Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where Do We Draw The Line?

As a part of a corporately owned company, servers have to adhere to uniform checks and inspections daily. I wouldn't have a problem with that, except for the fact that I was recently reprimanded for having pens in my shirt pocket.

Um, wtf??

In the 16 months that I'd worked in that restaurant, I'd never once gotten in trouble for such a useless rule. When servers are getting written up for having pens in pockets (rather than aprons); I believe the management has bigger problems they're unwilling to address.

On a lighter note, a dear friend of mine has encouraged me to write a "Cast of Characters: Part Deux"! So look for that soon!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Cast of Characters

To get a better perspective of my job, I figured it would be best to give the readers a better picture of my co-workers. The people I work with are loud, eccentric, and some of the best people I've had the pleasure of working with. No names are listed, but keep in mind, these people are very real.

The Quiet New Guy: He's just started waiting tables. Having never waited tables previously he's yet to come out of his shell (speculated serial killer).

The Pretty Boy: He's dashingly handsome and he knows it. Using this to his advantage, he has no problems with giving everyone around him attitude. He flirts with all of the female customers, and female servers to get a head.

The Pretty Girl: She's breathtakingly beautiful and she flirts with all of the males that walk in the door. She bats her eyelashes and men offer to help her with the simplest of tasks. On a Friday night, she can sucker hundreds of dollars worth of liquor from all of the male customers.

The Stereotypical 'Dumb' Guy: Not to be confused with the Pretty Boy. Dumb guy gets tips purely based on the fact he's just plain dumb. He holds a look of intense confusion on his face for a large majority of the service, and the definition of big words can keep him confused for hours.

The Over-Acheiver: He or She (for this role is not gender specific), is always a team player. They volunteer to close, pick up shifts, and they go out of their way to be a legendary server. They are always so excited to come to work (even early in the morning), and they're always a stickler for rules, structure and order. They're the managers best friend and closest line of communication (i.e. kiss-ass).

The Drunk: He or She (for this role is not gender specific), is always looking for the next party. They come to work hungover or still sometimes drunk. They're the first to be at the bar after work, and all of their tips go towards the next pint of beer. They always talk about the most 'epic' party you missed out on last night, and they reek of booze.

Looks Can Be Deceiving.

In my time as a server, I've seen a lot. There is very little that can catch me by surprise, but this weekend, I can say I was truly shocked. I waited on a party of six people, all in the mid- 30's. They were young, educated, and very kind. They bought alcohol, appetizers, 11 oz. steaks, and desert. Collectively, their bill was over $101.

By the end of their meal I was so excited! They were laughing and joking with me, and they seemed so nice! They paid with cash, leaving me $106 dollars.

Strange, I thought. That couldn't be right. But then it hit me, I received a five dollar tip (barely five percent).

The run-in with the table left me speechless. I was so incredibly shocked, and I realized that in my time as a server, I shouldn't assume anything or take anyone for granted.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some People Shouldn't Be Allowed To Breed

I firmly believe that there are people out there that shouldn't breed. This opinion is bases wholly on the fact that, when they had children of their own; they would be spreading their terrible attributes onto a new generation.

Last night, I waited on a table of two parents and six children (four boys and two girls). The oldest looked to be about ten and the parents were exhausted.

The kids bounced around, running wild, and destroying the table and it condiments. All the parents could do was let the children run loose, and take their frustrations out on me. They waved me down from across the restaurant for the smallest of things.

"Um miss," the mother said, "I clearly asked for french fries, but these aren't enough. Look! There's hardly any on the plate. AND, the fries you gave me are soggy".

"No worries ma'am! I'll get you some new fries!"

"I mean I can't be that difficult to put some fries on a plate." She said, throwing her hands in the air.

It was towards the end of the meal when the children, taking note from their parents, decided to order me around.

"Lady, get another chocolate milk, and step on it!"

"Go get me more crackers! NOW!"

In the end, the terrible family left a measly seven percent, and thus solidifying my assertion that some people shouldn't be allowed to breed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Burger From Hell...

Yesterday, a family sat themselves in my section. We weren't busy, so I figured I'd take the table. Within seconds, I knew it had been a terrible mistake. Upon arriving to the table, I wasn't even allowed the courtesy of finishing my introduction.

"Hey there! My name is,-"

"Yeah, uh, two Jack and Cokes. FAST. Hey look Ma, they have Chicken Fried Steak." [[[not exaggerating about the 'Ma'. Yes, the wife was called 'Ma' by her husband]]].

They quickly ushered me away, as I fetched their drinks. I returned, and took what turned out the be the most modified food order I'd ever taken as a server.

"No onion, no tomato, add horse-radish, add onion straws, make sure the burger is medium well. NOT well done. I don't want to add a piece of charcoal. Put the veggies is separate dishes..."-[[[And, well, you get the picture]]].

I took several minutes to double check I'd put in their order exactly as specified, and continued. When it came time for their food to be delivered, someone else had ended up running the food. I arrived to the table, met with seething stares.

"So how did everything turn out?" I asked, attempting to add some pep into my tone.

"How the hell do you think it turned out? Terrible!" He said, as bits of food splattered across the table.

He continued, "I mean how hard is it to cook a damn burger?? I mean Jesus Christ! I wouldn't feed this shit to my dog!"

In the end, they complained loud enough that they received a free meal to go (exact same order, you know, the one that was so disgusting in the first place), their whole meal was taken off, including liquor.

-sigh- I hate people sometimes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Beer is Just a Name...

Several days ago, I was waiting on a young family. The husband wanted to order a specific, well known beer on draft. I had to regretfully explain to him that we didn't have that type of beer on tap, but we did have it in the bottle.

"What?" The man snapped, "How do you not have [insert name of well known beer]".

"Well sir," I said, "the keg is out for the rest of the evening, and we'll have that beer on draft tomorrow. But, you're than welcome to enjoy the same beer from the bottle. It's even the same price!"

The man's face turned a vivid shade of crimson, and his hands clenched in anger.

"That is unacceptable! We're leaving!" He snapped.

The family quickly hurried out of the restaurant in search of cafe that held his beverage of choice.

Not So Awesome...

The other day, I approached a table and I asked them if they wanted an appetizer before their meal.

"Sure," they said, "We'll have an Awesome Blossom."

An 'Awesome Blossom' is a popular onion flower common at a restaurant that shall remain unnamed. My restaurant, on the other hand, has onions in a tower form.

I was forced to kindly explain that we didn't have the onion flowers, but we have onion towers. Needless to say, they weren't too pleased.

"Can't you arrange them like a flower?" The wife asked.

"No, ma'am, we only have towers." I slowly explained.

"What kind of place has onion towers?" She said, snipping her words. At this point, I had trouble holding back a smile.

"Well, we're that kind of place." I said, attempting to keep a straight face.

"You know what?" She said, "We're going to go to [unnamed restaurant establishment].

The couple ended up walking out unfed and in an un-awesome mood.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Please Understand...

Please understand that servers aren't in the profession of waiting tables by choice. Whether it be financial or personal difficulties, we all find our way to serving. The reasons for becoming a waiter may vary, but one thing will never change. We don't do this willingly. I have yet to meet a person who 'chooses' to serve people their food in a casual dining cafe. If someone likes helping others, they should join volunteer projects.

As such, waiting tables isn't something one plans on doing for the rest of their lives. For me, I'm one year away from graduating college. In one year, I'll have a Bachelor of Arts in English. Waiting tables is how I pay for my education. My future depends on the amount of tips I receive on a nightly basis. I exist at the bottom of the social ladder, just so I can one day have a better future.

In my time of waiting tables, I've come across people who're quick to pass judgement on my level of education. When this happens, it's demoralizing and embarrassing.

Today, I waited on a group of people I knew from high school. These people were beautiful, smart, and charming, then and still are today. Some of them are now married with children on the way. Some of them now have achieved successful careers. After exchanging pleasantries an awkward hush grew across the table, as they asked me what I'd been up to since high school.

"Me?" I mumbled, "I want to be a writer. I justwork here to help pay for college."

"Oh," my former acquaintance said, "good for you. That's honorable".

[[[Please understand, that when something is deemed as honorable, it's anything but. People are very quick to admire an action, but are unable to join others. It's even evident in literature. The small townsfolk praise the knight about to go slay the dragon, but they stand away from a far distance. Honorable? Bullshit.]]]

They ordered their food, and their meal came out without a problem. They paid their bill, and just as they were leaving we talked one final time. By this point, my self esteem had hit a new low.

"It was good seeing you" I said, attempting to keep a cool composure.

"You too. Congratulations on graduating soon. You're going to be a great writer," she said with a forced smile.

As they were walking away, I heard one of my former acquaintances ask another a question.

"Did you really mean that?"

"No, she'll be waiting tables for the rest of her life." She said, laughing.

This is exchange is one of many I've been a part of. Many are quick to believe that, just because we are 'waiters' that is all we're destined for in life. They don't realize that we're people with hopes, dreams and a future.

Waiting tables isn't glamorous, but I'm so close to my diploma that I'm going to fight. I don't believe in honor. I believe in hope, my dreams and the future, in spite of others and their unknowing assumptions.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Overheard At The Table...

It was a busy Friday night, and it was taking a long time for food to come out of the kitchen.


"How much longer is this going to take?"

"I mean seriously! I'll go into the woods, catch, and kill a rabbit before our food gets here."

The man's buddy speaks up. "But you don't know how to hunt."

"I can learn! I have time."


They didn't catch any small woodland creatures, but they did gourge on crackers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Overheard At The Table...

Yesterday, I had dropped off the check for a young couple. They were polite, quiet, and nice throughout the meal. I went to pick up the check and run their credit card, when I heard something odd.

Right as I walked by the young man told his perky blonde girlfriend that, "Well, you can blow me".

It took them a slow second to realize that I was standing at their table. The girlfriend proceeded to bust out in laughter, while her significant other began turning a vivid shade of crimson.

He attempted to akwardly mumble, "Not you. I meant her". Pointing to his girlfriend, as her laughter became louder, filling the restaurant. I processed their bill, and they went on their way (leaving me a large tip to make up for his table conversation).

The Nature of Waiters,-In General

In general, waiters live a very hard and fast life. We never sleep, live paycheck to paycheck, drink copious amounts of alcohol, and we try to hook up with each other. The life of a server is fast and a little wild. We talk like sailors, and we are afraid to call you out on your shit. I have yet to meet a waiter that doesn't smoke, drink, or both.

The resteraunt is a very political place. The only way to get ahead is to hook up, sleep around, and grovel.

We are nomads, going for restaurant to restaurant (which explains the high turnover for waiters). Maybe we're inherently unhappy, or maybe we've run out of people to hook up with.

In general, we're masters of persuasion. We're masters of small talk. No, I don't care about your sick poodle, but if I 'pretend' to give a shit; you're more likely to give me a bigger tip.

-The Snide Server

The One to Start It All.

So, the awkward 'introduction' post. After this, my posts won't be so formal.

My name is The Snide Server, and I started this blog to let the world know the secrets of waiting tables.

Although the location will be witheld, it's is a casual dining establishment with 62 'convient' locations throughout the country.

In the time I've waited tables, I've seen fist-fights, and arguments. I've had entire bottles of wine spilled on me, and I've slipped in puddles of apple sauce. I've been hit on my disgustingly drunk men, and I've had my intelligence challenged by people who don't know better.

I plan on telling my juiciest secrets, and showing the world all that I've seen.

Let's get ready for one hell of a ride!

-The Snide Server.