Ordering hot tea can land you in hot water

Welcome to In the Weeds. Kyle will be right with you -- most likely to complain about something. Usually he is pleasant, but this is his place to blow off some steam. Don't take it personally; he just needs to vent because he's been doing this for about thirteen years. Enjoy your meal.

Customers have many tactics for irritating their servers. Being rude, picky, cheap, condescending, ugly or foul-smelling are staples. But there's another way to get me to "accidentally" lose your leftovers:

Order hot tea.

I'll smile. I'll even deliver the beverage in a relatively timely manner. But in my head, I'm hoping you get a flat tire on the way home and calling you an "English prick" regardless of your nationality. It's not rational, but neither is the cost-to-work ratio of hot tea.

I have to retrieve a cup, a saucer, a variety of tea bags, sugar, a mini teapot and, often, milk. And I will wish for a full breakdown of your vehicle if you ask for honey: My already forced pleasant disposition will disappear if I have to go into the kitchen and repeatedly shake and squeeze a plastic bear. Also, if you're ordering hot tea, you're likely old or have old-person tendencies, which means you're going to sit, chat and want hot water refills.

It's entirely too much work for something that costs no more than $2. If you are a good tipper (not likely for a senior), I'm making maybe forty cents on that cup of tea. Keep it, make a cup when you get home, and I won't detest you based on your after-dinner drink choice. Serving a $3,000 bottle of wine or a $30 steak takes the same amount of effort -- or less -- than serving hot tea. The first two help pay the bills.

I wish I didn't feel this way. But since I do, you might want to duck and cover if you order hot tea -- you're a step away from the person who orders an appetizer as an entree and asks for five refills on free bread.

And don't look at me funny if you burn your lip and I can't hold back a satisfied chuckle.

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