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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who Doesn't Drink Water?

Anyone who works in the service industry has had their fair share of stupid questions and comments from customers. You certainly do not have to be waiting tables to deal with morons, but if you want a helpin' heapin' servin' of dumb ass comments, then put on an apron and just wait for 'em. Sometimes people say things that I cannot decipher. In other words, it's hard to tell if they are serious or giving me some feeble attempt at humor. This was the case not too long ago.

As I approach table 16 with my pitcher of room temperature water and my attitude of lukewarm smugness, the lady at the table immediately reaches towards her glass. I think she is going to slide it to the edge of the table to make it easier for me to fill, but instead she pulls it closer to her and covers it with her hand. Maybe she knows that I didn't bother to put ice in the pitcher and she is going to ask for cold water or maybe she is one of those people who want to first hold the glass up to the light to inspect it for water spots, lipstick stains and food remnants, which could all very easily be present since I hadn't set that table and given the utensils and glassware my usual eagle eye of approval. (That's funny.)

"No water for me," she says. "Water's gross. Fish swim in it."

Really? Is this lady kidding me? She doesn't drink water because fish swim in it? They also poop in it, reproduce in it and die in it. People pee in it, oil tankers spill in it and factories pour garbage in it. Sea lions get their period in it and spring-breakers who have had too many Coronas throw up in it. The water that is in my pitcher was not just scooped out from the Hudson River nor did it come from Coney Island. It did not come from a pond nor a stream or even a babbling brook. It came from the tap and the last time I checked, there were no fish swimming in the faucet.

"So, no water?" I confirm.

"Blech," she replies while making a face implying that water is the nastiest thing to have ever touched her lips. Looking at her husband, I very much doubt that to be true.

I have had people tell me before they don't want any water and I am happy to oblige because it is one less glass I have to keep my eye on to make sure it's full. Truth be told, even the people who say they love water and will require lots of it don't necessarily get my undivided attention for keeping their glass full. There are other priorities in food service like hot food and frozen drinks and I am referring to my french fries that I keep in the sidestand and the leftover frozen margarita in a to-go cup that I keep next to said french fries.

I could tell she was waiting for a response from me, like maybe she wanted me to be all, "Oh my God, you don't drink water??" or "But water is so good for you!!"

Instead I say, "Okay."

Listen, if you don't want to drink water, it's fine with me. But "fish swim in it" is not a good reason. My sister-in-law doesn't like water. She drinks only Diet Coke. She told me that she drinks nine cans of it a day, which means she probably drinks at least a dozen. The only time water ever makes it into her mouth is when she brushes her teeth, and yes, I too am surprised that she has any teeth to brush. When she goes to bed, she takes a glass of Diet Coke with her and sips it throughout the night. When I asked her why she doesn't drink water, she just said 'I don't like it." Fine. I don't get it, but at least she didn't say some stupid ass bullshit like "fish swim in it."

When it comes time for the lady at table 16 to order, she decides she wants the calamari appetizer and the grilled salmon for dinner. So I guess water is so freaking disgusting because fish swim in it but the fish themselves are so freaking delicious that she eats them anyway. Some customers are so eccentric. And by "eccentric" I mean fucking stupid and annoying.




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Friday, July 27, 2012

I Almost Killed a Lady a Table 15

Yesterday at work, I thought I poisoned someone. For a brief second it seemed as if I was going to have to use my years of watching St. Elsewhere, Grey's Anatomy and General Hospital to cobble together some type of medical rescue. A woman at table 15 practically went into anaphylactic shock when she tasted a bottle of wine she ordered and found it to be "horrific." What a fucking drama queen.

She wanted to order a bottle of red but she had a friend at the table who didn't like red so it was a bit of a challenge. The lady informed me she was a wine representative so apparently she knew every thing there ever was to know about the fermented grape. She was intent upon discovering a bottle of red that her friend could tolerate. Personally, I thought they should order a bottle of red for the three of them and let the one person who wanted white just order it by the glass. But, no. She decided on an organic California Cabernet but she asked if her friend could taste it first to make sure she liked it. Fine. Her friend tasted it and said it was good, but what the hell does she know? It's been established that she does not like red wine. When I showed up to the table with the bottle, I uncorked it and poured a bit for Miss Wine Rep of America. She swirled it around in her glass and then smelled it about a hundred and fifty times and finally let it flow over her palate. After she swallowed, she made a face like I had accidentally served her the bottle of gasoline that we keep next to the Cabernet. She shook her head back and forth like she was having a seizure, all the while her hair flailing and her lips puckering. "Wow! Wow! Wow! Whew...uhh, okay. Well... that is a really strong alcohol content. It's like the alcohol just slapped me in the face." I envied the wine for getting to slap this bitch in the face.

"I assume that means you don't like it?" I queried.

"No. It's okay. I think the bottle just needs to air out a bit. It's fine." Judging by her reaction it didn't seem anywhere close to fine, but she said it was fine, which was fine with me.

"Are you sure?" I double checked.

She swallowed hard and said, 'It's not you, it's the bottle."

Bitch, I know it's not me. Did you see my ass stomping grapes in California in 2009? I ain't got shit to do with this bottle of wine. All I did was carry it from the bar to your table and then opened it. I know it's not me.

She insisted she would drink it but after five minutes, she called me over and told me that it was impossible to drink because it was so horrific. She offered me a sip to confirm the horrific-ness, but I told her I like vodka. She sent the bottle back and ordered a bottle of what they had already been drinking at the bar as they waited for their table. Good idea, lady. The rest of the bottle that was so awful went back to the bar where our manager tasted it and deemed it perfectly fine and it was then sold by the glass to another table who also seemed to think it was more than adequate. The chef and the manager both agreed that this was the wine rep's attempt to alert us that our wine selection was poor and she was the one who could fix the problem if only we would buy from one of her labels. Fat chance, wine rep. You pissed off the manager with your theatrics and he vowed to me that he would never consider sampling your wares. You lost that game, honey. However you did win something:

And the award for best overreaction to a taste of wine goes to... Miss Wine Rep of America at table 15! Congratulations! You can take this bottle of 2009 Cabernet and shove it up your pinot noir.

(Yes, this was a repost but I have a long day ahead...)



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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dear Bitchy Waiter

Every day, I get literally dozens and dozens of emails (okay, maybe one or two every few weeks) asking me for my opinion on one thing or another. This email comes from a reader who was fired for facebooking about her job. Allow me to put my two cents in.

You can email me here if you have a question that needs attention. Or email me to say hello. That's nice too.

Hi Bitchy,


Up until 7/22/12 I was employed as a server at a family owned restaurant here in lovely PA, as a server for approximately 3 years.  I lost my job because I complained about said job on Facebook.  My fb status on 7/19 basically stated: I'm sick of the restaurant business, no more rolls you glutton, no more refills you camel and $3 is not an acceptable tip on a $40 check.  I used no profanity or names although my profile DID say where I work.  I went in for my shift on 7/22 and was immediately "pulled onto the carpet" by the GM.  He had my fb status printed out and went on to tell me about how it was embarrassing and all of our customers could see what I wrote (even though my profile was set to private and only friends could see my status).  He went on to tell me that it cost me my job.

Said restaurant does not have a social media policy.  The employee policy does rattle on some nonsense about "no complaining...." but is that serious?  I don't even know if I ever signed anything. Anyway, not only do I think they are wrong "legally" but it's complete hypocritical bullshit and discrimination.  The GM himself has made sexual comments about employees while other managers come in and discuss their drunken-one-night-stand-escapades from the previous weekend and the list could go on.

Soooooo, my question to you is:  Do I write a letter to the owner letting them know where they stand? Or go directly to the Labor Relations?  Or, don't do anything and cut my losses?

Thank you so much!
Sincerely,
Facebook Fired

Dear Facebook Fired,

That sucks! And I should know because I too have had my ass fired for blogging about a restaurant. Like you, I never mentioned the name of the place and my name was not even attached to it. Nevertheless, they found out about it, called me a "cancer" to the restaurant and made me pack my apron.

It sounds like you got screwed since they didn't even have a social media policy in place. They should have at least give you a warning. If your profile was set to private, then who the hell cares anyway?  All of your friends probably already knew that you served too many rolls to gluttonous camel toed customers. In the future, make sure it set your profile to "friends only" and not "friends of friends." Otherwise, you can say something and someone you know will comment on it and then a friend of theirs can see it and you don't know who that person may be. I wonder how your GM saw your status in the first place. If he is a Facebook friend, there is mistake number one. DO NOT FRIEND YOUR BOSSES.

If you want your job back, I would suggest writing a letter of apology to the owners and explaining that it was an honest mistake and you are so sorry, you learned a valuable lesson, blah blah blah, smoke up asses, etc. They may be willing to give you a second chance seeing that you have been there for three years.

If you don't want your job back (and let's be honest, do you?) then now is your chance to have some fun. I say grab that GM by the balls and squeeze them so hard until some Ranch dressing pops out and he can put it on his pizza. Assuming you are friends with him on Facebook, I would begin to super stalk his profile page and go back and look at every post, photo or article he has on his page for some ammunition. If he has his place of employment listed on his profile, then anything he says or does on Facebook has the potential to make the restaurant look bad. Try to find some status where he said something negative about his job and take a screen shot of it. Maybe there is a photo of him where he had too much too drink and he has a lampshade on his head or a dildo hanging out of his ass. Grab that picture, send it to the owner and ask them if this is what they want representing their establishment. If you're going to get fired for Facebooking, then maybe he can be too. Sure it's mean, but I say fight fire with fire.

The other option is to cut your losses and look for a new job. Sometimes we find that getting fired is just the kick in the pants we need to find something bigger and better. It's easy to be at a job for three years and grow complacent. Maybe you knew you wanted a new job but just didn't want to deal with. Now is your chance to deal with it.

Good luck.

love,
BW


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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beware: $#!T Storm Ahead

There was quite the shit storm over on the Bitchy Waiter Facebook page yesterday due to a couple of events. The first was that I posted a photo of a credit card receipt that had a big fat zero for a tip. The photo was sent to me by a reader and I reached out to the server to find out why there was no tip. I was told that the customers left no cash tip and camped at the table for a very long time after they were finished eating making the table impossible to turn over. I was also assured that there was nothing wrong with the service. In other words, no issues or complaints. It seems that the customer just did not want to tip. I took the photo and then blacked out any kind of pertinent info that would identify the server but I left the name of the customer visible so that maybe my some fluke of Internet nature, the customer would see it. People took issue with that saying I was being unprofessional and mean-spirited.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am The Bitchy Waiter.

Eventually, I took the photo down, not because I showed the non-tipper's name but because I called her a cheap ho. It was wrong of me to assume she was a cheap ho. I don't know for sure that she was a cheap ho. She could have been a cheap skank, a cheap bitch or a cheap slut. I just don't know. Here is the picture again for those of you who missed it. The name is now mostly covered with just a little bit showing so that if she were to see it, she would recognize her own signature. Next time, tip, cheap ho-skank-slut.



The second big shit storm came after someone commented on that posting. A woman named Sophie said " I don't fucking tip either!!! You get paid to do a job, end of. Get the fuck over it!!!" I took a screen shot of her comment taking the time to cover her face and name and questioned why she was even a fan of Bitchy Waiter if she felt that way. Lots of people had some choice words for dear sweet addle-brained Sophie and within an hour there were over 50 comments. The next thing I knew, I got a notice from Facebook that the post had been removed for violating policy. Perhaps Sophie flagged it as inappropriate. I suppose she could dish it out but she just couldn't take it. Here is that photo again since this page is on my blog and Facebook can't do anything about it.


This brings up the debate of "how bitchy is too bitchy?" Is it unethical to post photos of credit card receipts of bad tippers? First off, these photos are sent to me. I hope that anyone who is sending a photo of a tip, good or bad, is keeping in mind the social network policy at their job. Do not get fired! I will probably continue to post images of bad tippers but maybe the next time I won't call them a cheap ho. I will just call them cheap. As for the screenshot of Sophie, I really don't know why that was flagged. She made the comment herself and when I reposted it, I concealed her name and image, doing her a favor since she had her entire profile wide open for anyone to see it. (This is how I learned she works at a bathroom fixtures store selling toilets and whatnot. Shit storm, indeed.) Anyone who comes to a page called The Bitchy Waiter and is going to make a comment like that has got to expect some flack. Maybe she just didn't expect that much of it.

So yes, I am The Bitchy Waiter. It's kinda what I do and what people expect. Maybe I stirred the pot a bit too much yesterday but after being on vacation for ten days, that pot needed some serious stirring. I will continue to bitch but try to find the line between funny-bitchy and mean asshole-bitchy. In the meantime, if someone is reading this who doesn't like it, I suggest they go somewhere else where things are more subdued like this video of a panda bear sneezing or this one of a wonderful song from the Sound of Music.


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Bitch Proud Bracelets

Some of you already know this, but I have some amazingly cool (pretty lame) Bitchy Waiter bracelets. Tons and tons of people (three) have been asking for these and they are finally available again. They are made of the finest Corinthian silicone (regular plain ass rubber) known to man and you will be proud to wear it at home, school, the office or even church. (Maybe not church.) Each one says BITCH PROUD (and also has my website) for all the world to see. Now who wouldn't want to wear that? (Grandmas, nuns, babies and people with inherently good taste, that's who.) They were made by hand (a machine) in the good ol' U.S. of A. (actually, maybe in China, I'm not really sure.) by people who care (probably a machine that was run by a child in a sweat shop. Again, not really sure.)

You will be the envy of all your friends when you have one of these around your wrist (they also might be embarrassed for you) and many other people are already wearing them. It's rumored that  Reichen Lehmkuhl, Paula Deen, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Michelle Obama, Lindsay Lohan, Marlee Matlin, Madonna and the that Chick-fil-A guy are already wearing these stylish bracelets. (This is not confirmed and very very likely completely untrue.)

These will make great (cheap) gifts and you will want to buy several for your friends (and enemies). They are only $3.00 each and a bargain at twice the price. Shipping will happen the second that I get the order (probably more like within seven days) and they will come to you in one of the following: either a reusable pink box similar to the kind at Tiffany's and it will be wrapped in a bright white ribbon with a hand inscribed thank you note OR a plain ass envelope that I got at the dollar bin at the 99 Cent Store. That price includes shipping.

Click the "Buy Now" button below for one bracelet or you can email me here for more than one bracelet or international shipping questions.

And there you have it. But wait, there's more! Buy now and get a free gold coin worth over one million dollars! That's right, one million dollars! (Gold coins are in extremely limited availability and is based on supply. Not all buyers will receive the gold coin.)

You can pay with Pay Pal so it's easy, safe and fun!




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Home Sweet Bitchy Home

That noise you hear off in the distance is the sound of my apron having the crud scraped off of it because tomorrow at this time I will tie that bitch around my waist and start waiting tables again. Hopefully, I will not accidentally tie it around my neck instead. After ten days off so I could go on obli-cation to see family in Texas, tomorrow I go back to work. I want to say thank you to all the guest bloggers who filled in for me while I was off having my way with bar-b-q, fried foods and humidity. They were all great. And thank you for still coming to the blog even though I was in a gravy-induced coma.

While in Texas, I was the customer on several occasions and not once did I mention to any of my servers that they should come visit my blog. Maybe it was because I was taking a break from being The Bitchy Waiter or maybe it was because I was too drunk to remember to give out my business cards or maybe it was because I don't even have any to give out.

Regardless, I had some great food and service in Texas. Thanks to our waiter at Haven in Houston who was on the ball with drinks and food and even hopped into the conversation when he heard us discussing Angela Lansbury. (Don't judge. I sometimes discuss Angela Lansbury over dinner.)

A shout out to our waitress at Texican Cafe (the one in Manchaca!) who was super cool when she saw my whole family strolling into her station. Yes, I was part of a ten-top with three kids and she never batted an eyelash. She rocked it and got everything exactly right.

Thank you to the food truck on SoCo in Austin that gave me a Mexican Coke and the best damn falafel I have had in a really long time. And also thanks to that shaved ice food truck that hooked me up with a wonderful watermelon flavored cup of deliciousness.

To the lady who served me chicken fried steak at Luby's cafeteria on Waugh in Houston: nice hair net. And to the server at Luby's: not sure why I was tipping you. I got my own food, carried it to the table, got my own straw and napkins. Thanks for the to-go box I guess?

To the counter guy at Whataburger in Giddings, Texas: way to work that cash register, dude. And thanks to the guy who brought our food to us after we sat down. To everyone else eating at Whataburger, I hope you only eat there once every three or four years like I do, because all y'all were really really fat. I mean the medium Coke was 32 ounces. C'mon!

A hearty thank you to our server at The Gristmill River Restaurant in Gruene, Texas. I am sorry that my 7 year old nephew had a min breakdown after he dropped his menu off the side of the patio sending it towards the Guadalupe River. And to the people who were smoking at the next table to us, thanks for moving when we asked you to. (Hey, Texas, wake up and smell the cigarette smoke. Get rid of the smoking sections already.)

I also want to say thank you to all the Bitchy Waiter readers who invited me to their restaurant. I wish I could have come to see all of you so you could give me free shit and I could leave you 50% tips, but next time.

I am back in New York City and ready to start bitching and writing again. Bring on the bitch!




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Monday, July 23, 2012

What We Say vs. What We Think (Guest Blogger!)

As I continue to drown myself in tequila and Tex-Mex, I have reached out to Kelly for this blog post about the voices in our heads. She blogs at Prose Therapy and I hope you will go visit her. She chose the picture and wanted to know if it was too inappropriate. That's funny, Kelly. Too inappropriate for this blog? Please. 


  What We're Saying vs. What We're Thinking: a Translation Guide





Can I help you?
Would you just order so I can go finish my damn coffee?

How are you?              
Please leave me a tip.

Nice to see you again.     
What the hell? Do you, like, live here?

We do have a kid's menu.   
Oh, no. No children.

Have you been here before? 
You sure look dumb.

Do you need more time to decide?
You're choosing salad dressing, not whether or not to keep the baby. Hurry up.

We do have a light version.
Nice try. You'll still be fat when you leave.

It comes with…             
It's called a menu, you imbecile.

I'm very sorry, but we're out.
Hehehehehehehe…

Yes?
Oh, God. Leave me the fuck alone.

Unfortunately, we won't be able to do that.
Are you on crack?

I apologize, but they're a little behind.
You'd better not blame me for this shit.

I must have misunderstood you.
You're a liar.

Ha! Ha! Ha!              
Hmm…that's, what? The seventeenth time a customer cracked that lame-ass joke today?

Sure, no problem.          
I hate you.

Oh, I'm sorry about that.  
Yeah bitch, g'ahead and blame me.

I'll comp that for you.    
For the love of God, don't get the DM involved.

Is there anything else I can get for you?
Might as well cut my trips in half.
  
I'll get you a fresh one...
…even though there was nothing wrong with the first one, you spoiled, wasteful piece of shit.

I'll clean that up.        
Thanks for the soggy straw wrappers, used gum, and salt all over the table, asswipes.

Yes, it does cost extra.   
You cheapskate.

Come and see us again!     
Thanks for the tip!

She can help you.  
For the love of God, just let me clock the fuck out.

Have a great day!          
Please leave.







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Friday, July 20, 2012

Chick-fil-A Can Choke My Chicken

This most excellent guest post comes from Terry Everton over at Working Stiff Review. I am still on vacation and thankfully Terry has stepped up to the bitchy plate and hit it out of the park. In the past, I too have written about Chick-fil-A. but Terry's piece comes at just the right time. I ate at Chick-fil-A no less than three days ago. The shame I feel is real and deep. Terry has shown me the error of my ways. I will never eat there again.

-BW


Fags are the new Niggers.

Just ask Chick-fil-A.

Like any good fundamentalist organization, the fast food restaurant chain which has openly espoused what it calls conservative Christian values is now cloaking itself in the Bible to take a very public stance against a segment of its customer base. And guess what? They, and apparently Jesus, hate gay people and aren’t afraid to let you know it.
 
In a not-so-veiled stance to serve up hatred disguised as Christian values along with their chicken sandwiches, Chick-fil-A’s president has taken a stance against gay marriage. Chick-fil-A is “very much supportive of the family,” Dan Cathy, president of the popular fast-food chain, said in an interview with Baptist Press. That is, “the biblical definition of the family unit,” he said.
 
According to the Christian Post, Cathy went further during an interview on "The Ken Coleman Show," saying, "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'" Cathy was also quoted as saying during the interview, "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
 
Hey Ken…Why don’t you take your Bible and go fuck yourself with it, you ridiculous homophobic hate monger. And you can choke on my chicken while you’re at it.
 
And exactly why do you give a shit in the first place who marries whom and why should it have any context in a fucking minimum wage fast food business environment to begin with? Up to this point you apparently haven’t had any issue accepting money from the gay community when they spend it on your nutritiously-suspect food. It appears you long for a return to the 1950’s when right-wing hatred was in full bloom against the African-American community where anyone who wasn’t a white racist got the privilege of pissing in segregated toilets and riding in luxury accommodations on the back of public buses.
 
So let’s go all in, asshole. Grow some stones and throw all your Judeo-prurient cards on the table, Kenny boy. It’s time for you to set up “Queers Only” ordering lines in all of your restaurants. You should also implement “Fags Only” segregated dining sections where the good ol’ normal folk won’t have to commingle with the gay community while they stuff their pieholes with your grease. And don’t forget about letting your offspring get in on your vitriolic fun! You should immediately set up “Butt Ranger Lynch Trees” on the front lawns of all your stores where anyone from the LGBT community who gets out of line in one of your units will proudly hang by their necks as a symbol of what happens to anyone who dares cross your moral line in the quicksand.
 
The ultimate irony, Kenny, is that you’ve turned out to be the biggest cocksucker of ‘em all.
 
Look, I could give a shit whether you open on Sundays or not. Keep your fucking Sabbath holy if it floats your ark, or whatever the hell that means in this modern day and age. You want to judge the rest of us who have to labor seven days a week, that’s okay with me. But the second you begin offering up sides of ignorance for me to dip my chicken nuggets in, you’ve gone from entrepreneur to full-blown (pardon the pun) prick.
 
Company spokesman Dan Perry had this to say in response to the public outcry over Cathy’s statements: "Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family." Right, asshole. These community donations include over $2 million alone in 2010 to antigay groups including the Family Research Council and the Marriage and Family Foundation. Congratulations…Your restaurant chain is officially the sort of hate organization the Klan wishes it still had the clout to be.
 
I’d say that I would boycott these grease pits, but I respect the temple that is my body too much to ingest their swill in the first place. I’d further suggest you go fuck yourself, Kenny darling, but I suspect your underused Viagra-kickstarted cock couldn’t reach your asshole even if you stretched it with a medieval penis rack. Instead, how about you make a concerted effort to keep your foot out of your goddamned mouth and like any other decent corporation refrain from serving up a side of Christ with your waffle fries. Do what you do best, and go back to making yourself rich by paying the people who work for you poverty level wages. Just like your Jesus would want, you lame excuse for an oxygen sucker.. - Terry Everton






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Identification and Treatment of Ranch Monsters (Guest Blogger!)

While I am on vacation in Texas to see my family (an obli-cation is what I like to call it) I have set up some really wonderful guest bloggers. I hope you will share them, comment on them and love them. In the meantime, I will be in Texas drinking gravy and sweating. This one comes from Tonya who has a blog but has decided that she has all the traffic she needs. Well! She wrote a very true story about Ranch dressing, not unlike the one I wrote myself not too long ago. 


I waited tables for more years than I care to admit (20), in a variety of restaurants. Every server has the group of people they hate to wait on. For the most part, you know as soon as you walk up to the table what kind of tip you’re going to receive. Of course there are surprises. The restaurant industry is filled with nothing, if not surprises. There is one group, however, that never fails to disappoint. They are the Ranch Monsters.

What is a Ranch Monster? If you’re not a server, you probably don’t know this is a thing. If you’ve waited tables for more than a weekend, however, you know very well who I’m talking about. Ranch Monsters are overweight, mean bitches that I’m convinced exist solely to walk into your restaurant just to keep your self-esteem in check.
Let me be clear before we begin- no bitch on earth is fatter or meaner than I am. I have no problem with people of any size. I offer this information strictly to aid in the identification of Ranch Monsters. They are overweight and can be identified by their scowl that greets you as you walk to their table. Her order is predictable. If she is dining with her parents, she will order a well-done steak. If she is out with a young man, she will order the least expensive thing on the menu, as she will be paying. If they are out in a group together, immediately leave the restaurant and find gainful employment elsewhere.

After giving you her order, she will complete your transaction by saying, “And I’m going to need a LOT of Ranch dressing to go with that.” Of course you do, Madam. I’ll roll the trough on out to your table and slop you shortly.

Nothing will please the Ranch Monster. The food will not be prepared properly. The service is the worst she’s ever had. The music is too loud or too quiet. Goldilocks would tell this bitch to get over herself. And, of course, it goes without saying that there will be no tip. Consider yourself fortunate if you are able to get through the meal without her calling the manager over to insist that you should be fired for lingering too long with her 6th refill of diet coke.

Not everyone who eats Ranch dressing is a Ranch Monster, but all Ranch Monsters eat Ranch dressing. I’m firmly convinced that they bathe in it. As far as treatment goes: I lied. There is no treatment. You can’t make her happy. Having you fired out of a cannon while the manager rains comped meals and gift certificates down on her cannot make her happy. Your only hope is that the guy she’s with who has texted other women through the entire meal has to leave quickly so you can sanitize and move on. The only bright side, is that she will never be back to see you again because your service sucks and the food is awful. Smile nicely and wave goodbye. There is no feeling on Earth as good as waving goodbye to Ranch Monsters.



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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Know-It-All Monsters (Guest Blogger!)

While I am on vacation in Texas to see my family (an obli-cation is what I like to call it) I have set up some really wonderful guest bloggers. I hope you will share them, comment on them and love them. In the meantime, I will be in Texas drinking gravy and sweating. This one comes from Kaylee who blogs over at Love and Heartness. Go visit her and give hers some love and heartness, y'all.


 
People who eat out can be incredible rude and stupid. Even worse is when they believe they know it all. I call them, Know It All Monsters, or KIAMs. You know them too; they think they are God’s gift to Earth and have all the correct answers about EVERYTHING. In the past week, I dealt with two particularly dumb KIAMs.
One of them sat up at the bar, wanting to order a beer. I listed off all our beers in house and she didn’t like any of them.
KIAM: Hmmm, those don’t sound good. Are you sure you don’t have Sierra Nevada?
Me: No.
KIAM: Or maybe Stella?
Me: No. I have the ones I listed to you and that’s all.
KIAM: Are you sure? Because sometimes people forget what kind of beer they have.
Me: Well, seeing as we have a limited amount of beer, I remember our brands pretty well. 
KIAM: Yes, but it’s happened before where you didn’t tell me everything.
Me: I assure you, I would never lie to you.
KIAM: Could you please just check again? You’re sure that’s all you have?
Look lady, I’m sorry if other restaurants lie to you, but my main job in that place is to SELL YOU SHIT. If I don’t tell you everything I have, I MIGHT NOT SELL YOU SOMETHING. And then not only do I lose money, but the restaurant does too.
I’m also sorry you think you know more about MY BAR than I do. Because, obviously, you were there to open it that day. And, obviously, you are there counting the beer and putting away the wine and making sure liquor is stocked. Oh, and surely you are trained in the ways of our particular restaurant.
That sound you just heard was me snorting at her.
My next KIAM was on Wednesday. A couple walks in and sits at a booth. He tells me it’s his birthday, and his wife wanted to try something “new”. That’s they way he said it too, like the word was in quotations.
So I’m telling all the great things to eat and how excited I am to have him there and how much I love when people tell me this is their favorite restaurant. You know, bullshitting.
They place their order and he asks if he could maybe get a side of a new recipe item, because he just wants to try them. Sure, no problem. 
After they get their food, I go over to make sure everything is tasting as delicious as they had hoped. They were praising the food up and down, it was SO GOOD. I then asked what he thought of the side item.
KIAM: Well, I miss the old way they made them.
Me: I can understand that. This was has a few better ingredients, including this one cheese.
KIAM: Hmm, I don’t taste any of that cheese.
Me: Well, that’s how we make it now.
KIAM: No, there is definitely none of that cheese in there.
Me: Uhm, yes there is. The chefs prepare it that way in the morning now, because it’s a new recipe.
KIAM: They didn’t make it correct today then. There is no cheese in there.
Man, I obviously forgot that I saw him in the kitchen with the chefs helping them prep food this morning. I also (obviously) forgot that he helped write this recipe, so he should know EVERYTHING about it. Oh, AND I must have forgotten that he tasted the two side by side before we changed it, just to make sure you could taste the cheese.
The best way to deal with a KIAM is to drop the subject and move on. But in my case, all I have to do is “forget” their other beer, or “accidentally” change the channel they were watching, and eventually we’ll get even.
Somehow, we always do.





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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hellspawn Tales of the Used To Be Rich and No Longer Famous (Guest Blogger!)

This is a great guest post. It comes from Terry and you can catch his blog at Working Stiff Review. She didn't want to reveal the name of the celebrity but I convinced him to tell me who it was. Sorry, I swore that I would keep it secret. Terry has more morals than I do, because you know I would have outed the bitch. Any guesses?

So I’m working behind the bar a couple of Friday nights ago. Every table in the restaurant is taken, we’re on an hour wait and the only four seats available are at the bar with a complimentary view of the beer tap handles. I’m running like crazy, keeping up with the drink orders for the Servers and the customers sitting at the bar. I’m sweating in places I normally don’t, but the tips are rolling in which is great because rent is due in a couple of days and I’m still a couple hundred short.

Suddenly, like a hot blast of stale air, they parked themselves on the open barstools and began barking orders at me before the standard “Good evening, how is everybody tonight” salutation could escape my lips. The four of them were probably thirty years old – combined – and the smell of entitlement wafted off them and their designer clothes, making it difficult to breathe.

“Hey, change the channel ta the Dodgers game!”

“I needa menu!”

“I want dessert first!”
 
“Why is it so loud in here?”

“How long before ya put on the Dodgers?”

I lowered my head slightly and peered at them over the top of my glasses, unsure whether to ask them how they escaped from their babysitter or tell them to go fuck themselves, when the shit hit the fan I didn’t even know was blowing my way.


Like most celebrities you see on TV or the big screen, she looked astonishingly unremarkable without the benefit of having been fawned over and preened for hours on end by professional makeup artists. I recognized her as an actress who had won an academy award approximately twenty five years ago, but her star had long since faded and she had been reduced to making a living by appearing on mediocre sitcoms and substanceless dancing and apprentice shows. She had recently been bemoaning to the tabloids about having to pull her four kids out of private school and sell her “modest” house for $900,000 to help settle an unpaid tax debt, and there she was in front of me sporting a full-on crazy face that had “How dare you even think of not letting my precious little darlings run roughshod all over your servant ass” written all over it.

The little darlings continued.

“It’s too cold in here!”

“You aren’t as pretty as the last girl who waited on us!”

“When can we order?”
 
“How long do we have to wait for our food?”

“Why is it taking you so long to put on the Dodgers?”

Though I tried my damndest, I must have failed miserably at disguising my thoughts of “What karmic law did I break that I have to endure these ridiculous pasty-faced dungflames,” because that’s about the time Former Movie Starlet looked me over without even attempting to mask the disdain she felt having to address the commonfolk as she leaned over the bar and inquired, “Do we have a problem here?” Fuck me and the side of bed I rolled out of. Realizing that this was one Mexican standoff I couldn’t possibly win, I forced my best fake “I hate your guts but have to pretend like I don’t” smile and just as I was beginning to fabricate what a big fan of hers I’ve been all these years, I was interrupted by…

“Your burgers aren’t as good as McDonald’s!”

“Why aren’t we eating yet?”

“You’re sure lucky my dad isn’t here!”

“We’ve been here for about an hour already!”

“Dodgers…Dodgers…Dodgers!”



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Monday, July 16, 2012

Rules of Engagement (Guest Blogger!)

While I am on vacation in Texas to see my family (an obli-cation is what I like to call it) I have set up some really wonderful guest bloggers. I hope you will share them, comment on them and love them. In the meantime, I will be in Texas drinking gravy and sweating. 


Rules of Engagement: Tips from your Server on how to Avoid Being a Social Dining Douche Bag.
By: Lori Slee
As much as it pains me to have to write and post this, I have observed and experienced firsthand that it is indeed, a necessary evil.
We have all been to a restaurant to eat.  Some are small mom and pop joints.  Some are our favorite national restaurant chain…or on occasion, we might be visiting a world class city, and meander into a place that’s noted for fun, food and a bumpin’ atmosphere.  In either and all cases, there are certain rules of conduct that should be adhered to.  Not by your server, but by YOU…the guest. 

Seating:
In most establishments there is/are a host/hostess to guide you to your seat, give you your menu and in some cases (not all) take your drink order.  That is all.  They work on a rotation system for seating tables.  When you as the guest are sat, stay put. There is a reason you are in that spot.  Now, mind you, if after being sat you notice the table is wobbly, there is a screaming child nearby, or some unidentified liquid is dripping from the ceiling; when your server comes to greet you, let them know of the situation.  They will be more than happy to help you to another table, either in their station or one belonging to a nearby colleague…DO NOT get up and walk willy nilly to another table.  This may result in not being greeted or noticed, thus causing you possible angst (brought on upon by yourself) and in the end you have only you to blame.

Social Conduct:
After being sat and greeted. Be kind to your server. Take a look around you, noting other guests and tables. Yes that is right.  There are other people in the same establishment!  The restaurant is not your oyster. Look at your server, smile.  Speak directly at them, especially if there is an atmosphere of loud music and whatnot.  DO NOT look into your menu and mumble your order.  This may result in your getting something you did not want.  If this happens, again, you have only you to blame.
Take care to leave your personal hang-ups outside the door.  If you are fighting before you arrive and cannot come to some agreement, DO NOT come into the restaurant with clenched teeth and fists and a belly full of hate.  We your server along with surrounding guests DO NOT want to witness your bullshit.  Again, you are not the only people in existence.  Take mind to the fullness of humanity around you.

Your Server:
Even though we all wear the same cartoon uniforms, this does not make us cartoon characters, servants or robots.  This was put upon us by the corporate minds to keep some kind of image for the restaurant.  We have agreed as servers to don the garb, still underneath it all, we bleed real blood…just like you. There may be days your server had to come into work and is having a bad day.  It happens to all of us. 
So if they seem a bit despondent or off kilter, keep in mind they may have just received news earlier that day from a government agency that their ex-husband passed away two months prior, and nobody in the family had the decency to notify them. These things happen. DO NOT leave an outlined synopsis of how your server was ‘inadequate’ and ‘mediocre’ on the bottom of your credit card receipt; just because you have the vernacular ability to do so.  This just makes you look like a pompous asshole.  And your server will hold absolutely no regard to what you believed to be helpful constructive criticism.
Now, if your server IS the pompous asshole (because these things do happen, and chances are they won’t be in the industry for long) take note to the degree of their rudeness.  In some cases the remedy is easily handled by your gratuity. Bad service, bad tip.  If the server is way outta line, like mackin’ on your date, or sloppy drunk, please ask to speak with a manager.  It would be greatly appreciated by not only other visiting patrons…but fellow servers as well.

Time Frame:
If you DO NOT have enough time to sit down and enjoy a meal, just keep going and hit a drive through. We are the server, a kind of data entry/delivery employee.  We do not rule the universe with the wave of our pens, nor do we traipse our asses into the kitchen and prepare your meals.  We are just a cog in a greater machine.  

Children:
“I believe the children are our are future; Teach them well and let them lead the way…” TEACH THEM FOR GODSAKE! I have four of my own, so yes I have a certain authority on this subject.  DO NOT let them run amuck around the establishment.  This is rude and dangerous.  We servers balance huge trays that weigh upwards of 40 pounds on one hand one shoulder whilst walking through an obstacle course of tables and people meandering (looking at all the ‘memorabilia’).  If a child were to get under our feet, it would not be pretty, especially if that tray has a hot Sizzling Fajita on it. People, really.  And please, please, please, keep purses and diaper bag straps off the floor and out of sight.  Too many a server has biffed it because of the unseen booby trap set next to your feet.

Appetizers:
A food that stimulates the appetite and is usually served before a meal.  Unless of course you decide AFTER your entrĂ©e order, that ooopsie…we wanted an appetizer. Chances are very high that your main food order has been put in.  So, your new order will more than likely arrive after you have your main meal.  This is your faux pas…not ours.  Ok, so DO NOT ask to have it voided from your check after you have eaten it, just because it didn’t arrive in true dinning sequence. 

Drinks:
Water, soda, coffee, cocktails, beer and the like… almost always delivered by your friendly helpful and duteous server. If you are a complete jerk, beware there are certain servers out there that may “Miss Celie” your refreshment.  If you don’t know what “Miss Celie” is, watch The Color Purple. 

Consolidation:
After your meal has arrived and you are getting ready to grub, chances are and this is usually the case, one finds they need something.  Like a side of Ranch, some ketchup, or a refill on their drink.  This is a common occurrence, and we as servers are more than happy to retrieve and deliver.  However; when your server arrives to the table, whether it be just you or a party of twenty, please consolidate what it is you need.  That way we can take care of you in one fell swoop, and avoid having to run our asses back and forth for a small ramekin of dressing, two lemons, or an extra straw, or spoon…seriously people, note that you are not the only humans in existence.

Splitting the Bill:
Don’t do it.  You went out to eat with people you may enjoy conversation and company with.  Pay with one form of payment.  This helps expedite your departure and our cash out at the end of the evening.  See…we can all help one another and do each other a favor.  If you insist on paying your own way, please keep it to a two party check. Four is max. Parties of ten or more who want ten separate checks are just looking for complications. 

Coupons and Vouchers:
These are a pain in our asses; distributed by the think tanks that run these places as a way to generate business.  Now, if you really want to use your coupon or voucher, chances are you cannot, CANNOT combine two different ones.  Come now people, we all know this is the way of the world. And do not take it out on your server because the world is crap, and you can’t save an extra five dollars. When tipping, please be courteous and tip on the original amount of the bill, not the deducted price.  This just makes you look like a cheap bastard.  

Gratuity:
This is the tip left.  It is a standard custom and tradition. The gratuity is 20%.  Not 10% and not five bucks.  If you cannot figure out the math, take out your cell phone, find your calculator and work it out.  
Plus, many of you may not be aware, but we as servers have to “tip out” five percent of our tips to bussers, directors and the bar.  So when you leave me five dollars on a seventy seven dollar tab, or worse, NOTHING… I lose income.
Note to foreigners and our Canadian friends:  I cannot do anything with your currency.  Please leave my money in American notes. Thank you.





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Saturday, July 14, 2012

I Hate Your Birthday (Guest Blogger!)

I am on "vacation" in Texas sweating my ass off and trying to find the best and cheapest happy hour in Austin. Thank you to everyone who sent in a guest blog post submission. Here is a guest post from Mandy who blogs at The Rogue Wino. I hope you will go check her out. I also hope you will show Mandy some love by leaving lots of comments and sharing this post.


I hate your fucking birthday.

Let me say that again: I hate your fucking birthday.

Oh what, is that repetitive? Kind of like, say, having to sing "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you..." 50 times a month?

I hate your fucking birthday.

How my stomach turns when I hear that one word, whispered to me by the head of the table, and that I must feign surprise and delight at being told such a secret. "Your friend was born on this day! How exciting!!" my eyes need to convey, or else I will be judged as a wooden, robotic server.

You will have cards and gifts spread out on the table, always opened at inconvenient times, like when I am trying to get your order to the kitchen before a 30-top goes through, or when I need your dessert order before the host who is waiting for your table murders me.  I am expected to be clown-server, to joke with you and make your night memorable, especially when your friends or family are lame and quiet. You won't order as much as other patrons in the restaurant, because this is your "step-up," your special event restaurant, and one you can't quite afford.

You expect free dessert, most of the time. How do I know? After making such a big production of telling the host/Open Table/myself of the special event, your table doesn't order dessert at the end of the night. Oh, I could just bring the check, but you will leave 15% or less, and/or go on Yelp to proclaim: "Our server didn't care!" Because giving free things away is how we care for you in a restaurant Not making sure your food arrives hot and on time, and that your wine is well-paired and properly served, or that we cheerfully smile at your often idiotic requestsNo, only through free dessert.

If I don't sing to your table, I am heartless, and certainly deserving of a bad tip. (Though your weren't planning on tipping that much anyways, were you?) I am not a singer and drunken karaoke certainly does not count as experience. If I do sing, I risk spiking your eardrums with my toneless voice and annoying other patrons, particularly once your friends halfheartedly join in my caterwauling. I also may one day flip out mid-song, throwing my apron to burn on your birthday candle.

On very special evenings, I might have several birthdays in my station at once! I have had five at the same time, in a 7-table station. Five free desserts and five birthday songs Even you, on this occasion, looked slightly annoyed that there were so many others with whom you had to share your specialness.

Ten or more birthdays a week, times 52 weeks a year, times the 10 years I have been a server is more than 5000 birthdays. 5000 horrible renditions of the worst song in the world. 5000 moments of "Arggg!"

So fuck you, I hate your birthday.



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Friday, July 13, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Today is Friday the 13th and what better way is there to spend it than getting on an airplane and starting my vacation? I am on my way to Texas, where every sink has three taps; a hot water, a cold water and a gravy. I will be drinking and eating my way through Austin and Houston visiting friends, families and tequilas. During my fried food/Lone Star binge, guest bloggers will be filling in for me but don't be surprised if I find time to write about some crazy effed up Texas bullshit. I will probably be more active on my Twiiter and Bitchy Waiter Facebook pages, so I hope you will visit me there as well.



Please keep your fingers crossed that while I am using Jet Blue Airlines I will encounter my hero, Steven Slater.


Love,
BW

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's Official: Servers Are Not Stupid!

It's hard out there for a server. According to a story on Bloomberg.com, U.S. Census Bureau figures show the number of servers who have college degrees is up 81% in 2010 from where it was in 2001. That's not saying that 81% of servers have degrees; it's saying that today there are a lot more servers who have pointless diplomas in their apron right next to their pad, pen and wine key. The number is at 159, 645 people but it only accounts for servers between the ages of 18 and 30. Since I am slightly over that median, we know the number is at least 159, 646 and probably more if you factor in other mature folks. (Please do not tell me I am the only server over the age of 30 who has a college degree.) What gets me about that figure is that there are some 18 year old servers out there who have college degrees. Did they start college at the age of 14? How in the hell are there people who are only 18 years old and already have college degrees? When I was 18, I was driving through Victoria, Texas in my dad's Honda while drinking California Coolers and listening to The Cure. I didn't have time for no stinkin' college graduation at age 18. The figures also show that there are 20, 475 janitors out there who have college degrees but I bet no one ever tells them to get a "real job." Or perhaps they have degrees in Custodial Arts, in which case they are actually benefiting from their college education.

The point of this post is to prove once and for all, that servers are not stupid. Okay, certainly there are some servers who don't know their asshole from a donut, but there are plenty of servers who have a real education underneath all that Ranch dressing and chicken wings. Just because a person is making their living by serving food does not mean they are so stupid that they have no other life choices.
I am so tired of that assumption; that we made shitty decisions and we're not smart enough to do anything else with our lives. Many servers keep serving because the hours are flexible and the money can be good when you consider the time it takes to make it. How many moms out there wait tablas because they can be done with their shift in time to meet the kids at home after school? Or how many people out there lost their "real job" at some 9:00 to 5:00 cubicle bullshit and had to reach into their drawer and pull out the old apron again? Waiting tables is a real job, people, and it's time we stand up and announce to the world, "Yes, I wait tables. I am not stupid. This is my job."

But back to the college degree. The study said nothing about what kind of degrees servers have. My guess is that there are lot of B.A.'s in Theater (guilty), Art History, Psychology and English. But wouldn't any server holding a degree in one of those fields tend to be an excellent server?


Theater Waiter: Our specials today are enticingly delicious and I will now re-enact the moment of when I first tasted the Broccoli Cheddar soup. I will be using a sense memory from my childhood and utilizing the Stanislavski technique while doing so.


Psychology Waiter: Yes, you say you want a salad, but is that what you really want? What are your instincts telling you to order? Are you sure that the salad is the right choice and if so, how does that make you feel? I will let you process that information and come back and take your order in three minutes.


Art History Waiter: The fried chicken has a golden crust not unlike the colors found in Vincent Van Gogh's iconic painting Sunflowers, but maybe not the painting you are familiar with. It is more the color of Sunflowers F.459, the second version with the royal-blue background. Tragically, that painting was destroyed in a fire during World War II  on August 6, 1945 as it was then part of a personal collection in Japan. But yes, the fried chicken crust is that color.


English Waiter: Your moveable feast of sustenance will be out expeditiously at which time I shall reestablish my presence to authenticate your satisfaction with the choices you made and confirm that everything is to your liking. I will then be able to validate my service to you in exchange for a gratuity of your choosing.


So, yes, lots of servers have college degrees. People can stop assuming that we are all a bunch of stupid idiots who only know how to carry trays. Most of us are pretty smart. And keep in mind you don't have to have a college degree to be intelligent. I have met plenty of professional folks with high paying jobs and high-falutin' college degrees who don't know the difference between their asshole and a donut which is usually not that big of a deal. It can get awkward though when you see one of them at Dunkin Donuts trying to rub a piece of toilet paper across a tray of Bavarian Kremes.

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