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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Have Moved


 
I have moved From now on, all new posts will be at The Bitchy Waiter at the new address. Please change your bookmarks and please also get me a vodka gimlet.


Thanks.

-BW

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Comment on Comments

You know I love an opportunity to reach out to the readers and respond to comments. It fills my heart with pride to know that people take time out of their busy day of surfing Facebook and playing Words With Friends just to type out a comment to little ol' me. Last week someone let a comment slip out of their ass like a greasy Crisco fart. It plopped onto my computer screen and slid down leaving a trail of oil and bitterness. When I posted the photo below onto the Bitchy Waiter Facebook page, someone named Jarret had a thought.
"Weren't you a kid once? Did you not need help wiping your ass when you were young? How quickly one forgets that youth is a right of passage that everyone has to go through. It could be argued that, it's not the kids that are behaving badly, but it is you who is so jaded and misguided regarding children. Unless you were hatched from an egg or were born an adult, everything you are complaining about was once done by you. Try treating children and their parents with decency and respect and you might find that kids aren't really that bad. Do unto others as you would have done unto you..."
The truth is Jarret, it's a fucking joke. That picture of the little girl in the waitress outfit is not actually in a diner. It's a fucking Halloween costume. I didn't kidnap a child and force her to a photo studio so I could take a picture of her and degrade her with a demeaning caption. I want to dissect your comment and make sure I understand it:
  • Weren't you a kid once? Did you not need help wiping your ass when you were young? Yes, I was a kid once but I can assure you I never once bothered people in a restaurant. The reason being that I was never taken to a restaurant as a child. You see, I grew up in an isolated cabin in the woods and my mother had a stroke so we didn't go anywhere. I created my own language based on my mom's fractured ability to speak and all was fine and good until I was discovered by Dr. Jerry Lovell who looked a lot like Liam Neeson. And what the hell does this photo have to do with ass wiping?
  • How quickly one forgets that youth is a right of passage that everyone has to go through. You say that as if youth has already passed me by. You're wrong, Jarret. Wrong. Youth is subjective. Fifteen years ago, I thought 45 was old. Now, I think it's pretty young. The right of passage never ends.
  •  It could be argued that, it's not the kids that are behaving badly, but it is you who is so jaded and misguided regarding children. Me jaded? Seeing that the name of this blog describes me as bitchy, you obviously have a keen sense of stating the obvious. Touché.
  • Unless you were hatched from an egg or were born an adult, everything you are complaining about was once done by you. I was not hatched from an egg and that is very rude of you to even imply that my mother was a bird, reptile or duck-billed platypus. Neither was I born an adult, just a very mature child. And what exactly am I complaining about in the photo? All I want is for the little girl to go get me a vodka gimlet. Is that too much to ask?
  • Try treating children and their parents with decency and respect and you might find that kids aren't really that bad. I always treat children and their parents with respect. Just this morning in the elevator of our building, I saw the little girl who lives across the hall for me. She used to have very beautiful long hair but today I noticed it had all been hacked off into a very handsome look. I complimented the little girl and told her that she looks way prettier now and that she should go sign up for the girl's softball league and golf team. I also told her parents that their daughter is going to make some lesbian very happy someday. 
  • Do unto others as you would have done unto you...  Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. 
Thank you for your comment, Jarret. I do appreciate it. And thank you for coming to a page that is all about bitching and then getting upset that people bitch. There may be a better Facebook page out there for you to enjoy. Might I suggest one about puppies or rainbows? Those are always so great. Except sometimes puppies need help wiping their asses and every once in a while a rainbow comes from an egg. 



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Monday, April 1, 2013

Take This Job (and a Fish Stick) and Shove It

You know how people sometimes keep their feelings bottled up inside them and they never fully release all the frustration they feel? I do that. Believe it or not, this blog is just the tip of the bitchy iceberg of angst and fury that live deep within my hard-crusted soul. More often than not, I swallow emotions and assume that they will fade away into nothingness. It's a good plan, but it doesn't always work out. Every once in a while, all the pressure builds up and spews out like the volcano in episode #76 of The Brady Bunch, "Today I am a Freshman," when Peter makes a volcano for a science project and it erupts all over Marcia and an her friends. I erupted at work.

I have three jobs. Correction: I had three jobs. Thanks to my brutally honest opinion about the owner of the restaurant, I now only have two jobs. Some may say I quit while others will say I was fired. Suffice it to say, I no longer work there and people will be talking about my exit for years to come.

I walk into work and the first thing I notice is that all of the tables have been cleared and everything is in a pile on the bar; table tents, candles, comment cards, menus. There are no chairs at any of the tables as they have all been dragged to the back of the room. The tables are covered with dust and the floor has trash all over it.

"What the fuck happened here," I ask the hostess?

"Oh, Mr. Vigoda let his son shoot a music video here today, so it's a little bit trashed."

"A little bit trashed? It looks like the aftermath of a poor white trash Tupperware bukkake orgy."

"What does that mean?" she asks.

"Are they coming back in to clean it up?"

"No, they're all gone. Mr. Vigoda told me to tell you thank you and that he owes you."

The only thing he owes me is the last three years of my life and I may be about to take his in exchange for it. I pull out my cell phone and scroll to my contacts and hit the one called ASSHOLE.

"This is Abe Vigoda, go." I hear the voice say on the other line.

"Umm, what happened to the restaurant, Abe?"

"Oh! Hey, BW. Yeah, sorry about that. My son's band, Fish Stick, shot their music video there today. Pretty cool, right?" he says with enthusiasm.

"Well, I guess it's cool for them, but the place is a wreck. Am I really the one who has to put this all back together? Ain't nobody got time for that."

Mr. Vigoda laughs. "I love that Sweet Brown video. Hey, maybe Fish Stick's video can go viral like that one did!"

The man is completely unaware how unfair it is that his no-talent son has left a huge mess for me to clean up as I make $5.00 an hour. I have hated Mr. Vigoda for too long and before my mouth knows what it is doing, I say:

"This is total bullshit. I don't work here so I clean up your fucking messes. I work for tips so unless Fish Stick is about to come back in here and leave me a huge fucking tip I am not cleaning this shit up. We open in an hour so if you want this place to be ready by then, I would suggest you get your ass back in here to do some opening side work because I quit. Go fuck yourself with a fishstick, asshole."

I hang up and the hostess stares at me.

"Did you really just tell Mr.Vigoda to go fuck himself with a fishstick?" she asks.

"Yeah, I think I did. And I think I just quit too. Oh, fuck, what have I done?"

My cell phone rings and I look down to see ASSHOLE flashing on my screen. I press the button to ignore it. Thirty seconds later, the phone at the host stand rings and the hostess picks it up.

"Thank you for calling The Restaurant, this is Emily, how can I - Oh, hello, Mr. Vogoda. Ummmm, BW?" She looks at me and shrugs her shoulders. "Ummm, I think he's in the restroom."

I grab the phone out of her hand and yell into into it, "Go fuck yourself with a fishstick!" and then slam the phone down.

It is now definite that I have quit my job. Slowly, I walk over to the computer and punch out.

"Bye, Emily. Tell everyone I'm really sorry but I had to go."

The phone rings again and as I head to the door, I see Emily pick it up. I don't hear what she says because I have already let the door close behind me.

I quit my job in the most epic of ways. Thankfully, I still have two other jobs where I can always pick up extra shifts. I will miss the people I worked with but I will not miss the job itself. And I will most certainly not miss Mr. Vigoda. For the rest of my life, I will always imagine him with a box of Mrs. Paul's fish sticks and a big crunchy frozen fish fillet hanging out of his ass.

April Fool, bitches!





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Thursday, March 28, 2013

No Reservations, Please

At the restaurant I work in, we do not take reservations. No matter how whiny and petulant a guest will get, we still won't do it.

"But please? It's gonna be my mom's 70th birthday and there will be fifteen of us. We just don't wanna have to wait when we get there. We'll be there at 7:30, I promise. Please? Pretty please??"

"Nope."

"I don't understand why not. Don't you want my business?"

This conversation happens at least once a week.

The truth is, Ms. Whiny, we don't need your reservation because we can fill those tables without having to keep them empty for an hour before you say you will get there, that's why. So put your name on the list and have a seat at the bar and we'll call you when your fucking table is ready. Oh, and happy birthday to your mom.

Customers don't understand that a reservation for fifteen can kill a whole evening if the restaurant is as small as mine. In order to keep those fifteen seats open for a 7:30 reservation, that means we can't seat them past 6:45, and that's pushing it. At 7:30, four people will show up and then at 7:35 three more and by 7:45 maybe ten people will be there. They will spread out in the space that we saved for fifteen people and than at 8:00 they will finally tell us, 'I guess nobody else is coming so we'll go ahead and order now." The problem is that there are now ten people sitting at a table for fifteen and those five seats are going to be useless for the rest of the evening. They will leave at 10:00 and we will never have gotten to turn that table over even once. I'd rather see seven deuces that I can turn and burn and reset the tables and do it again.

A restaurant in Beverly Hills called Red Medicine takes reservations but if you skip out on it, get ready for a little bit of Twitter shame. According to NBC Los Angeles, the manager has taken to Tweeting out the names of people who make reservations and then don't show up.

When someone named Kyle Anderson bailed on his res, they tweeted, "I hope you enjoyed your gf's bday and the flowers that you didn't bring when you no-showed for your 8:15 res. Thanks." Of course, Kyle Anderson probably never saw this Tweet and if he did he probably didn't care because he was too busy trying to decide if his girlfriend would rather have red carnations for her birthday or pink roses with tons of baby's breath. Truth be told, most blow up dolls would rather go with the carnations since the thorns on roses can be dangerous for them. Keep that in mind, Kyle.

Of course there are plenty of people who think what the restaurant is doing is wrong. I, however, freakin' love it. When I worked at the Marriott, I hated when people made reservations and then didn't show up. I would always call and leave some passive aggressive message on their answering machine.

"Hello, Mr. Anderson. This is BW calling from the Brooklyn Marriott about your 1:00 brunch reservation. It's 1:15 now and I just wanted you to let you know that your table is ready and I am waiting for you. I hope you're on your way and that everything is alright. If you've decided to not come, a phone call would have been nice." 

My manager out a stop to that. They're just lucky I didn't have this blog back then.

But why shouldn't we shame these people who skip out on a reservation? If we make an appointment for a massage or with a doctor and we don't show up, we are hit with a cancellation fee. It's not like Red Medicine is charging them money when they don't show up, it's just doing a little bit of good old-fashioned public shaming. Think back to Nathaniel Hawthorne's' opus, The Scarlett Letter. When Hester had to wear that big red "A' on her dress to announce to the village that she was a big ol' whore, I bet it taught her a lesson, don't you think? Maybe Kyle Anderson will think twice the next time he's gonna blow off a dinner reservation. And speaking of "blowing off," I hope he had a wonderful night with his girlfriend.





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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Equality for All or Quinoa Equals Mashed Potatoes

Today is the second day that the Supreme Court is hearing arguments about Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. I won't go into the specifics of what each of those means because most people have a pretty good idea already: same-sex marriage. If you are on Facebook, you can't help but notice how many people have changed their profile photos to some version of the equality sign so I had to get in on the act and make one that I feel represents my food service industry history.

On April 2nd, I will celebrate my one year wedding anniversary with my husband. One year of marriage may not seem all that impressive, but April 2nd will actually be our 22nd anniversary of being together. We spent the first twenty years or so waiting for people to realize that our relationship does not affect anyone else's and thankfully, New York State came to that realization in July of 2011. I think a lot of people don't fully understand how same-sex marriage is absolutely non-threatening to the rest of the world. Maybe if I put it it in terms of food, it will make more sense.

If you go into a restaurant and look at the menu and see something that you would never order you simply order something else. If you don't want to eat quinoa you order the mashed potatoes instead. What you don't do is scour the restaurant to see if anyone else ordered quinoa so you can tell them how much you hate it. You don't make a cardboard sign that says "God Hates Quinoa" and picket their table. If they order quinoa and it sits on their plate and their plate alone, how will that affect your plate of mashed potatoes? I can't think of any way that it would. Therefore, you simply eat your mashed potatoes and they eat their quinoa and both of you enjoy your dinner. Same-sex marriage is the same thing.

If you are a raw vegan and only eat cold zucchini lasagna with almond cheese that is your decision. Personally, I don't understand it but that does not mean that I think all raw vegan restaurants that serve cold zucchini lasagna with almond cheese should be shut down. I just make a conscious decision to eat elsewhere. Just like that person is not going to go to my favorite bar-b-q place and order brisket with mac and cheese. Vegans and carnivores can live happily amongst each other and they just agree to disagree. Same-sex marriage is the same thing.

Maybe someone thinks same-sex marriage is wrong because it's unfamiliar to them and therefore scary. It's like me and seafood. I didn't grow up eating seafood of any kind and as an adult, I still hated it. What I eventually realized was that when I said "I hate seafood," what I meant to say was "I am unfamiliar with seafood." Gradually, I tried it and now there are a few items that I like. No, I don't expect straight people to dabble in the world of homosexuality to see if they like it. I just expect people to open up their horizons a little bit and be willing to see if it's something they can tolerate instead of hate. When I first tried shrimp, I tolerated it and now I like it. Is it my favorite thing to eat? No, but I don't shudder at the thought of a plate of shrimp as I did when I refused to consider the possibility that shrimp can be very good and it is not threatening. Same-sex marriage is the same thing.

Lots of people are against same-sex marriage because they think the Bible says it's wrong. I know that Leviticus 18:22 says, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." But what about Leviticus 11:7-8? It says, "And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you" Have another bacon cheeseburger and consider that maybe every line of the Bible isn't exactly correct.

I know that in time, this country will recognize same sex marriage as a right. It's happening and honestly, it's happening faster than I ever expected it to. Forty years from now, it will seem silly that there was a time when so many people were against it. I hope that the Supreme Court makes the right decision. Marriage is something that everyone should have a right to; gay, straight or even that drunk couple who met at a casino in Vegas and got married by an Elvis impersonator two hours later. Seriously, they have a right to get married and people who have been together for thirty years and raised children together don't? It makes no sense.

Remember this: same-sex marriage is just like letting someone at the next table order quinoa when you order mashed potatoes. A starch is a starch and a marriage is a marriage. They're just different.

I hope you will share this post. It would mean a lot to me if you did and you can consider it an anniversary gift to me and my husband, Mark.



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Monday, March 25, 2013

White Zinfandel is Fancy

Two women are sitting at Booth 3, presumably on a "Girls Night Out." Under the misleading idea that wearing all black would be slimming and that sequins class things up, it is clear that these girls are ready to party.

"Hello, ladies. Can I get you anything to drink tonight? A Pear Cosmo? Or maybe a glass of wine?"

'We were thinking of ordering a bottle of wine, actually but we don't usually order a whole bottle. What do you suggest?" one of them asks.

I cringe at the question because I am the first to admit my lack of wine knowledge. In the types of restaurants I usually punch in at, bottles of wine are not a top seller. Seven years of serving breakfast and lunch didn't really require me to know a lot about bottles of wine.

"Well, would you like red or white?" I ask.

"What's the difference?"

I do a mental face palm and realize that even though I grew up drinking Boone's Berry Farm and California Coolers, I am practically a sommelier compared to these girls.

"Red is served room temperature and white is served cold," seems to satisfy their quest for wine knowledge.

The ladies hem and haw trying to decide what to get when they finally ask me the most important question that anyone who is ordering a bottle of wine can ask:

"Can we get a taste of the White Zinfandel?"

A taste of the White Zinfandel? What are you tasting it for, to see if it's tastes like ass? I can tell you right now, it does. It will taste like Mr. Kool-Aid took a piss inside a wine bottle and then shit out a couple of Splendas. It will taste like a raspberry Fla-vor-Ice that was in the freezer too long and got a mean case of freezer burn and then sat outside in the sun for two days. It will taste as bad as your make-up looks.

"Absolutely, I will be right back with a taste of our finest White Zinfandel."

I return moments later with two glasses. It would have been sooner, but the bartender had to dig deep into the reach-in to find a bottle of our finest White Zinfandel. It was behind the whipped cream, the huge jar of olives and an old container of yogurt that the hostess had left in there about two weeks earlier.

I place the glasses before the ladies who each pick one up and sniff inside giving their olfactory senses a a workout trying to decipher between a "subtle floral aroma" and "nasty ass whiff of Hawaiian Fruit Punch."

They swirl the wine around in their glasses and hold it up to the light to see if it "has legs." Finally, they let it wash over their taste buds and I await their reaction.

"Hmmm, I think I like it, what do you think?" one says to the other.

"It tastes really good. That is a very nice bottle of wine. I say we go for it."

They do indeed "go for it" spending a whopping $28 for a bottle of our finest White Zinfandel. They pair it with a hummus plate and spinach artichoke dip, because these bitches are fancy like that.

When they are done, the bottle is empty and they tell me how much they loved the wine. I can't really judge because I have been known to drink wine out of a box, champagne out of a can and a margarita out of a plastic to-go cup on the Q32 bus. What I can do though is write a blog post about the two ladies at Booth 3 who think that a bottle of White Zinfandel is a sophisticated night on the town.



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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dishrack Spooge Facial

I am disgusting. My face is disgusting. I feel disgusted because my face is covered with liquid gunk that spewed forth from the dish rack when I threw a rack of glasses on it. Anyone who has spent time in a restaurant knows what I speak of. I will let the gunk speak for itself:

Hey, ladies and germs, I'm a puddle of water and I am sitting on the dish rack waiting to jump into your mouths. Well, I'm not just water. I'm mostly water but I also have some wine and soda mixed in with me and a little bit of orange juice and whatever else people have been drinking tonight. Plus saliva. Lots and lots of saliva and backwash. When waiters dump the glasses into the rack that sits on the dish rack, whatever is left in the glass drips down and then rests on the ledge and it turns into me. You can call me Liquid Gunk. I just sit here until someone takes the rack down to put it in the dishwasher and then when they put the rack back where it was, if they don't do it slowly, it's going to make me splash all into their faces. It's my favorite thing! And tonight, I got to jump all onto the Bitchy Waiter's face. I just barely missed his mouth.

I have been dying to spooge all over his asshole face forever because he never scrapes the plates clean and he doesn't seem to know how to separate silver. He's always in the dish room eating bread or french fries or checking his Facebook. I have been waiting for this moment for a couple of years. I thought it would never come because he's such a lazy bitch that he hardly ever moves the racks of glasses. "That's Juan's job or Diego's or whoever the fuck," he says. Well tonight, he needed some glasses and so he pulled the full rack of dirty ones off the the ledge and put them in the dishwasher. Man, I was excited! I watched him pick up an empty rack and lift it over his head to put it in its place. If he was thinking, he would have done it slowly giving me no reason to splash, but I figured since he never does it, he wouldn't even think about it.

He threw the empty rack onto the shelf and it landed in me so violently that I threw myself at his face with all my might. I aimed right for his mouth, his eyes and his precious hair that he always bragging about and I spooged all over him. I gave that bitch a Liquid Gunk facial. I didn't get into his mouth which is just as well since it was probably full of Chardonnay anyway, but I did get into his hair.

"Goddammit!" he yelled. "Fucking nasty ass water just got all the fuck over me. Fuck!"

I looked over at Michael the dishwasher who was laughing. I dunno why Bitchy Waiter thinks his name is Miguel. 

"You have to put the rack up slower next time," Michael said.

"Yeah, whatever," said Bitchy Waiter. "This is why I don't do this shit!"

Michael and I both know that the reason he doesn't do the racks of glasses has more to do with his laziness than getting Liquid Gunk in his hair.

"I'm going to the restroom to wash this shit off my face. When that rack of glasses comes out of the dishwasher, send 'em out, comprende? Gracias, Miguel. God, my face is all sticky. I feel like a ten-dollar hooker at an after-hours orgy. Fuck!"

So yeah, I got him. I feel proud. And maybe he will learn now that when he puts the empty glass rack back on the ledge, he has to do it slowly because if he doesn't I will come all over his face just like I would with a ten-dollar hooker at an after-hours orgy. He deserved it. He's a bitch.



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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Comment on Comments

A few days ago, I posted a picture on the Bitchy Waiter Facebook page that was making fun of those customers who tell us they are ready to order and then make us stand there for five minutes while they try to make a decision. How many times has a customer insisted they they know what they want and then you have to watch the bitch dig through her purse to find her glasses so she can lay her eyeballs on the menu for the first time ever?

"I can see you're not quite ready to order so I'll give you some more time, ma'am."

"No, no no! I'm ready, I'm ready! Ummm, lemme see. Do you have salad? Wait, I dunno if I want a salad or not, I just had a salad two weeks ago. Do you have soup? Or what about onion rings? Hey, do you have one of those Awesome Blossom thingys? I'm trying to get in a vegetable serving."

"No, ma'am, we don't have Awesome Blossom Thingys. I'll let you look at the menu a little bit more and come back in three minutes."

"No, no, no! I'm ready, I'm ready. Hmmmmm."

If you're not ready, you're not ready. You don't have to make us watch you go through every single possibility. Just say you're not ready and we will come back in a few minutes, I promise.

One person took offense to the photo. Why she is on a Facebook page called Bitchy Waiter, we will never know. If someone comes to this blog or the Facebook page and thinks something that they see is bitchy, then I feel I have accomplished what I set out to do. The woman who didn't like the photo is named Lacy and here is what she had to say:


If you were a GOOD waiter you could help them make a decision.... God forbid someone earn their tip. I'm so sick of rude servers. When you're a server you need to remember even if a customer is getting on your nerves, they're paying you! jeez!!

Lacy, Lacy, Lacy, please get back into your suburban home, continue watching all the Dr. Oz episodes you have on DVR and shut the fuck up. If you were a GOOD customer, you would understand that you're not the only fucking person in my section and I don't have time to watch you try to decipher the difference between a roasted chicken breast and a grilled pork chop. We all know you're going to order a cheeseburger with fries anyway. Earning my tip does not mean that I have to spoon feed you suggestions of what to order. I don't know what you want. What if I suggest my favorite dish only to learn that you have a peanut allergy and you can't eat the Chinese Chicken Salad? What then, Lacy? Did I earn my tip even though you didn't take my suggestion? I will offer you my opinion if you ask what is better between two choices, but I will not suggest food if you haven't even bothered to look at the menu yet. Giving a customer more time to decide what they want to order is not rude. In fact, I find it to be the opposite of rude. Rude would be me saying, "Look, you said you were ready to order so what the fuck do you want, bitch??" 

We get it, Lacy. You're one of those people who likes to remind us that the customer is always right and that if it wasn't for you, we servers wouldn't have jobs. Well, that's a two-way street, Lacy. I can just as easily say to you that you need us because if it wasn't for the waiter, all you would have for lunch is another Slim-Fast shake and a bag of Doritios. We servers do remember that even if a customer is getting our nerves they are paying us. However, do you keep in mind that even if a waiter is getting on your nerves, he's still the one that is allowing you to have that love affair with all things deep-fried? Jeez!!

Lacy went on to say:
I get your frustration, but as a patron, it's frustrating to see pages and pictures like this online. So yeah, I get a little annoyed to see that I'm paying people to go home and mock me on Facebook.

Here is my advice to you, Lacy: stop looking at Bitchy Waiter! Cut me from your life and you can be certain that you will no longer see these horrific images from me. Simple, isn't it? Fare thee well, Lacy. Good luck dining out for I have reason to believe that waiters do find you annoying. Hell, I find you annoying as all fuck and I have never even waited on you.



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Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Newly Trained Waiter Who Is No Longer Bitchy But is Wonderfully Proficient

I did it. I went through training with a 22 year-old and survived even though she was about the same age as the underwear I had one. You can click here to read yesterday's post about how I felt about having to go in to work early for some training. It turns out that those 22 year-olds really know what they're talking about. I mean, did you know that when taking a drink off a tray with one hand you should move your other one that you are holding the tray with ever so slightly to maintain the balance of the tray? Alert the news media! Tweet it! Tell the new Pope to send out another smoke signal because this is big news.

Another piece of vital information that was passed on to me were these words: "Never argue with a guest and give up the need to be right." This is a very simple rule for me to follow because in order to argue with a guest, it would mean I have to give a shit and I have absolutely no shit left to give. The last time I gave a shit, it was in a paper bag that I set on fire on the porch of my high school drama teacher, Mrs. Deheul. I don't argue with customers. I smile at them and then walk to the side stand and tell one of my co-workers how stupid the bitch at Table 27 is. I then jot down a few notes so that when I blog about the dumb bitch, I will have some every specific details. And what point is there to disagree with a customer? I gave up the need to be right the day I put on my first pair of slip-resistant shoes because there is nothing right about those ugly fucks. One time someone ordered the New York Stripe Steak. I could have told them it was a strip steak, but that would have meant that I cared and I didn't. "One New York Stripe Steak, comin' right up!" I said.

Another point that came down from management was this pearl of wisdom that fell out of an oyster's ass" "Make all guests feel like they are the only one." Okay, sure. If that means I can ignore the other people in my station, then I am all for it. Say I am taking an order at Table 4 and as I am talking to them, the asshole at Table 5 is snapping his fingers at me.  I will just ignore Table 5 because I want to give Table 4 the impression that they are the only ones in the restaurant.

Me: Our special tonight is pan-seared cod that we will put extra sauce on to disguise the fact that the fish is past its peak and-
Table 5: Hey, waiter!
Me: ...it is served with haricot verte and garlic mashed potatoes...
Table 5: Hey, waiter!  (snap, snap)
Table 4: I think that man is trying to get your attention.
Me: What man?
Table 4: The man at the next table who is waving his arms and snapping his fingers at you.
Me: I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. Are you having hallucinations, because you are the only customer I see here. I know this to be true, because management told me so. If you are seeing someone else in this restaurant you must be high on drugs and I will have to call the police. You're the only one here. You are the only one here.

We also have a new rule that tells us we should check back to our table a minimum of six times to make sure they have everything they need. I think that's a great idea because everyone wants a waiter to be at their table every three minutes to hover around like a fruit fly on an old banana. Maybe we should just suspend ourselves on wires so we can drop down from the ceiling every thirty seconds to  let them know we're watching them. If I was in a restaurant and my server asked me if I needed anything on six different occasions, I would want to punch him in his nut sack. I'd still leave him a 20% tip, but he'd also get a cunt punch.

After training ended, I started my shift and gave the same level of service I have always given which is somewhere between adequate and half-assed. My tips were great so I felt that all was fine in my station. Did the additional "training" help me earn those tips? Who knows? All I know for certain is that somewhere in this world, a baby was born today that in twenty-two years is going to be training me on how to be a better waiter. I can't wait to meet that person.

After the shift, the bartender created a special shift-drink just for me. It had Absolute Hibiscus vodka, pineapple juice and cranberry. He named it Hi-bitch-cus Martini. All in all, a good night at work.

(Thanks, JC, for being such a good sport.)



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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting Tables Since the Beginning of Time

I don't know if you know this or not, but I have been waiting tables for a really long time. The first order I ever took, I remember that the man asked me for his brontosaurus burger to be rare and I was like, "Umm, no shit, it's always rare. We ain't discovered fire yet, asshole." Needless to say, I know my way around a tray. However, today at work I am going in early to be trained. Keep in mind I have been at this particular job for over three years so I was under the impression that I knew how to take an order and then carry a drink twenty feet and hand it to someone, but I guess I was wrong. Last week, a head server was determined and today I will go meet with that head server to learn important information about either serving drinks or giving head. Fingers crossed it's about oral sex, but I have my money on the other. The head server was born on August 26th, 1990. I looked at my diary from that day to see what I was doing when our head server made her first appearance on this earth. It said, "August 26th, 1990: work was a bitch and so was the hostess." I have been waiting tables literally since the day she was born. Here is a list of some things that are older than the person who who will be training me today:

  1. My Birkenstocks that I bought in 1987.
  2. This diary entry from August 25th, 1990: "Up at 7:30 and to an audition. Home an napped for two hours, then to a call back. I did good. Then to work at Bennigan's which was okay. Now to sleep for a long time."
  3. The white bistro apron that is in my Halloween costume box.
  4. High definition television which was invented in 1989.
  5. Hot Pockets.
  6. Disposable cameras and disposable contacts.
  7. Dopler radar.
  8. When Harry Met Sally.
  9. A Goldfish cracker that I saved during a game of Yahtzee that is still in the box with the date written on it. 
  10. Some of the stories I have written about on this blog like this one that took place when the head server was two months old.
I will go and I will be trained. It has been said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks but I do not know if that holds true for waiters. My mind is open to new possibilities for this training. Maybe there is some new way to take orders that I have not learned of yet. Have I been wasting time using pen and paper when I could have been sending the orders telepathically? Have I been wasting steps carrying drinks when they could have been teleported directly to the table? I will learn all of these wonderful new techniques tonight at 5:00. I expect that tomorrow, my blog will have to change its name to "The Newly Trained Waiter Who Is No Longer Bitchy But is Wonderfully Proficient."

Get ready, Head Server. Prepare to show me the way. Let me know what I have been doing wrong ever since you were still pooping in your pants and learning your ABC's. I am all yours. As soon as I take a Prozac which is also older than you by one full year.



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Monday, March 11, 2013

I Just. Want. Mayo.

We need to come with a name for that amount of time that passes from when you ask your server for mayonnaise for your burger and the time that it actually gets to your table. Those few minutes can be maddening.

Here in New York it seems that most people use ketchup on their burger but for many of us who grew up in the south, the only natural thing to smear all over your red meat sandwich is dollop after dollop of rich creamy mayo. When I take an order for someone's burger I don't ask them if they want mayonnaise or mustard with it. I figure they will tell me if they want it and I will get it for them. If they tell me when they order their burger, I always go get it right away so that it is on the table when their food arrives. If they tell me when I serve the food, I get it immediately. It takes precedence over everything else because I don't want their burger to get cold while they wait for condiments. If someone else is waiting for a beverage or needs more bread or wants more water or needs me to snap a picture of them on their anniversary, it all waits until the other customer has their blessed mayo. I practically worship at the House of Mayo so I know how important it is. To be honest, I converted to the House of Mayo after growing up in the Chapel of Miracle Whip.

Last night I took off my apron and was a customer for a change. Sitting at the bar, I order a burger but forget to to say in advance that mayo will be necessary. When the food comes out, I tell the bartender that I would like some.

"Absolutely, right away," he says.

Famous last words.

I watch as he proceeds to make a couple of drinks and greet some other customers. I nibble on a french fry. I see the bartender take care of someone's check. I eat another fry. Finally, I see him tell a busser something and I expect that thirty seconds later he will emerge with my condiments but all I see is the busser come back with a rack of glasses. I try to catch the bartender's eye thinking that maybe he has forgotten my request, but he does not look my way. I continue to eat my french fries as my mouth begins to drool looking at my naked hamburger. I want my fucking mayo and I want it now. I see another server come to the bar and ask for change so now the bartender is counting money out of his drawer. He pours two more beers as my burger dies a slow death. I look at the ramekin of ketchup on my plate and decide that I can use it in a pinch. About five minutes have passed. Giving up all hope, I spread ketchup on my no-longer warm bun but this is when I see the bartender go to the kitchen and return with an industrial size jar of mayo that he opens. He disappears again and returns with two ramekins. As if in slow motion, I watch him spoon out the creamy deliciousness into the ramekins. I have already begun to eat my burger and one third of my fries are gone. When he finally brings my mayo, seven minutes have passed. Seven minutes? Unacceptable.

Usually, I am on the side of the server, but this guy failed me. When customers need something for their meal that they need before they can start eating, it has to be done right away. If someones asks for fresh pepper, you do that immediately. Or at least as soon as you can find the goddamn pepper mill because some asshole co-worker never puts it back where it supposed to go and it's always hidden the fuck away. But you do it quickly. If a customers needs another fork because they dropped theirs onto the floor, you do it right away. Or at least as soon as you can get the goddamn dishwasher to run the silver because you're out of it and you've been asking for him to wash it for ten goddamn minutes. If they ask for more napkins you do it as soon as you can because not having a napkin isn't going to keep them from eating. Do you see the difference?

Those seven minutes I waited for my mayo was a very trying time for me. They were hellish and miserable and I can never get those seven minutes back. C'mon servers, we have to step up our game if we expect decent tips. I still left 20% because I don't know how to do a tip less than that, but plenty of people would have taken that seven minutes as a reason to tip 10% or even less.

So what can we call that time that passes whole waiting for mayo? I guess it all depends on the server. With the guy last night, I would call those seven minutes Mayonnaise: Missing in Action. Had it been in my station and someone asked me for mayo. the time that they would wait for it would be called Miracle: Whipped and Ready.



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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Almost Closed But Not Closed Enough

It is a slow night at work. Well, from 7:00 until about 9:00, it is rockin'. There are two of us on the floor and we are weaving amongst each other in perfect synchronicity. Every time I go to refill a glass, I see it has just been done by the other server and more than once I see him go to the window to check on food that I had just run to the table. We are a good team. The customers are happy and I am in a good mood which is very surprising considering there is very little white wine in my system. Suddenly at 9:10, the restaurant dies a slow agonizing death. What had been a healthy vibrant restaurant throbbing with life and excitement is now wheezing for breath and struggling to find someone who wants to order some calamari. By 10:15, the last customer is gone, the other server has been sent home and I am left alone with the bartender waiting until closing time at 11:00. Sidework is done and I even reorganized the silverware, dusted underneath the bin and refilled ketchups. I was that bored. At 10:40, I start to send out vibes to passers-by to let them know if they decide to eat now, I will resent them until the day I die and then after I die I will haunt their sorry asses forever.

Bored, I head to the patio to see if it needs any attention. I pick up an errant lemon wedge and straw wrapper. I notice that a big spider has spun its web linking it from the fence to the giant Pelligrino patio umbrella. I toss a leaf into the web so I have something to watch as the spider races to the unwelcome item. Once he discerns it is not a fly or some other tasty morsel, he tosses the leaf to the ground. I throw another leaf into the web for an encore performance. It is now 10:45.

The candles are still lit on the tables because we do not want to give the impression that we are closing early. Knowing that my manager does not like us to do certain things before the official closing time, I leave the chalkboard scrawled with the words "No Smoking" on the patio as well as the two tables that will need to be dragged inside. At 10:56, I untie my apron and walk over to my manager who is scrubbing the line and wiping down the stove. "Do you mind if I run downstairs and get the book?" I ask. The "book" is what I fill in every night with who worked and what we made in tips.

The manager looks at the clock and then back at me. "Well, we're not closed yet."

Is she for real? All I want to do is run to the office and get the book so I can get a two fucking minute head start in entering information. The date, the names, etc. "Okay. I'll wait four minutes." I put my apron back on.

Five minutes later, at 11:01, I blow out the candles, drag the tables inside from the patio and pour out the last water pitcher. My manger graciously  brings "the book" upstairs for me. "Thank you," I say. She does not respond.

At 11:06, I am finished. The tips have been logged, the goodbyes have been said and the apron has been removed for the night. And then she has something else to say to me.

"I need people to be here who encourage customers to come in late, not people who are ready to leave."

I am getting angry.

"I don't want it to look like we are closed when we are still open," she continues. I guess me going downstairs to pick up a blue binder would somehow signify to the world that we are closed, while  scrubbing the line and wiping down the stove in our open kitchen is screaming to customers "Come in, we're open!"

"Did I do something wrong?" I ask. "Because all I did was ask to go get the book to start filling in names. We haven't had anyone in here for 45 minutes."

"Well, it's just-"

"Because I don't see how me getting the book four minutes before closing is any different than you breaking down the line," I continue.

"Well, we need to be busier late at night," she tells me

I am still trying to figure out how that affects me. Does she want me to wear a fucking sandwich board in front of the restaurant? Would she like me to telephone people at random and just let them know, "Hey, we're still open in case you're wondering." Or maybe I should tell the guests who come in at 7:00 that they should go home and come back in three hours. None of this is my fault or my problem. She was just being snippy because she sees profits dwindling and she can't be mean to the economy but she can be mean to me. And if she wants there to be more customers then maybe she should look into Groupon. Oh wait, she doesn't want to do that. Or maybe have a happy hour. Oh wait, she doesn't want to do that either. If I thought she would listen to me, I would suggest that he offers 15% off to anyone who comes in after 9:00. I think that is a great idea, but what do I know? I'm just a waiter.

I punch out and go home and then debate whether or not I should blog about this on the off chance that she reads it. Obviously, I decide to write it. Nothing I have said here is wrong. I even gave some handy dandy suggestions on how she could gain more customers. I kinda know a little bit about pimping oneself out for the sake of more followers and it's not any different than getting more customers. Maybe she is reading this and when I get back to work, she will want to discuss it with me. I will cross that bridge when I come to it but before I cross the bridge, I think I am supposed to answer three questions from the troll who lives under it. So let me answer those now and get it out of the way:

Yes, the Chicken Caesar salad has chicken in it.

No, I do not have another "real job" because this one seems real enough.

We close at 11:00.

Wish me luck on this post. I might be digging my own grave but as long as the grave has a mini-bar, I'm good.



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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hello, My Name is.... Why Bother?

Since the subject was broached in a previous blog post that had something to do with an anonymous red-headed d-bag who I will not give anymore attention to because he does not need my help to gain more traffic, I want to discuss something further: servers who announce their names to their tables.

Some restaurants require the old "Hello, my name is Ashley and I will be your server tonight" routine. I have worked at those places and I hated it. My name is not one that is easily recognized so it was always way more trouble than it was worth.

 "Hello, my name is Coby and I'll be your server tonight."

"Oh, hello, Cody."

"No, Coby."

"Oh, Colby! Like the cheese?"

"No, Coby, like the beef but with a C and a Y. Coby. "Like the electronics company?"

"Oh, Coby! That's an interesting name. Were your parents hippies?"

"Never mind. Hello, my name is David and I will be your server tonight."

I was never a big fan of having to give out my name. (No, Coby is not my real name...) I have found that when you tell customers what your name is, many of them get too comfortable using it and they start asking for too much shit.  Thankfully, I never worked at one of those places that puts paper on the tables with crayons for the children and some of the servers write their name onto the table. Once I went to a place where the waitress wrote her name in cursive upside down so that it was facing me. Color me impressed but I still wouldn't want to have to do it. So, no I don't give out my name unless asked.

Since I work at a very small neighborhood restaurant two blocks from my home with mostly regulars, several of my customers do know my name. I suppose I don't mind it too much since I bump into them at the grocery and I'd rather they say hello to me by name than say "Hello, Asshole." But I only tell people when they ask. They always follow it up with their names which I promptly delete from my memory bank. If I remember the names of all of my customers how will I ever remember that episode #109 of The Facts of Life is the one that aired on October 3, 1984 and was called "Slices of Life" and it was the one where Jo began her own pizza making company? Click here to see that episode and go to the 1:40 mark to hear my favorite line delivery in the history of the world.

One regular that comes in thinks my name is Eugene. It is not. It is nowhere close to Eugene. I once played a Eugene in a high school play about Halloween, but that is where my connection with Eugene ends. I have told her my real name many times and she always tells me that I look just like Gene Wilder. Never mind that Gene Wilder is about 40 years older than me, she thinks I am the splitting image of the Candy Man. The next time she came in she had forgotten my name and called me Gene instead. I corrected her. I saw her once outside a bar in our neighborhood and she yelled out to me across the street, "Hello, Gene." I corrected her again. I saw her yet again at another bar and this time she called me Eugene. I imagine that her train of thought went something like this: 
  
"Oh, what is his name again, I know I know it. He looks like Gene Wilder but I know his name isn't Gene. Is it Willy Wonka? No, that's not right. Maybe it's Dr. Frankenstein... Gosh, I dunno. I got it!"

"Hello, Eugene!"

I corrected her yet again. She came into the restaurant last week and greeted us all. She didn't say my name and I thought that least she isn't calling me Eugene. When she left, she gave me a hug and kiss (she'd had three glasses of wine) and slurred out, "S'wonderful to see you again, Eugene." I am done correcting her. I don't care. I don't know her name even though she has told it to me often. The difference is that I don't just make up shit when I see her:

"Dionne Warwick, it's nice to see you!  How have you been, Diana Ross? Well listen, Angela Basset, the next time you come in you make sure to sit in my station, okay, Oprah?"

I agree with most people that customers don't care about the names of their servers and servers don't want to give out their names, so can we just make a pact across the land that we will no longer do it? Let's be done with it. Let's accept our situation for what it is: a business transaction that will last for about 45 minutes or so. It should be just like a prostitute and her john; no names, no pleasantries and no emotions. We give each other what we want, and move on. As long as I give good service and I am given a 20% tip and not given crabs, I'm good.

"Hello, my name is none of your fucking business and I will be your server tonight."



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