Tales from the Restaurant

Tales from the Restaurant
Where you'll find all the restaurant dirt you'll ever need.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Your time is apparently more valuable, sir.

There are always subtle things that make servers angry. Most times, people don't realize they're being shitheads until someone tells them, but in this entry, common courtesy is the one thing lacking in the people I'm choosing to come down on. Which makes it OK.

One of the things that I absolutely abhor is the way some people completely ignore you when you approach them.


Most times, people who do this have no concept of anything but themselves. They'll prattle on and on about some shit that nobody cares about, completely forgetting that the reason they came to a restaurant is because they are SITTING DOWN TO HAVE A MEAL. In order to do that, the person or people who can't shut their fucking mouths long enough to pay attention to anything else need to actually pause and give their order to a SERVER in order to be fed.

These kinds of people usually expect that they don't ever have to stop speaking. They assume that their food orders are transmitted telepathically to the kitchen, prepared instantly, and placed in front of them without having to break their preciously trivial stream of consciousness for two fucking seconds in order to speak to the waiter.

Even worse, there are the kinds of people one of my friends had to deal with. A long-time coworker of mine, this girl approached the table of six that she was assigned FOUR TIMES in ten minutes to try and take down their order for dinner. Needless to say, these cock-brains just kept right on blabbing their dicks off the entire time, completely ignoring her. Assuming they weren't ready to order after the fourth unacknowledged trip to the table, she went off and did other things for a brief period, only to hear that the people at the table were pissed off that nobody had come by to take their order.

These kinds of people are the worst kinds of human beings in any restaurant. Every waiter or waitress has a table full of shit-munchers like this at least once per shift. If not for common courtesy, these people should at least know that servers don't generally have time to wait around for ten or fifteen minutes for you to finish talking about whatever bullshit keeps tumbling out of your mouth until you are out of breath. Waiters and waitresses have to go around to the other four or five tables they have, refill sodas, open wine, process payments, run food over, and clean tables for new guests, and if you're not ready when the server is, you're just going to have to wait until that server has time to go around to you again. However much you think you're worth, a server's time is worth infinitely more than yours.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"No no, I want to sit over THERE."

If there's one thing all servers and hosts/hostesses hate more than anything, it's when people refuse to sit where you put them. In every restaurant, there's not one shift that goes by without some obnoxious twat waffle proclaiming loudly that she "would rather sit at that booth over there."

She is usually referring to a sitting area which is indescribably dirty, reserved for someone else, or is in some way incredibly and inconveniently out of the way.

The peculiar thing about this phenomenon is that of all of the crotchety old bitch bags who demand to sit where they want is that they have a variety of indirect ways of telling you. Here are a few examples, including my rebuttals;

-"I want to sit someplace quiet." (points to booth)
The restaurant is almost always either completely empty and ENTIRELY quiet, or totally full and there is no chance that there is a soundproof VIP suite available. People who say this are just too chickenshit to openly defy you, and if you tell them that the noise level is relatively consistent, they will point to where they want to sit and say something extremely fucking annoying like "that booth over there looks quiet." It probably is located right between the table full of drunk college students and the party comprised entirely of screaming infants.

-"I don't like that table."
Granted, it's probably located near something like a central causeway or possibly another table, but there's nothing wrong with it. You're the picky kind of table racist that isn't happy anywhere and will lead the host all over the god-damned restaurant until you find something that suits YOU. You don't care how many toes you step on, cuntbag.

-"Can I have that booth right there?"
No you can't. This question reminds me of this lovable repeat patron at one of the restaurants I've worked at. The staff and I gave her the name "B.C." I'll let you guess what this stands for, but my hint is that it's not a Johnny Hart reference. This lady with a French/German accent would always come in by herself (inferred that she has no friends), demand a specific seat, and immediately ask for water, sugar, and lemons so that she could make her own lemonade at the table and not pay for one.
BC stands for "Booth Cunt." In the words of one of my former fellow employees, "Man. I don't know where she gets off being such a bitchy booth cunt. I should give her a piece of my mind."

Also for the record, I fucking hate it when people make their own lemonade at the table. It just says you're too fucking cheap to spend three bucks. And that you're a cuntbag extraordinaire.

You know who makes their own lemonade? Ten year olds. And they sell it on the street for twenty-five cents a cup.

Tangent, sorry.

Now, there are times when it is acceptable to make your preferences for seating known, but those times are never. You sit where you're told to, and here's why;

-Servers have sections. If you ask to go to a different section, you are depriving a waiter of tip money and giving more to another server.
-The hosts plan to seat reservations. You might be fucking up where they're planning to seat people, and in turn, causing other people to wait longer for their dinners.
-You're wasting time if the person has to check back to make sure the table you want isn't reserved. Waiters earn money only when they move quickly enough, and you're doing a great job ruining everyone's lives when you ask to get put somewhere else.

Sit where you're told to sit. This includes people who walk in, ignore the people at the front saying hello, and sit wherever they damned well please. If you are a person who does this, you will burn forever in a special place in hell.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Restaurant; Home of the Homoerotic

In all of the restaurants I have worked, I have been constantly challenged to come up with newer, fresher ways of demonstrating a talent which no restaurant employee can complete a shift without;

Homoerotic actions and commentary.

For some reason, the restaurant environment is invariably the one place where it is not only acceptable, but encouraged by your peers to engage in these delightful same-sex behaviors;
-Pretend to come on to fellow males
-Proclaim loudly any and all made-up homosexual actions with other employees the night before
-Grab a coworker's nipples
-Craft clever analogies between menu items and fellatio
-Offer to trade evenings or day shifts off in exchange for depraved and humiliating sexual advances

It isn't uncommon for someone like me to approach a male coworker and say something like, "Hey man. Can you pick up my Friday night shift? I'll totally give you the best testicle massage ever. Please?"

The exact reason why this is acceptable isn't exactly clear, but the unspoken rule above all rules is that none of these actions can take place in front of the guests or restaurant management.

One exception to this rule comes to mind, in reference to the last restaurant I worked for. It had gotten to the point (after over a year of employment) that my managers and fellow employees had become so comfortable with me that each of them made passes at me at every conceivable opportunity. I distinctly remember bending over and attempting to scoop ice cream out of the freezer bin, and getting seven different people's hands grabbing my ass as they each went by (completely independent of each other, I might add).

The management of this particular restaurant didn't mind this at all. I remember that the last time it happened, the old Chinese lady who was running the restaurant had even laughed heartily as a coworker grabbed a huge chunk of my ass.

None of it is serious, however. If everyone at the restaurant were not only bold enough but also homosexually lustful, I would have probably been helpless as I held onto the red bean ice cream for dear life while seven different people violated my asshole.

It really is a bizarre anomaly that every restaurant ever is its own unique stadium for the world cup of gay, but a fact nonetheless.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

If you don't know dick, don't complain.

In the restaurant business, there are far too many people who come in, order something, and then complain because what they received didn't resemble/taste like/smell similar to their concept of the dish.

This is incredibly annoying to everyone else because often enough, the people who made the dish have probably made it hundreds of thousands of times before. The restaurant staff of any decent eating establishment probably knows more about the food you are ordering than you will ever know.

In hospitality, it is implied (and sometimes explicitly stated) that the guest is always right.

Thus, the paradox.

I have found throughout my restaurant tenure that this overly popular notion has emboldened many a guest to complain, often without warrant, and even get some free food and a few ounces of sympathy at the expense of the server, the chefs, and the organization.

Some time ago, I had a group of business-type-ladies from Tennessee. One of them ordered a dish (of which Cajun-style-salmon was the centerpiece), and received it cooked through (medium well). She immediately complained to me, saying that "It looks all burnt and tough."

Despite my reassuring her that it was merely the Cajun spices that she was observing and that she received it cooked through, she insisted that I remove it and bring a new one back that was "a little more medium."

In the food world, "Medium" denotes something cooked through, but with a slightly warm center. This pertains to fish, steak, etc.,.

Upon receiving her salmon medium, she instantly complained to the management that her fish was "raw in the middle." The management again reassured her that her dish was in fact medium, and that she had received exactly what she had asked for.

Needless to say, she had it taken away, had half her bill complimented, and went away feeling like the people charged with her dinner for the evening were incompetent.

I'm all for speaking up about your dish, but only in the following scenario;
You did not receive specifically what you had asked for, and you've confirmed the inaccuracy with your server.

If you don't know a damned thing about what you ordered, it's ok to ask what you should expect. But don't complain if you don't know what the hell you're talking about. It's that simple.