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 29, 2006

Late, Sunday Night

It was right before close a few years back on a typical slow Sunday night when I noticed I had a new table.

They one of the regulars, one of the ones that we wish weren’t regulars and hoped would move on soon. They were a young couple in their mid-twenties, and the man of the relationship was a snide jerk.

Every time he came in it was something.

I understand every now and then the service is slow, food cold, dinner not what you expect or even a long wait at the door.

But I had waited on this guy for the last three weeks straight and it was always something.

He always wanted a free dessert or a comped meal…

And he always tipped shit, like 5% style.

So being set up for disaster I took the table with my usual Oscar Award caliber performance.

“Well hi folks how are we tonight?” I asked.

The gentleman looked at me from under his troglodyte like brow.

“Iced Tea.” He replied.

I wasn’t shocked at his answer, it was one I’ve heard many times before.

“And for you miss?” I asked the lady.

“Ya’ll have Mountain Doooooo?” She asked.

“We sure do!” I answered enthusiastically.

She had ordered Mountain Dew the last three weeks straight.

I know, I refilled it at least six times.

So they ordered the usual basic Italian, Chicken Marsala and Lasagna…

Hell I still know what they ordered and this was three restaurants ago.

So by the time I had placed their order with the kitchen they were in need of refills.

These definitely are the type to down as many as possible, although my record for customer refills was eleven raspberry iced teas, they never did quite break that feat.

So naturally I slip up.

The gentleman’s drink had begun to perspire and as I set down his refill of tea it slipped from my hands, and although I caught it about a third of it had spilled on his brown shirt and blue jeans.

He almost exploded out of his chair at me.

The man started freaking out about how I ruined his shirt (brown, no stain) and how I ruined his experience.

“Sir, It was an accident, let me get a towel.” I said reasonably.

I almost had to reassure myself that indeed it was an accident.

But I’m not that petty to spill on someone purposefully for a few weeks of hassle and bad tips.

His girlfriend had to almost hold him back.

“Its ok honey, just let it go, let it go.” She said soothingly to him.

He was still breathing heavily.

For a second there I thought I had a fight on my hands, then he eased back in his chair and started breathing normally.

So a few minutes pass, I talk some smack about the nutcase at table 102 to the kitchen staff, and their dinner is ready.

After dropping it off a minute or so pass and the bartender catches me in back grabbing a coffee.

“Hey man that wack-job is looking for you out there” He said to me.

Fucking great.

I reapply my oh so genuine smile.

“How is everything doing so far?” I asked.

“This is crap, what is this?” He said pointing to his date’s dinner.

“Chicken Marsala.” I replied earnestly.

“I worked in a kitchen for two years, and this shit isn’t Chicken Marsala, that’s just gravy over a chicken breast.” He said menacingly.

“Well sir that’s our Marsala sauce, not gravy, and that’s how it is prepared.” I said.

“Well I want you to get her a new one, right now!” He exclaimed.

“Sir, I’d be more than happy to do that, but that’s how our chef makes the Marsala, it’ll come out the same way.” I explained.

“I want another one.” He said.

“Hey Jeff, I need a remake on this Marsala.” I said walking back in the kitchen.

“What’s wrong with it?” Asked Jeff.

“I don’t know, nothing, they didn’t even take a bite. Guy says that it isn’t Marsala, its gravy.” I said.

“We don’t even have fucking gravy!” Jeff replied.

“Just make it, please, this guy's being a fucking prick.” I said.

Jeff graciously complied and out popped a new Chicken Marsala, looking just like the first one.

Why? You may ask.

Because it was prepared properly the first time.

So I went back to the table with the new dish

“Well apparently your chef doesn’t know shit, he can’t even make a fucking Lasagna, mine’s cold!” The gentleman said as I arrived.

Probably because he didn’t eat any of it in the time it took to replace his girlfriend’s dinner.

“This is bullshit, I don’t even know why I come here, your chef sucks, your food is shit and you spilled crap all over me, I want to see a manager now!” He said.

So I went on the hunt for the shift manager, this would be a fun one to explain.

The search took me past the kitchen.

“Hey man how was that Marsala?” Jeff asked.

“The man says you can’t cook and your food is shit.” I replied.

“Yo fuck him!” Jeff replied.

“No shit man, no shit,” I said.

So by the time I had snagged the manager the bartender had ran in the back.

“Hey, your shithead buddy there just walked out the door and was bitching me out on the way.” He said.

Great, a walk out on top of everything.

Sarah, the shift manager just sighed.

“At least I don’t have to talk to them.” She said.

She voided their ticket and it was almost like they were never there.

They never returned to the restaurant, and thank goodness for that.

I hate that type of regular, if only I hadn’t accidentally spilled his iced tea. Then he’d be back the next week with another complaint and another shitty tip.


At 2:46 AM , Anonymous MAW said...

Ya know, if a table just walks out on their check, you can call the cops on them. They owe you money; it doesn't matter that the manager was probably going to void the whole thing anyway. I'm sure it'd be more trouble than it's worth, but wouldn't it be fun to see the look on his face? ;)

At 1:01 PM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

At least that place won't have to see them again. You, on the other hand, may have to, now that you're somewhere different.

At 7:01 PM , Blogger Trish said...

i spilled a coke on a 13 year old on monday, his parents made a joke about "that'll teach him a lesson!" or something, left me a 20% tip even.

yknow, if things are so bad at a restaurant, why the hell do people come back? It's not going to get much better. Quit bitching and go to another damn restaurant and bug someone else about how your bowl of pasta doesnt have enough noodles on it...

At 11:11 PM , Blogger Suz said...

You had to be a little happy that he got stickied up, didn't you? ;) People like that got karma coming at them, for sure.

I had a mustard incident at the end of the summer, followed by a red wine incident a few weeks later, but mostly I'm good at delivering stuff to my tables. :shit-eating-grin:

You can read about my embarrassment on my blog in the August archives titled "Oh No I Didn't!" if you feel like laughing at someone else! ;)

Good riddance to those regulars...I would think your coworkers should be buying you drinks still!

At 5:27 PM , Blogger Eric said...

I was 18 and a Bus boy at an eclectic/Singing costumed waitstaff/ food bigger then your head restaurant here in Seattle Back in the late 70s. All in all it was a fun job but there were moments. Like the Time Bob (col Hogan) Crane came in and I poured him and his date waters and they promptly split due to the over sillieness of the place. (A few days later they found him murdered)
But my favorite spill story was a tray full of waters for a 15 top that accidently got dumped into some poor schlubs lap. he took it with aplomb which was cool.
The worst was they made the bussers wear shorts and tennis shoes with a Tank top that said GO FER on the back with a number.
Two delightfully gorgous looking girls about my age came in and were seated at a duece in my section. I put on the suave and they giggled at me. Kind of like Brad in Fast time at ridgemont high in the pirate suit.
Good times Good times

At 11:22 AM , Blogger briliantdonkey said...

Safe to say every restaurant in every town, has a few sets of these types of 'regulars'. They suck, but It comes with the territory I suppose.


At 3:06 PM , Anonymous Amanda said...

“Ya’ll have Mountain Doooooo?”

For some reason, that just kills me. ^_^

At 11:00 PM , Blogger Sondra said...

I think I want some of what Eric appears to be smoking. *wink* *wink*

I'm just kidding, Eric. I dig the reference to "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." I love eighties movies.

I love pretentious assholes like that guy. I would level him down quite easily by standing there quietly as he threw a temper tantrum, drawing attention to himself. God, I swear, people like that suffer from inferiority complexes.

At 3:03 AM , Blogger The Seasoned Hostess said...


We used to hold a lottery every Saturday night in anticipation for one family. All the servers would put in a dollar and whoever got sat with them, well, you won the lottery! That was your tip... because you weren't getting jack shit from these guys.

I'd say about 98% of the regulars at my Chili's (harhar) are well known only because they're obnoxiously high maintenance and tip for shit. As a hostess, I dread having to inflict these... "people"... upon my servers.

At 11:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ya'll got grits?"


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