Just Stop Sitting at the Dirty Table

Sitting here will make me hate you.

Sitting here will make me hate you.

Can we talk about customers and their insane need to sit at the one dirty table in the whole fucking restaurant? It happened a few days ago to me and I cannot wrap my tequila-soaked brain around it. The restaurant has three booths all right next to one another. They are each the same in dimension, appearance and distance from each other. I can see no discernible difference between any of them. Two of them are clean with silverware and glasses while one has a dirty plate on it, two glasses with water in them and a couple of napkins. Two customers have just left the booth right when another couple walks into the restaurant. We don’t have a hostess so, as per usual, I greet them at the front and tell them to sit wherever they’d like and I will follow them with menus. Like fucking moths to a flame or me to a margarita, they make a beeline for the one dirty booth and sit down. Why? God in heaven, why do they do that? They actually walk past one clean booth to sit at the dirty one. I do not understand it. Menus in hand, I approach the table.

What I say: “Hello there. Give me a minute or two and I will clean this table for you.”

What I think: “Dumb asses. I hate you. I hate you so hard.”

Suddenly, they pull their heads out of their asses. “Oh, gosh, I didn’t even notice this table is dirty. Do you want us to move?”

What I say: “No, it’s fine. I’ll clean it right now, don’t worry about it.”

What I think; “You didn’t notice a pile of dirty napkins sitting in front of you? And you didn’t see that dessert plate with chocolate syrup all over it? You suck at seating yourself and I hate you.”

Do people do this on purpose? Is there some deep subconscious urge to take advantage of having a person serve them so they do everything possible to have us do as much work for them including cleaning a table as they sit at it? Did they want to watch me scrub chocolate syrup off the table and get down on my knees before them to pick up the straw wrapper? As I am wiping the table down, a few errant bread crumbs make their way from my towel to the booth seat. I notice that the woman sees these crumbs but I decide that the crumbs shall remain where they are. Had her ass not been sitting there, I would have wiped the booth seat down too, but since she so desperately and immediately wants this seat, the crumbs can sit with her.

“Okay, here are your menus and I will be right back with place settings and glasses.”

“Ummm, I’m sorry, but now the table is all wet.”

What I say: “Oh, gosh, I’m sorry. Let me get a dry cloth real quick and dry that off.”

What I think: “Get over it! It’s water, lady. Are you so precious that you are going to dissolve if your elbows should touch moisture? It will be dry in thirty seconds; drier than my sarcasm but not as dry as your vagina. Good lord, you could have fucking sat at the other booth that is right behind you and all would have been fine, but noooo, you needed to sit here now, so before I have even began my steps of service, I am seriously annoyed by you.”

I dry the table, take their order, serve the food and everything goes off without a hitch. They are nice and friendly, but I can’t help but wonder what the fuck makes anyone want to sit at the one dirty table in a restaurant. Stop doing that, people, Really. Stop it.

79 thoughts on “Just Stop Sitting at the Dirty Table

  1. Kathy Bishop

    After way too many times of this happening (most often when the restaurant is nearly empty it seems) I finally asked a few customers why they did that (not being rude, just seriously curious and no one ever seemed to take offense at my question) and every time the answer was a quick glance around at the other clean tables and booths, a sheepish laugh and “we didn’t even notice”. I think there is some kind of unconscious, primal follow the leader/herd mentality at play here.

    We all know the General Public is just flat out oblivious.

    Reply
    1. Blahblah

      Maybe people subconsciously sit at a dirty table because they know they will get service there because someone else just did. It’s a jerk move, and I always take my time cleaning it off for them for that very reason, but it’s the only thing I can think of that would make people repeatedly do it.

      Reply
    2. peddie

      Apparently psychology they believe they’ll be served faster if sat at a dirty table. Me personally think they are out to cause the hospitality staff more trouble on purpose. Mostly because people as a whole are scum.

      Reply
    3. Dixie

      I worked as a cook for years but always helped out in the front of the house. I had just started a job with a friend of mine and it was opening day of deer season and we were packed , when it was time to go all these hunters got up at once paid and left. well the place had two clean tables and this woman walked in and sat at a dirty one. My friend went to the table and the lady said “don’t give me any shit about sitting at a dirty table”, My friend in her sweet snippy tone said” I figured that’s what you were used to at home” oops. We found out later it was the head cook’s wife.

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    4. Jrrrr

      Maybe they are just fuck sticks of epic proportion and mouth breathers that ate sucking up air that deserving guests should be getting

      Reply
    5. NJ_MileySmiley

      Besides sitting themselves at dirty table – how about the repeat table magic? I am the hostess and we have a lot of repeat customers. I cannot explain to u how many times I lead the same people to the same table they sat at the last 10 times. Mind u – I only work 2 days a week, I do not remember many customers personally; and I certainly have no idea whether they were here before or where exactly they were sitting. But it happens ALL THE TIME! I show them to their table and they tell me that’s where they sat the last 2-3-4 times! C’mon! I’m not alone with this magic, am I?

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    6. Paull

      I don’t understand why customers do that if anything they wait longer because when busy I haven’t noticed the change of customer and I’m still waiting for them to leave! Its only when they get irrate and ask if they can order that i say I didn’t realise with them sitting at a dirty table! 😡

      Reply
  2. Lisa

    Thru the years, I have learned to NOT let people seat themself. They are dumb! And if someone starts to walk toward the dirty table I immediately tell them to go to another table. Naturally, I let them think that it is their idea to go to another table by saying something like, “oh no~ you don’t want to sit here. it’s too far from the window and you will miss the view.” (the parking lot) “You’re right, ” is usually the answer I get and then as lemmings to a cliff, I guide them in another direction.
    The worst is when they stand next to the table, not actually sit, but hover around it like it was a sacred place, just to make sure they get to sit there. Trying to clean the table off, they get in the way, groan cause it takes longer to clean as I walk around them, then sit down before the table is wiped off and actually have the audacity to tell me “the table is sticky over here” or over there.
    After 5 minutes of clearing, dodging, and wiping, I hand the menus out and naturally it takes 15 minutes before everyone is settled and focused on what they want to order.
    “Everyone ready to order?”, I ask with a forced grin.

    and this is what makes me want to stab someone in the eye…

    ” I’ll have…ummmm…gee I don’t know…skip me and I’ll think about it…but can you get a wet cloth, it’s still sticky over here.”

    A dirty table should come with yellow caution tape just so the message NOT to sit there is obvious.

    Reply
  3. Leo

    I’ve already heard people saying ‘Let’s get the dirty table so that the waiter come quicker’… fcking bastards.

    Reply
  4. Laura

    If they offer to move to another table and you tell them not to worry about it then that’s on you. But I agree with you. A lot of people are assholes, especially to waitstaff and customer service people.

    Reply
  5. Suzie

    THIS so much this. Our bar area is open seating, and during busy times, ok, I kind of get moving to the table the instant someone stands up, because you’re apparently desperate for instant gratification – god forbid you wait 20 minutes for a table.

    But when we’re slow, and there are 10 other tables that are clean, and you want to sit at the dirty one, since I don’t have a busser, you actually get SLOWER service, because instead of greeting you right after you sit down, now I have to buss your table, wipe it down, and then greet you, which, I will now de-prioritize because you’re an ass. If you make me clean the table you’re sitting at when you could have picked a clean one, I will now prioritize the other table’s refills, orders, etc, before I wait on you. Why? because I’m annoyed, and you wasted my time.

    Reply
  6. Andy Whorehol

    I loathe going out to eat with my 70-year-old mother, because she is *everything* every waiter hates the most about his/her customers: impatient, obnoxious, cheap, asks too many stupid menu questions/asks for endless substitutions and extras, etc.
    But THE number one thing she does that makes me want to hide under the table in embarrassment when we go out to eat together is what I refer to as ‘Table Roulette.’
    It doesn’t matter if the hostess seats us or we seat ourselves: we have to try out at least 2-3 tables before she’s happy. Her excuses range from “this table’s lamp is too bright” to “this booth is too lumpy” to “this is too dark over here” to “We need to be closer to the bar so we’ll get better service.” And inevitably, 9 times out of 10, she’ll settle on the dirty table. Which leads to me apologizing profusely to the server/shooting mom dirty looks after mom has squawked that she wants THIS table, never mind that she’ll then complain to me after having sat her smugly satisfied ass down, “Ewwww, that waiter got this table too damp.” Then WTF did you want this table for so goddamned badly?!! Did you think that damp rag water would just magically disappear in the 5 seconds it took you to eagerly plant your ass down at this dirty table?!!

    Then she’ll proceed to drive our server to insanity with her endless neediness throughout her meal. Then when we’re done eating(after she repeatedly asks for TWO BOXES of food for leftovers, no matter what or where) and she’s drank her 6th “chilled beer mug” of cheap house white wine “with a straw, please”, we’ll argue over the check because she refuses to believe that it’s now appropriate to tip 20%, not 15%, especially in light of how obnoxious she’s been throughout this meal to our poor server. And no, mom, I’m not going to tip two bucks only because you say, “We probably won’t ever eat here again anyway.” I then typically wait for her to leave and walk far ahead of me because I need to leave a ton of extra cash for our dear server and I want to make sure mom won’t pocket that tip when I’m not looking(which yes, I’ve caught her doing several times in the past).

    Truly, I love my mom, but I hate that she insists on taking us out to eat when she doesn’t even remotely realize that she’s every server’s worst nightmare, which makes for an insanely stressful meal for those of us who experience the shame of dining out with her.

    Reply
    1. Danielle

      OMG this was always my dad. Such a power tripper at a restaurant. I swear I’ve been in the service industry for so long because I’m still paying penance for the way he treated servers. I still remember the worst one. “I’ll have the wings.” “I’m sorry sir, we’re out of the wings.” “Well, I want the wings so what do you plan on doing about it.” BANG FACE ON TABLE AND WILL GROUND TO OPEN AND AND SWALLOW ME PLEASE!!! I always did the secret drop of extra cash on the table too or I would escape and find the waitress at the beginning of the meal, slip her extra cash and apologize for the hell she was about to endure.

      Reply
    2. kimberly coffey

      Bahhha, I believe we have all waited on your mom a time or two!!! Glad you can see the humor in it..Servers are lucky that you have their back! Just think if you were the same way. The FOH would head to the BOH every time they saw you coming!!!

      Reply
  7. Speedster

    I do think there is some deep seated psychology involved. Like when the cavemen would choose a cave that has the remnants of a fire and bison carcass in it. That way they knew that it wasn’t a resting place for a bear.

    I’m guessing you didn’t hear. This became acceptable the exact same time that the expected tip went from 15 to 20%. But don’t feel bad about not knowing. Nobody told me about the tip hike either.

    Reply
    1. Andy Whorehol

      Speedster, *I* knew about the hike thanks to being a former server/regular diner as well. It’s my mom who still refuses to believe this, which inspires many an argument once we’re settling the check. Normally I’d just grab the check myself to spare us both this unnecessary grief, but she insists on using her husband’s credit card for these occasions and she wants to “treat me.” I’d much rather treat myself, but that argument died long ago for her. It’s either put up or shut up.

      Reply
  8. Jenn

    People who sit at a dirty table no matter how slow or how busy our restaurant is at the time are truly the scum of the earth, ESPECIALLY after I tell them that I will be with them in a minute (we are hostessless as well BW), or specifically tell them NOT to sit at that dirty table until I can clean it and do anyway like the ass who did so today. Guess he was worried that he would starve to death if he did not heed my request. Guess which table was at the bottom of my give-a-fuck list during the rush?
    When people walk in and we have clean tables available, I don’t say “sit wherever you like”, I say “sit at any clean table.” That does help keep people away from the dirty-tops.

    Reply
  9. Trey

    What am I missing here… who cares about what the waiter thinks when they’re going out to eat? Was the table not going to be cleaned anyway? I am there to enjoy the company of my dining companion. I am there to have a good time. I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass
    Hey waiters: Do your job and you’ll be rewarded with generosity from those who appreciate good service. Those same people will notice when you have an inhospitable attitude. Be positive. Any other outlook will keep you waiting tables for life.

    Reply
    1. Hunter

      You must be a self absorbed a hole. It is common decency to not sit at a dirty table. If you want to sit there,ask nicely and wait to sit there. You clearly are a self entitled person. And what is wrong with waiting tables? Some of us make our living on it. Just because you don’t make your living on waiting tables doesn’t make you any better than those that do. Your mom must have not taught you to treat others as you want to be treated.

      Reply
      1. Trey

        Hunter, my man. Don’t let people like me make you so mad. It sounds like you’re getting mad enough at your customers while you’re working – no need to take it home with you.
        I did wait tables throughout college and I did occasionally get pissed when I had a bad customer. But I noticed something… When I let the little things get to me (like weird requests and people sitting at dirty tables), it would affect my attitude and my tips would suffer as a result.
        Word to the wise: angry people don’t get far in life. Take it easy. And remember: you’re at work because you wanted that job… right? Act like it.

        Reply
        1. Hunter

          Actually sweetie, I am not an angry person. And I love working with people. I just don’t like a holes like you. When people are rude, like you, and park themselves at a dirty table and demand it to be cleaned, I do so with a smile. Being rude like that says a lot about the type of person you are and I always take the higher road. For being in the industry you sure are an ignorant twat waffle

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        2. Jules

          Oh, and Trey- I hope you know- your food is spat in every time you go out to dinner so please- from now on- Stay home 🙂

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          1. Lauren

            Wait staff spitting on food! Disgusting…just because someone asked for a particular table, even although it had not yet been cleared???? Spitting on the customers’ food…oh yuck …such anger from wait staff….no wonder so many people now are no longer dining out. Because of all the the info given out in these “wait staff hate the customers,” websites and books have resulted in many restaurants closing down because of people deciding to “play it safe and be healthy” and eat at home all the time.

            My grandfather was WW II decorated hero, he fought bravely for this country and for our freedom; and here we are now with wait staff threatening or actually spitting on customers’ food just because the customer wanted a particular table. Spitting on customers’ food, or even just threatening to do so is way, way beyond disgusting and cowardly. Way beyond bad manners by the wait staff, and into the region of gross, disgusting, cowardly and sickening. Also, really really Bad Karma to the “spitter”.

    2. Jules

      Trey- you’re a Dick! I am not a server, but I always care about the server. They are a people, with lives, and bad days, and problems like everyone else. you sound like an arrogant S.O.B who probably tortured animals, Clearly your parents didn’t raise you to have common courtesy or human decency. What’s wrong with you?

      Reply
    3. Lauren

      I agree , Trey. The customer wants a particular table for their own reasons. And that SHOULD be alright. Dining out should be a pleasant experience by sitting a a particular table that you want, having a well cooked meal that you want, having a polite helpful server, etc. This is also what the OWNER wants so that they can go on making a profit and keeping the place open.

      My husband’s face was burned, and he likes to sit out of the sunlight, and not in the middle of the restaurant for those reasons. I don’t feel that we have to explain all of those reasons to the wait staff. BUT apparently, you guys have mentioned that our food will be spit upon, you will do other things to us (secretly), just because we request a different table.

      Thanks for the info! Now my husband and I are going to dine at home from now on. I can’t risk having my food spit on etc, etc and the other horrible things that some wait staff do to their unsuspecting customers. How horrible!

      We always agave at least 25 % tips, and we were always nice to the wait staff, but from what I read here , I can’t risk having my food spat on, etc , etc, just for asking for a particular table. Good bye to your 25% + tips, we now dine at home.

      Reply
      1. brianne

        It sounds like no one probably even has an issue with you or your husband, the major issue here is the sense of entitlement and the attitude that these customers can’t even wait for you to clean the table even when you’ve asked them to. If I am trying to clean a table for you, please don’t get in my way and make it harder for me to do so quickly. I’m happy to clear it if you really want that particular spot, just help me help you. And treat me like a person.

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        1. brianne

          Also for the record I have never ever done anything to a customer’s food, or worked with anyone who has.

          Reply
      2. Christine

        Honestly Lauren, nobody gives a rats ass whether you eat at home or not . You act like you eating at home will somehow affect every server on this site. God forbid we all fall to our knees and beg you to stay. No, it’s not gonna happen like that. In reality it is very rare that wait staff will actually tamper with food-my restaurant has had a few customers that could give satan a run for his money and we didn’t touch their food. We don’t “hate the customers” but after a long day of dealing with bullshit, it’s nice to be able to come home and joke around about how terrible our customers are and how much we hate the job. We have to be professional all the time at work, don’t attack us for cracking jokes off the clock on our own time. Additionally, it’s not that we care if you have a specific table you want to sit at, just don’t sit at dirty tables. If you want that table for any reason, just ask the server to clean it off first before you sit. It makes things easier for everyone.

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    4. Beaujolais710

      It was going to be cleaned, but not on your time frame. There are other things going on and OTHER CUSTOMERS NOT JUST YOUR SELF ENTITLED ASS. GO pretend to do whatever job daddy got for you that involves nothing more than “being positive” and tellnling everone how hard you work.

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    5. whocares

      The people that act and think like you are usually the people that say “don’t worry I’ll take good care of you” and usually tip the worst. Thanks for nothing. Who cares what the waiter thinks? It’s not like they’re a human being. Believe me we are not there to be you’re friend and we don’t give a fuck what you think either, we are just trying to make a living like everyone else.

      Reply
    6. Bea

      Thing is Trey, it makes the whole process a hell of a lot smoother faster and enjoyable for the guest if they sit at a clean table. First the table will already be clean and there will be no delays on them ordering and no distractions. Secondly, yes the table will Be cleaned but it will be done faster and more thoroughly if no one is sitting at the table getting in the way. Which again would make it more enjoyable for you the guest. Tbh you seem a bit counter intuitive. What part of going out of your way to not have a good time by sitting at a dirty table does that mean you have a good time?

      Reply
    7. Ex Server and Vet

      Oh princess, you never worked in the military or service industry? I see you being one who has too taken for granted.

      Reply
  10. Cheryl

    This is my biggest pet peeve on the planet. We have one particular table that, it never fails, people gravitate to whether it is clean or not. I absolutely hate when people sit at a dirty table. I REALLY hope it is some primal thing, just like people think they should go to the super busy restaurant (because it MUST be good) as opposed to the restaurant with only 10 cars in the parking lot. I just don’t get it.
    By the way, my second pet peeve is people who walk past the sign that says “Please seat yourself” and hold up their fingers. “TWWWOOOO!!!”” You can sit anywhere you like, Ma’am. “Can we sit outside?” Yes. Anywhere you’d like. “And you’ll come out to us?” No. No, that I will not do. You will have to eat the crumbs off the patio floor instead because I am tired of your stupid questions. What kind of place are these people dining at where they must verify that a server will actually come to their table?!

    Reply
    1. Lauren

      Hey Cheryl,

      If having customers who want to sit at a “particular table” is your “biggest peeve on the planet”, then you haven’t lived very much at all. Have you ever volunteered at a shelter for victims of abuse and violence, volunteered at an animal shelter, done some act of pure kindness for someone else?

      Really, if customers requesting a particular table is your “biggest peeve on the planet” , then you should get out more and live a little.

      Reply
      1. Bea

        lauren,
        you are aware that a “peeve” is defined as a small botherance. thats why a big peeve is still something small! christ if you are going to be so wound up at people railing about their stories in restaurants that you probably will never go to jjust bugger off this site, its for waiters not customers and its off the clock. christ we cant escape shitty customers even in our down time now!

        Reply
  11. Andy Pixel

    I think the fallacy here is making their choice about YOU. It’s not about you. They are customers, you are the server. I don’t want to guess about their intentions, but I can say that if a more desirable table is free (but dirty), as a customer, I will definitely take it. If I’m seated by a server I won’t always get the table I prefer, so when a server says “seat yourself” I might as well DO JUST THAT. Right? I realize it’s not ideal for you, but you’re on the clock, and I’m not. I deal with annoyances at my job, you deal with annoyances at yours.

    Reply
    1. Stfu

      It’s a fucking TABLE, you spoiled ass. They’re not asking you to raise a family there. You can sit at a table, (even if it is “undesirable” wtf is that shit? A table is a table is a table.) eat your food, and not whine like a kindergartner who didn’t get the color cup he wanted. Fucking baby.

      Do you have any idea how many children in Africa starved to death while you were bitching about tables? What a little spoiled bitch!

      Reply
  12. Tipsykit

    I could see sitting at a dirty table is if *every* table in the entire restaurant is dirty. This hasn’t happened to me yet.

    I hate when customers sit at a table that hasn’t been cleaned because I pretty much *have* to make them get up in order to be able to wipe and set the table. There physically isn’t enough room in our dining room for me to wipe off the table without elbowing you in the teeth. “Can’t we just sit here while you clean it? My 5 year old needs to sit, she’s tired.” Well, let’s see. You want your precious child to touch the dirty dishes and smeared ice cream puddles and germs all over the table, then have me spray the table (and your daughter) with industrial degreaser? Sure, let me just go right ahead and do that.

    Reply
  13. Sammie

    I’m a hostess at my restaurant and I hate when people want the dirty table. Depending on how busy we are determines if we have a busser on the floor. If we’re not busy there’s no busser, so I get the pleasure of cleaning off the table even though it’s NOT MY JOB. Then they’re all like, “Ohh we didn’t mean to be any trouble.” Then why didn’t you sat at the table I took you to?!

    Reply
  14. Kristin

    I honestly can’t stand this. The other night at work a couple came in a little on the later side, so every table was empty with the exception of a few and our bussed had been sent home for the night so there were a few tables remaining to be bussed. They walked outside to the patio and sat down at a table, I greeted them, brought them waters, etc. “We were hoping to move to that table if its ok,” they said. They pointed to the table right next to theirs that had yet to be bussed, and it was the only one that hadn’t been bussed out of the 15 tables on our very large patio. I of course gave them an obligatory smile, bussed it off and moved their drinks for them to their new table, same size, same dimension. They informed me that they were waiting on 2 more people to join them. No joke, upon the two joiners’ arrival, they stated that they wanted to move inside, saying that it was too windy outside. They walked back inside and with stars in their eyes they stared longingly at the only table inside that had yet to be bussed. “Can we sit there?” Another painful obligatory smile. Another quick bus, moving of the glasses, etc. It was annoying to say the least but I was content that they were a $77 table, and a $14-$16 tip was going to add to my evening quite nicely. However, they left me 10%. $7 on $77. I had bussed 2 tables for them and given them phenomenal service (how could I not, they were my only table!) And had also packaged their leftovers quite nicely for them. It blew my mind. Pick a seat and sit there, its not life or death people. And at the very least tip your server appropriately, especially after full on budding 2 tables for you out of the 3 you needed to try out. They were like Goldilocks and the Freaking 3 Bears, with the 3rd table being “just right”. Irks me. Bad.

    Reply
  15. Peter

    Don’t you love how, on a website dedicated to humorous bitching about working in the service industry, non-service industry posters get offended at all the bitching we do here? I’m sure there’s a Bitchy Accountant blog they could find more enjoyment at.

    Reply
    1. Alexis

      Exactly Peter! I never understand it. Like if I wanted you to somehow justify the silly things people do I’d go to the “waiters, don’t hate me but this is why I needed 9 sides of ranch and ordered water for the table that no one touched” page.

      Reply
    2. Christine

      Oh my god thank you. If you aren’t a server then why are you even on this site? It’s fun to have somewhere to complain and laugh after a long day at work. I don’t understand why people get so offended by it when they don’t even work in the industry.

      Reply
  16. sally

    I think sometimes the problem is that people want the “best” table, and the best table is sat more often so it tends to be dirty more often. But for the most part I don’t think they even register clean vs. dirty. Just think back to when you first started waiting tables–it probably took a few shifts, weeks or even months to get that razor sharp vision that can spot a dirty table or a mess on the floor at 500 paces. Most people don’t even notice. They look for a window, a booth, and or comfort or privacy–they don’t even notice dirty glasses or crumbs.

    Reply
    1. Lauren

      That’s what it is , Sally. Customers just want a tale that looks comfortable, an is in a good position with a view, for “people watching”, out of the sun, in the sun, in other words, customers like to have a table that THEY like as part of their PLEASANT dining out experience! Without CUSTOMERS you would not have a job. That’s it, in a nutshell.

      No wonder so many restaurants are closing down. Snarky wait staff really do kill a restaurant, keep people away in droves, and close down restaurant doors. Do you all forget the purpose of a restaurant? To make money for the owner by serving clean, delicious food in a good atmosphere by professional wait staff who are considerate and polite.

      Reply
      1. Becca

        Lauren, if that comment would have stopped after your 2nd sentence it would have been perfect for this site. It was insightful and constructive. Now the rest of your comment is unnecessary in a website that is meant to release stress from work annoyances. This doesn’t mean that as waitstaff we always think like this, it just means that these are some of the annoyances we like to share so we don’t feel alone. This is a website to share how we feel in an industry so large that sometimes you see reoccurring issues that we can share in common. It definitely doesn’t mean we forget who pays our paychecks, which is mostly by tips and that’s why I never let one annoying guest affect the service I give my other guest even if there at the same table. Our greatest issue is that unlike our guest we can’t speak our mind so we’re forced to bite our tounge and come to places like this to rant about silly little annoyances. This way we have an outlet without affecting our service.

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      2. Elyse

        Lauren, I agree with everything Becca said in response to you. No one, I repeat, no one, is spitting in your food. I have worked in the service industry for 10+ years, and just as every other server I here says, that does not happen. I love my job, I also love sitting around with other service industry professionals to bitch about the general public. It’s part of the deal, do you really not ever complain about the people you deal with at your job? There is no reason that as a customer you can’t follow certain guidelines (by which I mean basic manners and consideration) when dealing with your server, and we will do our best to give you the best service possible. The reason servers are so annoyed with people sitting a dirty tables is because it makes our job harder. Our job is to give you food service, so you are sabotaging our ability to do that by sitting at a dirty table. It’s not that I don’t want to clean it. It’s that now, instead of jumping in to greeting you and getting your drink order, I have to spend several minutes, in a hurry, getting the table ready before I can start that, making you wait in the meantime. I also am ignoring other tables who might need me because you couldn’t sit one table over allowing me to take better care of you and the other guests, and clean that table when I have time instead of making people wait.
        Also, what on earth are you talking about when you say so many restaurants are closing? Many restaurants do fail, it’s a very risky venture with tight margins, but overall the restaurant industry is booming. More people are eating out than ever before, and, as reported by a number of news organizations including Fox News and the New York Magazine, Americans are spending more money eating out than cooking at home for the first time ever. A quick Google search will prove that I’m correct. http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/06/americans-spend-more-on-restaurants-than-groceries.html

        Reply
  17. Anonymous

    I’m a hostess at a busy brunch place in Hollywood. The only hostess, so the regulars are used to seating themselves when it’s slow. I understand that it’s my job to catch everyone at the door, even when I’m seating someone, and that my job entails getting interrupted while I’m trying to seat people. I accept that. I’m very firm with our guests so that the servers get to be the good guys. It usually works out well. I put signs on the door “PLEASE WAIT HERE BY THE HOST STAND TO BE SEATED” It works most of the time, and then I see the people read the sign, walk straight in, past the wait and sit down like the Queen of fucking England. Whom I promptly ignore, and so do the servers, since they don’t have menus, so they know I didn’t seat them. Eventually they wander back to the host stand and ask why they haven’t been served. I look at the line and say “Oh, you sat yourself! Gotcha. There’s a wait (up the wait time by 15 minutes because you KNOW they are going to be trouble already).” Then they insist on sitting at the ONLY DIRTY TABLE in the whole god damn place. I SWEAR I CAN FEEL IT HAPPEN BEFORE THEY SPEAK. Every day, some asshole insists on sitting at the dirty table. It’s gotten so bad, that I will not seat people unless all the tables are clean at once. Meaning, if two 2-tops open up, and the busser gets to one, and gets stuck in the kitchen, I’ll throw a “reserved” sign on the dirty table, beause even though it is EXACTLY the same as the clean one right next to it, in size and space, they will almost always (unless you can tell they are a chill, young couple or whatever) ask to wait for the dirty table to be cleaned. At which point I go, “Okay, you want to sit at the dirty table?” (I make them say it out load. I have to get them to realize what they are doing) and they sheepishly say “yeah… I mean, we’ll wait…?” Then I say “okay well there is a wait, so I’m going to seat the next person on the list who is okay with sitting at this perfectly good table here, and you guys can go back to the host stand and I’ll grab you whenever the busser gets to this dirty table cuz I have to keep seating people.” Luckily, my place isn’t corporate, and I’m amazing at my job, so my boss lets me mouth off to idiots every once in a while. And, thank god, I’m not tipped out by customers so I can be firm with them, unlike the poor servers who are still hoping for a tip even after being verbally abused by their customers. I will seriously buss any dirty table and run food without question, BUT I’LL BE DAMNED IF YOU THINK I’LL SMILE MEEKLY AFTER YOU FUCK ME IN THE ASS – BY SITTING AT THE ONLY DIRTY TABLE. ARRRRRRGGGG! Thank you for writing this article. I swear I’m not a horrible human, but man this topic really “grinds my gears”. /rant

    Reply
    1. Lauren

      What a hateful attitude. So what if a customer wants a particular table. What a really hateful attitude, and bad language for a restaurant employee. I wonder if the owner knows about your attitude, and your filthy language?

      Reply
      1. Stfu

        It’s not about you snowflake. This website is for people who work in RESTAURANTS, not entitled worthless housewives. Shut the fuck up.

        Reply
  18. Lauren

    I used to love eating out frequently in restaurants, and always left at least a 25% tip, but after reading many posts on line about how the wait staff seem to HATE the customers, I have stopped dining out. My husband likes to always sit in shade so we liked a table that accommodated him, and sometimes that may have been one that had not yet been cleared, so we would ask to sit at that one when it had been cleared.

    I had NO idea that this engendered such hate and propensity to treat the customer badly and swear (inwardly) at the customer. So now after reading about so much animosity and hate directed (albeit inwardly) towards customers, we now dine at home all the time, and there goes all those great tips to the wait staff (always at least 25% plus).

    But all of that hate to the customers (see above comments by wait staff “dumb ass, I hate you so much”). Wow!!!! I had no idea there was so much hatred of wait staff to customers.

    Reply
    1. Rose

      Lauren, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. You are using excuse after excuse to justify your ignorance. We do not “Hate the customers” nor do we actually spit in anyone’s food. That is just a common joke. You see, Lauren, the thing is servers have this thing called a FLOOR PLAN that places servers in certain areas with certain tables and there is a ROTATION for all the servers so no one gets too man guests at one time and for un-seated servers to have tables. We place you at the tables we have decided for you to continue this rotation so that YOU can be served in a timely and convenient manner. When you decide to choose your own table, dirty or not, chances are you just caused a server to be double or even triple sat. Now, you are probably wondering why another server can’t just come to that table? Well, it doesn’t work like that. Everyone is in their own section for a reason.
      Now you also for some reason came onto a blog for SERVERS to vent about THEIR OWN JOB. It’s called VENTING. We do not intrinsically hate all of our guests. But when a business is supposed to run a certain way but the guests don’t want to follow the rules, we get frustrated. You don’t get to pick your window at the DMV. You don’t drive up to the window at Taco Bell without ordering from the speaker first. You don’t get into a dressing room without asking for service. So why do you feel the need to seat yourself at a dirty table or without coming to the hostess? You aren’t justified for anything. We ALWAYS accommodate specials needs. Usually people have the common sense to request an area BEFORE being walked to their table. If you were a server, you would realize everything wrong with every word you have been typing out.
      The guest is not “always right.” In fact, most of the time, they are very VERY wrong. I happen to live in an area of wealth and retirement. Most of my guests have not worked an honest day in their lives and have no clue how the service industry works. They are very rude and demanding but we accommodate them as best we can. However they think that everything just happens at the snap of their fingertips and that they are the only people in the entire restaurant. They freak out when we refuse to sit 2 people at a 6 top, if they have to wait more than 10 minutes for a table on a busy night, if we walk them to the table a little too fast, if it’s too cold, too hot, too crowded, too much noise, they can’t hear something, too much lighting, not enough lighting, the bathrooms being too far away, being too close to a bathroom, etc….. And all of this happening in the same night. There is no winning with the privileged.
      I understand you are paying to eat wherever you are eating, but so is everyone else. We are SERVERS. not SERVANTS.

      Reply
    2. Bev

      Lauren you are so annoying! At least 3 time you have felt the need to tell us that you are a good tipper blah blah blah, who cares? This is a page meant for waiters to be able to vent! Why do u feel the need to cone on here just to say “well I tip good so there”… I mean come on! At every customer service job people have horror stories and we like to share them, but u have to be the wet blanket and complain about people venting over their job. I wait tables and I love it! But I still have stupid customers and stories galore about how stupid the public can be so please keep your opinions to your self and let us have our place to gripe!

      Reply
    3. ProServer

      So don’t fucking go out then! Trust server will that you for it. There is only a small amount of ppl who do this and if you are one of those ppl than you are who this article is about but this page isn’t for you. There are plenty customers who go out to eat, sit wherever they are taken and receive amazing service becuase the server isn’t distracted by how piss off they are that you wanted to sit at a dirty table. Those customer also leave 20-25% tip and leave happy. Will you Please do all servers a favor and stay home we don’t want your 25%

      Reply
    4. Bea

      lauren,
      let me make this clear for you:
      IF YOU ASK NICELY AND WAIT FOR IT TO BE CLEARED WE HAVE NO PROBLEM. IF YOU WAIT FOR IT TO BE CLEARED AND DONT GET IN THE WAY WE HAVE NO PROBLEM, IF YOU ASK BEFORE HAND NICELY IF WE CAN CLEAR IT AND THAT YOU DONT MIND WAITING WE DONT HAVE A PROBLEM.

      HOWEVER

      IF YOU WALK IN A SIT DOWN AT A DIRTY TABLE DESPITE THERE BEING CLEAN TABLES AVAILABLE THEN ACT ALL HUFFY THAT THE TABLE IS DIRTY, AND DONT KEEP TO ONE SIDE AS THE WAITER CLEARS IT (1-so it can be cleaned properly 2- so you dont get chemicals sprayed on you 3- so you get served faster) THEN WE HAVE A PROBLEM

      it seems to me that you think that waiters arent human beings with opinions and thoughts and lives outside of work, which is why you are so upset to find out that when customers are arseholes we do actually get wound up by that.
      at the end of the day it is our job to look after you and make sure you get what you want no matter how dickheaded a request it is (which 99% of the time is followed through) it is NOT, however, our job to supress all of our thoughts and emotions all of the time. we are humans like you ( i kow its hard to believe) which means we dont have to act like waiters even when we are at home on our laptops complaining on a dedicated waiters site.

      Reply
  19. kittylitter

    I love this blog so much. I’ve never been a server, just a hostess in my 20’s, but I LOVE reading all the ways that customers are idiots without realizing. Rant away, server friends, you’ve earned it.

    Also, why the hell are there so many plebes whining on an industry blog? This is clearly a place for industry people to rant, away from your easily offended eyes.

    Reply
  20. Alisandra

    When the customers move plates and glasses from a dirty table with ketchup all over it to a nice clean table and then ask for THEIR table to be wiped :–))))))))))

    Reply
  21. Rosie

    This is literally every day of my life! Customers order their meals from the bar where I work, so I also get: “oh and can someone come and wipe down our table it’s really sticky” I go over with my cloth and there they are, surrounded by clean, empty tables glaring at me like I’m the one who spread ketchup and chocolate sauce all over the table top and not the three year old who left two minutes ago.

    Reply
  22. Jen

    I think most people that haven’t worked in this industry don’t realize that not all restaurants have a busser all the time. When there is no busser and no hostess and you insist on sitting a dirty table the server gets irritated because they are forced to clean your table on the spot while the food for another table is getting cold because instead of being able to run it out you are bussing a dirty table. If you don’t mind waiting until we have a min to clean it then that’s fine! But most customers hover over you until it’s done. You are rarely a servers only customer so while I’m accommodating you another table is mad because it’s taking too long for drinks, salad or food to come out! Just my point of view from my experiences!

    Reply
  23. Debra. Moore

    You all rock, love it . I have been doing this for 32 years !!! We totally hate it with every fiber of our being.

    Reply
  24. Kim, the roller skating waitress

    I think people think they’re doing us a favor by not “dirtying up” a clean table. We’re in the country, so the customers are often dirtier than the table.

    Reply
  25. Ktk

    People that don’t work in the service industry who follows pages written for people who work in the service industry really creep me out. Like why aren’t you on Pinterest or watching Real Housewives? Why would anyone take the time to read our opinions & then try to somehow justify shitty manners of strangers?! Blows my mind!

    Reply
  26. yolowo

    The one dirty table is always the one that isn’t by the bathroom or the prep station or the front door, and has enough access to get everyone in their seat without getting knocked in the head by some busser’s elbow as they go by. People are assholes because they want to sit at the nice seat with the least noise and best view, and no one else is already sitting there? Whatever you say.

    @ktk – people “share” your opinions all over social media. No need to be creeped out. (And I do work in a restaurant. I just also happen to eat at them as well.)

    Reply
  27. Laura

    I literally went through this yesterday in the midst of the dinner rush. We were on the borderline of being on a wait (I like to refer to it as the bitchyness red zone – tables getting up only to have people replace them immediately with no down time to buss) and 31 was my hot mess #1 desired destination, it had happened 3 times over at this point and sure as shit I just bussed 35 – clean pristine and ready to be sat. Then I see it… this couple walks right past 35 and sits at 31. I’m at the POS on the line, trying to split a check for a table who said they were going to be all on one [so they could use a knot head 20% discount] with 4 credit cards in one hand, an unstable stack of dirty dishes in the other hand, a bar rail over flowing with a combination of drinks needing to be ran and dirty glasses stacked up cause Alex was getting raped with no bar back and no lube, a window full of food with no runners in sight – just Bree with tickets in her hand and more pouring off the printer and a look on her face like ‘well fuck…’ AND to top it off… empty ice teas needing refills for the 7th time at 22 cause these people clearly are fucking ice tea camel monsters.

    I look at the couple at 31 with fire in my eyes and ice in my heart and muster up a sugar coated, high pitched, ‘I’ll be right with you guys!!! Just give me a minute [cough]…
    (to work a fucking miracle, grow four more arms, two more legs, and maybe clone a nicer version of myself who doesn’t know how much I hate you right now and staple them to my back to I can literally do two jobs at once)

    [cough] glance over…

    They’re using the dirty napkins to wipe the dirty table. (OMFG) And smiling. And flagging me down. To dispose of the dirty napkins they wiped on the dirty table that they saw was dirty but sat at willingly. I didn’t know you could make dirtyness more dirty. #OnlyAtTheAlehouse

    I drop the dirty dishes on the bar top at bar 1. (Cards and receipts in hand still). Run over and say ‘Hayyyyyy guyssssss….sorry about the mess….You beat me to it…. Looks like you’re doing my job for me by wiping the table with those dirty napkins… Sorry about that!’ (I’m not sorry, I actually loathe your very existence at this moment in time but please, let me apologize for you being an clueless inconsiderate human)

    Them “Oh well the nice young man at the door said the bar was open seating and half way down to the left but we didn’t see anything open but this table (like I said they literally walked right passed 35 which was pristinely clean.) Can you wipe this down with a dry towel? It’s a bit too wet, oh hon you missed a spot over here….”

    Me. I glance down towards the ‘spot’ and realize it’s a piece of the layer inside the shell of a peanut, the kind that once it gets wet is essentially plastered to the table and/or in the grout. I cannot get to said spot due to the fact that the lady’s purse, phone and keys are barricading the ‘spot’. I ask her to move it and she says ‘oh dear looks like my purse is wet now what a shame.’ All I’m thinking is there is food dying in the window, drinks that are still in the well, more tables are getting up, I still haven’t refilled 22’s ice teas and omfg I am still holding the credit cards!!!!! mayyyyyybe if you would have sat at the clean table NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. But let’s be serious. It would. Because if it’s not one thing, it’s another. #GTFO

    I swear this time (like every time) I was on boiling points cause they followed with – what’s good here, like what do YOU like? what beer do YOU make? (I told them we were out of golden in the beginning…) I’ll take a Golden – you’re out?! What a shame that’s the only one that sounded decent, I guess I’ll take a honey cream (explained that this is on nitro), ew this is flat, (recommend blonde) ew this is not cold enough, (offer a chilled glass) why don’t you chill all your glasses?…

    I.can’t. make. this. shit. up.

    #justkeepsmiling

    End of story. They tipped me 20%, said it was lovely, left happy, table got sat again, dirty, rinse and repeat.

    Reply
  28. Jacob

    Why is it every time you have something negative to say about a woman, it comes back to her vagina? Dry vaginas, smelly vaginas, rotten vaginas. It’s getting kind of obnoxious at this point.

    Reply
  29. Nicky

    When I was waiting tables and people insisted I worked my ass off to a vindictive degree with shit like this, I always found a good sweaty ass finger in their food calmed my mood. Sometimes it would perk me up to the point that it would actually improve my relationship with the dick of a customer: “and how is your steak now sir? Oh that’s just wonderful” 🙂 . That Trey guy is right, no point in letting these things spoil your mood. A positive attitude (as well as a disgruntled digit) can go a long way.

    Reply

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