Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Lady Walks Into a Bar Holding Two Grapefruits...

It takes all kinds to make this big blue marble that we call earth what it is. As a server, I am constantly surprised by what customers expect me to do. No, I will not run to the store to buy you Ranch dressing. No, I will not cut off the crusts of your child's sandwich. No, I will not do the Hokey Pokey for an extra five dollars. (Ten dollars, yes.) I suppose I should just stop being surprised because every time someone does something that I think can't be topped, someone comes in the next week and tops it.

A few weeks ago a lady came into the restaurant. She was carrying a plastic bag from the grocery store when she walked in and went straight to the manager/owner of the restaurant. She reached into her bag and pulled out two grapefruits and handed them to my boss. "Hi there. I'd like a Greyhound, but I want fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. And will I have to pay the same amount since I brought in my own grapefruits?"

What the fuckity fuck fuck hell is that shit about? Who does that? Is she for real?

She was for real. My boss took the grapefruits and said we would do it. Of course I charged her the regular price because now the bartender has to actually slice grapefruits and find a squeezer to make the cocktail rather than just pour some perfectly fine grapefruit juice out of a can. I wondered what else the lady does in her life that is just as fucking stupid.

At a Macy's: Hi there, I have a yard of white cotton fabric here and I wonder if you could make me some new panties.

At a car lot: Hi there, I have this old tire I found in a ditch and I wonder if I could buy a car but only pay for three tires.

At an airport: Hi there, I need to fly to Florida but I brought my own map. Can I get a discount?

At a funeral home: Hi there, I'm not dead yet but I have this refrigerator box that I want to be buried in. Can you store it for me until I need it and then you won't have to charge my family for a casket?

On the bus: Hi there, I only want to pay half because I am carrying my bike so I could have ridden it to my destination for free.

She enjoyed her first custom fresh-squeezed Greyhound and I asked her if she wanted another since we had only used one grapefruit so far. She looked at the menu and told me she wanted to try something else. "Oh, maybe an Old Fashioned, that sounds good. Hmmm, well tell me what's the most popular." I hate when people do that. Order what you want, not what you think you should order.

"Well, the Sidecar is popular or the Cosmo. But the Old Fashioned is too, so whatever you think you'll like..."

"Okay, I'll have the Old Fashioned then!"

Three minutes later I handed her the drink. She looked at it oddly. "Well, this looks interesting. It looks like something that an old person would drink."

I looked at her senior citizen face. "Yeah, well..."

"No, you know what it looks like? It looks like the kind of drink a priest would have when you have him come over to your house for a visit. Do you know what I mean? Doesn't it? Doesn't it?"

"Yes, ma'am. That's exactly what I was thinking. Do you need anything else?" This lady was weird with a capital Annoying.

The rest of her time in my station was uneventful. When I cleared her table, she had left her grocery bag on the booth seat. I picked it up and looked inside to find one single cucumber. I knew she would be disappointed to realize she had left It behind. It was either going to be her date later that night or she was on her way to a garden party the next morning.

Hi there. I want a cucumber sandwich. Will I have to pay the same amount since I brought in my own cucumber?

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One Cheap Bitch

There are a few things in this world that make my skin crawl:
  1. Snakes. I grew up in the country where Coral snakes and Copperheads lived under the same woodpile as the non-venomous garden variety. They all shared the same future though: head cut off with a hoe, no questions asked.
  2. People who complain about something but don't want anyone to fix the problem. Then don't complain. The purpose of complaining should be that you want a different action. Otherwise, it's just for the sake of complaining.
  3. Going out to dinner with a large group of people. Allow me to explain:

It's never easy, is it? I don't think I would like it even if I didn't have years of experience on the other side of the menu. In a group of ten people, there is always someone who wants to scam in order to save themselves a few bucks. "Oh, I have to catch a train, so I'm gonna just throw my money in now for everything I had. Here's a twenty, that ought to be enough," and they skedaddle their cheap ass outta there. Even Andrew Jackson himself knows that the order of nachos and two beers was more than twenty bucks. He rolls his eyes in embarrassment from having been inside that tacky whore's tacky knock-off Prada bag that she bought on Canal Street.

This happened to me last week. I went to celebrate a birthday with a friend. Drinks were had, jokes were made and mechanical bulls were ridden. At the end of the night, the patron saint of waiters gave us our check. Of course the cheapest people at the table grabbed it first. God forbid they should be the last one to hold it and have to pay an extra two or three bucks. The cheapest bitch of them all was a a friend of a friend who I have absolutely no allegiance to so I don't give a shit if her cheap ass reads this or not. After I finally commandeered the bill so I could make sure everything was happening as it was supposed to, I asked what everyone had put in. Cheap Bitch said, "I'm using a credit card and need to pay ten dollars."

"Ten dollars? What all did you have?" I asked.

"One margarita, that's it."

I looked at the bill in my hand. One small margarita was $9.00. (Truth be told, I didn't even know there was such a thing as small margarita. Mine was $13.00. What the fuck is the point of a small margarita anyway?) "So your margarita is nine dollars and you're going to leave ten? What about tax and tip?" I asked in front of the whole table.

"Yeah, my drink was nine so I'm leaving ten."

I hated this bitch. "So for tax and tip, you're leaving a dollar?"

"Well, what do you think I'm supposed to leave?" she wanted to know. Her head was swaying back and forth like she was daring me to give her an answer.

I gave her an answer. "Well, tax is about 8.25% so that means you are leaving about a twenty-five cents for a tip?" I didn't even mention that we all kinda figured we'd pitch in to pay for the birthday girl.

"Yeah, I'm leaving ten dollars."

"So you're alright with leaving a quarter for a tip?"

"I have a very limited credit card and alls I can afford is ten dollars!"

That ain't a credit card, honey, that's just sad. "Fine," I said and went on with figuring out the rest of the check.

When I finally got it all settled, she told me that she went on ahead to the waiter and paid her portion because she had to go. Maybe it was double fucking coupon night at the dollar store and she needed to get there by midnight to get that roll of toilet paper that was marked down to fifty cents. I went to the waiter to make sure she had paid and he told me she paid nine dollars. Bitch didn't pay for tax OR a tip. Nine dollars, period. I've met her once before and wasn't that impressed, but from now on she is dead to me.

How can people be like that? If you know that tax exists, you have to at least pay that part of your bill, right? Okay, so she didn't tip. No surprise. She also turned down a piece of birthday cake. I know it was because the restaurant was charging a $1.50 slicing fee per person and she didn't want to pay that. She also finagled for someone else to pay the $5.00 required to ride the mechanical bull. "Oh, I don't have my i.d. so they won't let me buy a ticket," she claimed. Birthday Girl told her she'd go do it for her and then just give her the ticket. She did, but then it was necessary to have her hand stamped to prove she were 18 years old. Cheap Bitch miraculously "found" her i.d. in one of her pockets after the five dollars had been paid. She did not pay it back, She rode the bull and I wish more than anything it would have bucked her cheap ass though the wall and into the men's room where she could have enjoyed a big bite of urinal cake.

The check was eventually paid and the waiter was very happy with his tip. There was no slicing fee though and I think it was because we offered him the last piece of cake. We gave him some cake, he left off the slicing fee. He left off the slicing fee, we tipped him better. What goes around comes around which is exactly why Cheap Bitch will get her karma some day. Like maybe she'll get a hell of a paper cut from her buy one get one free coupon for generic tampons. Cheap bitch.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good Deed Or Bad Seed?

It finally happened. After years of working in restaurants, last week I was out being social and I let the needs of my server become more important than my need to be served. The seed of servitude sprouted and grew a weed. It was Sunday night during President's Day weekend. Anyone who has worked in a restaurant on a three-day weekend knows that the Sunday night is basically another Saturday night, so the restaurant has to be staffed appropriately. The place I was at did not staff appropriately. It was my neighborhood wine bar and I was there with friends to celebrate a birthday. It was hard enough for me to be there since they only serve wine and beer but when we walked in, the place was wrecked; tables overflowing with dirty dishes, the bar covered in glasses, the one waitress running around like a processed chicken with its processed head cut off. The bartender was in the weeds and people were crowded around him desperate for another glass of wine, myself included.

I waited patiently at the bar until he had time to take my order. As I stood there, I looked at the two-top by the window waiting for someone to take their order. There was food in the window that was on its way to dying. A nearby four-top had so many empty glasses on the table that they didn't have any place to rest their elbows. I saw two people walk in and scan the room looking for a table to sit at that wasn't dirty. My heart started to beat quicker. Part of the accelerated pace was due to the fact that I needed a Cosmo and my body knew it was only going to get prosecco, but the main reason was because I was feeling the stress that the waitress was under. Eventually, I got my two glasses of prosecco and went back to my seat. (I got two because I'll be damned if I'm gonna wait that long along again.)

"This waitress sucks," said one of my friends. "I ordered a panini like an hour ago."

"She's really in the weeds," I said, defending her. "Has it really been an hour?" In my heart I knew it probably had been about twenty minutes and there was very good chance that the panini died a slow painful death in the window and had to be re-fired.

The sandwich finally made it to the table with a side of apology. As the waitress walked through the crowd, I watched people struggling to get her attention. It hurt me. I couldn't take it any more. I excused myself from my friends and went to the waitress. "Hi, I'm a waiter at the restaurant down the block. You are so in the weeds and I want to help. What can I do?"

"Oh no, it's fine. We normally have two servers but one called in and then we got slammed."

The bartender looked at me and realized he knew me from the neighborhood. "Let me clear some tables," I told him. "Or run food. What do you need?" They looked at each other for a second and then the waitress said, "You are an angel."

"Where do you put your dirty dishes?" I asked. She pointed to a bus tub under the bar. "Got it," I said. I fanned across the room and cleared three or four tables. I bussed the four-top and cleared the bar. Meanwhile, I looked at my friends who were giving me a "what the fuck are you doing?" look. I didn't care. These people needed my help and I was there for them. We are all servers and we help each other, right? Right? They seemed appreciative. After the room was in good shape again, I went back to my table to finish my prosecco. I had done good.

Thinking back, I wonder if it was the right thing to do. Had I been in the weeds and someone offered to help me, I too would have been resistant. Or more like, "Sit your ass down, bitch, you're in my fucking way." I would have felt embarrassed that a customer was helping me. Maybe it was wrong of me, but my waiter gene took over and I simply had to clear some tables.

When I went to order another prosecco later that night, I thought it might possibly be on the house. It wasn't. Maybe I overstepped the boundaries. Maybe they thought I was a presumptuous asshole trying to make them look stupid. It wasn't my intent at all. I just wanted to help. Is that so wrong?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

All The Rage and Very Stupid: Babyccinos

I have written about entitled parents and their entitled children way too many times, but it never seems to be enough. I can always find something else to say about the subject. Please allow me to beat the dead horse.

An article popped up recently on Yahoo news about a new trend in Park Slope, Brooklyn called "babyccinos." It is what all the cool hip parents are serving their adorable kids: coffee drinks aimed for toddlers. According to the article, the drinks are mostly steamed milk or mini decaf cappuccinos. According to me, it's fucking ridiculous. Why in bloody coffee bean hell does a two-year old need a cappuccino? Will the cappuccino give the kid that boost of energy it needs for that very active play date that's scheduled for 1:00? Will the steamed milk help it fall asleep for it's afternoon nap? Do mom and dad have money to burn so they are cool with throwing a few extra bucks to the barista? I don't get it. What ever happened to formula, breast milk, water and American-grown, identity-preserved organic soy and whole-bean processed milk?

“My child has been going to cafes since he was a newborn,” said Katherine Haver, a freelancer who works out of coffee shops, sometimes with her nearly two-year-old son. “ ‘Coffee shop’ was one of his first words.” Really, Katherine? Your son's first words were "coffee shop?" Are you sure his first words weren't "pretentious mommy?" So here we have a woman who sits in Starbucks all day with her son parked in his SUV all-terrain stroller as she checks in on FourSquare and Facebook. People are constantly trying to walk through the aisle, but they can't because her son is there vegging out and drinking a stupid ass coffee drink that she paid two bucks for.

And that's another thing. My friend Suze Orman often refers to the "latte factor" which was originally coined by financial author David Bach. What this is is spending little amounts on a daily basis and not realizing how much you are spending in the long run; like a $4.00 latte every weekday ends up being over $1000 a year. Aren't these parents setting their kids up for a constant financial need for things that they don't actually need? When Junior is eight years old and wants a tall pumpkin cappuccino, where is that money going to come from, mom? Your fucking pocketbook, that's where. In the words of Marie Antoinette, "let them drink water."

The only thing that I think is worse than getting your kid addicted to a daily coffee drink is letting your kid drink too much soda. I saw a kid in his stroller on the 7 train last week. It was about three years old and he was drinking a can of Coca-Cola. His hand was so small that he could hardly hold it, but he was drinking it. Of course the kid was fat. I wanted to rip that can out of his pudgy little fist and explain to his mom what a bad habit this is, but the mom was munching on a giant bag of Doritos, so what was the point really?

Babyccinos may be the new rage in Brooklyn, but I like the quote from baritsa Sean Chin who works at Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope who says, “I have one customer who says that and it annoys the hell out of me.” Good for you, Sean Chin. I hope that you still have your job after being so vocal about the annoying parents who frequent your shop, but I commend your attitude. It is annoying. It's stupid and unnecessary too. I can think of no real reason for two-year old children to be ordering coffee drinks other than entitled parents thinking their child is so special and mature that they should be doing something that is for adults. It reminds me of Processed Chicken Lady; "So my child has to eat processed chicken because he's not worthy of steak?" No, your child wants to eat processed chicken just like he wants to drink apple juice. Parents, stop trying to pretend that your kids are adults. When your kid can afford a cappuccino and also pronounce it and spell it correctly, maybe then it's alright. Any time before that, it's just fucking stupid.

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It's National Margarita Day!!

Forget Ash Wednesday. Today is National Margarita Day, y'all! Wipe that palm frond ash off your forehead and get your ass down to the nearest restaurant and order a margarita. By the end of the night, the only thing I wanna see on your face is some salt and a "I can't believe I drank so much" grin. I will be at work tonight but you know what my shift drink will be this evening, right? (Eddie, on the rocks, please.) Truth be told, I kinda look at every day as National Margarita Day. My dream faucet is one that pours tequila and when I see salt on the sidewalk during a snow storm, my first inclination is to go get a glass and rim it. (Yeah, I said I want to rim something...) If any of you were in my station tonight, I would be the waiter suggestively selling margaritas and tequila shots, not so I can up my sales but because as a half Mexican/half Regular, I feel it is my civic duty.

So go out into the world today with tequila in you water bottle, salt in your pocket and limes in your bag. If you see a needy person on the street, offer them a margarita and know that you did the right thing. Drink, my friends. Drink!

Please share this because everyone needs to know about this important day. Yes, it is also the birthday of Drew Barrymore, Lea Solanga and Sidney Poitier, but you know they are all out drinking and celebrating for the right reason: National Margarita Day!

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rita on the Rocks, No Salt

My Grandma died one year ago today. It was one year ago that I was in her kitchen after her funeral surrounded by people I didn't know but who knew me. One woman, a neighbor or church friend I think, asked me to take the trash out. Of course I told her I would. "Thank you, mijo," she told me. I started to cry because I knew that no person was ever going to call me "mijo" again. That was it. Standing in the kitchen of my now gone grandmother, a woman I had never met called me what my grandma always called me. The woman gave me a hug and told me I could call her anytime and she would be happy to call me "mijo." I thanked her and took out the trash. And I don't even know who that woman was.

This is a respost that I wrote for Mamo Rita one year ago. I miss her.

My grandma was born in 1922. Her parents named her Rita. I told her once that every time I took an order for a Margarita, I wrote her name down on my pad because that was the abbreviation. She thought that was the funniest thing. "Yeah," I told her. "Sometimes I write down your name ten or eleven times in one day." She loved that story. My Mamo is one cool lady. I never knew her to have a job but I know that she did have her own dress shop sometime in the 60's. There is a picture of her leaning against the sign. She's gorgeous in it. Her hair is dark and wavy and she is shielding her eyes from the sun. The sign simply says "Rita's Dress Shop." I always thought it was so cool that she had a store. I always wanted to know more about it but of all the times I talked to her, that was one of the things that never came up. Mamo Rita died February 18, 2011 and my chance to hear about her dress shop went with her.

I have a lot of food memories with Mamo. Her and my Papo used to take me and my brothers to Kips Big Boy every time we went to see them. It's funny that I don't remember what I ever ate, but I remember how excited we were to go there. When we would get out of the car the first thing we would do would be to run over to the Kips Big Boy Statue that was in front of the restaurant. We always had our picture taken in front of it and damned if I know where one single copy of any of those pictures are now. When I was at her house, it was like my own little Mexican restaurant. She would custom make whatever I wanted and I always wanted the same thing: tortillas. I would sit in the kitchen and marvel at how quickly she could make them from scratch. She would roll them out into a perfect circle and throw them on the skillet. She never used tongs to flip them; just her hands. She would reach into the pan and grab the edge of the tortilla and flip it and when it was done take it again and toss it onto a plate covered with a used piece of aluminum foil that she had pulled from her drawer. Sometimes she would make refried beans for them or a scrambled egg or maybe I would just eat them with butter and sugar. "Aye, mijo, how can you eat so many tortillas?" she would wonder. I could eat as many as she could make. "Aye, mijo, you put too much salt on your eggs, your blood pressure is going to go up. No salt. No salt." I loved salt and I would add more to my eggs just because it was funny to see her get so exasperated over a few sprinkles. She tried to teach me how to make them once when I was about 19. Of course she didn't have any measurements so it was all "about this much" and "about that much" and when I tried to make them on my own, they were a colossal failure. I couldn't even get them to be round. It's sad to think of all the things that we lose when someone dies. We don't just lose the person, but we lose the future with them too. No more tortillas in Mamo's kitchen when I go to Texas. When I ate the last one so long ago, did I relish it enough? I doubt it.

Another food memory I have with Mamo is how she always had ice cream sandwiches in her freezer. When I would stay with her, I would love to swim in the pool of her apartment complex and then come into the air conditioning and watch cartoons while laying on a towel in the living room. And eating ice cream sandwiches. "Can I have another one, Mamo?" "If you want another one you go right ahead," she'd say. "But aren't you cold? How can you be so wet and eat ice cream?" I'd run to the freezer to grab another ice cream sandwich and then plop down on my stomach and rest my head on my elbows. "Aye, mijo, don't eat like that. You can't digest your food if you're on your belly. Rollover." I'd roll my eyes. And then roll over.

I'm sad that she's gone. But grateful that she had 88 years here. Someone I know lost her six year old grandson just days after Mamo Rita died. My loss is sad, but her loss is tragic. It really keeps it in perspective. 88 years of a good life. A long happy marriage, kids, grand kids, travel and for years she got a new car every year because my Grandpa treated her like a Queen. No one loved Mamo more than Papo did. I am left with memories. The next time I am in my hometown and pass the pass Dairy Treet, I will probably stop and get a burger in her honor since it was her favorite. And every time I went home, I'd stop there and pick up two of them and go to her place and we would have lunch together. Maybe I will still get two and just eat them both.

Is your grandma still alive? Call her. Tell her hello. Ask her a question that only she will have the answer to. I talked to Mamo Rita all the time. I could tell her anything at all and she would tell me things too. I didn't want to hear about her sex life after my Papo died, but she told me anyway. We would talk about Survivor and American Idol and the weather. Every new year's eve I would call her at midnight because she loved that moment of time when we all look to the future filled with hope. I didn't get to do it the New Year's Eve before she died because she was too sick. I will miss talking to her. And why is it now, way too late, that I think of all the things I want to ask her? What was your wedding like? What was it like to live through the Great Depression? Why did you always name your Chihuahuas "Peanut?" But if I had one more question to ask it would be this one: can you please tell me anything and everything about Rita's Dress Shop? I really wanna know.

Mamo Rita 8/19/22 to 2/18/11

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Ties At Work Are Fucking Stupid

I think it was Shakespeare who wrote this famous line about everyone's favorite useless article of clothing, the neck tie:

To wear, or not to wear, that is the question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of a stupid ass tie,
Or to take it off and show a Sea of chest hair,
And by opposing end them: to fuck it, to wear
No more; and by a vote, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand Natural knots
That ties are heir to?

Yeah, Bard of Avon, I hear ya. Wearing a tie as a server is pain in my neck and I too am wholly against it. I got an email from work the other day mentioning a possible uniform change. "I'd like for servers and runners to wear a purple tie over black button downs. Please give me your feedback on this," the email said. Here is my feedback: NO!

I worked at The Marriott for six years and every day I was there I wore a tie; the same tired tie that was tied into a double Windsor knot on the day I was hired and it stayed that way until the day I left. It hung in my locker and was never untied or wash. It collected crumbs, bacteria, stains and ire. I think wearing a tie while serving in a restaurant is silly. How many of us who have had to wear ties as servers have looked down to notice that our tie just went for a quick dip in the cream of tomato soup for the lady at position one? It happens. When we are carrying a tray of drinks and it almost spills, the first thing we do is bring it closer to our bodies to try to regain the balance. Sometimes we spill the drinks on that tray and our uniform is covered in Coke or cocktails. The shirt, pants and apron all get tossed into the laundry that night. The tie, however, gets wiped down with a damp cloth and laid out to dry. The next day, it's a little stiff but what are you gonna do? Dry clean it?

Women have it even worse. What woman wants to wear a button down man's shirt buttoned all the way to the top and then put a tie on? How in the hell is a woman like my co-worker Lo supposed to show off her amazing cleavage to improve her tips when the occasional straight guy sits in her station? It's downright misogyny, I tell you!

Another reason ties are bad in restaurants is because they are dangerous. Imagine, if you will this scenario:

Darla is at work in her required tie. She is in the sidestand grinding the coffee beans for all the coffee that day. Darla is a little bit shorter than the other servers so she has to stand on a stool in order to pour the beans into the grinder. It's early in the morning and Darla is a little bit hungover from the night before when she went to the $2.00 Margarita round up and spent 22 bucks. Darla is half paying attention when she begins to dump in another pound of beans. She has flipped her tie over her shoulder in order to keep it from getting dirty. She really cares about her tie. So there she is, standing on a stool and looking into the grinder to see why it is making that weird noise. She thinks it is just the machine doing its thing, but really it hasn't been right ever since Moe dropped an espresso spoon into it and fucked it up. She leans over to get a better view when her tie falls from her shoulder and into the grinder. Immediately, the tie is pulled downward, caught in the gears and coffee grinds. Darla does not panic at first because it seems like she would be able to just pull the tie out quickly and move on to filling the creamers. But the coffee grinder has a mind of its own. It grabs at the tie, not ready to give up and in turn it pulls Darla closer and closer to the machine. "Oh, shit," says Darla. "Can somebody help me, please?" The only other person in the dining room at that time is Edgar the bus boy who is eating an egg and cheese on a roll and is not on the clock yet. He ignores her because the night before she only tipped him out $35 but according to her sales report that Edgar printed out, she should have given him $40. "Fuck you, bitch," me muttered in between bites of his deli sandwich.

By now Darla is worried. The tie is being pulled tighter and tighter and she is having trouble breathing. The switch to shut it off is just out of reach. She struggles to stretch her little short arms to the red button but as she does, the stool she is standing on slips out from under her and falls to its side. Darla is now grasping for air. "Help! Oh my Gog, help me, Edgar!! I can't breathe!"

"I'm not punched in yet," he says.

Darla is on her tip toes with her hands at the top of the machine trying to pull herself up when the coffee grinder comes crashing down on her, spilling beans and coffee grinds all over the floor. "Goddammit, bitch. I just fucking mopped that last night. Fuck!" yelled Edgar. But Darla didn't hear him. Her ears are full of House Blend and her head is crushed from the weight of the machine. She is barely breathing but she manages to whisper out one more sentence before her life slips away to a world of 25% automatic gratuity, no tip-outs and never any sidework. "Edgar," she whispers." "Tell the manager that the milk is about to expire...and that I hate wearing ties at work." With that, the life slipped out of Darla and her eyes closed forever.

Edgar, now finished with his breakfast, looks at Darla's lifeless body and the mess surrounding her. "Fuck this shit, man. I quit." He reaches into the cooler and gets a quart of orange juice and walks out the door.

Moral of the story: ties suck!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I Was a Bitchy Teacher

I get a lot of emails and I read every single one because I truly care about everyone who takes the time to write in. (Truth be told, I am desperately needy and the comments and emails fill the empty hole in my ego...) I got an email the other day that took me by surprise. It read:

Hello my name is Andrew and i am also a fellow waiter at every body's neighborhood cracker barrel. I'm compiling a report for a college class about how guests do not know how tip while another class mate is compiling a report against mine in debate class. anyhow all i need is your first and last name to complete the citation for the paper. i promise not solicit this information any further than the paper. thank and i look forward to your response.


Okay, anyone who wants to cite this blog for a college essay needs to dig a little deeper for some sources. At least use Wikipedia, for cryin' out loud. Also, Andrew, you might want to check your punctuation and capitalization rules before you submit a paper. If I were to give your email a grade, it would be a C+. I know all about giving grades since I was a substitute teacher at a high school in Western Massachusetts a few years ago(Holla out to Southwick!) Yes, I had the future of our country in the palm of my hand. I was one cool fucking sub. When someone told me they didn't want to do their homework, I told them it was totally acceptable if they didn't want to do it? "Really, Mr. C? I don't have to do it? Cool!" "That's right," I responded. "All homework I give to you is optional. If you choose not to do it, it is your grade that is affected, not mine. I get paid the same whether you do it or not and then you can take it up with your teacher when she gets back." One time, I had to show a movie and I just told the class "if you're gonna sleep during it, please prop yourself up so I at least think you are watching it".

One day I showed up to school and was told I would be the sub for a P.E. class. Anyone who knows me knows how utterly ridiculous that is. When I was in high school myself, I did whatever it took to get out of that shit. One year I worked in the library and another year I worked in the office and my senior year I managed to be the school mascot so that cheerleading class would count as my P.E. credit. Had I a vagina, I would have claimed to have a four year menstrual cramp. The day I was subbing the P.E. class, two girls came up to me when they were supposed to be playing some stupid Frisbee game. "Mr. C., we don't wanna be out here," they whined. "That makes three of us," I said. "No get out there, pull an Olivia Newton-John and get physical." Ten minutes later, another kid yelled out to me to tell them what the score was in the game they were playing that I had never heard of nor was I watching. "Am I supposed to be keeping score?" I yelled back. Apparently, I was. "Oh," I said. "Um, you're tied with three each. Carry on." Someone piped in and said they thought the score was something else. "That's the new score keeper,"I decreed. "Play on!"
The highlight of my subbing career, was when a class walked in and one student said "Aww man, we have a sub" and another student said, "Hey, it's Mr. C. He's cool." Yeah, I was that kind of substitute teacher. Anyway, I wrote Andrew back and told hm that I couldn't give him my real name. I offered a fake one for his use since his teacher is never really going to bother to check all the sources anyway, although a citation from The Bitchy Waiter may raise some eyebrows. If he really wants a great paper, he can click here for essays.

Since I have such vast experience in the teaching profession, maybe I should consider creating a class at the Learning Annex for waiters on how to best utilize their personalities to earn the best possible tips. I could offer educational nuggets like:

  1. When you swipe a credit card, read the name on it so you can acknowledge them personally when you get back to their table. People love that personal shit.
  2. Compliment the behavior of a child at the table even though it just took a dump on the floor. "You have a very well behaved child" is like crack for parents.
  3. If you make a mistake, fess up to it so that your customer will see you as honest and hardworking rather than the bitter self-loathing bitch you truly are.
  4. If you can swing it, leave a round of drinks off the bill and then tell the customer that it was on you because they were the nicest table you had all night. Invariably, they will throw you a few extra bucks and the only one who loses any money is the restaurant itself because you gave away free liquor but who gives a shit about that anyway?
  5. Smile. Even if you have to sew your fucking lips to the your ears, smile because no one wants to see a grumpy ass waiter. Save the scowl for the sidestand and after they leave.

So there you have it. My true gift for teaching shines through even when it comes to discussing the horrible field of waiting tables. But seriously, Andrew, that email you sent me was crap. And I should know, because not only was I a high school teacher, I regularly post stories full of misspellings, bad grammar and poor punctuation.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

10 Ways That Being a Waiter Has Made Me a Better Person

Working in restaurants for the better part of two decades has done a lot for me. True, it has given me a life-long disdain of lemons in water but there are many positive aspects that have come out of slinging hash for this many years. As I get older, I realize that many of the things I have learned in restaurants have carried over to my regular life and made me a better person. Here are ten things that being a waiter has taught me:

  1. Save for a rainy day. When most of your income depends on fluctuating tips, you get pretty good at holding on to money once you have it. A really great Friday night shift where you walk home with $250 can be followed by a Saturday morning shift during a blizzard where no one comes in and you only make twenty bucks. Waiting tables has taught me how to count my pennies and save what I make because you never know when the financial rug will be pulled out from under you. Or when the only people who sit in your station are going to think a dollar is still a decent tip.
  2. How to make small talk. Going into any situation where you are surrounded by strangers can be difficult. Whether it's a party, a new job or a meeting, the first impression you make is a lasting one. Being a waiter has given me the skills to make conversation with anyone and everyone and I don't get nervous when I have to talk to strangers. It's as easy as asking them how they would like their burger cooked. When all else fails, compliment their outfit.
  3. Don't sweat the small stuff. There was a time when I was a newbie and I would run into the kitchen to stress out until the burger for table 12 was ready. One day, an older server told me something I will never forget: "It's just lunch. There will be another one tomorrow and there is no such thing as a lunch emergency." I have carried that calming thought outside of the restaurant. When I am stuck on the train or in traffic or in a long line at the store, all I have to remember is that in the scope of world events, this is probably not a very big deal.
  4. How to get along with others. A restaurant staff is ever-changing. People come and go and you never know who you will be working with each shift since it's very seldom that you have a set schedule. Because of that, some days you work with people you like and some days you don't. But working in a restaurant requires teamwork. Whether you like everyone or not, you still may need to ask someone to water your table and they will ask you to take some bread somewhere. You quickly figure out that it's easier to just get along than it is to not. Suck it up. You don't have to like everyone, but it's pretty easy to get along with everyone.
  5. Time management. Having a station full of people all needing things at the same time is a real lesson in making the best use of your time. If table 1 needs to have their cocktails rang in and table 2 needs more water and table 3 needs a spoon for their dessert that will be up any minute, you get real good at figuring out which one is the most important. (The spoon. Duh.)
  6. Multi-tasking. This goes right along with time management. If you ring in the drinks and then grab the water pitcher on your way to the side stand to get spoons, you can then drop the spoons at table 3, fill the waters at table 2 and then breeze by table 1 to tell them their drinks are on the way. This is handy in the real world at places like grocery stores, malls and while cleaning your apartment.
  7. A smile will get you far in life. When someone sits in my station and has a sour-puss look on their face and then tells me they want the happy hour price for their beer even though happy hour ended five minutes ago, I am not going to do it. In contrast, if someone is friendly and smiling and asks nicely, it is very possible that I will simply hit the happy hour beer price for them. A smile makes a huge difference.
  8. How to treat other people. Being in a position of subservience really teaches you how to treat others. When I am treated poorly, it's very obvious that the person doing the mistreating is used to having people to push around. I know what it's like to be told what to do and to never hear the words "please" or "thank you." When I am out in the real world, I make certain that I always make eye contact with anyone who is doing something for me and I make frequent use of "please and "thank you." We are all people and we all deserve to be treated kindly. Servers know that. Vice Presidents of big corporations? Not so much.
  9. Patience. It's not easy to have patience when a three year old at your table wants to order for herself. The mom is saying, "You can do it, honey. Tell the man what you want," but I can feel the stares of the four other tables who are needing my attention as well. Patience is learned and when your income is dependant on how patient and attentive you are, it's learned quickly. That's why when I am at the grocery store in the 10 Items or Less line stuck behind a senior citizen who has 15 items, I know to breathe deep and let it go. Patience is a virtue. Learn it.
  10. Good shoes. I am on my feet all day and the shoes I wear are very important to my health and well-being. Cheap shoes don't support your soles and they fall apart too soon. Waiting tables has taught me to spend the extra 25 bucks for the better shoes. They last longer, they look better, and they are more comfortable. Wear good shoes.

My point of writing this is to let everyone know that no matter what job you are in, there are things you can learn. These are just ten lessons from waiting tables. If you are a server, please share this and then share the lessons you have learned from your job. Every job can teach us something that can make us better people. We just have to open our eyes and recognize what it is we are being taught.

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Man Has Heart Attack at Heart Attack Grill

There is a restaurant in Las Vegas called Heart Attack Grill. The waitresses are dressed like nurses and the food is stunningly bad for you. One of the meals, the Quadruple Bypass Burger, can easily exceed 8,000 calories. Who the hell knows what they serve on it. I am too lazy to download their menu but I assume it has four patties, a ton of mayo, a whole pig, a pound of Velveeta and then it's battered and fried. Well, the namesake came true this week when a diner was eating a Triple Bypass burger and had a heart attack right in the middle of his meal. According to reports that burger was only 6,000 calories. The guy survived the ordeal but not without getting wheeled out on a gurney as tourists took cell phone video of him in between their bites of fried lard.

Okay, I get that it's all supposed to be fun and games in Vegas, but who wants to eat 8,000 calories in one meal? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I'd want to leave Vegas with my arteries, thanks. Looking at pictures of the diners, they all are wearing hospital robes as they eat. And there is a rule that says if you weigh over 350 pounds, you get to eat for free. What in the hell kind of place is this? Now you know I loves me a greasy burger as much as the next fat pig, but I can't even fathom having something that has four patties on it.

"It says right on the door, it's hazardous to your health," diner CJ Beeman pointed out as he sipped a milkshake made of ice cream, heavy cream, gravy, butter and pork rinds. Maybe the guy who had the heart attack figured he was on vacation and he may as well live a little. Well guess what, sir. If you eat something that has 6,000 calories in it, that is exactly what will happen: you will live a little.

Owner, "Doctor" Jon Basso, said there have been a ‘variety of incidents' in the past, but this is the first full-scale coronary that happened in his restaurant. No word on the specifics of the other incidents. Probably minor things like choking on a piece of bacon or going into a sugar coma after having a piece of pecan pie that was covered in Crisco and grenadine.

I don't really have a point to this story other than it happened and it's crazy that America thinks it's alright to eat like that. I just got through saying in my last post that there is no such thing as a lunch emergency. Apparently there is.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Valentime's/Florence Henderson Day

Time to pull out the heart shaped box of candy you bought at the Walgreen's last night and give it to your best ho, because it's Valentine's day. Or in the words of my boss, "Valentime's Day." Cupid is all up in your business today and making sure you are either happily wrapped up in a relationship or feeling like a complete and total loser for not having some one to buy a card for. On Valentine's Day, there is no in between. It's a tough holiday, especially for those of us who have to work in a restaurant. You go in on your usual Tuesday night and it's slow and steady and no big deal but let that Tuesday fall on February 14th and you're gonna be swamped with couples who are trying to make that Awesome Blossom they are splitting the most romantic thing in the world. Everyone feels the need to spend a little extra on dessert and champagne but many times that does not translate to a bigger tip. Valentine's day for waiters is not fun; more work, more customers, a prix fixe menu that we have to figure out and in certain restaurants the used condoms on the bathroom floor are never fun to step over. (I'm looking at you T.G.I. Friday's in Times Square.)

I used to do singing telegrams and Valentine's Day was the busiest day of the year. Why the hell anyone wanted to pay me to put on a tired ass California Raisin costume and sing "Heard it Through the Grapevine," I'll never know. One year, all I did was the "Classy Telegram" all day. That involved a white tuxedo, a single red rose and a heart-shaped balloon. Sitting on the F train trying to figure out how to get to the Bronx to sing "The Way You Look Tonight" is enough to make one hate this day forever. Or how about when you are in elementary school and you have that traumatic experience when the basket next to your desk has only one card in it and it's from your teacher? Horrible. In high school there was always a fundraiser on Valentine's day. Some club would be selling red carnations for a dollar apiece and then throughout the day they would be delivered to classrooms. Of course it was all about popularity. My ass would have about two droopy ass flowers, one of which I bought for myself, and then Guy freakin' Hoffman would have two or three dozen. Valentine's day can suck it.

This is why I prefer to think of this day as Florence Henderson Day. Today is her birthday so on February 14th, cupid is not the only one who is wandering around half naked with a bow and arrow and a glass of Chardonnay. (I have it on good authority that this is Florence's favorite way to celebrate her birthday.) So tonight when you raise your glass of Boone's Berry Farm, please do so in honor of the lovely lady herself, Florence Henderson. But if you insist on only thinking of this day as Valentine's day, then at least call it Valentime's day. I kinda hate when people call it that, but if you aren't going to call it Florence Henderson Day, I guess Valentime's is better than nothing.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

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. A miracle, a miracle, a true blue spectacle, a miracle come true! Let's play a game and you try to decide which of the following miracles 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 taken 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. In celebration of this amazing event, please enjoy Barry Manilow singing his 1974 hit "It's a Miracle." And yes, this is a repost. I'm sleepy, bitches.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

If You Are a Latecomer, I Hate You

I encountered a man last night who clearly had a knack for getting on my nerves. I find it incredibly annoying when a customer gets to the club after the show has started and then gets irritated with me because they missed the first portion of the show. Not my fault, sir, that we started the show on time. It's called being professional. He told the hostess that he wanted a pinot grigio and she took him to his seat at table 11, which is right by the entrance to the room. We save that section for latecomers so we don't have to drag their tardy-to-the-party asses all through the room disturbing the performer and the rest of the audience who know how to tell time. When I went to take his wine to him, there was no one seated at table 11. I scanned the room and saw the man wandering around looking for a better seat. Keep in mind, he is about fifteen feet away from the performer and he is walking around like he's looking for a seat before the Saturday matinee of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. I went up to him and whispered, "Can I help you with something, sir? I just set your wine down at table 11." He kept looking around the room as the performer on the stage sang a beautiful ballad with very intense lyrics but half the audience didn't know that because this man was distracting them.

"I'm trying to find my friend, Michael Scott Davis."

"Alright, well your wine is at table 11."

"Where is Michael Scott Davis?"

"I don't know the name of everyone here in the room, sir." I looked around the audience of 35 people to prove my point. I gently took his elbow and guided him back to his seat. "I'll find out out where he is, sir."

He finally sat his ass down and I went to the host stand to see where his friend had been seated. I went back to the man and explained to him that his friend was indeed in the audience but there were no empty seats around him so he would have to remain where he is. This was my sub-text: If you would have gotten here on time, you asshole, you would not be having this issue. Drink your fucking wine and watch the show. He had his second glass of wine and gave me no more trouble for most of the night. Until it was the last song of the show.

I suppose he wanted to remember this evening for eternity so he pulled his camera out of his bag and made his way to the very center of the room. Standing in front of several people who were being good audience members by simply sitting and listening, he snapped a few pictures. With the flash. Again, had he been there on time, he would have heard the announcement that said something to the effect of "Please turn off your cell phones and refrain from the use of any goddamn fucking flash photography." But he got there late, so whatever. He shuffled back to his seat and then two minutes later he decided he needed more Kodak moments and went to the center of the room to take more photos. With the flash. This time when he got back to his seat, he was reprimanded by the tech guy in the sound booth.

After the show, I gave the man his check. "Here you are, sir. I will take that whenever you're ready."

He called me back over. "Hey there, buddy? What's your name." I told him. "Well, it's nice to meetcha, but you gotta stop calling me sir. It makes me feel old."

"I'm sorry, sir. I call everyone sir or ma'am because I'm from Texas and that's how I was raised." "Plus you're old," I thought to myself.

"Well, I'm only 66, just call me Donny."

"Yes, sir, I will, sir. Thank you, sir." He's 66. I'm pretty sure that when I'm 66 even I will consider myself old.

The show now over, I began to clean my station as he carried on conversations with anyone who would listen. "Well back then when I was doing a lot of television work, I was much more handsome. Hell, I was hot," I heard him say. He snapped more pictures with anyone who would pose for him. He was the last one in the room, of course, talking to whomever would listen. Every conversation he had was ended by the other person, I noticed, and I never did see him talk to his friend Michael Scott Davis. Poor guy. Probably lonely. He seemed nice enough, just a little too eager to please. You know the type? As he waved good bye, he thanked me by name. I smiled back at him. "Have a good night, Donny," I said. "Come back and see us some time, alright?"

Just get here on time.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Robot Waiters: The Wave of the Future?

Restaurants are always trying to find new ways to make the dining experience better for their customers. In the future, waiters will probably be replaced by robots and iPads so that restaurant owners won't have to pay a wage to us lowly servers. Well, the future is here. Thank you to reader Adam, who writes the blog Hair-Raising Hell, for alerting me to a new-fangled contraption he encountered while dining at Pizzeria Uno. (I know that it is now called Uno's, but when I worked there it was called Pizzeria Uno and that is what it will always be in my heart.) It's called a kiosk and it basically lets you do away with your waiter for a good portion of your meal. Having never seen one myself, I can only assume that it lets customers order more drinks and dessert and then pay their check. That's just great. We servers are soon to be relegated to food runners and if you think people are going to tip after using a kiosk, you can think again. But what about all the things that servers do that a kiosk can't? Let me count the ways:
  1. A kiosk will never be able to give you a warm and thoughtful hello that you in return will ignore completely.
  2. A kiosk will never be able to compliment your pantsuit in an effort to get a 1% higher tip.
  3. A kiosk will not be able to flash its tits to straight guys.
  4. A kiosk will not be able to give a big fake ass laugh when a customer says, "Why is my burger taking so long? Did you have to go kill the cow?"
  5. A kiosk will not be able to turn down the air conditioning because you are sitting directly under a vent and you just got over a cold and it's very important that the temperature of the whole entire restaurant be determined by you and only you, you fucking bitch.
  6. A kiosk can't give you a coloring book so that your kid will draw on paper instead of the fucking wall.
  7. A kiosk will never be able to tell you discreetly that your credit card has been declined. It will just flash DECLINED so that everyone at your table will know that your broke ass can't keep up with your minimum payments. A waiter would be able to hand you your declined card discreetly and save you the embarrassment.
  8. A kiosk can't give you more lemon wedges and I bet there is not button on there that says "My coffee isn't hot enough" or "The Coke is flat."
  9. A kiosk will not be able to accept phone numbers.
  10. A kiosk will not rush to your table when your child knocks over the glass of milk that you wanted in a "big girl cup" instead of the one with the lid.
  11. A kiosk will never be able to feed your ego because a kiosk won't be impressed when you whip out your black American Express card.
  12. A kiosk will not respond to finger snapping or whistles and I know a lot of customers really enjoy doing that. Those assholes will miss that.
  13. A kiosk will not be able tell you how good the special of the night is. It will only have a written description of it but a server will have tasted it and be able to give you a first hand description of it.
  14. A kiosk can't flirt with you.
  15. A kiosk will never be able to tell you thank you for coming in and really mean it. Every once in a while I truly enjoy the interaction I have between a customer and I actually mean it when I tell them "I am glad you came in tonight. Thank you."

Here is the picture Adam sent in. Beware. If you see it, ask for a real server and let's keep these things out of restaurants.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

And Now a Word From Mr. Burns

I can't stop writing about the multi-millionaire John Castle who allegedly broke the finger of his waiter, Paul Kucik, when Kucik brought the check to Castle's table. Read about it all here. So far, I have been on the side of the waiter, but in an effort to play fair and in light of new news claiming that Kucik is a convicted fraudster, this post will be from the point of view of John Castle himself. I got a hold of his diary and found the entry for the night that it all went down. His diary has My Little Pony on it and he writes in big flowery cursive.

(Lawyers of John Castle, please note: I am making this shit up so get over yourselves.)

January 7, 2012

Dear Diary,

After an exhausting day on the yacht with all the underprivileged orphans I sponsored for the day, I took the wife to dinner tonight at Club Colette. I picked out all of her clothes for her and she looked positively fabulous. It has been a while since we have eaten there but I was happy to see that the wait staff was the same as it was the last time we had the pleasure of dining at Club Colette. They are so wonderful and attentive, especially our waiter Paul. I sure do like that Paul. His smile is so sweet and sincere and his fingernails are always impeccable. When we got there, they had our regular table ready and I gave the host a $100 tip for his trouble. Golly, I'm generous! The host is named Albert and he looks like a mature Zac Efron. Really very friendly. I love his dimples, hee hee! I ordered a Fruity Patootey Cosmo (pomegranate vodka with lime juice, pineapple and a pink paper umbrella!) and my wife had a beer. (Gross. Gag me with a spoon, ha ha ha!)

Throughout the night, people kept coming up to me and thanking me for various reasons. One lady was thanking me for the monetary donation I made to her school for the blind and another woman thanked me for the hours I volunteered at the food pantry and then a man I HAVE NEVER MET came up and thanked me for something that he said occurred in the rest stop on Highway 95 at the North Congress Avenue exit. I have no idea what he was talking about. I repeat: I DO NOT KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT! I AM MARRIED! Anyways, back to my dinner at the club. Everything was just okey dokey until the very end when Paul brought me the check. Usually, I just have it added to my account and pay it at the end of the month, but I think my beautiful and gorgeous wife who I love to have sexy time with asked Paul to bring it to the table. I was a teeny tiny bit surprised to see it there, but you know me. I just go with the flow. I'm easy like Sunday morning. No biggie whatsoever. I paid the bill and carried on with my dessert of chocolate pot de creme and fresh whipped cream. Fattening city, but I couldn't resist. I will just have to work extra hard at my Zumba class tomorrow, huh? Ha ha! Right after Paul left with my credit card, I heard a commotion coming from the kitchen. It sounded like someone was in some kind of pain. A bus boy named Julio (who looks just like Ricky Martin during his "Living La Vida Loca" days!!!!) told me that Paul had smashed his delicate and lithe fingers in a drawer, poor dear. I hope everything is alright. It would really be a shame for Paul to lose the use of those perfectly shaped digits even for just one night. How else would he write his orders and carry food to the table? I'm sure he's fine and dandy and is back to normal by now. I will send him some flowers tomorrow just to let him know I am thinking of him.

Good night, dear diary. Thank you for listening to me and for always being my best friend.


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Monday, February 6, 2012

Customers Can't Answer Questions Correctly

I don't expect customers to be very smart, so it's not surprising when people give the wrong answer to this question: Hello, how are you tonight? There are so many correct answers to that question such as "I am fine" or "Very well, thank you," but one that is most assuredly incorrect is "I want coffee" or "what's your special?" People, just take a fucking moment to acknowledge your server and at least pretend for a hot second that you're not completely self-absorbed in your own life and have no concern about anything else. Coming from someone who always says good morning to the crusty ass bus driver on the Q32, I know it's not that hard to mumble out a simple salutation whether you truly mean it or not.

Last week, a woman came into the restaurant. I immediately went to her table. "Hello, how are you tonight?" I asked." Without looking away from her stupid cell phone, she said, "Do you have any bread? I'm starving!" Lady, please. You aren't starving. People in Africa are starving. Children in the Appalachians are starving. Supermodels are starving. You are not starving. You do not have a swollen belly nor do I see Sally Struthers anywhere trying to give you some canned goods. What you meant to say was, "I am good, thank you for asking. I am waiting for someone and I'm a bit peckish. Would you mind bringing me a little bit of bread, please whenever you get a chance? Thank you." Customers notoriously give the wrong answer to a myriad of questions. Here are justa few that make me want to pull my hair out but I would never really do that because my hair is sorta "my thing."

Q: Hi, how are you?
A: Do you have a bathroom?

Q: Would you like to hear our specials tonight?
A: It's cold in here.

Q: Are you ready to order anything?
A: Yes, I am. (And then to friend) What are you having? I have no idea.

Q: Did you get a chance to look at the menu yet?
A: I want steak, well done.

Q: Can I get you anything to drink?
A: No I don't drink, I'll have water.
✘ WRONG You do drink water, stupid.

Q: Would you like some more water?
A: We ordered like an hour ago.

Q: Here is your food. Is there anything else I can get for you right now?
A: No.
✘ WRONG You need A-1, more napkins, more butter and more bread but you will ask me four separate times for them.

Q: How is your steak?
A: Tough and dry.
✔ CORRECT Your steak is tough and dry because you asked for it to be well done, stupid.

Q: How was everything tonight?
A: Oh it was horrible (as they hand me a plate that was licked cleaner than the balls of a yard dog.)

Q: Would you like dessert tonight?
A: No, I'm on a diet.
✘ WRONG There is no diet that lets you eat fried calamari, mac and cheese and steak for dinner and three Diet Coke does not mean you are on a diet. It means you are in denial.

And what questions do customers routinely answer incorrectly when you ask them?

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