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....

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Ok, here's some more responses to questions and comments.

"How much do you look like your sister, O? Are you from a big family? Are you still going to school, maybe to become a writer?Do you work at LK?"

I lok nothing like her, she's way to pretty and I don't look the same ethnicity either, aka I look like a white boy. I'm still in school and adjusting, taking Comp. II and thinking about taking creative writing classes.

I may or may not work at LK, one of the greatest places in town, love the chicken spendini! Go there if you're from Iowa!


"Spell Check, is it really nececessary?"

Yup because as I am horrible at spelling as some people like to point out. I'm not a copy editor and while I try to do my best I have neither the time or energy to do anything other than skim for mistakes.

"Why is filling your breasts full of silicone considered sexy?"

Ah my bitterfriend vixxen, of course it is, and if they aren't its still sexy. And no we won't ever get tired of Carmen Electra.

Here's another one.

"Why do waiters seem to be offended if I ask that a half-pitcher or a full pitcher of ice tea be brought to the table for me. I explain to them that I have a large amount of thirst due to a health condition (diabetes), and that I don't want to take up all their time running drinks for me."

Not because of your condition I assure you. Most people that ask such things represent the lowest common denominator of customers. I consider it trashy and an insult to my service if people try to get me to do it, plus it is again most restaurant's procedures. Be polite and ask, if they say no I guess they'll have to watch out for your refills.

Ok, a few comments from "Pet Peeves"

"It's a pet peeve that people are thirsty?? You are insane."

Well that's the title of the blog isn't it?

I think its insane to suck down eight refills of iced tea, or to have a bunch of kids run me around because they can't help but have chugging races with their Mountain Dews.

"Are you saying I should deal with my thirst because you don't feel like making another trip to the table?"

Pretty much. Its not about me being lazy, just there's many things I have to juggle besides trying to gauge how long your current refill will last, there are other people I have to worry about. I don't mind refilling and being reasonable, but if you can't make your drink last longer than thirsty seconds yes that is a pet peeve.

"A lot of your posts lately have been angry. How about painting pictures of the customers you serve instead of giving us general lists?"

Well I haven't had much time the last few weeks for stories so I just have been making points. Now that I'm back in town and the semester is finishing up perhaps some things will be more to your liking.

All right, now to the controversial comments...

"Don't you hate black people? They are so picky and never tip well and never smile or are polite."

Ok, that's the only halfway appropriately worded one, there were a few others that had too much of a slant towards slurs.

I'm not even going to touch this one.

Do I cringe when I see certain customers? Yes, and they can be all kinds of religions, colors, nationalities and such. I'm pretty equal acrosse all color barriers and there are segments of every group that can tend to be bad tippers.

I'm only human and yes stereotypes of a group can be reinforced by people within their descriptions.

And they can also be refuted.

Its funny that I've had black friends not want to wait on black tables for this very stigma. The I waited on them and they were a pleasure and tipped well without unreasonable demands.

I've also know gay servers that don't want to wait on gay customers. Hell I actually don't mind them, they usually tip well and are fun tables.

My point is this. While I am only human and these thoughts go through my head, I give all my tables the best service I can muster. Even ones I'd rather not I do it because it is unfair of me to treat any group differently than the other. I don't appreciate slurs on this site and if you have criticisms of any group, that is your opinion, make a point rather than just call someone a nigger or spic or jew or whatever.


At 4:27 PM , Blogger First Year said...

Great answers, especially to the black customers question. I always cringe when this is brought up on bitterwaitress or

I think poor tipping/restuarant conduct have little to do with race and more to do with class. I got poor tips from trailer trash of all colors :)

Keep up the good work :)

At 4:30 PM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

Awesome, a question and answer session.

I have the pleasure of working in a white tablecloth restaurant where I rarely have to "cringe" when someone walks in. That always makes me uncomfortable because I don't like feeling like that, but it happens. I actually have had some of the best tips ever from "minorities". Had one guy sit at the bar a couple weeks ago, down 3 Grey Gooses in 30 minutes, and tipped me about 14 bucks, the tab was only about 28. But seemingly bad tips can come from anybody. My servers got swamped today at lunch, so I had to pick up a table. It just happened to be a table of friends of mine. They ate well and had 2 bottles of $45 champagne. Overall tab was $140. Tip was $20. Not even 15%. And when I say friends, I hang out with all four of them at least once a week. Oh well, you win some, you lose some, right. Oh, Insane, I want to apologize for using the n-word on here a few weeks ago. I was just trying to make the point that there's no particular color for the name in my world. Thanks for the posts, man, I hope to be a long time reader.

At 4:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

(haven't posted here before)

I don't mean to be a jerk, but sometimes when I walk into your establishment, I know I'm really thirsty. I'm not insulting your service by thinking you aren't going to be refilling me, but I'd much rather that you spend your time worrying about real food and drink service than just pouring water into a glass. Anybody can do that. But I have to depend on you to give me my Belvedere Cosmo in good shape, and that's what I'm paying for. I'm depending on your advice on which fish will suit my taste. And when I'm deciding between starters, I'm *completely* depending on you to explain how the special will fit into my plan for the meal.

If you say "I shouldn't/musn't/can't bring a carafe of water" and "You annoy me when you can drink 12oz of water in thirty seconds", well, all I can think to do is to try to find a convenience store before I walk into your place. I suppose your place could hand me a large bottle of water as I'm seated, but that's tacky for everyone.

Make me happy. Don't make me waste your time. Gratuitously making me wait for and depend on you for extremely simple things doesn't demonstrate your good service; it demonstrates that you're trying to show off being essential to my dining experience. Don't demonstrate; just focus on actually being essential. You're close already.

At 5:22 PM , Blogger Sondra said...

Another great entry, Insane. Loved it.

At 7:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the water - its managements policy that we not leave a water carafe on the table...we must service you...sorry pain in my butt too! I get all diferent types of ethnic groups in our 4 star restaurant. I treat each one like they are a celebrity..I always get 20% + tips when my coworkers who are getting the same clientle complain bitterly about their 15% or less tip..think about it. These people come in and ask to be seated in my section...not my coworkers. Absolutely love your site Insane Waiter! Cathy

At 2:19 PM , Anonymous pokerzixxen said...

Come On! You're going to be at the restaurant for an hour, how thristy can you be? If you really are that thirsty, perhaps you need to go to the doctor.

At 5:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only color I ever worried about as a waiter was green. That being said, I found African-Americans in general to be poor tippers, and no, it wasn't a self-fulfilling prophecy -- whenever I was seated a table of black folks I would tell myself "These are the people who will break the stereotype!" and I went out of my way to give them good service. In almost every case, I was disappointed. Just an observation.

I'm also one of those people who tries not to use race when describing someone. For instance, instead of saying "the black guy over there" I'll say "the guy in the red shirt" or "the tall guy by the phone". Try it, it's interesting. Inevitably the response will be "Oh, you mean the black guy, right?"

At 10:41 PM , Blogger WyldWaitress said...

I'm one of the very-thirsty who go through ten refills easily during a meal. I'm also a full-time server. I wish we did have pitchers we could leave on the tables. Many of those who ask are the lowest common denominator, but as many are like the person who asked the question and honestly trying to keep from running our asses off. It's a courtesy to tell us up front so we can try to accommodate that without either them going without or us running ourselves to death--in a pinch, bring two glasses and refill them both as often as possible.

In the area of SC where I live, the same stereotype persists about black people--but I almost always find that my black customers are reasonable both as customers and tippers, and the group I find to be poor tippers and ill-mannered are generally white and very rural.

At 5:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point, Anon. I also try to avoid identifying people by race, but I live and work in a majority African city so I''ll be more likely to identify someone as "the white guy".

At 5:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also drink a lot of water and most often I have to make a request every time I need a refill. So what is wrong in asking for a jug of water when the vast majority of waiters don't seem than eager to offer refills? And I find there is usually no difference between expensive and inexpensive restaurants. And for the poster who said maybe the person should see a doctor, well maybe they did and they do actually have a problem that requires lots of fluids. I detest the snobbish attitude of some waiters and while I appreciate the professionalism that the job requires, ultimately the job is to wait on the customer and not decide what is best for them or what is beneath them as a waiter, but of course suggestions can be made. I work in the food industry and if someone asks for a well done stake with A1 sauce and a jug of water, then they can have it, not my personal choice but if that is what they enjoy it and they are paying, then why not? I'm not eating it and the job of a waiter is to make the dining experience enjoyable.

At 10:13 AM , Blogger Segue said...

As a diner, it is entirely my decision how much I would like to eat, AND drink. Why are drink refills not part of the whole dining package?

Is it because they're FREE? I'm thinking that if a customer orders five beers over the course of a meal, you wouldn't complain about running back and forth.

The customer didn't make the free-refill rule at the restaurant... I usually drink several glasses of whatever with my meal, and I would do so even if I had to pay for them individually. You're probably just annoyed that drink refills take time away from money-making activities... But a thirsty customer is an angry customer. It's hard to eat a meal with nothing to drink.

On the other hand, if someone is FINISHED eating and still ordering refills of iced tea or whatever, they should get the hell out.

At 2:12 PM , Blogger Taylor said...

i worked in an outdoor restaurant in hawaii for a little over two years, and one thing i always thought was funny, was when people would come in and claim to be 'parched' and proceed to suck down about eighty six glasses of soda or iced tea. news flash: both of those substances contain caffeine, which actually makes you more thirsty. at least if you're drinking water, then you have some credibility. oh, and i always made sure my guests glasses stayed above half full.


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