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, February 21, 2007

Saturday, Feb 11th

“Thank you for calling, how can I help you?” I asked.

“Umm, yeah, can you get four of us in at 6:30?” The man on the phone asked.

“I’m afraid we’re booked until eight thirty sir, I can get you in either then or if you make it here by 5:30 I can pencil you in then as well, “ I responded.

“Well I have tickets to a show tonight, I need to be there at 6:30.” He said firmly.

“I’m afraid I can’t fit you in there sir, we’re quite busy tonight, it is Saturday, after all.” I said.

“But its my girlfriend’s birthday, we’re going out with friends and she really wants to go there before the show,” his voice had gone from firm to pleading.

“Sorry sir, we’re very busy tonight and I can’t fit you in, thank you for calling.” I said.

He grumbled a “thank you” and hung up.

I don’t know why I did it, I can’t believe I picked up a host shift on a Saturday afternoon.

I guess I didn't escape unscathed after all with the Valentines Day weekend.

Once again, “Thank you for calling, how can I help you?”

“I’ll be coming in tonight with a party of six at seven o’clock, the name will be under Dr. Rosenrosen,” The man calling stated.

“Well Doctor, the soonest I can get you in would be eight thirty.” I responded.

“Well we have to eat at seven, that time is unacceptable.” He replied haughtily.

Actually calling in a group only hours before you want to eat with that attitude is unacceptable.

“I’m afraid we’re booked solid, its impossible to get you in before eight thirty.” I said.

“Well that just won’t do!” He exclaimed.

I was just about to reply with an oh so sincere apology, but there was nothing but dial-tone.

Another call…

“I want a reservation of two for eight and I want a window table.” Was the request.

I look at the floor, a ten top and a fifteen are taking up all the window seats.

“Sir, I can squeeze you in at eight thirty, but I can’t promise you a window seat.” I said.

“Well we eat there all the time and we’re friends with _________,” He said.

“Sir, there are no window tables available.” I said.

“That’s unacceptable, is _________ there, I want to talk to him.” He demanded.

“No he’s not in today, would you still like to dine with us tonight?” I said.

“Well I guess, I just don’t see why we can’t have a window seat!.”

I penciled him in for a section that was a long ways from mine, with a shitty waiter.

Just then a group of three ladies came in the door, thirty minutes before opening.

“Hello there, what can I do for you?” I asked.

“Uh yeah, we’re here eat?” One of them stated, while making a motion that implied that for some reason as a restaurant employee I wouldn’t know why people would come in to eat.

“Well miss we don’t open for another thirty minutes…”

She interrupted me, “Well your door is open, that means you are open.”

“Nonetheless, we won’t be serving for another thirty minutes.” I said.

“Well we want to be seated,” she replied.

I looked over my shoulders, the sections weren’t set up and the servers were bustling about preparing for the shift, no way was I going to take one of them away from their side work.

“Ladies, the bar is open if you would like to wait in there and have a drink,” I said.

“I just don’t see why we can’t have a table NOW!” She replied.

Just then the phone rang, I never thought I’d be so happy to hear that noise.

“Excuse me ladies while I take this,” I said while pointing in the direction of the bar.

They just huffed and stomped off.

“How can I help you tonight?” I asked.

“I called earlier about coming out with my girlfriend tonight, I don’t know if you remember me.” The caller stated.

How could I forget.

“What can I do to get in at 6:30? I’ll do anything, I’m begging you here.” He pleaded.

Normally I wouldn’t be above taking twenty bucks, but there was no way I could fit him in without bumping someone who actually was responsible and that had made their reservation in a timely manner.

Instead I said, “Sorry sir, there’s nothing I can do, if you want to come in earlier I can get you."

He hung up.

Just then the night host came in.

“I don’t know how you can put up with these people,” I said.

“It’s a special kind of hell,” he replied.

Yes it is.

I put my tie on and started to do my opening side work. After we were all ready the chef went though the features and management did their usual BS rah rah motivation speech that was met with apathy. The host came up and asked the managers if we were ready for table, he was given the go ahead.

The first table went right in my section.

It was the three ladies who threw a tantrum.

“We just don’t understand why you didn’t seat us, you were here the whole time!” The lady exclaimed.

I briefly stated we weren’t ready with our preparations.

I asked them for their drink orders, white zinfandel of course, and was about to go into my feature spiel when I was interrupted…

“Don’t you have something that you should be telling us?” She asked with an accusatory tone.

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“Aren’t there specials you should be telling us about?” She clarified.

Sure, I went and rattled them off.

“Oh, and if we did seat you when you came in I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what the features were, just thought you should no that.” I said

‘What did you say?” She asked sharply.

I was already back turned, heels clicked and headed to get them their sickly sweet hobo wine.


At 8:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see you post a great story, very entertaining

At 9:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate people.

At 10:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm glad the place i work for doesn't take reservations. But you can't beleive how many people were calling us -on- valentine's day asking for them... dude, it's V-day. if we did take reservations, there's no way you're going to get a table. at least this way you can show up and wait 45 minutes to get sat...

At 10:55 AM , Anonymous Redmond_Dave said...

Outstanding tale of woe!
Well worth the wait.
Eagerly awaiting your next installment.

At 3:31 PM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

I posted a sign right outside the front door on Saturday afternoon (night of a Billy Joel concert 4 blocks away) that stated, "As a result of all of the call-ahead reservations tonight for the concert, we are not accepting any more reservations or walk-ins until after 8:00."

Do you think that that worked? Nope.

At 9:03 PM , Anonymous PolishMiss said...

I love reading your blog.
As an aside, I always tip well when I go out (20% and up, regardless). I currently live in Poland, where restaurant staff are not expecting a tip (at some places they're embarrassed when you give them one...), but I still tip upwards of 20%.

Actually, I live by "Treat others as you would like to be treated". I've never been a server, and none of my past jobs have come even close to what you go through daily.

I don't tip because I have to, as I've read some claim (aka, that people like me are 'loudmouth' conformists, etc). Rather, I do recognize that servers are NOT servants, they are people who working, that they are most likely paid extremely low wages (especially here, the financial situation in Poland is horrid), that they have to pay bills, raise a family, and EAT, and that my dining experience depends largely on how I interact with the staff.

Maybe that's why the places I frequent most regularly have staff that never fail to make it a superb dining experience...

At 12:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

ungrateful bitches.

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

I can't imagine why someone would object to sitting at the bar. One of the best restaurant experiences I've ever had began with a half-hour, 45 minute wait at the bar sucking down daquiries and chatting. But then, we didn't care about the expense.

That was a great evening.

At 9:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly. You should never care about the expense when you eat out. If you do care you cannot afford to eat out at that time. Wow, waiter, are people really that rude at your job? What happened to "Yes, hello I was wondering if I could make a reservation for 6:30 tonight?" Not, "I WANT a reservation for 6:30 tonight!"


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