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....

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hello and Happy New Year!

Well folks sorry its been a bit between posts, I'll have new stories up on the first part of the week.

Here's a small tidbit from one of my joyful holiday tables...

A lady to me.

"I don't want to be bitchy..."

I finish the sentence for her.

"But you're gonna be aren't you."

Friday, December 23, 2005

Ah, Christmas Spirits

So I had a table of four come in tonight...

A family, son at home on break and the daughter.

As I go around to take drink orders there are waters for the kids and Bacardi Cokes for the 'rents.

Upon dropping of the libations the young man and lady order a Corona and Bacardi Diet.

(Must be going south for vacation)

Well they look borderline for sure, especially the daughter, the closer I look the younger they appear.

I answer with a cheery, "Sure thing, could I bother you for your ID?"

Both the youngsters start to fidget uncomfortably.

"We don't have our ID's"

The parents just stare at me, neither one attempting to vouch

I see the young lady's purse next to her.

No ID's my ass.

"Sorry folks, I can't." Is my answer.

All look pissed.

I finish them up later and pick up my server wallet.

Eight bucks on a $79 check.

And yes they received good service, I was polite and I do know when I stink up the joint.

Asshole parents.

That one drink would mean my job if I was questioned on it.

Screw 'em, I'd rather get a shitty tip than hit the bricks on Christmas Eve looking for employment, especially when I don't have rent covered yet.

Well on a brighter note I hope everyone has a great Christmas.

And yes, it is Christmas...

Yes, I'll Have Exactly What He's Having...

"Except I want a different side dish..."

"No, and I mean no onions, I'll send it right back if there's any..."

"Extra Vegetables, don't you have asparagus, do I have to get the broccoli?"

"Well I suppose that will have to do."

"Oh, I want Western dressing instead of the house..."

"No Western?"

"Ranch then..."

"On the side, no onions as well"

"Oh, and I want my steak rare but not too rare, you know pink but not bloody and not burned on the outside..."

Hmmm, I jot all this down in note form...

In other words you want something completely opposite of what your husband ordered.

Its interesting that customers that want to order easy, exactly like their friend or whatever make it as hard as possible.

Holiday Shopping

"So guys get out there and push the gift card promotion!"

Quote the manager...

"This is your future business, get them sold!"

I look around to the other servers in our shift meeting as management continues blabbing about the team and rolling silverware.

I see eyes rolling and audible groans.

Gift cards.

I shudder as well.

Its not like I don't want business.

I just hate gift cards.

Who are the people who get them more often than not?

Those who don't go out to eat.

They come in, eat their dinner, and use the remainder of the balance as a tip.


I don't know, usually its something like a $46.87 bill and a $50 card.

"Oh, can I leave the tip on here?" They ask.

So ya, guess who doesn't tip beyond the $3.13, or $2.56...

I suppose coupons are the same way, glad I don't work for a place that has them.

There's just nothing like the feeling at the end of the meal for the server than when someone whips out their gift from Aunt Dot or newspaper clipping for a two for one entree.

Nine times out of ten, 10% or less, guaranteed.

Remember to tip on the total bill before discounts or gift deductions, just because your meal is paid for doesn't mean your waiter is taken care of.

A gift card is no excuse for a shitty tip, only shitty service is.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Decaf Nazi

A few months back I was accused of attempted murder for my revenge on a "Decaf Nazi" by serving her a double espresso regular coffee mix, here's the exact quote from a commentor...

"I absolutely can't have regular coffee. I become violently ill. the shakes, the bathroom, then a narcoleptic fit. Some people with heart conditions can't have regular either. Are you trying to kill customers?"

I believe my answer was,"Pretty Much."

Anyhoo, my decaf hijinx may come to an end after I learned decaf is actually worse for the heart than regular, see link...

So while I sit in back and slam down eight 20 oz. iced regular with two shots of espresso each to get through my day, feel free to call me at my home phone if I serve you regular instead of decaf, at 3 A.M.

I'm sure I'd love to hear from ya!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Latin King

"Well folks how is everything so far for you?" I ask as I refill their waters.

The lady at the table makes a sour face.

She pokes at her chicken caeser salad with her fork.

"This isn't what I ordered," She says.

I flip open my notepad, sure enough, chicken caesar.

"Ma'am you ordered the chicken caesar, yes?" I ask.

"Yes I did, but this isn't a caesar salad."

Lets see...

Chicken, check.

Romaine, check.

Croutons, check.

caesar dressing, check.

"Well ma'am, what's wrong with it?"

"It doesn't taste right."

I remove her plate,"ma'am, I'll go personally make you a new one, ok?"

This is returned with the same sour look, of course.

I run back to the kitchen, throw the exact same ingredients together and run it back out.

She tries it again, same look, "I'm telling you this isn't a chicken caesar salad!"

I'm exasperated, "miss, I made this salad myself, I assure you its correct."

She pushes it towards me ,"the Latin King's chicken caesar is much better than this, I don't know what this is but I don't want it anymore."

"Well ma'am that's how we do our chicken caesar."

The the gentleman speaks up,"I don't like my shrimp fettuccini, it doesn't taste right."

Oh Christ!!!

"The fettuccini at the Latin King has much more flavor," he continues.

"Sir, what would you like me to do, would you like a new entree?"

He replies,"it wouldn't be as good as the Latin King."

He shoves the plate aside.

"Sir, is there anything I can do at all?" I ask.

"We'll take another two glasses of wine."

"Certainly sir."

Of course its house Merlot, one glass costs more than the entire shitty bottle that's imported from Chile of all places.

I drop off their wine and go find the GM.

I explain the situation.

"Go give them some desert on the house, we'll comp their dinner," he tells me.

"Folks I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your meal, can I offer you some desert on the house?"

They order the tiramisu.

I deliver the goods and a few minutes later as I walk by a hand grabs my elbow.

I cringe.

Its the "gentleman"

He pulls me close.

"This tiramisu is terrible, the Latin King's is so much better than this."

"Who is your chef?" He goes on.

"The chef at the Latin King is excellent, this man clearly doesn't know his way around a kitchen."

Ya, I'm sure he'll be happy to hear this I think to myself.

I wrench myself from his grip,"Sir, I'll bring you your check."

"But your manager said our dinner was on the house!?" The lady said with an alarmed look.

"Folks, the dinner is, the wine isn't."

I return to the server station and print up their $20 check.

I grab their credit card and upon returning with their receipt I am asked...

"Have you ever eaten at The Latin King?"

"It has much better food than you have here, I just wanted you to know that."

I set the check book down, "then perhaps you should eat there next time instead, sir."

p.s. I love The Latin King.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Asinine Question #2

Asinine Question of the Day...

"Don't you have quiche on the menu?"

Sorry, we're not your Grandma's house, read the menu for God's sake.

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Humanitarian

"Sir, how are you doing tonight?"

He glances up from his book,"House Cabernet."

Off to a good start already, love one tops...

I retreat to the bar for his wine.

Upon returning I say,"Here you are sir, would you care for an appeti..."

"I want a salad with ranch and I want a filet medium with a baked potato, noooo bacon."

Hmmm,"Sir our salads come with out house dressing which is a wonderful basalmi...."

"I said ranch."

We don't even have ranch, except for ranch dip for kids chicken strips.

Fuck it, I run in back and mix a side of ranch with some half and half.
Upon delivering his salad he slides his cabernet toward me.

"This is terrible, I can't believe you served me this."

Shit, he ordered house, what did he expect, a fine mertage?

"I'm sorry sir, perhaps a glass of Liberty School?"

He snorts at me.

I guess that's a yes.

I return, he hasn't touched his salad, too involved in his book.

"Here you go sir."

I am greeted with one finger held up to ensure silence.

Fine then.

Another ten minutes pass, I'm waiting on a delightful family with a funny little girl, she says please and thank you for everything, with a smile on her face.

Its so hard to say please, isn't it?

Its not like you're begging, just a part of a simple request, something I never fail to add to a request, to anyone.

Then again, I was raised with manners.

But I digress, the gentleman's filet is done.

I wander up to his table and set it down.

If looks could kill I'd be having a Q&A session with Jesus about now.

"Here you go sir, is there anything else you..."

"What's your problem with me?" He asks.

"Um, come again?"

"Why are you treating me like this?"

I fidget uncomfortably,"I don't know what you mean sir."

"Do you not want my business, am I not good enough to eat here?

"Do you want me to leave? All you seem to do is try to rush me out the door, I've never been treated like this before."

I start to stammer a response when he continues.

"I'm not finished with my salad!!! What makes you think that you can bring me my dinner?"

This time I manage a respone,"Because it was done?"

"I'm trying to enjoy my book here, this is just ridiculous, I can't believe you would treat me like this!!!?

I turn around and walk away as he continues, I'm shaking, I want to flip his table over.

I calm down, have an Arnold Palmer (with a shot of Stoli) and return.

"Sir is everything ok?" I ask.

I'm greeted with the same dirty look.

"Of course not!!!"

He launches into the same tirade.

"I don't understand why you treat customers like this here, this is terrible!"

"What's you problem with me anyways?" he continues.

"Sir I assure you I have no problem." I say.

"You won't even let me eat my salad!

"I don't even understand why someone like you has a job here, you're the most incompetent waiter I've ever had! Probably why you're only a waiter in the first place!"

I ready to punch him, my knuckles are white as my hand clamp down on the table.

"You don't know the first thing about me." I say.

As he continues on I simply walk away.

I ring up his check.

As I walk to his table I notice the anxious looks on my other customer's faces. The cute little girl is silent.

They've heard the whole thing.

I slam his check presenter on the table with all my might.

He wants to sign it to his room at the hotel.

I print up the receipt and without a word drop it back down.

I'm at the bar when he leaves for his room.

He stops by, "Your manager will hear about this!"

Fuck 'em.

I've already told him, he doesn't care.

I pick up his receipt.

Written on it is, "Reflection of service, $.23"

On the way back I pick up the family's check.

The mom asks, "I don't know how you can do it."

I don't know either.

They leave extra, thank you.

At the end of the night I get an envelope and put twenty three cents in it.

I walk up to his room.

And slide it under the door.

On it is written, "Reflection of Your Worth."

I never hear about it again.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I am the profiler...

I can read people like a book, from the minute they sit down, I don't even have to talk to them.

It is both a blessing and a curse.

It is a gift that helps me, and sometimes hurts me.

For better or worse, negative or positive I am right about 90% of the time.


About a month ago we had a whole new crop of new servers, as a "service" to them I guess they brought in a server that had left a few weeks before even I arrived.

Apparently he was some kind of rockstar waiter, corporate suck up type...


He was there to "help us" with our tables.

Now I'm all for new ideas if they're good, but he rehashed a bunch of shit that servers at our level of restaurant knew the first two weeks at their first server job at Applebee's.

But he did have one good point, know your guest, know their needs and know what they want before they want it.

Its nothing new to me, but he was right.

Which brings me to the profiler, I know its bad to stereotype and all that bs, but I do it, and while there are exceptions like I said I have about a 90% success rate.

I'm not talking about racial profiling or anything like that, I'm an asshole but I hate everyone, not any particular group.

(Yaya, I hate everyone get out of the service industry, get a new job, I sully our industry shit...)

I suppose I should use Wait Manager lingo as in "anticipate their needs."

But really its profiling, hell our managers in their own way condone this, just name it in a less offensive way.

Anyways after the meeting we're sitting up at the bar like vultures awaiting our scavaging of pocket change from people better off than us, and I see my first table sat.

I nudge the two rookie servers standing next of me...

"Remember what Rob was saying about anticipating peoples needs, check this out."

They both look at me curiously.

"Ok, check it out, its a family of four, two parents, mid forties, and their teenage sons." I say with the wisdom of an ancient Sage waiter.

"I bet I can predict their order before I even talk to them, hell I'll bet you your shift meal!"

Rookie #1 to me,"You're on!"

"alright, teenagers are easy, two Cokes, but they'll ask for Mountain Dew."

The rookies nod in agreement.

"Parents, glass of house chard for the lady, beer for the man, he's a lil tubby, Bud light, maybe Ultra."

"Are you sure about the bar drinks?" My rookie friends quandary,"they're a family."

I rub my prematurely graying temples,"Yup, but the parents will have one each and ask for water after they're done."

"On to food, I'll suggest calamari or bruscetta, but they'll want onion rings or maybe ask for cheese sticks, which we don't have."

Kids and their fried cheese, no wonder we're all fat...

Anyways, entrees,"Salad for the lady, probably chicken ceaser, pasta for the dad, he'll want spaghetti, but since we don't have it he'll go for something with red sauce and sausage.

"Rookie #2 to me,"no steak for the dad?"

I smile,"its a family, maybe if the kids weren't there, but families generally eat cheap, I'll stick with the pasta with red sauce, its cheap, basic, and honestly not bad..."

For the kids?

My prediction, pepperoni pizza...

Any desert?" rookie #1 wonders.

"No, families tend to split and not camp out, no, they won't even want coffee."

Probably because families don't like each other anymore, its sad, but is getting truer with each year, the family bond is weaker than it has ever been in this country.

I spot the server assistant dropping off their bread and water, its time to make my move.

It goes exactly to plan.

"Hey folks anything to drink? Glass of wine?" I say looking at the lady specifically.


I rattle of her options, her answer."Whatever's cheapest."

House it is.

Bud light for the gentleman.

My gaze passes to the teens,"guys how bout for you?"

"Mountain Dew?"

"Sorry guys, we have coke products..."

Two Cokes, I'm damn good.

I come back and drop of their drinks,"ok guys, would we like an appetizer to start off with?"

"Ya, don't you have cheese sticks or something?"


"No sorry, we do have great onion rings," I say.

"Sounds good to me,"Says dad.

"Do we need a few minutes to decide on dinner?" I ask.

They're ready to order is the consensus.

"Well guys what'll you have," I say as I look to the kids for their answer.

Pepperoni Pizza it is.

"And then for you folks?"

This is where the switch is.

Chicken Caesar for the dad, pasta for the mom.

Well within my 90%

Their food comes out precisely when I want it, perfect timing.

They're finishing up and basically putting on their coats the second their meals are finished.

Family in a hurry.

Come to think of it I can't think of one word exchanged between parents and the kids.

Worlds a changing.

I return with their check folder,"folks you sure you don't want any desserts or..."

The dad reaches for the folder, guess they don't care for coffee either.

I return to my rookie friends,"Well guys, that steaks gonna be mighty good tonight."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sorry Girls...

So our chef seemed to be in a foul mood today.

He was doing his bitching and moaning a little more than usual.

So I being such a concerned citizen went up to him, "hey buddy what's wrong?"

He stares down a couple of the server assistants who are laughing to themselves, "ask those little bastards!" He shouts in their direction.

I walk over to them, "hey guys what's up with him?"

They bust out laughing, tears streaming down their faces,"he had to take the bus to work today."

"Oh shit, what did you do?" I ask.

They regain their composure a bit.

Apparently they found some gag bumper stickers somewhere.

They put one on his car a few days earlier.

It read...

"Sorry Girls, I'm Gay!"

People had been honking at him repeatedly for three days and he had no idea why.

Guess he figured it out and when he tried to pull it off it wouldn't budge.

Walking back to the kitchen I put on a false femme accent,"hey big boy," I say as I pass him.

His response?

"Those Motherfuckers"