Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gay Dogs Not Welcome Down Under

I was perusing the internet news the other day trying to find something to pique my interest when I came across a news item that happened at a restaurant down under. In Australia. I don't know what those people are sprinkling on their Vegemite sandwiches, but they might be a bit crazy. But then again all my knowledge about Australia comes from Crocodile Dundee and Men at Work so what do I know?

Apparently, this blind man wanted to go eat at a Thai restaurant so he asked a waiter if it would be alright if he came in with his guide dog. (There was a sign saying guide dogs were welcomed, but maybe someone missed the memo that said blind people don't read signs. It's like those signs on the subway that ask if you want to learn how to read and speak English, but the sign is in English so anyone who may benefit from the sign can't fucking read the sign. Vicious vicious circle. Anyhoo.) So the waiter went to ask the owners if it was alright for the dog to come in but he didn't hear the word "guide" dog. The stupid ass waiter heard "gay" dog. Uh huh. And then the owners said no the dog couldn't come in because it was gay. Okay, all together now: what the fuckity fuck fuck? This is wrong on so many levels. Even if this was an actual homosexual canine who liked to get it on with members of the same sex, why would that be the reason the dog couldn't come in? They were going to persecute this dog because they thought it was gay? How stupid was the waiter to see a blind man and not know that it was a guide dog? Now if Elton John had sashayed into the restaurant wearing a frilly frock while holding a dildo and a big pink poodle, sure: gay dog. But a blind man with sunglasses, a cane and a dog with a handle on it? Gay dog? No, dumb ass. Guide dog.

The man left the restaurant and then presumably filed a complaint and blah blah blah. But when the owners were explaining the situation to the court, they said if they would have known it was a guide dog, it would have been fine. They just thought the dog was gay and that was why it wasn't welcome. I don't know these restaurant owners, but I pretty much hate them. They seem small minded, ignorant, rude and clueless. Basically, your typical restaurant owner/manager. They had to issue the blind dude an apology and pay him $1400 in compensation. And in Australia, $1400 buys a lot of Vegemite.

And in case you are wondering, Vegemite is is "a dark brown Australian food paste made from yeast extract. It is a spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and cracker biscuits and and filling for pastries." Thanks Wikipedia.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm on the Broadway

For a lot of people, living in New York City and being a waiter means one thing. Actor. Of course it's a stereotype, but over the years I have come to believe that many stereotypes are based on some hint of truth. It may not be an easy thing to accept, but it does seem to be true. I live in New York City. I am a waiter. Does that mean that I fall under that auspicious umbrella of unemployed actor? Darn tootin' it does. I am one extremely talented and extremely out of work actor. And so are most of the people I work with. It's a fact of life.

When I was working in Times Square's Houlihan's, all I ever served were tourists who were on their way to see Cats or Phantom of the Opera. Tourists are known for being wide-eyed and eager to know about the people who live here so a lot of them would pepper me with questions. "Where do you live?" Where are you from?" "Is the hamburger really $15?" But there was one question I got asked more than any other.

TOURIST: Are you an actor?
ME: Yes.
TOURIST: Oh, how exciting!
ME: Well, not really that exciting.
TOURIST: Have I ever seem you in anything?
ME: Well I dunno, are you accustomed to seeing theater that happens in basements in Brooklyn?
ME: Then, no.
TOURIST: Have you been in any movies?
ME: Yes.
TOURIST: Oh, how exciting! Which ones?
ME: Did you see Across The Universe?
TOURIST: Yes! Were you in that?? Oh my God!
ME: I was in the riot scene. There were 300 of us. I'm the one in the very back about 150 yards from the camera. I had on fake sideburns so that's probably why you don't recognize me.
TOURIST: Oh my God! And are you on Broadway?

Okay. It is Thursday night at 7:20. Every Broadway show is about to start within 45 minutes. Obviously, I am not there. I am here. Holding a tray with dirty dishes and empty glasses on it.

ME: Yes, I am currently starring in Houlihan's the Musical. Right now. You're in too. It's your line.

People asked me that all the time. Like if I was in Chicago or Grease, I would want to keep a few shifts a week at good old Houlihan's just to remember what it was like to wait tables. Bitch, please. Hell, no I ain't on Broadway. I'm a fucking waiter who has to get up at 6:00 AM so I can go get in line at 7:00 to go audition at 9:30 so I can get to the restaurant to cut the fucking lemons by 10:30. I guess, technically I was on Broadway. It just happens that Houlihan's was on 49th and Broadway. Look ma, I made it! I'm on Broadway. How would you like your burger cooked?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Retirement is Right Around the Corner

Because I am so influential and noteworthy, The Bitchy Waiter was interviewed by U.S. News and World Report a few days ago. I know, I know, it is quite impressive and all. I am in awe of myself even. They contacted me via this blog to ask me some questions about my retirement plans because they were researching a story about the uncertainty of so many people's financial futures. The reporter said that she was looking to speak to servers especially because she knew that most restaurants don't give a rat's retiring ass about the financial future of their employees. Well, she didn't say it like that exactly, but pretty much. I would give you the link to read, but then my anonymity would be compromised because the article used my real name and even more shocking they gave me an age. If you should happen to come across the article, just divide the number in half and you will be much closer to my actual age. Anyhoo, it got me thinking about my golden years. I foresee some poverty in my future along with cat food for dinner.

As a waiter, I don't have the benefit of a 401(k) with matching contributions. I think most restaurants feel that the shift meal they give you at the end of the day should satisfy not only your hunger for dinner, but also your craving for financial security. And speaking of security, what about Social Security? Does anyone really believe that will be around when we need it? Even if it is, my latest letter telling me how much to expect when I retire was barely enough to cover my tequila intake each month. Do I worry about it? Sure I do. So I have started my own personal retirement account.

I read somewhere that 3% of your salary was a good amount to put away for your retirement. It's even better if your employer will match it. (God, I miss working for The Marriott sometimes...). So I decided to open up an IRA at the bank. I rolled over what The Marriott had helped me save and now it is there for me to deposit whenever I want. My financial advisor reminded me that I was limited to $4000 a year. I laughed in his face when he told me that. That is about $80 a week and I am sorry, but I just don't have an extra $320 a month for retirement. If I was to put that much money into retirement each month how the hell am I supposed to enjoy Monday Margarita Madness? So I do 3% of each shift. No matter how shitty, I take 3% and put it into an envelope in my closet and when it gets to $500 I will proudly carry it to my financial institution for deposit. Yesterday the shift was so bad that I only made $33. I put one dollar in my envelope. One. Dollar. My golden years appear to be shaping up more like my pewter years. Or aluminum. Or cardboard even. In the meantime, I blog and write and wait for that big break that is going to bump me into a better future where I can afford luxurious things like Boar's Head turkey and shampoo that didn't come from Dave's Dollar Discount Den.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yum-O, Delish, EVOO, BITCH

I often think of things that I want to write about but the idea may slide into a hidden recess of my brain and never resurface again. It sometimes takes a posted comment from someone else to jolt my memory and recall the topic. A shout out to Lorinda who reminded me that I need to write about that cheap gravel-voiced hag known as Rachael Ray. What person in the food service industry is unaware of her infamous show on The Food Network, "$40 a Day?" The bitch may have been able to eat her way across the country on a shoestring budget but she never left the servers enough money to go to Payless to buy a shoestring of their fucking own. Bitch is cheap.

The premise of the show was that she could eat three meals and a snack in one day in various cities and do it all for under $40. Of course her breakfast sometimes consisted of a lone muffin and tap water and her dinner would be a single appetizer but she always managed to make it under $40. Coming under budget was helped by the fact that she never left a server anything close to resembling a decent tip. If I didn't tip my servers, I could save a shitload of money too. But I tip. It's waht you do when you eat out. Rachael used to be a fucking waitress too, so you would think she would have some empathy for servers, but all that mattered to her was that she make it under budget and that she comes up with some new annoying catch phrase. Delish! Yum-o! I swallow! Maybe she should have just changed the name of the show to "$45 a Day" so she could factor in a tip. Or call it "I have Vocal Nodes and Polyps and Don't Give a Shit About Waiters."

I watched this show at the beginning of Rachael's career and it was before she started gargling with gravel and I could tolerate the sound of her voice for more than two minutes. Nowadays her throat sounds like it has a piece of glass wedged in it. Somebody please give this bitch a piece of bread to swallow. Maybe if she would just shut the fuck up for a couple of days her vocal chords could take a breather and repair themselves. But she is too busy publishing cookbooks, selling Dunkin' Donuts, filming her thirty bejillion different television shows, creating pet foods, and marketing kitchen crap. She sells a bowl to put garbage in. It costs $32.99. Seriously, bitch? I have something I put garbage in when I cook and it's called a plastic grocery sack from Met Foods. It works great. Try it.

If anyone ever bumps into Rachael Ray (and when I say "bump into" I mean with your car while going 40 mph) please tell her that the Bitchy Waiter said hello. And that he hates her.


Monday, April 19, 2010

I Don't Need Help Wiping My Ass

As much as I write about the overall crappiness of waiting tables, I think I may have found a service job that ranks even lower than being a slinger of the hash. Whilst eating dinner at a very fancy and hoity toity restaurant a few days ago, I came across some poor slob who had taken service positions to a new low. A job that even I would refuse to take and that says a lot, because I fucking worked as Popeye once at an amusement park. I'll fucking do practically any job. Except one. Behold: the bathroom attendant.

I have never really understood the need for a bathroom attendant. Not since I was about five years old have a I needed assistance doing anything toilet related. (Well, there was that one time my sophomore year in college but that was totally random. And thank you, you know who you are.) What is it about upscale joints that make them feel the need to have someone in the loo to turn on the faucet for me and then hand me a fucking paper towel? And then there is that awkward moment where you pretend that you are going to give them a dollar. I pulled the old "my wallet is in my coat pocket" trick because I just don't want to give this guy money. Yes, it sucks that he sits in this room and has to listen to the kids being dropped off at the pool over and over again. And I am sorry that he has to smell whatever odor is emitted from the body of Fatty McFattFatt Ass. And I feel bad that his shoes are covered with the golden droplets of urine that didn't quite make it into the urinal. But really? I need to give this guy a dollar? He had the sink area all covered with cologne and lotion and mouthwash and gum and anything else I might need, but the thing is I didn't need it. The bathroom was about the square footage of a box of Cheerios, so it would have been nice to have more room in there instead of half of it being taken up by this professional ass wiper.

Does this sound bitchy? I realize he too is looking for tips. He wants money. But a bathroom attendant? C'mon. I now know there is at least one job in the restaurant world that I will never have.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Wonders of Craigslist

The Bitchy Waiter needs a new job. Or an additional job. Working only two days a week is fine when things are busy, but when it's slow it ain't cuttin' it. And things have been slow. Last week a goddamn fucking tumbleweed rolled through my station. Crickets are chirping up in there lately. So where does one turn when a new job is needed? Why craigslist, where else? I have been surfing the posts there the last few days and finding a bunch of big fat zeros. It takes a lot of practice and reading through the lines to sort through a job posting on craigslsit, so I thought I would offer these pointers. Keep in mind, these are all real ads from craigslist:

  • Looking for full time long term employment only. No part time or seasonal applicants please. In other words, we want you to be available at our beck and call and be ready to work at a moments notice. You will be our slave.
  • Dress to impress. We think we are hot shit and want to see how nice you can dress even though once here, you will be wearing black pants and a stained white button down with a greasy tie.
  • Casual seafood restaurant are looking for part time waiter or waitress for lunch and dinner shifts. PAY $15/Hour. First off, they have grammar issues. It should be is looking not are looking. But anyhoo, the only way they are paying $15 an hour is if you are not being tipped. I call bullshit.
  • Please send resume with references and photo. We are looking for blond girls with big titties.
  • Restaurant seeks wait staff multiple nights shifts. Room for growth. By growth we mean more shifts, not management or a better job.
  • If you can not attend the open call, please feel free to attached your resume to this posting. But we will not call you because we will have already had hundreds of other desperate servers who managed to drag their asses to the restaurant so fuck you. (Please note the incorrect use of past tense on the word attached. Why would I want to work for someone who gots some bad English?)
  • If you look HOT & Classy in a Bikini & you can both flirt & play billiards and remain a lady I want you to become a partner in my business. Seriously?
  • At Applebee’s our team members enjoy: Flexible Hours, Competitive Pay, Extensive Training, Meal Discounts & Health Benefits are offered after 30 days. But your health benefits will only be instated if you are considered full time and we hire everyone as part time even if you are working 40 hours a week.
  • Please ONLY show up to interview if you are able to begin immediately! Because we really suck as employers and the last person quit in the middle of the shift because it is so shitty here.
I will continue to be on the lookout for a new job...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Vacation's All She Ever Wanted

This lady came in the other day and she's always a little bit of a pain in the ass. Just because she's a semi-regular, she thinks that she deserves special treatment. You know the type. As soon as she sat down she said she wanted something special to make her feel like she was on a tropical vacation. I hate when people say stupid shit like that. I wanted to suggest that she put on an ugly one piece bathing suit with a ruffle and then get a sunburn while listening to Tom Jones on her Walkman because I figured that's what she usually did when on a tropical vacation. Instead, I simply asked her what she would like to drink. She thought long and hard about this oh so complicated question. Suddenly her eyes lit up as she realized what drink would satisfy this tropical craving she was trying to fill. I couldn't wait for her to ask for a Pina Colada or Banana Daiquiri so I could tell her we don't have a blender. And then she asked for something that is so completely incongruous with tropical that I thought she was kidding. "Can I have a Frangelico and coffee?" She said it all whispery and shit with this snarky grin like it was so so daring of her to order this wild and crazy drink. What the fuck kind of tropical vacation does this bitch go on that she sits on a beach and drinks coffee? Is it a beach in Antarctica? Is she retarded? Then she altered her order a bit and requested iced coffee which made it a teeny bit more understandable. "And can you put some whipped cream on it so it really seems fancy?" Yeah, lady. Every drink I have ever had while on the beach had whipped cream on it and it made me think it was fancy, will do. I put about six inches worth of whipped cream on her drink because I knew it would make her wet her panties when she saw it. If I would have had one of those little paper umbrellas I would have stuck that in it too, but no such luck. Instead, I did one of those tricks you do with the paper of a straw to make it look like it was a flower. She squealed with pleasure when she saw it. This lady really needs a life. Or a vacation. But she loved me. Bitch loves her some Bitchy Waiter.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ding Dong, That Munchkin's Dead

This is totally un-waiter related but important nonetheless. You know the Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz that says "As coroner I must aver, I thouroughly examined her, and she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead?" You know which one I am talking about? The coroner one? He died this week. Not only do I have a soft spot in my heart for Bitchy Waitering, The Brady Bunch, fried foods and The Olive Garden (kidding), my heart also goes soft for all things Ozian. His name was Meinhardt Rabbe and he was 94 years old. He always seemed like one cool fucking coroner and I hope he never had to wait a freaking table in his whole life. Have fun over the rainbow.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ancient History

Don't get me wrong, I love old people. I love their AARP card-carrying, scooter-driving, blue-haired, polyester-wearing asses, but do they have to be so freakin' slow? When I get to be old, (read 50) I refuse to be the one who is always in the way of some younger hipper cooler person who just wants to pass by. I move pretty quickly through life and I assume I always will. Maybe I am so bunny like and filled with vim and vigor because I am barely in my early 20's. (I started waiting tables when I was three years old, you know). Here is a word of advice for those senior citizens in our lives: MOVE!

You know that old lady who was in Titanic? I think her grandpappy was in my station last week. This man was a living breathing fossil and he was sitting at table number four. Or should I say "propped up" at table number four? I think if I cut off his leg, I would have been able to count the rings and discover that he was old enough to have been responsible for some cave paintings that were recently discovered in Brazil. He was so old that his bones were no longer brittle, they were just held together with Metamucil, Super Poligrip and hope. He showed up with his walker and by the time he got to his seat the show was practically over. And then the poor thing had to go to the bathroom because his bladder must be the size of a corn nut. This is when I needed him to yield to me and let me get past so I could continue on with my job. Of course, I was nice to him and patient because The Bitchy Waiter is always nice and patient to anyone who voted for Abraham Lincoln. But good Lordy, get outta my way.

By the end of the night, Old Man River was half asleep. Or half conscious. I say potato you say almost dead. Either way, I was happy when he was gone. Oh what I wouldn't have given to have had a bottle of Febreeze that night because that old man smell surely lingered well after he was gone. It hung in the air like a mixture of fog, funk and Old (man) Spice. Goodbye, old man. And rest in peace.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Maria...I Just Met a Girl Named Maria

As I mentioned before, I have been living high on the hog and eating out a lot lately. A few days ago I went to a restaurant that is pretty well known here in the city. I won't say the name of it, but let's just say it is owned by an Iron Chef. Uh huh. Iron Chef. Needless to say the food was delicious. The mashed potatoes were so good that I wanted to order a tub full so I could soak in them, sink to the bottom and then eat my way out. I also had a double baked potato that made my toes tingle. Yeah, I ate two carbs. The food was so good there that I even liked the collard greens. Ordinarily I don't touch a vegetable with a ten foot breadstick, but these were so good that I actually enjoyed them and didn't have to just swallow them whole with big gulps of water. My steak was perfect. My margarita was divine. The triple layer toasted coconut cake was a slice of heaven. Despite the brilliance of all this wonderful food, there was one thing that stood out even more. Our server, Maria. Let a choir of angels sing the freakin' hallelujah chorus, because this girl was good. She was one of those servers that makes you want to come back again and again. I mean, even if the food was just adequate, Maria would have made the food taste even better. She was that good. Always there whenever we needed something, never rushed us, recommended certain items, laughed with us, asked us our names. I kinda fell in love with Maria that night. I was so impressed by her service, that I was inspired to ask her if they were hiring, because maybe The Bitchy waiter could step it up a bit and work in a non-dump for a change. She told me they were hiring and to drop my resume off on Monday. Cue the choir of angels again.

On Monday, I ironed up my finest shirt and printed out a resume and headed to my future place of employment. I asked the host if I could see Claudia, the lady that Maria had told me to ask for, but the host said she was in a meeting and would give her my resume. Curses. I really wanted to meet this Claudia woman so I could pour on the charm, but instead I thanked Hostess and went on my way. About an hour and half later while walking down the street, guess who I bumped into. Maria. (Angels sing again.) She was all, "Oh my God, you have to apply!" and I was all, "Oh my God, I just dropped off my resume but they wouldn't see me!' and she was all, "Oh my God, go back!" So I went back. I told the hostess (a different one now) that I was in earlier and really wanted to see Claudia. "I'm sorry, she's in a meeting but I can give her your resume." No, that won't do. I explained to Hostess #2 that I really wanted to work there and I know they are hiring and I know I can do great. And then I told her that I had just bumped into Maria and I was taking that as a sign that this was meant to be. Hostess #2 agreed that this was surely an act of God and went to find Claudia at once. Success! She would tell Claudia how eager I am and that Maria and I had experienced serendipity and everything would fall into place. Three minutes passed before Hostess #2 reappeared. Without Claudia. My hopes were dashed. But Hostess told me that Claudia appreciated my story and she would be calling me. We shall see. I think it's meant to be. I really do. Stay tuned. The Bitchy Waiter wants to work for an Iron Chef.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thai Food Good/Lip Liner Bad

For the last few days I have been living high on the hog and eatin' out fancy style. A few nights ago, I traveled out to Brooklyn to eat at my favorite Thai restaurant, Joya. I loves it. As always, it was really crowded and we had to wait for a table, but since I have been going there for years and have gotten to know the owners a little bit, they gave us a round of drinks while we waited for our table. It pays to be friendly to the owners and develop a relationship because nothing says "good restaurant" like free Cosmopolitans. After a few minutes, we were beckoned to follow the host to our table. As I said, it was really crowded and we had to navigate around a few tables that were near the bar and host stand. It was completely unintentional, but my friend Maya bumped into a table where this nasty ass skank ho was stuffing her face with spring rolls. Now it was not the fault of my friend. It was crowded and the table was pushed out into the aisle a bit. Besides that, my friend is as graceful as a goddamn mother fucking prima ballerina and shit. She's as graceful as a freakin' gazelle. But she bumped into the table and it knocked the votive candle over. My friend immediately apologized to the woman and her ugly boyfriend. It wasn't a big deal but the skank ho gave us a look that said "I will cut you." Again, Maya apologized and moved on. I was behind my friends so I was able to see the full expression on this chick's face from start to finish.

First she furrowed her brow, pursed her lips, crinkled her nose and inhaled all at once. Can you do that so you know what I mean? Furrow, purse, crinkle, inhale. Then she she tilted her head to one side and snarled her lips. Like one side of her upper lip went all snarly and shit so high that it almost touched her nostril. She really shouldn't make that expression very often because every time she does it, there is a good chance that she will smear the black lip liner she had on. Yeah, black lip liner. Pretty, right? Then she looked like she was going for a gold medal in eye rolling because bitch practically pulled her eyes out of their sockets in order to achieve her desired look. It bothered me more than it should have, but it was just an accident and it didn't even make a mess. This beyotch just wanted a reason to be mad. And to be mad at my friend Maya, the delicate elegant swan of loveliness is just not right. Especially when it is coming from this uncouth graceless cow black lip liner wearing ho bag.

The rest of the evening went off perfectly. I assume that Eye Roller/Lip Liner got over it. If I know her type, she probably complained to her waiter that her table was bumped in to and tried to get some free red curry with chicken. You just know she did. It just made me glad that I was a patron that night and not having to deal with this twat. And by the second Cosmopolitan it was a good thing she had left. I would have had words with her. Primarily some makeup tips.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The End

As I sit here at my computer, I feel overcome with sadness and melancholy because after 173 posts and close to fifty bejillion hits over the last year and a half, The Bitchy Waiter is coming to an end. Some people are going to be thinking "Thank God, because all this asshole ever does is bitch about his fucking job. If he hates it so much, why doesn't he get a new one?" That is exactly what has happened. As of two days ago, I am no longer a waiter. I have completed my teaching credentials and I will be molding and shaping the minds of the future as an educator of today's youth. I will be teaching English to high schoolers in The Bronx and I am so excited about this new path my life has taken. In order to protect my identity and remain looked upon as an upstanding citizen, I will be removing this blog from the internets. I don't think it would be very wise to leave it out here and take the risk that someone may see it and think it is inappropriate material for a teacher to be writing. And to be honest, it was getting harder and harder to come up with topics that I thought people would even give shit about.

I want to thank you all for reading the blog. It means so much to me that even one person read it and to have this many followers makes me feel proud and good. So I thank you. I tip my hat to you and I kiss the world of waiting tables good bye. Au revoir, side work. Farewell, bad tippers. Kiss my ass, managers. I have a new career. As much as I will miss writing about the wonderfully crappy world of restaurant work, the time has come.

April Fool, bitches! I ain't got no other option right now but waiting tables. The Bitchy Waiter is here to stay. Happy April Fool's day.