The Insane Waiter

Running wild on customers, chefs, owners and managers since 1997. I bring to you, The Insane Waiter. What do bring to your table? A crisp bottle of San Pellegrino ? Perhaps a lovely seared Sashimi Tuna? Start off with a wonderful bottle from Tuscany perhaps? Why I'll be more than happy to bring you your White Zinfandel and Chicken Caesar. No you can't order the mac and cheese off the kids menu and sorry no, we don't serve cheese sticks....

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Hell Night

No, it's not the title of a shitty horror flick.

Or the first night of some homoerotic fraternity hazing...

But my night.

I'm in the weeds, and its crazy...

I'm holding on to the night with nothing but a small thread between me and insanity. Nothing has gone right so far tonight.

I'm running my ass off and still can't get caught up.

Then I see them, my table of rubes.

I can tell they aren't used to being out, they've been obnoxious since I first laid eyes on them.

They are waving frantically at me, I go over to them...

"Yes folks, can I help you?" I query.

Instead of telling me, they answer a question with a question.

"Aren't you forgetting something?"

The gentleman asks as he motions to the setting in front of him.

I look at their table, they're still on their salad course, glancing at my book I see nothing missing, their food is cooking...

So my response to his question is,"I don't think so sir."

He gestures again at the area in front of him,"you forgot about my salad."

Indeed he had ordered a salad.

A chicken caesar dinner salad...

That he ordered as his entree.

"Sir your salad is coming with the rest of the order, it will up shortly."

He gestures again,"why? I'm hungry now!"

"Sir, you ordered an entree salad, it is served with the rest of the entrees."

That was, of course recieved with a blank stare.

I explain again.

"Sir, when I asked about a soup or side salad course, you didn't want one, you ordered your entree salad when I took the dinner order, so that you could eat your salad when the rest of your table eats."

Still staring blankly he goes on,"well they're eating their salads now, I don't understand why you forgot to bring out mine with theirs."

I'm losing patience, I glance about, my other tables need me, I'm far to busy to discuss semantics with this troglodyte.

"I assume that you want your salad now then."

"Well yes!"

He stares me down like I'm the idiot here.

"I'll have it out as soon as I can sir."

I walk off, it's not my fault the man isn't cosmopolitan enough to understand that courses are kept separate for a reason, anything else is just a buffet.

Shit, table 20 needs refills, I just got doubled at 30 and 31, my six top is waving their credit cards in the air like a bunch of six year olds, and I've got food to run out to 21, and this asshat at 22 is worried about me forgetting about his entree when it isn't due for another five minutes.

Hell, at least tonight will make a decent blog posting.

I go over to my six top, they're still waiving their credit cards in the air, they've been done with their entrees for a full thirty seconds. My manager looks over disapprovingly.

Ya, I've been sitting on my ass while they're ready to go.

"We need separate checks!"

The bane of servers everywhere.

I'm a little sick of people and their lack of patience, two of them were in the restroom, I was waiting for them to get back and see if any coffee or deserts were in order.

I suppose not.

I ask anyways,"folks are you sure you don't want any after dinner drinks or deserts?"

"No, we're in a hurry!"

As I smile I quip,"I couldn't tell..."

It gets a dirty look, good.

"I'll be right back."

I race over to my double down, grab their drink orders.

First are a couple of teens, Diet Cokes, the official drink of Anorexia.

The next table is a bit more complex, Balvini 18 on the rock.

Righteous.

I yell at the kitchen about Asshat's salad, run the separate credit cards, and hit the bar for my scotch.

They're out...

I run back to the table to offer a different choice, Oban it is.

Ring it in...

We're out, again.

Do they even order this shit ever.

Trip three to the table, at least he's understanding and settles on a standard Glenlivit.

My other tables aren't as reasonable.

As I race to drop my credit cards, Asshat is waving,"My salad?!?!?"

I cruise by him faster than a fat kid going after the last twinkie.

The six is giving me the stare down, apparently waiting three minutes for a credit card receipt is akin to me blowing my nose in their creme brulee, not that the consistency differs much.

I speed by them dropping the pile of credit cards on my relay to the bar.

Scotch, Diet Cokes are grabbed.

Dropping them off I see the expo waving at me, salad up!

Too bad the rest of their food comes up at exactly the same moment.

I'm about to run to get that going when my Diet Cokes try to order cheese sticks, this isn't TGIF's kids.

Salad tosser is waiving at me again, though I'm at a table.

The six has a pertinent question, which receipt to keep.

Prolly the one that says "Customer Copy"

Expo is waving...

Diet Coke is asking why we don't have cheese sticks...

And Scotch is ready to order.

All the while my other table, which I haven't been to since they got their food, is looking at me expectantly.

Fucking in the weeds, I think as I hear Frank croon "My Way" for the tenth time tonight.

I vaguely recall a table the other night telling me how great I must have it doing my job, how stress free and easy it is.

I asked them if they have ever waited tables before, the answer was a negatory.

I smiled and nodded, my retort to them was, "I didn't think so."

The smile from that night returns to my lips, in the face of such odds I do the only thing that makes any sense through the haze of insanity.

Walk out the back door and light up a square.

14 Comments:

At 9:17 AM , Blogger alpharat said...

You gotta love waiting on people who've never had to work in a bar or restaurant before...

 
At 11:52 AM , Blogger Sondra said...

I love you, insane waiter!

 
At 12:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

alpharat: I believe that's the job, no?

 
At 1:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know you love it!

 
At 1:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Balvinie", "Glenlivit"?

 
At 2:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whenever I'm in the weeds I find its best to take a smoke break just for a second. It gives me time to clear my head and calm down.

 
At 2:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whenever I'm in the weeds I find its best to take a smoke break just for a second. It gives me time to clear my head and calm down.

 
At 5:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glenlivit and Balvini are single malt scotches, ones that the bar manager neglected to keep in stock. And yes, being in the weeds and dealing with fools is the job, just the fact that it isn't easy.

TheInsaneWaiter

 
At 3:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You poor, poor guy! Are you working on a Southside restaurant??

 
At 3:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fraid I don't work on the Southside, keep guessing

Insane Waiter

 
At 11:19 AM , Blogger Kathleen said...

I've never worked in a real restaurant (just fast food), but it was enough to teach me patience and understanding. All it takes is a little eye-opening to see the Insane Waiter is running his feet off...patience is a virtue.

 
At 5:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i loved your blog and your chosen nickname for entree salad guy. How funny! I feel your weeded pain. Keep writing please!

 
At 9:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Above all it isn't my fault if your steak is over cooked, pasta cold, or lettuce wilted. It does not constitute poor service to have these things happen."

Actually it is.

I ran a restaurant for a number of years. I was walking in during breakfast one morning (I lived on the premises) and a waitress was walking out of the kitchen with what looked like a pile of vomit, basically.

I asked what was going on, and she said the cook was out of control. I ripped him a new asshole, called in the wait staff, and said to them, in front of the cook, "If you see a plate of food that you don't want to eat, then tell this guy you won't serve it. If he gives you any trouble, come get me. We don't serve crappy food here, and it's up to all of us to make sure."

So, Mr. whiny "It's not my fault I took a bad plate of food out of the kitchen", next time you look at a plate that you wouldn't want to eat, tell the kitchen you won't serve it, and get a manager.

If your restaurant won't support you in giving good food to customers, then why would you work there?

 
At 9:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post! Best I've read from you....so far. Lol. I like the nicknames, "salad guy," "diet cokes." Lol. I hope you have more stories like this.

 

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