how to make a waitress hate your guts. (part 3)

26 Jul

Now that I’m all settled back in at work, I’m beginning to remember what sets the restaurant business apart from most other businesses. It’s hungry cranky fuckers like you and me who inadvertently cause strife in the lives of waiters and waitresses. Since it’s been a bit of time since we last discussed this topic, let us review some of the many annoyances restaurant people incur on a day-to-day basis:

  • Let your child scream at the top of their lungs
  • Ignore the server
  • Fill up on complimentary starches & cancel your food order
  • Order soft drinks before being sat at a table
  • Send food back to the kitchen for changes that can be made by you (i.e. no bun on your burger)
  • Start a sentence with “I never really complain but…”
  • Never be satisfied with the climate in the dining room.
  • Think that an 18% tip is impressive.
  • Be gluten free*

Ok, now that we’ve reviewed, let’s move on to some more stuff that makes us want to smack you silly and ask you to please shut the fuck up. Tonight the theme is “shit that directly applies to me as the owner/manager/hostess.” Because in an odd turn of events, I’m more focused on myself tonight than on other people. When you finish passing out from the shock of this rare narcissistic behavior, kindly adjust how you act in the following situations:

  • Accuse me of being a liar. Sometimes people call to make a reservation and insist that last time they were here they sat at a round table, but the truth of the matter is that they’re totally totally mistaken. We don’t have round tables. Breaking the news to them is always difficult because the customer is always right (Oh shit, now I’m lying to you!). And most of the time, when I break the news to them that they cannot have a round table because I don’t have a saw that cuts in a perfect circle, they accuse me of lying to them and ask to speak to the manager. “But I’m the owner,” I tell them and they respond by insisting that the last time they ate here they 100% sat at a round table. As a loving, caring, beautiful owner, I vow to you as my customer that I have no need to lie to you unless it is a fake phone call because you’re talking my ear off and I have someone more interesting than you sitting at the bar waiting for me.
  • Feed yourself whilst chatting with me. Let’s make a deal, folks. I promise you that I will not conversate with you once your meal hits the table, if you promise me that you will not flag me down and insist that I listen to your granddaughter’s wedding plans while you spew your jambalaya in my face. I typically love the outfits I wear to work, and don’t need any food particle accessories to accent them. If you need to ask me or your server for something, PUT THE FORK DOWN. Swallow whatever it is you’re chewing, take a sip of water if you need to, breathe for a second, and then ask for what you need, and then when I’m at a safe distance, pick the fork back up and continue on your culinary journey.
  • Complain at the end of your meal. This one confuses me on a multitude of levels. First, why did you just eat something you didn’t like? This isn’t your mom’s dining room table, you are paying for a meal. So this means that if you hate something, you aren’t forced to eat it. Second, there is no way for me to identify the problem if you have left no evidence of it. Frankly, the conclusion we’ve pretty much made about people who complain at the end of a fully consumed meal is that they really just want something for free. And that makes us want to do less for you because we hate your grubby guts. If you truly don’t like something, complaining off the bat is a win-win situation – you get to eat something that doesn’t make you want to puke and we get feedback on a dish that we may not otherwise know needs altering.
  • Never acknowledge me even though we see each other 2 – 4 times a week. I see many of my customers far more than I see all of my friends and family combined. The vast majority of these people hug and kiss me and/or Harry (people have their favorites, most of the time being me unless they’re a tween or a 50-year-old divorcé). But then there are these few super special asswads who just won’t give us the time of day. Seriously, even though you’re a regular customer and I try to be friendly and wave and grin and say hello and accommodate your entire family’s needs (she can’t have gluten, he can’t have meat or rice or milk or nuts or yeast or sunshine, I can’t have french fries unless they were fried in the oil of a chicken named Steve, my daughter doesn’t speak so you have to look into her brain and figure out her order…) you still never crack a smile or acknowledge that we’ve ever seen each other before. A long time ago, before I could immediately fact check on Google, I got a memo that it takes more energy to frown than to smile. Did you not get this memo as well? Why can’t you just be friendly and nice? Is eye contact seriously that much of a challenge when it comes to loser blue collar workers like me? Were your parents this grumpy and they passed it on to you and your wife?? Am I not pretty enough for you? I think we all know this is not the case… but what I’m really getting at is that you should be nice to the owner of the restaurants you frequent. I promise, we come in very very very handy.
  • Bathroom? This word is neither a sentence nor a question. Kindly try to expand on this thought when you’re asking me where the toilets are located. I totally understand that we are in a world where we no longer use the uber-long forms of the words “you” and “are” when we type, but looking at me and saying “bathroom” is really kind of gross-a-roo. I totally empathize with you that you’ve gotta pee or poo. But it just takes 2 more syllables (“Where’s the”) to eradicate this grammatical disaster. If you say “Excuse me” or “Thanks” or heaven forbid “Thank you,” you can bet your ass that I’m throwing some major cred your way. Expect a free bottle of wine at the very least.

If you think that I’m done letting you know what bothers restaurant people about you, you’re sadly mistaken. So don’t worry, if nothing over the course of this series has applied to you, there’s always tomorrow….

*Sidebar: This whole gluten free thing is getting worse and worse. It started out that the people were just irritating. But now I’m convinced that there is a direct correlation between wheat consumption and brain cells. I received a phone call yesterday from a Gluten Free chick who was looking to come in for dinner. I explained that we accommodate all gluten free diets. “Are you sure?” I told her that I was sure. “So you mean I can get a burger without a roll?”

“No,” I told her. “I’ve made an error. It is not possible for you to purchase a hamburger unless it is attached to a roll. We are experimenting with a new cooking technique wherein we bake our bread with beef patties attached to it, and it becomes so sticky in the process that it is scientifically impossible to remove the meat from the roll. Deepest apologies.”

Just kidding. What I really said was “You gluten people are getting dumber by the second, aren’t you?”

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