Monday, November 30, 2009
Y'all, I only have one more Thanksgiving post and then I promise I am finished. Thanksgiving was four days ago and by now we are all sick of turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, turkey and eggs, turkey soup and any other way you tried to eat that tired leftover fucking bird. But I think I found a new Thanksgiving tradition that I shall look forward to each and every year. From the cornucopia of traditions we find marshmallows on sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce slices that came out of a can, but I proudly suggest this new rite that we shall do the fourth Thursday of November from now on: throw a big fucking ham into Paula Deen's face. You have probably already seen the video and loved it like I have. You are probably also wondering what the hell this has to do with the Bitchy waiter. Well, honestly, not much. Other than there was food involved. And they were serving it. I guess, Paula was at a food shelter dolling out about a million pounds of meat that she was donating. They were having some kind of ham tossing party when one rogue (Sarah Palin) ham went AWOL up against Paula Deen's nose. Luckily for Paula, her face was covered in butter and grease from the Lard and Sausage biscuits she had inhaled for breakfast and the ham gently slid right off of her face. I'm surprised she didn't just catch that ham in her mouth and eat it like my dog does when I throw him a piece of Boar's Head. Thankfully, Paula was not seriously injured. She put a raw steak on her nose to maintain the swelling but she accidentally ate the steak and then whipped up a batch of peanut butter, butter and bacon bars. She laughed the incident off as pigs across America high-fived one another. The rogue (Sarah Palin) ham has not been seen since the encounter and it is assumed that it went into hiding and is shopping around a book deal.
My Brady Bunch obsession peeks out yet again as the whole pig in the face is completely reminiscent of the time Marcia Brady was hit in the nose with a football (also known as a "pigskin"). Marcia and Paula should totally get together and discuss what it feels like to have the shit knocked out of them by a piece of meat. Thanksgiving is officially over for me.
click here to see Paula Deen get hit in the face
click here to see Marcia Brady get hit in the face
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Hopefully everyone is recovering from their Thanksgiving Day festivities of gorging themselves with food and the undeniable effect of tryptophan. I celebrated the holiday by donning my apron and serving for a family in Upstate New York. It was the fourth holiday I have spent with this family; three Thanksgivings and one Christmas. They are Jewish, so don't ask me why I was there last year helping them serve a Christmas dinner. All I know is they love me. They pay me.
When I walked in the whole family of about 15 people were there waiting for dinner to be served. By me. They were very happy to see me and all greeted me warmly. I felt like Norm on Cheers when I walked in because they all said my name at once. The lady of the house gave me a hug and off to the kitchen I went. Normally what I do for them is arrive as they are finishing up dinner. I clear the table, make coffee, serve dessert and then wash all the dishes and clean the kitchen. This time they were still cooking when I got there and they needed my help as far as timing and coordinating the dishes to all be done at once. For some reason they think I know what I am doing in the kitchen. The guy who staffed me out must have blown some smoke up their ass because they ask me all kinds of questions. "How long do you think we should cook this?" and "What serving dish do you think we should use?" My standard answers for these questions are "350 degree for about 15 to 20 minutes" and "the white serving dishes are the best because it makes the food pop."
Since dinner was still cooking I had time to do some busy work. I putzed around and washed a few dishes. Made a salad. There was one guy there who was a friend of the family and started making small talk with me. He asked me where I live. New York City. He asked me what I do. I told him I have several jobs and today I am just working here in Irvington, New York. "You have to work today? On Thanksgiving?" He was incredulous that anyone would have to work on such a special day. "Where??" He totally did not get that I was there to serve. That was when I knew it was time to pull my bistro apron out of my bag and put it on. After his mild embarrassment and my apathy, the division of classes was clear. I was "the help."
I put food in the oven, and pulled it out when it was done, served their meal and cleared the plates and washed about a thousand dishes by hand. It was basically a glorified maid kind of day. Since you know of my love for The Brady Bunch, I imagined myself as Alice. A younger more attractive and not so frumpy Alice If you need to reminded of my obsession you can click here and read all about it. It really wasn't that bad. People are willing to pay a fortune to have someone work on a holiday and I don't mind it a bit. I left with my pockets full of cash and a huge tip. "Good bye, Bitchy Waiter," they said. (Okay, they actually used my name...) "We love when you are here. Next Thanksgiving we might hire someone else and have you over for dinner." I smiled politely and said how nice that would be. But inside I was thinking "the only way I will drag my ass to Irvington, New York to have Thanksgiving dinner at your place is for a paycheck." Don't get me wrong. They're really nice. But they ain't my family. I'm there for the money.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009
Today is the day. The day that we gather around the table with friends and family to express our thankfulness for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. We say our blessing (the one time a year we do it) and then get down to business. Pass the mashed potatoes, bitch, I's hungry. We skip the crappy bowl of English Pea Salad that Aunt Cheryl makes every fucking year. No one eats it. She just makes it as a joke and then we throw it away at the end of the day because we are Americans and we do things like throw away perfectly good food. Happy Thanksgiving! We cram our faces full of turkey and ham because we need two meats on our table. And then it is time for the real food. Dessert. Pecan pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, coconut pie, cookies, brownies, fudge, ice cream. We need it all because it is Thanksgiving and that is what thanksgiving is about; eating ourselves into a food induced coma until we have to roll into the living room and onto the couch to watch some stupid ass football game until we fall asleep. And then wake up later to eat another piece of pie. Burp.
I am off to work. Because I am a waiter. I don't do these family things with my family. I get on train to go to Upstate New York and celebrate Thanksgiving with another family. And when I say "celebrate" I mean, serve their food, make their coffee, clear their table, wash their dishes and then clean their fucking kitchen.
CLICK HERE TO HEAR A SPECIAL THANKSGIVING MESSAGE FROM THE BITCHY WAITER
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I decided to make a list (in bullet form since I learned the HTML code for it. Fancy, ain't it?) of all the things I hate to hear coming from the mouth of a customer. None of them are unique or interesting and I don't care to ever hear these phrases again. Holla to Thomas for the inspiration for this bitchy post.
- "Oh I hated it." when I clear their plate that they virtually licked clean. Tired joke.
- "You don't even have to send that plate to the dishwasher." when I clear their plate that they virtually licked clean. Tireder joke.
- "What do you have to drink?" This makes me crazy. Every restaurant has the same things to drink. They just do.
- "Can I get seconds?" If you want to order another entree, that is fine with me.
- "Are you an actor?" All waiters in New York City are not actors. I happen to be one.
- "Have I seen you in anything?" You have never seen me in anything unless you make a habit of seeing really bad theater in basements in the outer boroughs. Or maybe you picked me out of the crowd scene in that Enchanted movie.
- "What's good?" The most expensive thing is the best tasting thing on the menu. Order two.
- "Is this really Diet Coke?" If you ordered a fucking Diet Coke, then you got a fucking Diet Coke. The only time I may switch one soda for another is when a fat kid orders a third Coke. The third one will be a Diet Coke because it just needs to be.
- "I'm allergic to ________ ." Are you really allergic to it or do you just not want it?
- "It's my birthday!" Hurrah for you. You were born. What a colossal achievement to be proud of. No, you do not get free shit.
- "I'm a really good tipper." Anyone who says this is not a good tipper. Ever.
- "We are really in a hurry." No you're not. You're just really hungry.
- "Do you have a restroom?" Seriously?
- "I would like a cup of hot coffee." Thank you for reminding me to not get your coffee from the pot that is labeled room temperature coffee.
- "Is our food ready?" Yes, it is. It's been sitting back there on a shelf for 15 minutes but I just wasn't sure that you really wanted it but now that I know you do, I will go get it.
- "I know what I want to order" when you clearly have no idea what the fuck you want to order.
- "Oh you don't close for five more minutes? Whew, we made it just in time!" I hate you and so does the kitchen staff. Please do enjoy our saliva.
- "Is this dessert low calorie?" They think it's funny to ask this as they cram a cheesecake into their face. It's not funny. It's sad.
- "Can I get these fries to go?" Just eat the fucking fries now. They are only french fries and they will taste like ass when you try to reheat them in your microwave tomorrow.
- "What else do you do?" as if waiting tables isn't enough to occupy one's life. It's insulting and I don't need to tell you what else I do with my life. (I sit at home and question my decision to not get my teacher's certificate.)
- "Can I get some more bread?" Just because it is free does not mean you have to eat a baker's dozen worth of rolls.
- "Thank you." Just kidding. Nobody ever says that.
What do you hate hearing at work?
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I went to a mandatory meeting at my job last week. It was the first meeting that I have had to go to since starting at this job and I was filled with giddy anticipation. After all, the owners would be there and who doesn't want to meet the people that they work for? We were told that it would start precisely at 5:30 and last for about 45 minutes. It was essential that we get there on time because it would definitely start at 5:30. So at 5:50, I was a bit grumpy because it was "time to get this ball rollin'." Why the fuck did I bust my ass to get there on time on my fucking day off if it didn't even matter?
Due to my prior experience with mandatory meetings at restaurants, I had already decided to not say a word because there are always plenty of others who have more than enough to say. I have also learned that nothing makes a bit of difference anyway. Managers and owners have all these grand ideas that they want implemented and they try to encourage their staff to work as a team and all that crap. But nothing ever changes. "From now on, the schedule will be made two weeks in advance!" Uh huh, sure. "No more cell phone use allowed!" Right, got it. "Give customers the correct order!" Yeah, that'll happen. Blah blah blah, in one ear and out my ass.
And then the owners speak. Two guys that never bothered to introduce themselves to me. I still don't know their names, but I know for a fact that they are really really important people. Because they wear suits. They blabbed about how customer service is their number one priority when we all know their priority is making money. It just is. No need to try to hide it, fellas. Own up to it and I might be willing to push a bit harder for you. But for you to sit up there with your big fancy JC Penny suits and try to convince me that the only reason you are in this business is to make customers happy is a big load of crap.
The meeting was supposed to be over at 6:15. At 6:50, when the meeting was over, I put my coat on and left. Next shift at work was exactly the same. Mandatory meetings are a waste of time. We all know it. The people who call the meetings are the only ones who are under the influence that they matter. They don't. How about you? What are your thoughts on the big time suck known as "the mandatory meeting?"
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
So you may have noticed that I have not written for a while. Maybe you didn't notice and that's okay too. Contrary to popular belief, it is not because I am lazy and complacent. Well, that may have been part of it, I freely admit. However, the main reason for the lack of posts is because I was busy healing. Uh huh. Doctors went all up in me and cut my ass up. There was an operating room, surgeons and blood involved. Don't be skeered, kids. It was minor surgery involving my septum and its deviance. It was not sex reassignment surgery as someone has suggested. Hopefully I will soon be able to breathe freer and easier. Years and years of mouth breathing shall soon come to an end. Minor or not though, that shit freaked me out and for the week before it happened, it was all I thought about. Feel free to comment with a "get well soon" or "hope you're better" or you can always just
click here if you really want to make feel better.
I return to work tonight after a week of channel surfing, soft foods and Vicodin. The doctors tell me that I should take it easy for about two weeks to not encourage bleeding. And, really who ever wants to encourage bleeding? That translates to:
- do not carry any ice
- do not carry any racks of glasses up or down a flight of stairs
- do not carry a tray of more than three drinks
- do not prepare your own spinach/artichoke dip; ask a host to do it
- do not tolerate idiocy from any guest
- walk slowly and if someone tells you they are in a hurry, tell them "fuck off, I just had goddam surgery."
- avoid all sidework
- get to work 15 minutes late and leave 15 minutes early
- ask for double time, overtime, holiday pay and hazard pay
- do not smile, it may hurt your nose
- mention to your guests that you had surgery and hope for some pity tips
More posts to come soon, I promise.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
As a waiter, we all hate the evil that is known as "separate checks." What people don't seem to get is that when a party of ten people wants ten different checks, it increases my workload by ten. I have to initiate ten checks and ring in ten checks and print ten checks and then hand out ten checks to ten different bitches and assholes. I see the reasoning behind the separate checks. It makes it simpler to deal with and you don't have to divide up one check and see who bought what and how much so and so owes. When I go out to eat with a large group, I get the shudders about it because I know how annoying it is for the waiter. But boy oh boy do I wish I could get separate checks sometimes. It really does get to be a shitty deal when you are on one check with ten other people. It always ends up sucking ass.
If you are out with a few friends, it's usually no big deal Especially if most of those friends are servers because everyone puts in extra cash and the check always works out. But what about when it doesn't work out? My blood pressure shoots up to about a million over a million because I get so stressed out about it. I know I always put in more than enough to cover me, but inevitably, the check is always short and someone says "Oh just everyone put in an five extra bucks and that'll cover it." No. I already put in my amount. I know what my food costs and that the tax is 8.25% (which I always round up to 10% because it's easier) and then I add 20% for the tip. Done. Why do I need to put five more dollars in because some twat can't figure out what they owe? And when it's short everyone starts looking around the table to figure out who is the asshole that didn't put enough money down. In that case, I have been known to pull out my calculator and ask each person how much they put in and what did they have. I then will figure it out to the penny until we discover who "accidentally" forgot to put down a twenty dollar bill. It's really not fair. And those are the times I am wishing that I had been the prick that told the waiter we need separate checks. In that same scenario, sometimes the tip is really generous because everyone over compensated which is fine too. But what pisses me off in that setting is when someones says they need to put it on their credit card and they will just take the cash so they won't have to go to an ATM later. I have seen it happen and I know why they do it. It's because they notice that there is a shitload of extra money for the waiter, but they put it on their card and then just tip 15% and pocket the rest. I will cut a bitch for that. I knew one kid in college who always did that. We would all pay cash and he would put it on his credit card, which his parents paid for. So essentially we were just giving him our money. I stopped eating out with him after that. And began spreading rumors about an STD he may or may not have had.
Another reason I can see why separate checks are needed is when someone pulls the ol' "lets-just-split-it-ten-ways" routine. That really pisses me off unless we all ordered about the same thing. But what if we didn't? This happened to me very recently. Someone suggested we split the check six ways to make it simple. It was more like to make it cheaper. For them. It really pissed me off but I let it slide because I didn't want to make a scene. Shocking, I know. But the person who wanted to split six ways had a very expensive entree, a cocktail and shared a dessert while I had one Coke and a hamburger that was half the price of the entree they had had. I ended up paying about $15 more than I had eaten. I was steaming mad about that one, I tell you. But again, I am such a demure little petite flower, that I let is slide.
So what shall we do about the dilemma of the separate check? People will always want them and waiters will never want to give them. It is a conundrum indeed. I propose that people just pull their heads out of their asses and take cash when they go to a restaurant. Someone at the table has to be the banker and just go around the table and pinpoint exactly what everyone owes. Yeah, it's cunty to be "that guy" but fuck it. No one should have to pay extra because he happens to be eating out with a friend of a friend who is too cheap to pay their bill and only wants to leave a 5% tip. Step up, Mr. Banker. Be "that guy" and you will be the hero of all your friends. Well, except for the one guy or gal who had hoped to skip out on the check. Fuck them anyway.
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Thursday, November 5, 2009
Our friendly neighborhood restaurateur, Bruce (of the Douchebags), has graced us with his wisdom once again in the continuation of his list of 100 things a server should never ever under any circumstances do. I published his picture so that you will know who he is if you ever see him. He sorta looks downright douchey, right? You can tell him The Bitchy Waiter said hello if you ever run into him. And when I say "run into him" I mean with your car. The New York Times must have had some extra columns to dole out this week, because they published this ridiculous list over two days. I say get this man a stone pallet and a chisel so he can carve these bitches out, because he is a genius. Moses may have had the ten commandments, but Bruce has 100 of them. Long live Bruce the Douche! Shall I respond?
51. If there is a service charge, alert your guests when you present the bill. It’s not a secret or a trick. Nope. They need to read the menu and look at the fine print. If some asswipe doesn't see that it says his grat will be added and chooses to tip again, do you really think I will alert him that he tipped 40% by accident. Please. Next.
55. Do not serve an amuse-bouche without detailing the ingredients. Allergies are a serious matter; peanut oil can kill. (This would also be a good time to ask if anyone has any allergies.) Not my responsibility to ask if they are allergic to something. They need to alert me. I don't have the fucking time to ask every single person if they are allergic to nuts or dairy. And if someone is going to die because they forgot to tell me about their peanut allergy, please do not do it in my station. Have the decency to die in the bathroom. Dead people in my station really bum me out and affect my tips.
58. Do not bring judgment with the ketchup. Or mustard. Or hot sauce. Or whatever condiment is requested. I will not judge you for putting ketchup on your steak if you don't judge me for being a waiter. Fair trade?
60. Bring all the appetizers at the same time, or do not bring the appetizers. Same with entrees and desserts. Unless people ordered all at different times because your asshole manager Bruce allowed incomplete parties to be seated.
61. Do not stand behind someone who is ordering. Make eye contact. Thank him or her. Okay, but this will make it extremely awkward when they can actually see my eyes rolling out of my head.
66. Do not return to the guest anything that falls on the floor — be it napkin, spoon, menu or soy sauce. Does he really think that if someone drops their spoon on the floor and asks me for another, I am just going to hand them the same one right after picking it up from the disgusting floor? No. I am going to carry that spoon to the side stand and pretend I am getting another one and then hand them the spoon that I just picked up from the disgusting floor. And how do you drop soy sauce?
68. Do not reach across one guest to serve another. Unless people have crammed themselves into a table that was meant for fewer people and there is no other way to get their food to them.
69. If a guest is having trouble making a decision, help out. If someone wants to know your life story, keep it short. If someone wants to meet the chef, make an effort. Okay, didn't he tell us yesterday that telling people our favorite dessert was irrelevant? Which one is it, Bruce?
77. Do not disappear. Unless you are busy steaming a label off a wine bottle.
87. Do not stop your excellent service after the check is presented or paid. This one is easy to do if you never start giving excellent service in the first place.
88. Do not ask if a guest needs change. Just bring the change. Just fucking ask if they need change. There is nothing wrong with asking. We don't have time to make change for every single person when most don't need it. It takes away precious time for us to pay attention to the other 99 things on the list.
90. If someone is getting agitated or effusive on a cellphone, politely suggest he keep it down or move away from other guests. Oh, I am sure that will go over great. Just ask the asshole to step outside because he's annoying other people. Don't ask him if he needs change but feel free to tell him to leave the restaurant because he is annoying.
91. If someone complains about the music, do something about it, without upsetting the ambiance. (The music is not for the staff — it’s for the customers.) And what are we supposed to do about it? Take time away from our station to go downstairs to adjust the volume on the sound system. Or call the satellite company that is piping the music in and tell then that Table 21
doesn't like Neil Sedaka? And wouldn't that contradict #77?
93. Do not play brass — no brassy Broadway songs, brass bands, marching bands, or big bands that feature brass, except a muted flugelhorn. The fugelhorn?? What the fuck is this guy talking about? And I speak from experience in saying that life is just better for all concerned when Dreamgirls is playing in a restaurant.
94. Do not play an entire CD of any artist. If someone doesn’t like Frightened Rabbit or Michael Bublé, you have just ruined a meal. Unless of course it is the all time classic recording of "Michael Bublé's Greatest Hits Accompanied by a Muted Fugelhorn."
97. If a guest goes gaga over a particular dish, get the recipe for him or her. Gaga? Nice attempt at trying to reach the youth of America with the coy Lady Gaga reference, but whatever, Bruce. No kitchen is going to give you the recipe and if they do, it's going to be a recipe that serves a hundred people. I am not going to convert a recipe that is in cups and gallons down to tablespoons and ounces.
100. Guests, like servers, come in all packages. Show a “good table” your appreciation with a free glass of port, a plate of biscotti or something else management approves. How about a free toothpick or something else that we can get freely and quickly, because in your anal retentive restaurant I am pretty sure the kitchen or bartender is not going to just hand over some free port or biscotti without it being ordered.
Obviously, Bruce has never been a server. He expects way too much from his slaves and the only way all of that will be possible will be if the stations are two tables. Customers may love the place, who knows. But I am certain that working there will be a huge clusterfuck. Good luck to all the servers in Bruce's domain. Perhaps I should write a list of "100 Things Restaurant Customers Should Never Do" and send it in to The Times.
If you want to read it here is the complete list by The King of All Douchebags, Bruce.You may notice that there are a shitload of comments posted on the article and that The Bitchy Waiter has posting number 2!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
An article in the New York Times was brought to my attention and I feel that it needs to be responded to. (Holla, Bonnie!) It is titled "100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do" and it is part one of a list of bullshit notions that some asshole restaurant owner came up with. I am a big fan of The Grey Lady, baby, but this list has gots to go. The writer of the list is some man named Bruce (lame name) who is opening a seafood restaurant. I get that he wants his staff to do all these things and that is fine. But I don't work for you, Bruce. This list is something that should be taped to the bulletin board in the kitchen of your restaurant. Don't put it in the newspaper and think that all servers will start obeying your commands just because it got published in the Times. The list is only 50 items long right now with part two coming out later. Let me respond to some of them.
1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting. I agree. Easy to do, no sweat off my back. Fine.
3. Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived. Bullshit. Incomplete parties fuck with my seating rotation, my order taking and the kitchen. If people can't be there on time, then they should not make a fucking reservation. End of story.
8. Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment. Seriously? What if the right moment never comes? Some people are so fucking full of hot air and gas that they never shut the fuck up so that I can do my job. Uh uh. You say "sorry to interrupt, but can I take you order, you gassy bellowing bucket of lard?"
12. Do not touch the rim of a water glass. Or any other glass. Duh.
13. Handle wine glasses by their stems and silverware by the handles. No shit, Sherlock.
20. Never refuse to substitute one vegetable for another. What about the rule on the menu that says "no substitutions"? It's a pain in the ass. Eat the fucking collard greens.
23. If someone likes a wine, steam the label off the bottle and give it to the guest with the bill. It has the year, the vintner, the importer, etc. Come on!! Who the fuck has time to steam a label off a bottle? Is this guy fucking kidding me? I don't even have time to spit in their food sometimes and he thinks I am going to do that? And where does he suggest I find a steamer? The cappuccino machine I guess? Get over it. Tell them the name of the wine and let them fucking write it down. How hard is it to remember Knotts Berry Farm, anyway?
32. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them or dust them. I am firm believer in the gentle touch on the shoulder or elbow when you thank a guest for coming in. It increases your tip. It just does. It's not like I am grabbing a boob or something. And if they are in my way because they are wandering around the restaurant, I will push their ass out my way if I need to.
37. Do not drink alcohol on the job, even if invited by the guests. “Not when I’m on duty” will suffice. Oh please. How the hell am I supposed to get through my shift?
38.Do not call a guy a “dude.”
39. Do not call a woman “lady.” I agree. Douchebag and Cunt are far more appropriate.
43. Never mention what your favorite dessert is. It’s irrelevant. So I guess just be the fucking robot waiter and say that everything is perfect and delicious even though some things suck and some things don't. I find that customers appreciate an honest opinion.
50. Do not turn on the charm when it’s tip time. Be consistent throughout. I am consistent. Consistently bitchy.
Thanks, Bruce for your wonderful insight. It sounds like your restaurant is such a joy to work in. Surely the next 50 ideas will be just as inspiring.
Here is the complete list by The King of All Douchebags, Bruce.