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, January 11, 2006

The Bull Moose Party or How I Became a Follower of Shiva.

Or the formerly progressive party of the early 20th century led by Theodore Roosevelt...

Yes I paid attention in 9th grade history, though I did do a term paper on the subject a bit back.

However the word progressive is key here.

Apparently "progressive" dining is the new fad in town.

I bet you Oprah let it slip how much she loves to do it and perhaps that's why its spreading like the clap on a naval base.

Well to the uninformed progressive dining is where you go to a different restaurant for every single course of the meal.

First stop drinks, second stop appetizers, third stop salads...

And so on and so forth.

Friday night a reservation came in and did the appetizer course.

Luckily I didn't have it and I mocked the poor server that did (all in good humor of course)

Well I am now turning in my crucifix and worshiping Ganash or whatever.

Karma is a bitch.

I happened to be the head server that night and about an half hour to close a nine top walks in the door looking fairly well dressed, big tip I thought, perfect way to close out a rather solid night.

I was on it like a chicken on a junebug.

As I ran around throwing tables together I went up to the host station to pick up their menus.

A gentleman from the group came over to me and said, "Oh we don't need those, we're only here for dessert, we're doing the whole progressive dining thing."



We're not even know for our desserts.

Not that their terrible, most are good in fact, just they aren't our focus.

I sigh as I lay down the dessert menus and walk off to collect my thoughts.


I grab up the other closing waitress, "Hey, want a nine top to finish off the night?"

"Fuck that, I'm going clubbing," is the answer, of course.

Well maybe they'll order a few rounds of Ports or a few other after dinner drinks.

Nine decaf coffee's is their initial order.


Who ever thought of this progressive dining needs to be drawn and quartered.

Or at least the maximum allowed in the America, waterboarding or at the very least being called dirty names in Arabic.

I get their coffee's, too bad we were low on regular or I'd pull the decaf trick...

Just kidding Decaf Nazi's!

I return to the head gentleman,"Sir are we all ready to order?"

"Are you trying to rush us or something?" He asks.

"Certainly not sir!" I respond.

Of course I am.

Our dessert guy is leaving in a few minutes and I don't really relish the thought of firing a bunch of creme brulee's or nuking "homemade" chocolate cakes.

I give them two minutes and ask again, its getting close to close time.

The gentleman rolls his eyes but the ladies start hopping up and down for their brulee's and such.

I get the order in and the cook freaks out on me for giving him a ticket of nine at that hour.

Three rounds of coffee later they're ready to be served.

I've never understood how people can down hot coffee like that, but oh well!

I let them eat their desserts and ponder what has just happened.

I hate yuppie fads.

Pinot Noir after the whole "Sideways" thing.

The Oprah book club.

Like I need her approval to think "Catcher in the Rye" is a classic, did anyone take freaking HIGH SCHOOL literature???

Crocks irk me, after all us servers have worn them literally for years.

Of course they weren't hot pink and we didn't wear them in public...

I do think my favorite was seeing all the giant 70K SUV's with Howard Dean or John Kerry stickers attached to them like badges.


I hope this one dies an early death.

After all this is the first one to actually affect me with more than just minor annoyance.

The time I could have spent shutting down the kitchen or cleaning tables was spent with endless coffee refills and table maintenance.

I can't believe they turned me down on my Port offer, instead they're sucking down Sanka like the rapture is coming.

Eventually I drop off their check, 67 bucks.

"Can we have split checks?"

As I'm working at my computer station I think of all the other poor servers that had to deal with them.

At least I had them later rather than in the middle of the rush.

I bet their appetizer server about had a fit the second he walked through the kitchen door.

Of course I did make a slip up, I was running around doing close cleaning during the breaks I had with the table.

As I was quite busy playing catch up with my work, I didn't even think to put the grat on their tickets.

As they walk out the door I pick up the tickets.

Nine bucks, that won't even buy my the amount of booze it will take to forget them and this stupid new fad.


At 6:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

WaaaaWaaaaWaaaaa! Nine bucks (almost 15%) for serving coffee and a few desserts, and you're crying about it?

At 7:42 PM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

First of all, badmanager, you forgot to remember the countless refills of the joke that is "decaf", and the fact that he was kept there after closing serving these attitude-laden, head stuck up their ass only to tell you that their shit don't stink, a-holes.

Second of all, waiter, I feel for ya'. I've only had to "wait" on parties like these, but they were kind enough to call weeks in advance, letting us know that their corporation was holding one of these. Knowing that they'll be back in town in the future, doing the same thing, I know that, because we participated in it the last time, chances are that they'll choose us again. And they split up into groups, making sure that we were serving each course to the same amount of people, just not the same people.

Hey, at least they weren't a reservation that decided to call and say that they definately were coming, and not bother showing up till about 5 min till closing, when you haven't had a table in allmost an hour.

At 9:08 PM , Blogger Andrew Leonard said...

Fawk. I'm glad the progressive dining trend hasn't caught on up here in Canada.

At 12:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get this whole dining-as-entertainment thing.

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

Nephew Dude:

". . .[O]n it like a chicken on a junebug?"

How utterly rustic.


Uncle R.

At 3:14 AM , Blogger Big Tasty said...

What in the goddamned hell is this?

I don't agree with this.

If I'm to experience "progressive dining" at my waiting job in Beverly Hills, I'll kill a fool.

Here's one for you... I had a dude sit at my bar with three of his adult kids/grandkids (whatever, fuck him) for the Rose Bowl. He was an obnoxious as fuck USC fan, I wanted to shoot him.

He and his demonspawn drank close to twelve refills of soda each, demanded five refills on the "endless" chips and salsa, taunted other fans at the bar...sat basically for the whole four hours of the game, using their stupid asses to take up space in my bar. His total bill at the end of his four hour nuisancefest? 57.11, he left me 63 bucks cash.

All this around the same time as a couple drank eight beers a piece and made out and left me about four bucks...then ordered two more beers and left without paying...

Or the guy who put a five in my pocket on his eighty dollar bill...

To hell with douchebaggy sports crowds..

What am I talking about?

I'm drunk, it's late.


At 7:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I don't get this whole dining-as-entertainment thing.

Has dining ever _not_ been entertainment? Except maybe when you're grabbing a fast-food "burger" because it's faster...

Hell, even that can be entertaining, when the kitchen staff catch on fire...

At 9:00 AM , Blogger waltoncad said...

When I worked the Washington D.C. restaurant scene, the place I bartended at was so busy with drinkers/diners that we needed all 450 seats the entire night. Sometimes we would be on a wait until 11pm, with the kitchen closing at 12:15. The owner figured out a way to maximize turnover: remove desserts from the menu! He did it in the best way possible, though. He changed his storage area/extra rooms into an Ice-Cream shop serving fresh home made Ice Cream. He also made it associated with the restaurant and left table tents on every table directing people there after their dinner. You can't imagine the results. On a dead Saturday in January, this restaurant would hit 30k in sales, and this was 1996-99. I can't imagine what the over-priced Ice Cream shop did...the line never started inside the shop.

Anyways, "progressive" diners would likely have come for the raw bar there...he had the fattest, sweetest raw oysters around.

If I have ever found prayer useful, here is one lifted up that this trend never arrives in Florida's Emerald Coast, or else I am in deep shit.

At 12:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this "progressive dining" is taking seats away from customers who are having the full meal, then I agree it's a bad thing. But if it's just a bunch of losers showing up right before closing, well that's going to happen anyway. Those are customers you wouldn't have had otherwise. And nine decafs??? Probably Mormons, or else you might have sold some Bailey's or Kahlua coffees, port, whatever - that's why that table sucked, not because they were progressive diners.

At 12:34 PM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

Yeah, but regular diners that show up right before closing time, usually don't order just desserts and coffee. Herein lies the reason why they sucked, they spent the rest of the night, spending "real" money at other places, and wasting this waiter's time by coming in close to closing, just to complete the "progressive dining" experience.

At 2:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said... have such a tough life.

Christ! $9 tip for DOING YOUR FUCKING JOB.

Maybe you'll get lucky and ALL your customers will quite coming in to 'bother' you.

At 3:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screw Oprah!

I've done something almost like that except I don't go to separate places for apps and entrees. That's a big waste of time. I have gone for drinks someplace (usually a bar), then on for dinner (apps + entrees + more drinks) and then sometimes go someplace else for dessert. It really depends on the restaurant if the drinks and desserts are good or are what you're looking for. Sometimes going for drinks elsewhere first is required while you wait for your table (no reservations, they phone you when the table is ready.) Generally though I prefer all in one place.

At 7:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The posts here are getting progressively worse than the posts at waiterrant.

At 11:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your title makes no sense. Shiva is a Jewish period of mourning.

At 11:32 PM , Blogger Waiter said...

Shiva is a Hindu Goddess, Shiva the destroyer. Part of a triad of Hindu gods Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu.

So WTF it makes perfect sense.

BTW for the millionth time if you like waiterrant read him, don't like me don't read me. I really don't care if you think he is better or not, apples and oranges folks.

At 1:49 AM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

yeah, when did Shiva sound anything like something a Jew says?

Unless it's something like, "Shiva, I've lost my shoes!!"

At 1:53 AM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

Oh, and looks like we have something for the next "Celebrity Deathmatch": Insanewaiter vs. Waiterrant ~ Who Blogs Better?


I think someone's a little jealous that noone reads their meaningless blog-crap!

At 2:03 AM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

Hey, I know ppl. will attack you for posting something un-original, but post some of the stories of that other server that disappeared from here, that you used to link to. I'm sure that others would like to read his stuff, along with yours. Maybe you could just link his old stuff again, I could read it once or twice more.

At 8:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Meat Boy? Now that was one awful blog.

At 11:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Big Tasty,

I definitely sympathize with you on the sports a-holes. Most sports bars in our area (NYC) have already taken steps to combat this, and I'd imagine it's not long before other restaurants will follow suit. Basically, the rule is if you're there watching a game, you have to buy at least one drink per person per hour to stay.

At 3:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got the appetizer table recently, either that or they were just cheap. Three twenty something girls come in, order one glass of wine to share and two appetizers. This is especially infuriating when there's a line out the door for dinner service, one of the items they order is pizza, which there is no fast way to cook, I can kiss this table turn goodbye. So I deliver the appetizers, they ask for another plate, they already have a side plate which is intended for appetizers, so I ask, "would you like another side plate?" They ask for an entree plate, we have an extra plate charge that I have to send in before I can get the plate, so I ask again,"how about another side plate?" They're like,"We asked for a regular plate!" Finally I'm like,"look I'm trying to save you a plate charge", they shrink in their seats, "oh a side plate will be fine." LOL, I called them out on they're cheapness and they folded like the cheap bitches they are!

At 11:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think someone's a little jealous that noone reads their meaningless blog-crap!" It's just too much fun to stop in here in dump on the poor guy, especially after he begged Waiter for a link. I'll bet Waiter doesn't give up the next link as easily.

Shit, Anonymous above could write a better blog.

At 1:58 AM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

"Shit, Anonymous above could write a better blog."

Like I said, if you don't like it, don't read it...I, personally like it, and don't like dumb-asses like you posting worthless comments similar to that one.

Maybe you could ask "anonymous" to write a blog, and judge him/her every time you read it. Oh, yeah, anonymous doesn't write a blog...that's why they're spending too much time reading this one, much like yourself.

I'll sign off, like I do on other sites, (and no, I don't blog either) get a life, moron!!

At 3:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually didn't use my handle when I wrote it because of the haters that post on here. It's appearant that there are some folks out there intent on spilling their misery onto others with the purpose of making themselves feel better about their pathetic existence and more important than us "service drones". I'm not as generous with my blog as Insane, you can read if you're my friend because personally I want to see your face before you spit in mine.

Good day

At 3:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what the big problem is? Insane is honest. I've been in this business longer than I would like to admit, his tales and experiences are spot on in relation to what servers of America are dealing with on a daily basis. I have been in his slip proof "shoes for crews" and I can relate to his stories a hell of alot more than "Fluvio's antics and tom foolery" page after page.

It's pathetic that some have to antagonize Insane and other commentors to make themselves feel superior. It's as if hiding behind a computer screen allows them to put down others for their own shortcomings. Seriously folks, get some help that's not a healthy way to express your insecurities. There are many positive ways to get attention.

At 5:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive me, I posted this under the wrong subject, sorry your stuck reading it twice.

You know what the big problem is? Insane is honest. I've been in this business longer than I would like to admit, his tales and experiences are spot on in relation to what servers of America are dealing with on a daily basis. I have been in his slip proof "shoes for crews" and I can relate to his stories a hell of alot more than "Fluvio's antics and tom foolery" page after page.

It's pathetic that some have to antagonize Insane and other commentors to make themselves feel superior. It's as if hiding behind a computer screen allows them to put down others for their own shortcomings. Seriously folks, get some help that's not a healthy way to express your insecurities. There are many positive ways to get attention.

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

What does "shoes for crews" mean?

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

DOH, I'm a retard, I tried to post that last thread on a different post, twice! LOL!! OH well, shoes for crews are non slip, water resistant shoes that for restaurant workers.

At 12:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great story, Waiter!!!

At 1:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand the comparison between this blog and Waiterrant...I read both. I find both hightly entertaining, witty and well written.

There are similarities (both are waiters, obviously both are going to be stories about waiting tables or at least restaurant related, people, get over it)

To Insane: Ignore the idiots. If they had half your talent, they'd be writing their own blogs or doing something other than wasting space leaving comments on yours. There are people that like hearing what you have to say, the rest really doesn't matter much.

As for your "progressive" diners. In the end, would you have REALLY wanted to have them there all night and been forced to serve them their entire meal? Sucks, but better to just deal with dessert and get stiffed than to put up with them all night and get stiffed,right? Always try to find at least some positive in the situation.

At 12:23 AM , Blogger MissJester said...

Wow! All that and no one bashed ME, for once! LOL ;-D

At 1:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've done the progressive dining thing a few times - with friends, going to each others' houses. It makes quite a bit of sense there - you get to have a good evening together, and nobody gets left with all the preparation or washing up.

But in a restaurant? Why would I want to spend my evening rushing from place to place to try and get a meal finished before closing time? The whole point of a restaurant is that you can spend a relaxing evening being waited on. If you're going to rush around, you may as well just get takeout.

At 4:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To clarify a question above: Shoes for Crews are restaurant work shoes with non-slip bottoms. As a cook, I think they rock. Any other type of shoe I've tried to work in has been torn to pieces in about six months. Mine are going on two years.

At 3:13 PM , Blogger Ceetar said...

I'd imagine people coming in close to closing is a pain regardless. If they had showed up earlier, and it was empty, it wouldn't have been so bad to pour them coffee every couple of minutes.

As for the progressive dining thing, I've done something similar, but not like that, and t's been fun. And never at any high class restaurant. Sat down at this place called Schnack that serves some excellent burgers, and then went to Pommes Frittes which is basically carry out, french fries. Walked around the corner to a bar, had an afterdinner drink, then went to a bakery, got some pastries and had dessert on the way home. There are zillion little cafe's and other such places that have excellent desserts that it makes a lot more sense then taking up space in a dining facility, especially considering you get your dessert immediately that way, instead of wading through the sitting, ordering, waiting for your food, waiting for the waiter, waiting for the check..


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