Sunday, October 31, 2004

Diet Coke Dick


Marnie, the hostess, is an utter and complete bitch. I guess the attitude came free with the name. A skinny, chain-smoking, foul mouthed, Diet Coke swilling, entitled little trollop, she runs the hostess stand with only one purpose in mind - to make the waiters lives a living hell.

Constantly on the phone with her boyfriend, she leaves potential paying customers wallowing in eternal Muzak hell. She claims lover boy is a “producer”

We know he’s a “dealer.”

Marnie never cleans menus, extorts money to seat you a good table, and is constantly running to the bathroom to throw up or snort coke. Worst of all she can’t seat tables for shit.

There is an art to seating tables in a restaurant. A hostess arranges the floor plan so a “rhythm” that is beneficial to both server and kitchen develops. One table should be ordering, another table eating, one getting dessert, while the other pays the bill. This means the waiters can give good service and the chef isn’t trying to pump every entrée out at the same time. Marnie has no sense of rhythm. Actually we wished her parents had been better successful with the rhythm method.

On Saturday night Marnie decides to seat every table in the headwaiter Rizzo’s section at the same time. Slammed, he is soon deep in the shit. Being an experienced waiter he pulls himself out of the weeds.

While all his tables are eating he goes over to the hostess station. He’s pissed. Marnie is sucking on her ever present glass of Diet Coke, studiously flipping through Vogue.

“Hey Marnie did I tell you that you look very nice tonight?” Rizzo asks saccharinely.

Marnie looks like a low rent Courtney Love on a good day.

“Thanks Rizzo.” she says, barely looking up.

“Say wasn’t that you on the cover of Crack Whore Magazine?”

“Fuck you Rizzo.” Marnie says, flipping him the bird.

To make her displeasure known, Marnie seats Rizzo’s section en masse a second time.

Rizzo is livid. When things in his section calm down he comes over to me.

“I am gonna fix that little bitch right.” he says.

“How?” I wonder. I worry. Rizzo can get crazy.

“Follow me.”

Rizzo and I walk over behind the bar. He grabs a pint glass and fills it with Diet Coke.

“Keep your eyes open and cover me.” he says.

With that, Rizzo unzips his fly, whips it out, and starts stirring the Diet Coke with his dick.

“Oh shit.” I spurt.

“Oh yeah. Marnie’s gonna get a little taste of Rizzo tonight!” he hisses while shimmying his hips.

I look around nervously while Rizzo makes love to the Diet Coke. I can’t believe he’s doing this.

“You’re fucking crazy.” I say.

Zipping up his fly Rizzo says, “Oh man if you only knew how much.”

Rizzo slips in a straw, adds a lemon slice, and crosses over the dining room and hands the soda to Marnie.

“Marnie I’m sorry about before. I won’t do it again.” he murmurs sweetly.

Marnie smiles triumphantly and takes the Diet Coke. “Thanks Rizzo.”

“Enjoy.” Rizzo says politely and walks away wearing a shit eating grin.

Rizzo and I hide ourselves behind a large potted tree overlooking the hostess stand and wait for Marnie to start imbibing. The moment her over rouged lips wrap themselves around the straw, a low guttural moan emanates from Rizzo’s throat.

“Yes baby suck it.”

Oh no.

“Yeah taste Rizzo baby. Yeah.” Rizzo says a little louder.

Marnie keeps sucking on her straw.

“Mmmmm, that’s it baby, Oh yes, yes.” louder still.

I start cracking up. Another waiter comes over and wants to know what’s so funny. I tell him. Word of Rizzo’s little escapade flashes to every waiter in the restaurant

“Come on baby work it for Rizzo.” Rizzo moans, bucking his hips a little, thoroughly enjoying his cathartic blowjob.

Marnie stops drinking and flips over another page in her magazine.

“Oh don’t stop baby. Don’t stop.” Rizzo pleads, groaning.

After a few seconds Marnie returns to working the straw. The Diet Coke is diminishing rapidly.

“YES YES YES!!!” Rizzo yelps, his knees shaking.

All work on the floor ceases. Every waiter watches Rizzo and Marnie.

Marnie makes that loud straw sucking noise as she reaches the bottom of her glass.

At that moment Rizzo cries out, “Yeah TAKE IT ALL BABY YEAHHH!” his face contorted in a fake orgasmic rictus. A couple of customers look up, decide not to believe what they’re hearing, and return to their meals.

As if on cue, Marnie wipes the corner of her mouth.

All the waiters in the restaurant burst out laughing at the same time. Marnie looks up startled. I am cracking up so bad my sides hurt. Rizzo is bent over double, keening in hysterics.

Then one of the assistant hostesses, probably gunning for Marnie’s job, runs over and lets her in on the joke. Marnie runs to the bathroom, presumably to puke. Don’t worry. She’s had plenty of practice throwing up.

Wiping the tears from my eyes I say to Rizzo, “So was it good for you?”

Rizzo picks himself up off the floor and exhales, “Shit man. Somebody gimme a cigarette.”

Marnie quit that night. We never had a problem with a hostess again

Saturday, October 30, 2004

It's only food!


I am standing by a table, patiently waiting, while a woman mulls over the menu for the umpteenth time.

They’ve been sitting for forty-five minutes, drunken two rounds of martinis, and I’ve repeated the specials five times. The other guests, fidgeting with the utensils, made up their minds long ago. It’s all on her and she’s cracking under the pressure.

“The rack of lamb here is excellent.” I gently suggest.

“The portion is too big.” She replies.

“You can always take it home.”

“No.” she says flatly.

I can feel the eyes of my other customers burning holes in the back of my skull. I have other orders to take; drinks to fetch. This is taking way too long.

“Would you like more time to decide?” I ask. The woman’s husband groans. I hear a stomach rumble.

“No wait here.”

She pulls on her lower lip, sighs, and flips back to the start of the menu.

Tick tock. Tick tock. I hum the tune to Jeopardy.

“Do you know what I want?” she says, looking up hopelessly.

This is all passive aggressive behavior. She must be really pissed at me or her friends to make us wait this long. Maybe Dad didn’t give her a pony. I don’t give a fuck. It’s time for shock therapy.

“The psychic waiter is off today. He’ll be in tomorrow.” I say, putting some steel in my voice.

The husband looks at me in surprise. I wink.

He smiles and pulls the menu out of her hand.

“She is having the rack of lamb medium rare. Thank you.” he says decisively.

“Very good sir.” I say fleeing.

Mrs. Flip Flop has put me in the weeds. I run the rest of the night playing catch up. I dread when it comes time for dessert.

The moral of the story? Don’t take forever when ordering. This is not life and death stuff. It’s only fucking FOOD.

Look where it ends up in 24 hours.

Another god damn waiter blog.

Brand new from the guy who brought you bitterwaitress.com and the Shitty Tipper Database.




Thursday, October 28, 2004

Sieg Heil!

I am waiting on a table of Europeans, Germans to be exact, and they’re busy trashing the good old US of A.

When you wait tables you might as well be wearing an invisibility cloak because customers talk like you’re not even there. These guys didn’t care I’m standing right next to them. What’s worse, they’re not trashing our political figures, who I think are fair game; they are dissing the American people. The more they talk the angrier I get.

“They are uneducated.”

“Culturally illiterate.”

“Lazy.”

“Addicted to TV.” (Well he has a point there)

“Selfish”

My blood is boiling. I wonder how this scene would play out if the situation was reversed. Imagine me telling a waiter in the Potzdammer Platz that Germans are nice people but don’t piss them off - they can’t stop once they get going. That would go over like the Hindenburg.

So I smile and try to be professional. You have to deal with all kinds in this business. I start thinking of a beautiful German girl I spent a July Fourth weekend with, my German friend at the cigar shop, Porsche 911’s, Wagner, and Dab Ale in order to remind myself these jerks were not representative of all the Deutsch.

Then they just had to fuck with me.

Uber patron asks me if I've ever traveled abroad. I suspect he is wearing lederhosen under his pants.

“No sir I have only been to Canada.” (Sad but true)

The man throws up his hands and laughs. He speaks in rapid fire German to the others. They laugh. I don’t understand the words but I can gauge the meaning.

Sometimes when you wait tables people can make you feel very small. When that happens I get angry. I lose my professional reserve.

“Well my uncles went to Germany once.” I say.

“Oh yes? Where did they go? he says still laughing.

“They took the grand tour of the country in 1944 and 1945.”

The laughing stopped. I played the ultimate American redneck card. We might be illiterate, lazy, and uneducated - but we put your country to the fucking torch and don’t you ever fucking forget it.

I shock myself. I’ve crossed the line. Unemployment is imminent. I brace myself for the blitzkrieg

Then they shock me.

“We are a little drunk. We are guests in your country. I apologize.” Uber patron says.

“No sir I am sorry I was way out of line.”

“Don’t worry about it.” he reassures me.

They finish dinner, tip well, and tell the owner I am a good waiter on the way out. My faith in humanity, for today at least, is restored.

Shaken up I tell Rizzo, the head waiter, about the whole incident.

His face breaking out into a broad smile he walks away humming “Deutschland über Alles”

I love Germans now more than ever.

Auf Wiedersehen baby!

Yeah I put in a tip jar

Some of you are looking at that PayPal donation button and thinking, "Great, another sellout."

What the hell else did you expect? I'm a waiter. I live on tips.

If you throw me a buck that would be great. If you don't that's fine too. I will keep writing regardless.

If, however, you stiffed a waiter in the past and feel like you need to balance out your karma - well let me help you.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Holy Shit it's Alec Baldwin!


You know celebrity is an interesting thing. Why are we so interested in their lives, what they wear, who they sleep with? What gives them their “power?” I mean you have to admit we live in a celebrity obsessed culture. Just look at the J-Lo/Affleck shitstorm.

John Cleese posited an explanation in his television special The Human Face. Basically he said we are designed by evolution to live in small groups, numbering five hundred or so. In our not too distant insular agrarian past we knew every one around us. Famous people in the village were those that had accomplished something. They were warriors, healers, prophets, and kings. Everyone knew their face.

Now we live in megalopolises numbering tens of millions of people. The endless procession of faces we see everyday are, for the most part, anonymous, with out a name or story attached to them. We feel a profound lack of connection to the swirl of humanity that besets us.

But we all know who Brad Pitt is.

He is just a guy who works in the movies but many of us know more about him than about our next door neighbor. We may not know squat about the guy sitting next to us on the subway but we will both know who Brad is. That, in a funny way, connects us. Cleese is basically saying that celebrities, by the virtue of their being seen in the media, fulfill a basic human longing for connection in the global village. We all know them and, by that, they connect us to each other. They cut through the anonymity. That’s what gives them power.

Of course that perceived power is all out of whack when compared against reality. A celebrity, if he or she is smart, realizes that people recognize their persona, their act, and not them. They realize fame is fickle and try and stay grounded in the real day to day experience we all inhabit. They know they are not warriors, prophets and kings – just people whose job puts their faces on the screen. Those who believe their own PR end up in trouble. Think Elvis. Think Michael Jackson. Think, gulp! – OJ.

So what does all this have to do with waiting tables? I’ll tell you why.

In our boffo box office culture, normal everyday folks are so caught up in celebrity obsession they start feeling entitled to star treatment. Nowhere is this more in evidence than in a restaurant.

I cannot tell you how many times patrons walk in on a busy Saturday night without a reservation and demand the best table. When they don’t get it I hear the most tired of protestations, “Do you know who I am?” Usually they're a minor so and so with an equally minor company. They are part of the great huddled masses. Just like me.

Let’s not mention the outrageous food requests, finger snapping, obnoxious comments and other sundry bad behaviors here. I’ll save those stories for later. Suffice to say people who are not famous like to make the wait staff think they are.

So how do real movie stars act when they go out to eat?

One busy Monday night we are crazy busy. The door chimes, I look up and Alec Baldwin is standing in the doorway. Holy Shit.

He is with his brother Steven Baldwin, significant others in tow. First off let me tell you Alec really is a handsome devil. It’s a cliché, I know, but he is a lot taller in person than on screen. Alas, we have only one table; between the ladies room and the kitchen next to the register. It’s the worst table in the house. Alec, ever polite, takes it happily. He orders off the menu, says please and thank you, tips well, and thanks the kitchen staff on the way out. He is a perfect gentleman. This guy has his head on straight.

I also have had the pleasure of waiting on: Rich Little, Rosie O’Donnell, Bjork, Meryl Streep, William Hurt., Larry Mullen (from U2), Ellen Burstyn, Barry Bostwick, Alan Ruck, Joseph Bologna, Jack Klugman, Toni Morrison, William Baldwin, Judith Regan, and a bunch of notables whose names escape me.

You know what? Not one of them acted like an asshole. They were all well mannered, polite, and didn’t put on airs. I know other waiters have celebrity horror stories but not me.

So basically my long winded post comes down to this. If these “famous people” can eat in my restaurant without being an entitled obnoxious prick why can’t you? Don’t get caught up in the seduction of celebrity. It’s an illusion. Just be happy to be you.

Now shut the fuck up and eat your food.


God I hope OJ doesn’t read this.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Angels and getting my swerve on

If you work in a restaurant and can’t get laid you have a problem.

Think about it. You are surrounded by young, mostly unattached people, in a high stress close contact situation where alcohol is plentiful. Hooking up is not only inevitable - it’s endemic to the profession.

Hostesses bang the owners. Waiters bang other waiters, customers, bartenders, and anything else that moves. The entire restaurant is a cauldron of lust. You had better knock before you enter the linen closet unless you want a free show. It can be that crazy.

Such was the situation that greeted me when I left the business world and began my first waiter gig at Amici’s in the Jersey burbs. Corporate America, with its puritanical work place dating rules, girls following the time old pattern of marrying economically appropriate boring men, combining with office politics, made my sex life there, well, almost non existent. Amici’s was a shock. It was like being in college all over again. Except this time I had a car and my own apartment. I took to it like a fish to water.

Regan, twenty years old, looking like a younger and cuter version of Soledad O’Brien, is crazy about me. She works at the liquor store attached to the bistro. Being twelve years older I hesitate to take up her offer of a drink after work but who am I kidding? Her cute face, firm ass and pert breasts are too compelling to resist. After shift we go over to TGI Fridays for a beer.

Soon we are pounding back Bass Ale, laughing, touching under the table and having a good time. We talk about art, politics, music and all the other things people talk about while figuring out how to get into one another’s pants. Just when things are looking up, the good angel alights on my right shoulder and begins whispering in my ear,

“She’s too young. This is not right. Give her a peck on the cheek and take her home.”

Not to be outdone the bad angel also appears. His advice is more direct,

“Close the deal! Get some!”

While this eschatological conflict is raging we pay the bill and leave. Outside Regan pulls me into a side alley. Pressed up against the wall, kissing wildly, hands fumbling under clothes, I think we are going to do the deed there and then.

After a few minutes, Regan looks up at me wide eyed and says throatily, “Take me to your place and fuck me.”

The bad angel reaches over and decapitates the good angel, spinning him of into the aether. I break every speed limit driving home.

We get out of my car and the clothes start coming off before we get into the house. (I find her blouse in the bushes the next morning.) We stumble to the door, I fumble with my keys, it opens, and we tumble in.

Soon we are almost naked, kissing passionately, hands roaming all over each others bodies, preparing for, ahem, sexual congress, when Regan looks up at me, with wide brown eyes in which a man could lose himself forever, and says……

“I think I am going to be sick.”

……and proceeds to do a Linda Blair all over me.

I spin her around into the bathroom and place her face over the toilet, holding back her hair while she pukes up her body weight in vomit. Bass Ale recycled; she slumps to the ground, finding relief by pressing her cheek against the cold tile floor. She is crying softly.

The good angel materializes, reattaches his head, hurls the bad angel back to the nether regions, and resumes his litany.

“What are you doing? Think about it. She is too young. Look at the poor thing.”

Sometimes I really hate that good angel.

I clean Regan up and put her in my bed. I place a bucket on the floor in the event of a relapse. I take the couch. The next morning we wake up early. I throw coffee and toast down her throat.

“I have to get home before my Dad wonders where I’ve been.” she says looking very hungover.

That’s just great.

We get in the car and head out. I feel like a dad taking his daughter to school. Driving up her block I have a terrifying vision of a wrathful father peering at me through a telescopic sight muttering, “A little closer motherfucker, just a little closer….” his finger taking up the slack on the trigger.

I stop a few houses away.

Opening the door to leave, Regan turns around and asks me anxiously,

“Did anything happen last night?”

“Not a thing.”

“You’re a very nice man.”

“Not really.” I say watching her slink back into her house.

Driving away I realize I have dodged a bullet.

Later at work I am telling Rizzo about my little experience. He just laughs saying,

“When you’re too old to pick up a girl at her father’s house my man, well you’ve turned a corner, haven’t you?” How true.

I am not saying this experience turned me into a saint. Far from it, but I learned a valuable lesson that night. To quote the novelist Ross MacDonald,

“When a man gets older, if he’s smart, he likes his women older too. “

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Feed Problem Solved

Sorry for the house keeping details. My tales of woe are just below. Be sure to go through the archives. The story "Is that a lady's s____ on the wall or am I hallucinating?" is a personal favorite. Posted that sometime in April I think..........

FEED IS DOWN! HELP!

I know nothing about ATOM feeds or RSS. I'm just a waiter. My blog runs an ATOM feed that Blogger generated automatically. Now it doesn't work! My RSS feed was through Feedburner but if the ATOM goes, it goes. Sorry! I wrote Blogger to see if it's a problem on their end. Any advice from the technorati would be appreciated. Thanks!

Work sucked the high hard one too! More on that later.... Good night.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Its only a flesh wound!


It’s Friday night and I'm waiting on some real assholes. Two middle aged couples, so busy bad mouthing absent friends, I wonder what they say about one another in private. So animated is this little hate fest that I’m shooed away every time I approach the table. After half an hour I finally get the wine order. It’s the cheapest white we sell.

I open the bottle, go though the tasting ritual, and pour the swill into the glasses. I begin parroting the specials when one of the men looks alarmed and says,

“Waiter you’re bleeding.”

I look down. I must have nicked my finger on the foil opening the bottle. There is a small bit of blood on my finger.

“Oh dear.” I say

The man looks like he is about to jump out of his seat. He is really freaked.

“I am a doctor. I insist you put a band aid on that finger NOW!”

I want to say my case of Ebola is in remission; but before I can say anything a drop of blood slides off my finger.

The entire table tracks the path of my hemoglobin as it plummets down, down, PLOP! into one of the bitch’s wine glasses.

I have tuned chardonnay into rose blush. Voila!

The ladies look like they are about to faint. Marcus Welby is out of his seat.

“Take this wine away; get a new bottle, and GET A BAND AID!!!!!!!!!!”

The busboy removes the offending glasses and bottle. I run into the kitchen, wash out the wound with vodka, get a bandage and return to the table with a fresh bottle of vino cheapo.

The entire table looks like they are about to throw up. The doctor tells me to skip opening the bottle.

“We have lost our appetite. We’re leaving.” He says shaking his head disgustedly.

“Sir I am very sorry for what happened. This bottle is on the house.” I say trying to rescue the situation.

“No we’re going. You are a terrible waiter. We are never coming back here again.”

All this fuss over a simple accident. Now I’m pissed. As the couples walk past me I inject a Scottish burr in my voice and pay a small homage to Monthy Python,

“But sir it’s only a flesh wound!”

“You’re an asshole” the doctor counters.

Oh, THANK YOU SIR! Have a wonderful evening.” I reply obsequiously.

The couples storm out the front door. The owner gives me a “What the fuck?” look. I shrug. He shrugs. A new table takes the assholes’ place in under a minute,

Here’s the kicker. The new table’s bill came close to a thousand bucks. I got a $200 tip.

If you prick me do I not bleed?

Cheap wine would have tasted better with my blood in it anyway.


Friday, October 22, 2004

The Waiter & the Spoon

A friend emailed me this. I just had to post it here!

A timeless lesson on how consultants can make a difference for an organization...

Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets.

When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, "Why the spoon?"

"Well," he explained, "the restaurants' owners hired Andersen Consulting to revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift."

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with his spare.

"I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now."

I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?"

"Oh, certainly!" Then he lowered his voice. "Not everyone is so observant."

That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the rest-room. By tying this string to the tip of 'you know what', we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the rest-room by 76.39 percent."

"After you get it out, how do you put it back?"

"Well," he whispered, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."

Ok, some waiters are pigs.........

Waiter has sex with underage girl - Story here.

.......and some of us need anger management classes.

Waiter accused of vandalizing home

Man those waiters at Sizzler are mean bastards.



Another angry waiter

While perusing the net I stumbled across this waiter's site. Some more tips on how not to behave in a restaurant.


Some like it hot

"Waiter this coffee is cold."

"It's a fresh pot madam."

"Whatever. Get me a hot cup of coffee."

I go back to the kitchen. I heat up a cup with water from the espresso machine and fill it with piping hot coffee. That usually does the trick.

"It's still cold."

Christ.

I return to the kitchen, grab a pair of tongs, and put the cup in the oven. After a few minutes I extract it, place it on a cold saucer, and return to the table.

Sounding like the warning on a Starbucks container I say, "Please be careful madam the cup and its contents are extremely hot."

The customer sees the steam billowing and says, "Just the way I like it."

As I walk away I hear the pleasant sound of her yelling "Ouch! It burns!"

My job is done.

Crack Head Caroline

It’s a frigid Wednesday night in February and we’re preparing to close early. The temperature has never inched above five degrees. Domino’s pizza delivery might be busy but we sure as hell aren’t.

Sitting around counting our meager take for the night, we hear Caroline having an animated conversation with her boyfriend on a borrowed cell phone. I know what they are talking about. Crack.

Caroline and her boyfriend, also a waiter at a nearby restaurant, are degenerate lovers of the rock. Homeless, all their possessions stored in a beat up old car, they migrate from motel to motel, one fix to another. Tonight they have a small problem. Their combined nightly earnings can get them a motel room or drugs - but not both. They face a dilemma. Motel or crack? Crack or a motel? Hit the sheets or hit the pipe?

Sayeed, the manger, offers to let her crash in our warehouse a few blocks away. It’s unheated and only locks from the outside. In so many words he tells her that for his largesse sexual favors are expected. A pretty girl, whose looks are just beginning to be ravaged, Caroline has not yet reached that bottom. She takes a pass. Tears in her eyes, she walks over to the front door and waits for her boyfriend to pick her up.

We tell Sayeed he is a pig. He just laughs us off saying, “Let her freeze.”

I walk up to the front. Caroline’s face is pressed against the window looking onto the empty street. The wind howling outside only accentuates the feeling of desolation. Thinking of my nice warm apartment I do a stupid thing. I reach into my pocket and hand her my tips. Forty bucks.

“You can’t stay in your car tonight. Get a room.” I say as the boyfriend’s heap pulls up.

“Thank you.” she whispers. I watch her drive off. She waves smally.

I would like to say that Caroline slept well and decided to turn over a new leaf but that didn’t happen. Caroline didn’t get a room with my money - she just bought more crack. Her and her boyfriend slept in their car with the engine running.

Avoiding death by carbon monoxide poisoning, Caroline returned to work the next day. Unkempt and dirty, with pinpricks for eyes, she stumbled about making a million mistakes. Her tips were nonexistent. Luckily for her, the boyfriend had a banner night; crack and clean sheets for everybody.

Then a few days later she was gone. Word on the street was Caroline ditched her old man and took a bus down South to her parents. Maybe on that cold night she had a moment of clarity. Maybe she didn’t. Odds are she’s still a crackhead. I prefer to think of her sober, married, and living behind a white picket fence. I’ll never know. Whenever it’s cold and the wind howls I think of her.

Be well Caroline.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Lord of the Flies?

It's a beautiful summer's day and two ladies are lunching al fresco on the patio. Everything is going swimmingly save for the insects that buzz around trying to catch a meal - or lay an egg.

It's a slow shift. I am inside deeply engrossed in a book. The ladies rap on the window and beckon me with a finger to come outside. I am perturbed. I was getting to the good part.

"Yes ladies?" I inquire.

"Waiter please do something about these files."

They are dining outside remember.

"I am sorry ladies but my powers of divinity have been suspended indefinitely."

"Oh."

I go back inside to my book. You dine al fresco you takes your chances.





Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Many thanks to Ben Hammersley for linking me on his excellent blog. If you have not read or seen his work - check it out. A man of singular wit, his blog should be required online reading. Thanks again Ben!

I guess this means I can't spit in his food.

Critters

This Sunday night I am walking up the aisle when I hear a commotion near the front tables. A lady is shouting unintelligibly. I soon discover why.

Perching on her table is Sciurus carolinensis - an American grey squirrel. He isn’t happy.

“Holy fucking shit!” seems the most professional response at the time.

The squirrel, frightened by the patron’s shrieks tries to jump through the plate glass window to freedom. Failing that, he bounds off her shoulder onto the floor and scurries under the hostess stand. A female customer, an obvious animal lover, runs over crying “It’s just a baby! Don’t hurt it!” and attempts a rescue.

The squirrel starts hissing malevolently. I am thinking - the lady gets bit, the lady gets rabies, the lady sues our asses off.

“Madam please let us handle this.”

“Oh I’ll get him." she coos.

“MADAM, STEP AWAY FROM THE SQUIRREL!” I yell.

Looking hurt the woman abandons her efforts and reluctantly returns to her seat.

A busboy rushes up with a broom and we try and sweep him out the front door but the rodent dashes down the length of the bistro toward the back, horrifying all of the customers, diving underneath a four top.

I run up to the table and say, “I don’t mean to alarm you, but a squirrel has run under your table. Could you please get up?”

I will never forget the look on their faces.

“What is a squirrel doing in here?” one woman says, performing a rapid egress from the area.

“I assure you he is not on the menu.”

When we get under the table we discover that the glorified rat has crawled through a hole in the back bench and has taken up residence. We can hear him racing back and forth under the customers’ seats. He is not coming out.

With the exception of one very cool couple, the back of the bistro has to be reseated to other tables. The free shit parade is in full swing.

After dispensing drinks and desserts gratis I call the police and ask them to send an animal control officer.

“A squirrel doesn’t seem to fit the ambiance of a Tuscan bistro.” the desk sergeant says. I can hear half the department laughing in the back ground.

“No kidding.”

He gives me the number of “Critters R Us” and I call. The guy is over in twenty minutes with a trap and instructions on how to set it.

Later, when all the customers have left, I am on my hands and knees rigging the filthy device, asking the owner when animal trapping became part of my job description. Unfortunately the varmint does not come out in the dead of night and take the bait. The next morning we still have a rodent living under the back bench. We spend the whole shift waiting for him to make reappearance. I dread hearing the words, “Waiter, there is a squirrel in my soup!

That night we reset the trap and have better luck. The owner calls me at home after midnight. The squirrel set off the motion detector alarm springing the trap. When the owner entered the premises with the police our little buddy was freaking in his cage.

The next morning Critters R Us picked him up and released him in the woods. Problem solved.

Later that morning a curious customer from Sunday night popped his head in the door and asked, “Whatever became of the squirrel?

“We had him for lunch sir.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Stupid cheating husbands

You would think that if a guy cheats on his wife he'd be smart enough not to take his mistress to a restaurant him and his spouse patronize regularly.

You would be wrong of course. When guys think with their dicks the IQ points start falling off.

One lunch shift at Amici's, my old job, such a Lothario walked through the door. A rich, successful business man, silver haired, imperious and rude, the wait staff loathed him. Berating bus people, waiters, even the owner, if he had to wait a moment for a table, a drink, or his food. He was a lousy tipper to boot.

He strode in with a real piece of eye candy; blond, twenty-five or so, with high heels and long legs that disappeared up into a plaid mini skirt.

"I hope that's his daughter," Rizzo our head waiter groaned.

"Probably not." Scott the resident belligerent alcoholic sighed. "Oh shit the fucker’s in my section."

The moment lover boy's ass hit the chair he was yelling for the waiter. Passive-aggressive Scott took his sweet time getting there so the customer took it upon himself to deliver a customer care in-service. After giving his order, asshole's hand went so far up his date's skirt that, unless he was a transplant from Arkansas, there was no way this was his little girl.

Scott, counting down the hours until his next drink, was in no mood to deal with this prick.

"Man he took his wedding ring off." he whined. "I mean what he is thinking? He comes here all the time."

"The rich live in an alternate reality my boy." Rizzo observed. "An alternate reality."

The girl played the coquette, laughing, tossing her hair, gazing at shithead with unabashed admiration. Already at the age where a girl transitions from ingénue to worldly woman, I had a sinking feeling this asshole was going to speed up the process.

Lunch went as about expected. Entrees sent back, shouts for more water and wine, impatient fingers drumming on the tabletop, dirty looks for everybody.

Scott, after a long life of suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous yuppie scorn, finally snapped.

Dropping off the dessert menus he inquired in his most obsequious voice,

"Would your daughter like some ice cream?"

The girl tittered while Viagra Junkie's face flushed bright red with anger.

"No ice cream?" Scott asked innocently.

"That's not my daughter."

"Terribly sorry sir."

Scott walked away, savoring his payback moment. Lothario, however, went to the hostess stand and demanded to speak to the manager. Today Rizzo was playing supervisor.

Shooting a "thanks asshole" look to Scott he went over to the hostess stand and put on his trademark bullshit customer friendly smile.

"Yes sir, how may I help you?"

"I want to make a complaint about my waiter." aging stud announced, puffed full of self importance. "He thinks he is a real smartass."

Rizzo, still smiling, said "I'm so sorry sir. I will talk to him.”

“You better.”

"And where is your lovely wife today?"

"Out of town." An uneasy look crossed Lothario's face.

"She is one of my favorite customers." Rizzo blabbed happily. "I just luvvv her. She will be so happy you're having lunch here. You normally only come for dinner."

The man's self satisfied affect collapsed like a bad soufflé.

Rizzo's smile abruptly faded. "You understand me? Right?”

This guy made a mint in the corporate world. You could hear the gears spinning while he crunched the profit/loss ratio for this transaction. He couldn't avoid his wife's favorite bistro without arousing suspicion and one waiter slip of the tongue and she would be banging the cabana boy in Barbados with half his loot.

"Forget I said anything."

"Very good sir."

Tail between his legs, the man retreated to his table and quickly departed.

(When Lothario came back with his wife a few weeks later, Rizzo sent her a drink with his compliments. Just a friendly reminder.)

And that, my friends, is that.

The moral of this story? Waiters don't care if you cheat. We're not morals cops. But if you drag your private shit into our place you had better treat us well. We could really fuck up your life. Or end up fucking your wife!

Ciao baby.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Venison Lady

It's a busy Sunday and the place is jumping.

Awaiting my delivery, three tables worth of entrees are racked and stacked in the kitchen. The pickup bell is ringing insistently. I am in the zone. The Zen-like state where I am aware of everything, no movement wasted; kitchen and floor in harmony.

I am gliding down the aisle with sea bass piccata in one hand and venison with mushroom white wine sauce garnished with foie gras in the other.

Then the phone rings.

The hostess is not at her station; probably smoking a cigarette, blabbing on her cellphone somewhere, or taking a dump.

I have four rings before the answering machine clicks on. If its the owner calling from whatever casino he's in and he gets Muzak - I've got trouble.

I gracefully deposit the entrees, smile broadly, say "buon appetito" and turn on my heel and bound over to the hostess station. A blast of static greets my ear as I pick up the phone. An overwrought matron screaming on a cell phone with spotty reception is lost and needs directions. I tab up Directions on the reservation computer. The door chime rings. I look up and a pleasant middle aged couple asks for a table for two. A smile, "Please wait one moment," and I look back down toward the monitor.........

.........straight into a steaming plate of venison.

I am wondering why a pile of deer flesh is where the computer screen used to be when the voice connected to the arm holding the plate shrieks, "It' raw. It's not cooked! How am I supposed to eat this?" I groan inwardly. I know that voice. It belongs to Mrs. Dorflinger. She ordered the venison rare.

Mrs. Dorflinger, a regular customer, sends back everything at least twice, thinks nothing of screaming your name across a crowded restaurant when displeased, has small psychotic break until the matter is resolved and is, basically, a consummate pain in the ass.

I snatch the plate from her hand without looking up and say, "I will take care of it madam." place the entree on a side table, and give the directionally challenged customer the route to the bistro. Grabbing two menus I escort the waiting couple to a nice table right next to venison lady. The man coughs, looks at me nervously, and whispers, "Anywhere but next toher."

I smile and take them to only table I have left next to the men's room. They are happy to take it. Their drink order in hand I run into the kitchen. The sous chef is screaming at me to get my shit out to the tables. I deliver all of them. I fetch the drinks for the new table. I tell them the specials. Meanwhile Mrs. Dorflinger's roadkill is experiencing entropy.

My Zen state has taken a decidedly satanic bent at this point. I return to the front and Mrs. Dorflinger is flapping her arms like a hurt bird stammering, "My venison. My venison!"

The hostess has returned and I give her my best "Where were you bitch?" glare. She is holding the plate of Bambi, nose wrinkled in disgust. "Ugh. I am a vegetarian." Then she adds, redundantly, "I don't eat meat."

"That's not what it says on the bathroom wall." I feel like saying but I let the moment pass.

I take Mrs. Dorflinger's plate to the chef and say. "Guess who?" "PUTA!" he grunts and snaps the chops off the plate with a pair of tongs, throwing them into the oven. He grabs a fresh plate, arranges a tower of vegetables and potato, and places the meat back gingerly on the pile. Sauce, a couple of slices of foie gras, and a perfectly presented entree is reborn.

"I hope she chokes on it." the chef says handing the plate to me. Elapsed recook time - 60 seconds.

I bring the barely warmed plate to Mrs. Dorflinger who looks like she is about to stroke out. During all her histrionics her husband stares ahead, quietly masticating his bass. I realize how he survives his marriage. Learned obliviousness.

Mrs. D greedily takes a bite and her features relax like a heroin addict whose mainlined smack has just hit the brain. She smiles, looks at me and says, "Perfect."

"Enjoyyyyyyyyy." I purr and walk away.

All this for something I see dead on the side of the road every day.

I need to get out of here. Prostitution and drug dealing are beginning to look like viable career alternatives.


Friday, October 15, 2004

Tip like your life depends on it!

A few months ago I'm telling a table of six hotties the specials when I hear a woman shriek, "Murray! Oh my God!"

I look up from the store bought titties and see an older man, half standing at his table, clutching his throat and turning bright red.

"OH MY GOD HE"S CHOKING! HELP!"

Everyone freezes. I, however, the professional waiter, spring into action!

I go to the man and ask him if he's choking. When all I get is a bug eyed stare I yank him upright and apply the good old Heimlich maneuver. The offending bolus of food pops out of his throat and smacks on the floor with a satisfying splat. Coughing the man crashes back down into his seat. In a minute he is breathing normally. The busgirl swoops in to clean up the mess. Soon it is as if nothing had ever happened.

The man’s wife thanks me profusely. He is too embarrassed to talk.

“All part of the friendly service madam.” I say and walk back to my bevy of beauties whose eyes are filled with temporary “you’re my hero” lust.

Later as the man and wife are leaving I walk over to the table and look inside the check pad to see what kind of tip they left me. Jokingly I say to the busgirl “I wonder what his life is worth?”

10%.

I look up stunned as the fucker whose ass I saves car pulls away from the curb. One look at the vanity plate and I understand…….

It says MD.

Jerk was a doctor. 10%! Next time I let him die!


(Dear Visitors from kottke.org, please be sure to peruse the other stories in this blog. You might enjoy them! Thanks to Jason for the link. You the man!)



Saturday, October 09, 2004

Why I hate Karaoke!

Read this article!

It's just not worth it!



Wednesday, October 06, 2004

One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall!

A fifty year old German pub waiter decided to help himself to one hundred beers a day.

Every day.

For eight years!

If he worked five days a week - that comes out to 208,000 beers! Holy Shit! He was fired. (I wonder what took the management so long?) Here is the kicker! The waiter won 3 months salary in a wrongful dismissal suit. The court said he lost his "dream" job.

This guy is my hero!

(See the article here.) Thanks to Attu!






Monday, October 04, 2004

Fresh Water Ostrich Jihad

While working at Amici’s, a 200 seat hellhole in the Jersey burbs, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the biggest assholes I would ever encounter in this business – a Syrian waiter named Wahdi.

A hulking, sweaty, brutish, bully; Wahdi was brought over to America by our Lebanese manager, Sayeed, as part of some sort of twisted waiter terrorist exchange program. Devoid of social skills, knowledge of American culture, or patience, Wahdi was ill suited to wait tables. Worst of all - he was a greedy son of a bitch.

New waiters usually start off with the worst shifts and sections. Not Wahdi. On his first day he demanded the most coveted section on Saturday nights. He would harangue the hostess if he fell behind in the customer count. At the end of the shift he would pore over the server receipts and if he did not make the most tips he threw a temper tantrum

Of course we just had to fuck with him…..

At the start of shift one day, Wahdi ran up to the head waiter, Rizzo, and began his spiel about how he was going to take Section One. Rizzo, who owned that section, stared at him and said flatly,

“If you fuck with me Wahdi I am going to call the Syrian consulate in New York and tell them you are a Mossad Agent.”

I swear I heard Wahdi’s sphincter pop. The Syrian intelligence services are not known for their subtlety. He ran crying in Arabic like a little bitch to the manager. Just to shut him up Sayeed put him in Section One.

Chagrined, Rizzo turned to me and said, “Time to dance a little jihad on Wahdi’s head.”

Rizzo ran off to the kitchen. When he emerged with the chef in tow, he called us over to get the night’s specials. After the usual bullshit the chef announced he had a special dish.

“Tonight we have fresh water ostrich in a Dijon mustard sauce, Make sure you tell the customers its fresh water ostrich – not salt water – the taste is entirely different.”

We stared at our dupe pads pretending we had heard nothing out of the ordinary. Wahdi was scribbling the specials down furiously.

“You got that Wahdi? FRESH WATER OSTRICH.”

“Yes I got it.” Dumbass..

Rizzo and the chef smiled at each other. This was going to be fun.

The restaurant filled up immediately. Wadhi was in trouble from the start. Greedy for sales he pitched “fresh water ostrich” to his tables and was mystified as to why the customers burst out laughing. Embarrassed, but not knowing why, Wahdi’s social ineptitude took over. He began arguing with the customers. “Of course ostrich is a fish!” As he got angrier and angrier he moved slower and slower. Tables waited half an hour before they even got their cocktails.

Finally a customer walked over to Sayeed and said: “That waiter is a complete asshole. I want another one. He thinks an ostrich is a fish!”

Sayeed knew instantly what was up. He pulled Wadhi aside and they began screaming in rapid fire Arabic. Seeing his tables unattended, Rizzo and I pounced. Before you could say “bobaganoush” Wadhi lost his section.

Sayeed was pissed but there wasn’t much he could do. Wahdi’s temper had got the better of him and he was useless. The Egyptian busboys, which rounded out our little Arab mafia, hated Wahdi and were taunting him mercilessly. “Fresh water ostrich? You asshole! Go back to Syria!”

Wahdi began screaming at the busboys. In the background I could hear Rizzo crowing,

“Hello Damascus information? Could I have the number for the secret police?”

Wahdi ran up to him bellowing, “You have done this to me!”

Rizzo yelled back “WELCOME TO AMERICA MOTHERFUCKER!”

Wahdi broke down crying in rage. He was fired two weeks later.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Waiting tables Tip #1---Dont wait tables while your hopped up on antihistamines! ---

Cheap bastard of the night award goes to-Zamir! - $12 tip on $175 check. He goes into the shitty tipper database. Thanks you social retard! (For this prestigious award I use first names only.)

Waiting tables Tip #2 ---If a customer says, "You're the best waiter I ever had." they dont eat out much and the tip is certain to be dogshit. Just ask Zamir!----

Long tough shift. Sucking on a Budweiser and trying to relax. Tomorrow I am taking my girlfriend out for her birthday to my own place. (I know what your thinking but the food there is really good.) God I hope the waiters don't spit in my food!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]