A Comment on Comments, the Allergy Edition

A Comment on Comments

A Comment on Comments

Yesterday was a tornado of activity with the Today show appearance. As expected, it created lots of traffic and discussion on the Bitchy Waiter Facebook page as well as this blog. As is my way, I would like to respond to some of the comments, specifically those revolving around my discussion of allergies. Here is what I said about allergies in its entirety:

“You need to be aware of your allergies, it’s not the server that needs to be aware of it. So, if you’re allergic to onions and you order that Philly Cheese Steak that has onions on it, the server’s gonna be a little bit disappointed because it says it right there on the menu.”

Well those 13 seconds opened up the floodgates to every anaphylactic shock allergen in the Western Hemisphere and they came after me like a mob of gluten-free bitches who want biscuits but can’t have ’em. First off, I never said I don’t care about allergies. All I was trying to say was it’s more the customer’s responsibility than it is the server’s. Maybe it wasn’t as clear as I’d have liked, but the whole segment was only 4 minutes long and it was live TV. My “disappointment” comes from the fact that many times people who are allergic to something don’t even bother reading the fucking menu to see what they can and cannot have. My example was spot on: if you can’t have onions, then don’t order something that is described as “smothered in onions.” If you are going to order the meatloaf and you wonder if there are onions in it, then sure, you should ask. And if you’re allergic to gluten and you order a chicken fried steak that is covered in gravy, I would expect the customer to know that most sauces have flour in them and that the steak will be breaded. This is what I am talking about. And if you’re “allergic to gluten” and ask for only a little bit of gravy, you’re not allergic, bitch. You’re just thinking it’s the latest way to get a beach-ready body.

But let’s get to the specific comments, shall we?
Jennifer says: When your restaurant starts listing every single ingredient and every cross-contamination risk “right there on the menu,” only then will I stop asking you what’s in the food and pointing out that my son has an allergy. Until then, I’ll continue to ask and you’ll just have to keep your “disappointment” to yourself. I sure hope you’d be more than “disappointed” if my child died in your restaurant because you were too much of a “bitchy waiter” to answer my questions.

I never said I would not answer questions about the menu, Jennifer. I just expect the customer to know which questions to ask. And you are right about me being more than disappointed if your child died in my restaurant. I would be extremely disappointed. Like bummed to the Nth degree because I have a pretty definite feeling that if your child died in my section, I would get less than a 10% tip and in my book, a 10% tip is a fail.

Sabrina says: So you basically apologize for not having more time to explain on The Today Show and then you cut and paste a comment so that others could make fun of fatal food allergies, as if they were a fad? So which is it are we suppose to ask about what’s in the food or not? I didn’t think there was anything wrong with her statement. I hope your proud of yourself! It’s people like you that my daughter cries almost every day. How about this…GO FUCK YOURSELF off a short bridge and get a REAL JOB!

Oh, Sabrina. Dear, sweet, addle-brained dumb as a box of hair, Sabrina. Yes, I did apologize to some people for not having time to further explain my stance on allergies but I also gave the opportunity to make fun of Jennifer. It’s what I do. But I want to dissect your comment more. I believe you meant to say “I hope you’re proud of yourself” and not “your.” And I am proud of myself. Very proud. And it’s people like me that your daughter cries almost every day? I don’t get that sentence. Are you in the habit of letting her be babysat by jaded middle-aged men who wear aprons for a living because if that is the case, you need a new fucking nanny service. My favorite nonsensical part of your comment is that I should go fuck myself off a short bridge. Again, I don’t get it. Pull the peanut-free nuts out of your ass and try to make some fucking sense. And “get a real job?” That is the most tired argument ever and I can’t go over it again.

Finally, Liz had this to say: Your comment this morning on the Today Show regarding allergies being annoying was completely insensitive. My daughter might die from eating a food with no nuts in the ingredients, but that has been cross-contaminated with nuts in the kitchen. Most deaths resulting from ingestion of an allergen in a restaurant are due to the diner not informing the waiter/restaurant of the food allergy so that they can take the proper precautions. You have misled the viewers of the Today Show and should recant your statement.

I never said allergies were annoying. Read the fucking transcript, Liz. What’s annoying is when people order crap that they are allergic to and they don’t bother to read the menu to see if their allergen is in the dish. I’m sorry your daughter might die if she eats something nutty and delicious. I don’t think I misled the viewers of the Today Show, but I would love a chance to recant my statement. Luckily for me, Matt Lauer gave me his cell phone number yesterday so as soon as I post this blog, I am going to text him and tell him that Liz wants me to come back on the show. Savannah also gave me her cell phone, but I kinda got a flirting vibe from Matt so I’ll reach out to him. Look for me on the show tomorrow. I’m sure it will be no problem to get back on. Thanks for the great idea, Liz. You’re smart.

Overall, the comments about the Today show were overwhelmingly positive. It was a lot of fun for me and the whole crew at the show were so nice. I am happy I got to do it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bathe in peanuts and make myself a gluten smoothie. Suck it, allergens.


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45 thoughts on “A Comment on Comments, the Allergy Edition

  1. Deej

    It’s sadly all to common for people to get butthurt over the stupidest things. There is also a serious lack of people taking responsibility for themselves, expecting the world to cater to them.

    To the “get a real job” assholes, just fuck yourselves. I personally wasn’t aware that being a server was fake. They do work, they get paid and pay taxes on the wages therefore the job is about as real as it can get. I personally may have moved out of deli to office work but I still have respect for anyone who can stick it out in a customer service job.

  2. Ryan

    Bitchy Waiter, CLEARLY all the negative comments from people who never waited a table in their life!!! I understood everything you were saying! As far as ” Get a Real Job” goes, our job is one of the most important…..unless they want to turn the world into drivethrough windows.

  3. Scargosun

    This isn’t even about people who have never waited tables. It’s about common sense and personal responsibility. If I was in a restaurant and I saw the cheesesteak senario I would promptly tell that person to learn how to read. It is annoying to other patrons when idiots pull this crap. It’s not that flipping hard to read the menu and order.

  4. AJ

    I love how everyone seems to think that the meanest possible thing to say to a waitron is ‘get a real job.’

    1. Serenity

      ha, right? as soon as I can find a “real” job that lets me work for 5 hours, and leave with 200 in cash plus minimum wage base, I’ll get right on that!!!

  5. Karin Wolchko

    My goodness Bitchy. These jump to comment, loud mouths missed the whole point. Just as they miss the ingredient description in their menu. No one wants a person especially a child to have an allergic reaction on their shift. I work in a restaurant and when someone has a life or possibly death allergy I can tell them exactly what is in the dish…HOWEVER if they want to know something like a nut ( lets say ) was ever next to, on, or in the vicinity of the preparation of there order…. ever…. I would have to say I couldn’t guarantee that and maybe they should re- think their choice. I had a customer with a kid that had that very same nut allergy. She asked if any nuts were near the preparation of his spaghetti & meatballs. If so she would bring him his own food from home so he could still participate in the family reunion. At the very least….when going out to eat with a food allergy…have a plan B.

    1. Robert

      “These jump to comment, loud mouths missed the whole point. Just as they miss the ingredient description in their menu.” — I think you hit the nail on the head.

      People are generally passive listeners and readers instead of active ones. I can almost forgive the people listening to someone. They hear the first part and then completely miss the rest because there mind is busy digesting what they did take in. It’s the people who jump to comment on something they read and it is clear that they completely missed the point because they just skimmed or worse stopped reading halfway through because they have already made assumptions about what the writer is trying to convey that really confuse me. Why not take the time to actually read all of what was written and not come off as a complete fool with your too quick comment?

  6. john peart

    loved your interview, funny how all these people are bitching about the allergy part, that covered a whole 20 seconds of the segment. Fuking idiots, go order yourself a vegetarian steak and then say im allergic to natural gas so make sure you cook it in the microwave but I want it to have nice grill marks and taste like chicken.

  7. I love everyone!

    Oh my God, these food allergy people are just over the top. At my kids small elementary school a couple of years ago no one could bring any item with peanuts for lunch, the entire gradeschool had to abide by this because of 1 child with a peanut allergy. Other schools get by with ‘peanut free’ tables for kids to sit at, but not our place. People were pissed…I was pissed…my kids were pissed. Thankfully the child moved away and I don’t feel one bit bad about saying that. Some people just go way overboard with the food allergy thing, but I’m sure as soon as I post this at least 15 people will be jumping on my ass because they knew someone who smelled a peanut from three states away and then went into anaphylactic shock.

  8. Megan

    Oh goodness gracious. I had to go watch your video to see what the big deal was about. I completely agree. People SHOULD read the menu, it’s not rocket science. Not only are you wasting your time and mine but if you order without looking, get your oniony Philly steak, send it back and complain, no one is going to be happy. Not you, who can’t eat with everyone else at the table because you’re waiting for the replacement. Certainly not me, who now needs to do about 5 extra things now and now my serving groove is off. And DEFINTELY not the cranky cranky bitchy kitchen staff, because let’s face it… they’re mean in the kitchen.

    And get a real job? Holy smokes. I don’t wait tables anymore but I did for around 8 years and it is by far one of the most challenging careers I have ever had. It’s freaking customer service on crack. Have some respect people. If we didn’t wait on your mean ass, you’d never be able to go out to eat… there’d be no one to wait on you because we’d all be working “real” jobs.

    P.S. I loved your comment about not yelling at you because you only carried the plate. How true is that?

  9. Cyndi Johnson

    I LOVED your Today Show appearance and immediately “liked” you on Facebook so I didn’t have to miss a single, succulent moment of your awesome insights. I worked as a waitress for one day. Not even a full day, like a 4-hour shift. Servers deserve my highest respect, since I absolutely adore eating, and you bring me the goods. I am a slightly picky eater, but I am always polite about expressing my interests and asking about what’s in my food. A stellar server, such as you, never minds me approaching it that way, and I’m forever grateful. Thank you for telling it like it is, and of course, when you put Milli Vanilli and Teen Beat references in your posts, it endears you forever to this 80’s girl.

  10. Anne

    Dear Bitchy:

    What is it with all these allergies? Granted, I am a relic (born 1960), but growing up I just don’t remember so many people having allergies, aside from my great uncle Claude, who I believe just didn’t care for his mother’s cooking. When our son when to preschool in the 90s, I blithely packed him a PBJ one day, and was nearly drummed out of school by the Mommy brigade. You’d think I’d packed him a scrapple sandwich, a 60s favorite, and highly under-appreciated.

    Are we living in the age of munchausen-by-allergen-proxy?


    1. Amy Abrams

      I agree. I, too, grew up in the 60’s and 70’s and didn’t know a single person in school with ANY allergies. We didn’t wear helmut’s on bikes, we drank out of the hose, had lead paint in our bedrooms, we left in the morning and didn’t come home til the streetlights came on (no cell phone to check in) . They don’t make kid’s like they used. We were tough, these kids today are soft and whiny.

      1. Anne

        Scrapple Lover:

        It would be my pleasure. My grandmother (who died at 99 yrs and 9 months) ate eggs and scrapple just about every morning of her life. Scrambled eggs and calves brains was another favorite of hers — and mine.

        She didn’t need glasses until her mid-eitghties, never took anything other than an aspirin or a good shot of bourbon for a cold, and was reading the NY Times up until 72 hours before her last breath.

        They can keep tofu, really they can.


    2. Robert

      I blame antibacterial soaps, gloves on food prep workers and the general phobia of germs that people have been getting drilled into them for the last 20 years.

      Let’s face it, an allergy is your immune system reacting to something that is benign. If you don’t give your immune system some real germs to play with it’s going to start going after something. Like Norton on your computer your immune system is always working in the background; it doesn’t shut itself off and only activate when there is a real threat.

  11. chacha1

    I like how Liz totally makes BW’s point for him:

    “Most deaths resulting from ingestion of an allergen in a restaurant are due to the diner not informing the waiter”

    Yes. THE DINER not informing the waiter. smh

  12. Jasmynabambina

    I find it astounding when someone says “My daughter may die from cross contamination in the kitchen..” If your daughter’s LIFE is on the line, why would you even take the risk… I’ve had customers that ordered the seafood tacos, not informing me of an allergy to shellfish… and when she took a bite and realized that today’s seafood was shrimp, she very politely asked me to call an ambulance, as her face began to swell waiting for the ambulance to arrive, she politely signaled for the check. I assured her that the meal would be comped and so she left me the cost of the bill as my tip. She returned later on and apologized for worrying everyone… Why? BECAUSE IT IS HER RESPONSIBILITY TO NOT INGEST ANYTHING WITH SHELLFISH…

  13. Kristi

    You are such a hilarious individual. I adore you. Kudos for being on The Today Show and I fully stand behind everything you said. Especially about fucking allergies. I had a mom and daughter come in about a month ago TEN minutes before close. I’m already pissed and then they proceed to tell me they both have umpteen allergies and proceeded to take 30 minutes to even fucking order. Long story short, they kept me an hour and a half past close and then tipped me 10%. After all of my trouble of finding out every ingredient in every item they ordered. Allergies can lick my asshole. Oh, I forgot to mention I have horrible food allergies myself and for some reason it’s really easy for me to know what I can and can’t eat without my server’s assistance. 🙂

  14. laura

    “Hi! Welcome to Shaky’s Shellfish Shack! I’m Laura and I’ll be your server. What can I get for you tonight sir?”
    Customer:”I can’t have ANYTHING with shellfish in it. As a matter of fact, I can’t have any food cooked in a pan that’s ever had shellfish cooked in it.”
    “Well sir-I’ll do my best but it is a shellfish restaurant and not all of our cooks have a strong grasp of the English language. They’ll understand “no shrimp” but I may have trouble conveying “no shrimp in the pan ever” to them. Maybe a garden salad?”
    Customer”No, I want your sauteed chicken in a shellfish-free pan made with no garlic,no olive oil,no this, no that……(on &on)”
    “Alright sir. This will probably take me about 20 minutes to type into the computer-and we’ll probably send Alex to the store for a new pan which will push the kitchen back about 30 minutes.-so, your dinner will take about an hour and so will that family’s with the hungry looking children. Thankyou so much for coming to Shaky’s though!!” (100% true story)

    1. Red

      First of I’m a chef and I thought that comment about allergies was completely legitimate! We can’t read minds people. So, if you know something is going to KILL you if you eat it then be proactive about it! Ask a question or two. The last thing anyone in the food industry wants to do is be responsible for causing a guest to go into shock or die.

  15. Megan

    As a waitress I completely understand your frustration. I have a food allergy myself and have been reading ingredient labels my whole life. It’s common sense. I never complain when a customer inquires about potential allergens. I know the routine. If you or your child has a allergy (severe or not) the right thing to do is your own due diligence. I’m not physic. Tell me. Tell your server. Tell the other people at your table. And trust me, if you don’t inquire and end up getting sick that effects everyone. I once had a lady faint in my section (for a completely unrelated reason to the food she was eating) and it sure as hell effected me! Mostly because the restaurant cleared out immediately, but also it was scary!
    Please, please, please – if you or your loved one has a medical issue that can be prevented, do the smart and responsible thing. TELL YOUR SERVER!

  16. Kati

    I love your blog. It makes me happy. I am an Ex-server who developed adult onset immunological allergies to milk and eggs. I am an ex-server because,not having health insurance, I didn’t go to the doctor until I got so sick and weak that I couldn’t do my job anymore. I loved being a server, I hate being “that girl” with the allergies.
    I say this to make the point that “I’ve looked at life from both sides now”
    PEOPLE!!! If you have food allergies that are severe enough to be anaphylactic, take responsibility for your damn self!!!! (Or your child). Eat at home. If I am going to eat out, I look up the menu online. I look through the options. I call the restaurant, DURING non-peak times (ie not during lunch or dinner rush), I ask to speak to a manager, I ask specific questions. I go into the situation fully prepared to handle my allergies and my meal!!!!!
    I understand that allergies are frustrating. I MISS pizza and ice cream which I spent 32 years loving.
    This is not your server’s fault. It is not the restaurant’s fault.
    Very few servers know exactly what is in every dish unless it is an upscale restaurant that makes it’s food from scratch. I have spoken to managers on the phone who cannot tell me if there is egg in the bread because the bread comes in a clear plastic wrapper. So I don’t get a sandwich.
    This is not the manager’s fault!!!
    I hate people who think that allergy patrol is the responsibility of a single, busy server. You make the kitchen HATE that server who has to come running back to ask I’d there are eggs in the bread while they have tickets piling up and 1 guy has to leave his station, affecting the preparation of food for the ENTIRE rest of the restaurant patrons, only to discover that the bread comes in a clear plastic bag!!!
    They are your allergies. They are your responsibility. Own it. Stop being whiny, self-important terrible customers and be prepared to handle the cards you have been dealt in this world.
    And feed your kids a snack before you get there so that they aren’t whining, dumping out the sugar caddies and salt shakers, so you don’t have to demand that you get special treatment because you are too lazy of a parent to have realized there might be a 20 minute wait and junior will get cranky.
    Thank you for lreading this, if you got this far, you are probably a server, I am in your corner, and it is a REAL JOB!!,

  17. Wendy

    A few years ago I was taking the order for a party of 9 and the first customer, a lady said, “No hazelnuts in my salad please.” so I wrote that down and preceded on to the rest of the party. Thank Dog I had to get 8 other orders and overheard her conversation while she told her dining companion about her deathly allergy to nuts. If I hadn’t accidentally overheard that the cook would have made her salad in the same bowl he used to make all of the other salads he’d made that night with hazelnuts. She totally would have had some minuscule but deadly pieces of hazelnuts and she might have, I don’t know, puffed up like blowfish or flat out died.

    ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS tell your server if you have an allergy to something on the menu!! If you need to ask, “Does anything on your menu have hazelnuts/shrimp/mango/strawberries/soy because I am extremely allergic and if I eat any of it, it will put me in the hospital.” Be up front and polite not overly dramatic (one customer asked me if I knew how to dial 911 because if his grilled cheese sandwich came in contact with any seafood whatsoever he’d keel over in the dining room. <His exact words.) and we will all be able to enjoy ourselves.

    Take some responsibility for managing your allergies and we will do our damnedest to meet you half way.

  18. kathy

    these same people that are saying that serving isn’t a real job, but yet there willing to put there lives in our hands. the people that don’t have real jobs. and then they want us to put up with there children running around, screaming disturbing everybody throwing there food on floor. then leave for us to pick up after them. they want us to wrap up there food.and why does everybody think they can do our jobs so much better than us. but yet this is not a real job. the only thing thats not real is that you don’t think you have to pay us to be your maid,childcare provider,cook, garbage collector,and the person you can bully.

  19. April

    I love the “server’s don’t have real job” comments! I served for about a month. I SUCKED at it. Horribly. It was the hardest job I have ever worked. and I work in corrections now. People are jerks. People that won’t take responsibility for their own safety and well-being are bigger jerks. Give me felons over the general public anyday

  20. Claire

    I had a guy with food allergies ask me what didn’t have (whatever the hell it was) so I politely say “I’m sorry I’m not 100% sure, please let me go check”. It took maybe 3 whole minutes and once I came back my co-worker told me that asshole customer was “pissed because I took to long and I should’ve known off the top of my head”. What the fuuuuuck???? I’m not the one who’s going to DIE if I eat (whatever it was) and I’m sorry! I’m sorry I gave a half a fuck if you died in the first place!

    Of course this happens during dinner rush as well. Fucker! I hope he chokes on (whatever it was)!

  21. melissa in houston

    I would like to know how many people have died in a restaurant after eating something they are allergic to? Curious, is this really the epidemic it is being made out to be? So my question to my fellow partners in crime oh i mean fellow servers has anyone seen anyone drop dead in their section?

    1. PCC

      I heard about a guy who died in a restaurant because he was allergic to getting a fish bone stuck in his throat. Does that count?

  22. hollmonster

    So, it’s been four days and nothing new. How am I supposed to survive work without reading this blog and laughing? I’m gonna kill someone soon!

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  25. Former Waitress

    The people complaining about your comments on food allergies are exactly the type of people who refuse to tell servers upfront about allergies just so they can get their known allergy on a plate and sue the restaurant. Of course no server would ever want to cause an allergic reaction, but if you just flat-out refuse to be upfront, then that’s your fault. I find it odd that people with severe allergies would go to a restaurant and risk cross-contamination, but again, it’s probably because they want a change at some lawsuit money.


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