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....

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Since I’m a such a thankful person I’d like to thank the following this Christmas season.

I’d like to thank Kevin for coming in and leaving me $5 on a $118.00 tab. It’s the nice thing to do before a holiday, to show one’s generosity.

I’d also like to thank him for subjecting me to his faux romantic ambitions as he ordered for his horse faced date. Thank him for pondering the wine list for half an hour to order the perfect glass of wine, which was naturally the house Chianti which tastes of sweat socks and ass.

Thank him for insisting on a four top for the two of them and also thank him for camping out and costing me my 7:30 reservation. Which incidentally tipped their waiter $40.

I’d also like to thank him for his verbal tip, thus showing myself and the readership that it wasn’t a service issue that necessitated the tip but pure cheapness.

I’ll not forget you Kevin and I assure you the next time you come in you will receive service from myself or others that befit a 4% tip.

As for myself I generously kept fifty cents after tipping out the support staff and bar, thank you for two hours of my life that are truly unforgettable.

I’d also like to thank all the campaign staff’s for the various candidates of both parties. It is truly a honor to wait on privileged political science students taking a year off college with daddy’s credit card. I’m so happy that you are gracing us poor hick Midwesterners with your cultured selves.

Truly endearing was several staffers calling in to the various restaurants with reservations for Obama, Hillary, Romney, Richardson and so forth giving the impressions that “the man” or “the woman” in one case would be joining us for dinner.

Certainly we put the reservations in the prime spots, put our best staff on the section and readied the restauraunt for super suck up mode.

Naturally the VIP's were nowhere to be seen, but a bunch of drunken twenty-something politicos were.

Thank you for not honoring reservations, or for throwing tantrums when you show up with twenty people five minutes after close, thus necessitating keeping the staff into hour past the a.m. mark. That was quite a privlage waiting on you when I had to be back to open the restaurant in eight hours the next morning.

I’ll be sure to vote for your candidate based solely on your behaviors.

As well I’d like to thank our foreign visitors.

Truly the Christmas season would be at a loss if not for your bemoaning the boorishness, arrogance, ignorance and hatefulness of our culture.

All while ignoring a simple and well known custom called tipping.

I’d especially like to thank the Spanish journalists who came in three days in a row, racking up enormous tabs, and yet on all occasions left not one peso, Euro or red cent as a tip.

If I went to Spain I would be expected, and expect myself to learn the day to day customs and what is an insult and such. As well I doubt I would sit there in a café and make snide comments about their nation in front of a Spaniard that knows English.

Now I am certainly not fluent in Espanol, but really, making digs at my country when I myself have Spanish blood and know a bit of the lingo isn’t such a good plan.

As I was their waiter on their third day and had heard about them, I was sure my service standards were at the level necessitating a 0% tip.

I would genuinely like to thank the many regulars who have come in recently and left great tips to their servers as a thank you for the past year’s efforts as well as in the spirit of the holidays.

I’d also like to thank those who make polite requests instead of rude demands.

Those who say “I understand” rather than “that is unacceptable” to the word no.

Those who are appreciative.

Those who understand the concept of operating hours.

Those who say please and thank you.

Those who genuinely are interesting in dining our rather than shoveling food in their face.

Those who rely on common table manners.

You are in the majority, so truly thanks.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Guest of the Week

Really, one of the benefits of working with the public is seeing how stupid or entitled they can get, I’m not sure which category this table falls into, but they’re idiots.

A two top walks in the door, they are typical corporate suits and probably have some form of higher education.

They sit at their two top table and take their jackets off and arrange their briefcases and coats.
One of the “gentlemen” uses the table to the right of him as a coat rack, the other gentlemen uses the chairs on the table to the left of them as a storage area for his bags.

Now this wasn’t my table, however the table to the left of them was in my section, and there was no way in hell I was about to sacrifice a money making table because of their ignorance/stupidity of thinking that they deserve three tables for the two of them.

Now, I had three choices, I could offer to check their coats, I could politely explain where the coat rack was, or I could make them aware of their stupidity.

I think we all know what choice I took.

As we were starting to rev up for a busy lunch in which surely we would need all tables, even those that were transmogrified into coat racks, I decided to help out the hostess.

First I took a four top to the table that was being used as laptop storage. The two businessmen started fidgeting uncomfortably when I approached their neighboring table. The new table kind of froze as they saw their seats filled with someone else’s crap and the businessmen grumbled an apology as they moved their crap to the table on the other side of them, my table.

“Sir, I need that table cleared as its reserved.” I said with a strained tone.

“Um, well were are we supposed to put our coats?” One of them replied.

“On the coat rack.” Was my obvious answer.

“What about our laptops, where do you expect us to put them?” The other man asked.

“Pretty much anywhere that isn’t someone else’s table.” I said. “Thank you gentlemen!”

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cutting Corners

A few weeks ago I was training a newer server on a small banquet of about twenty, when I decided to pass a bit of my real world knowledge on to her…

“So here’s the mini-menus for the party,” the assistant manager said.

I took them in hand and started setting them out on the table.

Looking over the menu I noticed it wasn’t bad, one seafood, one meat, one vegetarian and one pasta dish, all mid-range so that was safe.

I also noticed that there was a short wine list by the bottle at the top of the page, excellent.

I had a little time on my hands so I started to polish Reidels and grabbed my partner to start doing some table set-ups.

The next thing you know the other waitress was at my side.

“Did you notice what wines are on the list?” She asked.

“Not yet, anything good?” I asked.

“Well I don’t recognize half these wines.” She said.

Looking over the list neither did I.

“Shit, they’re brining in their own bottles.” I said with a grimace.

“Fuck this crystal shit, they’re getting regular glasses.” I said.

We all know my disdain for bringing bottles from home, and really, I’d rather go all out for people buying our product rather than bringing their own.

“At least we can charge corkage.” My partner said.

“Yeah, I’d rather charge $15 a bottle than forty buck or more, or not.” I said.

“Well its better than nothing.” She replied.

“Actually according to the restaurant it isn’t, you might not have noticed this but corkage doesn’t count as sales applicable to the gratuity, meaning we won’t see a cent of tip off that.” I said.

Oh yeah, its true. The restaurant I work at makes a profit off corkage, but the waiter doesn’t see his 20% of the cut, at least on banquets. Small parties are left to their own discretion on what gratuity to leave, as usual.

Being a crafty bastard I had figured a way around this dilemma which would guarantee that my partner and I would at least get a piece of the pie.

“Here’s what we’re going to do, we’ll wait until we see how many bottles we have to open, take that number times fifteen and then ring it in as an open wine charge.” I said.

“But won’t the bartenders question that order?” My partner asked.

“No, here’s a bit of advise, get in close with the bartenders, your drinks will come up faster and they won’t question you on issues such as this.” I said.

“Another way to make sure you’re tipped out on corkage is to assign a dollar amount gratuity instead of having the computer do the math with a percentage based grat, that also gives you a tip.” I continued, “ that doesn’t work so well on separate checks which is why I taught you the open wine method.”

“But won’t the managers care that we’re charging them more?” My partner asked.

“I really don’t think they’ll notice or care, believe me I learned this the hard way after working a wine dinner and walking out with jack shit instead of a nice tip.” I said.

Continuing on, I said, “The restaurant is getting their money, but we’re the ones expected to do the work and one way or another we will get paid for it.”