Monday, May 31, 2010

I Am a Publicity Whore. I Really Am.

So it's Memorial day today and I took the day off to take my lazy ass to the beach and now I am on my way to my regular Margarita Monday. But what's this? The Bitchy Waiter has been named a "Blog of Note" today? I quiver with excitement. I tremble with anticipation. I hate customers. I just wanted to give a very bitchy welcome to any first time readers. And not only am I a bitchy waiter, I am also a greedy publicity hound and attention whore so I hope you will follow this blog, follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.

And for your convenience, links:




Thanks, y'all.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Is The Customer Always Right?

Someone sent me an article written about that old wives tale "the customer is always right" and I must respond. Is the customer always right? Of course not. They are very often misinformed, clueless, unreasonable or just plain dumb. But here is what may surprise you: the waiter is not always right either. There, I said it. Sometime I can acknowledge that I have made a mistake. I have found that when I do, the customer appreciates the honesty and it results in a better tip. Just fess up. I have flat out told them that I forgot to put the order in and that's why it's taking so long so here is a complimentary beverage and I'm sorry. I will also go out of my way to do what a customer wants but if it gets just plain ridiculous, we have to draw the line. I do not believe the customer is right when they demand that the music is too loud for their baby to sleep. Or when they want us to make something that isn't on the menu simply because we have all the ingredients. Peanut butter and jelly in the house does not mean that the kitchen has to make a sandwich for your kid because that's the only thing they will eat. If the kid doesn't like what's on our menu, then maybe they should be eating somewhere else or bringing their own stupid PB and J. And when this lady told me that there was no liquor in her strawberry daiquiri, I knew for certain that the customer was not right because there was most assuredly liquor in her drink. So in those instances, customers are wrong.

The article questioned why so many companies are willing to side with rude disgruntled customers rather than siding with their loyal employee. If management was more willing to ignore this antiquated rule, then employees would be more willing to give excellent customer service and in return the customers would have a better experience. Once I was explaining to a woman that an egg white omelet was an additional charge. It was clearly on the menu but she couldn't understand why. "I'm only using part of the egg and not the whole thing so it really should be less'" she said. Never mind that it takes more eggs to make an egg white omelet, she was not having it. I kept telling her it was the policy and there was nothing I could do. She called a manager over who then voided off her additional $1 charge in order to appease her making me look like an asshole even though I was the one who was following policy. "The customer's always right," he sighed as he swiped his card in the computer to void the charge from her check. So now this woman will always expect that every time she goes back to that restaurant. And I now resent trying to do my job. Had the manager explained that it's policy and made her pay the dollar, I would have had respect for the manager and the lady would now know she either has to deal with our rules or go somewhere else.

Before you jump all over me, anonymous poster, I do try to make my customers happy. If I can bring some extra bread because they are "starving" I will or if the sun is shining in their eyes, I will adjust the blinds. But if they want me to comp their steak because it "didn't taste right" but they still managed to eat all but two bites of it, then the customer is wrong. If they ask for a discount because sitting on the patio was too loud for them to hear themselves think, that customer is also wrong. Is the customer always right? No. We give them the benefit of the doubt but sometimes they just are wrong wrong wrong.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

In 1984 many wonderful things happened. The groundbreaking film Ghostbusters was released, Cyndi Lauper earned the Grammy for best new artist (criminally beating Madonna) and Apple introduced their first Macintosh personal computer. But these are not the only momentous occasions of that year, for it was also the year that I was born. Today is my birthday. Uh huh. I am 26 years old. I repeat, I am 26 years old. Anyone who says otherwise is completely and utterly wrong. To celebrate, I am taking the day off from work. Actually, I only work two days a week so taking Saturday off is a regular thing for me, but today I have a reason other than laziness and no direction in life. Today I will be having lunch and dinner at restaurants and I expect nothing less than a group of waiters singing to me as they place before me a stale piece of cake with a dirty candle stuck in it. The restaurants should be comping my drinks, simply because I was born. The whole restaurant should give me their undivided attention because it is my special day, dammit. And in case you are wondering what I would like for my birthday, there are a few things. You can always go here if you want an idea or here for another great gift option. The Bitchy Waiter is also on the look out for a new Mac Book, running shoes, a watch, jewelry, vacation home in Provincetown, free airline tickets, tequila, tequila, tequila or anything else of value. Or you can always go here to express your birthday wishes upon me.

Seriously, thank you for the birthday love and thank you for reading this blog. It makes me happy that even one person reads it or comments on anything. Thank you. And to all you other May 29th birthdayers out there, happy birthday to you too! Oh wait...was I born in 1984 or was I a sophomore in high school in 1984, I'm not sure.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Miracles Really Do Happen

I recently wrote about how frustrating it is when someone takes both copies of the credit card slip effectively keeping me from getting a tip because I don't know what they had written on the tip line. It really sucks when this happens, but a few days ago a miracle occurred. Let's play a game and you decide which miracle is true.

Miracle #1: I woke up late and was rushing around getting ready to start my day. I was out of Cheerios so I had to go to breakfast option number two which would be two pieces of toast with grape jam. I put my bread in the toaster and two minutes later I sat down with my breakfast ready to eat. All of a sudden, I noticed an image peering back at me from my multi-grain bread. Jesus had appeared on my breakfast food. I quickly took a picture and sold that shit on Ebay for $23.99. It's miracle!

Miracle #2: In my backyard, I have a statue of the Virgin Mary. Every day, I go to her and thank her for watching over me and keeping me safe. I talk to her and explain my day and when I am done I feel better. Well, one day as I was telling her how thankful I was for the ten percent tip that someone left me on a $100 check, I looked into her eyes and saw that she was crying. The Virgin Mary statue was crying real tears and I knew that I was on the path to righteousness. It's a miracle!

Miracle #3: A few days ago, someone came into the club and told me that they had inadvertently took the credit card slip that had my tip on it and they owed me twenty dollars. It's a miracle!

Can you figure out which one really happened? I'll give you two clues. Never am I out of Cheerios and I do not have a backyard. Uh huh. Someone actually came back in to tip me from the week before. It made my night and it also restored my faith in all humanity and made all things right in the world. Like Anne Frank, "in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." Until someone asks me for a glass of water, a bowl of lemons and Sweet and Low packets and then I go right back to hating all people.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Do You Want to Drink?

Maybe I have said this before, but it bears repeating. I cannot stand when I ask someone what they want to drink and they respond with some dumb ass response like "what do you have?" It makes me want to grab their nipples, twist them off and use them as a garnish on their Cosmopolitan. Seriously? What do we have? We are a bar. We have what all bars have. There's a pretty good chance we'll have what you want unless you're asking for the milk of the aloe vera plant, a glass of water from the Fountain of Youth, or Tang. And then they look at me like they think I'm really going to recite a laundry list of every possible beverage. I would think that most people have a pretty good idea of what they want to drink. Don't we all have our usual suspects? A Coke, a gimlet, a water. But maybe this asswipe was new to our planet and really wasn't sure what we offered. Perhaps I should have been more patient with our inter-planetary friend but I was not in the mood. I responded with "the usual things that a bar has to drink, so I'll let you think it over and come back later." I don't have time for that shit. If he really needs help, there is thing we have in the club that is made for that purpose. It's called a menu. Look at it. Choose something. I will bring it.

So let's review. If you have a question about a beverage, make it a good one. Like "what reds do you have by the glass?" or "do you have any non-alcoholic beer?" or "if I have six margaritas, you're not gonna to cut me off, are you?" (Okay that last question might be just for me when I go to Margarita Mondays.) Just don't ask some broad-based stupid ass question like "what do you have?" It will piss me off. And pissing off your server right before he hands you your Coors Light is not a good idea.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What, No Long Island Iced Tea?

It was a special night at work a few evenings ago. The whole audience knew each other because they were all there to support one of their own from their local Long Island Community Theater. It was like they were there for the yearly trek into New York City and I was the one who would benefit from this mass migration. I knew things would be odd when I went to my first table.

After I explained the whole two drink minimum thing and they let that sink into their over-processed heads of hair, lady number one informed me that she would like a "milky drink." I wasn't sure what she wanted since we're not a fucking Dairy Queen. I suggested a white chocolate martini since it has a cream liqueur . "Naaaaa." I then suggested a Bailey's and cream. "Naaaaa." Her friend suggested a Pina Colada. I had to tell her we don't do Pina Coladas because we don't have a blender since we are a performance venue and it would be too loud, but her friend said I could just stir it. And to make sure I knew what she meant, she spun her fingers in a circle. Oh, stir it, thank you. "Naaaaa." Tap tap tap went my pen on my pad. She finally decided on a Kahlua and milk, very little Kahlua and almost all milk. Yum.

Table number two. Three Pinot Grigios and one white zinfandel. With two sides of ice. Do I need to say anything more about them?

Table number three wanted a Dewar's and water, but not too strong. I gave her a rocks glass filled with Dewar's and water just like she asked and I put extra water in it so the glass was pretty full. "Is there water in that?" Yes. "Are you sure?" Let's see, unless my short term memory is so bad that I can't recall what I did 45 seconds ago, then I am certain that put water in it. Besides that, the glass is almost full to the top, so that would have been a lot of Dewar's. Three minutes later she was at the bar asking for more water because she wasn't sure I had put any in it. Okay. Next time order a glass of water with a splash of Dewar's.

When it came time to give them the checks, one table was confused by the total. Surely I had made a mistake and added something extra to their check because there was no way that four people could spend that much in such a short amount of time. I looked at the check. It was right. New York City is expensive. Maybe a glass of Zinfandel is cheaper on Long Island but I bet you don't get to have your drinks brought to you by The Bitchy Waiter. Have a safe return to your own little world.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Liza Minnelli sings Beyonce's Single Ladies

So this has absolutely nothing to do with waiting tables, but I wanted to post it anyway because it just needs to be out in the world. My dear friend (not really) Liza has recorded a song for the Sex and the City movie and you have to hear it to believe it. And I spent too much time making this video rather than writing yesterday, so this is what gets posted.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today is National Waitstaff day

All hail to the servers. Today is May 21st and it's National Waitstaff Day. I never even knew that this day existed, but now that I do, it's the most important day of my entire year. Other than my birthday. And Halloween. Okay, so it's the third most important day of the year. No, wait, Halloween is third, National Waitstaff Day is second. Oh shit, I forgot about Cinco de Mayo. Okay: my birthday, Cinco de Mayo, National Waitstaff Day and then Halloween. Anyhoo, someone somewhere determined that May 21st is the day that we show our gratitude to the person who has to take orders and carry food for a living. If you are a server, wear your apron with pride today. And do not be hesitant to mention to every single table that today is your day. It will only increase your tips. On National Secretary's Day, they all get flowers and taken to lunch. On our day, we also deserve a few things:
  • 40% tip
  • attitude free customers
  • free shift meal
  • free shift drink
  • no separate checks
  • free shift drink
  • no orders for hot tea
  • free shift drink
  • no extra lemons
  • no crying babies who throw Cheerios in our stations. In fact, no babies allowed in the whole fucking restaurant.
  • no bitches
  • no sidework
  • we deserve respect! At least for today.
So go out there and use this day to your advantage. Have a drink before work and you will discover that waiting tables is so much more tolerable when you have a good healthy buzz. And if your manager has a problem with you being a wee bit tipsy at work, you just say to him, "Fuck off, dude. It's National Waitstaff Day." And if your table is upset that you brought out the wrong food, you just mention what today is and they will forget about every mistake you made and then dig deep into their pockets and shower you with money and praise.

Happy National Waitstaff Day, y'all. We rock! Share this post with everyone you know, okay? More people need to know about this special day. May 21st. (Bewtween Cinco de Mayo, National Waitstaff Day and my birthday, May is the coolest fucking month of the year.)


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stop Taking Credit Card Vouchers

I know I must have written about this before, but it bears repeating. Why the fuckity fuck can't people remember to leave their credit card voucher after they sign it? I realize that in this day and age of identity theft, one must be ever so careful with personal info and documents. I've had my identity stolen before and it's a really shitty thing. (And I curse those assholes who worked at Home Depot and helped me fill out a credit card application and then stole all my digits and opened up a three new credit card accounts at Wal-Mart and the like.) We have to be aware. But we also have to leave the credit card slip for the restaurant. We need it. I need it. For my tip.

Last week a lady was paying for her whole table. They rang up a bill of $314.00 and she gave me her credit card to pay for it. Now this lady was pseudo-famous and had a crowd of people around her after the show so it was hard to get her bill to her and then collect payment. I pretty much had to get it to her via carrier pigeon, but I did. I watched her sign the voucher and place it on the table and then she continued talking to all of her fans. Finally, after about 30 minutes of her being surrounded by a pack of hounds, she left. With the credit slip. Goddammit, lady! There goes my tip on a $314.00 check. No! The humanity. The horror. I ran to the sidewalk and saw nothing but the usual bags of trash and cars about to be towed, but no credit slip. What do I have to do? Do I have to somehow attach our copy to the table so they know that it stays? I guess the words "restaurant copy" are simply not enough.

But I wanted that tip. It's not cool (not to mention illegal) to add the tip. Not that I haven't done that before but when I did it felt uncool. And illegal. I approached the performer of the evening, for it was her mother who jetted with my gratuity. "Err, is your mother still around because I think she accidentally took our copy of the credit voucher." My subtext was, "I need you to find your old lady mom and get that fucking credit voucher or else I am getting stiffed on 300 bucks." The performer was totally cool about it and said to just void her mom's transaction and she would pay for it. So I did it and handed her the new voucher. Which she quickly signed. Without adding a tip. Seriously? Am I going to be stiffed twice on the same table? She thanked me and headed for the exit as I threw imaginary knives at her back. With one foot out the door, I heard her say, "Oh my God! I didn't tip you!" I exhaled with relief and said something moronic like 'it's not my place to ask for a tip" or some other bullshit line. She scratched out $45 and handed back to me. I was happy.

But from now on I am stapling our copy to the table and hot gluing their copy to their face.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Old People: Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Remember Shit

Over the course of time while working at one place, you get accustomed to seeing some of the same faces over and over again. These regulars are sometimes welcome sights and sometimes not so much. Admittedly, I am not the best at remembering people who sit in my station more than once. It's not that I don't have the ability to recall that Suzie Side Of Mayo sat in my station two weeks ago, it's more that I just don't give a shit. Eventually though I will recognize if someone's a regular. On the other hand, I certainly don't expect customers to remember me. Most of the time.

A few weeks ago I had a couple come in that I knew from another job. The man and his wife are really old and somewhat famous. He's a songwriter who wrote some really big hits for Frank Sinatra and wrote a couple of Broadway shows. I met them about five years ago when I was doing a revival of one of his shows and got to know him then. He was at rehearsal with me everyday for three weeks and then watched every performance for two weeks after we opened. When I saw them come in, I went up to say hello. Seeing that he's 91 years old, I didn't expect him or his wife to remember me. His wife must be about his age but she doesn't look a day over 106. Her face is pulled so tight that she makes Joan Rivers look like a fresh clean daisy. Seriously, her lips are practically above her eyebrows now. I reintroduced myself and saw the flicker of recognition come into their eyes as they placed me from their past. It was sorta like a light bulb went off and they should know what that looks like because I'm pretty sure they were close personal friends of Thomas Edison. They were very happy to see me and raved about how great I was in the play. They went on to say that I stole the show and that I should have been the lead because I sing like an angel. (They may or may not have said that last little bit, but they did remember me.)

A few days ago, they were back in the club and again sitting in my station. Seeing that it had only been two weeks since I last saw them I greeted them warmly and told them it was nice to see them again. I saw a tumble weed blow through his head as a cricket chirped in hers. They had no idea who I was. Again. Granted the man is older than rocks and she's had so many face lifts that her brain may now be in her shoulder blades, but I figured they would at least think I was familiar. Nope. I got their hot teas and moved on. At the end of the night after they had paid, the husband asked me where his credit card was. I told him I had given it back to him at the table but he assured me he did not have it. I found his wife in the lobby and asked her if she had it and she freaked out. "Oh my God, I don't have it. Did I lose it? Oh my God, he's gonna kill me. Oh my God, we have to find it." I half looked in the trash can and around the table knowing it wasn't going to be there. By this time, the Mrs. had a flashlight at the table and was fearing for life. I think she still lives in the 50's where the man rules the roost and he was kind enough to let her touch the credit card and now that she lost it her privileges would be revoked and she would be back to a $10 a week allowance. I quit looking because, I had already been paid and tipped.

Five minutes later, the husband burps out that he found it in his pocket. Old people. Their minds are as mushy as the Ovaltine they eat for breakfast. Gotta love 'em.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rainbow Overload

After reading all the titles of the unwritten autobiographies of Bitchy Waiter readers, I chose the one that I thought would make the most interesting post. Behold. I give to you Rainbow Overload, suggested by Keith:

Bam Bam McCunningham plopped himself on his bed after a twelve hour shift at the go-go bar. As he slid his size 7 pumps off his size 9 feet a good two or three ounces of glitter fell out of each shoe. He pulled his pantyhose off and noticed a small run in the left leg. "Occupational hazard," he muttered. Bam Bam served drinks in the raucous and raunchy gay bar in Western Queens called Otis' Place. Of course no one called it Otis' Place because it didn't roll off the tongue like it should. Everyone called it Opies. Bam Bam didn't like being a cocktail server but it was only until he got his big break as a writer. Every week he submitted a story somewhere and every week he got a rejection letter from someplace else. In the meantime he served drinks at Opies. In drag. When his vintage pink princess phone rang, his first inclination was to ignore it, but he thought that anyone calling this late must have something very urgent to discuss. "Hello?" After a few seconds of silence, the other end of the phone erupted in sobs that he immediately recognized as coming from his BFF from second grade, Lisa. It turns out she was just dumped by her boyfriend who realized he was gay. It was the fourth boy in a row she had dated who came out of the closet. In fact Lisa and Bam Bam had been a couple all through high school so she had quite the history of falling in love with the wrong man. But now he was her closest confidant. Most people referred to Lisa as Bam Bam's Fag Hag, but she preferred the title of Fruit Fly. He consoled her for two hours and promised to meet her for a champagne brunch the next morning followed by a day of shopping and then a mani/pedi. When he hung up the phone he was exhausted. He decided to leave the makeup on and go right to sleep but his Yorkshire terrier Bruce had other ideas. Bruce jumped into his lap holding his pink leash in his mouth and yelped at him asking to be taken for a walk. Bam Bam couldn't resist the cute face and knew that avoiding the walk would only make for a messy morning when Bruce decided to relieve himself on the new rug Bam Bam had just purchased from Crate and Barrel. Five minutes later, Bam Bam and Bruce were walking outside in the cool early morning spring air. With his dog at his side and the sound of Judy Garland pulsing through his iPod, Bam Bam found himself reinvigorated and not ready for sleep at all anymore. Once he returned home, he decided to put on his writing hat and get to work on his next piece. With his cute Jackie O. pillbox sitting jauntily on his head and Elaine Stritch playing in the background, he took a sip of his Cosmopolitan and began writing his one man play about coming out of the closet in a small Southern town.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Worked for Free

I am a firm believer in giving. I have been known to volunteer my time and help underprivileged kids with art projects. I have assisted the elderly. I often donate to various causes. One time I even gave a sandwich to a man who had no legs. However, when I am at work, I am there for me. A few days ago the club hosted a benefit for a local school. Parents of the students came in to perform while other parents came in to watch. The proceeds of the show went directly to the school, and judging by most of these parents they could have just written out some checks and been done with it. When it came time for me to give out their checks with the cover charge and the two-drink minimum it turns out that a lot of the folks didn't think they needed to leave a tip because it was for a good cause. Excuse me, I was not volunteering my time for the benefit. I just showed up at work like I always do (and when I say "always" I mean once or twice a week...) and ended up serving a benefit. I don't give a shit about the quality of the kids' athletic equipment or if they get to take music classes or any other goddamn thing. I am at work. For tips. That shit pissed me off. By the end of the night I felt like there should be a fucking plaque posted above the school gymnasium with my name on it for all the time and money I ended up donating to that fucking school. Now don't get me wrong. You know I loves me the kids. I think they should have everything their precious little hearts desire. But I don't have kids. I don't want kids. Isn't enough that I pay taxes that go to public schools? But I had to wait tables and repeatedly get stiffed by parents because it was a benefit. And I send out especially bitchy vibes to the three lesbians at table two who rang up a $165.00 tab and left poop squat. Heather has two cheap ass mommies. Now don't me wrong. I loves me the lesbians, but those particular ones? Nope. Don't like em.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wait Your Turn

I should be whipped incessantly with an al dente noodle, for I have forsaken writing for far too long. I was distracted by a supreme bitchola who was in the club a while ago and it has taken me this long to climb out of the dark hole of bitterness that she sent me spiraling into. Oh, and I have been lazy too. But let me regale your souls with what this woman was like. Table 28X. Not my table. I was nearby though servicing the needs of my clientele when I feel the cold icy stare of a bitch stabbing me in the back. I turn around to look at her and risk being turned into stone by her Medusa ass attitude. And she gives me a look that I will now ask you to recreate. Turn your palms upward while raising and clenching your shoulders. Now tilt your head to the right while curling the left side of your lip and furrowing your brow in such a way that will guarantee a need for Botox. Shake your head back and forth in short jerky movements and now please move your palms backward and forward in an oscillating manner. Are you doing all of this? This is what Medusa was doing to me. To save her from all that activity she could have simply said , "Hi, excuse me?" but she wanted to put on a show instead. Knowing full well that she wanted something, I played dumb and went up to her and asked if she needed anything. "Uh, a drink??" Way too much sass was coming from this lady. Looking behind her, I saw that her server was at the next table. "Scott, is your server and he's right behind you. I'm sure he's on his way and your table is next." That should have satisfied her, but true bitches always have to take it a step further. So she took it a step further. "Well, him being right behind me and him taking my order is not the same thing now is it?" Wait, what? Was she being funny? I scanned her eyes and saw not a trickle of humor. All that was visible was anger, impatience and forty years of mascara clumped into the corner of her eye. I waited a second to see if she was going to say something like, "oh, okay" or "thank you" but she said nothing. She then rolled her eyes and gave me a look that was telling me to take her order now. I simply responded with the customary I-am-not-your-server speech but she was not satisfied and wanted to know why it was taking so long. I paused and took a deep breath and counted to ten. I then told her the reason it was taking so long was because 105 people all were seated at the exact same time and we go down the rows of tables and she just happened to be at the last row. End of story, lady. It's something that most people learn in fucking kindergarten. It's called "taking turns" and we all do it. At the bank, the grocery story, the amusement park and even at restaurants and bars. Wait your turn.

Scott took her order and she was fine. But when it came time to pay their checks we made sure we knew who's credit card would be the last one to be swiped. Medusa the impatient bitch, that's who. Bitch needs to learn to wait her fucking turn and maybe learn that people who are nice to their servers sometimes get to cut to the front of the line. But bitchy ass Medusa ladies who have shitty attitudes? Nope. You will be last. Go back to kindergarten and learn some freakin' manners, bitch.