Friday, August 31, 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, August 30, 2012

Poisoning Customers Is Bad, Right?

June 22, 1918

Dear Diary,

What a day I had today. First off, let me say this: I did not mean to poison anybody, alright? It was an accident and I blame it all on Jean Crones, that asshole. It was his fault that all them people was taken to the hospital. Lemme start at the beginning.

It was just another day at the job. I was working a banquet for the Chicago University Club and I was doing me usual job of setting up the tables and polishing all the silverware and I was supposed to be washing dishes later on. The people were supposed to get there at 5:00 for dinner but at 4:00 we was so far behind it looked like we'd be lucky to serve by 7:00. A lot of workers called in sick saying they had a touch of the typhoid fever but I know they was all lying. The boss was cracking the whip trying to get us to do the work of the ten men who was probably nursing their hangovers and not going through the sweats of the fever at all. At 4:45, he throws an old ratty tuxedo jacket at me and says, "You're a waiter tonight. He'll tell you what to do." He points at a man standing in the corner smoking a cigarette. The man has dark wavy hair that hangs in his eyes and he is leaning against a wall as if his sole purpose is to keep it from falling down. His eyes look mean. I'd never talked to him before but I knew who he was: Jean Crones. He has a reputation of being a loner, a thief, a womanizer, lazy and I have also heard he was born with the tail of the devil but he cut it off with an axe when he was a kid. Nobody likes him and we all figure he must have something on the boss because if he didn't, he would have been fired a long time ago.

I hold out my hand to shake his but he flicks a cigarette ash into it instead. "You get tables fifteen to twenty. Go get the bread ready and put it at your tables and then on mine, eleven to fourteen."

"Why do you have four tables and I have six?" I ask.

He puts his fingers to his mouth and removes some tobacco from his tongue. "Fuck off."

Thirty minutes later the hall is full of rich people in fancy clothes and I am doing all the work for my tables as well as Jean Crones'. I ain't never waited tables before but it's pretty much like being at me mum's house; just get what people ask for and say "yes ma'am" a lot.

When it comes time to clear the tables for coffee service, I notice that Jean is no where to be found. I had seen him just a few minutes earlier at the big giant coffee urns and I am surprised because it looks like he is actually making coffee instead of telling me to do it. I also notice that he is lingering there for a long time but I don't think nothing of it. I also don't think nothing of him pouring some powder into the urns because I just thought it was sugar of some sort.

I serves the coffee to my tables and he serves it to his and I can't help but notice he has a big grin on his face while he's doing it like he's enjoying his job all of a sudden. He even gives coffee to the people who say they don't want it and I see him pour some into a cup for a little girl who I had almost tripped over not ten minutes before when she was playing with her dolly in the aisle.

About ten minutes later, it gets awful weird in there. People start excusing themselves to the toilets and the line at the john is stretched around the whole room. I hears people saying they have headaches and dizziness and I figure it's just the heat in the room but when people start vomiting all over the place, I knows we have a problem. Meanwhile, Jean is back in his corner holding up the wall again while smoking another cigarette. And he's laughing. I don't see nothing funny about 100 people puking their guts up and it's even less funny when me boss tells me I am no longer a waiter and that I have to go get the mop.

The doctors are called and the place is crawling with coppers because they figure that someone must have poisoned the customers. Right away I know it was Jean Crones and I try to tell them, but they don't listen to me. I'm just a lousy nobody mopping up vomit, after all. The cops arrest all of us workers and throw us in the back of the paddy wagon for questioning. Of course, Jean Crones is nowhere to be found.

Three people died in that hall. Most of us were let go from the jail but they kept four men who admitted that they had put Mickey Finn Powder in the coffee. They bought it for 20 cents from W. Stuart Wood who was selling it at the bar at the waiters' union headquarters. He made the powder with his wife and they was both arrested too. Everyone said it was Jean Crones' idea to begin with. He wanted to "give them rich folks something to think about," people said.

I hope they find Jean Crones. He should pay for his crime, he should. Them people didn't deserve to get poisoned and they sure didn't deserve to die. Well, that little girl that got sick kinda deserved it. She was running all over the place and screaming like a right out little brat, she was. She left a pile of toasted oats under her table and who do you think had to clean that up? Me, that's who. 

So, diary, it was quite the day alright indeed. I left me house this morning as a dishwasher and came home with a whole days worth of experience waiting tables. I hope to leave my days as a dishwasher behind and start a new life as a waiter. It's got to be better than scrubbing pots and pans for a living. Jean Crones may have had a helping hand in poisoning a 100 people today but he also gave me a chance at a brighter future. I'm a waiter now, thanks to his training. I will take what he taught me and make a better life for myself. Well, except for that whole poisoning people bit. I don't think most servers want to go around killing their customers. Or maybe they do. What do I know? I've only been a waiter for one day.

Albert Millian, waiter

(Okay, the diary entry isn't real, but the facts are...)

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Should Foreigners Have the Tip Added Automatically?

A couple of restaurants in Burlington, Vermont are in hot water ("It's not hot enough," yelled an old lady who brought in her own tea bag.) after they were caught adding the gratuity to the check of a family they assumed to be French-Canadian. Two different restaurants added the tip to the bill for the family but it turns out that they are actually residents of Vermont who just spoke French. The family was none too pleased.

Burlington did some kind of big tourism push to the fine folks of Quebec (Qu├ębecois? Queebs? Queckers?) in an effort to win their tourism dollars. The Canadians saw the commercials and hopped, skipped and jumped over the border for a quick a getaway to The Green Mountain State, but it turns out that plenty of the restaurant servers are like, "No thanks, I'm good" when it comes to the tips they are leaving. The Vermont family complained and had the tip removed but what about the next French-speaking family who dines out in Vermont who really is from Canada? Are servers supposed to be alright with a shitty 5% tip? Are Canadians bad tippers?

The servers in Quebec are making $8.35 an hour while Vermont servers are making $4.10 an hour. Maybe the servers in Canada aren't as dependent on tips as Vermont servers are so maybe the tipping isn't as crucial up north. I find it hard to believe that so many Canadians who live that close to the U.S. border are completely unfamiliar with the tipping customs in our country. Is it possible that some foreigners are feigning ignorance just so they can skip out on the tip? I think it is not only possible, but very likely.

Working in New York City, I serve customers from all over the world. It's hard to not cringe when I hear a foreign accent asking me what the specials are. No, I don't want to generalize that every single customer from another country is a bad tipper, but very often it is the case. Don't these tourists read guide books before coming to the United States? Whenever I go on vacation, I do. I will be going to France in two weeks (home to the world's surliest servers and maybe a place I will end up staying forever just so I can feel "at home."), and I have been studying guide books for a month now to make sure I understand how to act in their country. I do not want to come across as the Ugly American and I will do my best to fit in and tip correctly. According to guide books, the service charge in Paris restaurants is added to the bill, so you only leave a nominal tip in appreciation of good service. Tell me, Parisians, is this true? I can only assume that the guide book is correct. Could it be that the guide books that United States tourists are reading are misinforming them? I wonder what the books say in regards to tipping. I hope it says something like "Servers in the U.S. expect a tip for a job well done. 15-20% of the bill is standard, more if they did an outstanding job or less if the service was less than exemplary." For all I know, it says. "Servers in the U.S. wait tables for the pure joy of it. Their hourly wage is more than adequate and they are pleased with a a dollar or even a verbal 'good job.' In some cases, feel free to leave Bible quotes or coupons. They love that."

Generalizing how a group of people tip is great big Pandora's Box that once opened can never be closed. It can easily go from a discussion about tipping to an argument about race and I do not want to go there. I have said it before and I will say it again: I try to treat every table the same so that if I get stiffed I know it was because of them and not me. You will hear plenty of servers complain about the crap tip they got from the four-top of black women but did that server automatically give them crap service because they assumed the tip would be bad? Possibly. But haven't we all gotten great tips from someone who we didn't expect to get one from? Conversely, we have all gotten horrible tips from someone that we thought was going to leave at least 20%. Waiting tables is like a slot machine. You never know what you're going to get, but it all evens out in the end.

But back to Burlington, Vermont: should the restaurants be adding the gratuity to French-speaking tables? I say no. If you're going to add the tip automatically to some tables, it has to be on all tables. Otherwise, it's just racial profiling and who has time to racially profile when there is coffee to make and bread baskets to fill?

I have gotten bad tips from French people.  I have also been stiffed by French people. It's the way of the waiter world. When I am in France, I will do my best to tip accordingly but if I fuck it up, I feel like it's okay. They probably hate me as soon as I sit down just like I would hate them if they sat in my station. I expect the only difference would be that I would pretend to like them while the French waiter will look down at me and openly mutter with disgust, "Stupid, Americain, pig." Seriously, I might love it there and apply for a job at le Pain Quotidien in downtown Paris and serve French Toast and French Fries all the live long day.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We Close at 11:00, not 10:56

It is a slow night at work. Well, from 7:00 until about 9:00, it is rockin'. There are two of us on the floor and we are weaving amongst each other in perfect synchronicity. Every time I go to refill a glass, I see it has just been done by the other server and more than once I see him go to the window to check on food that I had just run to the table. We are a good team. The customers are happy and I am in a good mood which is very surprising considering there is very little white wine in my system. Suddenly at 9:10, the restaurant dies a slow agonizing death. What had been a healthy vibrant restaurant throbbing with life and excitement is now wheezing for breath and struggling to find someone who wants to order some calamari. By 10:15, the last customer is gone, the other server has been sent home and I am left alone with the bartender waiting until closing time at 11:00. Sidework is done and I even reorganized the silverware, dusted underneath the bin and refilled ketchups. I was that bored. At 10:40, I start to send out vibes to passers-by to let them know if they decide to eat now, I will resent them until the day I die and then after I die I will haunt their sorry asses forever.

Bored, I head to the patio to see if it needs any attention. I pick up an errant lemon wedge and straw wrapper. I notice that a big spider has spun its web linking it from the fence to the giant Pelligrino patio umbrella. I toss a leaf into the web so I have something to watch as the spider races to the unwelcome item. Once he discerns it is not a fly or some other tasty morsel, he tosses the leaf to the ground. I throw another leaf into the web for an encore performance. It is now 10:45.

The candles are still lit on the tables because we do not want to give the impression that we are closing early. Knowing that my manager does not like us to do certain things before the official closing time, I leave the chalkboard scrawled with the words "No Smoking" on the patio as well as the two tables that will need to be dragged inside. At 10:56, I untie my apron and walk over to my manager who is scrubbing the line and wiping down the stove. "Do you mind if I run downstairs and get the book?" I ask. The "book" is what I fill in every night with who worked and what we made in tips.

The manager looks at the clock and then back at me. "Well, we're not closed yet."

Is she for real? All I want to do is run to the office and get the book so I can get a two fucking minute head start in entering information. The date, the names, etc. "Okay. I'll wait four minutes." I put my apron back on.

Five minutes later, at 11:01, I blow out the candles, drag the tables inside from the patio and pour out the last water pitcher. My manger graciously  brings "the book" upstairs for me. "Thank you," I say. She does not respond.

At 11:06, I am finished. The tips have been logged, the goodbyes have been said and the apron has been removed for the night. And then she has something else to say to me.

"I need people to be here who encourage customers to come in late, not people who are ready to leave."

I am getting angry.

"I don't want it to look like we are closed when we are still open," she continues. I guess me going downstairs to pick up a blue binder would somehow signify to the world that we are closed, while  scrubbing the line and wiping down the stove in our open kitchen is screaming to customers "Come in, we're open!"

"Did I do something wrong?" I ask. "Because all I did was ask to go get the book to start filling in names. We haven't had anyone in here for 45 minutes."

"Well, it's just-"

"Because I don't see how me getting the book four minutes before closing is any different than you breaking down the line," I continue.

"Well, we need to be busier late at night," she tells me

I am still trying to figure out how that affects me. Does she want me to wear a fucking sandwich board in front of the restaurant? Would she like me to telephone people at random and just let them know, "Hey, we're still open in case you're wondering." Or maybe I should tell the guests who come in at 7:00 that they should go home and come back in three hours. None of this is my fault or my problem. She was just being snippy because she sees profits dwindling and she can't be mean to the economy but she can be mean to me. And if she wants there to be more customers then maybe she should look into Groupon. Oh wait, she doesn't want to do that. Or maybe have a happy hour. Oh wait, she doesn't want to do that either. If I thought she would listen to me, I would suggest that he offers 15% off to anyone who comes in after 9:00. I think that is a great idea, but what do I know? I'm just a waiter.

I punch out and go home and then debate whether or not I should blog about this on the off chance that she reads it. Obviously, I decide to write it. Nothing I have said here is wrong. I even gave some handy dandy suggestions on how she could gain more customers. I kinda know a little bit about pimping oneself out for the sake of more followers and it's not any different than getting more customers. Maybe she is reading this and when I get back to work, she will want to discuss it with me. I will cross that bridge when I come to it but before I cross the bridge, I think I am supposed to answer three questions from the troll who lives under it. So let me answer those now and get it out of the way:

Yes, the Chicken Caesar salad has chicken in it.

No, I do not have another "real job" because this one seems real enough.

We close at 11:00.

Wish me luck on this post. I might be digging my own grave but as long as the grave has a mini-bar, I'm good.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Caught in a Cougar Trap

It's been so long since anything like this has happened to me, so maybe I am mistaken, but I think I just got hit on. I am at work minding my own business leaning against the bar trying to find the breeze of the air conditioner that the owner of the restaurant swears is turned on. The lady at the end of the bar glances my way. I smile at her because I am in customer service and I smile at anybody who looks my way. My face is saying, "I am happy to be here. How can I help you?" while my brain is saying, "Take this steak knife out of my hand before I end it all right here and then have to mop up the blood off the floor before I expire." I move behind the bar to retrieve the order that is coming out of the printer. It's for a glass of wine so I decide to be a team player and pour it since the bartender is busy doing something important like updating his Facebook status.

"You pour that wine very nicely," says the lady, her eyes lingering on me a little longer than I feel comfortable.

"Years of practice," I say. "Although at my apartment it usually comes out of a box and gets poured into a jelly jar."

"Is that your natural hair?" she asks me. "

Yep, this is it," I say, like anyone would go to the wig store and look for the biggest frizziest broken down mess of hair and exclaim, "That's the hair for me!"

 "Well, it's adorable. How do you make it do that," she wanted to know.

"I wash it and go like this." I shake my head back and forth making my hair even bigger than it was to begin with. I ignore the three or four stray hairs that fall onto the cutting board for the bread.

"Well, you're so cute, you could do what ever you want."

She takes another sip of her dirty martini and while she is trying to fish the olive out from the bottom of her glass with her tongue, I take my chance to escape. I know her type. She's alone at a bar and is willing to have a conversation with anyone who will want to listen to her. I am not willing. I give a cursory check to table seven and decide I need to hang out someplace where bored customers won't try to talk with me. After playing my turns on Words With Friends and making a phone call in the bathroom, I am forced back to the bar which is the only place in the restaurant that gives the illusion that we have air conditioning. There she is, on martini number two and scanning the room for someone to listen to her. Her eyes fall on me.

"Did you come back here so you could be close to me?" she asks.

"No, the A/C." I flip my hair out of my eyes and hope that our conversation is over.

"Well, just so you know, I wouldn't kick you out of bed."

This is my cue to get the fuck away from the crazy delusional lady who has worse Gaydar than Michele Bachman. "Good to know," I say."I'll keep that in mind."

I head directly to the kitchen where I can shake off the thought of the middle-aged woman lying in my bed with a post coital cigarette and a dirty martini as she scans my room looking at all the manly artifacts surrounding her like the framed picture of Judy Garland hanging on my Tiffany blue walls. Maybe I am reading too much into our conversation, but there is a definite Coo Coo Kachoo Mrs. Robinson thing going on. I am scared to go back to the bar but the lure of pseudo-air conditioning gets the best of me and I am again standing close to my would-be suitor. Her second martini is almost a memory now and I watch her swallow that last little bit. She licks her lips and pulls out a lipstick from her ratty purse that looks like it was a free prize at the 1964 World's Fair. She slathers the lipstick on, a shade probably called Rouge de Cougar, or Desperation Rosewood and watches me all the while. She puts on enough lipstick for at least three pair of lips but not quite enough for one Lisa Rinna. Her eyes never stray from me.

I stare back at her just because I want to play the game. I also want to stay in the piddling stream of air conditioning. I wonder what she expects to get by coming on to a waiter. Perhaps she thinks I will rip my apron off and carry her downstairs to the storage room where we will make sweet love on some broken down cardboard boxes next to the giant cans of ketchup. Or maybe she hopes that my shift is almost over and I will follow her back to her pad, no doubt decorated with zebra print scarves thrown over lamp shades with a stereo console playing Tom Jones records.

"Well, I guess I'll be on my way," she tells me as she picks up her glass of water for one final wetting of the whistle. When she puts the glass back down, it now has a lipstick smear on it that will require a paper towel and some major elbow grease to remove. She smiles at me and I see a hint of lipstick on her front tooth.

"Have a good night, ma'am," I chirp. I wave good bye and smile at her in a way that maybe will let her think if I was off work, 15 years older and liked women, that just maybe she had a chance with me. "See you next time."

She gets off her bar stool and exits the restaurant alone. The door closes faster than she expects and it catches the heel of her shoe making her give out a final yelp as the door shuts. She waves at me through the window and she is then out of sight.

So was she hitting on me? Yeah, I think she was. Did she strike out? Yes she did. Do I still got it? Abso-fucking-lutely.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Mandatory Restaurant Meetings: Useless

Ahh, the mandatory meeting. In no other job outside of the restaurant industry have I been expected to attend a meeting that may or may not be on my day off. Of course, what other job have I had that is outside the restaurant, so how would I fucking know? The most recent one I was forced to attend was in fact on my day off. Sure, we may get paid for it, but like I need that extra $5.00 for an hour long meeting. I'd rather have my day off, thanks. The meetings are always the same. The owner or district manager or whoever the fuck else shows up to burp out some words of wisdom. This particular meeting was also attended by a silent partner who was anything but silent. Every time he piped in, I automatically dismissed his comments because he knows absolutely nothing about serving. Besides, his wardrobe looked like he raided the closet of Mr. Furley and how can anyone take him seriously? The meetings are meant to inspire, challenge, correct and educate but really all they do is create a big "shut the fuck up" moment that happens collectively among the employees. These people show up and act like they know what is best even though they only show their faces once every four or five months Their ideas may look good on paper, but they need a healthy dose of reality. Unless you are in the restaurant every day, you really don't know how things work. Do I resent them? Oh hell yes.

At the most recent mandatory meeting, I took notes because I wanted to make sure that I got all of their points down on paper in order to memorize them and make our establishment a better place. No not really. I took the notes so I could put them on this blog and people could see how utterly lame and pointless the meeting was. These are a few of the things that were deemed important enough for me to forfeit my day off and drag my ass to work for an hour:
  • Up sell. No shit. Anyone who has waited tables for more than a hot second knows this point. "A vodka/tonic, sir? Is there any vodka in particular you would like? Might I suggest Grey Goose, Kettle One or Any Other Way Expensive Brand?"
  • No eating while on the clock. Yeah, right. Uh huh. Sure. You try working an eight hour shift with no break and see if you don't grab a handful of whatever you can get.
  • No drinking. Excuse me, how the hell do you expect me to deal with the bitch at table 18 if I don't have a hidden glass of Pinot Grigio in a plastic cup?
  • No cell phones at work. Now that is just dumb. Look, I'm not going to be answering my phone whilst taking an order but I will have my cell phone with me. I need it. It is very important that my phone is in my possession so when someone stiffs me I can take a picture of their credit card receipt and publish it to Facebook. It's what I do. T-Mobile made me do it.
  • Be friendly. Oh, really? I thought I was supposed to openly show my disdain for my guests. Thanks for pointing that one out.
  • Be upbeat. That's why I need the plastic cup of Pinto Grigio.
  • Do your sidework. Again, this pearl of wisdom fell right off the Obvious Truck.
  • Respect one another and respect your managers. Now that is just fucking hilarious.
Yes, that was the extent of the meeting. Why they didn't simply send us an email or text message, I'll never know. Perhaps our silent partner wanted to show off his latest pant and jacket combo and felt that a mandatory meeting was the best way to do that. As for the information we were given, file them all under "no, duh" and call it a day. Here are a few more nuggets of wisdom I am surprised they didn't mention to us. All equally obvious but just as important:
  • Wear your pants at work at all times.
  • Do not floss your teeth while standing at a table. Do this in the sidestand or the service bar.
  • Do not pour vodka on a guest and light them on fire no matter how tempting it is.
  • No pets allowed.
  • Be alive when you show up to work.
  • Clock in and out so we can pay you even though you do this for the love of it and not the money.
  • No smoking crack, shooting heroin or tripping on acid while on the clock.
  • When someone orders something, ring it in, and then bring it to them when it's ready because we owners think you are so stupid that you may not understand your function as a server and we feel better if we point out the obvious. It makes us feel superior to you because we all have small penises and have to exhibit or machismo and authority every chance we get.
I hate the obligatory mandatory meetings in the restaurant world. Only once has the meeting been worth attending. We had a pizza party at it. Next time I go, I'll just have to make sure my plastic cup of Pinto Grigio is full.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Baby Speaks

Hi, peoples, I am that 14-month old baby who sat in your station last night. I didn't feel like napping this morning so I crawled my diaper-wearing ass over to my my mom's laptop to kill some time playing Angry Birds and fucking up my Mommy's winning steak on Words With Friends. (Sorry, Mommy, but I just played CAT and left the triple word score open where your sister can now play AXED with the X getting the triple word two times. I know it's mean of me, but that's what you get for giving me a bite of apple last night when it should have been abundantly clear that I was screaming for a fucking Oreo.) Anyways, my mom left open a page called The Bitchy Waiter and I started reading it and I have one to thing to say about this Bitchy Waiter person: what an asshole.

First off, I don't even know why my Mommy would be reading this blog. She's not a waitress. (Note to self: remind Mommy that I want my apple sauce served in a bowl next time and not a coffee cup and tell her she needs to wash her apron. It's filthy with food stains, cat hair and baby vomit.) After reading a few months worth of blog posts from this guy, it seems like he has something against me. Me, being a baby. I had to respond, so I hacked into his blog account and here I am. Hi. I'm a baby.

Yes, I make a mess when I go to a restaurant, get over it. I barely have any motor skills to begin with but you're gonna flip your shit just because I spill a few Cheerios on the floor? It's your job to sweep that floor anyway, so what's the big deal? What do you want me to do, get a broom and sweep it up? I'm still trying to understand this whole potty training thing and you expect me to handle a broom? Not gonna happen. Besides, I don't even want the Cheerios. I have been begging for Cap'n Crunch for like six months now but every time we leave the house, Mommy makes sure we have an enormous baggie filled with Cheerios. I keep thinking that if I just throw them on the floor, she will get that I don't like them. Sorry that by throwing them on the floor, you feel like you have extra work to do. Cry me a fucking river, waiter. Go get me some damn crayons.

Another thing: stop carrying big heavy trays right over my head. Uh, hello? My skull is not fully formed yet and if you drop a skillet of fajitas on it, you could seriously damage me. Not to mention, it might stain my new onsie that I just got as a gift from some lady who works with my Daddy. Wouldn't it make more sense to serve food around me rather than over me? Okay, wait. I just realized that most of the time my Mommy and Daddy place me at the head of the table and in the aisle so I guess I can see how that would make it difficult for you. I will talk to them about that and when I say "talk to them" I mean "cry" and usually when I cry they just give me a bottle so I don't really expect there to be any change, so whatever.

And about that time my diaper was changed in a booth? I was totally against that. I wanted to go do it in the bathroom or even in the car, but my Mommy thought it would be no big deal. No big deal to her. Do you think I like having my beanie wienie all out and about right next to a couple of women sharing a Caesar salad? It was humiliating. I screamed and yelled and cried and I even peed all over the booth in protest but she kept right on changing me. Yes, I peed in the booth and no we didn't clean it up. Please, if my Mommy can't be bothered to pick up a few Cheerios off the floor, do you really think she's going to mop up a puddle of urine? It's your job to mop anyway, right?

I also would like to discuss breastfeeding in a restaurant. Who cares? If my Mommy is going to eat at a table then I want to eat at a table too. I know that her boobies are a little veiny right now and maybe it's not the most fun thing for you to look at when you're trying to refill a water glass but that's how it goes. Maybe you think it would be better for her to take me into the bathroom but I really don't want to eat while she is sitting on the toilet. She does that at home way too often and when I am out in a restaurant I want it to feel like it's a special occasion. Besides, the time that I have to suckle my Mommy is limited and I will not be able to do it forever. It is something I will probably only get to do for like five or six more years and I want to take advantage of it as often as I can. So whether it be at home while we are watching Real Housewives or while we are on the Q32 bus or in your station at the restaurant, that is some real Mommy and Me time right there, so I'm not gonna apologize for it. I will, however,  apologize for that one time she fed me at the grocery store and then forgot to put her milk makers back in her blouse and she finished her grocery shopping that way. Upside? The guy at the deli counter gave us our Boar's Head turkey for free that day. Score!

Okay, I better wrap this up. My nap time will be over soon and I still need to add some shit to our Fresh Direct order. (Oreos, Cap'n Crunch, peanut butter...) Mommy will be coming in here to check on me any minute unless she had an extra glass of Franzia, in which case I have an extra half hour. In conclusion, I want to tell Bitchy Waiter and all you other servers to chill the fuck out with all the "I hate babies" bullshit. You were a babies once too, you know. We're doing the best we can. If you don't like us, then deal with our parents. They're the ones who make the decisions. Well, we make some decisions. For instance, I just now decided that I am going to take a dump as I type this last paragraph. I understand that I could crawl over to the bathroom and sit on the My Little Poopy Pony toilet, but I'm gonna be a baby for as long as I can. It's what we babies do. The next time I go to a restaurant, I promise not to throw Cheerios onto the floor if you promise to stop rolling your eyes every time you see my stroller. Okay, my dump is finished. (When did I have corn?) Hopefully, Mommy is done with her Franzia break because I'm gonna start crying now so she can come clean me up.

Bye bye, bitches.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Do NOT Work at Red Lobster

Warning: working at Red Lobster could be dangerous to your health. No, I am not talking about grazing on all the fried popcorn shrimp you can eat, I am talking about a particular Red Lobster where customers seem to have no problem beating the hell out of servers.

At a Red Lobster in Fairview Heights, Illinois last week, three woman assaulted their waitress for filling up their water glasses too often. Yes, this waitress was trying to do her job and was paid back, not with a 15% tip, but with a glass that hit her in the back of the head and then a dessert menu to the face. The three delicate flowers are now facing felony assault charges while the waitress is facing a severe case of "why the fuck do I work at Red Lobster?" The server was treated at the scene but stayed at work. I do not understand that. Had a customer hit me in the head with a glass, my ass would be rolling on the floor yelping in pain as I hit 1-800- SUE A BITCH on my speed dial. This is the same restaurant that just six months ago was home to a beat down when four women kicked the ass of their waitress after she brought out the wrong food. I have some advice for all those servers at that Red Lobster:

What the hell are you doing there? Get out, now. Even in the best case scenario, working at a Red Lobster is a crap job but you are willing to be at one where you have to have a security guard stationed at every table? How much money are you pocketing  there that is making it worth while? I looked at your restaurant on Google Maps and I see that right down the street is a Joe's Crab Shack, Olive Garden, TGI Friday's and a place called Ginger Buffet. Sure, all those places suck too, but at least they haven't been on the news yet because some bitch is attacking your ass. Red Lobster's slogan is "Come see what's fresh today" not "Come sit in my station and kick my teeth out." This replaced the old slogan "For the seafood lover in you" which in Fairview, Illinois translated to "Fuck you bitch, I ain't ordered the Seafood Shrimp Trio, I had the Admiral's Feast. Get the fuck out my face."
I went to the Red Lobster website and found their mission statement. After reading it though a couple of times, I thought it needed some tweaking. Hopefully, they will see my suggestions and take them to heart:

Here at Red Lobster we’re passionate ambivalent about serving our guests great seafood everything. It’s why we go the extra mile to bring you the best most dangerous dining experience possible. Our fishermen importers take pride in catching thawing out only the highest quality seafood and the freshest fish. Our grill master’s line cook's expertly perfect flavors, cooking seafood and steak over a wood fire grill cook. And our servers pull out all the stops wear padding and bullet proof vests to make every dining experience feel extra special moderately safe. It’s our passion. It’s our pride. Because at Red Lobster, we Sea Food Differently that our customers are trashy but we just don't care.℠
I wonder if anyone reading this blog works at a Red Lobster. If so, would you care to share with us some insight as to how something like this might happen? I don't get it. I have had customers get upset about things, but it has never gotten to the point where I felt in danger. Is this something that anyone else has experienced? Also, what would you do if someone threw a glass at you? Continue working or go the fuck home? That question is easy for me. I wouldn't have been there in the first place unless they were having a "buy one get three free" cocktail special at the bar.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

He Said/She Said Part Two

Things did not go well at work recently. Knowing that there are two sides to every story, I will explain the situation from two points of view. Yesterday, we saw it from the customer's perspective (click here to read) and today we shall see it from my point of view.


The club was crazy tonight. We had a 7:00 show of student performers who brought in an audience of people who didn't know the first thing about seeing a cabaret show. We had reservations for 47 people so we only had two servers on the floor with no runner or busser, but then we had 35 walk-ins making it way too busy for just the two of us. And most of them ignored our request to get there at 6:30 so they would have time to get their drinks before the show starts. Everyone bum rushed the hostess stand at 6:55 meaning we were going to start the show late and everyone was going be slammed.

No one was happy with their seat because it is first come first serve so all these losers who got there two minutes before show time had to take the tables that are off to the side. Not my fault. I was immediately in the weeds because everyone got there so late. None of them were used to being in a cabaret setting so I had to constantly explain that we have a two-drink minimum and they all seemed shocked at the prices. It's new York City cabaret, people Wake up and smell the show tunes.

We tried to start the show on time but it meant that I was taking orders and serving drinks in the dark. It was not pleasant. And customers looked all pissed off that we were starting the show even though they were the ones who got there late. I didn't even have time to ring in my drinks so I was just calling them out to the bartender and he was making them as fast as he could. We really could have used a runner. If people would have made a reservation, we could have been staffed accordingly.

I was so far behind and constantly apologizing to people for the delay. My tray always had at least eight or nine drinks on it and people were grabbing at me and yelling out orders as I walked by expecting that I would just remember every single thing they asked for even though they saw my hands were full and I couldn't write anything down at that moment.

Table 36 yelled out to me that she wanted a cheese plate. I made a mental note to ring it in. They also wanted more drinks. While I was waiting for table 36's drinks, I continued to run drinks for the other 44 people I had in my station and every time I walked by 36 the lady gave me this look like "where's my drink??" I told her it would be right out and I was going as fast as I could. She got all pissed off and said "just bring me the drinks and the fucking cheese." I really did not like this lady. I wanted to punch her in the lady parts but feared that my arm would be lost amongst the FUPA thus prohibiting me from doing my job for the remainder of the evening.

I finally got the cheese plate to her and went back to the bar pick up the drinks. When I put her vodka/cran/orange juice down, she totally flipped out because she couldn't see any orange juice in it. I told her that I thought it did have orange juice or at least it should because it was just a reorder of the first drink which came out correctly.

"Well, I can see there ain't no orange juice in it!" she said way too loudly considering there was someone on the stage about ten feet away from her singing a very sweet song .

It took everything I had to not raise my voice at her. I offered to put some more orange juice in it but she said there wasn't any in there to begin with so how could I put in more? Semantics, bitch. Fucking semantics. I picked up the drink to fix it and went to the bar.

Well, guess who followed me. I could hear the "swish swish swish" of her thighs rubbing against her polyester pants. She came barreling at me yelling that I was disrespecting her and that I was rude. She told me that she works at Caroline's Comedy Club and she knows what good service should be. All I was thinking was if she was a server, then she should be a little more understanding that I am in the weeds and in the scope of things, it was just a splash of fucking orange juice we were arguing about.

"I'm 56 years old and you can't talk to me that way!" she screeched.

"Well, I'm 45 years old and here's your drink," I retorted.

I could tell that she was surprised at my age and that she thought I was probably about 27.

She stormed off back to her seat with her drink in hand, the "swish swish swish" growing fainter as she got farther away. There were people milling about the bar and one of the performers came up to me and said, "Just so you know, that is not my friend." The hostess walked over to me and informed me that the lady was just as rude to her when she first arrived.

I immediately voided the drinks from her check because I knew that she had waited longer than she should have for them and I did, in fact, screw up the second one. I wanted to make amends. I can admit when I make a mistake, which is something she apparently cannot do based on her haircut/wig and makeup choice.

When I gave her the check and tried to apologize she totally ignored me. "Sorry about the misunderstanding. I took your drinks off the check." Nothing from her except a turned head. What  a bitch. "So, I took your drinks off your check," I repeated. She turned her head away from me even further, so far that I thought she was trying to smell the back of her own neck. "Okay.." I sighed.

She left right away, but I could tell that the two friends she was with were embarrassed for her behavior because they stuck around for a few minutes as if to distance themselves from the "crazy lady who made the scene during the poignant moment of the show." They paid the check and left me a decent tip which I am sure was a pity one. As for their friend, she'll probably threaten to never come back but in reality she probably only came in the first place because her friends were paying for it.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

He Said/She Said, Part One

Things did not go well at work last night. At all. Knowing that there are two sides to every story, I will explain the situation from two points of view. Today, we shall see it from the customer's perspective and the next blog post will be from  mine.


So I went to this club last night to see some show that my friends were going to see. I never heard of the place and it's not usually my thing but I figured since I had the night off and they said they would pay for it, why not? The show was at 7:00 and we got there right on time at about 6:59. The hostess was a total bitch because she asked me if I had a reservation. I just shot her one of my "bitch who you think you talkin' to" looks and kept on walking. And then she was all, "Oh are you with the two guys I just checked in?" and I gave her my world famous "bitch I done ignored you once" look and strutted my ass in to my seat.

It was so crowded and they gave us the shittiest table in the whole place. I don't know how people got those good seats close to the stage. They musta got there crazy early like at 6:45 or something. Anyway, when the waiter finally made it to our table, I was about to die of thirst already. The waiter seemed nice and I must say he had some fabu hair. He couldn't have been a day over 27 years old. My friends ordered gin and tonics and I wanted me a vodka with cranberry and orange.

"How much is that gonna cost?" I asked the waiter and he was all, "I'm not sure but I think it's about $11.00." Dayum, these people are proud of their drinks, right?

About thirty minutes later, he brought the drinks to us. The show had already started by then. I don't know why they didn't wait until everyone had their drinks first. They acted like the show was scheduled to start at 7:00 or something.

About ten minutes later, I saw our waiter walking by not doing shit so I told him I wanted a cheese plate. He didn't write it down and I knew he was gonna forget it. A bit later, he was walking by again and he didn't have my cheese plate so I ordered another round of drinks. He tells me he'll be right out with it. The next time he walks by, he is carrying a tray with about ten drinks and are any of them mine? Hell, no. What the hell is he doing?

"Where's my drink? Where's my cheese?" I said.

And he's all, "I'm sorry, but you'll get it when you get it" and I'm all "just bring me the drinks" and he's all "I put the order in" and I'm all "so where is it then" and he's all "I'll go check" and I'm all "just bring the drinks and the fucking cheese" and he's all "okay."

When he came back in, he had the cheese plate and then he left to go get the drinks. He finally put my drink down and I see that there ain't a drop of orange juice in it.

"Umm, where's my orange juice?" I asked him.

And then he gets all bitchy with me and says there is orange juice in it and I can see with my own two eyes that there ain't any orange juice in it and he tells me he will go put some more in it and I tell him he can't put more in it if there wasn't any in there to begin with. He grabbed my glass and goes to to the bar. Well, honey, I followed his (cute little) ass right to the bar 'cause I wanted to have some words with him.

"Excuse me," I say to him. "You do not talk to me that way. I work at Caroline's Comedy Club and I know how to treat a customer. You are rude!"

And all he has to say to me is "Here's your drink. It has orange juice in it now."

"You were rude to me!"

"Here's your drink. Do you still want it? Here it is."

"I am 56 years old. You don't talk to me that way!"

And he tells me "Well, I'm 45 years old and here is your drink with orange juice in it."

And I tells him, "You need to act your age then!" but really all I was thinking about was how good he looks for being 45. I could see some other people milling about the bar and I could tell they were totally on my side. I took my drink back to my seat. What a bitchy waiter.

After the show, he puts down our check and then he's all trying to be nice by apologizing and saying he took both my drinks off the check for the misunderstanding. I ignored him when he said it because I wanted to show him who was the boss. He said it again and I turned my head away from him so he'd know for sure that I was ignoring him. Bitchy waiter.

My two friends seemed like they wanted to hang out for a while, so I left them to finish dealing with the check. I walked out and didn't say thank you for the comped drinks because I wanted that waiter to know I was mad. That bitch of a hostess told me to have a nice night but I ignored her ass too.

I wait tables and I know how to treat a customer. So what if he was busy? He needs to learn to respect me. It don't matter that I am in the same industry. I don't care that his (cute little) ass got in the weeds. That ain't my problem. I will never go there again.

Tune in to the next blog post to see The Bitchy Waiter's side of the story.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Comment on Comments

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I wrote a blog post about a woman who does not tip. After stiffing her server several different times, the restaurant refused to serve her anymore and then the lady got her panties and wig all in a twist and it made the news. Read that blog here. Last week, someone posted a comment on it and I must respond because what she wrote was so very special. Her comments are in bold:

Instead of expecting a customer to pay you for your "hardwork" you should complain to your boss or the owner of the establishment!! What urks me is that you feel entitled to receive a tip instead of a pay check. 

What should I be telling my boss? That I want $24 an hour so that tips are no longer needed? I'm sure he will jump right on that. I don't feel entitled to to receive a tip instead of a pay check. I don't get a paycheck, bitch. Okay, I do get one, but it's usually for $12, so yes, the tip is important.

You know there are all types of Jobs out there that should be entitled to tips but they never get one.

Since you capitalized "Jobs," I assume you are referring to the Biblical figure, Job. I know he suffered much pain by losing his wealth, his children and his health all because God wanted to prove to Satan that Job would continue to serve his Lord, but I don't think Job served God in the way that waiters do, like with a tray and taking drink orders. Maybe Job deserved a tip for keeping his faith in God despite the many hardships that fell his way but I think you're getting your Bible stories mixed up, lady. 

For instance a teacher will teach a child all day for over 250 days a year. They receive pay for just the amount of days they teach and then that pay is divided by 12 and then taxes, insurance, and a few other fees are taken out. When the teacher receives their pay it equals about half of their gross pay. And then if they are a high school teacher they have to take that pay and buy things for their classroom and supply a lot of different things to make it easier and more enjoyable for the child to learn. They also have to have nice clothing and so forth. And if they are a coach they get paid around 125.00 a month to work 35 to 40 extra hours a week which.comes out to less than a dollar an hour. Do they receive tips? No and they serve the public way more than a waiter or waitress. Do they complain? No!!!

 I don't really get this argument. Teachers do complain. A lot. I am friends with teachers. I have been a teacher. Everyone complains about their job. One teacher got suspended for complaining on her blog so your argument that teachers don't ever complain is out the window. Next?

There are so many jobs out there that deserve tips but it is in thought of to give this person a tip. I am not a teacher. I actually have a job where I " serve" the public every day and not get tips.

This sentence is of the kind that makes ,Ithard to know what talking about you. Are. " Sorry" you do Not get tips. You should talk to your pimp about that not tips getting.

If you are so worried about your pay then get a different job or go to your employer and ask for more pay or get the laws changed so they have to pay you min. Wage.

Note to self: Tomorrow after work, get the laws changed. Should be easy.

I have been reading your blog out of complete boredom while I get over a surgery. 

Good luck with the lap band.

You are the whinest, spoiled, over payer, jerk I have ever seen. I know I have never been a customer in any of the places you have worked. But if I was I would leave, ask for another waiter, or turn you into the board of health. In fact I do believe that every place you have worked or do work at should be deeply looked into by the board of health.

I don't know what an "over payer" is but thank you and for all you know, you have been in my station before. How would you even know? Feel free to turn me "into" the board of health. (Is that like turning a frog into a prince?) They love when people "turn someone in" for blogging. Blogging has such an impact on the cleanliness of the kitchen and you would truly be doing them a service.

I do hope that you get fired, and that you are black listed at all future job openings and that you have to work at a "real" job and you get paid only what you deserve. 

Fired? From your lips to God's ears, but hopefully, I won't ever end up on the Restaurant Black List that is circulated amongst restaurant managers throughout the country because there is totally a Restaurant Black List that is circulated amongst restaurant managers throughout the country. Yeah. Uh huh.

I also hope someone takes ajax and washes your moth out and that God punishes you for the way you talk about children!!!!!!

Please do not wash my moth with Ajax. Moths are very delicate creatures and do not deserve to be washed with harsh chemicals like Ajax. You are a horrible person to even suggest such a thing and I should turn you in to PETA for even threatening such action. Moths are God's creatures! If God wants to punish me for the way I talk about children, I will look to Job for inspiration. But really, even God has got to know that sometimes kids are a big fat pain in the ass.

Grow up get a real job and quit complaining about your current or past jobs you big spoiled jack a**..... 

I will quit complaining when there is nothing left to complain about, you big spoiled cu**..... (cunt face.)

Thank you for the comment. I really do read every single comment that is posted on the blog and it means a lot to me that people even bother to write anything at all. This particular comment was an extra special helping of crazy though and I loved it.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An Open Letter to the Mysterious Disappearing Party of Nine

Dear Party of Nine Who Did Not Show Up:

There is a reason we do not take reservations at my restaurant. You are it. You see, we are a really small restaurant with only about 16 tables. Remember last week when you called and said you wanted a reservation but we said that we don't take them but you begged us and so we did? We should not have done that.

You called on Wednesday night and said there were going to be about eight or nine of you coming to dinner the following night and could we please please please reserve a table because you are you are so totally coming to celebrate your birthday and you don't want to have to wait when you get there. Against our better judgement, we did it. Thursday rolls around and I am at work. You told us you would be there at 7:30 and that you would call at 6:45 to confirm. You did not call. At the busiest time of the night, I stopped seating five two-tops. Four would have been better, but since you said you might have nine people, I had to save a whole extra table. Do you know how many people I was unable to sit because of your reservation? A lot. "But it will all be worth it,"  I thought. "When the nine-top gets here and everyone has apps and cocktails and desserts and then I get to add a 20% gratuity to the check, it will all be worth it.!" I was giddy with anticipation.

7:00: You did not call to confirm yet, but you must be busy getting ready for your big dinner out.

7:15: "No, I'm sorry, ma'am, that table is reserved, you'll have to sit at the crappy table next to the bathroom. No, we don't usually take reservations, but we made an exception tonight."

7:16: Every table is full now except for the five two-tops I pushed together. I hope no one else comes in right now.

7:17:  "Hello, sir. No, I'm sorry, I don't have any place to seat you right now, sir. That is reserved. Oh, so you'll go next door to eat? Okay... good bye. I'm sorry."

7:19: "Hi there. Table for three? There will be about a 15 minute wait. Yes, all those tables are reserved. Oh, you'll come back later? Okay, thank you." They did not come back.

7:25: Almost here!

7:32: Running a bit late, I suppose. No big deal.

7:40: Ummm, where are you?

7:50: Okay, I'm getting pissed off.

8:00: You suck. Where the fuck are you?

8:01: I am breaking the tables apart and seating them meaning that now I am going to get slammed by having five empty tables all become available at the same time. I hate you. Why did you make me keep those tables open for you if you knew you were not coming? Did you lose your cell phone up your own asshole which made it impossible for you to call and let us know you were not going to make it? We went out of our way to give you a reservation and this is what happens? Never again will we "make an exception" because too many times it is not worth it to do so. Our place is small enough that we don't need to take reservations. We can fill up just by walk-ins. I hope that the birthday celebration sucked. I hope that when they brought out the cake with candles on it, you bent over to blow them out and your eyebrows were singed off. I hope the cake was as dry as Phylis Dillers's vag. I hope every gift you got was the wrong size and wrong color and that you got no gift receipts. I hope that it was the shittiest birthday you have ever had because you ruined a good portion of my shift. My station sat empty for over an hour and I made no money. I hate you.

So the next time you want to make a reservation at my restaurant and you say "Pretty please with sugar on top can we make a reservation?" my answer will be a resounding NO. No. No. No. We do not take reservations.

The Bitchy Waiter

p.s. You're lucky that the person who took your reservation did not take your phone number or there would now be a flyer hanging at Queens College that says you are selling an iPad for $150 and to only call after 11:00 PM.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

I served a V.I.P. (Very Important Prick)

This is the story of a very important man. He may even be the most important man in the world. His name is not Barack Obama or Donald Trump or even Jose Cuervo. His name is something that I was not privy too, because he was far too important to share such information with little ol' lowly me. After all, I was just his waiter. This man was so important that when he walked into the restaurant with his girlfriend he did not feel the need to acknowledge my presence in any way.

"Hello, sir. Table for two?" He walked past me. I followed.

"Two for dinner?" He continued on his way to the back of the restaurant.

"Would you like menus? Are there just going to be two of you?" He headed to the door that leads to the patio, still not hearing me.

Finally, "Hey can we sit on the patio?"

"Yes, sir. Absolutely. Wherever you like."

He and his girlfriend plopped themselves down at the one table that is not a two-top because he's so important that he needs extra space for his huge fat ego. I handed them menus.

"Bring me a glass of Chardonnay while she's deciding what she wants to drink."

When I returned with his wine, she was ready for he drink. Or rather, she was ready to ask me what I thought she would like to drink. Judging by her decision to spend her evening with the douche bag across the table from her, I ventured she would like the Old Fashion seeing that it, much like her date, was short and squatty and full of a lot of crap. "Oh that sounds good but maybe I'll have the Blueberry Vodka lemonade."

The Very Important Man pointed at his almost empty wine glass and then raised his index and second fingers to indicate he is ready for glass number two. That must be "May I please have another glass of chardonnay" in Very Important Man speak. I obliged.

Three minutes later, when I brought their drinks, I saw the man had put on his Bluetooth and was now talking on the phone as was his girlfriend. To me, it sounded like it was a bunch of mumbo jumbo and I did not pay it much attention. What did catch my eye, however, was the fact that in addition to the Bluetooth, he also had a cell phone on the table. Oh did I say a cell phone? I meant cell phones, as in six of them. Yes, this man had six cell phones spread out across the table along wit a key chain that had about forty keys on I. Clearly, this man was the most important man in the world. What other reason could he possibly have for having six cell phones unless he was in the process of making very important decisions like solving world hunger, accepting the vice-presidential nomination and settling the dispute between several Middle Eastern countries? It just happened that the only conversation I heard was about where he had parked his car. Very important, indeed.

A while into their meal, the Very Important Man got up to go to the bathroom to make, what I assume to be, a very important dump. "What's with all the cell phones," I asked his girlfriend.

She rolled her eyes. "It makes him feel important. Or at least he thinks it makes him look important."

"Oh, it's working," I confirmed.

"Uh huh, right," she said with lips pursed and eyebrows raised.

Throughout their meal, the man kept checking his various phones for messages. No one called. He snt some texts. And probably checked his Facebook once or twice. He ordered a total of six glasses of wine. Seeing that he weighed about 340 pounds, it didn't seem to make any difference in his behavior so I didn't worry abou it. I figured most of the wine was soaked up by his importance.

Their bill was $146 and V.I.P. left me a twenty dollar tip. Whatever. Thirty would have been nice but I got something much more important. He taught me a lesson that day that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. And now I can pass it on to you:

The moral of this story: "The men who carry cell phones, six are probably compensating for small dicks."

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