The Diner

There's this diner by my house that I've always meant to try, but have never gotten around to. Actually, I did try it, or try to try it rather with a few of my friends on New Year's Day to mop up our hangovers, but when we arrived, the waitress shooed us out, saying they were closing early for the holiday. Rude! Last week, I finally returned at 3:30 p.m., since they advertise a cheap off-hour lunch special. The waitress I had previously pegged off as rude greeted me warmly, but that might have had something to do with the fact that I was the only customer in the place.

While waiting for my food, I read a book, and noticed a photographer on the sidewalk taking pictures of the diner. After a moment, he walked all the way up to the window I was sitting next to and started taking photos of me from the outside. I thought it was strange, but figured he was some art student that found this classic looking diner inspiring, so I just continued to focus on my book and not interrupt his misguided art.

I heard the bell jingle on the door as the photographer entered. He continued to take photos of the diner, first some empty booths, then returning to take some long shots of me. Again, I let it slide, not wanting to be affected by his presence. By now, the waitress took notice of the guy and asked what he was doing.

"We're scouting for a commercial," he said. A woman entered the diner at this point and introduced herself, explaining that they were with Boost Mobile and how she felt this diner had a great feel and asked for some particulars about the spot.

I noticed that my food was now ready, sitting on the sill waiting to be delivered. Unfortunately, the waitress was preoccupied. She wanted to know all about the commercial. I finally got her attention to bring my meal over, and she quickly said, "Sorry, business." Actually, your business is to bring your one paying customer his food, but I suppose the adage about all Los Angeles waitresses being aspiring actresses is right.

The photographer then came to crouch next to me and resumed taking photos as I was eating. I played a long for a couple of shots before asking what he was doing. I knew it was for a commercial, but why so much attention to me? He explained that he needed to show the diner with people in it, and since I was the only person, he was focusing on me. He asked whether he could get my name and phone number because sometimes the director sees the scouting photos and thinks "that person is perfect" and wants to use him or her in the commercial. I'm pretty sure he was just humoring me after clearly ticking me off after taking my photo so much without asking permission. There is no way that they're going to use me in a national commercial, but I obliged anyway and scrawled down my information. Still, I didn't kid myself for even a second that it would ever actually happen. Okay, maybe a little bit.

And that's when the waitress swooped in. Even though I had twice politely asked for a glass of water and she still hadn't brought it, she wanted to discuss being an extra, too. She's done it before, she said. Five months ago, Verizon filmed a commercial in this same diner and they used her as the waitress. She was considered a "principle" role, paid $700, and became SAG-eligible. I know she thinks she's selling her case, but she clearly doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut. There's no way in hell that a competing cell phone company is going to use the same location, never mind the same waitress.

Now the Boost Mobile people are suddenly explaining that they need to check out some other diner locations, because, duh, but they politely take the waitress' telephone number in case they are looking for extras. Before they exit, she tells them that her day off is on Fridays, so they should film on that day. You know, because they choose their shooting schedule around a waitress.

Once they left, the waitress got on the phone and excitedly told a friend that she thinks she's going to be in another commercial. Also, she's perfect for the part because she "really understands the role" of pouring coffee in a diner. That I had yet to see - where was my glass of water? Since she's so busy not attending to her one customer and instead going crazy thinking about stardom, I finally tired of waiting to receive my check and just left the proper amount of money on the table. I left far too much for tip given the circumstances, but I didn't want to wait around to receive change.

Anyway, I'm pissed. Sure, I'm pissed that the waitress effectively killed both of our chances of being on this commercial (oh to dream!), but I'm even more pissed about the service. Shitty, shitty service. No wonder she was in a Verizon commercial.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

luckily for us, and fat joe, he has boost mobile

oh man!
boost mobile!