Clearly, waiting tables for a prolonged period of time has left me a little jaded.

I think that waiting tables should be a required class in high school. In order to eat in a restaurant, everyone would have to carry a card that stated that they passed the class with flying colors. They’d have to deal with all kinds of ridiculous things…like the customer running you back and forth evertime you come to the table, rather than just asking for everything they needed all at once. There would be the kind of people who can’t make decisions for themselves and need a little hand holding in order to place their order. People would let their children use the restaurant classroom as a playground and you might trip over them as you came around a corner. It would be really fun for everyone.

For me, waiting tables is the closest you can get to working for yourself, without actually having to run your own business. It allows me to do all of the things I love, and make a decent living while working less than full time. I work at a great place, with a killer staff and some of the best managers and one of the most generous owners that I’ve experienced in my long restaurant career. I really couldn’t ask for more. It’s the customers , the general public I guess you could say, that sometimes need a talking to.

I ‘m not the most bubbly waitress you’ve ever had, but I’m surely efficient. I get the job done and the customers leave happy, a little drunk, and ultimatley satisfied. I may not be super engaging, but really when I have 8 other tables that need their order taken and waters refilled, I don’t have time to talk about your great aunt Millie’s trip to the Greek Islands. Seriously folks, I can’t make this stuff up.

People are incredibly particular when it comes to ordering in a restaurant. It’s almost like they loose all of their common sense. They ask stupid questions…yes, I said it, stupid questions…there is such a thing. Take the following for example:

Customer: “I’ll have the blah blah blah…is that going to fill me up?”
What I want to say, but have to bite my tongue everytime, ” I don’t know…how much have you eaten today? Are you a binge eater? When was the last time you used the restroom?”

Or this scenario:
Customer: “I had a glass of wine here a few weeks ago…it was red…”
Me: “Okay, here are all of our red wines by the glass, is there anything else you remember about the wine?”
Customer: ” Well…it was red…”
What I really want to say, ” What do you want me to do with that? I left my crystal ball at home today and can’t read your mind without it.”

Or how about the people that avoid eye contact at all costs? Surely if they look their server in the eye they might turn to stone, for a server is, after all, a second class citizen, right? Another favorite are the people who, upon sitting, state that they are in a hurry, proceed to take their sweet time with the menu and then 2 minutes after they finally place an order want to know where their food is. Seriously people? It’s being cooked. It’s in a pan or in the oven. Calm down.

But my all time favorite, my friends is the following: Someone doesn’t like anything they see on the menu, so they decide to create their own dish using different sauces and ingredients from other items on the menu. When it comes to the table, they hate it and want to send it back. <em>Really</em>? The problem is, we pretty much have to take it back, because, unfortunatley, the customer is always right.

I know, I sound bitter, and I am a little. But I too am guilty of being the annoying customer. Take my coffee order for example…grande dark roast with 5-7 ice cubes on top, after the coffee is poured. Oh you have crushed ice? I’l l just take the ice on the side then please, thankyouverymuch.

56 Responses to “Recipe for a Bitter Waitress”

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