Have you ever been accused of giving someone a dirty look and thought they were nuts? Do those around you tend to recoil when you make eye contact with them? If you answered yes to either question, you may suffer from BRF, otherwise known as “Bitchy Resting Face”.
My coworkers used to ask me a lot, “what the hell was that look for??”. My response was always “that’s just my face.”. Because it really was. And they always laughed like I was the crazy one. But I actually don’t have any control of my facial expressions at all. It’s very strange, but I guess I make ridiculous faces all day long without even knowing it. The rough part is that it’s almost impossible to hide how I’m feeling. Fortunately some people just can’t read facial expressions. Usually those are the people who I find most irritatingly stupid. So there’s that.
Anyway, I don’t intend to give people dirty looks (most of the time, anyway). And until the above video came out, I suffered in silence, without even a name to assign my condition. At least now I have a diagnosis. But sharing that diagnosis with the general public still remains an issue.
I’m a server. I work at a pretty well-known chain-restaurant, and I happen to work at the highest grossing location in this chain. I deal with a shit-ton of people on a daily basis. This past weekend was particularly crazy, being Valentine’s Day weekend. By Sunday I was beyond worn out and ready to blow that particular Popsicle stand. But of course all the crazy, cranky, irritating people decided that Sunday was the best day to go out and harass a random stranger. That random stranger was me.
My BRF must have been in a full-blown flare on Sunday. Either that or I really was pissed off, but considering that I started the day feeling fantastic, I doubt that was the case. Maybe. Who the hell knows. But anyway, I had this one table that started out their visit by interrupting me before I could tell them my name (which I have to do, by the way), which is always a bad sign. Always.
I finally got to tell them who I was after they had given me their drink order, and I walked away thinking, “damn, this is going to ruin my day, I know it”. I must be psychic. Either that or I was having a particularly hard time controlling my BRF and I was just exuding negative energy. I’d like to think that it’s the former; it’s probably the latter.
I brought their drinks. There was a slight problem with the wine that they ordered, but that was quickly rectified. The next problem was not so easily fixed, however.
One of them was a vegetarian. Now, most chain-restaurants may have vegetarian options. Either that or their servers just don’t tell you that almost every single item on the menu is made with some kind of animal product. But we are not a vegetarian-friendly restaurant, and I am not a liar. I explained to this table that the only things on the menu that were actually completely meat-free were salad and steamed broccoli. Everything else? Nope. Soup? Mixed vegetables? Nope, and nope. Just salad and broccoli. But what about…. NOPE. I must have said it six times.
They were starting to get irritated with me. I was starting to get irritated with them. I started embracing my inner bitch, which I never ever do. I think I even told my coworkers that I would be willing to pay for their drinks if they would get the hell out of the restaurant. Then, for some reason, even though I was starting to let my irritation shine through, their mood did a complete 180. The rest of the meal went extremely smoothly. By the end of their meal I had them laughing and joking around with me, which was even more surprising. And when I went to pick up their check…
They tipped almost 40%. Along with the tip was a note that simply said, “thank you, sorry”. And just like that, my inner bitch was gone. I hadn’t thought about how visible my irritation was, but it was clear from their note that they noticed how pissed I was getting. This time, my BRF worked in my favor.
But as much as I’d like to, I can’t just go around telling my tables that I have this condition. And if I had a penny for every time a customer asked me why I was giving them dirty looks, I’d have exactly zero pennies. I really hope that this was an isolated incident, and that all my other tables either know about BRF, or just can’t read facial expressions.
Do any of you have this issue? Do you have any fun/horrible/hilarious stories to share about your BRF? I love stories. Tell me stories.