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, May 19, 2008

Grass not always greener

Waiters are similar to migratory animals, they head to the lands with the most seasonal promise. Or breeding grounds in some cases.

Sometimes this can be a new restaurant, or perhaps a established restaurant with a good reputation for food, money or management.

That being said any experienced server has friends all over town, sometimes it leads to a foot in the door for a new job, other times for just good gossip.

A friend of mine works for (insert bistro here) and recently I had a bit of a conversation on how he liked his new joint.

The answer was he walked out, now I was a bit surprised as the new restaurant had been open for several months and word on the street was positive.

“So how us it going at the new joint?” I asked.

“Biggest load of shit I’ve ever seen, I walked out on my shift.” said Charles.

“How so?” asked I, eager for the story.

“Well last Friday night we were rocking and I was ringing back my orders, the thing is I forgot to hit the dressing on the side button and I hit the kitchen to tell them before they made the salads. No big so far right?” He said.

“Happens all the time.” I said, concurring.

“Thing is I didn’t make it in time and the salads where just coming up as I told the chef.” He said.

“So I take it the situation turned into a big deal somehow.” I responded.

“Fuck yea it did, the chef started screaming at me about fucking up his orders and he pretty much went nuclear. Also its an open kitchen, so my table was sitting about ten feet away hearing every word, fucking embarrassing.” Charles said.

“Next thing you know he screaming at me about costing him money, so instead of the restaurant eating the cost of the salads, he was making me pay for them.” He continued.

“So how much are side salads running over there?” I asked.

“About eight bucks each.” Charles said.

“Fucking ridiculous, for what, some field greens and homemade dressing?” I asked.

“Pretty much.” Was his response.

“So I take it this is where you decide to walk out?” I asked.

“Yup, I told him where he could stick those salads, then I told the manager I quit and left with a full section.” he said.

“That’s what I would do, several years back a manager tired to get me to pay for glassware after I slipped and fell, breaking some crystal.” I said.

“Did you walk?” Charles asked.

“Didn’t have to, I told him he’d have my resignation before he had my twenty buck, he backed down.” I said.

“Eh fuck it, there’s always another restaurant,” said Charles, continuing on he said, “This is the best part though, then the chef wouldn’t let me get my paycheck, he said he’d get it to me as soon as I paid him his sixteen dollars.”

“Fuck that, I would have punched him,” said I.

“He is pretty big so that would have been a bad idea,” said Charles.

“What are you going to do about it? You can’t let this asshole get away with this sort of thing.” I said.

“Well another one of my friends there walked out Saturday night, chef blamed him for a mistake and wanted him to cover the price of their full meal.” he said.

“That’s super fucked. Naturally all the foodies just love your place, kind of like people who love their Nikes, even though little kids make them for pennies.” I said.

“Maybe that’s a bit far,” said Charles.

“Maybe, but what are you two going to do about it?” I asked again.

“For one we contacted the Labor Department, they spoke to him and he sent me my pay check, problem is he refused to sign it.” he said.

“What an ass.” I said.

“Guess we’ll have to take it to the hearing.” Said Charles.

“I guess so.” I said.


At 8:39 PM , Blogger misha said...

dude, i worked there. in richmond. sal federikos. it was the fucking same. on another note, i worked at a popular 24hr diner and had the flu, but you know how it is. I told all my tables I was going to quit and no one would wait on my if they were not nice. I made like $300 that night. In A Diner! And this one guy right away said nice breasts. Right away I wanted to kick them out, but his friend said he was talking about chicken breast sandwich. i just coughed on his food about 10 times - germ warefare baby :]

At 12:52 PM , Anonymous Sue Ellen said...

Coughing on someones food is just nasty! I would never do that in a million years. I guess some people have a speck of class and others don't.

At 7:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey the wonderful thing about working in this industry is there are loads of restaurants out there (the good people to work for a few and far between, but when they are good they are the best). The most amazing thing is everywhere you look in hospitality there are good people.

At 9:47 PM , Blogger Shari Ann said...

Love your style... also the new muted tones, tho black text is easier for me to read. Rock on with your bad self.

At 4:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible how some people treat their workers. I interpret at a museum and accidentally broke a 200 year old artifact. My bosses said, "don't worry about it, accidents happen and we'll fix it."


At 1:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am horrified by most chef's behaviour. I worked with one who would hit on me moments after he cussed me out.

At 6:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That chef won't be so glib after the Labor Dept. gets finished. Maybe your buddy should sue in small claims for damages and interest! He may not get it, but it would harrass the hell out of that asshole chef.

Speaking of assholes, Misha, that would be much too complementary of a title for you.

Tweaking people is one thing; actually attempting to make another person sick is psychotic. Get help. Soon.

At 9:16 AM , Anonymous Caliconn said...

The sentiment is right on point but what are you servers going to do when you hand in your resume at the next place and your last five years show 10+ jobs, wouldnt' that just server as a further deterent to the so called "good" places to work? I work in a casino hotel resort and I can tell you that the top teir resturants, Michael Jordan's, Todd English's that we have on site would just file your resume in the trash bin...but what ever works for you I guess

At 6:02 PM , Blogger misha said...

wow - not even a modicum of class? never been blasted like that. i coughed w/ the managers permission and laughter. its not like i spit in his food or anything. the cooks there have done that, and even grosser things, so in comparison coughing isnt so bad. BTW - though that was over 10 years ago, for those concerned, I am getting help now. Guess I harbored too much guilt over the coughing incident and tried to kill myself.
poor deuce getting shit all the time.

At 5:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I can't imagine anyone being that crazy! I remember one time when Ramsey on Kitchen Nightmares told the owner of a restaurant that the customers watched all of it when he went off on a server... and Ramsey is noted for going off. If he thinks it's crazy, it's really crazy.


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