay longer the upside is that you don't have to be out in public with him. I would just invite him over, eat the breakfast, discuss the business and than in a nice tone I would say "you know I would just love to spend more time with you Buddy, but I have a few things to get done and than get into this project of ours". And nicely lead him to the door.

I found out a long time ago, I could be friends or co workers with someone that was loud and obnoxious but i did it on my own ground rules.

You are just to much of a gentleman Bruce!

May 25 @ 7:32PM  
Well he sounds like a complete jackass!! I would do what Ewe said... have him over to your house instead of out in public! You did better than I would have!!

May 25 @ 7:41PM  
I don't know shit... but it sounds like someone with Money..who wants Attention....just because he has Money!!
Personally i would go somewhere that You never go too......without him!!!
Good Luck with this!!

May 25 @ 8:07PM  
I don't want him at my house! If he wants to be dick in public, cool. But it won't be in my part of town or my regular places. With this guy, I only play road games and he pays!!

May 25 @ 8:21PM  
I have an idea copy this article and send it to him annoymouosly (however you spell it)

May 25 @ 8:37PM  
You are right to not want him in your house. People like that don't get the hint when its time to leave, and they then think they can show up when they want. It is best to keep it public and to places you don't normally go to. Not sure how to tell you to deal with him, I tend to avoid the ones in my life, but then again none of them pay me, and I don't do anything with them outside of work. Good luck with this Bruce.

May 25 @ 8:45PM  
Well zara has a great point too! I probably would't want him at my house either...probably especially not at my house!

Bruce.. can you offload this client?!!


May 25 @ 9:01PM  
Damn, i would have left to go to the bathroom & not returned. God what an ass. Well, we appreciate your bruce. sorry you had to go through that.

May 25 @ 9:04PM  
Coincidently enough, I just heard from a dear colleague in upper management at another major IT firm ramping up a project that had been on the back burner for six months. On one had she is the opposite of the guy that is subject of this blog. On the other hand, and more importantly, it symbolizes that global business is moving forward. This is a global recession and I am seeing movement that are positive responses. I am a business writer primarily with expertise aimed at the world's largent corporations. That is where I make my money.

Beyond good news for me. There is symbolism in this movement that is good new for us all as things trickle down. My biz is a discretionary line item in corporate budgets. Services like mine and my peers are the first things axed in a downturn. I lost over 35K in contracts in the last six months of 08 in assignments due to cancellations.

My biz has began to pick back up significantly because the bulk of my writing involves G2K, the 2,000 largest corporations in the world. That is a very strong positive indication that the international responses to the recession are working, because of business confidence.

Now this is not boo hoo or wah wah. It is a positive economic indicator. It is a reflection of the G2K rebounding and being proactive and optimistic in the world economy. This is excellent. Simplistically, the sooner the G2K moves forward with confidence, the sooner the world emerges from this recession.

Now, some segments of the economy are already rebounding, but others, in my opinion will decline. I anticipate that the consumer related manufacturing sector and retailing sector in discretionary products will suffer for another bad year that they may not be able to endure. Poor Christmas sales will kill many retailers, especially traditional retailers that anchor malls.

May 25 @ 9:13PM  
Some people are such idiots...

May 25 @ 9:25PM  
Personally i would go somewhere that You never go to

I only play road games with him, not my places.

ruce.. can you offload this client?!!

In this economy? Hell no!!!!

Damn, i would have left to go to the bathroom & not returned.

If it would have been a date or social engagement. I would have walked and unloaded on the person in no uncertain terms. But putting up with this bullshit, to a point, is part of business and I need to make a living.

I just make damned sure that he makes an ass of himself in his country, not mine. Regardless, it was embarrassing. But I do not anticipate a return to the restaurant in the near future. If I do, I suspect that if I am remembered by the waitress, she will recall me because of him, but remember me for me under those circumstances.


May 25 @ 9:45PM  
Wow......the nerve of some people, really. I know people like that. Annoying, quite annoying.

Spiel. I like that word. I go on spiels alot........

May 26 @ 12:49AM  
Sounds like the guy from headquarters I have to deal with. But then again southern women have dealt with that type for years. I am just strictly business and no nonsense with him. Usually I just give him "the look" and he shuts right up and makes that meeting as short as possible.

May 26 @ 9:04AM  
About a year ago here on AMD there was guy like this on here. He wasn't active too long, but it was for too lang to me. His screen name was the crow, blackbird, the magpie, or some ebony bird. He was always bragging and every other sentence of a post was followed by "hee hee". Nothing was ever funny, a real obnoxious ass.

May 26 @ 9:31AM  
I just sent him this following a professional transgression, "Our business is concluded. Final invoice attached. Good luck with the project and all future endeavors."

May 26 @ 10:39AM  
Ain't it amazin what we will put up with when it involves our personal bread and butter?

Good on ya for not strangling the jerk.

May 26 @ 12:06PM  
It just amazes me that some people are so clueless. The sacrifices one must make to keep one's self employeed....

May 26 @ 2:03PM  
WoW he is still on here, LOL.....just thought you might be interested to know

May 26 @ 7:13PM  
If money weren't riding on it,I'd of excused myself to the bathroom and left in secret. You handled it with much grace as possible.

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Breakfast in Hell