Diary of a Disgruntled Waiter: Do Unto Others

by admin on May 23, 2012

Diary of a Disgruntled Waiter

Do Unto Others

            * This was written earlier this year. I was hesitant about posting it (especially when seeking new employment) but I feel its content falls true to everyone in this crazy business of ours…

So the New Year is here and that means a new outlook on life, right? It’s a time when we shed all old, bad habits and embrace change and move forward in a positive matter. Am I right so far? I like to think that I am. With the death of Bin Laden, The Rapture being nothing short of a joke and consumer confidence somewhat back in full strength, the majority of people within the city seem to be in good spirits and ready to take on 2012 with renewed vigor and vim. Even the weather is cooperating, without even a flake (so far) falling from the sky. And this is February!

Maybe this is God’s way of making life a little easier for us sheep here below on Earth. Maybe after all that 2011 threw at us, it’s a well-deserved break from the madness of life. We should pass on this peace, this calm to one another and bask in all that is good and wholesome.  As decent humans, we should speak and act accordingly, keeping in mind that we like to be treated as nicely as possible when interacting with one another. Lately I have noticed an increase in hospitality among people such as policeman, even the young lady behind the counter at McDonald’s, the mail man…all off these people are treated with the utmost respect (for the most part) and it goes without saying, they are definitely needed. But what about the waiter or waitress at your favorite eatery? Do they not deserve the same treatment as those that serve and protect? I think so but it seems as though people (especially here in New York) go out of the way to make life miserable and challenging for these poor souls and for the life of me, I cannot understand why this seems to happen. It’s as though people go out and once they walk into a restaurant and seat themselves down, they turn into spoiled rotten brats, asking the most ridiculous of questions and requesting everything but what the restaurant actually has or carries.

Be kind. Spare the person who has the awesome responsibility of reading your mind to find out what your gastronomic needs are and follow a few simple guidelines to ensure proper service. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when dining out as not to have the waiter/waitress go postal on you and take out guests as they leave from atop the roof with a semi-automatic in one hand and a bottle of Dom in the other.

Now as much as I’d like to think that every word that leaves my mouth is taken to heart and listened to by all those around me within earshot, the reality is that they are not. When you add in the fact that I happen to live in The City That Never Sleep aka The City of Who Gives A Fuck, my opinion means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. That’s why when you survey the menu of the restaurant you chose to patronize on your Saturday night off, the last thing the waiter wants you to ask of him/her is What Do You Think of a particular dish or drink. We know our opinion means diddly -squat as to whether you choose the item or not, so why bother? You got your big shoes on now at this point in your life, so you’re on your own. Oh and when we do answer your inquiry about the salmon or the chicken, 99% of the time, we’ll reply with the first item you mentioned. Think I’m lying? Take a poll of the next ten restaurants you frequent and you’ll see that I’m right.

What’s More Popular? Can be summed up in three words: see above passage.

What Do You Like? Really? Are you that desperate for attention? Do you need human interaction from an overworked/underpaid waiter to somehow validate your dining experience? Okay, I like the well-done lamb with a side order of black-eyed peas. Should I make that for two for you and your significant other? Get real, everyone’s taste are different.

When your tired waiter takes your order, brings you your cocktail and or drink and kindly asks you if you’d like another one when you have like a drop left in the glass, please don’t answer with “not now” or “maybe later”; just simply say no. What is so hard about saying this one syllable word once people enter a restaurant? You’re just being indecisive; making your waiter asks you every ten minutes if you’d like another glass of house chardonnay while you steadily answer “I’m good for now.” And do you know what happens? You NEVER get another!!! Come on, I’ll help you. One, two three: NO! Now doesn’t that feel better, tightwad?

Ah, my fellow vegetarians. How I do sympathize with you when dining out with your fellow constituents and they chose to go to a steakhouse or a barbecue joint. I feel your pain, I really do. That being said, please do not scowl at your waiter when he answers your inquiry to what the Vegetarian Options are, and he tells you to review the salad selections in the upper left hand side of the menu and the side order options in the lower right corner. You knew going into dinner  tonight that you were screwed from the get-go, so enjoy that rice pilaf and mushroom medley side and wipe off that “I’m-so-shocked-you-don’t-carry-more-vegetarian-options” look from your face. I hear the fries are bangin’!

If you really want some seriously bad service and probably a high amount of neglect during your meal, just ask four little words at the beginning of your meal: “How Much Is That?” Watch as your waiter’s fake smile slowly transforms into a slight sneer right before your very eyes as they say the price between clenched teeth, “19.95, sir.” And then as quickly as they came to greet you, they are gone, only returning to take your order and drop the check at the end. Congratulations! You have just labeled yourself as a cheapskate and consequently, you just received cheapskate service. If you can’t afford to dine out, then don’t dine out. That’s up there with “Do You Have Free Refills?”

Control Your Kids. It is not the restaurants or the waiter’s job to babysit your child. We don’t give a fuck if they’re teething, colicky, or just plain crazy; we don’t care. Some waiters think that if you pay special attention to the child at their table that they’ll get a larger tip from mom and dad, but let’s keep it real. Most of the time, junior puts his folks back a pretty penny (especially those damn newborns!) and they barely have enough dough to pay for the meal, forget giving the waiter any extra outside of what’s customary. Don’t let them pull out all the sugar packets out of the caddy and play with them after it took the waiter ten minutes to stock them all up for his station. Don’t let them run around the joint, disturbing everyone else’s dining experience, hiding under the table and blocking the waiter’s path of service. Keep them on a short leash when out dining. Instill this in them at an early age. I remember when I was young that when my sisters or I acted up or even thought about breaking bad, my father’s hand would come loose from his arm and with surgical precision find its way across the back of our necks or face, depending on the level of our battiness, and like a boomerang, find its way back to him real quick. I’m not suggesting beating your kids, but if it works…

Finally going back to what I started to say earlier, Treat Others Like You Would Like To Be Treated. For some reason when people find themselves dining out, they turn into the biggest smartasses on God’s green earth. You think you’re being cute and crafty trying to embarrass the waiter in front of your guess when you don’t like something or you’re disappointed in the food or service, when in reality you’re being chicken shit.  I dare you to speak to a complete stranger with the same words or tone in a bar or on the street when you don’t find something to your liking. I dare you. Unless you have no teeth to lose or enjoy long visits to the ER at four in the morning, I advise you to curb your tongue when out. You never know whose one inch away from the rooftop with you in his or her sights.




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