Friday, April 29, 2011

Lady at Table 15 Almost Dies

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 cull 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.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes

And by "baby needs a new pair of shoes" I mean "Bitchy Waiter needs some margaritas." Cinco de Mayo is only one week away. Because I love to recognize my heritage, I always make sure to go out and celebrate Mexico's Independence but guzzling frozen margaritas and eating nachos. And you should too. Mexico is our neighbor and good neighbors support each other. Sometimes we borrow a cup of sugar from our neighbor and sometimes we steal their Sunday New York Times but on May 5th, we drink Tequila for Mexico. But I need your help. How can you help? By buying a Bitchy Waiter necklace. Each one is hand-crafted with love and for every one you purchae you will know that five dollars of the cost goes directly into the Bitchy Waiter Cinco de Mayo Fund. This fund will provide lasting relief for yours truly who will take those five dollars to Arriba, Arriba and spend it on a frozen margarita. What do you get out of it? Well, besides earning my respect and admiration, you will walk away with a one-of-a kind piece of art that you can wear yourself, give to a loved one or even let the cat play with . I don't care what the hell you do with it, really.

So do Mexico a favor. Click here and help contribute to the Bitchy Waiter Cinco de Mayo Fund. You'll be glad you did. And so will I. Mexico and I both say "muchos gracias!"

I stand corrected: Cinco de Mayo isn't the commemoration of Mexico's Independence. It's the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla against the French... What do I know? I'm only half Mexican...

No Money For a Tip? Then Stay at Home

It's been said hundreds of times before but I guess it needs to be said once again. If you don't have enough money to leave a tip when you go out, please do not go out. Yes, waiting tables is very fulfilling on many different levels, but tips are still needed. The picture you see is what someone left in lieu of a tip last night. It is not from someone named Erin as it appears, but a message to my fellow server, Erin. Not only was the customer broke, he also does not know what commas are for. Or maybe he thought a comma would cost extra. Seeing that Erin and I pool our tips, half of that no tip was mine. Let's see. If his bill was $30 and he left no tip, fifty percent of it is mine. Fifty percent of nothing is... nothing. But thankfully, he left this delightfully apologetic note for us to split instead. Erin simply tossed it into the trash, but I reached in and pulled that bitch out because not only did I want to scan it for this blog post, I want to try to deposit it into the bank today and see how it goes.

The broke guy was nice enough, as poor people often are. When he first paid the bill, he gave me $11.00 and told me to put the balance on his raggedy ass credit card. I gave the card to Erin who swiped it only to see it get declined. He then coughed up a twenty dollar bill to cover the rest of the check. Broke Guy, listen to me: if you can't afford to tip, don't go out. And if you insist on going out, don't order $9.00 Amstel Lights. Maybe you should order the less expensive bottled water instead so you can throw me and Erin a couple of bucks rather than passing us this pathetic note instead.

So I am now on my way to the bank with the note and I'll just try to deposit it as six dollars since that is what the tip should have been. If the bank won't take it, I will then go to the grocery store and try it there. If they won't accept it, I will just put it in my wallet and wait until the next time I see the crazy lady on the 7 train who plays the recorder and asks for donations. Surely she can appreciate the note.

Let's review: tips should be money. They should not be thank-you notes, candy, scripture verses on the back of what appears to be a dollar, phone numbers, panties, coupons or a sweet little note explaining to me that you're broke. None of those things help me pay my bills. Even pennies are worth shit today, so keep 'em. If I see the guy again, when he orders his Amstels I'm going to hand him a note that says: Sorry I'm tired Broke Guy.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Comment on Comments

Forgive me if this post is not about waiting tables, but I must respond to a comment left on this post about Chick-Fil-A. The post was basically about Chick-Fil-A supporting a pro-marriage group that is strictly for heterosexual couples. I understand that they have the right to support whatever they please. My issue is with the dumb ass comment that Anonymous wrote:
Anoymous said... Ithink I'll go there tomorrow & eat.I will be more than happy to go a support a company that stand up for family morals. GOD BLESS THEM!
(I left the poor grammar and lack of space bar intervention to illustrate their point fully.)

Okay. If you are going to go eat at Chick-Fil-A, then by all means do it. But do it because you love their fried chicken patties. Do it because you think their soft serve ice cream tastes like it was squeezed from the teet of an angel. Or do it because their waffle fries make your panties wet. But don't just do it because they "stand up for family morals." Seeing that the original post was about gay marriage, I get the impression, Anonymous, that you think family morals can only happen in a family with a man, woman, 2.5 kids and dog named Rover. Wake up and smell the regular coffee that I told you was decaf because I didn't want to make a whole 'nother pot. For your information, lots of non-traditional families have plenty of family morals. A kid with two dads does not grow up to be a social degenerate any more than a kid who has a mother and a father. I am so fucking sick of stupid ass bitches, cunts and assholes coming down on same sex marriage and my patience is running thin. Here in New York state, it is only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal. Governor Andrew Cuomo has made it a priority. That's right, within a year you may have to hear about two men getting married. That will disgust you more than hearing about a man who left his wife and kids after 15 years of marriage since they are straight and must have the monopoly on family morals. If marriage is so fucking important, I think Anonymous should start a campaign to make it illegal for anyone to get divorced. That way, we can be certain that family morals will be held intact by those who know it best: heterosexual couples. The decline in family morals has nothing to do with gay rights, you know that right? Heterosexual couples have been fucking that shit up for decades. The gays haven't had a chance yet.

Yes, I have been with the same man for twenty goddamn years. In fact, I don't know anyone my age who has been with their husband or wife for longer than that. (Strike that. Shout out to David and Eden!) Believe it or not, we consider ourselves a family. Our little family of three (we have a dog) is just as important as someone who happened to marry someone of the opposite sex and push out some children.

I need to breathe.

Okay, my point is that family morals don't come from one place. They can come from Chick-Fil-A but they can also come from a tiny gay owned business like the The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Family morals do not only reside in Christian homes in the the United States. So sure, ask God to bless Chick-Fil-A, but I read the Bible plenty and I am pretty sure that it says that God loves a lot of people. To quote Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol, "God bless us, everyone!" And to that, I add this: fuck you, bitch.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stroller Bitches From Hell, Part 2

I served brunch on Sunday. It has been quite some time since I have had the pleasure of carrying mimosas and eggs benedict, but on Sunday I was shoved back into that world and it was not an easy transition. Brunch and I go way back. I served it for 6 years when I worked at the Marriott and then for another 18 months when I worked at VYNL. I thought I was prepared for the hot mess that is a Sunday brunch when I agreed to pick up the shift. My first table reminded me why brunch is only fun when I get to consume Bloody Mary's rather than serve them.

The restaurant opens at 11:00 AM so of course at 10:55, people start gathering at the door and cupping their hand at the window to peer inside as if that will make time move faster. Were we ready to open at 10:55? Yes, we were, but they can wait their asses outside for five more minutes while we mentally prepare ourselves. At 10:59 one of the douchebaggy types taps on the window and then taps his watch to let us know what time it was. The door was unlocked at precisely 11:00 and the hell began.

My first table was a young couple with a stroller that was bigger than a Manhattan studio apartment. I flashed back to the Stroller Bitches From Hell that I served on the Upper East Side. As per usual, the parents saw absolutely no problem with parking the baby in the only place that I was able to stand therefore rendering it near impossible to reach their table. I get it. People have kids and then they put them in strollers. What I don't get is why the stroller needs to be the size of an SUV. I was a manny (male nanny) for about a year (for real) and my baby was in the smallest stroller possible. Her mother told me she saw no sense in spending hundreds of dollars on a stroller just so it could be in the way all the time. As I pushed Lillian down the street, did I feel judged by all the other nannies because my stroller was not a Graco or a Bugaboo? Yes, a little. But on the plus side, when we went into a restaurant I didn't make the waiter do a hop, skip and a jump just to hand me a glass of water because my gigantic stroller was blocking the table. Anyhoo, the parents blocked themselves in barricading their table with their baby and stroller. So when I poured scalding hot coffee, I had to do so over their baby. When I passed plates of food, I did that over their baby too. When I cleared plates with dirty silverware, that also happened directly over their baby. They never noticed how much more difficult it was for me because all they cared about was their coffee refills. And their baby.

Later that day, I went to the coffee station only to be prevented by a double wide stroller that had been crammed into the side stand. I looked around to see who thought that was good idea. The lady at table 12 said, "Oh, we just put that there to get it out of our way." So now it's in my way, bitch. How about the next time I am filling ramekins with ketchup I just spread them out on your table so they're out of my way?

What is the solution? Do I expect people to not use strollers anymore? Of course not. But why not leave the strollers on the sidewalk and carry the baby in a papoose or baby bjorn or your arms? Or maybe the baby can take up temporary residence in the place it came from: the uterus. Just pop that baby back into the pie hole for an hour or so while you eat and when you get out of my station you can re-birth it and be on your merry way. This makes wonderful sense to me, but I can understand why some women may not want to put their baby back inside them while they eat brunch just to satisfy their Bitchy Waiter. It's only a suggestion. At the very least though, consider leaving the stroller out of the tiny restaurant that only seats 35 people. They get in the fucking way.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's Easter! Let's Serve Brunch!

I am taking the day off from blogging so I can work my first brunch in about six years. And it's Easter brunch. I would ask God to have mercy on my soul today, but I know He's busy commemorating the resurrection of his son today and all that, so I'll just cross my fingers and hope for the best. I chose to re-post this piece because it has the word "Easter" in it. Happy Sunday!

While reading all the comments to the infamous vegetarian post it brought to mind another incident that happened at Pizzeria Uno once and it involved someone eating something they didn't mean to eat. A table had ordered the delicious pizza skins® which were described on the menu as "a single serving of our signature skins complete with mashed potatoes, cheese, bacon and sour cream." Basically, it was mashed potatoes on a pizza crust and I subsisted off of those for three or four months because they were the cheapest thing on the employee menu. One night as I was ignoring my section and eating pizza in the kitchen I heard a commotion out in the dining room. Yelling, crying, the works. Of course my nosy ass immediately dropped my slice and went out to see how I could be of assistance. A table had finished eating their Pizza Skins and then realized that there was bacon on them. The table was Muslim. And pork was forbidden. How they ate a whole plate of something covered in bacon and not question it, I will never know. If you ordered something and it came out with crispy pieces of meat sprinkled all over it, wouldn't you ask what it was just to be certain they weren't rat poops or something? (At Pizzeria Uno, South Street Seaport, a very real possibility.) The family was screaming at their waiter for not telling them they had ordered something with bacon as if it was his duty to know what foods were forbidden by every religion. And even if he did know, did they say, "We are Muslim and we are ready to order now?" I doubt it. They were very upset. The manager intervened and did the only thing he could do; he comped it. That's right, the family had just devoured something that may send their souls to the eternal depths of hell and we took $4.00 of their check. I felt bad for them, I really did. The older woman was clearly devastated. How were we to know though? Shouldn't they have read the menu and asked what bacon was? If they sat in my station, I would've had no idea. I had only just moved to New York City from South Texas, so I only knew about Catholics and Southern Baptists and as far I know they are both allowed to eat heaps and heaps of pork. In fact, in the Baptist religion I'm pretty certain that ham is just as important as Christmas and Easter. The family left the restaurant awash with the fear of their God. They all looked petrified of the future. Well, except for the youngest girl. She was smiling. You know she liked the taste of the bacon. Evil or not, that shit is good.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

LIfe is a Bowl of Cherries

Every so often, the stars align in such a way that allows me to have a perfect storm of fun at work. It is rare indeed that I can write the word "fun" in the same sentence as "work" but it occasionally happens. A few nights ago was one of those nights. And the weird thing is I wasn't even drinking on the job. It is a phenomenon that is unexplainable when fun happens at work. It's like some kind of scientific formula that comes together in such a way that creates the perfect ingredients for laughter. It's as if a bluebird flies over a rainbow and poops out a bunch of confetti that sprinkles into the pot of gold.

I think what happened was the crew was one that I have not worked with in a very long time so it all seemed fresh; as fresh as basket of eggs from an organic, free-range chicken. We all hugged when we got to work and told each other how good it was to be together again after so many weeks of not working the same shift. Our group hug lasted for about ten minutes at which time we decided it was time to get going on our sidework. "I'll go get the ice," I said but then Tom insisted that he get the ice and then Alison demanded that she gets the ice. We all got the ice together walking into the ice room holding hands. We placed the 5-gallon bucket onto Alison's back and Tom and I loaded her down with ice for the evening. As we carried her upstairs, the hostess Liz floated into work. "Hello, all! Isn't it a glorious day to be at work?" she exclaimed. We all agreed and wrapped Liz into another group bear hug. Eight minutes later, we released the hug and carried on with our jobs.

The customers that night were all supreme models of human beings with every single one knowing exactly what they wanted and they each left at least a 25% tip. Most of them seemed to bus their own tables and they all paid quickly and got out allowing us to turn up the music and clean up the place. Tom popped open a champagne bottle and poured us each a glass of bubbly. "I'd like to propose a toast," he said. "To good co-workers and even better friends!" We all hoisted our glasses into the air and nodded in agreement. Within a few minutes the sidework was done and I heard the tell-tale sound of another bottle of champagne being opened to celebrate being finished.

At this time, someone knocked on the already locked door. We could see it was a pizza delivery guy who was holding five pies. I cracked the door open. "Uh, I was delivering pizzas to another office but I lost the address so I thought maybe you guys would want these? They're on the house." I thanked the pizza guy and gave him a bottle of Makers Mark as a tip. We devoured the pies along with three more bottles of champagne. Our night was done. We all hugged each other again and divided up our tips. We each walked with $275 for four hours of work. Sometimes the life of a waiter is fucking prefect.

And sometimes, it's a fucking dream that you have after eating a foot long Italian sub from Subway at 1:30 in the morning.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

The True Meaning of Good Friday

What a busy day today is for not only is it Good Friday, it also Earth Day. So as you head over to the recycling center in an effort to appreciate Mother Earth, spend a moment commemorating the day that Jesus was crucified. After you have given proper respect to both of those events, then please turn your attention to the the real reason that April 22 is so damn important. Today is the 85th birthday of Charlotte Rae, also known as Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life. It is no secret that I have a thing for this classic television show as evidenced here. I even dreamed about it a few days ago. In that dream I went to Central Park to meet some friends and when I got there, all of the girls from the show were lounging on a blanket behind us. They were all in bikinis and lookin' good. Even Natalie. Within moments, I was hanging out and having a picnic with them. Can dreams like this really come true? God, I hope so.

So what does Charlotte Rae have to do with The Bitchy Waiter? Gimme a second and I'll come up with something.

Okay, got it. You know on the second season of the show, Charlotte lost a lot of weight so the producers wanted to write it into the script. Therefore they changed her role on the show and Mrs. Garrett went from being housemother to all the girls to being the dietitian for the school cafeteria. All the girls worked there and there were many episodes that had them clearing tables and bussing trays. That Natalie really knew how to hold a bus tub. In another episode, Jo decided to become an entrepreneur and started selling pizzas from a recipe handed down from her mother, Rose. In this episode, Charlotte Rae gives her finest line reading of all time, "What's that wonderful smell?" (at the 18 second mark). You see? More food service involving Mrs. Garret and the girls. They were practically the original Bitchy Waitresses and Mrs. Garret was head bitch. And who can forget their foray into business when they opened Edna's Edibles which was a bakery? Yet again, The Facts of Life is about service and food, just like my life. The store eventually burned down because producers were probably sick of looking at that set that consisted of wicker baskets and breads and wanted something hip and cool to keep the kids interested. This is when they took the show into the wrong direction by opening a gift shop called "Over Our Heads" where they sold inflatable palm trees, records by Oingo, Boingo and other stupid ass shit. This was when Charlotte Rae knew she needed to jump that ship and get the hell out of Dodge.

But happy birthday to you, Charlotte Rae. I wish you would come into my station so I could sing a song to you and present you with a semi-thawed birthday cake with a dirty birthday candle that I found in the back of the drawer underneath an old menu insert. But for you, I would really mean it when I sang. For you are my food service inspiration for the day.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Will Waiters be the Next Dinosaur?

There is a vicious Internet rumor going around that the days of waiters and waitresses are numbered. We could be as extinct as the dinosaur, the dodo bird or Whitney Houston's vocal chords. According to a CNN article, the newest craze in the restaurant world are tablets that allow customers to place their own orders that will be sent directly to the kitchen thus eliminating the need a for a real live human server to talk to you. I assume these tablets do not require tips. According to the article, the tablets also provide games to help pass the time while waiting for your food and they even accept payment. Does this mean that my career is soon over? Twenty restaurants on the West Coast (rumored to be Applebee's) will be implementing these tablets soon. I guess if it takes off, then the tablets will sweep across the country rendering my ass out of job within a few months. But won't customers miss the warm personal interaction that they receive from a human being? This brings up many concerns:
  • Customers cannot ask a tablet for its personal opinion on the special soup of the day. Will a tablet tell you that the creamy spinach soup tastes like ass?
  • When you find a hair in your food, you really want to have a waitress to blame for it.
  • If all orders are taken by the device, who will the cooks bitch at when they fuck up an order?
  • If you go into an Applebee's with your toddler, you expect him to be served a margarita instead of apple juice. Will a tablet do that? I don't think so.
  • What about senior citizens who can't even operate a DVR remote control? How in the hell are they supposed to figure out how to use a tablet to order a cup of extra hot decaf, a water with no ice and a bowl of chicken soup with no salt? And who will bring them their mug of hot water so they can rinse the silverware before they use it?
  • Will dirty old men still feel the need to grab the ass of the tablet whenever it bends over to pick up something off the floor?
  • If there are no waiters, who will be responsible for wiping down these dirty sticky tablets at the end of the day?
  • How are tablets going to wear skid-resistant shoes from Payless?
  • Who will drunk older women flirt with if all they have is a battery-operated device that can service all their needs? Oh, wait. Forget that one.
  • What will happen when the tablets break down? And you know they will break down. Any restaurant turns into a cluster fuck when the computers go down for even a second, so what will customers do in this dire situation?
  • If there are no waiters, who will managers suppress?
  • How will a tablet take an undercooked burger back to the kitchen even though the customer asked for it medium rare and then ask the cooks to please burn the fuck out of the patty until it resembles a goddamn hockey puck?
These are things that must be kept in mind before we turn our restaurants over to the world of technology. Servers have an important role in restaurants that maybe some big corporations are forgetting. Customers like the feeling of being taken care of and a electronic tablet will simply not serve that need. We servers are there to treat our guests with respect and to make sure their dining experience is a good one. Our customers deserve the attention that only a human being can give them. A tablet will only offer a cold and impersonal experience to diners. For me personally, if a customer is going to have cold impersonal meal dealing with a machine that doesn't give a shit about them or what they order, I want to be that machine that provides them with that experience. Call me old-fashioned, but I care.

If you care about this national trend, please share this article with everyone in the whole entire world.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Fancy Ass Dessert, Comin' Right Up

I can admit when I am wrong. Over time, it has become clear that the world is a better place when people just own up to their mistakes. For instance, if I forget to ring in an order and table 12's well-done burger sits in my apron for ten minutes before I remember to ring it in, I am flat out honest with the table and tell them why their food is taking so long. It's better than blaming it on the kitchen or some other bullshit excuse. I think it makes your table appreciate your honesty and then tip you better. It's not easy to admit that I have made a mistake, but that is what I am going to do right now. Last week at work, I mispronounced the specialty dessert to about four or five tables without realizing that I was letting myself sound like a complete and utter idiot.

When I get to work, I look at the specials list and try to commit them to memory. Nobody wants to hear their server read a list of specials off of a piece of paper. It takes about two minutes to memorize the four specials and three desserts so I do it in order to appear professional to my guests. After my first table of the evening was finished with their meal, I approached them with a dessert menu and began to explain what the specials were. One of the desserts was something I had never heard of. It was called a "clafoutis." (See picture above.) It's a French dessert that is pronounced all Frenchy. Click here to hear its proper pronunciation. It was described to me as a warm cranberry dessert that is similar to a custard-like cake. As I began my description of it, I suddenly could not remember what it was called. I hadn't written it down, so I just went for it. I called it a flatooey. Yes, a flatooey. I may as well have called it a shipoopi. Or a Zamboni. I said it with 100% confidence like there really was a fucking French dessert called a flatooey. The guy at the table started laughing when I said it and my stupid ass thought he was laughing with me, not at me. I gave him a look that said, "I know, isn't that the craziest name for a dessert you have ever heard?" I rolled my eyes having no idea he probably knew that I was trying to say clafoutis.

I went on to a couple more tables with my lack of French dessert knowledge. Finally, I went back to the board to see what kind of sauce the other dessert came with and that was when I realized I had been calling the fancy French dessert a fucking flatooey all night long. It struck me as funny and I started to giggle. The chef asked me what was so funny, but I didn't dare tell him that I was totally botching up his dessert description all night. Years and years in the restaurant business and here I was felled by the pronunciation of one single dessert. My humble upbringing had bitten me hard in the ass. Desserts of Ding-Dongs, Pop Tarts, Betty Crocker and candy bars had not prepared me for a centuries-old fancy-ass dessert from France called a clafoutis. I corrected my pronunciation, but still did not know it was French. For the rest of the night, I pronounced it like I was in Texas and didn't give it a hint of a French accent. It wasn't until I got home that night and Googled it, that I learned the proper way to say it. All night I said it like I was offering them a fucking Moon Pie with Blue Bell ice cream. "Why hi thar folks, Maybe y'alled like to try this high falutin' dessert we gots tonight called a clawfootie. It shore is good. Granny done cooked it up in the backyard next to the cement pond. Y'all come back now, ya hear?" God, I'm an idiot.

By the way, I also learned that since it was served with cranberries and not cherries, the dessert was technically called a flaugnarde. So I wasn't the only one who was wrong that night.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear Bitchy Waiter

This is what showed up in my inbox this week so I will take a moment to answer this in all seriousness. I think this email deserves a real response. It can be handy for anyone who may be visiting The Big Apple sometime soon.

Dear Bitchy Waiter,

I started following you about a month ago on Facebook and enjoy your postings. Wondered if you could make some dining recommendations for NYC? That's probably a loaded question, but we are looking for some good middle of the road places for lunch and then a couple really good places for dinner. We don't have to go to any see and be seen places. Any thoughts would be great.


Dear Steve,

As of 4/1/10, New York City is home to 23,499 active restaurants according to That is a lot to choose from. Lucky for you, I have either eaten at or worked at a most of those, give or take 23,000 or so. I am going to just offer up some of my favorite places to eat and then you can take it from there.
  • If you want to try my newest guilty pleasure and venture to an outer borough, try Salt and Fat in Sunnyside Queens. Easily accessible by the 7 train from Times Square and who can resist a restaurant that serves popcorn popped in bacon fat?
  • For a delicious and cheap slice of pizza, my all time favorite pizza in New York City is Two Boots. They have multiple locations from Ninth Avenue and 44th Street to the Lower East Side. Thin cornmeal crust and totally unique pies.
  • For affordable comfort food try Chat and Chew near Union Square. Yummy mac and cheese.
  • Also in Union Square is Blue Water Grill. Pricey, so be prepared. Wonderful seafood and I think it's all sustainable and organic if that is important to you.
  • For a wonderful burger, go to Five Napkin Burger. There are two in Manhattan; one on the Upper West Side and the other is in Hell's Kitchen and right near Two Boots! The burgers are all grass-fed and organic and I love them. Delicious cocktails too.
  • For a lunch burger and if you're on the go, stop at Shake Shack.
  • If you're up for a trip to Brooklyn, you will love Buttermilk Channel. Amazing fried chicken and cheddar waffles and totally worth the trip to lovely Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
  • I love Basilica Italian restaurant. It's tiny, quaint, charming and affordable. On Ninth Avenue and 46th St. Homemade and delicious.
  • For Mexican food I have two favorites. One is the pricey Rosa Mexicano. The pomegranate margaritas are to die for. The food is wonderful and it's not your typical enchilada combo place. For Tex Mex in a lively atmosphere, try Arriba, Arriba. Killer margaritas and cheesy gloopy deliciousness.
  • For cheap breakfast or lunch, go to The Grey Dog.
  • Another breakfast option is VYNL. Great for lunch too, but I love their happy hour the most. I used to work there. If you tell them The Bitchy Waiter sent you, they will either give you a hug or kick you in the balls.
I hope this helps. Have fun in New York City. I wish I could tell you where I work so I could have you in my station but alas. I am anonymous...

The Bitchy Waiter

Have a question? You can email me here!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Si, Señora. Soy Mexicano

Although it is not certain, I think I was verbally assaulted by a racist last night. One of my regulars who we all know at work as pretty much crazy was in my station. She is a performer and quite well known but last night she was there as a patron of the arts instead of standing on the stage and screeching out notes that were in her range about a decade ago, but now not so much. She wanted me to know that she had just enjoyed dinner at a Mexican restaurant and she had already sucked down two margaritas. In my attempt to make small talk, I told her that I love Mexican food. She seemed surprised. Like Mexican food was her little secret in the culinary world and she couldn't believe that anyone else had ever heard of the exotic treat "taco." "Sure, I love Mexican food," I told her. "After all, I'm from Texas and I am half Mexican." This comment too seemed to take her by surprise. I wasn't sure which part of the statement was so interesting. I certainly don't appear to be your average Texan since I do not have a drawl nor do I have a gun rack on the back window of my pick-up truck. "You're half Mexican?" She said this after sucking in her breath at an alarming rate. "I had no idea." Now if you knew me, you wouldn't necessarily think I was half Mexican either because I have fair skin and light eyes, but my last name is definitely of Mexican descent. That, and my clinical addiction to tortillas and Tequila should quell any questions about my heritage. Crazy Lady continued. "I can't believe you're half Mexican. You don't seem Mexican at all. You seem all regular." Wait, did this bitch just use the word "regular" to describe my race? Regular in the same way that "nude" pantyhose are flesh colored for white people and the way that Crayons used to have a color called "flesh" that was the color of white people flesh? Awww, hell no. I was about to reach into my pocket, pull out a handful of pinto beans and rub them all up in her gringo face. Do not make me add another tear tattoo under my eye because I may have to kill a bitch. (I will do the tattoo myself with a Bic pen, a needle and lighter.) As I walked away, I heard her say to the table next to her, "Can you believe he is half Mexican?" So now my race is a topic of conversation amongst my whole station.

I personally don't see race. I really don't. I guess growing up as a child who never knew which circle to fill in on the race section of the SAT's and crap made it something of a non-issue for me. I never wanted to check Caucasian and dis my dad or classify myself as Mexican and ignore my Mom, so I always put "other" and moved on. The next time I see Crazy Lady though, I will put on my best Cheech and Chong accent and drive to her table in a low-rider while wearing a big fucking sombrero. I want to make sure she is real clear on the stereotypes of us rice and bean eaters just like she has made it clear for me that all 70 year old female jazz singers in New York City must be racists who have no problem insulting me right to my half-Mexican face.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sick Baby on Board

The thing with babies is that you can't ever leave them alone, even when you want to. Again, I don't have kids, but that's what I've heard. Surely there are times when a parent secretly wishes that they could just put their baby in a crate, go out to dinner and then come home two hours later, give it some water and take it out for a walk. That seems to work great for my dog. Or maybe there are times when the baby wants to stay home but the parents drag it out anyway. This may have been the case last night when a couple had dinner with their horribly sick child. Looking at that baby's eyes, they seemed to be saying, "Bitch, I just wanna be at home with some Saltines, ginger ale, a National Enquirer and Oprah."

I was in my station at the front of the restaurant when my bossy co-worker (read all about him here) came to me and told me (not asked me...) to help clean up the milk that a baby spilled at table 21. Making my way to the spill zone, I saw another server in the dish room wiping down a high chair. The milk looked bumpy and slimy so I assumed it was some kind of nasty cheap ass baby formula that comes from Costco. The waiter was putting on rubber gloves. "That is some weird looking milk, right? I said. He replied. "Oh, it's not milk. The baby threw up all over everything." He began to clean it up as I slowly removed myself from the situation. I do not clean up vomit. (Unlike this super hero.) And then I wondered why the fuck Moe asked me to clean up the "milk" when he knew it was fucking baby puke. One more reason to dislike this guy.

Anhyoo, it was then that I caught my first look at the baby. It was now in pajamas because her clothes were covered in vomit and now in a plastic bag laying on the floor. Obviously, the mother knew this was possibility because she happened to have a pair of pj's in her diaper bag. The poor little baby looked miserable: watery eyes, a crusty snotty nose and a cough that sounded like it belonged to a senior citizen who smoked a pack of Pall Malls every day for the last 80 years. Once, I think I saw her cough up a piece of baby lung. She quickly ingested it again. It may have been a piece of the Caesar salad her mother was feeding her, but I will just go ahead and say I am 99% sure it was baby lung. Meanwhile, the parents continued having a gay old time while their baby continued to hold down vomit and cough up body parts.

They had a two-top open next to them that I refused to seat anyone at, because I know that nobody wants to sit next to a sick baby and a bag of clothes that smell like vomit. We have to do that on the 7 train pretty much every day so you would think we would be used to it, but we're not. The baby finally fell asleep (I hope it was asleep) allowing mom and dad to casually sip their coffee while Sick Baby drooled a puddle of mucus on to Mommy's shoulder. Eventually, they paid the check and went home. Or to the emergency pediatric wing at Elmhusrt Hospital. That baby was fucking sick. But at least Mom and Dad got to go out to eat on a Friday night and good for them. I don't get parents who can ignore the needs of their kids like that. Reminds me of a time I saw this woman at Blizzard Beach in Disney World. Her baby was asleep and she was carrying it around like a sack of potatoes. And someone told me once that I was selfish for not having kids? I don't think so.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Is This Guy For Real?

There is an assumption that all actors are waiters and that all waiters are actors. It is also assumed that once you "make it" as an actor, you will never have to tie an apron around your waist or a noose around your neck because your time with a tray is behind you. Not necessarily. Sometimes, we actors get a six-week contract that lets us do a show and then it's back to the grind. I know plenty of people who have been on Broadway who were back in the restaurant business as soon as the show closed. But what about established Hollywood types who make movies? Why would they ever want to go back to waiting tables? If you know Justin Long, you can ask him because that is exactly what he did last month here in New York City. (Justin Long is that guy from the Mac vs. PC commercials. He's the cool Mac guy. I think he also tickled the fancy of Drew Barrymore for a while.)

He was eating at BLT Fish in March when he thought it would be fun to buy a BLT T-shirt and then pretend to be a waiter. Isn't that hilarious? OMG, Justin, that is so funny. A source (probably his publicist) tells E! News, "He just started picking up glasses, cleaning tables. One lady was asking him questions about the menu and he was just making up answers..." Again, Justin, stop being so freaking funny. My sides hurt. For real. Stop it. The source goes on to say, "He'd come back in the kitchen, grabbing menus, filling waters, asking questions. The chef was laughing at him. Justin was totally cool."

Okay, I call bullshit. There is no freaking way that he did that for an hour. Like we are supposed to believe that his friends he went out to dinner with were cool that he just made them hang around for an hour and watch him bus tables? They were like, "Okay, real funny, Justin. Can we fucking go now?" And we are supposed to believe that the chef at BLT Fish was laughing? I have never worked in any restaurant where the chef is going to let some random person, famous or not, hang out in the kitchen and make up answers about their food. And what about the waiters? After two minutes, I am sure they were all thinking "Okay, can you get out of the fucking way now because this is my job and I am at work, douche bag." Meanwhile, Justin was all, "Hey guys look at me, I'm a hostess now! And now I'm a dishwasher! And now I'm a bartender. I'm funny, huh? Man, why did Drew Barrymore ever leave me? " I'll tell you why, Justin, You seem like cocksmack, that's why.

At the end of this crazy hour of fun, he gave all of his tips to the employees. Because he's cool that way. I mean, how much did he make in an hour (if he really did this for an hour?) And who the hell gave him a tip anyway? Did he just take over someones station and then closed the checks for them? Did he do side work? Did he have to roll silverware at the end of the night? Nah, he just took the few bucks that people gave him and tossed it to the sad employees as if they should be so happy that he graced them with this event. It's a story they will all be able to tell their grandchildren some day:

(Say this in an old man voice):
Kids, when I was once a waiter in the Big Apple, this famous actor who did commercials for Mac computers thought he'd be funny and started waiting tables at my job even though he didn't know what the fuckity fuck he was fucking doing. He was totally in the way and he annoyed the fuck out of me. And then he gave me five dollars. He was total asshat and I never went to see another one of his movies again. I also threw away every Apple product I owned. The end.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Chocolate Fishy Goodness

This is a repost. Last night at my job, I learned that someone I work with is also a Bennigan's survivor so this post is in his honor. Even though he has no idea this blog exists.

We have all found something in food that should not be there haven't we? If we find a hair in our salad at home, we simply remove it and go on eating, assuming that the hair is our own and not from one of the people at the grocery store who stocked the produce. However, when someone finds a hair in their food at the restaurant there is absolutely no way that it can be anyone else's hair except the waiter. And they freak out. I mean, it's a hair. Get over it. Some people act like it's a poison that is going to burn their throat if it gets anywhere near them. But a hair? That's nothin'.

I worked at a place once where the kitchen was full of douchebag cooks who got a kick out of making the servers miserable. Theoretically, it was Bennigan's in Houston, Texas on Shepherd at Highway 59, but it really could be any restaurant in the world because nine times out of ten, the kitchen is full of douchebag cooks. Anyhoo, one of my tables had ordered the delicious and freshly thawed Brownie Bottom Sundae Death by Chocolate Creamy Fudge Pie or whatever the fuck they called it. My table called me over because they had found something in their dessert that was neither chocolate nor brownie. Even I was surprised at what was before my eyes. I guess the dessert "chef" was pissed at me for having a more fulfilling life than him and he was seeking vengeance. Under the ice cream and covered in fudge, there was a fish tail that had been cut off from the deep fried crispy catfish. A fucking fish tail poking out of the gooey chocolate goodness. There was no way to deny it. It was not a hair that I could suggest was one of their own or a bug that only proves that out produce is "unbelievably fresh." It was a fucking raw fish tail in their dessert. I stifled laughter because even though I was mad that this asshat cook was fucking with my tip, it was pretty funny. The table was all upset about it and blah blah bah, but you just tell them that the next dessert is free or you give them a coupon to buy one plate of nachos and get another one for half-price, and they get over it real quick.

I never acknowledged it to the cook because I didn't want to give him the satisfaction. I saw him staring at me trying to gauge my reaction, but I gave him nothing. Well nothing except a glob of mayonnaise under the door handle of his car, but other than that, nothing.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Drunk Babies Are the New Black

It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about a baby that went into an Applebee's as a sweet innocent toddler and came out as a drunk alcoholic 15 month old with addiction issues. Apparently, getting babies drunk is all the rage because it happened again this time at an Olive Garden in Florida. A two and a half year old boy was mistakenly served sangria instead of orange juice and he got all drunk and bleary eyed. The mother said that as they were eating, the waiter came over and whisked the cup away and just told them he had to get them another one. When the nosy mother asked why, the waiter explained the mix up. So wait. This waiter was going to just try to sneak it away without telling them what the fuck happened and try to pass it off as no big deal? He was seriously going to not tell them why he suddenly had to pull the cup away from the thirsty kid? He thought it was okay to not tell the mother that he had accidentally served her child sangria? I really like this waiter, but he could have stuck to his plan and not tell her that they got the baby trashed. He could have just said that he realized the glass was dirty or the orange juice was expired. Of course the worry-wart mom took the baby to the hospital and he is fine. C'mon. It's sangria from The Olive Garden. We all know that shit is mostly fruit punch with a tablespoon of cheap red wine thrown in it. But if The Olive Garden is going to start indiscriminately handing out sangria I may have to rethink my opinion on them.

Now I don't have a baby, but this got me to thinking. I have a plan. I want to wrap my dog up in a Snuggie and take him out to eat with me at Outback Steakhouse. I will order my "baby" a cranberry juice and tell them that he is getting over a urinary tract infection. When they bring his cup to the table, I will dump out the cranberry juice and substitute it with some Cosmo that I will have in my flask. I will then proceed to make a scene. "Oh my God! My baby is drunk! My baby is drunk. The dingo ate my baby! My baby is drunk! Who served a Cosmo to my precious baby? I will sue, I tell you! I will sue!!" At this point the manager will come out and ask me what the problem is. I will show him my baby and tell him that before he was served a Cosmo he was a perfectly fine baby. But now he is slurring his words, his eyes are bloodshot and he is covered in doggie fur. This is clearly the fault of the restaurant who accidentally served him a Cosmo. I will rush my baby to the veterinarian right after I phone 1-800-SUE-THEM to get my case set up. I will settle out of court for a lifetime supply of Bloomin' Onions® and Aussie Cheese Fries.

I don't know what's going out there in the world where servers are getting babies drunk. All I know is I have a shift tonight and if there is a baby within of ten foot radius of my station I am going to force feed it a tequila shot and make it play a round of beer pong with me. Drunk babies are fun!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One Drunk Ass Baby

Have you heard about the world's luckiest baby who was served a margarita without being carded or even having to ask for it? This baby has my dream life. At an Applebee's in Michigan, a baby was mistakenly served a margarita instead of the apple juice his mother had ordered for him. I guess after a few sips of the sweet nectar known as Tequila, the 15-month-old boy started acting strangely. Although it is not official, I feel certain that the baby started drunk texting and coming on to the 8-month old girl at the next booth. In addition, his words were slurred and he was drooling. The mother opened up his sippy cup and realized that her baby was on the road to an AA meeting and he didn't even have his driver's license yet. Of course she complained (as she should have) and the manager apologized (as he should have.) The mother had this pearl of wisdom to say: "Nobody at the table ordered alcoholic drinks, so he definitely shouldn't have received one." Brilliant, mom. Like if someone had ordered a margarita it might be a little bit more understandable why they poured a freakin' margarita into a sippy cup and then gave it to the person in the high chair? But since no one ordered anything from the bar, it was extra super wrong for this to happen.

They took the baby to the hospital where his blood alcohol level was .10 -- over the legal limit for an adult driver. Hopefully, they took away the keys to his Big Wheel because parents don't let babies drive drunk. The kid was fine despite the massive hangover he had the next morning. The baby was quoted as saying, "Why do I always think I can handle that last cocktail? Never again. I need a Big Mac to soak up some of this alcohol. Mom, can I get a Happy Meal?" The mother reminded him that the Happy Meal may or may not have a toy in it. The baby replied by puking and crawling into the kitchen to make a Bloody Mary. "A little hair of the dog, then," said the lushy toddler.

No word on what Applebee's has done to make sure this does not happen again. I suspect more training will come into play where they will potentially ask to see some identification from anyone who orders a drink, alcoholic or otherwise. I would also suggest that they offer this baby a lifetime supply of Rose's Lime juice, triple sec and house tequila since they are the ones who introduced the kid to the joys of cocktails. Or to appease his mom, next time they could just slide him and apple martini.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Bitch is Back

After reading several posts from many months ago, something seems ominously clear to me. As horrible as it is to admit, I seem to have gotten a little soft as of late. The cockles of my heart have warmed up a bit and recent posts seem more observational than straight up (now tell me do you really wanna love me forever) bitchy. Today, that shall change.

A few days ago I had woman in my station who had a skull as thick as the layer of dust on the knick knack shelf at The Bennigan's I used to work at. For anyone who has ever worked in a Bennigan's, you know what I'm talking about; those stupid ass shelves full of useless clutter that are supposed to give ambiance to the place. Be it an old wagon, an antique hand mixer or a street sign, that shit is covered in dust because who the fuck wants to climb their ass up on the back of the booth just to wipe that shit off? Anyhoo, this lady in my station was thick-skulled and by that I mean as dumb as a fucking bag of old tired weaves from Wendy Williams. (How you doin', Wendy? I know you have a Google alert on yourself.) This was my interaction with the lady at table 22:

Bitchy Waiter: Hello, can I get you something to drink tonight, ma'am?
Dumb Bitch: Yes. What do you have that's non-alcoholic?
BW: Well, we have Coke, Diet Coke, 7-Up, Gingerale, seltzer, coffee, tea, cranberry juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice and bottled water.
DB: Do you have lemonade?

Okay, bitch, I just got through telling you what the fuck we had. Why the hell would I not say lemonade if we have fucking lemonade? She just got on my last nerve.

BW: No, we don't have lemonade.
DB: Oh, you don't?
BW: No. We don't.
DB: I really wanted lemonade.

The lady is now not only on my nerve, but she is now riding it around like it's a pony and she won't get off.

DB: Do you have diet Sprite?
BW: We have Diet Coke.
DB: Is that the only thing you have that's diet?
BW: Well, I suppose bottled water would be considered diet since it is calorie free.
DB: I really wanted a Diet Sprite.
BW: Well, we have Coke, Diet Coke, 7-Up, Gingerale, seltzer, coffee, tea, cranberry juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice and bottled water.
DB: Hmmmmm....

At this point, she has jumped off my nerve and is now squeezing the last bit of life out of it. I drifted off for a second as I wondered what it would feel like to get the matches from my apron and burn off her eyebrows. I decided that it would feel good to me and bad to her so I let that idea fade away.

DB: So, no Diet Sprite, huh? And no lemonade. Uh, okay. I guess I'll just take a decaf coffee with cream.
BW: The cream is not diet, you know.

I laughed at my own joke to cover up the frustration in my voice. She laughed back while I visualized taking the candle and pouring the hot wax onto her nipples. Not in a "sexy" way. In more of a "I hate you" way.

BW: Here's your decaf, ma'am.
DB: Thank you. For my second drink, I'll have a Diet Coke.

Is it wrong of me that I wanted to slap this lady in the face with a cheese grater? Is it her fault that she wanted something I could not provide? Did this post harken back to a time when The Bitchy Waiter was a truly a bitchy waiter?

And on a side note:
There may be fewer posts for a while since I am focusing on my book. Thanks for your understanding. Or I may decide writing a book is too hard and just keep doing this. Who the hell knows. I have no fucking direction in my life...


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Monday, April 11, 2011

500- Ah Ah Ah!

There is the Fortune 500 and The Indianapolis 500 and apparently there is a card game out there called 500, but none of these 500’s are as important as the one I shall discuss today. Count von Count from Sesame Street gave me a ringy dingy and he tells me that his severe case of arithmomania has confirmed that this post right here is the 500th of The Bitchy Waiter. True, some of the posts have been very short and some have been very long. Some have been funny and others have been poignant. Some have been totally lame ass. Regardless of what the post was, each one was counted and we have reached a grand moment. I tried to organize a parade down Fifth Avenue for this auspicious fucking occasion but it turns out that the city of New York does not think this is any big deal. Little do they know, I have agonized for over two years to pump out “quality” material for the internet. Even on days when I have absolutely nothing of interest to say, I have managed to squeeze out some bullshit into the blogosphere and press submit. That takes some doing, New York City. I know that the whole reason my parade was shot down was because of this video I made about our mayor, Mike Bloomberg. He couldn’t take it. He’s scared of me and I don’t blame him. I’m one bitchy ass waiter. Yeah, he’s a billionaire and all powerful and shit but has he ever written 500 blog posts? I don’t think so. (Truth be told, I think he wrote a book but whoop de doo.)

How does one celebrate his 500th posting? I have not yet decided. I could go out and have an exorbitant amount of margaritas and/or mojitos, but how would that be different from any other Monday? Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday even. I could make a point to be super nice to all of my customers as a personal thank you for giving me so much writing material but that would just seem counterproductive and ironic. Perhaps it would make sense to just pat myself on the back for such a monumental achievement but if I really let myself think about it, I will realize that this is such a lame achievement that it would hardly be worth the energy of reaching all the way back there to pat.

Instead, I will just say thank you to all of you who bother to come here and read what I puke onto the keyboard. Although I know a lot of people land here by accident because they Googled “Jean-Claude Van Damme,” to them I also say thank you. But mostly thank you to those who bookmark this sorry ass page or are fans on Facebook or Twitter, for you are the reason that something gets written almost every day. And with that, this post itself is exactly 500 words long. Okay. Now it is.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Mop Nazi

I have been at my new job (in addition to the old one) for about six weeks and I have written surprisingly little about it. Since none of the people I work with know that this blog exists, I am being careful. It ain't easy to leave it out of my topics of conversation since it's sorta my life's work. Just last night, a table mentioned that they bet I have a lot of good stories about waiting tables. It took a lot of effort to not give them one of my business cards. It's best though that no one there knows so I can write freely about them, but in a non-specific way so as not to alert them that they work with The Bitchy Waiter. On the offhand chance that one of them may read this, I don't want any issues. It happened once and I suppose it could happen again. However, I need to write about my boss.

At first glance he seems cold and distant but in all actuality he's just kinda quiet. A seemingly very nice guy who doesn't have too much to say. Now he's got my loud ass all up in his face laughing and telling stories so he seems to be warming up to me. Or tolerating me. Whatever. On my first day, he was giving me the run down of my opening sidework duties. One of them involves mopping the whole restaurant. Thankfully, it's a small 40 seat place so it's not overwhelming. But mopping? Why can't dishwasher Jorge do it? I filled the giant yellow industrial mop bucket with soap and water and got ready to start the chore. He asked me, "Do you know how to mop?" Lordy, lordy, the only people who are more intimate with a mop are Alice from The Brady Bunch and Carol Burnett. I told him that I did in fact know how to mop. As I submerged the dirty stringy mop into the water, he stood at the bar and watched me do it. After about three swabs he said, "You need to push the mop to and fro." Okay, really? This man was seriously not critiquing how I mop was he? I have been using mops since I was seven years old. Okay, maybe I was just pretending that the mop was a customer in my beauty shop, but nonetheless. "Oh, so not side to side, but to and fro? Is that what you want?" I asked sweetly. He arched his eyebrows, closed his eyes, nodded his head and said yes. (Do that, okay? Arch your eyebrows as high as you can and then close your eyes and nod your head. Do you see how disapproving and condescending it seems when done with those actions? This man is serious about his mopping.) I did as was told because I am a model employee and plus I really didn't give shit if every bread crumb from the night before was picked up or not. After all, the lights are so dim once we start service that no one would see a whole freaking loaf of bread if it was on the goddamn floor anyway.

Every time I have mopped since then, I have done it his way. One time I caught myself reverting back to my old disgusting habit of the "side to side method" but quickly reverted when I realized what was happening. How awful would it be if he had security cameras on that he could see what I was doing from the office? I can imagine him bursting out the door, leaving his mild-mannered act behind and going off on me for not following proper mopping procedure. "How dare you ignore my mopping instructions! I said 'to and fro' not 'side to side' do you hear me? To and fro. TO AND FRO! TO AND FRO AND NO WIRE HANGERS! EVER!" So just to be on the safe side, I mop to and fro.

(Attention Carol Burnett: I love you. Please do not sue me for lifting this image of your charwoman character. I know you like to sue people. I have nothing to sue for. If you sue me, the only thing I have to give you is my Thursday night shift with the Mop Nazi. Thanks.)

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

More Cheese, Please

The show I was working last week was really loud. The crowd was having a good time and it was rather fun since I didn't have to whisper everything. When there is a singer, piano, bass, drums and brass, the atmosphere at work is decidedly more upbeat. When it came time to get round two of the cocktails out, I went over to booth number four and asked the man what he'd like. Leaning into his booth, I said, "Sir, can I get you anything else right now?" "What's that?" he said. I repeated my question with a bit more volume. He yelled into my ear, "What cheese do you have?"

We sell a cheese plate that I can never remember what kind of cheeses are on it. Gouda, cheddar, brie, Velvetta, whiz? I can't recall. No matter how many times I ask, it goes in one ear and out the other. Do you ever have those things that no matter how hard you try, you just can't commit it to memory? It's the same way I can never differentiate between the Q and the N train. Or prosciutto or pancetta. Or regular or decaf. You know, things that are pretty much the same but not quite. Rather than make up some random cheeses, I went to ask a co-worker. She was no help. "I'm not sure. I just always say 'three non-stinky cheeses' and that's it." Really? People are satisfied with that? Okay. Thanks. I was hesitant to ask my manager again because he would know that this isn't the first time I have had to ask and I have worked there for about 18 months. Clearly, there was no excuse for me to not know the three cheeses on the cheese plate. If I had to ask him again he may get the impression that I simply didn't give a shit about the cheese plate. So I asked him again. He told me the names of the three cheeses, two of which I have already forgotten. One of them was St. Andre, I know that. As soon as he told me, I ran to the table to regurgitate the cheeses before the names slipped out of my head and onto the floor.

"Sir, we have St. Andre, 'whatever the fuck it was' and 'whatever else the fuck it was' for cheese tonight."

"What?" he said. It was really loud in there that night. Neither one of us could hear shit.

"St. Andre, whadayacallit and thingamajig are our cheeses. Cheese!"

He pulled his head back and wrinkled up his forehead. He acted like he didn't know what the fuck I was telling him. "Didn't you want to know what was on our cheese plate?" I practically yelled at him.

He paused for a second and looked at me like the idiot I was soon to feel like. "Teas. I want tea. What TEAS do you have?"

Are you fucking kidding me? "Oh. Teas. Green Tea, Lemon, Red Zinger, Earl Gray, Chamomile, English Breakfast, Orange Ceylon..."

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Movin' On Up

Oh, the celebrities that I come into contact with while working in New York City. It is truly amazing. The opportunities to serve the rich and famous are endless here. Just a few weeks ago I was in the presence of Joan Rivers while working at a trade show. Coincidentally, it was about the third or fourth time I have bumped into her over the years. She has more of a presence in my life than some of my family members. I was in an elevator with her once and during the ride up she entertained us all by describing all the things she could do with her decorator to that ten by ten foot space. You know I have waited on Katy Perry (shh, don't tell the job or I might get fired) and have come into contact with Angela Lansbury. I once served the old man who played Palmer Courtland on All My Children and one time Connie Chung bumped into me as I tried to pass her with a tray of appetizers. This week, I had yet another brush with greatness. A true television icon came into my life and although he did not sit in my station, I did say hello to him. This man has done film, television, Broadway and concerts. His mere presence made my knees quake and my stomach flutter. Ladies and gentleman, I give to you Damon Evans:

Okay, what? You don't know who Damon Evans is? He starred in The Jeffersons as George and Louise's son, Lionel. He actually replaced another actor who played Lionel first and then the first Lionel came back and booted Damon Evans off the show again. It was sorta the way Roseanne had two different Becky's, remember? Damon Evans was the more snobby version of Lionel like Sarah Chalke was the more pretty version of Becky. Anyhoo, Mr. Evans came into the club and I was hoping he would sit in my station so I could ask him if that guy who played Ralph the Doorman was as fucking irritating as he seemed to be. I had other questions for him too:
  1. Why did Mr. Bentley act like he was such a ladies man when he seemed so freakin' gay?
  2. Whatever happened to Mother Jefferson? I guess she died, but couldn't they have given her a "very special episode" or some shit like that?
  3. I know you loved your wife Jenny and her parents were an inter-racial couple, but wasn't her father a total goober? And what did Helen ever see in Tom Willis anyway?
  4. I loved the theme song that was sung by Ja'net Dubois (Willona from Good Times) and can you get me an mp3 of that for free?
  5. Y'all were nominated for Emmy awards all the time and never won. Did that suck?
  6. Was Marla Gibbs as funny as she seemed when she played Florence?
  7. Did you ever want to kick the ass of the first Lionel after he came back and took your cushy sweet television sitcom gig?
  8. Did you know that whenever I go bowling I put Isabel Sanford as my name in the computer? I'm funny.
  9. What would you like to drink?
Alas, he did not sit in my station. I could only admire him from afar and send out positive vibes from my side of the room. Damon Evans, if you ever read this, I totally would have been honored to get your drink for you. Next time you come in, just ask to sit in the station of The Bitchy Waiter. Tell the host. He'll know who I am.

(For all of you who have no idea what the fuck The Jeffersons is, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Go to Netflix right now and educate yourselves.)

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