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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stroller Bitches From Hell, Part 2

I served brunch on Sunday. It has been quite some time since I have had the pleasure of carrying mimosas and eggs benedict, but on Sunday I was shoved back into that world and it was not an easy transition. Brunch and I go way back. I served it for 6 years when I worked at the Marriott and then for another 18 months when I worked at VYNL. I thought I was prepared for the hot mess that is a Sunday brunch when I agreed to pick up the shift. My first table reminded me why brunch is only fun when I get to consume Bloody Mary's rather than serve them.

The restaurant opens at 11:00 AM so of course at 10:55, people start gathering at the door and cupping their hand at the window to peer inside as if that will make time move faster. Were we ready to open at 10:55? Yes, we were, but they can wait their asses outside for five more minutes while we mentally prepare ourselves. At 10:59 one of the douchebaggy types taps on the window and then taps his watch to let us know what time it was. The door was unlocked at precisely 11:00 and the hell began.

My first table was a young couple with a stroller that was bigger than a Manhattan studio apartment. I flashed back to the Stroller Bitches From Hell that I served on the Upper East Side. As per usual, the parents saw absolutely no problem with parking the baby in the only place that I was able to stand therefore rendering it near impossible to reach their table. I get it. People have kids and then they put them in strollers. What I don't get is why the stroller needs to be the size of an SUV. I was a manny (male nanny) for about a year (for real) and my baby was in the smallest stroller possible. Her mother told me she saw no sense in spending hundreds of dollars on a stroller just so it could be in the way all the time. As I pushed Lillian down the street, did I feel judged by all the other nannies because my stroller was not a Graco or a Bugaboo? Yes, a little. But on the plus side, when we went into a restaurant I didn't make the waiter do a hop, skip and a jump just to hand me a glass of water because my gigantic stroller was blocking the table. Anyhoo, the parents blocked themselves in barricading their table with their baby and stroller. So when I poured scalding hot coffee, I had to do so over their baby. When I passed plates of food, I did that over their baby too. When I cleared plates with dirty silverware, that also happened directly over their baby. They never noticed how much more difficult it was for me because all they cared about was their coffee refills. And their baby.

Later that day, I went to the coffee station only to be prevented by a double wide stroller that had been crammed into the side stand. I looked around to see who thought that was good idea. The lady at table 12 said, "Oh, we just put that there to get it out of our way." So now it's in my way, bitch. How about the next time I am filling ramekins with ketchup I just spread them out on your table so they're out of my way?

What is the solution? Do I expect people to not use strollers anymore? Of course not. But why not leave the strollers on the sidewalk and carry the baby in a papoose or baby bjorn or your arms? Or maybe the baby can take up temporary residence in the place it came from: the uterus. Just pop that baby back into the pie hole for an hour or so while you eat and when you get out of my station you can re-birth it and be on your merry way. This makes wonderful sense to me, but I can understand why some women may not want to put their baby back inside them while they eat brunch just to satisfy their Bitchy Waiter. It's only a suggestion. At the very least though, consider leaving the stroller out of the tiny restaurant that only seats 35 people. They get in the fucking way.



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28 comments:

Mind Of Mine said...

I cannot imagine you being around children, especially not as a manny.

Moon said...

God I hate babies. Strollers should be banned from restaurants. I use to work retail for the Disney Store, and while standing their folding shirts, obnoxious Moos would run into me with their strollers and then yell at me. I don't know how you manage to keep your cool like you do. :)

Lazidaisical said...

You're very kind for not telling them to move that shit. Restaurant workers tell me my daughter's stroller is a fire hazard and they block my way until I park it outside!

Stephanie said...

Well, as a mom, a stroller is a must...and large ones are nice for when you're out all day or go to the mall...that basket space underneath is extremely valuable.

But I don't live in NYC. I never take a stroller into a restaurant. Even when our kids were infants, we brought their infant seat in the restaurant and sat it in one of those sling things.

And Moon....seriously?? You took a job at the Disney store...you have to expect strollers in there!! That doesn't excuse rude moms...even as a mom, I have been very annoyed by people and their apparent lack of stroller etiquette, but if you hate kids and babies...don't work at a store that attracts them.

ScareCrow said...

I've started to get fed up with the pains, if they are now in my way, and empty, it gets moved to allow me to get around. And I get I get yelled at by the mother, who is sucking down yet another coffee, I calmly tell them to get a stroller size that is smaller, not a fucking APC.
Hell my stroller was so small it was just wheels and a small place for my ass, and my younger sister used the same one when she was a kid.

Nightgaunt said...

I'm With Stephanie, It's not a good idea to work at someplace with a lot of kids if you hate them, and two, I never bring a stroller into a restaurant. They're awkward, even the small ones, they're in the way, and if the kid isn't big enough to sit in a high chair or booster, they're not really big enough to be at a restaurant with you. ((This is what doting relatives our for. Mine even keep helpfully handing us gift cards to go out to eat hoping we'll ask them to sit.))

Here's hoping you get the occasional reminder that not all parents leave their brain at the Maternity Ward coat check.

Practical Parsimony said...

When I visited NYC and my daughter was using a stroller for her child, I thought that NYC was the pain. We had to unload the stroller to leave it outside. Then, we were both carrying stuff, making it difficult to manuever or shop. No, I would never leave a stroller full of merchandise on the sidewalk. I am accustomed to large cities or small towns in the South where you can either bring the stroller into the store, or just leave it in the car I just parked a few steps from the door. I never, ever took a stroller into a restaurant of any size. In Nordstroms or Macys, forgot which, the aisles had merchandise just dropped and left there, making foot or stroller travel extremely unpleasant. From a customer who does not have a stroller, I hate strollers in restaurants. If you think you cannot walk, BW, customers cannot either. Then, there is the waiter who must bump all over me and my chair because the stroller is in the waiter's way. Keep strollers out of restaurants!

dirtydisher said...

I love knowing you were a manny. Seriously? That's so precious.

The Bitchy Waiter said...

I really was a manny for about a year. This was just a few years ago. A blog post perhaps?

Mark W said...

Here's a true story for you-

Stroller at end of table with baby in in, table in the corner, so the only way to serve was over the baby's head. There was an empty seat next to the dad, but they wanted the baby at the end so the mom could reach her. I asked if they'd like a high chair and told them I'd move the empty chair so they could put the high chair there.

I asked them this every time I went to the table, three or four times before they were ready to order.

I had a tray of drinks and was really frustrated. As I handed an ice water over the baby's head, she reached up and touched me...in a private place. Enough was enough. I "accidentally" spilled a little of the ice water. Right on top of the baby's head.

"Oh, I'm so sorry! This is exactly what I was afraid of! Are you *sure* you don't want me to get that high chair for you?"

Before the food came, the baby was in a high chair. The person next to mom moved over by the dad, the high chair went next to mom, and the stroller was moved over against the wall by the computer.

I didn't feel the least bit guilty.

Anonymous said...

Highur, Highur....and scene.

Tony Van Helsing said...

As a customer I don't mind kids in restaurants as long as they aren't running around yelling their heads off. Also, the last thing Americans need is a meal between breakfast and lunch.

Mary A. said...

As a mom of 3 kids, I had the cadillac stroller for number 1 son. Those bitches are heavy.

Numbers 2 &3 got an umbrella stoller that will fit in my purse.

The problem with me is. . . .I put my purse in the aisle. My purse is bigger than Rhode Island.

Yeah. Sorry 'bout that.

The Empress said...

The idea of saying a stroller is a fire hazard sounds like a good one. How could an inconsiderate parent argue with that? Afterall, they wouldn't want poor baby to be endangered because they were stupid enough to bring a small vehicle into the restaurant and block the aisles. ...And YES, we definitely want to read about your manny adventures!

My name WAS Female, I shit you not! said...

Just picturing in my minds eye what you wrote and reading the comments people left.................2 funny.
I shit you not!

Krissy said...

"Later that day, I went to the coffee station only to be prevented by a double wide stroller that had been crammed into the side stand. I looked around to see who thought that was good idea. The lady at table 12 said, "Oh, we just put that there to get it out of our way." So now it's in my way, bitch. How about the next time I am filling ramekins with ketchup I just spread them out on your table so they're out of my way?"

Damn that paragraph was funny as hell!

Jenny said...

Two things I hated when I was waitressing 1. People who waited outside the restaurant before it opened and 2. People who don't keep their kids out of the way. I once worked a large party with a bunch of kids that kept pushing their chairs in and out and RUNNING AROUND. I was so mad because I knew if I dropped a tray on one of them, the parents would probably sue me and win. I should have said something, but I'm way too nice.

Peace said...

I was in NYC last Thursday, and my ankes got run down by a double wide stroller that had 2 brats in it. Death to the double wide! GRRRRRRRRR.......

SkippyMom said...

I have a friend who had his second child in under two years [no problem there. Been there, done it]BUT I had to pick on [okay, sort of make fun of] his stroller choice.

My first apartment didn't cost as much is that damn thing, nor was it as big.

Umbrella strollers. How did we all manage before they made SVU type contraptions for the kids.

suzi said...

As a waitress (and mother), it never ceases to amaze me what parents will do! These parents, who strive to make everything as soft and sweet and cushy as possible for their precious babies will walk into a restaurant & park their priceless cargo in the exact spot where I will be passing heavy plates of hot food & cups of coffee directly over their sweet little soft heads. And regardless of how many times i make the comment "gosh! I hate passing this hot stuff over your baby's head!", they never seem to get it!

Noelle said...

I'm with DD special to find out you used to be a manny.

Strollers, diaper bags, the kitchen sink, when I was able to leave the house without all of that stuff. I didn't know if it was a prison break or I walked out of the house naked.

Don't think anyone would be serving hot coffee over the top of my babies. You must seem like a very trust worthy server.

Gallo said...

I was a nanny too so kudos paisano. I laughed so much over this post! It is so true. I actually shared it with my partner who is a flight attendant and you and him could write an encyclopedia!

Congrats!!!

Becoming Mommy said...

We have a kid. And a big 'ol Graco. However, I don't understand why they have to obstruct traffic. Those things fold up for a reason. Take the kid out!

Anonymous said...

Holidays I've named Kids and Canes day with 3 to 4 generations all in big partys

sov said...

Hell, Bitchy, I've had as many hassles with strollers as you have. Very funny. Bicyclists are even worse sometimes, no?

But the last 'graph is over the top a little, don't you think, in retrospect?

sally said...

Those giant strollers are a menace. Moms love them because they can carry everything and the kitchen sink with them where ever they go. I think they are fine for a walk through the park or maybe a mall, but PLEASE ladies, leave them at home when you go to a restaurant or small shop.

And by the way BW I think you would make a fine manny! I bet those parents were sad to see you go?

Moon said...

Wow, I didn't realize there were responses. I worked for Disney Store 10 years ago. I LOVED babies 10 years ago. Now, not so much. I got out of the industry. Don't ever plan on going back!

And yes, working for Disney, I expected strollers and children. LOVED THEM. Do not love to be ran into and screamed at; now THAT was uncalled for. There's a difference.

Masie said...

"How about NOT playing music at all! — Patricia"

It is so funny. When I read this part of the article, I thought of one of my old regulars who always insisted on being sat in the back and having the music turned all the way down. Her name? Patricia.