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Monday, March 11, 2013

I Just. Want. Mayo.

We need to come with a name for that amount of time that passes from when you ask your server for mayonnaise for your burger and the time that it actually gets to your table. Those few minutes can be maddening.

Here in New York it seems that most people use ketchup on their burger but for many of us who grew up in the south, the only natural thing to smear all over your red meat sandwich is dollop after dollop of rich creamy mayo. When I take an order for someone's burger I don't ask them if they want mayonnaise or mustard with it. I figure they will tell me if they want it and I will get it for them. If they tell me when they order their burger, I always go get it right away so that it is on the table when their food arrives. If they tell me when I serve the food, I get it immediately. It takes precedence over everything else because I don't want their burger to get cold while they wait for condiments. If someone else is waiting for a beverage or needs more bread or wants more water or needs me to snap a picture of them on their anniversary, it all waits until the other customer has their blessed mayo. I practically worship at the House of Mayo so I know how important it is. To be honest, I converted to the House of Mayo after growing up in the Chapel of Miracle Whip.

Last night I took off my apron and was a customer for a change. Sitting at the bar, I order a burger but forget to to say in advance that mayo will be necessary. When the food comes out, I tell the bartender that I would like some.

"Absolutely, right away," he says.

Famous last words.

I watch as he proceeds to make a couple of drinks and greet some other customers. I nibble on a french fry. I see the bartender take care of someone's check. I eat another fry. Finally, I see him tell a busser something and I expect that thirty seconds later he will emerge with my condiments but all I see is the busser come back with a rack of glasses. I try to catch the bartender's eye thinking that maybe he has forgotten my request, but he does not look my way. I continue to eat my french fries as my mouth begins to drool looking at my naked hamburger. I want my fucking mayo and I want it now. I see another server come to the bar and ask for change so now the bartender is counting money out of his drawer. He pours two more beers as my burger dies a slow death. I look at the ramekin of ketchup on my plate and decide that I can use it in a pinch. About five minutes have passed. Giving up all hope, I spread ketchup on my no-longer warm bun but this is when I see the bartender go to the kitchen and return with an industrial size jar of mayo that he opens. He disappears again and returns with two ramekins. As if in slow motion, I watch him spoon out the creamy deliciousness into the ramekins. I have already begun to eat my burger and one third of my fries are gone. When he finally brings my mayo, seven minutes have passed. Seven minutes? Unacceptable.

Usually, I am on the side of the server, but this guy failed me. When customers need something for their meal that they need before they can start eating, it has to be done right away. If someones asks for fresh pepper, you do that immediately. Or at least as soon as you can find the goddamn pepper mill because some asshole co-worker never puts it back where it supposed to go and it's always hidden the fuck away. But you do it quickly. If a customers needs another fork because they dropped theirs onto the floor, you do it right away. Or at least as soon as you can get the goddamn dishwasher to run the silver because you're out of it and you've been asking for him to wash it for ten goddamn minutes. If they ask for more napkins you do it as soon as you can because not having a napkin isn't going to keep them from eating. Do you see the difference?

Those seven minutes I waited for my mayo was a very trying time for me. They were hellish and miserable and I can never get those seven minutes back. C'mon servers, we have to step up our game if we expect decent tips. I still left 20% because I don't know how to do a tip less than that, but plenty of people would have taken that seven minutes as a reason to tip 10% or even less.

So what can we call that time that passes whole waiting for mayo? I guess it all depends on the server. With the guy last night, I would call those seven minutes Mayonnaise: Missing in Action. Had it been in my station and someone asked me for mayo. the time that they would wait for it would be called Miracle: Whipped and Ready.



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29 comments:

Tracy said...

Write an article about cheeseburgers and why it is assumed that everyone wants cheese. I want mayo and no cheese and it's not weird.

Anonymous said...

I feel that way about beverages. I can't eat unless I have something to drink and so I would also watch my food get cold if the waiter takes 7 minutes to get me an iced tea refill.

To try and avoid this problem I always tell the waiter that I drink a lot and am not able to eat without some kind of liquid in front of me. As long as they try to oblige I leave at least a 25 percent tip.

Places I go regularly often give me small refill pitchers and for my regular waiters I'll leave 30 percent or more.

I figure give a little, get a little. I'm always nice about it, so I hope they are glad to see me!

... said...

You know what always shocks me? When I order a burger and fries (or anything that comes with fries) and the waiter is surprised that we ask for KETCHUP....and then we have to wait in agony for him to finally get around to bringing it to our table.

*Tanyetta* said...

I try to ask for EVERYTHING I need with my meal upfront or very close together in time. Napkins, Condiments, TWO glasses of water with NO lemon, Dessert (if I am in the mood), a to go box and the check, EVERYTHING! To avoid being up-sold and having the person coming back and forth. It seems to work out better this way. I like to have everything in front of me and then, I can take my time, chat with my friends and family and the waiter can move on to the next table with ease. IF I am with my kids, then, it's a little bit more of a hassle because I want to know what they want to order BEFORE the waiter gets there. Reminds me of the Steve Byrns standup about the kid and the waiter. LOL!___ It doesn't always work out this smoothly but, for the most part, it works.

anne marie in philly said...

cheeses!

now springs1 and her ranch dressing can wait. but ketchup, mustard, steak sauce, mayo, etc. cannot.

BTW - mayo sux. ;)

Border Collie said...

I used to order tuna sandwiches until everybody starting putting way more mayo than tuna in the sandwich.

There is a state I find myself in from time to time because some great people live there, but the food is always dreadful. Went to a stand to get a grilled cheese on the theory they couldn't screw up a grilled cheese. They asked me if I wanted it with or without. Without what? I asked. Mayo, they said without blinking an eye. Anybody ever heard of putting mayo on a grilled cheese?

AJS said...

I still worship at the Church of Miracle Whip, but I'll settle for mayo in a restaurant; not for the burger, but for the fries--and I'm never even been to Belgium.

Mustard is fine on a burger; ketchup is boring but acceptable. Ranch dressing is the spawn of Satan.

sally said...

I'm with you Bitchy. Waiting for condiments of any kind is torture. Even though I was a server for years, I still sometimes will be the dreaded customer who will stand up and go ask a random employee for steak sauce or mustard or salt if my server is mia.
It ruins the meal for me. :-(

maxi said...

Ketchup and mayo mixed together is a necessity, though I prefer BBQ sauce and sour cream mixed... I'm weird and used to the odd looks fro servers!

theblonde said...

@Tracy, you are confused as to why people want Cheese on their cheeseburgers?

Good on you, BW - I'm the same. I can only hope that people who asked for napkins or a box before the mayo/ketchup/whatever request realizes the difference.

Mannix said...

I, on occasion, turn mad scientist when I order a burger and fries and want to drench it in MayoKetchup. A Frankenstein condiment that cannot be completed with solely ketchup. It's like trying to form Voltron with 4 Lions. It can't be done!

I did not have your patience on that day. I broadcast my MayoMayday to any server, busser, bartender or patron-passerby within spitting distance asking, nay, begging for my ketchup!

Luckily, there was an attentive waiter that answered my distress call and I rewarded him with a 25% tip, much to the chagrin of my dinner companions. However, I calmly explained that he deserved every penny of said tip given the fact that he saved everyone in the restaurant from a premature Armageddon.

Thus I say to you, BRAVO BITCHY WAITER! If that was you that saved my day, then forgive me for not tipping 30%!

Paul-E said...

Ok damn what's The big deal about mayo ?? It's like ranch in the south but worse! It's horrible! Mayo sucks it's pure lard. I'm not hating on you bitchy I absolutely love each and every one of your posts I just despise mayo it's just gross to me.

Lolamouse said...

When I lived in SC, they put mayo on EVERYTHING! It had to be "Duke's" though!

JoeinVegas said...

And what did you tip the guy after that? Did you let him know about the wait? (write it on the tip line?) If not, how will he learn?

Aaron Maynard said...

Hilarious BW!! We could make a movie on that agonizing time and call it Dial M for Mayo or the Mayo Displacement Theory or Mayo or May Not.

Anonymous said...

OMG, just happened to me last week, but I asked for spicy mustard. I was halfway through my burger before it was brought out to me and that was after I had to slow waaaayyy down while waiting!

Anonymous said...

"To be honest, I converted to the House of Mayo after growing up in the Chapel of Miracle Whip."

Ha! Same here! Did you also grow up in a chunky peanut butter household, and switch to creamy like I did as well?

sparky01gt said...

What I don't understand is why mayo is the one thing people ALWAYS forget to mention they want when they order. They'll give you 47 modification for that burger but wait until it is in front of them to remember they have to have mayo to eat it.
Of course on the rare occasion someone remembers to order it upfront, and I type it on the ticket, the food runner doesn't bother to bring it. :|

Noelle said...

@Paul e mayo I'd not lard at all. It's egg yolk and oil and I love it on beef. Some people dip fries in it. It can't wait. I would have been disappointed too.

steph said...

Ok I'm not sure of the environment you were dining in, but I love your blog and being a bartender for years I just have to vent a little. Keep in mind you did order a burger from the bar. I worked for years where people would order 5 course meals at the bar instead of sitting in the dining room. I couldn't stand how people expected me to give them a dining experience at a bar. I serve drinks, tell jokes and force you to take shots not make sure your filet comes out after your salad is finished. I don't have time for that. A burger isn't a really big deal but to most bartenders it isn't our glass of wine :)

Laura said...

Burg-atory!

Anonymous said...

Belgians don't ruin their fries with miracle whip.

Kyla said...

A cheeseburger without cheese is generally referred to as... a hamburger. Maybe that's the source of your issue.

Springs1 said...

Your fault you forgot to ask for it and if the drink orders were taken *BEFORE* you asked for that mayo, you *DESERVE* to wait since it wasn't your turn. You shouldn't be serving with cutting in mind.

Now you at least FINALLY KNOW how I feel about condiments. I order them 99.9% of the time *WITH* my food WITHOUT FORGETTING and 85% or so of the time, they get forgotten or more like ignored.

It doesn't matter if the server fixes it right away or not, if they forgot it, the order is delivered INCORRECT. They could have brought it out ahead of time rather than risking forgetting them.

Now I do take off much more if they take a long time.

I don't get it why you are against me, *YET* you sound ******************EXACTLY**************** HOW *************I*************** FEEL, WTF????

If we agree on this, WHY are you not letting me post here, huh?

I mean, this is the *HELL* I GO THROUGH************CONSTANTLY********** WITH UNCARING ASSHOLE SERVERS WHO DON'T SAY THEY ARE EVEN SORRY FOR FORGETTING THEM.

Some servers don't even write the orders down even.

This weekend, shitty service 2 places we went to. I mean, HOW HARD IS IT TO GET ONE ADDED CONDIMENT TO AN APPETIZER CORRECT FROM *YOUR* SERVER?

It helps the tip if I hear a sorry, but I don't most of the times. I am nice about still say "thank you" and tell them NICELY about it, but they still treat me like I am a dog, not a human being with *FEELINGS*! Where's my sorry I feel as I am telling them "Thank you", you know? They want my money, but don't want to be nice, WTF???

Now you see how I felt when once I had to ask 4 times for a side of ranch and a side of bbq sauce at a Chili's, which a manager had to get it. First when I ordered, then when another server ran the food, then our server again which I told her I had told the guy that delivered the food about it(which she should have went to find out where it was, but didn't) and finally my husband called a manager over to get it. 4 minutes. It's ridiculous there's no reason for that. Servers should just offer to bring that stuff out ahead of time and avoid all of that. If you warm up the bbq sauce warm enough it should stay warm by the time the food comes out. The ranch could have been brought out ahead of time for sure.

NOW you see how *I* feel. I am TIRED of the uncaring, lazy servers who don't care, but then want your money.

Springs1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Springs1 said...

Anonymous
"so I would also watch my food get cold if the waiter takes 7 minutes to get me an iced tea refill."

When I see that, I don't get it most of the times, because if you go in the order in which request came in, you shouldn't be waiting no 7 minutes unless you are delivering hot food, even then, I would ask another team member to help if they could if it would be the refills or with some of the food. It shouldn't take 7 minutes to deliver food unless it is a really large party.

Refills honestly in most cases should take less than a minute to a minute and a half if it's like 2 -3 refills. There's no reason refills should take 5 minutes or more in most cases if you go in the order in which request came in.

groovychick1978 said...

springs, even when I agree with you, you just turn my stomach. blah.

BW-to focus on the wrong part of the story....

What is the problem with dishwashers and silverware, huh? Dump, run, sort, repeat. It's not rocket science.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see you mention the tip, stereotypes and all.....do you tip 20%?

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