We drove to Kobe Sizzlers for a bite last Sunday, trying to make the best of a regular sunny afternoon in Bangalore. My mother and I began our day loitering in Garuda Mall on Magrath Road – our favorite weekend pastime. Once our shopping spree was over, we headed to the food court to grab a bite. The place was packed (a norm for Sundays), and that’s when we decided to move to Kobe Sizzlers instead.
Inside Kobe Sizzlers
As always, we were greeted by a breathtaking aroma of spices. Kobe Sizzlers happens to be my mother’s favourite steak house in town (I still can’t get that look of joy on her face out of my head). We were escorted to our table, and within minutes, our order was registered. All that shopping had built up an appetite, and the prompt service helped our hunger pangs. I would’ve loved to share more details about the food at Kobe, but that really isn’t the focus of the story.
The ‘Boss’ at Kobe Sizzlers
Halfway through the meal, we heard a middle-aged man singing along to Adele’s “Set fire to the rain”. It amused my mother when I joined in on the humming. Everyone around us seemed to groove to the food and the music, in perfect synchrony. But perfection is short-lived, and our Kobe Sizzlers rendezvous was no exception. To our discomfort, this middle aged guy began complaining audibly about how his Sizzler wasn’t presented the way he had expected it to be. I looked down at my plate and found nothing wrong with it. It looked as ravishing as a sizzler possibly could, and it positively tempted me to stuff my face in it. Following my instincts, I decided to ignore the grunting sounds from the table to my left. Mum and I dove into a long conversation about the usual (You wouldn’t care much for our mother-daughter talks, either!).
We were laughing and sharing the mushrooms off my plate, when I heard this guy screaming at the waiter. ”Get me my tab”, he said. The waiter appeared to be confued. The man grunted again. “My tab, please!”.
This time, the waiter committed the grave error of asking him what he meant. The disgruntled customer, oblivious of the waiter’s plight, broke into a rant immediately.
It was one of the most condescending and patronizing tones that I’ve heard someone use at a table. “They call them Tabs in America. You should know that”. The waited nodded in agreement and went to get the bill.
We were genuinely appalled by this man’s general demeanor towards the service staff. First off, he didn’t know what the term ‘tab’ meant, he was using a loose definition. Secondly, to drive the point home, he resorted to yelling in the middle of a crowded place where people had gathered to have a good time in general. Third, he appeared to have been on a date, and in my opinion it wasn’t a great show for the lady. This was the perfect buzzkill for a first date. She kept giggling uncomfortably at his nuances.
I was tempted to correct the man about his usage of the word ‘Tab’, but I was hit by the realization that I wasn’t alone. I had my mother to attend to, and I didn’t want to ruin her perfect Sunday-afternoon-lunch – it was well deserved and long overdue for her.
After the waiter had returned with the bill, this irate customer smirked casually, paid up and rose from his seat. This is when I got a good look at the man – he seemed like a regular Metalhead. I’m not trying to establish a stereotype, but he had that ‘look’ – replete with a death metal T shirt, salt & pepper van-dyke beard (badly groomed at that) and the works. It’s funny, how everything about a person you hate in the moment can seem repulsive, loathsome even. As he was walking out, he decided to impart some more of his rude sweet nothings to our dear waiter – something on the lines of ‘Things are better in America’.
I believe I speak for the crowd when I say we were relieved at his departure. Everyone resumed their delightful lunch conversations, people started humming again and Kobe Sizzlers went back to being the quaint little grill that it is. But I picked up on a good lesson that afternoon. It doesn’t matter how rich you are, where you may have stayed, or even how well/how badly you’re groomed. If you aren’t human enough to acknowledge the fact that everyone’s trying to make a living, doing the best they can, maybe you need a primer in social interactions before you decide to take the leap to being a boss.
And that’s my request to anyone reading. Don’t be a boss, especially if it means being a retard in general principle. Peace!