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, October 18, 2007

Pet Peeve Cop-out list for the third week of October.

Been busy with classes so sorry for the slow post schedule.

Pet Peeves of the week:

1. Customers demanding that I use my god-like powers to control the actions of others. This has mostly applied to patio diners. The first guest was sitting in another section and was demanding the waitress stop that irritating “humming” noise that was emanating from another building, then he pouted when he was reminded that we don’t control the air conditioner from the building across the street. It didn’t help that he then told the waitress there was no need to be a snot and that he usually is a good tipper, not this time I suppose.

2. People who want to order off menu. The other day a patron about had a conniption fit over the fact that I wouldn’t order him an omelet. The fact is we aren’t a breakfast joint, look for a menu that proudly boast 24/7 breakfasts and all you can eat Johnny cakes if that’s what you’re in to.

The customer asked, “well you have eggs, this is a restaurant isn’t it?” Yes, we have eggs, but I’m not going to throw a wrench in the engine that is the kitchen while they chop up some peppers and rustle up some ham for you.

This also goes for trying to order anything you’ve seen on “Iron Chef.” Just because you’re a foodie doesn’t mean you know shit about preparation or actual cooking.

3. People who place their refuse on the table. The two grossest things I have seen this week was a little pyramid of spent olive pits as well as a pile of shrimp tails, placed on the table. My friends, keep your food on the plate, just like mommy always tried to teach you.

4. Peanut Butter sandwiches. Yes, a person who cannot be called a customer because a customer spends money, whipped out a peanut butter sandwich and Diet Coke instead of ordering. Stay at home or the office please, restaurants aren’t a place to just hang out, you have order their products as well.

5. If the restaurant is closed go somewhere else. Don’t bang on the door, don’t bitch me out on the phone because I won’t take your reservation. The other night we were closed for a private function and a customer on the phone was told no take out orders, the customer proceeded to scream at the server who answered the phone and demanded to speak to the manager. For once the manager backed up the waiter, naturally the caller threatened an email to the corporate office. Its only dinner folks, and there’s always tomorrow.

6. Gum goes in a napkin, not a plate, nuff said.

7. Flavored Tea. This has become the new indicator of a shit table beyond ranch and White Zin, not that people want raspberry tea or peach tea, but that they throw a fit when we carry plain old regular fresh brewed Iced Tea.

8. In that vein, people who wonder why we don’t carry Diet Berries and Cream Dr. Pepper or some other nonsense fringe soda flavors, because we carry soda that sells, that’s why.

9. The wine samplers. Now sampling a glass or two is ok, but I think the Olive Garden experience has soiled wine sampling for every other restaurant. I don’t need to pour six different glasses for free, only for you to settle for some shitty White Zinfandel of other swill.

And no, I won’t open a bottle that is sold only by the bottle, much less a reserve wine, just for you to drink a 1 oz pour and decide you want something else. We can’t sell that bottle after we open it and I don’t believe in that kind of waste.

10. Management and owners who keep a tip for themselves. My friend who brought me to a different restaurant reports that the owner once again kept $200 of a tip on a private party. This time he took it directly out of the tip pool as there was no assigned gratuity and there were individual checks. She confronted him on this issue, the legalities, as well as pointing out that it was the reason I quit my position.

He refunded her money.

Strike another one up for the good guys.


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

Once again, you've shown why we love to read your blog all the time.

I don't get wine samplers, I get cocktail testers.

It's terrible.

At 12:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh, eggs and white zin the twin banes of my existence. Being in the southwest, we technically serve heuvos rancheros whenever the doors are open. That doesn't mean back of the house wants to fix it. They tell me it requires much scraping of the grill. They look at my like a herpes virus when someone orders it,say, past noon. Today I had a tourist order "rancheros con heuvos" the hilarity of it was the only thing that kept the cooks from killing me. Things went fine until she complained that the zinfandel (a low dollar Ravenswood) wasn't pink. Phtttt.

At 8:35 AM , Blogger danny said...

I am dumbfounded by the actions of people. I can't decide if their arrogance or their stupidity is the greater.

At 10:55 AM , Blogger JRH456 said...

First of all cocktail testers, give me a break... wine sampling is pushing the line if a customer is respectable about it. Ah, I do love reading your blog, when dealing with the public it is always nice to know that people deal with the same bs as you do! Retail or restaurants the public is all still CRAZY!

At 5:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes you look for the most obtuse solution...I think just so you can bitch about the customers.

Re: 3: Brind a bowl and say "this is for your pits". How fucking difficult is THAT?

At 2:27 PM , Anonymous cp said...

Sounds like anonymous is one of the asshole customers the industry loves.

At 6:28 PM , Blogger Christopher said...

Wine samplers? Jinkies! You want to end wine samplers? Tell management to add a "tasting flight" to the menu ... charge 150% of the most expensive wine you'll let someone taste and then you'll get a line on the bill lifting the base. (ps management loves these because they're high margin, stops freebies, and usually makes it a "two" drink / person (sampler + actual order)).

At 5:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brind a bowl and say "this is for your pits". How fucking difficult is THAT

I agree, what a lazy bastard. If they have to sneeze he can offer a Kleenex and say "this is for your snot", and if they have to use the restroom he can bring them a roll and say "this is for your ass". Or maybe they could act like civilized humans and refrain from putting their saliva on a table where others will be eating. Leave the pits on your goddamn plate, how difficult is that?

Also, the tasting flight is a great idea..

At 9:57 PM , Blogger Waitress4Life said...

I love your blog!!
I was tagged with the Thinking Blogger Award, and part of the acceptance is to "tag" 5 more blogs with it. Since I find restaurant humor to be my favorite, I chose your blog as one of my favorite 5.
To find out more about this award, and to get the image, please visit

Thanks again!!

At 9:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell you Red Lobster friend that it's sad that he lives his life so hatefully. From what I've seen of your blog, you're the same way. Do you know what compassion is? Do you know all of the reasons behind all of the ways people behave? Maybe you're not the only one with difficulties? But then, that's your problem -- I just hope you are not representative of how most people think. I'd hate to think that going into a restaurant means having a total stranger pass such hateful judgement on you in so many ways...

At 8:10 PM , Blogger Subservient No More said...

I have an issue with #7. I take my iced tea seriously and sometimes all I want is a damned, real brewed iced tea. Where I live it's nearly impossible to find a tea that isn't some strange bright color (I just want some brown tea!) or that isn't Tropical Mist Guava Mango Passionfruit Hibicus Red Ginger of the Pacific Islands. I just want some regular old iced tea. I also hate restaurants that sell bottled tea or tea from a fountain. I mean, come on, how hard is it to brew some tea? I actually now categorize restaurants now by the kind of iced tea they have, as in, "We can't go to So and Sos because they have that nasty powder tasting fake lemon tea."

At 3:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Houston we have a problem

Insane where the hell are you ?
It'a time to move on so put the WWF on hold and get typing ASAP.

J.P. and Thom

At 3:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's too much Spanker Vision.

At 6:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Insane, I just had to drop in on this one a second time, mainly to tell you that you're the top referrer on my site, with over a thousand visits this month alone that came from your page.

Thanks, and we're waiting for your next post =)

At 6:00 AM , Blogger Dennis said...

Great list, Insane. I especially like the guests who order breakfast in a non-breakfast restaurant.

My favorites were the guests who came in to my restaurant and asked: "What do you serve here?" or "What's entrees are good?"

No big deal, right? The name of my restaurant was "Big Fish." YOU tell ME what we serve here, jackass.


- Dennis

At 6:10 AM , Blogger Dennis said...

Sorry. One more. In addition to the idiocy of #5, I was truly entertained by those insightful guests who arrived EARLY and wondered why the door was still locked. Happened every Sunday afternoon..."Why do you open at 3? If someone is out here waiting, you should at least let us come in and sit."

Huh? I mean, thanks, jackass. We'll consider that.


- Dennis

At 12:37 PM , Blogger BNI Member said...

Hey there

I love your blog and read it all the time! I've recently started a blog of my own and wanted to let you know that I have added you to my blogroll.

Give it a read and let me kwno what you think!

-BNI Member

At 3:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Car 54 where are you ?

At 5:17 PM , Blogger yoyo said...

It's a shame you seem to have dissapeared, you're a very good writer!

At 3:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok times up

At 5:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still working on your Pet Peeve Cop-out list for the third week of November?

At 3:49 PM , Blogger goodness gracious! said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I have trouble seeing how IW is being “hateful”:

1. “Customers demanding that I use my god-like powers to control the actions of others.” That’s not hateful – it’s annoying, grown adults blame servers and other folks in customer service all the time for things out of their control. In the sitch IW mentioned, I would have offered to move their table inside, but honestly, I’ve had so many customers who would have wined “but I want to sit outside!!!” okay. "but it's noisy over there (or it's hot, or cold, or thre are mosquitos, whatever)!!!" dude, what can I do?

2. “People who want to order off menu.” Lots of customers don’t realize how this can screw with the kitchen, but in gerneral it’s hard to understand customers who come to a certain kind of resturant and want, not an alteration of an existing menu item, but something totally totally different, and by want I mean demand.

3. “People who place their refuse on the table. “ It’s disgusting. It’s not hateful to call somethig disgusting disgusting. Cause it’s disgusting.

4. ”Peanut Butter sandwiches.” How is it hateful to call out people who bring outside food, not a juice box for their toddler or lowfat dressing for their salad, but entire items of food to a resturant? What is hateful, and is seriously a problem in our country, is adults expecting to get whatever they want, whenever they want, and haveing no respect for how thier purchases are made or who makes and delivers them.

5. “If the restaurant is closed go somewhere else” seriously. I have had this experience in every service/store like job I have ever worked. It boggles the mind. I can’t call the verizon rep. at 6am, because it’s not open. But people can bang on my door at 5:30 am, right next to the sign clearly stating our hours, when I’m trying to prepare the food and coffee they want. What is so hard about “we’re not open”? Once again, the hateful thing is people not respecting our work, including when we are closed.

6. Gum goes in a napkin, not a plate, nuff said. True!

7. Flavored Tea & 8. okay, a little snobby, but not hateful.

9. The wine samplers. Same theme as before – people wanting whatever they want, for free, as a favor, and throwing a fit when a busisness limits giving out free goods, like limitless samples of product. abusing the courtesy is bad manners.

10. Management and owners who keep a tip for themselves. Management doing this is truly hateful, and in many states illegal.

At 4:04 PM , Blogger Pete said...

"Tell you Red Lobster friend that it's sad that he lives his life so hatefully. From what I've seen of your blog, you're the same way. Do you know what compassion is? Do you know all of the reasons behind all of the ways people behave? Maybe you're not the only one with difficulties? But then, that's your problem -- I just hope you are not representative of how most people think. I'd hate to think that going into a restaurant means having a total stranger pass such hateful judgement on you in so many ways..."

This person has obviously never worked in the food industry... because yeah we do judge

At 2:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been 10 years and I don't miss the business at all...I hated customers...I still hate customers actually.

I've got a pet peeve that I'd like to share from the other side of the table though. When my wife and I go out to eat somewhere and you happen to be a male server waiting on our table...DO NOT EVER flirt with my wife - don't even give the impression as though you "may" be flirting with her. (especially if I go to the bathroom)! It seems as though this would be commonsense. But I've gotten into more than one waiter's face after disrespecting us like that! That sort of behavior is either going to wind up with a waiter with a broken nose or with a waiter that's freshly out of a job. It's sheer stupidly and a blatant lack of respect. Nothing causes my blood to boil more than to come back from the bathroom and having my wife tell me that our fucking waiter tried to either get her number or ask for hers. That shit makes me go from calm to violently hostile. A respectful compliment to a guy's gal is one thing...crossing the line is another. Besides...unless ladies are either by themselves or in a group with other ladies [only ladies, that is], most of them find that to be pretty creepy as well (unless they're attention-whores - which is a different subject altogether).

Other than that, I will always be courteous and pleasant (and most importantly tip well) to any server that treats us with respect and good service because I know how shitty the job can be.

At 7:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flavored tea drinkers...aka black customers.


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