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, May 03, 2006

A Tale of Two Families Pt. 2

To continue the last post the next morning I come in to work and the following events completely superseded those of the nice family from the day before.

To set the scene, the time was about ten minutes before we opened.

A couple of my buddies and I were standing around shooting the usual water cooler gossip. The front door was unlocked and out of the corner of my eye I was a group come in.

It was stroller people.

This thing was massive, I'm surprised it didn't have 15" wheels on it.

"I just know that's my table," I said.

One of my friends nodded in agreement, "Yup," he said with a smile.

"Better you than me buddy," my other friend said.

I snort and headed off to get a water pitcher, I can't stand it when groups come in before opening time.

I returned to fill their waters and I noticed when they had settled in they had forgotten something.

They had left the stroller smack in the center of the aisle.

I haven't even spoken with them yet and they already had two strikes.

"Excuse me, we can't have this in the aisle," I said.

They looked surprised that it was an inconvenience.

"I'll just move it over here," I said as I pushed it in beside their table.

It was like moving a refrigerator, I swear!

I started over to fill up their water glasses when the mother interrupts me.

"Excuse me, but there's salt in the glasses, her hands just moved to fast for us and she spilt some." The lady said, pointing at their daughter.

I then notice their little princess.

She was sitting there smiling.

While dumping the contents of a pepper shaker all over the table.

More like her hand moved too fast for your parenting skills, which apparently do not exist.

"I hope you don't mind a mess," the mother added.

No I don't mind at all, I'm the one that has to clean it up.

Not you.

I take their glasses off the table and fill up some clean ones in the back with their beverages.

I was sure to include a plastic cup and lid for the little darling's MOUNTAIN DEW!!!

More sugar is just what is needed, along with a side dish of caffeine.

Back at the table I see our friend throwing those little goldfish snacks pretty much everywhere but her mouth.

Her father just shrugs.

So do I, I haven't even taken an order yet and this is a lost cause.

If I get busy this is surely going to be my sacrifice table.

I take their order, for her highness a sided of penne with butter.

In the meantime I get slammed, the doors open and the lunch crowd is unusually vicious. I'm flying around my section and I see the family's food is being run.

The food runner comes over and cues me in that my table needs me.

"Folks what can I do for you?" I asked.

The father, and I use the term loosely points at the table.

Seems daddy's girl had pried the lid off her drink and dumped it all over herself and the table.

She just sat there throwing ice around.

I grabbed a towel and drop it on the table.

I don't need this shit right now dammit, they can clean up after themselves.

I wonder if all this is allowed at their home.

A bit later the little girl is screaming, the rest of my customers look visibly annoyed.

I am too.

One of my buddies comes over.

"You owe me man." He said.

"What happened?" I asked.

"The kid just threw up all over her mom and the table, I helped clean it up."

I went over to see if the mess was cleared.

There was a nice collection of salt, pepper, goldfish, spilt soda and vomit still remaining, the side of the woman's shirt was just trashed.

"Is everything going to be alright?" I asked.

"Why didn't you bring us our bread?" The lady said as she squinted her eyes.

"We don't offer bread at lunch unless..."


"You gave them bread!" She points at a table of six business people.

Yup, and they'll give me a tip, I think to myself.

"Unless upon request." I finished my sentence.

"Well last time they brought it." She retorted.

No they didn't, once again I think to myself.

Neutrally I said, "I'll be right back with some for you folks."

They became the sacrifice table, I cut them loose.

There's different criteria for this distinction, but they filled several.

I try to provide equal service as much as I can, but if your kid is a shit and you don't care you'll be the first on the sacrifice dossier.


At 1:34 AM , Blogger Insensible said...

So, not that I don't like this story, but what did you decide to do for the immigrant strike?

At 3:04 AM , Blogger SkiBumWaiter said...

I have to first off say.. the french family seemed like some cool people.

Secondly... WoW... that's disturbing. It makes me ponder questions like... what are these kids going to do when they reach the real world? I mean aren't parents suppose to be teaching their kids to assimilate with in the greater society that surronds them?

If kids go running around doing whatever they want with no consequences... doesn't it logicaly follow that they will grow up and continue that kind of mentality?

Granted I absolutly hate my upbrining(immigrant crazy people)... but ya know what, we ( me and my bro) would never misbehave in a restaurant... EVER... and we were only allowed 1 soft drink as kids..and we had to finish our plate.

mis-behave in a restaurant? you'd get the look from the old man. The look that'd scare the crap out of you cause you know that you're gona get in crazy trouble when you get home.

Seems to me... that they need to offer classes in college or something and make the mandatory... "Parenting 101"

At 8:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear GOD that's disgusting. I am terrified of someone vomiting on one of my tables, because I am convinced I will be so grossed out I literally might vomit on them.

At 9:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think this is bad, I once had a child literally take me down. It was a party of six children and six adults, who obviously didn't know or care that their chidlren were antagonizing the entire staff. While carrying a very large, heavy tray, a child ran between my legs and grabbed my pant hems. I completely wiped out- tray included. Covered in wine, lobster, and filet, I had to explain to the rest of my tables why their server looked like they needed a shower and a washing machine all night long.

At 10:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

MT. Dew!?! Are they crazy? I would let my kids get dehydrated before doing that to the waiter or myself. From parents everywhere - sorry!

The Cheeky Mommy

At 2:59 PM , Blogger Big Tasty said...

That's funny, I used to have an old lady who would calmly come into the place. Order her food, eat it, then proceed to casually vomit it all over the table. Usually she would puke into her plate (aww that's so nice). She was probably sick, but she could've still apologized and said, "I'm sorry, I'm very sick"...she didn't tip either.

I've had kids puke around me too, it's horrible.

Ugh, now I have to leave for work.

At 3:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

People like that make it hard for the good parents out there. I have a four year old son that says "please and thank you" whenever we go to a restaurant. We either talk to him about things he can appreciate (ie. What did he learn in preschool today?) Or we bring along a coloring/activity book so he can practice writing his name and color pictures, if I am with someone that I would like to catch up with and have a conversation.

In contrast, my step-sister allows her kids to do whatever they want. They run free in the mall and stores (they're 4 and 6 years old) One time at McDonalds the 6 year old, decided to pump ketchup all over the counter top and spill pop all over the fountain drink area. The four year old was going up to other people's booths and annoying them.

It was a mess, I was so embarassed when the employees came up and my sister still said nothing to her spawn.

I finally, told them to get their asses over and sit down or I was going to take them out to the car, myself. My sis was a bit taken aback, but I didn't care. My poor son was in a booster chair wondering why the other kids got to have play time and he didn't.

At 5:06 PM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

I think I'm going to get a couple of those child leashes to have on hand. When a couple walks in with a disorderly child, I'll simply hand them one and tell them that we don't allow pets inside, and that they need to tie him/her outside.

At 6:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nephew Dude:

Effective use of the plot twist: the princess's vomit, that it.

Effective, but so gro-o-o-o-o-o-ss!


Uncle R.

At 9:03 PM , Blogger mmmmmm Donuts said...

When I was a kid, I would never DARE to behave like the little princess did. We always say the phrase "I don't know what's wrong with kids these days.", but really, you touch upon the answer. The problem is the PARENTS. Not all parents are this way, but bad parents who raise bad kids are a real issue because it's not just THEIR kids who are affected, but the good kids of good parents are then affected and influenced by these behaviors when they meet and play and grow up with these bad kids...

and so the vicious circle contiues until you can't tell where the problem originated:

Is this teenager a juvenile delinquent due to having bad parents?...or is this teenager the product of good parents but was influenced by the exposure to the kids of bad parents?? there's a twist on the "chicken or the egg" question. I think you see all the time examples of children from good families, hard-working and into discipline, etc. And somehow the kid still becomes a on earth does this happen? I think sometimes peer pressure and influence take over.

What are other people's thoughts?

Insane, by the way, if I can make a suggestion: Now that you are moderating comments, you could take the Word Verification off. That is unless you get too much spam to weed through...just a thought.

At 1:25 AM , Blogger samuel said...

While I currently am a stay at home dad, I still think of myself as a restaurant person, though I'm a cook, strictly boh. As much as I hate customers though, I'm actually really good with them when I have to see them.

I like to think that we're the good customers with kids. I'm more than willing to adjust a tip based on the amount of mess that I can't reasonably clean up. I also try to keep the table decent for the server, and I certainly stay on top of my kids.

I think many parents are both selfish and lazy when it comes to this sort of thing. You can't blame kids for being kids, regardless of the lessons they learn from their lazy and selfish parents.

In my opinion, if you change how you view the kids, regardless of how they act, it might at least make the job easier. Kids are fun and funny and are a easy to interact with usually. It won't always work, but I would wager that you can win tables to your side by befriending their spawn on some level. If nothing else, kids can be good for a giggle sometimes.

At 2:34 PM , Blogger Bass Player said...

My wife and I went to a restaurant in the Caribbean last summer. There were three tables in the otherwise-empty store: ours, a Chinese-Hawaiian family, and an American family.

The Chinese-Hawaiians had a boy, 8, and a girl, 6. Both kids not only stayed in their seats, they played verbal spelling games with their parents, grinning when they got a word right and giggling when they got one wrong. Both parents were animated and involved with them.

Cut to the American family. The son was 5 and the girl maybe 7. The only time I saw them in their seats was right before they jumped off them, repeatedly. The boy ran around the floor, arms outstretched and making buzzing sounds like an airplane. Then both kids climbed up on the railing (we were on the second floor terrace above the street) and started unraveling the decorative lights entwined there. Guess what mom and dad did about it. Just guess.

I'll tell you what they did. They gave them the same level of rapt inattention they gave me, the wife, and the other family tossing stink-face in their direction. The waiter, bless his heart, was unflappable. And, to their credit, as we were leaving and walking past their table, mom and dad had the grace to apologize.

We bumped into them again at the Four Seasons restaurant a few days later. They must have given the kids the Old Familiar because they were much better behaved.

It's sad that parents of well-behaved children have to pay the price for brats that came before them. Unfortunately, there are far too few of the former and far too many of the latter.

At 8:34 AM , Blogger KristieD said...

I totally understande the "sacrifice table". Where i work, there is usually one a night. its a good nite when i dont have one. It's just easier sometimes to cut em loose. I am a parent as well, and it just makes me sick what people let their kids get away with at restaurants. I havent been to a "nice" place to eat in a while b/c i have my son with me and those arent the places for him. We eat out at Family Restaurants--where its ok if he;s a little noisy or makes a small mess (which i clean up). Other people are just lazy and rude and it sucks.

At 12:53 AM , Blogger Kirsten said...

I totally get where you are coming from. I am a teacher so I see a lot of the results of these type of parents... They think their children are perfect and would never do anything wrong. They blame the child's inability to do the right thing at school on the teachers (and call us liars because their child said he didn't do something, and we said he did, and he would never lie!).

At 2:51 AM , Anonymous Ruby said...

I believe that caffinated soft drinks should be age restricted, like ciggarettes and booze are.
Like, you have to be 12 to order a mountain dew.

At 10:53 PM , Anonymous SussieQ said...

Are you alright? When are you going to post again?

Coming to you from Texas


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