People You Meet At The Buffet – Part 8
Hold on to your lunches, or at least the plates they’re on. Our journey through the people you meet at the buffet is about to get into some queasy realms.
Everyone has picked a little in their time. Maybe you want a leg of fried chicken instead of a breast. It happens. The picker takes this to a whole new level. The picker is not just satisfied with a leg or a breast, he wants a specific piece. And he will pick through the entire serving tray of food to find the right piece. He then moves on, choosing amongst the pieces of pizza, though, really, they all look just about the same to you and me. A real skilled picker will actually manage to practice his art on such consistent food as stuffing, mashed potatoes, even the gravy.
The Hand Picker
As questionable as the picker is with his habits, at least he uses the serving utensils. Not so the hand picker. To the hand picker, serving utensils are for lightweights. The best way to find the right piece is to use your hands. It does not bother him that he is touching every piece of chicken in the tray, or that the band-aid on his pinky fell off sometime after he started his search, he wants just the right piece of chicken, and no utensil is going to let him know which that one is.
How he manages to get away with it when he’s serving out mashed potatoes, I will never know.
The rearranger is an offshoot of the common server. Like the common server, the rearranger is perfectly willing to use one set of serving utensils for multiple foods. but, unlike the common server, the rearranger often leaves bits of the previously served food in with the next served. Sometimes it’s just a little bit, like a couple of noodles in the stuffing, but sometimes, it’s a piece of baked chicken in the gravy. Sometimes you actually catch them in the act. Most times, however, you just see the end result: the white chicken gravy with the swirl of brown beef gravy and peas in it.
The taster is another annoyance that needs to be dealt with at the buffet. Sometimes, the taster is courteous, but slow as they have to give each food they pick a taste test. Usually this is off their own plates with their own utensils. In some rare cases, the plates are bypassed and the forks are going right into the food.
In one extremely rare case I was unfortunate to witness, I did see a taster scrape a piece of icing off a Tollhouse cookie pie and eat it. What was particularly disgusting about this was that this person used the pastry server to do this. Then she put the utensil back and walked away like there was nothing wrong with what she did.
The deserter is rarely seen first hand. Often, the deserter is revealed by the aftermath of his or her actions: the lone half filled plate left at the buffet counter.
Often, when I see one of these plates, I wonder what exactly happened to make this plate a victim of a deserter. Was this the second of two plates, forgotten when the deserter went to serve something on the first plate? Did something come out of the kitchen that was more appealing? Or, maybe the deserter left it after they saw a hand picker or taster in action. It is often a buffet mystery that is greater than what flavor the red Jell-O is. Is it cherry? Is it strawberry? Who knows!
Posted on January 31, 2012, in At The Buffet, Observation, Opinion, Personal, Pop Culture and tagged at the buffet, Buffet, food, Kitchen utensil, observation, Opinion, personal, Pop Culture. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.