I think everyone should be a server for at least three or four months, so that way when they went out to eat, they
would have a damn CLUE! Here's a tip, folks: When I walk to your table to greet you, and tell you the features, SHUT THE HELL UP.
I know you're discussing the important sales goals for the month, or whatever, but right
now I have a job to do so shut your hole and listen up.
Oh, and by the way, if you don't shut up, I will not stand there like your personal lackey and wait. I'm outta there. I'll come back when it's convenient for ME.
And one more thing. You're not funny. Nobody is funny. In fact, I'm the funniest one here, my wit sharpened by
years of serving clueless patrons spewing drivel my way.
Since this whole presidential thing happened, you can imagine the comedy coming at me in 3-D when I tell the
guests that my name is Monica. There's always a comedian..."Duh, your last name isn't LEWINSKY by any chance??"
"Yes in fact it is, but blowjobs cost extra, you stupid fuck." You'd think I would have to pay a cover charge just
to wait on these comedians! Sheesh. Oops, did I vent??
I own a small restaurant in a small town. I think everyone knows what a western omelet consists of . We had a
female (no lady) in the other day who ordered one. She was upset because it had ham in it and refused to pay for it. I told her not
to get to excited, because it may break her to pay for it and I could throw it in the trash and not blink an eye. Why are
people so ignorant to not ask what something consists of if they don't know?
I also have had them eat too much at the salad bar and then pull a hair from their head and place it on the plate so they could get their meal free. Cheap? I had a man take a thumbtack and place it in his hot beef sandwich in order not to pay for it. He also used it at several other restaurants in town. We saw it stuck in his ball cap and became aware of his tricks.
Oh well, shit happens, and we get all kinds. People think we are rich because they see the money coming in, but I have told most of them they are welcome to see the checkbook at the end of the week.
—Gullible, Titusville, PA
I deliver pizzas for a fast-growing pizza chain. Every time a new driver is hired, the other drivers supplement his regular training with a few of our own teachings...
1.) Whenever a kid answers the door with parents in the background, you WILL NOT get a tip. It seems that the parents are too embarrassed to face the driver with no tip, so they send their unsuspecting children to do the deed. If you're not going to tip the driver, at least have the courage to do it in person!
2.) Even when parents aren't in the background, kids rarely tip unless instructed previously by an adult.
3.) When delivering to a very rich estate, don't expect to be tipped well if at all. These people have money for a reason. THEY'RE CHEAP! Often the best tippers are the middle-class.
4.) People who order side-items or drinks will usually tip a little better since they're not as tight with their money, (paying $4 for a six-pack?).
5.) When circumstances permit, it is best to stuff a welcome mat in your hot-bag or kick over a sprinkler when stiffed.
6.) Men tip better the women. I actually recorded the amount of each tip and the gender of the tipper. The average
woman's tip was just $1.30 while the average man's was $1.94. Furthermore, the highest female tip was $3.50 while the highest male tip was $5.
—Bill, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Tables where none or only one person speaks English can be a nightmare. I do my best to be patient and understanding but I'm not a linguist. Many times, they get angry because I can't understand the toothless 90-year-old man while he's ordering dinner in Chinese (or any other language). To make things worse, the one person that DOES speak fluent English refuses to be of any assistance and then leaves $2 on a $120 tab.
—T.S., Seattle, WA
I work in a coffee-shop/bakery. I really hate it when the idiots have to ask if the baked goods are FRESH!!! DUH!! This is a BAKERY you idiot!! We don't even have a "day-old" display; we don't sell any day-old goods. And then just at closing time, I get the cheapos that want me to give them baked-goods FREE. Their reasoning is that since we are closing, the items won't be sold anyway so I should give them away free. (The owner takes them to his other location which stays open late) AAAAAAGGGHHHH! And if I sell these items at a reduced rate, do you think these customers will leave a decent tip? Heck no!! They give me a $5 bill for a $4.95 purchase and tell me to keep the change!!! I HATE PEOPLE
—Dotsicle in Detroit
More Dumb Questions:
1) What comes with the soup and sandwich? (Answer—A spoon???? Duh!)
2) What is a good looking gal like you doing waiting on tables? (Answer—Well, after the penthouse centerfold...I just did not know what else to do!! Jerk!)
3) Can I have the soupersalad? (Answer—I am sorry I said it comes with soup OR salad...get a hearing aid stupid.)
4) I am sorry, I just don't have enough to give you a tip, catch me next time alright? (Answer—That is ok, my children don't have to eat this week cheapskate.)
5) What is good? (Answer—Peace on Earth, Mother Theresa, I don't know!)
6) When asked if they want something to drink with their meal.....they answer "Oh no it is too early in the day to have a drink I have to go back to work" (Answer—Oh I am sorry, I forgot that it is not cool to drink water or pop during the business week, or I guess that water or other non-alcoholic drinks are not served in this establishment so I guess you should leave if you are not going to have one...after all this is a lounge.)
7) Could I have a menu? (Answer—No)
"We only drink water, and gallons of it." ( Is there a pattern emerging here?)
"I'm allergic to MSG and it could kill me." (What crap, no such thing medically proven)
"I'll have a beer." (Oh we only have about a hundred varieties, shall I be a psychic and guess which one you like?)
And...the sweet little old dear who asked for herbal tea ( we serve a tray with a variety to choose from) and, as soon as it was delivered to her table, promptly scooped up the whole selection of 10 and put them into her purse, then asked for a plain old breakfast tea because there was nothing there that she fancied. That was 3 weeks ago and I am still in a state of disbelief.
—CG, Ontario, Canada
More stupid questions from a busy coastal restaurant situated on a river:
" Where does all the water go when the tide goes out?"
"Do all the boats get covered with water when the tide comes in?"
When it's low tide- "Are you folks having a drought?"
"Which entree will I like best?"
"Is that going to be enough for me?"
"Tell me about the fried scallops"
"Are your lobsters fresh?" (No, we ship them in from Idaho)
plenty more where those came from......
—Vanessa - Kennebunkport, ME
This is one of my biggest pet peeves...women who piss on the toilet seat and don't wipe it up leaving the responsibility to the next person! I have walked around countless nights with some old lady's urine on my ass because I don't always have time to check the seat when I finally get the opportunity to run to the bathroom.
I took the chance one time to grab a woman and point out her droplets and MAKE her clean up after herself! She was indignant and asked to speak with the manager. I told her I WAS the manager, doing the hourly bathroom check! She cleaned it up and I felt great afterwards, how sad.
Does anyone know of any studies done by sociologists or anthropologists into the behavior of American diners? What makes people (who are probably very nice, well-mannered citizens) behave like total boors once they have entered a restaurant? Do these same people hang around gas stations, lumberyards, auto parts stores, whatever, asking those employees personal questions i.e. "Are you married?" "Did you go to college?" "What is your other job?"? What is my other job? How many jobs do you have, dumb-ass, and why can't this be my chosen career? AAArgh!!!
"I don't care for Cheese in my omelet, can I have shrimp & avocado instead?"
"Instead of the orange (a slice of garnish), can I have fresh strawberries with whipped cream?"
"What kind of meat is in the Clam Chowder?"
"How come the oatmeal doesn't come with hash browns & toast, like the other breakfasts?"
"After ordering a Hot Beef 'Sangwich' - Can I have some ice-cream in place of the mashed potato & vegetable? I'm not that hungry!"
"I don't see it on the menu, but could you get my son a Hot Dog?" Me: Sure, can I borrow your car? Casper's is 2 blocks away!!
K.C. The Wait-stress from hell!
I'm a bartender at a nightclub and this is the shit I have to put up with:
Idiots who ask for one thing then pretend they were royally screwed because I gave them the wrong beer. Oh, I'm so sorry I didn't know you really wanted "Miller Genuine Draft" instead of the "Bud Light" that came out of your mouth. My fault, obviously — they sound so much a like! Why can't they just be honest and admit they're too damned cheap to tip instead of making up a reason for not tipping? You'd think asking them to repeat their order would help, but they're a determined bunch.
Others will claim to have given you a $20 or some other high denomination bill when they really gave you a $10 or a $5. Sometimes you think you've lucked out because your cash register doesn't even have any of the bills you supposedly shorted them on, but that rarely stops them. These types seem to know most managers will cave in and give them, in effect, their drinks for free plus some money back. How clever.
Assholes that will come back repeatedly over the course of the evening and stiff you every time. They're always in a hurry, so if you're busy with another customer, I should drop what you're doing and not keep this cheapskate waiting. Right...why put good money in that tip jar when a big mouth and a self-important attitude will get you VIP service?
At most restaurants, a salad is either a choice with the dinner or you have to tell the
server you want it. Also, if you want a baked potato, you should say whether you
want butter, sour cream, or both. What is with people who refuse to revel which
salad dressing they want or what they want on their potatoes??? After a while, I
refused to play twenty questions and would just give 'em butter on the potato unless they
told me sour cream. I was tempted to just put Italian on the salad. I mean, after
the first few guests at the table are asked the basic questions, don't you think the rest
of them could figure it out???
Sometimes I would just stand there after they said "Salad" and let some silence elapse as I waited for the dressing to be divulged. Then I would say, "No dressing on your salad tonight?" Tears of Christ!
Lillian, South Bend
How about the fuck-up customer who lets you clear her plate with a bit of food left on it and waits until you come back to the table to say, "I wanted that WRAPPED UP." I then have to go to all the trouble of fishing through the mishmosh in the immense trash can to dig out the piece of whatever it was, rinse or brush it off, and throw it into some takeout container. I'm sure if these people knew what an unsanitary aggravation it was for me to burrow to the elbows in filthy restaurant trash to retrieve their food, they wouldn't put me through the hassle. But, I try my best to please the customer!
I'm 33, and I've been in the biz for 14 years. I'm also 4'11" and look younger than I am. (For some reason, short chicks always look younger to others.) Not a single shift goes by that a guest doesn't have to comment on my height! Man or woman, it doesn't matter. I've had people stare at me incredulously as I approach their table. I mean mouth agape, eyes bugging:
"MY GOD YOU'RE SHORT!"
"Hey, where's our waitress? Oh, there you are, down there!"
If I work a lunch shift, some old geezer always asks me why I'm not in school. And if you're short, it seems to be an open invitation for some dumbass—mostly male, but some women even—to touch!!! AARGH I've had idiots pat me on the head, jump up out of their seats (!) and measure me right up against their chest. If one of the guys is particularly tall, the rest of the table will all chime in with "Stand up next to her!" There I'm standing, trying to be pleasant and these idiots are treating me like the floorshow. One drunken fuck stuck my head right up underneath his armpit once. However, as all my coworkers and manager saw this, it was good for a mid-shift shot of Rumplemintz!
Last night I had a customer (as I do every night) that really frustrated me...he asked
me "what kind of hamburger is in your hamburger steak? I said I wasn't sure what he
was asking me. Is it beef or what??? he exclaimed! I did not want to explore the Or What
portion of his question so I simply told him beef. Then he asked for it to be well well
well done. When I passed his table a little later to inquire about his beef he said it was
dry!!!! I almost bit my tongue off on that one!
I just love to give caffeine coffee to people who ask for decaf coffee and then
compliment how good the decaf is.
Ask for low fat........ it's all low fat, you get what ever I give you.
Ask me for service...sit in my section and then I will think about it.
Give me a hard time you will be surprised what you get.
I do not like going to work and having co-workers in a bad mood. That is when I make ME even happier:)
Don't know what you want, I WILL surprise you.
Go home and cook if you don't like the food!
Can anyone explain why hostesses are almost always stupid??
Ours gets the "Box of Rocks" award for being the most nuckleheaded. Despite having a seating chart, this bimbo is unable to seat customers in sections. She put them all together in a clump in one section. Her reason? So they wouldn't get LONELY!!!!!! Needless to say, we got slammed. Who's table is it? Who cares so long as they don't get lonely!!!!!
I am a bartender at a Go-Go bar and I have to put up with a lot of crap. Not only am I
serving drinks but food to a hundred and fifty annoying men. I have long straight dark
hair, and I hate it when the customers scream to get my attention MORTICIA!!! I would like
to yell back yo, ASSHOLE, be right there!!! I am tired of being compared to Morticia Adams
and Marilyn Manson, Cher, etc.
Call me by my name or Bartender please...
One of my fellow servers had a very corpulent customer with hair up to there. She was also the rudest thing on two legs. Nothing was hot enough (she literally wanted her coffee boiling) and she constantly complained about the service. She asked me, right in front of the server, if he was new.
Finally after her dinner went back for not living up to her standards, we decided that revenge was necessary. I'm not talking about the spit in the food type of revenge. This woman paid with credit card. Big mistake. Names were taken, phone books used, and paint ball guns gathered. Let me just say that at about 3 in the morning, that woman's house turned into a work of art!
Upper School Student
From one of tonight's two-tops:
Arrogant man with date (I hope he paid for her companionship, otherwise she is dumber than dirt!):
"Can't you find me some of those rolls with dill weed and sundered tomatoes?"
(I can only guess that he was referring to the rolls we stopped serving over a year ago due to complaints, they did not have either dill weed or sun dried tomatoes in them!) And no, I can't find them, unless you would like me to drive across town to the bakery that went out of business due to poor quality product!
"You don't have the heart shaped chocolate cheesecake that you served on Valentine's Day? [20 months ago!] - Well next time I come in I expect you to buy one for me!"
If I remember you next time you come in, You will get more than free cheesecake! :) (probably not what you had in mind, either!)
Some customers apparently feel they can sit way beyond their own personal allotted space in a restaurant. This type of patron, usually male, sits with his chair pushed extremely far back or with his legs sticking out in the aisle. My solution is to repeatedly walk by and pretend to politely struggle past, feigning an almost fall and appearing to nearly drop something because of the clogged walkway. After I manage to "catch myself" several times, the person doesn't get the hint, but usually someone in his party does and tells him to pull some limbs in. Sheesh!
The Wild Turkey
Nothing puts me in a sour mood faster than when I approach or return to a table and they say, "We thought you went home!" (Variation: "We thought you got lost.") Ha. Ha. Ha. Once I replied, "I'd like to."
I imagine myself saying, "Well, I cannot wait until YOU go home, just kidding, hahaha, heehee."
I absolutely hate customers who think the waiter is not someone on whom you have to waste please and thank you.
When I walk by the table, they yell, "We need more butter!" I think to myself that this is not really a request, which would more properly be phrased, "Would you please bring us more butter?" In fact, grammatically speaking, "We need more butter!" is just a statement of need and not technically a request. So sometimes I say, "Ohhhhh, then would you like me to bring more butter?"
How about those lovely commands that start with "Get me"?
Where do people learn these mannerisms??? Good manners seem dead, sadly.
Christine, New Jersey
Guests who order French onion soup, without onions!! This has happened more than once - what the hell - onion soup, no onion?
I dislike the customers who feel the need to order for the other person even thought the other person is right there!!!! What are they too dumb to order their own food?????
"Hi, he is going to have the Filet, cooked medium rare, and he also wants a baked potato with it, and a salad with ranch dressing. And I want.........."
Another couple of peeves are...a group of 12 people just have to sit together, and they do not sit next to the person they are with. They are spread out thru-out the table. The bill comes and THEN, they ask for it to be split up in 5 separate checks, then do not attempt to help you sort out who goes with whom. They act like you have known them all their lives and should know which kids are theirs.
How about large group of people where you are trying to get everyone a drink... and they are all ignoring you as they talk non-stop. You get everyone's drinks and THEN, someone decides they do need a drink after all.
Then there are the people who come in with a group and when you present them with their check, they give you the money and say "The rest is yours." You go to give it to the cashier and find out that have given you $45.00 and their bill was $43.87....... My policy is to take their change immediately back to them and make sure everyone at the table knows they were only going to give me $1.13. The tactful way of doing this is to go back with it and say..." Oh, I almost forgot to bring your change back, I was getting busy." Since this is an apology... you are allowed to say it a little louder than usual...
Another is the wives who go back to the table and take part of the tip back off the table after their husband leaves the tip and is waiting for them "while they use the bathroom"...... Once that tip goes on the table,it is mine and that is stealing!
We have a certain kind of people who come into our restaurant and want extra dressing for their salads. I make their salads and put on twice the amount of dressing. They ask for more as soon as they see their salad. I go and return 2 more times with dressing as they eat a salad. They are finally down to about 12 pieces of lettuce floating in 1/2 inch of dressing,,,, as I walk by and see if they are doing alright,,,, they ask for more dressing!!!! I have yet to figure out why they have a cup of lettuce and 1/2 cup of dressing!!!
When re-filling drink orders, I ask everyone at the table who's glass is less than half full, if they would like another. I do this, because, by the time I get the order punched in, and the bartender fills it, and I get back to the table, the people who's drinks were half full are now empty. So I have to go through the exact same circle I just finished. This is what puts servers in the weeds. I've actually gotten to the point where I will ask "Does anyone else want any sort of beverage whatsoever from the bar?" It's funny, I have this re-occurring nightmare every time I start at a new restaurant, and one of the tables is always the same. I call the table "the 9 Nordstroms-Cosmetic-Counter-Snots." And in every dream, they each order a glass of chardonnay, not at once, but one at a time, sending me over to the service bar (which happens to be an Oak tree on the *other* side of the field...hey, it's a dream, alright.) again and again and again.
When I am punished (through a bad tip, or complaint to management) for something that is not under my control. I treat people who I wait on the way *they* want to be treated. When I make a mistake, I take responsibility for it, and I have found that the guest appreciates that. I mean, contrary to what we as servers would like to believe, most guest can see right through just about any smoke screen we try to throw up in order to cover our slip-ups. What irritates me is when someone feels that their dinner is taking too long/they were treated unfairly by the door staff/the bartender hit on their girlfriend/the menu prices were higher than they anticipated or whatever, and I am to blame because of it. I'll never forget the man who screamed at me in front of my entire station that "if I waited tables half as well as I talked, I might make a good waitress someday!" I stopped what I was doing (I was at the table next to his, explaining the fresh fish we were serving that day), excused myself from the table I was at, and said "Sir, I give the same service at every table. Those people deserve the same amount of attention as your party." "NO, I was listening!" He continued, "You have been standing there shootin' the shit with them!" My mouth dropped. I couldn't believe this man was throwing a temper tantrum in my station, but the last thing I want to do is to argue with a customer, so I just said, "You know what, you're right. What can I get for you?"
I specifically give you my name when I greet your table for a reason. The reason being I do not answer to "Hey you, Ma'am, waitress, hon, honey, babe, sweetheart, psssst" or snapping fingers. Thanks.
When parents allows their children to ruin *other* guest's dining experiences. I.E., running around the dining room, etc... Hey, I have no problem waiting on kids. I have even held a few babies for mothers who wouldn't have been able to finish their dinners otherwise. But please, for the sake of other guests, and for the safety of everyone, be able to control your kids. I had a man last week in my station who gave me 2 five dollar bills and told me to give it to the 2 children who were seated at the table next to him, because he was impressed with their exceptional table manners. There are people out there who do appreciate it.
When I approach a table, I try and do so at a time when there is a lull in conversation. But sometimes, when I am busy, or when I need the attention of everyone at the table (like when explaining the featured menu items of the day), it is difficult to find that lull. What I will normally do is figure out who is the "host" i.e., which one is the loudmouth, and stand next to him/her, so everyone at the table is looking his/her way, but at me. Also, if he/she still continues to talk, I can stand there, which will usually shut them up, because they can feel my presence. What drives me batty is the guy who consistently talks over/around/under/above/on top of me. This does nothing for the order of service, coursing of the meal, or my timing for my entire station, but throw it off. I understand you haven't seen your ol' cousin Jethro for 30-some-odd years, and you want to catch up. That's great. All I ask is for the ability to do my job the best, most efficient way I can, I apologize if that means asking you if you'd like fresh ground pepper on your salad, then saying, "O.K., tell me 'when.'" right in the middle of your story about Great Aunt Ester's gal bladder operation last fall. I don't ignore you, as my guest, please try to pay me the same courtesy, or you could end up with a pepper-coated Caesar salad. :)
...repeating the potato choices (4) and the vegetable choices (4) AND the salad dressings (8) to each and every member of a party of eight. Nowadays, I only allow them to tell me their entree; then I tell everyone the accompaniments as a group and go around the table again to hear their choices.
...when I ask if anyone would like something to drink and the guests recoil in horror, offended, assuming I could only have meant a dreaded, evil, filthy ALCOHOLIC concoction:
"NO we DON'T DRINK!!! I'll-have-an-iced-tea."
Is iced tea not a drinkable substance?
...when people order their water with extra lemon so they can use the sugar on the table to create their own "free" lemonade. Lemonade is only a $1.25—if you want it, just ORDER it, for christsakes!
...when guests at nearby table try to get my attention while I am taking another table's order. Even if they tap me (!!!) or pull on my apron (#@!), I will not respond. You cannot give this kind of behavior positive reinforcement. How could anyone think this is appropriate?
...when adults gulp their (refillable for free) sodas down in one gulp and shove the glass to the edge of the table for an immediate refill. You can bet that soda would last a hell of a lot longer if they were paying for refills. After the second or third fill, I "forget" to refill it again quickly. This is another subtle part of my "silent guest training." When you were five years old, you sucked down your drink in an instant—you're all grown up now. I hope that my leaving the glass empty will teach them to sip conservatively, like an adult. My speed of response is likely to be faster if the guest is polite, however.
...when, after the customers put the money out to pay, they mean for me to keep the change but don't TELL me, leaving me to search the whole place for just the right denominations of ones, fives, nickels, quarters, dimes. and pennies. I then return to the table to find they have LEFT. Why the frig did they put me through all that trouble when I could have been helping another guest?
...when a guest from a table out of my station rudely barks at me, "MISS! I NEED my WAITress!" I then pretend I don't know whose station it is: "Sure sir, what's your waitress's name?" Of course, he cannot remember and grunts at my stupidity. "She's about this tall with brownish hair" describes about 20 of the 30 servers on that night. Disclaimer: I never play dumb if I am asked politely to get the waitress.
...the way guests describe our coworkers to us, when they are trying to find their server:
"She's very hefty." (with helpful hand gestures)
"The little one that looks just like a boy."
"She'd be pretty without the weird glasses."
"He was kind of, uhhhh, effeminate..."
"That nice colored boy."
"She had big...heh, heh, you know."
...when the guest eats seven-eighths of the jumbo lobster tail and then calls me over to whine piteously, "It was dryyyyy...I can't eat the rest." Meanwhile, I have already checked on the party several times without there being a problem. Usually a trick like this gets the guest a new dinner or some free gift certificates.
...when the guests claim that they saw the $17.99 dinner advertised on television for $5.99. Mmmm-hmmm, right. If the person can maintain the claim until a manager comes over to the table, the guest usually gets the price!
...when a guest orders a super sweet drink like a strawberry daiquiri and then demands to have another shot in it because she "can't taste the alcohol." If she wanted to taste alcohol, she should have ordered a martini. The bartender's remedy to this is to drip some liquor down the straw, so the next sip the person takes will blast her with the taste of booze.
...100-year-old guests who come in, order crab legs or peel-and-eat shrimp, and then demand to have it served with the shells removed. The kitchen won't do it, and I don't have time to do it without totally abandoning my other guests. I tell them that sanitation regulations forbid me from handling their food in that way. They respond, "Well, we got it that way LAST TIME." I then give the plate to the manager who allowed this in the first place.
...waiting on families with babies. Of course, the baby throws everything given to him on to the floor immediately, so why keep giving him ACCESS TO FOOD??? The mother often asks me for crackers for the baby. I smile sweetly and then bring applesauce, because otherwise the baby will spread cracker crumbs over a 5-foot radius around the table, which I get to clean up. When the mess is already on my floor, I again smile sweetly while murmuring, "Oh, let me get some of this before someone slips on it," and then I crawl around on the floor on my hands and knees picking up the crud, so the parents can SEE who gets to clean up. Parents should tip in proportion to the mess made and the amount of sticky slobber left on the table, but they rarely do. I LIKE babies, just not in my station!
...when guests try to slyly rip off the expiration dates to their coupons which have expired. The particularly vicious thing about this is that we have to PAY for the coupon if we accidentally accept an expired one. I occasionally catch this before the guest leaves, as there is a code printed on the coupon that the guest doesn't notice. I love going back to the table to say, "I'm sorry but this has expired. I can tell by the code on it—SEE." The would-be offenders usually look extremely guilty and ashamed as they hand over the cash. Slimeballs!
...when I am coming into work (through the front door as we do) and guests are coming in with me. To be polite, I will open the door for them. They invariably forget to say thank you, as they assume it is my pleasure to serve them, on or off the clock. Sometimes they even let the door slam in my face.
"You're very WELCOME!!!!!!!"
...being chastised by a guest who was inadvertently waited on out of order. "MISS, we sat here for 5 minutes and you waited on that other table before us. We sat down BEFORE them!"
That little voice in my head is busy with replies: "Well, you see, it's all a conspiracy against YOU." "Yes, I am omniscient and can tell who sat down first and in what order. I can even see through walls and planters and FAT ASSES." "What is the big fucking deal??? Do you have such a useless, pathetic little life that you really concern yourself with who sat down before or after you???"
One of the most disgusting things is when you wait on a table and one of them reeks really bad of pit odor, I mean really bad. But what is even worse is when one of your managers smells like that. Just imagine if you were out to eat and you complained about something to the manager and the manager smelled like that. But, what if you have bad pit odor yourself, would you be able to smell it on the manager, would they be able to smell it on you? Can you smell yourself if you have this problem? I have never had this problem, not that I know, maybe I do and people have just never said anything to me.
While working the door I was often asked do you have booth, and I always said yes. What I really wanted to say was, "Do you have a booth at home? Then I guess a table will be fine!"
Things that make me cringe:
1. Ordering water and asking for "extra lemons" and "extra sugar!" Just order a damn lemonade!!!
2. Saying, "I'll take a coke-soda." What the hell is that?
3. Asking, "Do you have any crayons for the kids?"
4. People who mis-pronounce food items: "I'll have the Quazadillas!" (Quesadillas) OR "Maui-Maui" (Mahi-Mahi)
5. "Gimme a lemon wit dat Heineken!" (or asking for a straw with a beer or a glass of wine!!!!!)
6. Ending all items in the plural tense: shrimps (shrimp), grenadines (grenadine)
7. "Get me a ummmmmmm!!!!!"
8. "Who the hell ordered that gratuity????!!!"
9. "Waters all around!!!!!"
10. People who still think tipping 15% is appropriate. It's now 18-20% Where the hell have these people been?
11. People afraid to tip more than 15% on a corporate card!
12. People who order their dessert with their meal.
13. Calling a "booth" a "boof."
14. "What you got that's free refills?"
15. People who order extra whipped cream on drinks, especially on drinks that don't call for whipped cream!
16. People who order anything "extra, extra, extra well done!"
17. Getting paid $2.65/hour! When will they realize this is a crime?
18. People who overuse your name after reading it on your name tag.
19. People who sit down to eat 15 minutes before last call!
20. Nagging, annoying, bitchy, picky women, especially business woman, and then they don't tip!!!!!
I just saw this site listed in my YAHOO magazine, and after devouring it just now, I found myself crying and
laughing all at the same time. I am a college educated woman that left the teaching profession after 9 years
and decided to wait tables again. I have seen and experienced nearly every scenario written about in this site.
I am a pleasant, efficient, and very polite server who normally gets 20% or so. But I have also had my share of "less than desirable" experiences. The hostesses that slam one section (or have 4 different seaters that don't know where the others just went and all end up in the same station) or avoid one section (OH?! I didn't realize I was...).
I have had the occasion to cry. One patron on a busy Friday eve came in my station and waited for three others to join. I had given him a drink, and when the others were settled in, got their order. In our restaurant, the cooks don't communicate, so sometimes appetizers come up AFTER the main courses. That is what happened. I got their salads and drinks, food for another tables, refills for a deuce, and a check for another; loaded them all up and brought them out. This man began to scream at me, saying what a lousy server I was because the salads came before the appetizer (8 stupid toasted raviolis on a plate), blah blah blah. He then yelled that he didn't want "that bitch" to wait on him (so a hostess did), made such a fuss that he got the whole table comped, and of course, left ZERO at the table.
I have had business people come in at noon (with a waiting room full of people) get two salads and water, and proceed to talk business for over an hour. Then they leave $1.50 tip (granted, that would be 15%...) but our noon hour only lasts for two hours max, and only having 5 table stations, with more than one table doing this...you figure out why we get so pissed!!!!
We have an assistant manager now that makes sexual comments to some of the "pretty young things" working there, ran around on a busy Saturday night with a super soaker soaking the chests of the female servers with cold water... Anyway, I have tried to get the servers to complain, only to have them say "Ah... he in just a dork. Why bother?"
Then there are those who come in and split everything, or sit there and talk endlessly, leaving the usually15%, but I could have turned that table twice minimum. For those people who get paid salary, hey! who cares how long you are there. but for me at $2.13/hour, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And for those 5 tops that all come in at noon (women mainly) get water or tea and a salad (about $4) then each pay with a $20???? I go to the bar for change only to have to wait for 5 minutes because the bartender is waiting on customers eating at the bar.
Or the single person that comes in at a busy noon, and sits at a four top table in the bar because he wants lots of light to read a book or doesn't want to sit at the bar. No, take up a four top table of my 4 table station for over an hour and leave me $2.00 or less. YEAH!
Why do I wait tables? I have always enjoyed it. But there are those little things that just make you want to quit. Overall, the money is good, the hours vary and are shorter, but we put up with a lot of crap. We are expected to be mind readers, babysitters, servants, bankers, maids, janitors, etc. Then to tip out (based on our sales, not our tips) bussers and bartenders whether or not they have done a good job.
I think they should invent a device that is attached to the tables, so when the food is served, a timer is set. The customers are given 15 minutes at noon and 20 at dinnertime (only during peak times), after which a buzzer goes off and $5 is added automatically to the table check(s) for every 15 minutes thereafter. HA!!
Thank you for the venting. I sure will go to work in an hour in a better mood!
I have had the pleasure of working in food service for the past 5 years. The end is drawing near, thank God, as I
will be starting vet school in less than 1 year. I think I am to the point where I am just really fed up with all of
the bullshit, and I need to get a few things off my chest.
1. It drives me nuts when I deliver the pizza to the table and I say "I'll go ahead and get you all refills and some extra napkins, will you need anything else?" and Dad says" Yeah, I need more soda," and Mom says "Are you going to bring us more napkins?" Are you all deaf or do you just have the world's shortest attention spans?
2. I'm curious as to why people are willing to resort to using calculus to figure out how much to tip to make their credit card bill an even $20, $30, etc. Do you give the salesgirl at JC Penney a $1.23 tip if your underwear and socks only come to $18.77? Are you only allowed to spend in even denominations? You'll save everyone a lot of grief if you'll just give me $3 on $18.14, instead of sitting at my table an extra ten minutes trying to figure out what you have to add to get an even $20 (thanks for your lousy10% tip!).
3. If you feel the need to bring your sweet toddler with you to enhance your dining experience, please be kind enough to dress him/her in gender-specific clothes. Your yellow lace ducky outfit might be very cute, but don't you dare yell at me if I guess wrong and ask "Would you like some juice for her?", and "she" happens to be a "he". It would also be nice if you would either pick up the crackers and cheerios and smooshed spaghetti and mashed bananas and croutons before you go, or feel free to increase my tip accordingly.
4. I am sympathetic to people with food allergies, such as lactose intolerance (the cooks don't mind leaving the cheese off of your pizza), but if your voluntary religious/ die I don't have time to bring out all this equipment just so you can watch me cut your pizza (to make sure I'm not cutting it with a meat-juice-covered blade)!
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest - hopefully there won't be any new gripes before I move on to my bigger and better career.
—Beth from Fowlerville
Pissed-Off Cook #1
Ok. I just had to respond to a few things that set my blood boiling from reading all the stories and (comments from the morons). First of all I have to say that tipping is usually expected but not obligatory. When I go out I do tip very well. (I work in the industry) BUT there are times where I will do the proverbial stiff if I feel that it was necessary to do so. Yes it sucks that we now must pay a percentage of the entire bill to the government.(9% in Quebec) but by doing so that should mean our level of service should rise. As for the whiney fuckheads who commented on this page the only thing I have to say to you is "Get Blown! "Now having said that it's my turn to blast the waiters/waitresses/hostess and management.
1.SERVERSjust because we are cooks (I wont let you think that we are good enough to be called chefs) don't think that you can treat us like dirt. We don't care if you are slammed, we don't care if you forgot to order something 20min ago and need it RUSH (won't happen). By telling a customer that it's ok to order something that's not on the menu or some special way to prepare his/her plate to get a bigger tip only puts us in the "juice" and we will hate you and fuck your orders up all night. If the kitchen staff wants a pitcher of soda and asks you to go get him one please do it. The temp. by the grill is between 100-130F so we get a little warm. Most of all....DON'T FUCK WITH US!!! as a general rule we are crazy...I personally had to be escorted from an East Side Mario's after I went after the General Manager. (Yes I was fired for doing that)
2.HOSTESSStay out of the kitchen. Don't talk to us because we will only make fun of your stupidity after you leave. Also a string of lewd comments about how many of your orifices we would like to fill after work.
3.ManagersFUCK OFF and stay the hell out of our way. Here is a little secret. Come closer to the screen I want to whisper it to you all. WE CONTROL THE RESTAURANT!!!! we can make life easy or make seem like a bunch of monkeys trying to fuck a football. When you see us sitting down for 15min smoking, shut-up don't say a word. Go hide in your office. We are relaxing because remember when all the waiters were slammed half an hour ago? Who do you think prepared 180 plates of food in the last hour?? the Food Fairy? Fuck no it was us. To top it off we are understaffed and yes my co-worker is hung over. By the way you see the dishwasher? He just did a big line of Coke in the bathroom!!! You don't pay us nearly enough to do this rotten job. (We love to hear how much the waiters made for a 4-5hr shift.) We really don't care about your labor costs!! It doesn't matter if we did 3000 that night or 15000.Our work remains the same. When you start cutting people to save a quarter point on labor we really hate you.
4.CustomersDon't walk into the kitchen and give us your nod of approval. We don't care. Don't ask for major alterations to your food. (Minor quick changes doesn't bother us) but when you start getting creative...we hold up your order for at least 10min. If you think a steak is undercooked send it back. We don't mind tossing it on the grill for another minute or two. But don't dare send it back a second time saying it's overcooked and you want a new one (unless they took it from a med/rare to well done, etc) do you have any idea of what happens to your steak before it hits the grill?? trust me you don't want to. Here is a kitchen secret (This applies to ALL kitchens everywhere in the world) It is called the 3 second rule. Any food that falls from a tray, plate, grill...etc can be picked up off the floor and served to you if the time spent on the ground was 3sec or less. (Timing is left solely to the offending cook and can vary depending on how many persons witnessed the event. It also depends on their rank at the restaurant.) When a server tells you the kitchen "forgot" to make an item that you ordered or they were given the wrong plate or any other story that puts the blame solely on us. They are 95% of the time lying to you!!! When a server says the plate is HOT they mean it. Probably because it sat under the heat for the last 15min.
Now if we could all just follow the simple rules and guidelines that have been set as per above we will all get along just fine. But alas, servers look down us, managers fuck with us and customers blame us. So ends another shift in the life of a kitchen worker.
Demon1, Pte-claire, Quebec, Canada.
Must you all be such little shits?! Every waiter thinks that they are the only person on the floor, the others are just in the way, right? I am a sous chef that has worked in many different houses and states and the one thing that does not change is the "Big-Headed" waiters. Before you say anything, I used to be a waiter and I understand what goes on. If you make a mistake on a ticket just ask if the cooks could fix it. Take the time to say "could you fix this for me?" Ten out of ten times the answer will be "yes". Now if the cook says no then the cook is a complete frigin moron. If you personally don't like the specials of the day, still sell them. Give them the same praise as you would your favorite dish. Lying to the customers is your job, take pride in it. And another thing do not discuss tips with or around the kitchen staff, some cooks make jack-shit and would actually beat you down for your money (only in Las Vegas). Also think about how many hours you work a shift and how long a shift is for a kitchen employee. Your 3-5 hour shift might net you $100-200, but a cooks 5-8 shift only makes him $50-80 before taxes.
Take care ya'll. Be Good! And always wipe the rims!
Pelon & Panson, Los Gatos
To all those wanna-be wine drinkers:
The "t" on the end of merlot is fucking silent, ok? If you are unsure about this, then do like all the other illiterates do and just pick up the wine list and point to the name of the wine whose pronunciation perplexes you. However, even if you do happen to point to the item, I will act as if my eye sight sucks just to get you to try and pronounce it anyway.
I know what a travesty it is that white zinfandel is not white. How could someone be so ignorant as to call a blush wine white, when it is actually pink? This is too misleading. Something must be done as soon as possible before others are innocently misled.
Also, when I ask you what you would like to drink, don't say "red wine" or "white wine." Please indicate a specific fucking type and/or brand. Thank you and good luck (inbreeds).
—Jason, SW, PA
To All Customers...
—Scott B, Frederick, MD
Things that make me want to stick my finger through my eye socket:
—Jason H., SW PA
I think I'm turning into Flo from the show Alice.
If a customer hollers "YO!" at me while I'm approaching another table isn't it ok to totally ignore the asshole until I'm damn good and ready to respond to his inquiry about his ribs that are taking 25 minutes? If another table witnesses my ignoring of the rib-eating drunk, and claims I'm "rude" not only to the drunk but to their five brats who are obviously dehydrated and in need of immediate medical attention, is it wrong to roll my eyes at them and "forget" to pick up their credit cards and cash them out so they can leave? Forcing them to find a manager on a busy Saturday night and have him do it?
And is it wrong to treat teenagers like teenagers? Don't go to the bar and get your own drinks, especially when you are drinking Coke. The bartender doesn't like that, and neither do I. I say "Why don't you have a seat, the bartender is not your server tonight." Sometimes teenagers don't like that and they have to complain to a manager about me. I say to them "Did that make you feel better? We are all very PROUD of you!" Teenagers don't like that and they have to complain to a manager again! Hmmph! Poor teenagers, life is so difficult for you... By the way, we don't like you.
Oh, and is it wrong to inform customers after they send their fries back to the kitchen because they taste old, that if they let them sit on their plate for half an hour while they chat with their ugly date that they will taste exactly the same? "I know a manager is taking care of it and a manager can finish waiting on you too! Thanks...."
I must wear a stupid-ass button that basically says, "I'm gonna card ya so shut up and whip it out". So is it so wrong to card the 25 year old bimbo and not her balding middle aged husband? Do I go anywhere without my drivers license? NO. Do most normal people? NO. Its not my fault that she married beneath herself and is too stupid to put her drivers license, uh, in her WALLET! So lets talk to a manager again! Yeah! Oh, but I'm "rude"! Never heard that one before....please! I'm not here to be a cheerleader for your table and if I feel like carding you I guess I will, won't I? If you have to have that strawberry frozen margarita that bad with your Hickory Bacon Cheeseburger then you have a lot more to worry about than if I'm rude to you or not.
(God, this feels good!)
I read somewhere that when people are being "waited" on their worst personality traits come out. I believe believe believe. People, I am a person...I have a family; husband, daughter, step-daughter, just like you! I live next door to you and I see you at the freaking grocery store or at the bar all the time! Would you holler "Yo!" at the fucking check out girl? (Well, the drunk probably would..) You don't act like that at any other place you spend money, so why do you act like a complete and utter asshole when you are being waited on? Its just food! Its a half hour out of your life! Sometimes the food is going to take a little longer, sometimes mistakes are going to be made. Just deal with it and eat you fucking Chicken Fajitas and get the hell out of my restaurant! Ok?
On a closing note...
To the person who thought it would be a good idea for servers to sing IGNORANT fucking birthday songs for people in restaurants: You are a sadistic fuck and I wish you would die a slow and painful death. (I'm thinking a rusty can opener and isopropyl alcohol!!!) Ok?
—Not Flo, Wichita, KS
I work at an extremely busy restaurant. The other day I had a couple come in and order drinks, appetizers and entrees. Everything was going well until the entrees came out and the ladies entree was cold. I asked her if she would like a new one and she said yes. The kitchen was slammed but her new entree came out in less than 10 minutes. I made sure everything was okay with her and she replied that it wasn't my fault and that her meal was great. Their bill totaled around $55.00. The tip was $2. I don't understand people.
—Alex, Wilkes-Barre, PA
I once had the misfortune to wait on a large party, of large women for an Easter brunch. They were, pushy, loud rude etc. They were consuming ranch dressing, like it was lemonade, and trying to make their own lemonade by ordering water with lemon, and snarfing up sugar packets like peanuts! Every thing they ordered was sent back, not what they thought it was, blah, blah blah. when I finally gave those torturing bitches the bill, one of the smarter ones shouted " HEY, WHAT'S THIS GRAAATUUUUITY?, I DIDN'T HAVE ME NO GRATUITY."
I also think whoever the nimrod is who invented "HOT WATER WITH LEMON" should be starved to death.
OK, to start with, I really like this site, I heard about it in The (UK) Independent, and I thought I'd send you an 'overseas' story. Well, it's more of a general rant, really....anyway, I work in a well-respected village pub and restaurant in England, (and for those morons out there who are about to start on about why don't I get a proper job etc blah blah, it's only part-time, it pays my way through my Durham University degree) and a couple of weeks ago, I had some quite nice, polite customers in my restaurant. Two of them ordered their steak blue, another rare, and the rest had fish. When I brought out the steaks, cooked as ordered, everything was fine. About two minutes later, they called me back, and one of the guys with the blue steak said he was sorry, but could he have his steak cooked a little more please? I told him that it was blue, which was how he'd ordered it, and the point of blue steak was that it was lightly seared, hardly cooked at all, really, and he said !
that he'd ordered it blue because most places overcook their steaks, and he thought if he ordered it blue, he'd get it rare. I looked at him, disbelieving, for a moment, with my best harassed and superior waitress stare and he said he was very sorry, it was entirely his fault. I said yes, it was, but it wasn't a problem, and I'd take it back and get it cooked a little more. Now, I didn't actually spit in it, or throw it around the kitchen floor or anything, sorry to disappoint, but we had a good laugh about some of the prats that are around at the moment............it surely can't be right if customers order their food cooked wrongly because they expect us to get it wrong.........honestly.....you can't get the customers any more......
One of my biggest pet peeves is customers who ask "what's your other job?" and stupid questions of the like.
Five months ago I moved to Maui to live & chill in paradise, I scored a job in one of the many upscale resorts.
Never before have I been asked so many questions about "my other job" or "are you doing this to put yourself thru college?"
Most weeks I make between $500-$700, and I rarely work more than 35 hours. No, I'm not putting myself thru college! I'm living on a beautiful island, working part-time and making great money, what's wrong with that??
Recently our resort hosted a convention of sales people (kinda' like Amway.) I had this 9 top who wanted separate checks (of course.) The host (some host, asking for separate checks!) was very concerned that there wasn't free refills on his guests drinks. I had to restrain myself from laughing hysterically, but instead politely asked him if he'd ever dined in a restaurant that had free refills on alcoholic beverages, and added that in most states it's against the law. They all pulled out papers and started working, covering the table, so when their food arrived it was a massive shuffle. They worked and talked shop all thru dinner. When they were finished the host called me over to his end of the table. He handed me his business card, thanked me for good service and then added that when and if I ever wanted to get a "real job" I should give him a call. I wanted to smack him!! I took a moment to compose myself, then I spoke up so the whole table could hear my reply. "I doubt you could promise me a job where I could pull in $500 a week and not work more than 30 hours, besides I wouldn't be interested in working for a company that expects it's employees to work thru dinner while on their vacation." I went and told my manager what happened, she sided with me and had the hotel manager contact the head of their company and request that they not solicit employment or products to our employees... Take that, fucker!!
Why do people look down on restaurant workers just because we're in the service industry? Depending on the restaurant, chances are we make more money per hour than they do, and once you're shift is over, you can forget about it. Not bad for someone without a "real job."
—Greenbuddy, Maui, HI
One of the most annoying traits I have found is the inability and unwillingness for people to make eye contact with their server. If I am not eye -to- eye with my guest I feel like they assume I am not the server, but rather the "SERVANT". On one occasion I was absolutely fed up with this behavior and when the guest failed to acknowledge my cheery "Hi! How are YOU today?" I smugly yet laughingly remarked, "hmmm... THAT good, EH?" After which I promptly received an apology and full attention.
I work in a high volume restaurant that has two outside decks. In the heat of summer, people will come inside to be seated, the hostess will then ask them "Would you like to sit inside or outside?" You would not believe how many people have asked, "What does it feel like outside?" I don't know you moron, I've been standing in air conditioning, you just came from outside, you tell me! Also, please do not grab me by the shirtsleeve, snap, or whistle (I am not a dog) to get my attention. When I greet you at your table, please RESPOND. Do not yell at me from across the room. Please pay attention when a rattle off the dressings, beers, etc. I hate having to repeat myself to everyone at the table. Please don't let your children throw all of the sugars on the floor. Please do not ask me to get you something while I am taking another table's order. And remember, I will be respectful towards you if you are respectful to me. (Ahhh, that feels better!)
—Phooey, The South
To all the Cooks who complain how little they make and how much more servers make get over it!! If you envy what they make in tips, what's stopping you from waiting tables? Either get over it or become a waiter, I'm sick of stupid cooks complaining they don't make crap.
—Sorle, Los Angeles
"What was the third one?", after rattling off the dressing list.
The potpourri of Cheerios, hot dog, and kid meal basket left on the floor after a family left. Sure I'll clean the floor up. (Worse if carpet) Oh, the dirty look I would shoot at the hostess after being sat with a family.
I, too hated the "Get Me" "Give Me", orders.
Also, how about that universal customer using the I am signing an imaginary piece of paper to let you know to give them the check. I have horror stories, too many to list.
Are you all familiar with the "5 second rule" Good. One last thing, People- If You Can't Afford to Tip Properly, Then You Can't Afford To Go Out To Eat.
—KittyKat, San Francisco
My worst peeve is a group of women customers they think they own the place they sit and talk like they are sitting at home. They have respect for their server at all, just the other night i had a group of 4 women at my 6 top sit for 5 hours just talking and talking. The worst part was they were there for over an hour after we closed and left a 10% tip. I was a closer that night so i had to be there but i could of turned that table at least 3 times in the time they just sat there and talked.
Bussers are a necessary evil. And I do stress EVIL. One night we got slammed (I had 6 tables sat within 10 minutes) and the busser asked in the middle of all this if he could leave! Then he told me and the other server that we needed to hurry up because he HAD to leave by ten. Okay, and I'm supposed to say to my tables "I'm sorry sir, you can't order dessert because we have to get the busser home on time?" He did leave exactly at ten: Leaving me with two dirty tables, the other server with three, two tables dirty that management had been using, and two of my tables bussed but not reset. Not to mention the pile of dishes in the back that had not been scraped or stacked. Hmm, I've never had the kind of job where you can just leave whenever the hell you feel like it regardless of if the work is done or not! I don't mind pre-bussing and bussing my own tables, and I don't mind refilling my own drinks, but when I've got two tables waiting to have their orders taken, three orders up in the window, and five drinks waiting at the bar I do NOT have time to do my job and his too!
—Angel, Easley, SC
I have been a bartender for almost ten years because I actually like it. I like booze, I like the people I work with, I even like most of our regulars.
What really burns my ass is the number of "experts" I've had to deal with lately. Like people who tell me they don't like overly peaty Scotch, but Laphroig is their favorite. Or the people who think chardonnay that tastes like a melted butterscotch sundae is a great wine. Look, I do this because I make A LOT of money at it, I'm damn good at it, and since I don't do blow was even able to buy a house in an incredibly expensive city. So do us a favor, okay? If you don't know something, ask us.
People in this business who are good at it are into food/wine/booze and generally know a thing or two about it. Educate yourselves, educate your palate.
—Anonymous, Rain City, USA
My biggest pet peeve is when the big, fat people slowly get out of their chairs that they have let themselves go in, they stand up and grab the glass of water and proceed to chug it down while standing and almost walking away. People are such pigs!!!!!!
Kids who slam down one drink after another... seems especially common with Shirley Temples.
Solution: Make their next drink 3/4 Sprite, 1/4 grenadine. It will be too sweet and syrupy for them to tolerate more then a sip at a time, and all that extra sugar will keep them up all night, much to the parent's dismay.
People who think that their conversation is *far* more important than responding to your "Hi, how are we doing tonight.. can I start you off with something to drink?"
Solution: I give them to the count of 10. If they haven't responded, I'm gone. If its slow and I'm not busy, I'll return in 5-10 minutes. If its busy, 10-15, by which point they are more than happy to give me their undivided attention... and often apologize for ignoring me :)
Kids who use the kiddie straws as high-pitched "whistles". And their parent never stop them.
Solution: Other than asking them to stop, as it is bothering other customers, none...
Ladies who *always* ask for separate checks. What is it with women and separate checks? When I'm out with my friends, we all figure out about how much we owe, then through in a couple extra bucks each. If I pay a dollar too much this time, big deal -- someone else will make up for it next time. Do you *really* need to know to the exact penny how much you owe?
Solution: None really, other than making a comment, in a joking-but-serious tone, about "Here you are.. wouldn't want to accidentally overpay by a dime now, would we?"
My pet peeve of all time is the stupid bikers...not the Harley type bikers, but the bicyclists. We're unfortunately situated in the middle of one of the bike routes through our county, so we get a lot of these. But what really gets me is when we get people like on Saturday:
Lets start at the beginning. they ring up at 6 (food service starts at 7) and request a non smoking table for 14 at 9 (kitchen closes at 9:30). Fine. then, about 9, two of them show up and inform us that the rest should be here in about five minutes, they're biking. well, about 25 past nine they eventually arrive, and then at about 9:45 the whole party are here, but not seated...so I drop huge hints about seating them and eventually they sit. I go to take their order and no-one takes any notice...in the end I get their order by shouting at them. Anyway, they stay till about midnight and then decide that they want more drinks...well, because w are a hotel as well, we are allowed to serve, so they get their drinks, they eventually decide to pay at 12:30. By this time, me and the rest of the servers are on strong alcoholic drinks and the owner is more than half cut. So we start getting sarcastic. Bear in mind that we can't leave till these arseholes do because we have to lay their table up for breakfasts. they leave a whole £15 on a £200 bill, I walk up to them and give them their change and get "oh, that was for you" a quiet "well, woopeedoo" under the breath and I walk away. They've kept me, the barman, the owner and another server there for hours after we should be there. They then proceed to tell the owner that they're too drunk to cycle and that they want rooms for the night...tough shit is the answer...bastards. The only good thing was watching them cycle down the steep hill...I wonder how many of them woke up in the ditch the next morning....
A Cure For Campers!
After fifteen years in the biz I finally found a cure for those pesky dinner campers. You know, the ones that stay way after closing, when every other customer is gone? It's so simple. In the Winter, turn down the A/C, until you've achieved a wonderful Arctic environment! Conversely, in the summer, crank on the heat! They will usually be gone in 15 minutes or less. Try it!
—Alive in Austin TX, Austin
I actually had someone floss their teeth in the middle of the bar that I used to work at after eating! Has anyone else ever seen this??
I was working brunch in an upscale place when one of my customers decided to CHANGE THE BABY'S DIAPER AT THE TABLE!!!! I don't think that the breeder noticed the looks of disgust she was thrown.
If your doctor tells you to lay off the sodium, or sugar, or if you're on some weird diet or have specific dietary restrictions or food allergies, DO NOT run out to a restaurant looking for anybody who gives a crap. I've been in the middle of these dreaded exchanges between the customers and kitchen. The kitchen recommends this or that and the customer (after careful research prior to coming to the restaurant) assures the kitchen this or that has whatever it is they're not supposed to be eating in it! "So just give me lettuce on a plate" is usually the outcome of that. And I have had an ass send her macaroni salad back because she said she's allergic to eggs. What the hell does she think mayonnaise is made from? Was she expecting Macaroni salad without mayo? Or the ass who sent her tuna salad back because she "Can't eat pepper" A restaurant uses certain ingredients to create a items on a menu. This menu is not an extension of your doctor's office, your hospital, or your latest diet book. Please do not bother us with your unique dietary needs. Stay at home and make it yourself.
—Anonymous, Asheville, NC
Here is a list of my pet peeves.
—Anonymous, North Little Rock
This goes along with those who place orders for others at the table because the others are too snooty to talk to you or even look at you. When the designated 'orderer' says and 'he/she' will have the blah blah, plus she will have the baked potato and she will have a salad. Politely respond by asking "will she have butter and sour cream? Will she have Ranch dressing? etc, etc. Never look at the non-talker while doing this. I think this is really amusing.
—Annie Oakley, WV
I no longer work in the industry, but have 20 years worth of stories!
I once had a customer order a bottle of White Zinfandel. I brought the bottle and he proceeded to tell me that this was the wrong wine as the "vintage" was a different year, and if I knew any better I would KNOW what a difference a year makes in fine wine.
I smiled pleasantly and told him that we were out of that particular year and that White Zinfandel is best drunk when very young.
He then shut the fuck up.
Just a note to tell you I enjoyed your humorous site! I frequent fine dining establishments and consider myself to be a savvy patron who knows good food and appreciates good service. My greatest peeve is to have the server say: "What would you guys like? Or, "Enjoy your meal". Servers, like customers, should develop a sense of sophistication in their linguistic dialogue with one another. Also your suggestion to customers to place their knife and or fork sidewise on the serving plate to signal the finish of the servicing is recognizable by very few servers. And, when you cross your cutlery on the plate, signaling that you are "resting", servers rarely know what that means. I eat European style with knife and fork. When I finish my salad and leave my knife and fork on the plate, frequently the same knife, dripping with olive oil, is taken off the plate and put back on the table. That is a no-no! I will say that in most fine restaurants these transgressions will not occur, but, you would be surprised. Bon Apetite!
I work at a TGI Friday's in Illinois. The location is a good one, because it is located along the interstate, but unfortunately the only good tippers that we get are those who are traveling. The local people in this area are all a bunch of tight asses, who think that 10% is a good tip. In case they haven't been around for the last century, it is now 15%, and that's only alright. If you have bratty kids, or you make me run my ass off for you, you should tip at least 20%. There are some people who order a shitload of food, drinks from the bar, and have screaming kids, who leave 10%. If you can't afford to tip your server what you should, DON'T GO OUT TO EAT!!!! Believe it or not, just 3 days ago, I had a party of 6 come in, 4 kids, 2 adults. The youngest kid kicked me at least 5 times, right in the shin! I thought that was completely rude, and the mother didn't even apologize for it. Not to mention they left me less than 10%! I don't know what these people expect from me, but I keep there drinks full, always get their food right, make sure that they are doing absolutely wonderful, and they thank me by leaving shit for a tip. I pay for my own car, and I pay for my own college. I don't think they realize that!
—Anonymous, North Little Rock
I work in a hotel casino in Atlantic City. A lot of our guests are totally comped for all the food and drink. You would think they would tip the server, right? WRONG! If everything is free, that doesn't mean you don't have to tip. I still have to pay taxes on all my revenue. Right on the comp it says, "DOES NOT INCLUDE GRATUITY" Some people ask if we get the change from the comp.. NO. Also, we greet a lot of people who lost all their money in the casino, and for some strange reason, they think it's my fault, and I owe them something. I charged a woman for extra extra cheese the other night, and she started screaming at me. She said that she had lost thousands of dollars at my casino, and she thought it was "CHINTZY" of me to charge her two bucks for extra extra cheese. I told her that was the policy, and I was not about to lose my job over $2.00 for her extra cheese. Needless to say, I got stiffed.
—Kelly, Atlantic City
I am a server in I guess what you would call the "Bible Belt," and I often work on Sundays, if not in the morning a double. One time I had this table come in and ask me if I had gone to church that morning. I calmly replied no and that I was at work at the time of the service. Well living in a "Baptist" town they thought that it was wrong of me not to go to church. I just don't understand how "Christians" can go out to eat on a Sunday when they feel that it is unholy to work on Sunday. IF YOU DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO WORK ON SUNDAY DO NO GO OUT TO EAT IN A RESTAURANT!!!!!!!!!!!!
—Christina, Waco TX
I work at the slowest restaurant of our chain. So we actually close early while the others are open 24 hours. On the weekend we have to stay open 'til midnight. We are so slow all night but it never fails that a heard of drunk yuppies or computer toting college nerds pack in at 15 'til. I always tell them that we will be closing soon and at midnight all the coffee and drinks are thrown out but, they always refuse to listen. They don't care. I've had various responses from "fuck them, make them stay late" to "and your point...". (Never say this to your server.) Then at midnight I shut off half the lights, crank the death metal channel, dump all the drinks as fast as I can, and start to vacuum around them. Then they have the nerve to bitch that they didn't have anything to drink when their meals came out. I just politely as possible tell them ,"I told you that we closed at midnight when you came in."
I hate everyday during the slowest hours is when I get a chance to eat that everytime I put my order in I get at least 2 tables. Then my food gets cold and I keep having to get up and down to take orders and bring out food. Then the customers think that I'm being lazy because I'm taking 10 minutes out of my 7 hour, no break day to eat something to keep from passing out. So they tip me crappy. I hope that you don't forget to put in "what customers should know" that waitstaff do not get breaks. So they are starving, nicotine-fiending, people who have probably been holding their pee in for several hours. So you would have to be a complete dumb ass to fuck with them.
Everybody's had to deal with those tables and bar customers that are never satisfied with their drinks, right? Well, here in DC we call those types "SPOTA'S". I worked for a large chain restaurant here (loud music, Cadillacs on the ceiling, bad music videos) and during my time there, I would notice that on "club nights" (Fri., Sat, Sun.) there would always be someone at the bar, ordering a Remy and cran, and bitching about how they can't taste the liquor. Well the first sentence out of their mouth invariably was "Isn't there spota' be more liquor in this?" Even better is when they order the mixed drink and ask for only a little ice. So they end up getting the 1 1/4 ounce pour over three cubes and the rest of the glass is mixer. I guess maybe it's not common knowledge that a measure of liquor is a finite amount (well it's finite if you don't tip), so just remember that just because the drink isn't Remy to the top doesn't mean there's none in it
—Needles, Washington D.C.
What is the deal with the people who always sit at either:
a) the only dirty table in the restaurant, or
b) the only un-set-up table in the restaurant?
This is something that happens, without fail, at least once a shift, and not necessarily when we're busy—if the restaurant is totally empty and there is one dirty or un-set-up table in the room, someone will sit there and ask, "um, could you clean this table off, please?" with an attitude of mild disgust. Response? "I can't right now, but you're welcome to sit at a clean table if you like!"
And why do people walk in, look at the sign that says "Please seat yourself" and stand there looking around for 5 minutes until finally coming to the bar and asking "Do we just seat ourselves?" Or, and I just love this one, the people who come in, without a reservation, on a major holiday like New Year's Eve or Mother's Day and want a table for 25and just can't seem to comprehend why you don't have one available.
—Anonymous, West Virginia
When the hostess tells you it will be approx. 30-45 min for a table and you have to be somewhere else in 1 hour.....
GO TO MCDONALDS !!!!!!!!!!!!
—Constantly Amazed by Stupid People, Springfield
Here are a few of my stupidest questions about the menu
1. Is the frozen bellini frozen?
2. The Burgundy wine sauce, that's the same as the Jack Daniel's sauce, right?
3. What's flat bread? (my answer - bread that's flat)
4. (After being told a well done burger will take a while to cook) Why?
—Needles, Washington D.C.
Are the buffalo "chicken" wings pork?
Does the "chicken" Caesar salad come with chicken on it?
Is this iced tea unseasoned?
—Mandalyn, New York
One of my biggest peeves is when you are swamped, running your ass off, and some old lady feels the need to grab your arm on the way by and tell you they need another jelly cup, or butter pat. One lady (extremely large) nearly took me off my feet.
Stupid question: How big is the 1/2 pound hamburger? Umm, a half a pound!
Another stupid question: What is the difference between the beef taco salad and the chicken taco salad? Umm, one is chicken and one is beef?
Another peeve is when the play "run the waitress". I swear they try to see how many times they can get you to run back and forth for this or that.
—Iowa Waitress, Emmetsburg
I've been in the industry for over ten years now as a server, a bartender, and now a manager with host duties. When I first became a hosting manager, I had this one brilliant piece of work call on a Friday night at 7:30. The conversation went something like this:
Me: "The Restaurant, may I help you?"
Customer: "This is Fred Dipshit. I need a table for four at 8:00."
Me: "I'm sorry, but we're full tonight and I don't have anything available until 9:30."
Customer: "You don't understand. This is DOCTOR Dipshit and I need a table for four at 8:00."
Me: "Well, DOCTOR, I don't have anything available until 9:30."
Don't try pulling title on me. I work just as hard, if not harder, for my money as some namby-pamby, born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-his-mouth, pretentious asshole.
—Seen It All, Saint Louis
When a customer says the following it is almost a sure fire shot that they are gonna be a cheap tipper:
1. "oh don't worry we will leave you a big tip".. and then you find a dollar in coins (count them..pennies) on a 50 dollar check
2. "how much is water"..believe it, I've received this questions many times.
3. "is that all it comes with? for that price!?"
4. "how much does that cost?"..if you have to ask how much a side of mashed potatoes is..we have a problem.
5. "we only have 10 dollars to spend" and then order an eight dollar appetizer for their meal (count them 2 people, smoking in my biggest money making booth
If a customer mentions the tip during the meal, as in before, during, or after the meal, it is almost guaranteed to be not that much.
Oh, and if the customer hands you the tip instead of leaving it on the table, it probably isn't much to be desired.
—Vanessa, Reston, VA
I work in a lone star steakhouse in Queensland Australia. Of course I am
subject to the same stupidity and overall rudeness of my customers.... I mean
But this one bitch took the cake. She sat at her table with about 4 others. I took drink orders , she asked for a diet Pepsi. I went off , got all their drinks came back, put the drink down in front of her....
"is this diet Pepsi?"
"are you SURE this is diet Pepsi?"
"THIS is the DIET Pepsi"
"Yes I believe it is..."
"*sigh* this BETTER be diet Pepsi"
"ITS DIET PEPSI!!"
At which point I stormed off and refused to serve her again.
The worst is when you ask someone what kind of potato they would like (Idaho,
sweet , mashed , fries) And they reply "oh no ill just have fries
Id love to know what they think fries are made out of.
—Jadelz - Brisbane, Australia
The Peeves of Grand Canyon servers:
1. Do you think the weather will clear in time so I can see the Canyon before I leave? ( I hope not... hahahahaa. And how should I know? I'm not the weather girl.)
2. Me: Ranch, 1000 Island, Bleu Cheese, Creamy Caesar, Tomato Basil, Serrano Grape, or Oil and Vinegar?
Them: Do you have French or Italian?
3. Can I change my seat to a window table? ( That is the Royal Peeve of Bright Angel Restaurant, because in the window section, once you sit down, you see about an eighth of an inch of the Big Ditch.)
4. "Your coffee tastes like shit!" Okay, what am I suppose to do about it? It's freshly brewed and it's hot. Either drink it, or get over it. Not my fucking problem.
5. "Could I get over easy eggs?" Sure, no problem. I take them out..."These whites aren't cooked all the way." Then you should have asked for over medium you dumbass... I swear, I roll my eyes every time I get this.
6. (This only happened once, but I find it to be hilarious, and incredibly peevish as well.) "Can I get my 2 eggs cooked in separate pans? I don't like it when they are together." You should have heard the chef with I brought that mutha up to her. And guess what? They also did the over easy bullshit thing too...when I took those back, it took a lot from the chef not to go throw those eggs in that ladies face!!!
—Just Me, Grand Canyon, AZ
A few of my favorites...
-"We're in a hurry.... I'll take a cheeseburger. Well done."
-The across the restaurant wave is a classic. I like to wave back.
- "We need more napkins." My response, "There's a roll of paper towels on your table, but if you need more than that, you just let me know."
-"Are your Texas Spicy Beans spicy?"
- A twenty top playing musical chairs after the food has been ordered, but before they tell you who is on each split check.
- The man old enough to be your dad hitting on you and leaving a ten percent tip.
- Acting offended when I bring you two sodas at a time. I refuse to play the "race the waitress to the bottom of the glass" game.
—Rissa, Fort Worth, TX
Can I just give you a list of things that piss me off? I really need to
vent some frustrations!
I work at a bakery/coffee shop/pie shop in a semi-rural area of Victoria Australia. I don't know whether I'm more unfortunate to have to serve the locals who are nothing more than overgrown spoiled children, or the morons otherwise known as tourists who stop in to make me want to scream and claw my face.
1. There are these little things on the front of all the trays of food, see. They say what that item is. Don't look at and point to the tray of "Snickerdoo's" and ask for the fruit flan. It just plain pisses me off.
2. If you want a cappuccino, ask for a cappuccino. Not a cup of chino, a chino, or a cafechino. Seriously. If you can't say it, you don't deserve to eat/drink it.
3. I don't have a problem if you want to purchase one piece of mud cake slice to share with your sister while you both have those "chinos", but don't even consider asking ME to cut in it half, especially after I have pointed out the location of the cutlery and serviettes, because I have about 50 other tasks that I'm an hour behind on.
4. I think it's great that you read the pie menu board behind my head for 15 minutes while the crowd behind you multiplies like rabbits. But don't read it, and then ask me if we have the one kind of meat pie that isn't listed among the other 50 that we DO offer. Did you see it? No? Guess what dickhead? WE DON'T HAVE THAT KIND!!!!!! Life is hard, get over it.
5. And another thing about the pie list. If you ask me what kind of pies I have, I will list every single pie I have available hot and ready for immediate dining. If I go through and tell you 50 different pie flavors, don't you DARE ask for a GD sausage roll!!!!!!!!!!!! OR worse yet, something off the MF'ing salad bar.
6. I am NOT a babysitter. If you need to go across the street and talk to Phyllis "for just a tic", take your GD brat with you. I can not serve the masses and keep Billy from disrupting the assholes sitting behind you, which will prompt them to get angry at me (???) which will prompt me into a really bad mood, and believe me, that is just SO unwise.
7. Life is full of disappointment, so don't come back to me with little Mikey's smiley face biscuit saying, "The eye fell off, and he's just devastated, can he have another one?" Tell Mikey to eat the damn thing, and to get over it. I mean, for crying out loud, wasn't he going to eat the M&M eyes anyway?
8. WHY do you ask a 3 year old what they want, in a shop with no less than 260 item to choose from at any given time? I'm all for giving someone some independence, but for the love of God and all things holy, has it occurred to you that there are 10 customers waiting to ask for what they KNOW they want?
9. No, I am not Australian. Yes, I am American, not Canadian. I'm glad you find my accent so amusing. No it doesn't bother me if you confuse the two. Yes, it bothers me if you try to imitate me. I also hate being asked to say this, or that, just for your amusement. No I don't like Oz more than America. Yes I do like it here. No I'm not on a working holiday. Yes, my husband is Aussie. No I don't have any of my family here. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT ME YOU WANT TO KNOW? PERHAPS YOU HAVE A 5 PAGE QUESTIONNAIRE I CAN FILL OUT ON MY LUNCH HOUR?
10. And, since I'm not a local, no I can NOT tell you the quickest way to such and such, since I can barely make my way to work (although that's probably a subliminal desire to simply forget where I work because I can not take another minute of this shit!)
Thanks for that! Whew, I feel a little better!
—Don't Call Me a Yank, Southern Victoria
I waited tables before, after and during my college years in a little state
called North Carolina, in a little town that is predominately populated by
self-righteous Southern Baptist rednecks with a litte bit of money, therefore
The Salt Of The Earth.
It was hard, Sunday after Sunday to listen to:
"Why are you working on the Sabbath Day. Don't you know that working on the Sabbath Day is a sin?" and variations therof.
I would grit my teeth and wonder why they would dine out if asking such a condescending question. Are the Holy angels themselves supposed to lick their fat asses while serving them free Bloody Marys or Mimosas and a greasy fried buffet while their children run around like heathens, while I would miraculously be given a day off to contemplate the Bible?
I would wish that I could tell them that it is technically a sin to drink alcohol on Sunday, to spoil your children and be a glutton and to treat the people that cater to them like trash.
I would sigh when a tip would be a Bible tract, as if the Lawd Almighty will pay my bills, or a dollar would be left for a 50 dollar tab.
And don't even get me started on the sermons that I occasionally got from the plump ignoramuses filled with the Holy Spirit or whatever they call ignorant self-righteousness, ready to spew their own version of Hell and Damnation on whoever would
be closest to take their abuse.
Attention: Dining Public:
Please, please, please - cover your mouth/nose when you cough or sneeze!!!
I have worked in the service industry for years, and it is appalling that apparently no one's mother had the class to teach patrons or their snot-nosed brats not to sneeze on people. If you do, be considerate while he or she excuses themselves to wash their hands or the snot off of their shirt/pants/hair, better yet maybe have the decency to apologize. I noticed when I left the service industry I stopped getting sick 4-5 times a year. Servers generally do not have health insurance nor can they generally afford to see a doctor, much less get a day off to rest instead of spreading our pestilence back to you. To get a day off in this industry one usually requires a doctor's note, which requires money that we do not have. Here, a trip to the doctor usually costs about $100 without insurance, half a week's pay sometimes.
Come on People! How would you feel if I walked up to your table, hawked a diseased loogie on your face and then got upset if you DARED to go wash it off in the name of health? Gross.
—Moira, New Bern, NC
I had a lady today cover her water glass twice when I came to refill
everyone's water before their food arrived. Even when I looked right at her
empty glass, she was all, "no more water please. I'm fine." So of course when I
bring everyone' food 2 minutes later what do you think the first words outta'
her mouth were? "Can I have some more water? "
Why god why?! Why should I be forced to make a separate trip for her when I asked her 2 minutes ago?! It's water! Just let me refill it when I'm already there unless you don't plan on drinking anymore at all. I could not refrain from a slight eye roll, and I made a point of taking my sweet ass time refilling her!
Don't wave at me from across the room or yell MA'AM!!
Don't interrupt me while I'm at another table.
Don't park your cheap ass in my booth sipping coffee until the dinner rush is over.
Don't tell me about my menu... I've been here three years.
Don't tell me to get you something without saying "Please or Thank you"
Don't order crab legs and assume I'm going to crack them open for you.
Don't come to a seafood restaurant and then make sure I know you're DEATHLY allergic to shell fish (so don't get your chicken near lobster!?!!!)
Don't bring in a coupon and then order water and no appetizers.
Don't say you're friends with the owner... then I'll just assume you're a cheap-ass like him.
Don't ask stupid questions... how much crab is on the 16oz. platter? (Hmmmm)
Don't let your brats run rampant in my restaurant... I WILL try and run them over to teach them a lesson.
Whe I tell you the sides are rice, boiled redskin potatoes, fries or green beans, don't ask me if you can have a baked potato, a side of spinach or a salad instead for no charge. You can't.
Don't be ignorant. If you need three things, ask me for them all at once.
Your food preparation is NOT MY FAULT. I'll do my best to correct it, but don't screw me on the tip.
AND THE WORST:
When you bring the check and two people at the table scream and claw each other's arms off "NO, GIVE IT HERE!" "NO, I'M PAYING" "STOP IT GRANDMA, YOU PAID LAST TIME" As if it's up to the server to pick the more deserving person. Jeez.
—Princess Peaches, Chicago