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Monday, January 18, 2010

The New York Times is Always Right?

When this list of things that a server should never do came out in the New York Times, it generated a lot of comments. You know I had to put my bitchy ass two cents in and write about it. And seriously, my vacation is almost over and I will have to start writing again instead of just cut and pasting..

To Do Or Not To Do, That is the Question

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.

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.


dirtydisher said...

Steam off a wine lable and give it...........LMFAOOOOO! Ya, right. WTF, dude.

AZWaitress said...

This guy is acting like serving is a one size fits all kind of job. Yeah right.

Noelle said...

Loves this post so funny. Such a dumb list.

SkippyMom said...

I think every server with a blog has commented on this list - and you all are of the concensus this guy is a douche. And he is ...

I still laugh about steaming a wine label off! Is he kidding. Even if it was my only table and all I had to do was roll silverware while waiting for them to leave just HOW IN THE HECK would you do this? And how stupid is it anyway? Jeesh.

Alyssa said...

I read this list a couple months ago, some of the things I did take to heart (but I've gotten more out of reading Red Lobster Blog) Most of these things sound like the short list of fucking complaints from some cheap guest that doesn't understand the menu or the food industry at all. Substitute vegetables? At my restauraunt, some subs are upcharges, including some veggies. Sorry dude, Asparagus costs more. I don't create the price structure. Questions are necessary to ask: "are you SURE you want the veggies that cost 2.50 extra?"

"7. Do not announce your name. No jokes, no flirting, no cuteness. " That could've shortened to 'try to not have a personality.' PS Bruce, I wish I didn't have to give out my name. I hate it when people I barely know try to call me by my name and butcher it completely. It seems so disingenuous. Like a used car salesman trying to appeal to me.

"33. Do not bang into chairs or tables when passing by." Well I'm sorry, but when our brilliant host kids seat the tightest area in the restauraunts with 2 tables with 300lbs+ guests or just whoever feels they want to sit 2 feet away from the table sitting RIGHT across from each other, and it's in the opening to the kitchen and there's about 8" of space in that most vital of pathways, I LIKE to bang into the chairs to let the rude douches know to MOVE IN under the table, PLEASE.

Anonymous said...

wouldn't it suck donkey balls if someone with a forum such as the NYT could out a wait person who freely admits to spitting in customers' food? Imagine the possibilities.....

itswhatiam said...

Hey Anonymous,

Why would the NYT want to out half of the service industry?

Unless there are witnesses to the spitting or the spitter confesses under oath, anything written in an anonymous blog would hold absolutely no weight in court. In fact, should the NYT out an anonymous writer for spitting in food, the NYT could easily find itself facing a libel lawsuit.



An anonymous blog such as this one falls under the category of "Entertainment." If you see an actress on a television sitcom spit in someone's drink, is the actress going to get in trouble? Did Whoopi Goldberg get in any kind of legal trouble for spitting in Mister's lemonade? No, she didn't, because it was a work of fiction. If Chuck Palahniuk writes a book in first character in which the speaker shits on the hood of a police car, would Mr. Palahniuk face criminal charges for defacing public property?

If you don't like what BW writes, don't read the blog. If you're some douche with a personal vendetta against the person writing as BW, get over it or deal with it face to face. Just stop trolling this blog and ruining it for the rest of us. The only thing you're succeeding in doing is making yourself look like a total loser, in spite of hiding behind the anonymous label.

In other words, get a life.