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, January 08, 2009

so many regulars, so little patience

Another guest blogger.  You can call me Chowda.  Thank you to Insane for the opportunity.  

Quick background  and History- I'm a bartender and the bar manager at....a bar.  It's taken me many years and even more barrels of alcohol to become 'okay' with staying in the restaurant business for over 20 years.  I am a lifer.  Actually, I've always been okay with it, it's just hard to explain it to outsiders with other jobs.  

There is a woman that comes into my bar her name is Margo, but we'll call her Twinkles for legal reasons.  About a year ago, she started coming in because she opened a business across the street.  Seemed nice, but my craz-o-meter would scream when she was around.   The girl could put down the liquor.  I'm a drunk most of the time and she made me say 'damn'.    A few weeks later, she comes in and sits at a table with some other regulars.  She finishes her first glass of red wine and falls out of her chair flat on her face.  Seriously, faceplant.  She didn't even try to catch herself.  I cut her off and tell the cocktail waitress to get her food and get her out.  She refuses the food and the regulars help her outside.  She flips out and starts screaming outside, then heads back to her store and trashes the inside of it until the cops arrive and take her away in cuffs.  Freak.

Her Dad calls and threatens to sue for putting something in her drink.  She's in her early 30s.

She gets the honor of 86.  Usually, in my little hellhole we only 86 people for a while, because all the freaks come in on my days off, knowing that no one else in the place has a backbone.  

So Margo, (oops I mean Twinkles) starts coming in again a few months ago, Always hiding in the corner behind regulars if I'm bartending.  Whatever.  She's entertaining as hell to me and I'm not liable if she kills someone.  How so you ask?  Well, let's just say she enjoys a little nip at work and keeps bottles stashed all over her store.  

Friday she sits at the bar.  I was getting a case of beer and she didn't know i was in house.  The look on her face was priceless when I came around the corner.  Cat and Canary all over again.

I go down to say 'hi'.  Again she freaks out with "Oh really?  You're going to talk to me after what you did?"

I was kinda lost here.  I hadn't talked to her in over a year and really had nothing to do with kicking her out, but I'm often a scapegoat when it comes to kicking people out or cutting them off.  

"Margo, I had nothing to do with you being kicked out."


I just laughed, "You couldn't even walk on your own."

"Oh really do you want me to call a manager over her?  I'll have you fired. I am a business owner and you are just a bartender."

So many things I could have said about her daddy is the business owner (with no business sense)  and she is barely a clerk, but instead I counter with, "Actually, I'm the bar manager of all of this."  I said as I splayed my arm out towards the bar and up to heaven.  "And I will get you another manager."

The only reason I got another manager is so they could enjoy this too.  We all know she's nuts and I'm a giver.  I like to share.

Before the second manager comes out, Twinkles daddy is at the bar yelling at me and #2.  Did I mention that #2 is the owners daughter.  Good times.  She can be a real badger if you corner her.  Daddy goes off on me and how I was rude and blah blah blah.  If he doesn't apologize they will leave and never come back.  blah blah blah.  
Owner's daughter says (I could kiss her for this)  "Sorry, he's the bar manager for a reason.  I'm inclined to believe him, since we've had to escort your daughter out of here before.  If he wants to apologize he can, but I'm not making him do it, so I wouldn't hold my breathe."

They storm out, hopefully to never be seen again.    

Strangely, it was one of those interactions that made my night.  I may be JUST a bartender in the outside world, but in my bar you're JUST another customer.  


At 10:03 PM , Blogger Karen.Hanschke said...

what a biatch.

At 5:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

And this is a perfect example of why everyone should treat everyone with respect. You are no better than me, and I no better than you. Period.

At 7:04 PM , Blogger the Cynical Server said...

Morale of the story---you have a very cool manager with a strong backbone. It is the exception rather than the rule when a manager goes on a limb like that. In my experience I have seen owners and GM's leave other managers out on the dangle! Usually throw you under the bus.

At 11:05 AM , Anonymous Strawberry Blond said...

This is a new favorite blog. It's hysterically funny!

It amazes me that people always look down on servers. Why? We have a job (serving is actually a second job for me), we're working, we're making our own money. Are we in line asking for handouts from the government to support our kids? No. Are we complaining that there are no jobs to be found in this economy? No.

My rant's over.

Regular customers drive me up the freaking wall. That's all I'm saying on THIS matter.

At 12:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been in the restaurant industry for nearly nine years, (and believe me it’s a hard fixation to leave behind!) I’m currently on my sixth year of college and trying to put off my degree. I believe no matter how much we all bitch about how we hate servicing people, WE”RE LYING! IT”S GOOD MONEY! It really does suck some nights. I have had the same regulars now for about seven years. What the hell do you talk to them about? They already know everything about your mediate family, your some what social life (that you have outside of the restaurant) and what’s happening in the sports. Seriously, I am running out of Shit to talk about with my patrons! I tend bar, so it’s not like I can get them their drinks and leave until their food comes cause I have nowhere to go! You can’t just leave the bar!! I recently came up with a new method, I’m not saying to try this but, my people thought it was great and now they constantly ask… oh I should probably tell you what I started doing. A random Friday night that I really didn’t feel like being at work and securing the perma smile I just started handing out my monthly bills!! Let’s get serious, my regulars do pay for my heat, oil, phone, rent, water, internet, and of course food if your not eating at the place you work, which who really wants to do that?!! Everybody thought it was great! You’ll never guess how much I finished with in a five hours!! It’s those nights that make it hard for us to get out of the restaurant business! Know matter how much we bitch, we love it! We simply love to bitch!! Hugs and kisses to everyone that works in the business, I feel ya!!

At 7:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the bartending world is kinda hard life sometimes


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