My Restaurant is Closing. Farewell, Quaint.

I have never stated on this blog where I work, but since the restaurant is closing in two weeks, it’s time. If you happen to be in Queens on a Thursday night, come see me before it’s too late. Quaint closes on June 23rd.–BW

If you have eaten at Quaint restaurant in Sunnyside, Queens on a Thursday night over the last eight years, I was probably your server. I started there on February 27, 2011, just a week after my grandmother died. On my first day at work, it seemed odd to not tell any of my new co-workers why I was so sad and distant, but as a new employee, I focused on table numbers and menu items instead of my emotions. In the beginning, no one at the restaurant knew I was a blogger called The Bitchy Waiter who was taking mental notes on what I may or may not blog about. Eventually, my alter ego became common knowledge and my boss recognized that the online personae was vastly different from the person who clocked in to work each week.

On June 23, Quaint will be closing its doors for good. The restaurant holds the distinction of  being the longest I have ever worked at one place, but it’s much more than that. It’s where so many of my stories came from, inspired by customers and co-workers and then heightened into a more entertaining version as I blogged about them. Those stories even turned into a book. I was at Quaint when I got the news that my manuscript had finally fallen into the right hands. Having ignored the “no cell phones on the floor” sign that hung in our locker area, my phone vibrated in my apron pocket. I recognized the number as being that of my agent so I ran outside to answer it.

“Congratulations, Darron,” he said. “I think I found you a publisher. You’re going to be a published author!”

I was on Skillman Avenue right in front of the dry cleaner next door, crying with excitement. When I hung up, I wanted to call my husband, my mom and everyone else I cared about, but instead I went back inside the restaurant to check on Table 9.

Quaint is three blocks from my apartment and working there for so long has made me feel like part of the fabric of my neighborhood. I see my customers at the grocery store, on the train, walking their dogs, and at the gym. I’ve gotten to know them and some of them have become close friends who are now a part of my life far beyond the restaurant. I’ve watched kids grow up there and even though I may have blogged about some of them in a less than positive light, I’ll never forget them. Charley, who was maybe four years old when I first met her and insisted on getting her own booster seat, is now almost a teenager. I saw her on the street a few months ago with some of her friends and a wave of nostalgia washed over me that parents must feel all the time when they see their children growing up. Another family with three daughters have been coming regularly for eight years. I don’t know all of their names, but I remember once how the girls had learned a bunch of knock-knock jokes and insisted on telling me every single one of them. When I saw the oldest daughter driving a car down Skillman Avenue earlier this year, the realization that so much time had passed almost knocked me over. Another couple comes in every Thursday at 5:00 and when I told them last week that we were closing, the sadness on their faces made me understand how much a restaurant can mean to some people. I hope Anne and Jerry find another restaurant they can look forward to as much as they look forward to coming to Quaint. I also hope whoever serves them next appreciates their kindness, their willingness to share stories about their lives and their openness to hearing stories about their server’s life. I will miss all of these people.

I will miss our line cook Juan who always has a smile on his face and relishes every opportunity to ring that damn bell if I’m not at the window immediately ready to run a roasted chicken to Table 16. I will miss my boss, Tim, who has allowed me to live my dual life as a “bitchy waiter” and as a faithful employee who truly wants his customers to enjoy their meals.

When Quaint closes, it will leave a hole in our little neighborhood. Another restaurant will eventually take its place, but it will take years for it to truly become part of the community, filling that hole ever so slowly. The hole that will take much longer to heal will be the one in my heart. When I started working at Quaint, I never dreamed that I’d be there for so long. However, when your job is only three blocks away from home and the people you serve are as genuinely nice as the people of Sunnyside are, eight years passes by in a flash. I know I’ll never have it as good as I do at Quaint and I think once the restaurant is gone, our neighborhood will come to the same conclusion. I will miss you, Quaint. And the neighborhood will too.

Applebee’s Mourns the Loss of Maureen

Applebee’s employees around the globe are in mourning after learning the news that Maureen has boycotted the restaurant. Even though Maureen loved eating there and has spent a lot of money at the esteemed eatery, she has decided to throw all of that history out the window because her usual “2 for $20” is now “2 for $25.” Maureen feels that the “2 for $20” stuff is more appropriate to enjoy at Wendy’s so rather than pay an additional five dollars to have what she actually wants, she has decided to never go to Applebee’s again. Understandably, many employees are in shock.

“I just couldn’t believe it when I heard,” says Cindy McCormick, a 15 year-server at the Clarksville, Indiana location. “I mean, customers come and go, but I thought Maureen was in it for good, you know? I don’t even know if I can keep working for Applebee’s if she’s not a customer anymore. It just hurts.”

McCormick is not alone in her dismay. Greg Plumb, a newly hired busser at the Cleburne, Texas location is equally shook up. “What? Maureen boycotted Applebee’s? Man, I was just hired like three days ago and she’s the only reason I wanted to work here. I was hoping that one day I’d be able to bus the table of Maureen.” Shortly after Plumb was interviewed for this story, he put in his notice, started using meth and fell into a deep depression.

Greg Flynn, the founder and CEO of the Flynn Restaurant Group and owner of over 1,200 Applebee’s released a statement about Maureen’s decision:

I find it difficult to put into words how devastating it is for us that Maureen will no longer be a valued and faithful customer of ours. I wish I could somehow convince her to come back and give us one more chance at a “2 for $20,” but she seems resolute with her decision and I respect that. Since prices do vary by location, there is always the possibility of Maureen relocating to a new city and getting her “usual” at the price she is accustomed to paying. We wish her all the luck in the world and hope she finds happiness at Wendy’s. Or maybe I’ll just send her a gift card for a free order of spinach artichoke dip since that’s probably all she fucking wants anyway.

With the departure of Maureen, the future of the Applebee’s chain is uncertain. The loss of her bi-monthly trip to Applebee’s where she spent $20 is definitely going to factor into the profit margins.

Says Flynn, “We may need to reconsider the price of our dollar vodka raspberry lemonades for the month of June. Without Maureen, these drinks may end up costing $1.25 or even $1.50. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”

There is no word on how Maureen feels about the hamburgers and chicken tender salads at Wendy’s, but it’s only a matter of time before she goes to their Facebook page and expresses her opinion. When she does, this blog will be here to report about it.

It’s a Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Many if us who work in restaurants have a love/hate relationship with our customers. On the one hand, we know that if it wasn’t for paying customers who come into our restaurants to enjoy a night out of dining we wouldn’t have a job. On the other hand, people suck. There are two men who come into my restaurant semi-regularly and each time I see them, I struggle to keep my face from revealing my true emotions. If ever there was a reason for me to use Botox, this would be it. I smile, say hello and go into hyper-server mode in order to get through the next hour with them. The last time they were in, I put some notes down on a bev nap about what it is about them that irks me so.

  1. They always order their food directly from our open kitchen. One time I described the special in great detail, answering a multitude of questions about the type of fish and how it was prepared. After he finally exhausted my knowledge about a fucking catfish fillet and some corn succotash, he decided to order it. When I rang it in, the cook asked me if this was another order for the special or was it for the guy at Table 15. Turns out, he had already ordered the special ten minutes earlier and was just wasting my time asking questions he either already had the answer to or didn’t care about. I hate them.
  2. They call me baby. Maybe it’s because they’re gay and they know I’m gay so they feel comfortable referring to me that way, but it makes me feel gross. And the way they say the word “baby” sounds like how Jackée Harry would say “Mary” on 227. I imagine they’re the kind of people who call each other Mami and Papi while making sweet love on their waterbed as Barry Manilow croons “Mandy” in the background. “Baby, can I have another glass of wine?” “Thank you for the extra napkins, baby.” “Oh, baby, can I get the check?” I hate them.
  3. They bring in their “service dog.” We all know that fleabag isn’t a service animal and it’s not emotionally supporting anyone. It sits there under the booth on its disgusting towel and licks its ass the whole time. And don’t think I don’t see you feeding it. The only time that dog pulls itself away from the intense focus of self ass licking is when you feed it a bite of roasted chicken with your fingers that you then use to feed yourself. You’re basically tasting your dog’s ass and I can’t freaking handle it. I hate them.
  4. They always want extra tentacles in their calamari. I don’t begrudge anyone for having a preference of tentacles over rings when eating calamari, but expecting the kitchen to sort through a bowl of raw calamari just so you can have a 70/30 ratio of tentacles and rings is a bit much. Just eat the calamari, guys. If your dog can eat its on ass, you can surely eat some calamari rings. I hate them.
  5. They walk through the restaurant like they own the place. It’s as if they are holding court at Table 15 and they think everyone else at the restaurant should be grateful for their presence. Never mind that Table 15 is a booth for at least four people and they always want to sit there, ignoring all the two-tops. I suppose they want the booth so that their dog has a place to stretch out as it farts and wheezes in between ass licks and bites of roasted chicken. I hate them.
  1. They always tip 25%. I love them.
  2. They always tip 25%. I love them.
  3. They always tip 25%. I love them.
  4. They always tip 25%. I love them.
  5. They always tip 25%. I love them.

Employee Takes Bath in Wendy’s Sink Because Dumb

“Welcome to Wendy’s. Can I help you?”

The Wendy’s in Milton, Florida is going to be hiring very soon because a bunch of people are about to have their asses fired after an employee took a damn bath in the kitchen sink.

If you happened to be at that particular Wendy’s that day, I’m sorry your Barbecue Cheeseburger Triple, Baconator Fries and Vanilla Frosty took some extra time but it’s because every other employee was busy recording the idiot taking a damn bath in the kitchen sink. An Operations Manager for Wendy’s says they do know about the video and are investigating the situation. He has no comment at this time.

Spoiler alert! Here is his future comment:

 

We do not know what would compel a person to strip to his underwear and soap it up in the sink of a Wendy’s while his co-workers laugh and encourage the behavior, but speaking as a former young person who once egged his high school drama teacher’s house, I know that young people make bad decisions. Was getting into a sink at work to take a bath a bad idea? Yes. But allowing your friends to record you as you do it and then letting them post it to social media is way more stupid. In my day, if I was going to do something dumb like steal a potted plant from a garden center at 11:00 at night, at least I knew nobody was going to record it with their phone. The only way you could record things in those days was if you were rich enough to afford a video camera and then strong enough to be able to carry it for more than ten minutes.

This kid in the sink is going to get fired. His co-workers are going to get fired too. And then they’ll all get jobs at Tastee-Freez, Little Caesars or McDonald’s which are right down the street. Their lives will go on and they’ll each have a story to tell their grandkids. Well, they won’t have to tell the story because they’ll be able to Google it and show the story. Unlike me, they won’t be bogged down trying to describe exactly what it was like when I may or may not have stolen a shit ton of lawn ornaments from around the city and then deposited them all onto my friend Tracy’s front yard. (Dammit, I wish I had video of that. Kids today have it so easy.)

What can we learn from this video? Three things:

  1. Cleanliness is next to godliness.
  2. It’s good to have fun while at work.
  3. If you’re gonna do something stupid at your job, put the damn phones away before you do it. Be a kid and make bad decisions, but don’t do something stupid just for clicks and views because that video will follow you for the rest of your life.

I Am In Love With These Server Books

I am always on the lookout for things that are going to make our lives as servers better, easier or more fun. Since I have not yet discovered a way for frozen margaritas to be intravenously injected into my veins while working my Thursday night shift which would make being at work infinitely better, I have to settle for a cute server book instead. It’s the little things, y’all.

ServerBooks.com is a great website with so many cute server books and even though they don’t get me a little bit tipsy, they are super adorable. I am currently fixated on this bright pink hologram book for two reasons:

  1. Everyone looks good in pink.
  2. Gay pride is a month away.

server books

I am also considering this Day of the Dead inspired server book that is covered in skulls because if there’s anything that can make me feel better about bringing Table 11 yet another ramekin of lemon slices for their salmon, it’s looking into my apron and knowing that the end is near.

server books

Or perhaps I’ll choose the book that is covered in purple unicorns. If I’m gonna insist that we play the Britney Spears music channel while we’re doing the closing sidewalk, I may as well embrace the sixteen-year old girl who lives inside me and have a server book that matches my attitude.

server book

Anywho, I just wanted to put it out there, because whenever I see something that I think y’all might like, I want to share it with you. Check out their server books at www.serverbooks.com and if any of you get one, send me a photo of you using it at work! I’d love to see it.

Bartender Charged For Serving Gunman Before Mass Shooting

Lindsey Glass
KTVT/EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT

A Texas bartender has been charged with criminal negligence and faces a year in jail and/or a $500 fine after she served Spencer Hight who had too much to drink and then went to his ex-wife’s house to kill her and seven other people. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code states that a person is criminally negligent if they sell “an alcoholic beverage to an habitual drunkard or an intoxicated or insane person,” so since bartender Lindsey Glass was the last person to serve him, she must be somehow responsible for a crazy-fuck named Spencer Hight shooting up eight of his friends.

The story is complicated because Lindsey personally knew Spencer and even texted a fellow bartender/friend that “Spencer has a big knife on the bar and is spinning it and just asked for his tab and said I have to go do some dirty work … Psychoooooooo.” She also texted that he was being “drunk and being weird” and had “produced a pistol from his front pocket and put it on the table.”

So what’s Lindsey supposed to do? We all know that if the guy showing off a knife was a stranger, she would have called the cops immediately, but since Spencer was an acquaintance, maybe it wasn’t as simple a decision. Or maybe he always pulled this kind of shit and she had no idea he was any more dangerous this time than any other time he’s acted “drunk and weird.” (She did call 911 after he left the bar.) Perhaps Lindsey wanted to give him one more drink just so he’d calm down or pass out and hopefully sleep it off. I’m not saying that she should serve an obviously inebriated customer more alcohol. All I’m saying is that it’s complicated to cut someone off, especially someone you know personally.

Some of the families of the victims filed civil suits against Lindsey but those suits were eventually dropped. However, she still faces the criminal negligence charges.

Is that right? I don’t think this girl should go to jail just because she had the misfortune of being the last person to serve a drink to someone who already had a pretty good plan to go do some damage. I understand that the families of the victims want someone to pay for this since Spencer ended up dead that night too, but the bartender? If you’re looking to place blame, you can look at the person who sold Spencer the gun. Or maybe the person who sold him the bullets. Hey, why not sue the GPS company that gave him directions to his ex-wife’s house or maybe the gas station that allowed Spencer to have enough fuel to drive there? This bartender is going to spend the rest of her life regretting that night and she certainly doesn’t need a year in jail or a fine to make it more imprinted in her memory.

We as servers and bartenders do the best we can do when it comes to serving alcohol. How are we supposed to know if someone who sits in our section is a “habitual drunkard” when they sit down and order a Jack and Coke two minutes after the first time we’ve ever laid eyes on them? And an “intoxicated” person isn’t always so easily identifiable. Sure some of them are sloppy drunks and it’s an easy call, but some of those drunks are professional and can have six drinks somewhere else and not even show it and as far we know they’re on cocktail number one. Finally, if Texas doesn’t want us to serve an “insane person,” I’d like to know how the hell we’re supposed to know what our customers mental history is. Half the people who sit in my section seem crazy as a bed bug, so am I supposed to stop serving all of them our just the people who present me their psychological history in a manilla folder that was provided by their psychiatrist?

To the families of the victims, I’m sorry for your loss.

To Lindsey Glass, I say good luck to you. I hope your only punishment for this are the memories you will have to live with.

To every server and bartender out there I say this: be careful when you serve liquor because one of those assholes you give a beer to might make a bad decision after they leave your restaurant and someone might want to blame you for it.


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