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, October 19, 2008

What are you, five?

It was pretty much a nightmare scenario.

We were packed to the gills and I was handed a twenty top to take by myself, a bit of a challenge, but one I've never shied from.

The problem was it was twenty middle aged women and you know what that means...

Ranch, Diet Coke, modifications from hell, separate checks and White Zin.

The lady at position one had ordered the salmon with no sauce and steamed broccoli in place of asparagus, no problem right?

Wrong, the deal was the next lady in line modified her entree and so on down the line. The ticket I sent the kitchen resembled the combined efforts of the last five blog posts in length.

So the food came up, five trays of items that had only a passing resemblance of the actual menu description.

I set position one's salmon down, no sauce, no asparagus, sub broccoli.

"Ummm, what is this?" She said to me, pointing at her plate.

"Salmon, no sauce?" I replied.

"No, what is this?" She asked, pointing to the side of pasta that also accompanied the dish.

"I'm pretty sure that's fettuccine alfredo." I replied.

"I didn't want that, I told you I only wanted broccoli." She snapped.

I glanced at the nineteen other entrees waiting to be dropped off. The assistant manager was coming up with the last tray as well.

"Well miss, you don't have to eat the pasta, you asked for no asparagus." I retorted.

She flipped the salmon over and poked at it with her fork.

"There's sauce touching my salmon, I don't want sauce!" She exclaimed.

"Miss, is this an allergy issue?" I asked.

"No, I just don't want my food touching." She said.

I about screamed at her, "then who cares!"

I bit my tongue, at that moment the assistant manager saved me from saying something I probably would have regretted.

"Hey, drop the rest of the food, I'll take care of this one," he said.

I went about the task of delivering the rest of the dinner before it was cold.

Afterwards I approached the manager. "Hey thanks man, are we re-plating that or what?" I asked.

"No, she wants a new one." He replied. Looking at the line I saw there were about fifteen tickets on the wheel, with the kitchen rolling like a freight train on cocaine.

"Are you fucking serious, just scrape that dab of sauce off, plate it with broccoli and lets go!" I shouted above the noise of the kitchen.

"She told me her broccoli felt like it was dumped in ice water and that she'd know is we gave her the same salmon." He said.

"What is she, five? Just flip the fucking fillet over!" I said.

"Just let me handle it," said the manager.

"All right, its all you then."

Later as the dinner was winding down the manager approached me again. "Hey, we're buying her meal since it took a bit to get back out, we're also giving her a gift card."

He said. "What, so she can come back in and get another free meal? We did nothing wrong and she gets two free meals out of it for throwing a fit." I said.

The manager shrugged and said, "she's pretty pissed, we have to take care of it."

"I just don't believe in rewarding bad behavior, when I was a kid and did this kind of thing my Mom would have taken me to the bathroom and spanked the shit out of me." I said.

"Well hopefully you won't wait on her when she comes back." He said.

"Oh I won't, she's one I'll remember."

And with that I was out the door to split the checks a thousand different ways. With the gratuity added, naturally.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Class Traitor

It is restaurant code/karma/tradition to tip well if you are a restaurant employee.

For my compatriots and I insane 30, 40 or 50% tips are common place.

Even shit service warrants at least 15% or the big bad karma will come for you in the dark and stiff you.

That is why I am infuriated with the "class traitor" types.

Saturday night my string of bad luck stood at nine weeks in a row with large groups, more on that next post, especially if it goes to week ten.

It was an eight top of middle twentysomething girls, the situation was a birthday party.

They knew one of the managers and he bought the birthday girl her meal, this would be fine except some of her friends wanted to buy her dinner.

So they turned on me because apparently it was my responsibility to not let my manager take care of her, and naturally there was no tip left for her comped meal from the gals either.

As the checks came out which had to be ridiculously split beyond belief, one of the girls started name dropping where she had worked.

She used insider terms that impressed me like "eight top" and asked if the "grat" was added, unfortunatly for me it was not.

As I was rounding up the tabs she gave me hers, "Here hon, its all yours."

I walked back to the service station and was organizing the cash and credit cards when I open her folder, two bucks on twenty.

Ten percent.

The next folder contained the same amount and same tip.

I returned to the table with everyone's change and credit card slips, I dropped off hers as well.

"Oh I said you could keep the change?" She said as she dismissively waved me away.

"Oh are you sure?" I asked with a sarcastic hint to my concern.

Ten percent, from a server.

That will come back to bite her in the ass. One could as perhaps it was a service issue? I've said before, I know when I'm off at a table and can see expect a bad tip coming from a mile away.

This was not the case.

I went out of my way to split checks that had shared entrees, they got a free meal, they received free desert, and despite all the extra work, half of them tipped me at ten percent post discount.

The reason I didn't apply gratuity? One girl showed up late and had no ticket of her own.

As a I little bit of positive though, two girls at the end of the table who received no discount left me a very nice tip, thank you.

Later the manager who was friends with them asked me how they were, I suppose he was friends with them and I could have used some tact.

I didn't, I told him they stiffed me, that they were class traitors who knew better and that I never want to wait on them again.