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Monday, September 26, 2011

When I Say It's Hot, It's Hot

Dear Customer:

When I tell you something is hot, please believe me. Just because you see me holding a hot dish does not mean that your fingers have the same super-human strength to withstand heat like mine do. You see, I hold hot plates all the time, so my fingers have built up a tolerance to this silly thing called fire. Is it sad that I no longer have fingerprints? Sure, but it allows me to carry things to your table after they have sat under the heat lamp for twenty minutes and it's all worth it. When your food is ready, the cooks put it "in the window" under this big strong light bulb that will keep things nice and warm until I finally get around to bringing it to your table. It will sit there and sit there until you ask me, "Is our food ready yet?" When you ask me that, it is my cue to bring it to you because as a server I like food to sit in the kitchen for as long as possible until I know you really want it. Consequently, the plate gets really really hot. However, since I have been doing this since I was a fresh-faced young boy of 20, my fingers are callused, bruised tough, angry and rough. They're like my heart.

When I approach your table with steaming piles of nachos, wings or calamari and I say "Be careful the plate is very hot," I mean it. You don't have to reach out and touch it to verify what I said is true because you will more than likely burn your hand and then shoot me an angry look that you will then have to take back because you will realize I just fucking told you the stupid ass plate was hot, you dumb as a bag of hair ass wipe. It's just not hot to me.
Please don't be jealous of this amazing talent I have to be able to hold hot things because it is nothing. The cooks in the kitchen can practically reach into a vat of hot oil to pull out french fries. They can stir pots of soup with Their arms. They can light cigarettes just by touching then with the tips of their fingers. They are the true heroes.

In closing, let me say one more time: when I say something is hot, it is hot. Don't touch it. I will laugh at you when you recoil in pain and I won't feel bad about it. i will not try to hide my laugh either. i will say something like, "See, I told you it was hot. What, you didn't
believe me? Let me get you some butter to put on that burn, it will make it all better." And then I will laugh again, because putting butter on a burn is an old wives tale. It will make it burn more. If you are dumb enough to ignore my warning about a hot plate, then maybe you will be dumb enough to smear butter on a burn.

The Bitchy Waiter

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ChiTown Girl said...

It's post like THIS that make me adore you so!!!

SkippyMom said...

Butter doesn't make it burn more, it just suffocates the burn and keeps it from healing. Yes, it is an old wive's tale and I hate people that still think it is true.

The one thing I hated serving were the sizzling fajitas on the hot skillets perched on a wooden server. Invariably I would have parents with small children order them and when I them down, in between the parents and stated "Keep them here. The pan is very hot and I don't want the kids to touch it." The minute I turned my back they would set it in the middle of the table so Johnny and Buffy could reach it.

I would hear the screams, rush back and say "See? I asked you not to move it and that is why. I will bring you a cool rag for your child's fingers. Now may I move it back to it's original location?" I did and I NEVER had to comp a meal for their stupidity because surrounding tables always heard my admonishment not to move it and no one was going to argue their own stupidity.

When I tell you it's hot. It is - and not because I have amazing fingertips. It will BURN you. Don't let your kids touch it. Leave it where I placed it. It is there for a reason.

dys·func·tion said...

" my heart." What a great start to my morning. :D

And butter does make it burn more because it prevents the heat from escaping, creating a mini-oven in your skin which allows for nasty things like blisters to occur.

Keep up the good work Bitchy!

JustSmileAndNod said...

I love the ones that reach to take it from you when you say "and this plate is really really hot" (it's usually only 1 plate, because a burger takes 3 minutes and a steak takes 10-15 minutes and the cooks can't seem to balance that math out). It's usually a grown ass man who reaches for that plate too, like "if you can handle it, I can handle it" and then they immediately let it go if you actually hand it to them. I think only one time when they tried to reach for it and had their iphone in the middle of their place setting did I just look at them and say "Seriously, I'm burning myself right now, if you could please just clear your place setting, the plate is really REALLY hot" f'in ass clowns.

Nothing beats banquet plates though coming out of a hotbox. never did get used to those.

Vicki said...

Highly amusing post as usual, BW! I love it because it's just so true...=D

Speaking of butter on burns--we all obviously know it's not good to put on a burn, but do you know what does work? Pickle juice...I don't know if it's just because it's really cold or if it's because of the vinegar that's used in the pickling process or a combination of both, but it really works. (Obviously not for really bad burns where the skin is missing and stuff.) An old cook named Junior taught me that over 20 years ago. I didn't believe him until I tried it for myself. =) Since then I've taught many of the cooks that I work with the pickle juice secret...I guess my work is done now. ;-)

crazycaca said...

Have you been trailing me for the past ____ years? When I get to the table and all the place settings are covered in wedding pictures, cell phones and what not...I like to say that the sizzling sound you hear is my forearm blistering and I have the scars to prove it. I have asbestos fingers not you!

California Girl said...

I'm thinkin' you're on to your new subject having exhausted the kid thing for now.

It's been great to read how many people who read your blog don't like young children in a restaurant and don't like people talking on their cell phones in a restaurant. These 2 issues drive me crazy...oh...and old people.

I don't like old people who ask for stuff not on the menu not because they are gourmands but because they can't eat anything on the menu, can't read or don't understand the menu, can't hear anything you say. I'm getting there. I'll soon be in one of the categories I hate.

Practical Parsimony said...

It is the salt in the butter that is harmful to a burn. All the commercial ointments we use for burns have the same coating tendencies. I have read and heard that salted butter (or margarine, heaven forbid) is harmful. Using UNsalted butter is okay and helpful or not harmful. I cannot find my internet source right now. If anyone can find a source to the contrary about not using UNsalted butter for a burn, I am willing to entertain the idea I could be wrong. It has happened

I can pick up incredibly hot things too. But, I will only admit to being old, not callused. However, using the laptop mouse has led to my forefinger on the right hand being a bit hard and insensitive. Weird.

People should appreciate your warning and placing things out of reach of children.

Maria said...


It annoys me whenever I'm dining with someone who touches a hot plate moments after being told not to and then gets all sulky when they get burnt. Come to think of it, I need to hang out with smarter people...

Anonymous said...

My fave post by far!!!!!! I LOLd so hard

Anonymous said...

I used to sell knives in college. It would be the same story as the 'careful, it's hot' that I do now, except, 'careful, those are really sharp...oh, can I use your sink to wash the blood off my knife?'

NotAnonymous said...

Sorry Bitchy but, I to have calloused fingers and a strong tolerance to heat, so I MUST grab that plate.

@Californa Girl
I once overheard a old lady if it was to much trouble for them to fix crab legs (or cakes I can't remember). They were on the menu.

ilike2also said...

i do have to say i like this post.....i work as a server at a fondue restaurant (that is a national chain) and that is part of our spiel and every night there is at least one dumb ass that goes and grabs the pot. i find it very entertaining. it also shuts loud annoying children up (that is after they stop crying from burning their hands because their parents hadn't taught them the concept of hot yet)after that they just sit there quietly and are afraid of everything ata the table