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 09, 2005

Dear Lord

So the hostess is dropping another table on me, so much for me asking for a minute after getting triple sat...

I head over to the table and quickly turn around.

It's Jenny, one of my friends dated her a few years back and her rudeness is near legendary.

I take a deep breath, turn around, and hope she doesn't know who I am.

Damn, her joiner is her mom, makes ole Jenny here look like Mother Teresa.

Upon filling their waters I ask,"Ladies how are we doing today?"

And the answer to that question is...

"Ya, we want two iced teas."

Very well, didn't know that was the proper response but at least she barely had a hint of recognition in her expression.

I hate waiting on people I know.

I really hate waiting on people I don't like.

They are chattering to themselves as I drop off their drinks.

"Ladies would you like to hear about our specials?"

Well considering they keep talking I guess not.

I turn heel, I have other things to do.

I run and hit up my three other tables for their lunch order, as I head back to the kitchen with hands full from finished diners I'm stopped short.

Jenny's mom is waving.

"Yes Ma'am?"

"We're ready to order, we're in a hurry!"

Well I'm in a hurry to get to the dish room before I drop five plates,"I'll be right back with you, ok?"

"But, we're in a hurry!"

I walk off.

Stop in the kitchen, drop off my plates, and calmly and slowly grab a drink of my coffee.

I return to my new friends.

"Ma'am what would you like today?"

Coldly she starts with,"Well don't you have any specials?"

First off they said they were ready, that implies they are decided.

Secondly they were to busy being self important for them to hear me out when I offered.

Nonetheless I recap the specials of the day.

The order, chicken ceasers.

Big surprise.

I start to head to the POS station.

"Sir! Sir!" the woman cries out.


"Don't you have some of that bread?"

Goddamn, why is it always that bread.

"I want some of that bread you serve at night.

"Ma'am we only do bread service at dinner, a piece comes with your salads."

Of course her rational is,"Well they did it for us last time."

Of course they did.


Back in the kitchen I load a bowl of bread up from the small amount we do carry at lunch.

"What are you doing?" the chef cries with alarm,"that's the only bread we have!"

"Fine, you go tell her no, she's quite the lovely lady!" I retort.

He dismisses me with a wave of his hand.

Now I've pissed off the kitchen, I'm sure my food will be out in a real timely manner for the rest of the day.

So I drop off their bread and oil...

"I want butter!"


Back in the kitchen I see we're out of butter packets.

I start to chisel off chips from the sticks the kitchen uses for cooking.

I hear my name being called from the line.

My orders are piling up from the other tables I'm waiting on, getting cold and I'm back here with a freakin steak knife trying to cut perfect little squares.

Fuck it.

I grab a bullet and jam as much butter as I can into it.

By the time I get it out to the table there is one piece of bread left.

They used the oil.

"I want more bread!"

I see my food being dropped of my an irate looking manager.

"Also sir, we're in a hurry, do you know when our food is coming?"

Well only if I had more time.


I've got other shit to do.

I'm sat again, I've got food to run, I notice my six top is out of tea as well.

Fuck, weeded again, all for this prima donna and that bread.

A few minutes pass, their food is dropped and such, still crazy.

I'm rolling by with another armfull of plates...

I notice that ole Miss Jenny from the Block has become Mrs. Jenny Goldigger from the size of the rock on her finger.

Good for her, I remember when she was the town bicycle...

The one everybody gets to ride.

Maybe she married for love, but somehow I think her mom trained her a little differently than that.

However, these thoughts are interrupted by,"Sir, I want my bill, I'm in a hurry!"

Ya, I haven't noticed, perhaps a new botox injection is in order for the afternoon, judging by appearances anyways.

"Sure thing Ma'am."

She then starts to shove her half finished salad toward me.

Remember, I have full hands here.

Really, if I wanted your plate I'd just take it, patience!

I give her a helpless look.

She sits there for a second with her plate held out to me.

Then she snorts and puts it back in front.

I return with the check.


I give her the bill and pick up their salad plates.

"Ma'am I'll be right back to pick that up."

She scrutinizes the bill, "Here, I don't have time for this."

She gives me a look of scorn and tosses a twenty in the folder, then thrusts it at me, my arms are full once again.

That's why I said I'd be right back.

I juggle around and reposition myself.

"I'll be right back with your change Ma'am."

Just keep it, I've got to go.

She just gave me a $1.11 to my face.

Fuck that.

I take the plates back and throw a dollar and a quarter in their bill book.

They're still chatting again, some hurry.

I walk over to the table and set the change down.

What I really want to say is, "Here, keep it, you need it more than I do."

For a brief second the words are on the tip of my tongue.

Thoughts of what will I do if I'm fired flood my mind.

College, bills, food and gas, what would I do?

I don't have financial aid, or time to look for a new job.

I've seen two servers do this before, and both were 86'd.

I bite down and walk away.

"Sir I said you can keep it!"

I keep going, that's what I do best.


At 10:24 AM , Blogger poop said...

Yeah, people can be horrible. I just love hearing about other waiters misery.
You know, there seems to be two kinds of rude tables. Those that don’t know and those that don’t care. I can usually tell the difference. It’s not my tables job to make my life easy, so long as they aren't going out of their way to make it hell. Jenny and her mamma sound like the latter. No doubt.
You are a much more moral man than I. I’m working for the cash, I’ll shamelessly kiss ass if I know it will pay off. I’ll also ignore a piece of shit table and spend my time and energy taking care of the other tables. You want bread, sure thing. I doesn’t come out, to bad. We don’t serve it at lunch any way.
Not that I run around giving tables bad service, but I’m not going to worry about someone who is wasting my time. I’d rather give love to tables that are tipping any way.
I’m glad you weren't rude. You never win by stooping to their level.

At 11:07 AM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

Damn, this kind of thing happens to us all the time, being right smack in the middle of the central business district of an ever-growing city. For instance, yesterday at lunch, it's obvious that we're packed, and I only have 2 servers on, as any other lunch, yet people think that they're the only table. What's worse is a 3 top that came in right in the middle of the rush. I tried to sit them in the rotation, as not to weed one of the servers. They insist to sit at one of the tables against the wall, double seating the server. I told them my purpose of seating them where I originally went, and told them that it may be a minute before the server got to them. The kicker is that there was only 2 of them that showed up first, so I knew that there was a joiner. The joiner was another server that used to work for me at a different place, and someone that I hung out with Monday night, paying for everything because she was "broke". A few minutes later, I'm stopped by the lady that I originally sat, and she asked me if they could move to the original table, so that they could get a server. I told her that both servers are equally busy, and that I'd be right back to at least get their drink order. By the time I could get back, the server was already there. The thing that irritates me is that, why couldn't the lady's daughter, that waits tables, let her mom know how it happens in a restaurant that's obviously this busy, a little common courtesy for a friend. That's all I ask for. I understand that all people don't know what we, in the front of the house, have to go through, but if there's someone at the table that can explain, make it a little bit easier, and do so. Didn't mean to carry on, but it's pretty fresh on the mind, sorry.

At 11:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it's obvious that we're packed, and I only have 2 servers on"

In my industry, we have a saying: "your lack of planning doesn't constitute an emergency for me."

You act as if it's the customer's problem that you inadequately covered the shift.

At 12:37 PM , Blogger oceanbug said...

Unbelievable....What a bunch of crap. They had the nerve to toss a measly dollar and chump change at you after you catered to them?? I feel your pain server; you deserve something for walking away without going bad on them. They have no clue how crass they really are.

At 12:59 PM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

Anon, no I always have only 2 servers on because of the size of the restaurant, and most of the problem arose because of the swiftness that tables came in. The major reason that I wrote that is the fact that there was a server that knows about the situation that was sitting at the table.

At 1:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I KNOW that a table is going to be a pain in the ass, I IGNORE them. That way it assures that they will not come back. A dollar and chump change is worth the preventation at a later point.

At 1:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nephew Dude:

Talk about waiting on people you know.

You're lucky you haven't waited on some of our relatives.

One of your Gramps's sisters habitually sends back her order for something to be prepared differently. HABITUALLY.

She came to a restaurant once where I was a waiter. I had the hostess sit her in my buddy's section. Your great-aunt put him through his paces. At on point, when I heard him mutter "Bitch!" under his breath, all I could do was howl with laughter.

Another of your Gramps's sisters once went into a restaurant kitchen herself to cook her order the way she wanted it. That was the worst.


Uncle R.

At 1:38 PM , Anonymous Michelle said...

These type of people never see anything past the end of their face. Either they really don't see that your busy or they just thrive on seeing you struggle. Which is why, no matter how busy I am I refuse to look like I'm rushing. They take it as bait to give you more hell.

At 3:31 PM , Blogger Cynthia said...

What asshole customers. I really hate it when people are rude to their waiters and waitresses. I wish you could have told them off. But you have to avoid that unemployment line, right?

At 12:04 AM , Anonymous Ally said...

I've been reading this blog for about a month now but never commented... Your stories are always entertaining and so true. I also work in the restaurant buisness; while it can be rewarding some customers make you wonder why your doing this in the first place... exellent post, I feel your frustration. Too bad we have to deal with this dailey. Keep up the awesome writing!

At 1:12 AM , Blogger Amommymously said...

Michelle is right. Work as quickly and efficiently as possible, but don't give the appearance of rushing. These types of people are so miserable in their own small pitiful lives; they can only feel better by attempting to make some one else feel more miserable than they themselves are. It's the same old game of "Gotcha". Once they engage you in their wretched pettiness, they win. Continue to do your best and keep above these types of situations. (Easier said than done). And these people wonder why they are lonely and miserable! Material wealth doesn't bring happiness or entitle anyone to act in such a rude, crude and socially unfit manner towards you or anyone else. In this case, like Mother like Daughter. (Two bitches for the price of one).

At 3:06 AM , Anonymous pokervixxen said...

You could have dissed them on the bread, especially since you were low on it. I would have. Table's like that get basic service, nothing more, no extra's, no energy, no personality. Then they get to watch as you shower the rest of your tables with humor and attention. The best revenge is to shine.

At 6:07 AM , Blogger nn said...

I hate people who are only concerned about people they have to fear. Anyone they can shortchange, they will.

At 11:00 AM , Anonymous CurlySue said...

My husband and I were out for lunch the other day and were in a hurry. When we were seated, there were very few customers in the restaurant. We informed the waiter that we were in a hurry. Of course, as luck would have it, no sooner had we ordered and the whole place filled up. We could see that our poor waiter was WAY in the weeds. We had finished and received our check. Now, we could not get his attention to take our $. So, I went straight to the cashier and paid the bill (leaving a generous tip for our waiter)and we left. My husband says I was wrong to do that even though we really were in a terrible hurry. Was I?

At 12:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

These assholes. The word is "server" not "servant".
I still prefer "waiter" and "waitress" . At least those words alone might give them a clue.

At 12:19 AM , Anonymous chloe said...

curlysue, Ive done that before and I dont think it is rude, I think as long as the server realizes you weren't upset and that is why you went to the till. The huge tip prolly gave away that you were not in fact upset though!

I don't agree with all the people here that say "when I think I table isn't gonna be worth it, I ignore them." It happens way too often that I go somewhere with my boyfriend to eat, usually higher end and we are treated horribly by the staff. First we are sat against the wall, away from everyone else. Then a server doesn't even want to wait on us because then they would be stuck with us and what they think will be a 'crappy tip' coming from two young 20 somethings who don't dress like rock stars. So it will take 20 minutes to just take our drink order, and then another half an hour for drinks to arrive. It puts us in a very frusterating situation- because then we do not want to tip well because we were ignored while other tables were doted on. (when it affects my food aka it comes out cold, I get mad) But then if we tipped poorly we would just be adding to their preconcieved stereotype. When I recieve normal service I tip over 20%, and this is in Canada too where servers are almost always payed 8-10$ before tips. So what to do? Should I talk to a manager about how I felt I was poorly judged, and why I was not going to tip well? Or should I just not go back to that place even though I loved the food (even if it was a little on the cold side).

At 11:02 AM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

Chloe, I think you should definately speak with a manager. If there's a reason that you're being ignored, that is the best way to find out. If there is no good reason, then you should recieve good service from then on.

At 1:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, you dropped out on this story just when it started to get good.

Fun rants, learn to spell. Maybe that is why you are still waiting tables.

At 6:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man this blog brings back memories but i have to say i am so happy that i don't wait tables anymore. I think there should be a law that every man and women @ the age of 18 should be required to wait tables for 6 months, that should cut down the level of douchbags,assholes & bad tippers.
By the way, you do just fine with this here thing you do so fuck that asshole right above me

thanx sheeple


At 8:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is strange that the more you are freaking out the more your tables will wanna bother you and add to your list. I agree with showing them up, even though you may be slammed just keep your cool. Freakin assholes. Serving really makes you hate people sometimes. What helps me sometimes is if your slammed know that it isn't going to kill you if one of your table doesn't get their refill a minute sooner and it won't kill them so.... relax. It's not life or death


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