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....

Monday, April 16, 2007

Here We Go Again...

So after work on Saturday night a gathering at a local bar took place.

There were servers and bartenders from three well known local restaurants and invariably the subject went to how our nights went and the usual bitching about customers and whatnot.

One waitress bitched about her twenty-top of prom kids that ran her ass off for Mountain Dews and Shirley Temples, with a bowl of cherries accompanying, of course.

I whined about my table of girls celebrating their friend’s birthday, along with the one entrée and few appetizers the whole table ordered.

One of the bartenders with us laid out his plight as he had his bar top customers toss him the occasional quarter rather than folding money.

We all understood.

Then Misty showed up, she works at a high-end steakhouse in the area.

“You guys bitching about work?” She asked.

“You know it,” we answered.

“Well I have the story of the night, listen to this bullshit.” She said.

“Tonight we had this thirty-top roll in and they put four of us on it, huuuuuuge party, they spent over eight thousand dollars.” She started.

“So they tipped us another $350 on top of the twenty percent gratuity.” Misty said.

“Well sounds better than my night, I only made forty bucks on my twenty top.” I said.

“Here comes the good part, since we made extra on the party the Executive Chef decided that we should tip out the kitchen four hundred dollars.” Misty said.

Well that sounds familiar,” I said.

“Isn’t your tip-out already a third of your tips?” I asked.

“Yeah, we already had to pay five hundred dollars to the bussers and the bar, even though we had all the wine bottles out on the table and did all the wine service ourselves.” She said.

“So you ended up paying almost a thousand dollars in tip out then?” I asked.

“Something like that, I walked with about two hundred, but really should have made three after the tip-out.” Misty said.

“So what did the Chef say to you anyways?” I asked.

“He said that the kitchen really worked hard and deserved extra since we got extra.” She said.

“Was there any protest? I would throw a fit,” said another server at the table.

“Well we protested to the General Manager, but he talked to the Chef and agreed with him.” Said Misty.

“That’s bullshit,” another in our party added.

“Then the Chef tried to pull a guilt trip on us, he said we were all just greedy and implied that we didn’t deserve to make that much money.” Misty said.

“That’s fucking illegal, I just read about another place that was taking the staff’s tips, he just can’t do that.” I said.

“Well we called our human resources department and they agreed with us, but the General Manager still wouldn’t give us our money.” Misty said.

“Fuck that, management has no right to distribute your tips, the guest left it for you, not the kitchen. Kitchen gets salary and hourly, they aren’t tipped out employees, your Chef is a thief and it is illegal for him to distribute tips to non-tipped employees.” I said.

“He even gave the dishwashers $50 each, to wash thirty fucking dishes!” Misty exclaimed.

“Fuck that, call the state Attorney General’s office or the labor department, these fucks can’t get away with this shit, I quit a job because of this shit and these managers have no right to take away what you earned.” I said.

“I make three bucks an hour, where was management when it was slow and I was pulling fifty bucks a shift, that’s ok but if I make three hundred I’m being greedy and don’t deserve it?” Misty asked.

“They have no right to determine what you make, report them tomorrow, I swear I’ll call it in myself!” I said.

Misty sat there and sipped her beer with a pissed off look on her face, “fucking bullshit,” she muttered.

"And to end it all, we are allowed to take home wine that our parties don't finish as part of our reward for such a group, they had Silver Oak and Stag's Leap so we had some good bottles to take home, except the Chef wouldn't let us and took them home for himself." She said.

"Sounds like he's the one that's greedy to me, he's pretty liberal with other people's money, and other people's wine as well, fucking travesty." I said.

"Fucking bullshit," Misty said as she took another sip of beer...


At 9:39 AM , Blogger Steve said...

Some old high school friends of mine worked as bussers at a local restaurant. It was up to their servers to tip them whatever they saw fit, and they always got shafted because their servers weren't forced to share anything. There has to be some happy medium where management regulates tip sharing without completely ripping off their servers.

Seems like Misty was pretty generous, and still got the shaft. I'm glad I never had to deal with crap like that at the liquor store. All we ever had to argue about was who would get the $2 commission on a particular bottle of wine. Doesn't quite make up for the hobos, though...

At 10:30 AM , Blogger richbh said...

Yes - report it to the police, the city commission (if there is one) and the state, and the feds. Fuck 'em! Thieving bastards...

At 2:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The police, the city commission, the state and the feds couldn't care less about this. The restaurant industry has always operated outside the rules. Until the owners, workers and society agree that servers will be paid a living wage, tips are eliminated and food prices raised to make up the difference, things will continue as they always have and every encounter with a guest will leave you wondering if they're going to find you worthy of being paid.

At 4:27 PM , Anonymous junior said...

glad your back to posting more regularly, I enjoy your writing...

At 6:39 PM , Anonymous Ryan said...

Hey man, it's Ryan from I Serve Idiots.

Just wanted to say thanks for linking me. Been a fan of your writing for a while now.

And as mentioned above, glad you're back to writing regularly.

At 11:53 PM , Blogger Adventures In Waitressing said...

That pisses me off and I don't even know the woman. I am sure the "Chef" makes good money and he is nothing but a thieving bastard.

Great writing by the way. Enjoyed it very much.

At 10:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It all has to do with the policy, whether its written or verbal. As long as they tell you the policy and you shake your head with a motion that looks like a yes it's a meeting of the minds which makes a contract.When you hire on they tell what and who gets tipped.They can even tell you before the party is seated about how it will split. Once again if your head makes that motion it's a deal. But waiting untill the money is counted is pure BULLSHIT. The chef's ass needs to be in the kitchen and his stealing needs to be done ahead of time.

Your Friend
Thom D. and J.P.

At 12:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

glitter revenge . com ....

send that fkng fat bastardo chef some that!

Coming to you from Texas

At 8:16 AM , Blogger Manuel said...

“Then the Chef tried to pull a guilt trip on us, he said we were all just greedy and implied that we didn’t deserve to make that much money.”

They pull that line the world over, cooker jockeys.

Great blog.

At 8:59 AM , Blogger ADW said...

What a fucking mess. These restaurant owners/chefs/GMs think that they can get away with this bullshit. I have actually worked at places before who, at the interview level, used to tell the bussers/hosts/cooks etc that the base wages they offered were lower because WE SERVERS/BARTENDERS made a ton of money and had to tip them out so they would make $xx on top of their regular wages, which would end up being more than other places. FUCKING ASSHOLES!!!

Here is what you do if you are seriously pissed off about this. Just about EVERY restaurant has some shady dealings and it sounds like this one more than most. So, have your friend start documenting the shit they are doing. If they are docking their wages for utensils/ramekins/etc., hiring illegals, is the chef snorting blow off of the prep tables, does the GM like to cop a feel or two, are they paying some of their employees under the table.... I guarantee that she can completely fuck them over if she wants.

There are plenty of drawbacks to this method, so it is up to your friend to decide what to do.

People are assholes the world over and they are always out to screw the employees. What they did was both illegal and immoral, but until someone calls them on it, they will keep doing it - BECAUSE THEY CAN.

At 11:40 AM , Blogger Barmaid said...

Swear to God, I've had my own problems with management. But they've been smart enough thus far never even to think about touching my tips beyond the usual tip-out, no matter how good a night I've had. If they did, I really don't think I'd keep my silence very long.

The Barmaid Blog

At 4:58 PM , Anonymous Liz said...

That is an utter travesty.

At 12:12 PM , Blogger Sharpie said...

That's some bullshit. I think the authorities should definately be called!

At 12:16 AM , Blogger briliantdonkey said...

Normally I tend to respond to your posts in a 'devil's advocate' sort of way. In this case I would have to say I wholeheartedly agree with you. That is a load of crap. Probably illegal crap as well, but the chances of the authorities doing much if anything about it are not very high I am afraid. Hope I am wrong but I doubt it.


At 3:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question is who claimed the tip as income ? I'm sure the Chef and the rest of the forty thieves did as well.

At 12:15 PM , Blogger Suz said...

Oh God yes! You KNOW the chef claimed that as part of his wage!


At 11:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like your girl works for "the palm" steakhouse.


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