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....

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rubber and Dessert

As I was delivering the entree course for my table the other night I was interrupted...

"Excuse me, this calamari is rubbery" The patron pointed out.

Of course there were two pieces left."

I'm very sorry sir, is there anything I can do?" I asked.

It's not like I can make a new order or anything, he ate nearly the whole thing.

"Just tell the chef." He requested.

I'm sure Javier, our Guatemalan cook, will be quite broken up.

It's calamari, it IS fried rubber.

I finish delivering the entrees without a hitch.

This is the last table of the night, I know my luck, they'll be the worst and stay the latest.

Calamari boy started off on the right foot.


When I greeted the table and asked how they were doing he started describing what his bunion was doing to him.

Good God.

"Maybe you shouldn't ask how people are doing, you might get the truth," he said.

Maybe he's right, its just one of about ten generic greetings I hold in my head when I'm not giving a shit.

For the most part I use it as a way to test my table from the get go, see how they are going to be towards me, friendly or sour...

Well back to the table.

They're almost finished, I start to pre bus the table of their entree platter when I put a feeler out for deserts.

"We have this delicious panna cotta that you folks might want to try," I stated.

"Well lets see the menu," one of the ladies responded.

"Sure thing."

I moved toward the front for menus and made a mental note to tell them we sold out of gelato and that the espresso machine was down.

"Here we go folks, you might want to note that cappuchinos and gelato are unavailable tonight." I said.

Senor Calamari throws his hands in the air.

"Why aren't they available?" He snorted.

Because we ran out of gelato and our owners are too cheap to buy us a decent espresso machine that actually works.

But instead I answered, "Well our espresso machine is down and we had a run on gelato earlier."

I knew full well it would make us sound unprepared and such, management usually likes us to make up shit to "protect" the restaurant, I'm not as worried as they are.

Once again snorting the gentleman responded, "Well I want a Grasshopper then."

"I'm sorry, we don't have a blender in the bar," I said.

He rolled his eyes.

By the way, it is the greatest thing ever to not have a blender, we're not exactly going for the Strawberry Daqueri and Brandy Alexander crowd.

Coming from a former bartender, those drinks, and the people that order them, are generally a giant pain in the ass.

"Well can I get some ice cream?" He asked.

"I'm afraid don't carry ice cream, I'm sorry," I said.

I thought his head was going to explode.

"Here I bring friends from out of town, I told them this was the best place in town, I am not happy." He went off as his friends sat there with embarrassed looks on their faces.

"First our calamari was rubbery, then we can't even order dessert! This is ridiculous!" He exclaimed.

I tried to point out to him the multitude of other desserts we had available, but to no end...

He continued sputtering, "I want you to tell your manager I am very unhappy!"

With a wry smile I replied, "I'll get right on that."

In the back I had his calamari comped, maybe at least I'd get a descent tip.

As I returned with the table's ticket the gentleman spoke up once more.

"Now I was a waiter for sixteen years and I know how a restaurant is supposed to run..." And yada yada he continued.

"Did you try a piece of that calamari off of my plate?" He said.

"Umm, no I don't eat of the customer's plates," I replied.

"Well how do you know it was a valid complaint, I used to do that when I was a waiter." He said.

I drop the bill and walk off, luckily I see his friend reach for the tab.

All that shit and he wasn't even paying.

For being a waiter for sixteen years he sure forgot about the unspoken rule, never fuck with another waiter.

He of all people should know we handled his food.


At 5:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's a liar, he wasnt a waiter for 16 years!

At 6:00 PM , Anonymous Mary Jo said...

In my business, with have a similar saying: Never fuck with another flight attendant. It's just brings very, very bad karma.

At 9:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Err... if the calimari was rubbery, it was overcooked. It's a fairly common problem. Most chefs don't know how to cook calimari.

At 12:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um... this is unethical. Why would you post something like "He of all people should know how we handled his food" ? You're giving ALL waiters and waitresses a bad name now, and making them feel as if they shouldn't trust any restaurant/waiter/waitress to bring them clean food.

At 3:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck that guy. blowhards trying to impress their friends by making a scene are nothing but glorified toddlers. why can't we put them in timeout or just give them a swift kick in the ass. he's lucky if he just got off with a bit of extracurriculars in his food.

At 5:16 PM , Blogger Bass Player said...

The best thing about these type customers is that they're with you only for a little while.

I'm with one of the anonymous posters above; he was never a waiter. If he was, he would have mentioned an unsatisfactory dish immediately, like after only a bite or two, and with courtesy.

Funny how patrons think they appear important by being rude to the server, but they always wind up embarrassing themselves instead. Too emotionally broke to buy a clue.

At 9:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most restaurants use frozen calamari, which often ends up tasting rubbery. Fresh doesn't. Not easy to find a place that serves it fresh, but once you've had it, it's hard to accept less.

At 3:02 AM , Blogger Big Tasty said...

Sure the calamari might've been rubbery, but that's for the first or second bite to be the one of complaint.

Not the end of the of the plate.

That's the point. Not whether or not the calamari was rubbery.

The guy probably was a waiter, though. I've served some older people who were waiters and a lot of them have been know-it-all schmucks.

Fuck blenders.

At 8:54 PM , Anonymous Miss C said...

"People only ask you'how your doing', cause it's easier than letting them know how little you can care"
...........Jackson Browne

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

If he had been a good server, he would have treated you better.

In my experience, the bad servers are always the ones who pick apart their server and leave crappy tips. The mentality is, "if I can't make more than 10%, she shouldn't either!"

Plus, they're the ones who get attitude and crapass tips all night, so they build up the bitterness and take it out on someone else.

At 12:53 AM , Anonymous poker said...

Even if you did "inspect" it, it still would have been an invalid complaint because they would have been old.

At 12:59 PM , Anonymous Agent said...

came in waiterrant.
nice blog :-)

At 11:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


1 oz CrËme de Menthe, mint liqueur
1 oz CrËme de Cacao White
1 oz light cream

Shake the liqueurs and the cream with lots of ice in a cocktail shaker.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
Decorate with a little grated chocolate.

You are an idiot and a lousy bartender. A frozen grasshopper requires a blender... a grasshopper is a basic drink that no bartender should complain about making.

At 11:21 PM , Blogger Secret said...

Actually you're the idiot, it was understood that he was requesting a frozen, hence all the gelato/ice cream comments.

Nice cut and paste, and I'm a great bartender btw and frozen drinks are a pain in the ass. Any bbartender would agree. It takes time to go find ice cream in the kitchen, restaurant freezers run at very cold temps so you need a kitchen knife to cut out the portion. It doesn't help that all that cream will foul up our sinks/dishwasher area. Oh and the fact that no matter how much ice cream you use, it will always be a short pour and a repitition of the steps would be necessary.

But we don't and never will have a blender in our bar, so have all the martini type grasshoppers you want!

At 2:18 AM , Blogger Big Tasty said...

A Grasshopper is traditionally an up drink, but they can be served frozen.

I curse every frozen drink that comes in my bar. Like literally curse and yell.

They're fucking annoying.

It's like this: I regularly make Patron frozen strawberry margaritas...why???

Secret, you're a lucky bastard! I got a new job last year and thought I was off the hook with blended drinks. Sadly they just have a really shitty blender to make blended drinks in.

My previous job involved lots of blended drinks and our blenders were made to do it, but they were still shitty.

At 4:24 PM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

No blender here as well. Our chef/owner wanted to get one to make milkshakes for the kids. I, as the GM and bartender simply told him no. He asked why, and I gave him the exact reason of, "I'm not making frozen margaritas or daquris." He said that we'll tell them that the blender is for milkshakes only. I know customers, and as soon as they see a blender, they'll know they can get that drink frozen. Fuck that!! He even got one of those hand-held blenders. Um, no again!

The only way I'm making milkshakes is if he gets me one of those things with the metal shakers like in the ice cream shops.

Thanks for reminding me of how much I hate blenders.

At 4:40 PM , Blogger briliantdonkey said...

Just found my way to your blog the other day while searching for other like minded ones. I am not sure i have responded yet to any posts(or just meant to). Great job on the blog. Keep up the good work. As a long time bartender i too hate frozen drinks and agree they can be(and usually ARE) a pain in the ass. BeLIEVE me i wish neither of the bars i work at had blenders but alas they do! That said, at the risk of pissing all my fellow bartender/servers, if a guest wants a frozen drink and we have the capability of making them it is unreasonable to not make them . By all means curse about it to yourself, or occasionally out loud( i know EYE do) but dont expect your guests to make your job easier. Far too many servers/bartenders mistakenly think that the guest should cater to THEIR desires rather than the other way around.


great job on the blog, I shall be back.



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