An Open Letter to Samsung Pay

13179454_10208909879120191_5064950570195732276_nDear Samsung Pay,

As a server, I take a lot. I take orders, I take food to the table, I take people ignoring me and now I take umbrage to your most recent advertisement for your product. On your Samsung Pay Facebook page there in a glorious photo of a restaurant customer blatantly ignoring his server as he pays his check, not even making eye contact with the fellow human being who brought his food. And the tag line?

“It’s been a while since you caught up. Don’t be distracted- Samsung Pay lets you focus on what’s important.”

I get it: we servers are unimportant nuisances and your product will keep customers from having to be “distracted” by us bothering them, is that it? After all, how awful are we to approach a table to see if everything is alright? What are we thinking when we have the audacity to speak when we have not been spoken to? And most importantly of all, why would a customer ever feel the need to take time out of their “catching up” to acknowledge the existence of the person who has been taking care of them? Thank God that Samsung Pay is here to fix all of that. Now, when we bring the check to the table, we can just stand there and hold a little electronic device while the customer pays for their meal and they can pretend we don’t even exist. That’s great!

Are you freaking kidding me? Did no one in your huge office of advertising drones even stop to consider how off-putting this image is? And I’m not even talking about whatever they are drinking. (Seriously, what the fuck is that blue liquid in the glass, Liquid Drano? Blue curacao on the rocks? Some cocktail from the Star Wars Cantina?) I’m talking about the smug fucking look on the guy’s face. And also, why is he paying their check before they have even taken one bite of their food? As soon as the server set the food down, the guy must have been all, “Oh, and I need to pay the check right away because I want to try to impress this girl with my fancy Samsung phone. I also have to get to my annual douche bag meeting that starts in 20 minutes.” Meanwhile, the girl is thinking, “Gosh, it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other and I suddenly remember why: he’s being a dick to our server. And why he doesn’t have an iPhone.”

I wonder what other images they passed on to make this one the right choice. A photo of someone sitting in church dropping a Samsung Galaxy in the collection plate perhaps? Or maybe it was of a business man getting out of a cab while shielding his eyes so he doesn’t have to see who was driving. It could have been an image of a rich lady stepping over a homeless man on Fifth Avenue as she walks into a hair salon and when he asks for money to buy food she says, “Why, of course! Do you accept Samsung Pay?”

Listen, Samsung. Your product may be wonderful, but the way you are showcasing it here is not. You need to reevaluate how this photo looks and recognize that it is very demeaning to at least one person in it. (I’m talking about the one person who has their fucking head cropped out of the photo, which is probably a good thing since the server most likely is giving an epic eye roll right now.) Servers don’t want to be thought of as “unimportant” or a “distraction.” We want to be recognized as people who are doing a job that customers should be appreciative of. We expect eye contact and for our customers to say “thank you” and “please” and not just flash their phone at us so they don’t have to speak to us. Let’s be honest, though. How many restaurants are really going to accept Samsung Pay anyway?

Mustard and mayo,
The Bitchy Waiter

 

Here is the Facebook post if you want to go tell them what you think about it:

Nude Restaurant to Open Soon in London

Photo via NY Daily News

Perhaps you have heard about the newest dining trend in merry old England where restaurant customers can go out to eat while wearing absolutely no clothing at all. The place is called The Bunyadi and is expected to open in London in June. As of this writing, there are already 33,450 people on the waiting list and I have it on good authority that Queen Elizabeth is number one on the list while Helen Mirren is taking her sloppy seconds in the number two spot.

The twisted and sick individual who came up with this idea is named Seb Lyall and he claims it’s a chance for people to get back to nature. In keeping with that theme, the food on the menu will also be free of artificial colors and chemicals and the dining room will have electric lights while smartphones will not be allowed. There will, however, be candlelight, which sounds like a swell idea with a bunch of naked people trying to eat in the dark. I guess the plus side of eating in dim candlelight is that you won’t be able to get a good view of your dining companion when they drip queso on their tits and it leaves a first degree burn. The menu will feature “wood-flame-grilled meats served on handmade clay crockery and edible cutlery.” Oh, and the furniture is wooden logs and benches because, you know, it’s all-natural. And nothing says fine dining like getting splinters in your ass from a log while you try to eat some meat off of a piece of crockery with a shitty fork and knife.

The kitchen staff will be allowed to cover up while they prepare the food, but I suppose that means as soon as they put the fire-grilled meat in the window, they can uncover themselves and let their own personal meat sway free in the breeze. Servers will have “minimal covering” and I can only wonder how long it will be before some woman writes a review on Yelp claiming that the waitress was flirting with her husband and she found a pube in the pot of her potatoes.

Seb Lyall can claim this restaurant is a chance for people to get back to nature, but let’s call it what it is: a publicity stunt. And a damn good one if he already has over 33,000 people ready to go eat there. I’m sure it will not be as exciting as people think since the majority of people who choose to go naked are not the people you want to see naked. I know this, for I have been to many a nude beach and it’s always full of soft, fleshy people and only occasionally do you see someone that makes you say, “Now that is a person who should be at the nude beach!” (Full disclosure: I count myself in the soft and fleshy group.)

Since the place has not opened yet, we don’t know how the service will go, but I imagine it to go something like this:

Waiter: Cheery oh, mate. My name is Duncan and I will be your server tonight. And this is my penis, Lil Dunk. May I start you off with anything to drink?

Customer: This log I’m sitting on is rough.

Waiter: If you think the log is rough, you should feel my penis. I spilled a hot soup on it two days ago and it’s got a dreadful scab all over it. Anyway, our special tonight is oven baked fish and chips.

Customer: Oven baked? Not fried?

Waiter: Sadly, we had to do away with our deep fryer because the oil was popping too much and burning the penis of the head chef.

Customer: I thought the kitchen staff was covered.

Waiter: Oh. Yes, right. Anyway.

Customer: This log is really chaffing my bum. May I have a chair, please?

Waiter: Oh, well chairs aren’t really all that natural. Give me a moment and I will roll a boulder over for you to sit on.

Customer: And it’s a little dark and I can’t read the menu.

Waiter: Not a problem, sir. Let me move the candle closer to you and tilt it over so you can have better light. Do please be careful with the wax as it drips. I’d hate to bloody burn your penis off. The head chef and I can assure you it quite uncomfortable.

Customer: I’m outta here.

This Guy Wants to Teach You How To Not Tip

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 11.42.56 AMGet ready, bitches, because I am riled up. An article about tipping is floating around on the Internet and it is implying that too many of us are guilting our customers into leaving tips. The article was written by consumer advocate Christopher Elliott and he has all kinds of handy-dandy ways you can avoid tipping. At first, I thought he was talking about the ubiquitous tip jars we see everywhere, from Starbucks to the deli to the dry cleaner. For those places, I feel like you can leave a tip if you want to, but it’s not necessary. After all, those employees are making an hourly wage that is higher than that of a server and, unless they are claiming those tips as income, it’s not the majority of their take home pay. But then he says this:

Restaurants are the worst offenders. A recent Pew Research study found 3.75 million people earning near-minimum wages in the food services industry. Many of them depend on gratuities and are not shy about telling customers about the arrangement.

Damn right we’re not shy about it. Some of us only make $2.13 an hour so that 15-20% tip that customers leave is what pays our rent, food and bills. So, yeah, if you get great service and don’t leave a tip, don’t be surprised if the waiter is going to question you about it. That’s what happened to Andrew Chapados and his girlfriend who had dinner on the Las Vegas strip and left no tip on the $50 bill. Andrew said the food was overpriced and the restaurant had a strict no-sharing policy so he opted to stiff the server. And then he was surprised when the server chased his cheap ass down the street to remind him what a tip is. First off, if two of you ate in Vegas for fifty bucks, that’s pretty affordable. Secondly, just because you thought it was expensive and they wouldn’t let you share an entree is no reason to stiff the sever. If the service was bad, sure. But the two things you complain about have nothing to do with how the waiter did his job.

But back to Christopher Elliott and his stupid fucking suggestions.

Be polite and firm, but don’t over explain. Remember…a tip should be optional. In other words, if you don’t want to leave a tip, don’t bother explaining why you aren’t doing it. Just walk away and let the server assume that you are a cheap mother fucker who has deep pockets and short arms.

Avoid a confrontation. Basically, what he is saying to do is to leave a couple of dollars in the check presenter and hightail it out of there before the server sees what a shitty tipper you are. If you can get out of there quick enough, you won’t run the risk that someone is going to chase you down and ask, “Excuse me, but was everything alright with the service?” If you choose to run away, don’t assume you’re in the “all clear” until you are at least two blocks away, because I once chased four bitches halfway down 49th Street to have a “confrontation.” And he also wants to make sure you total the credit card receipt so some shady ass server doesn’t try to add a tip. (I agree with that, I must say. There are a few stupid, greedy servers out there who think writing in their own tip is okay and it is 100% not okay.)

Use the system to your advantage. “Employees don’t always see your tip. Unless they can read upside down and they happen to look your way, chances are the employee will never know.” Umm, asshole, we WILL know as soon as we look at the receipt. We’re not stupid. What you are encouraging people to do is to be cowardice about the fact that they don’t want to leave a tip.

Here is my suggestion if you don’t want to leave a tip even if the service is good: As soon as you sit down, grow a pair of balls and tell the server that you do not plan on tipping. Let’s just get it all out into the open. That way, the server can focus his attention on the other tables who understand that it’s part of our social contract to leave a tip when dining out in a restaurant. You can then expect the barebones service that should come from someone who is only making $2.13 an hour. If you let your server believe he will be tipped for doing his job and then you sneakity-sneak out of there without tipping, you’re as dishonest as the server you are so worried about who will scribble in their own tip on a credit card receipt. Be honest with yourself: anyone who thinks Christopher Elliott’s ideas are good ones is a cheap ass and no one who works in a restaurant wants to serve them.

 

Here is his Facebook page. You can find the article and leave a comment.
Here is the article.
And here is his Twitter.

If you like my bitching, you should totally go buy my book. Click here.

 

Del Taco Worker Fired for Cursing out Customers

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 9.07.15 AMSocial media strikes again, y’all. A food service worker was fired when he went off on a couple of his customers at the drive-thru at a Del Taco. As he cussed, gave them the finger and called them names, the couple filmed it all in their cell phone. We don’t know the full story, but it sounds like Mr. and Mrs. Cell Phone didn’t get one of their sauces and that caused the guy to lose his Del Taco Cool. When they warned him that he would probably be fired for his outburst, the guy replied, “My dad’s actually the fucking owner so good luck with that.”

Turns out, they had pretty good luck because he was fired after Del Taco released a statement:

“We strive to provide a positive guest experience at all of our restaurants and were appalled by this behavior as it is not representative of our high guest service standards. We took this incident very seriously and addressed it with the location’s franchisee, who took definitive action by terminating the employee immediately.”

Bro was fired.

Listen people. In this day and age of ubiquitous cell phone use, every single thing you do that is potentially offensive or annoying to others is going ti be recorded by someone. Just last week, I filmed a bitch on the q32 bus who was eating a huge portion of disgusting-smelling Chines food. Why did I film it? Because I have a cell phone and that’s what people do, that’s why. Bottom line to food-service workers: keep your fucking cool. Save your frustrations and funnel them into for something positive like a blog. That’s what I did and look how far it’s gotten me! (Full disclosure: yes, I still wait tables…) This Dude has a smile on his face the whole time he is self-destructing which means one of two things: he either acts this way all the time so it’s completely normal for him OR he’s stoned off his ass. Perhaps it’s a combination of both.

I always want to side with the food-service worker, but in this case I don’t think I can. We just can’t treat customers this way. We don’t know what happened before the camera started recording, so maybe the customer was a real asshole about not getting his sauce. The real crime is how the video was shot. Vertical?? C’mon, people. Turn your goddamn phone sideways and use it in horizon mode!

Tipping: What’s Really Legal?

b6aa8d0f82ce01c2ac86971a60af1d22

NICE GUY EDDIE:
You don’t tip?

MR. PINK:
No. I don’t believe in it.

NICE GUY EDDIE:
You don’t believe in tipping?

MR. BLUE
Do you know what these chicks make? They make [nothing].

MR. PINK:
Don’t give me that. She don’t make enough money, she can quit.

So famously begins the 1992 film Resevoir Dogs, directed by Quentin Tarantino. While the point of this scene is to deconstruct cultural norms, this particular example strikes a nerve. Doesn’t Mr. Pink know that servers are paid below minimum wage?

Hi you guys. This is Marlo, of legal website, Avvo. We just rolled out services for small business formation, which has given me the occasion to study up on restaurant law. Tipping is the most relevant and yet most mysterious legal aspect in a restaurant. Like so many legal issues, the whole affair is shrouded in mystery. People may have heard one thing or suspect another, but it’s difficult to confirm. Being that tips are the primary source of income for many, it’s pertinent that industry folks know what’s really up. The Bitchy Waiter seems to agree, as he was kind enough to let me write this!

To clarify, not all servers are paid below minimum wage. “Tip credits” are the name for the exception that let restaurant owners to pay servers less than minimum wage. Seven states (mostly on the West Coast) have outlawed tip credits altogether. So, in these states, servers must be paid the full minimum wage in addition to any tips they receive. Sounds like time to move, eh?

Moving along, let’s talk about tip pools. A valid tip pool—where the tips are combined and then divvied up equally—is the only reason a manager can ever collect tips. The federal Department of Labor guidelines are explicit about this rule. They state that “a tip is the sole property of the tipped employee”. So, any policy that has servers tip out the management or the restaurant itself is likely in violation of the law.

Valid, in a legal sense, the most important modifier for tip pools. According to the Department of Labor, a tip pool only includes customarily tipped employees (servers and the bartender in a restaurant). So, Back of the House cannot be included in a tip pool. More details on that can be found in this tipping article. Also, neither management nor “the restaurant” can be included in a tip pool. Any policy that forces servers to tip out the restaurant itself, is likely in violation of the law.

Before everyone gets too excited. It’s relevant to note that these are the federal rules. Some states, like New York, have made their own laws around tip pools and tip shares. Honestly,contradictions between state and federal law aren’t uncommon and really a grey area (marijuana anyone?). Theoretically, federal law should have the trump card, but it really comes down to enforcement. It’s unlikely that the FBI would get involved over a tipping dispute. So, be sure to check on your state’s specific wage laws before accusing your manager of illegal activity.

To finish off, Mr. Pink’s closing argument in prosecution of tipping:

MR. PINK:

I’m very sorry the government taxes their tips…. That ain’t my fault. It would appear that
waitresses are one of the many groups that the government [cheats] on a regular basis. If you
show me piece of paper that says “the government shouldn’t do that”, I’ll sign it. Put it to a vote,
I’ll vote for it, but what I won’t do is play ball….

 

Please note: The views and opinions expressed herein are the author’s alone and do not represent Avvo. Also, the legal information herein is intended for general informational purposes only and is not the provision of legal services. Please acknowledge that such information consists of third party data and contributions, that there are certain inherent limitations to the accuracy or currency of such information, that legal and other information may be incomplete, may contain inaccuracies, or may be based on opinion.

This is What It’s Like to Do a Talk-Show

wizrdThis week, I taped an episode of a very popular talk show. They have extremely strict guidelines about what I can and cannot say about the show, so I am being very careful with this blog post. The show won’t air for a few months and I am not supposed to talk about it until then. However, because I have a big mouth, I have taken great pains to edit out everything that will get me in trouble. This is what my day of taping for a nationally syndicated talk show was like. Can you guess which show I did? Don’t worry, I will make sure you all know the official air date. 

5:45 am My alarm goes off and I immediately hit snooze.

5:50 am My alarm goes off again and I think, “Why the hell did I agree to do a talk show?”

6:52 am I curl my eyelashes because I’m gonna be on TV, dammit. (Thanks for the new eyelash curler, Marlene.)

7:15 am The car from the show picks me up at my apartment in Queens. I feel fancy.

7:50 am I arrive at the studio on 66th St. and West End Avenue where I am greeted by a production assistant who takes me to my dressing room which is very impressive. There are bottles of water, a very large fruit plate and some type of mini muffins. I take selfies. I feel fancy.index

7:52 am Another production assistant arrives to tell me I am in the wrong dressing room and takes me across the hall to the correct space. There is no fruit plate or mini muffins. Just water and a gift bag. I feel deflated.ccc

8:05 am One of the producers shows up to say hello and go over everything I am to talk about. This is when I realize that they for sure are not going to let me use the word “bitchy” or mention my book. I mean, they had mentioned that earlier, but I was really hoping things would change.

8:20 am A wardrobe person shows up to approve what I am wearing. Turns out, it’s an acquaintance of my husband. Small world. She likes what I am wearing because duh, I look fabulous.

8:30 am I meet another producer who then takes me to set to show me where I will be sitting. I sit on a stool and wait for my turn to go over my bit with the great and powerful talk show host.

8:37 am I meet him. We shake hands. We rehearse. He is gone.

8:45 am I am in hair and make up. The hair lady looks at my hair and I say, “This is all it will do. Trust me.” She agrees and sprays some oil on it to make it look shiny. The makeup woman piles an enormous amount of concealer under my eyes and I feel her judging me for having too many cocktails the night before and not going to bed early. She does not even notice my curled eyelashes.

9:10 am I meet with the first producer again to go over my talking points. It is again confirmed that my blog will be called “B-word Waiter” and we will not be mentioning my book. I flash back to 5:45 this morning and wish I would have turned the alarm off instead of hitting snooze, because this appearance is going to do very, very little for me, my blog or my book. I take an extra bottle water and stuff it into my bag. I deserve it.

9:40 am I see a sign taped on the mirror telling me how I can and cannot tell people about my appearance on the show. Only 7 days before and 7 days after, that’s it. I cannot embed video. I cannot link to YouTube or any other video. I have to use exact words if I Tweet or Facebook about it. I can only liink to the show’s website and it can only be from my own website. I cannot use the host’s name or likeness. It’s almost like they don’t want me to talk about it.index3

9:45 am I am taken upstairs along with the other two people in my segment; two chefs, one of which I learn is going to talk about something I did not feel comfortable talking about because I didn’t think it was something that really happened very often or at all in restaurants. But I guess he was cool with saying it, so more power to him.

9:47 am We are sitting on chairs outside the studio, both of them taking selfies and me wishing I had brought my phone upstairs.

9:50 am I am taken to my stool and the show begins. I wait for Mr. Talk Show Host to come to the other stool and have a conversation with me. I look at the audience who all seem very excited to be there and some of them look at me with disappointment in their face that I am not someone famous. I am not nervous. I am sleepy and want a nap.sss

9:58 am He is coming toward me. We are taping. It’s happening. My mind is going over all the things I am supposed to say and I decide that I am going to mention my book myself, because fuck it. He is here. We are talking. I am trying to be funny and animated but serious at the same time. When will I mention my book? How will I do this? When can I fit it in? Will they edit it out if I do it?secret2

10:02 am He’s gone. I did not mention my book. It went so fast. I am kicking myself that I didn’t say anything about the book. The stage managers waves me over. I am done.

10:07 am On a quick break, we take a photo with Mr. Great and Powerful.secret

10:09 am I am back in my dressing room and told my car will be there shortly to take me home. I take a selfie with my coffee mug and put it into my bag along with another bottle of water.13015356_10153698748723458_1090030620468828383_n

10:20 am. My car is here. I am taken to it and get in. The driver proceeds to tell me how all of the day before he drove Anderson Cooper around who was doing appearances for his book all over the city and Long Island. I assume Andersn got to mention the name of his book at said appearances. The driver keeps talking about Anderson Cooper and it feels like he is rubbing it in that I did not get to talk about my book.

10:48 am I am home. I peel off my clothes, wash off the makeup from my face, put the coffee mug in the dishwasher, put the two bottled waters in the fridge and take a two hour nap on the couch with my dog.