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, April 19, 2010

Hi friends!

Hi everyone, figured I'd give a bit of an update since my last post.
It came to my attention via that I was mentioned on a article about late diners, here is the link...

So its been since late last summer since I’ve had an updated posting, the sushi joint that I was briefly at continues to exist, somehow. They haven’t been able to keep a server for more than a couple of weeks and they continue to steal from the staff. Yet people love going there.

I guess its kind of like buying Nike products, even though an eight year old Guatemalan girl makes them for thirty-five cents a day, as long as its trendy people will go there no matter what the social cost. Not that I was a sweatshop employee or even comparable, but I’ve noticed that with restaurants, some of the worst employers get the best reviews.

C'est la vie…

The Italian joint that I was at continues to do well, I have friends that work there and I’m glad to see they made it through the hard economic times in pretty good order.

Am I sorry I left?


Sometimes you gotta know when to cash in your chips and leave on your own terms. I’ve seen to many good friends get burned out by a joint and go on someone else’s terms with their head down.

But sometimes I hear the call, everyone and then I miss “the biz” as we call it. But as Murtaugh said, I’m getting to old for this shit.

Eventually things all end or change. I can feel myself changing a bit, when I go out to eat I actually find myself enjoying my dinner rather than nitpicking on what the waiter is doing or how my drink was made or watching the manager bumble around, its kind of nice.

Sometimes the dreams still come though, the restaurant is full and I’m the only waiter in sight and every food item is wrong or burned.

Then I wake up and its over. Sometimes it was like working three shifts, a double then dreams all night followed by another double.

They say that dreams are you working out unresolved issues, but really, what is so unresolved about serving a veal piccatta?

Schools is going well, I’m about to start my last semester and looking for an internship that hopefully will lead to a “big boy” job. I actually have the grades to go further and am exploring taking the LSAT or GMAT this fall. Who knows, at 29 its kind of hard to think about another three years of school, I feel like I started the race about five years too late as it is.

Well here is a brief “server story”

I was in at the old joint about a month ago, only recognized a few people, lunch is where all the “noobs” get scheduled and the biz is notorious for high turnover as it is.

A couple of my former coworkers were in having lunch so I stopped at their table to say hi.

“Hey Joe, how’s school going?” asked Jen.

“Oh good, wrapping up the semester and doing some traveling this summer.” I said.

“How is Miyabi?” she asked.

“Oh it was bullshit, wasn’t there too long, got in a fight with the chef about paying for mess ups.” I responded.

“So where you working these days?” she asked.

“Just going school, got a solid grant that is paying for some of my expenses, I’m getting by if not getting rich.” I said.

“But you need to work! Are you looking for a job?” She asked.

“Oh maybe I’ll work up the street at 801 Grand.” I said, home of a Fortune 500 company. (not that I’m delusional to think I’ll be CEO, never know in this life though)

“Oh, well I heard they make good money there, are they hiring for night shifts?” she asked. (the building is also home of a premiere steakhouse)

“No, I won’t be working at the restaurant there, probably Principal.” I said.

“Oh,” she said with a frumpy appearance, ”that sound BORING.”

“Well, its why I went back to college,” I said.

“Oh, well good luck, I guess,” she said.

I was instantly reminded of the last post I made last summer. I will never demean anyone making an honest buck, from digging ditches to hustling tables to the CEO of Principal.

But there was that tone, the fact that someone bettering themselves was in the wrong and nothing besides waiting tables is legit, that “big boy“ jobs are for bores and “I make as much money as those cubicle monkeys.”

She’s young still and sold on the biz, kind of like I was when I was her age and it is easy to be jealous of the success of others and to tell yourself a lie.

But all things change, you always have to move on, you have to know when its time to leave on your terms.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lies we tell ourself

We all lie to ourselves, its all part of a natural tendency to protect our own self-esteems and our ever precious ego.

Waiters are no exception.

It is nearly unbelievable the things fellow servers say to each other, especially when one of us is about to leave the flock.

Servers I have know who graduated college or decided to move on to "real jobs" are often derided and mocked for doing so.

"There's no flexibility."

"Really, what are you going to do with that degree, we make as much money as they do."

"Have fun in your cubicle, you're going to hate it."

These are often the words of the poor, deluded lost souls of the restaurant industry.

I have often tried to open the eyes of the blind, I have no issue with those in the "biz", however I walk with my eyes open and have no illusions on what this business is.

For better or worse.

For instance, the argument that we make as much as the "cubicle sheep."

That may be true, for now, but those cubicle sheep have things such as raises, bonuses and promotions and will quickly pass you by.

In our business you will make the same at 25 that you will at 55.

Tortoise and the hare.

As far as promotions go, in most restaurants waitstaff makes as much or more as their management. Which is why the best and brightest don't take that career path for the most part.

Flexibility? It may be harder to get a day of at a split second's notice, but in better employment you have such things as paid days off. Not to mention vacation pay.

At my last job I did have vacation and after working there nearly five years it was still only one week.

Minimum wage.

Which is shit, you might as well not even offer it.

Having cash money in your pocket is a big one.

The problem is most servers don't save enough to cover their taxes, let alone try to save or invest.

401k's in this biz?

As a general rule, forget it.

The big one though is health care. Many restaurant's either offer none, or marginal benefits at best. A friend of mine recently left his management position because it barely covered him, let alone his wife and kid.

The industry sees little sick pay, which I have discussed on here before.

Either you come in sick, cover your shift (good luck at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning) or you're fired.

My old company did offer sick pay.

However it was minimum wage and the only notification of it was buried in the back of the employee handbook.

I did an informal survey and only one person on the waitstaff was even aware of it. The assistant managers even had no idea that it was offered and I don't recall a single person taking advantage of this while they were ill.

They just came in and infected the rest of us and most likAdd Imageely dozens of customers.

All the while the poor smuck at the insurance agency, bank or accounting firm was nestled safely at home, without fear of loss of income or their job.

The biz is backwards, and we deride and mock those wanting out.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Now I'm not currently looking for employment due to my class schedule which I just expanded, but this caught my eye on Craigslist.

"As a member of the Bonefish team, you would be expected to make guest feel as if they were a guest in your home. The internal guests, your team mates would feel as if we were working in a cohesive environment to better serve our guests. If you feel you are a team player and have a passion for creating a lasting great impression for our guest then apply in person at..."

I don't think I should apply, I have many passions in life, but "creating a lasting great impression for our guest" is not one of them.

I also like how the corporate lings calls staff members "internal guests", they are not guests they are employees. What a crock, that line cracked me up though!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Closing Time

Probably the worst policy (ok, maybe that's a stretch) that I have seen at a restaurant I believe I have mentioned in passing before.

We stay open fifteen minutes after the posted closing time.

I don't mean we keep the kitchen open for diners that arrived close to the closing time, I mean we keep seating.

Even if there had been no new tables for hours and the restaurant is empty.

Anyone who has seen the movie "Waiting" would recognize the scene when the entire kitchen is counting down the seconds until close and that one last table arrives fucking everything up.

Its pretty much that, except the second we close the clock gets moved back another fifteen minutes.

Now there have been managers who don't roll with this rule, and frankly neither do I.

It is one of the many contradictions that this business in general adheres to.

Well, a couple weeks ago it had just turned ten o'clock and I was up at the host station when I saw a table come hustling in.

"We're not seating this table, I've been doing nothing for the last hour and I'm not going to hang out for another hour for this." I said to the hostess.

"Ok, but you handle them." She replied.

"Hi, two for the patio." Our new guest proclaimed.

Coincidently the patio was the only place we did business that night, at it was still full of campers sipping on mojitos or whatever fad drink is in this year.

"I'm sorry, the patio is full and by the time you get out there we won't be serving. Maybe you can get a pizza or something in the bar, usually they stay open later." I replied.

"Well we knew we were running late, we'll catch you next time." He said.

Problem solved.

For now, a few minutes past close the hostess was waving me down.

I arrived at the station just in time to see a clearly well-to-do couple enter the door. They were making a big show of looking at their watch.

"We just made it!" The lady exclaimed.

Ummm, no you didn't.

"I'm sorry, but we close at ten." I said.

Not used to being told no she began to argue that her clock said, "it is only five till."

"I'm sorry, but I have five after and we are closing down for the night." I replied.

"So you're not going to serve us?" Her husband exclaimed.

This was quite different from the group that had come in right after close.

I pulled the asshole card.

"I'm sorry, but we have people that need to get home to their families, that's why we have posted hours."

"But its only five after." He said.

"Yes, but how long were you planning to stay? I'm sorry, but we're done for the night.

With that I received a dirty look and out the door they were.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Last Day

I had recently taken on a part time position at a local ethnic restaurant, he is the accounting of my last day.

The only background is that a friend of mine works there and makes incredibly good money.

The chef (he will be known as “Chef” since he’s of the ilk that demands to be called the title) is well known and with all fairness to him, put out a good product.

First off, any chef that I have known that demands to be called that is a straight asshole, and this guy didn’t prove to be the exception.

He is very difficult to work with and demands high respect, well I demand that also.

He, however is not able to return any respect for his employees.

The last week working there had Chef constantly knit picking on issues that had nothing to do with service and everything to do with his ego and his need to control.

In other words he made the corporate type managers that I have run into look like angels.

I mean I have run into general incompetence, ineptness, stupidity and criminal malfeasance in my time, but never the direct rudeness of this individual.
So here is my last day on the job…

We had finished opening and with one table in the restaurant I was doing further side work with Mary, the manager.

We were setting up the to-go server station when fire trucks and an ambulance drove by blaring their sirens.

“Maybe your house is on fire,” she said, smiling.

“Don’t joke about that, some kids playing with matches lit one of my apartment buildings on fire where I live.” I said.

Just then Chef rounds the corner.

“This not necessary, I no pay you for this!” He said in broken English.

“I'm sorry, I don’t understand you.” I said.

“All this talking, we have complaints.” Chef replied.

“From who? There’s no one here.” I said.

“Don’t talk back, just say yes.” He said.

With that he was back in the kitchen.

Five minutes later…

I hadn’t worked lunch yet so I was pouring over the menu to catch the differences between that and dinner, right then Chef rounded the corner.

Gesturing wildly he said, “I don’t pay you for this” and then sputtered off in intelligible English.

“I don’t understand you, I’m sorry,” I said as I struggled with what he had said.

“I don’t pay you to stand around, this is my time, not yours.” He replied.

I explained that I was studying the menu and he asked why I didn’t have one at home.

“I don’t know why you don’t learn,” Chef said as he thrust a take out menu in my hand.

“I have one of these at home, I’m just trying to learn.” I replied.

“Just say yes,” He said.

Yes to what??

About an hour after that I was approached by Chef while I was questioning a coworker about a piece of etiquette

“This is the second time you’re talking back here, this is not necessary.

This is the second time I’ve told you about this, the next time….” (Chef makes cutting neck gesture)

Are you fucking kidding me? I guess I’m not allowed to speak, so much for getting to know my coworkers.

Later on….

“Joe, come here!” Chef shouted over the bar.

Chef then pointed to a plate of sushi, “You eat?”

It was almost a command.

Having lunch plans later with a friend I declined.

“No, you pay for it, you can try,” Chef said.

“No, I don’t pay for it, I’m not hungry right now,” I replied.

“You have to pay for mistakes, this is a mistake, you pay for all mistakes!” He said.

“No, I don’t pay for mistakes, I didn’t make this mistake they have their food,” I said.

“You rang it in, you have to pay for it.” He replied.

“This is my restaurant, you pay for mistakes when you make them.

“You can‘t make me do that, I don’t have to pay for anything and I won’t!” I snarled.

Just then the manager arrived and Chef pointed at the dish, “make sure he pays for that.”

Mary kind of shook her head at me.

I reiterated, “I did not ring this in, Mary just told me it was extra and a mistake.”

“You just say YES when I talk, I don’t need to hear all this,” with that Chef walked away shaking his head.

Mary pulled me aside and told me, “Don’t worry about that, I comped it.”

“I don’t like being talked to like this,” I said.

“He’s just very particular, you have to watch out for mistakes.” She said.

All day long I’ve been making mistakes in his eyes or was being lazy.
It’s a mistake to be pleasant with my coworkers.

It’s a mistake to study the menu.

It’s a mistake to speak to a coworker about a service issue.

It’s a mistake to ask why only half my order came up.

I think the real mistake was a Chef not having any idea what service is or how to manage a staff.

The real mistake was me taking this job.

I hung my apron up and walked out, a mistake only remains a mistake if you don’t take steps to fix it.

I was inches from the door when the chef called me back.

“You come here,” he said, once again gesturing wildly.

“It is rude not to thank me, you no leave and say nothing!” He said.

Every time I had greeted him or given him a farewell he had ignored me.

He demands that we call him chef and thank him every night for the privilege of working for him, yet he is rude in return.

What kind of respect for that? Is this how you make employees feel welcome???

Only a gross hypocrite would expect such politeness and offer none.

I’m officially done with the restaurant business for the moment. I’m a college senior who will graduate with honors, I am in my late twenties and have over a decade of experience in the industry at some of the best restaurants my city has to offer….

And I get treated like a five year old by this clearly deluded chef who thinks that employees should be subjected to this type of behavior, as if we're idiots or his dogs.

Maybe I should just concentrate on my studies for the time being, that at least is important, unlike waiting tables.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Your Opinion

There has been some controversy over credit card slips recently at the restaurant.

At times the customer, oops, sorry...

"The Guest"either adds wrong or adds an extra amount on top of a table that has added a service charge.

I have always added what I thought the customer meant to leave, here's an example.

Bill Amount - $100.00

Tip - $20.00

Total - $130.00

I would enter in $120.00

Conversely, if the total would say $110.00 I would still enter in the $20 tip and not take the loss since that was the intention.

This is simplified, usually it is some odd number and it is simply a mistake on the part of the customer.

I never would want to put in the lower amount as it would hurt me, however I also would not enter a much higher tip that I felt the customer did not mean to leave.

As well I have no problem with added gratuity as long as it is noted on the bill as well as the menu.

What is your opinion on this dear reader?

Monday, June 08, 2009

It is what it is

The kitchen was dark, lanterns were being blown out and the front door locked when the phone rang.

"Thank you for calling _______ how can I help you?" I asked.

"Hey we were calling because our show ran late and we'll be down in a couple of minutes," the caller declared.

"I'm sorry sir, but we're closing down for the night." I replied.

"Well we have a reservation, can't you hold our table for us?" He asked.

I glanced at the computer screen, no reservations existed after 9:00 that night, it was past eleven.

"What was the name of the reservation?" I asked.

"Umm, well, it might have been under Sandeen?"

It sounded more like a question than a statement, I was being lied to.

"I'm sorry, I don't have any reservations, and I'm afraid that at any rate we're closed." I said.

"Well we'll only be ten more minutes," he pleaded.

"I'm sorry sir, I don't have your reservation and we do have to close down for the night," I answered.

"Perhaps you could join us on a different day?" I offered.

"I just don't understand, its only another ten minutes!" He said in an irate tone.

The last of the kitchen guys were about to split, if we stayed open it wouldn't be only ten minutes for them, or for me for that matter.

It would be an hour or more.

"But we have a reservation!" He spat out.

"No, you don't, we don't take reservations for the time that we close," I said.

He started stuttering something else when I interrupted...

"It is what it is, goodnight sir."

Boy I hate it when people tell me that, I hope he does too.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

another poor soul

Ugh, I just read another article about a poor poor stock broker that lost his job making $200k and is now slumming it as a host at a restaurant making $25k.  Their poor children had to stop taking ballet and tumbling classes.  

While I feel sorry for him losing his job, I'm sick of the restaurant world being the catch all or the bottom of the barrel for people losing their swanky, high paying, glamorous jobs.  

"Oh the horror of it having to work in a restaurant!"

Maybe if they didn't have to have a condo that costs them 6 grand a month or three cars or tumbling classes for the kids they wouldn't have depleted their savings so fast or they could actually survive on a restaurant salary.  I had tumbling classes as a the front yard of our house with our family dog as the instructor.

I don't know.  Will it ever change?  Will restaurant employees ever get respect for a hard days work?

The worst part, I guess, is these douches are sucking up all the jobs from the those that actually have experience and it is their only field.  I do know I'm holding on to my job for a while.  Maybe I'll start a bartending school for all the broke stockers.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Worst Table, In the World

Sure, maybe not the entire world, but since I've been on break from school I returned to the lunch shift.

Big mistake.

I actually have really been enjoying going to work this past semester as I cut down on my work load as I transferred colleges and upped my credit hours.

However if anything, this summer will be motivation to return to my studies.

So off we go to the worst table in the world!

Walking into work the first thing I do is check and see what section I have, this day I happened to be closing and there was an eleven top scheduled for 11:30.

Usually this is great news as I can flip the table in an hour and get another seating in before the rush is over, not a bad start to the day.

The first few people arrived promptly on time, the first warning sign was they refused to order drinks until the rest of the group arrived.

I really don't see what the big deal with that is, its lunch, you're not ordering Bordeaux, its iced tea and Diet Coke.

All it means is the increased chance I will spill on you when I have my tiny tray with eleven drinks on it.

So fine, of course the rest of the group is thirty minutes late. So much for flipping the table.

Taking their dinner order was normal, the usual sandwiches and sides of soup and such. Where it took a turn was the guy at position six wanted his soup out first, not as a side.

No big deal right?


There was a line at the computer station so I grabbed his soup first before ringing in the order.

Upon dropping the soup off at the table two other people spoke up and asked for their soup first as well.

I took care of that round and then they asked, "aren't you going to bring us some bread?" In that accusatory tone that suggested that I forgot the bread.

We don't have bread service at lunch, but to provide the best service experience possible I brought them their bread.

However several people on the far side of the table were now complaining that I haven't brought them their soup.

The soup comes as a side, as in sandwich and soup.

It comes together, I didn't forget, just like I didn't forget the bread.

Then guy at seat six asks when their food will be up, since they're in a hurry.

I haven't even had a chance to ring it in yet because I was busy getting things that don't come with lunch and don't come with the meal.

In the meantime the entire group had managed to chug down every one of their beverages.

And I had three new tables.

I kicked it into high gear and rand in their orders as well as greeted the new tables.

I was once again bombarded with questions like, "what is taking so long? Well show up on time for your reservation and problems like this won't exist. Your responsibility, not mine.

Food goes out and guy at seat six, who is now self proclaimed leader, chimes in that they need their bill and are in a hurry.

Separate checks, of course.

I start dropping off their checks and "Fearless leader" asks if their discount is on the bill.

In order to stimulate business, we are offering 10 or 15% discounts to neighboring offices, the discounts are a huge hassle and vary business to business and pretty much I don't see them bringing in any business we weren't getting before.

Plus I don't get a discount on their services because I'm right next door, no 10% off insurance for me.

Well this meant that I have to pick up all their checks and reformulate them on the computer and move around the gratuity (like I'm going to take a chance on a tip with these clowns)

Five minutes later I have the separate checks back on the tables and seat six gives his right back to me with the demand that I run his first. Then a guy at seat three makes the same demand.

Here's a hint, if you have a large party and give the waiter split checks out of order and in several waves, it'll just take longer.

As I'm picking up these bills about nine people on the table make sure to let me know that they want their food boxed up to go.

To make things go even slower during this situation, the waiter is expected to box and bag each entree n the kitchen.

I'm picking up plates now too and I'm almost ready to snap on a customer.

I still have seats three and six in my pocket and haven't had the time to run their cards.

Fearless leader stops me with my hands full of four plates that need to be packaged to go.

"I believe I asked to have my card run, I have places to be." He said.

I felt my resolve cracking, a thousand things that would get me fired ran through my mind. I've been there four years and no reason to get canned and burn a bridge though.

I just shot him the thousand yard stare and made it my last priority to run his credit card.

Finally after about ten minutes of running separate cards and boxing food, the last of them were out the door.

Grand total on the gratuity, $19.46.

Hardest twenty bucks I've ever earned.

It didn't have to be hard though.

I was brought up to know that if you have to be somewhere show up on time or even early, not that I've always taken that to heart myself.

If you have special situations like discounts or separate checks let me know up front.

Don't demand extras like sides served before entrees or bread service, as if I had slighted you or forgot you.

We don't do bread service at lunch.

Where I come from sides are treated as sides and served as such, I didn't forget you, its just that we just don't normally do that here.

I guess the thing is don't be a hassle and you won't be treated like one, and I bet that you all would have been on time to your very important meeting or whatever.

Or, once again, you could just keep your commitment to the reservation time.

Simple enough.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

V-R Day

Victory Ranch Day

On this day, in the year 2009 a great victory has occurred over the tyranny of the lowest class dip, alleged dressing, ranch.

After a decade long struggle with overweight middle aged women who would make Al Bundy cry, there is no more ranch at my restaurant.

It has been replaced with creamy parmesan.

Mixed signals were soon in the air, however.

We were told that it was “up scale ranch” or “our ranch”

No, it is creamy parmesan.

Ranch is ranch, it doesn’t matter if it comes in a bottle or is an herb mix with buttermilk and mayo, and it is not creamy parm.

A sign soon went up signed by all managers and chefs, it declared the following.

“We are not 86ing Ranch”
“Creamy Parm IS our Ranch”

A bold statement to be sure, something worthy of Orwell.

I asked the chef if this was the same dressing on our Cobb salad.

He replied to the affirmative.

“If this is ranch, then why is it described as creamy parmesan?” I asked.

This doublespeak would not fool me.

I was told to either just serve it instead of ranch or give the “upscale ranch” spiel.

It is not ranch.

The reason I know this is this “ranch” dressing tastes good.

While I will still resent delivering pitchers of this dressing to the mildly retarded sycophants that consume such filth, I will know down in my heart that we do not have ranch dressing.

I had the biggest smile that day and that smile shall live on in my heart every time someone asks for a “bowl” or ranch to defile their dinner with.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Miss! Miss!

I walk into work on Monday evening with a positive outlook for the shift. Monday nights are usually busy, and smooth.

The day shift is excited to see us, they are ready to go home by this point. I check the station chart for my section and see that two of my tables are occupied by parties from the lunch server. If the hot food has hit the table prior to transition, the day server can keep the table. One table has almost finished eating, the other will be a transfer. Mary, the day shift who has both tables, wants to go home.

"Come on, Sarah, please take table 46! I really want to leave and they already have their food so it's like free money."

"Mary, they are regulars that I can't stand. The old lady is mean and as much as I love you, I do not want to take them."

"Please, Sarah, I'll love you forever and ever!"

I sigh and give in. I really do dislike this table, but If the situation was reversed and I wanted to leave, I'd ask for the same. Mary has both tables transferred, and then she goes to introduce me to the other table she had in my section. They are two nice girls and we chat for a moment as I establish some repoire. The mean couple at 46 are still eating their meal. Not even 30 seconds go by before I hear:

"Miss! Miss!"

I stop, mid-sentence to the girls, and look. The lady at 46 is looking at me and waving her arms like there is a fire.

I go over to them. Half of the steak they were sharing is still on the plate. The lady gives me an annoyed loo and gestures at the plates of half finished food.

"We're finished. Get these plates off of the table. We want to order dessert."

I suck down the myriad of curse words stuck in my throat, apologize, and clear the plates and mark the table for dessert.

Later, when I drop the check, the woman has mercifully gone to the restroom so I don't have to look at her. It was rather embarrassing for me to be called out while at another table. The man pays the bill, and they leave.

The two girls at my other table tell me that when I walked away to get the dessert, the old man looked pissed. He asked the lady why she had to talk to me like that.

Mary, I love working with you, but I'm not taking those people from you ever again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Martinis and Bullshit

"Here you go ladies, a Cosmo and Ketel Dirty up," I said as I handed out drinks.

Ketel One lady plucked out her blue cheese olives and slid the drink right back to me.

"Now I'm going to ask you to take this back and this time bring me a full drink." She said.

I guess she didn't understand that if you remove solid mass from liquid the level went down, who am I kidding, the pickled old bitch just wanted another half an ounce of vodka.

"Get my friend another Cosmo, hers isn't full either." She continued.

So my quandary was this, get them their drinks and piss off the bartender, or argue with them and lose my tip. Then they would bitch to a manager who would certainly NOT back me up and probably reward them with free shit and I still wouldn't get a tip.

I chose the former option.

"Hey man, these ladies want their drinks full," I said to Adam, the bartender.

"What the fuck, can't you see I'm busy," He replied.

He was, he had a full wheel of drinks.

"Well they say they want full drinks, I'm not about to argue with them, I'm just the messenger," I said.

"Fuck that, those drinks are just fine, we don't fill them to the rim here," He replied.

So it was passive aggressive time for me. I grabbed a can of cranberry juice and topped of the Cosmo. A squirt of water went into the Ketel One martini.

Adam just gawked at me.

"Screw them, they said they wanted full drinks, they never asked for more liquor," I said.

I dropped off the drinks and naturally one of the old crones said something about us being cheap and what a full martini is.

I hoped they liked their juice boxes, they left a shit tip naturally...

-OG Insane Waiter

Monday, February 02, 2009

The eve of battle

This is a very ominous night for some of our brethren.  Of course, I speak of the free grand slam breakfast at Denny's tomorrow.  

I wish you luck and pray for your survival.  Many of you will not return...know that you are loved, respected, and understood.  

Remember - if you have to go out, go out swinging.  Take some of those cheap bastards with you.

If you are going to Denny's tomorrow to get a free breakfast, be gentle and tip well.

Good luck.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A tale from back in the day...

Bella again. I read the comments on my blog entry, and I'd like to answer some of the questions.

The guy I ran a delivery to, who tried to weasel his way out of tipping on the basis that he had no cash: He did end up tipping me, a dollar (WOW!! A whole dollar!!), I could have sworn I had said that, but in re-reading, I found that I did not. The look on his face when I indicated that he could write in a tip on the cc slip was one of blank surprise (is that even possible? Maybe dumbfounded is better...) that I would dare to make such a suggestion. He didn't say anything after that, just wrote the tip in and signed it. Sorry for not covering that information, and thank you for pointing it out!

Now, on to my oldie but goodie.

I used to work in a fine-dining establishment. The owner, André, was the most awesome gay Frenchman I have ever known.

We had a prix-fixe meal (ie, lunch or dinner, six courses, set price), and an a la carte menu. When customers came in, they were to tell the maitre 'd whether they would be ordering a la carte or our prix-fixe meal. We were informed ahead of time (No particular reason, just a quirk of Andre's).

A party of seven (three men and four women, dressed formally, mid 30's to early 50's, I'd guess) came in, informed the maitre 'd they'd be ordering a la carte, and were sat in my section. I rang in their order accordingly. They raved about how great the food was, and how awesome and professional the service was...until I brought the check. Almost $2,000. They had ordered drinks, wines, appetizers, bottled water, soup, salad, entrees and desserts.

"Esscuse meee, missie, whyyyy is our beeeeel so high?" One of the men said. I explained to them that they had ordered a la carte, not the prix-fixe, which in actuality, wouldn't have saved them much, as they had ordered the most expensive of everything.

I honestly don't remember the exchange word for word suffice to say I was called a "Styoopid liddle gorl" and Andre, dressed in a tux with a silver ascot around his neck (I shit you not) happened to be walking by me. He paused, put his hand on my shoulder, looked at the man and said "Eez zere a prooplem?" (I'm trying to phonetically recreate the accents as best I can...) The man explained what happened and then asked if there was any possibility if they could switch to the prix-fixe and pay the extra. Andre explained that it wouldn't save them any money at all, as they had ordered the most expensive items, and there'd be upcharges for that. And then he said "Alzo, I see zat my server has not charged you ze your beel is not correct." Then when I was at my server station, he passed me and whispered "Geef zem ze 20% gratuity."

I smiled at him and just said "Thanks for backing me up. I really thought I was going to have to set it prix-fixe and eat the difference." (I was very new there when this happened) And Andre just said "People, zey will do zis all ze time. Welcome to ze world of serving. But I take care of my staff, zey're right 99% of ze time."

So this table, that was bitching about an almost 2000 dollar bill ended up having to pay almost $2400. Had they not bitched and just left a tip, I wouldn't have even been made aware of the gratuity that I had neglected to add as was the rules for parties of 6 or more.

Customers, learn from this: Bitching will not always get you your way and sometimes it will hurt you. If you have a valid problem, fine, we'll fix it. But if you walk into a place that you know is going to be expensive, don't try to haggle the bill. No matter what all those "Save money dining out!!!" articles say.