Oh what a joy it is for me to find an article written about us servers and what horrible monsters we are as we try to do our job. Case in point is an article by Laurie Notaro for the Phoenix New Times. The article is called “5 Things Restaurants Need to Stop Doing Right Now,” but every point she makes isn’t exactly about the restaurant itself. “Train your staff, restaurants. That’s all I’m saying,” she says. Somebody hold my cocktail, because I’m about to go off.
She begins by complaining about a time she was in a restaurant and her friend said, “I have-” just as the server poured more ice tea and blocked her face. After the server was finished being the rude ass person he was being by filling iced tea, the friend was able to finish her sentence with the word “cancer.” While I am very sorry about the cancer diagnosis, contrary to popular belief, we servers are not hovering at your table listening to your conversations waiting for the precise moment to ruin an announcement. If we are nearby and see your glass is empty, we’re gonna fill it. Sorry for doing our freaking job.
Her list then begins:
Don’t reservation shame me. “Stop pretending that if I come in without a reservation that I have broken a holy sacrament.” Look, lady, if you don’t have a reservation it’s fine. Well, depending on the restaurant. If you’re dining at Chili’s they can probably squeeze you in, but if you’re trying to get a table at Barbuto’s here in New York City as a walk-in, it’s gonna be an issue. And although you see that 75% of the restaurant is empty, you don’t know what’s on the books for the next two hours. So if the hostess makes you wait for “20 minutes” and then another “18 minutes” to find you a table, maybe you should just be grateful that they let you even sit down at all. And by the way, we all know that customers love to exaggerate to try to prove their point so there’s no way a hostess made you wait 38 minutes. Bitch, please.
Don’t judge a salt lover. Okay, I’m gonna let her have this one. She does not want to be judged if she is in a restaurant that does not have salt on the tables and she wants some. I’m with you, Laurie. Salt away. It’s good. And I dunno if you’re for real when you say you have 50 packets of salt in your purse that you took from Arby’s but I fully embrace your thieving, salting ways.
Quit interrupting. “I want the waitstaff to stop interrupting me right before I get to the punchline of my story. For that matter, do not interrupt my conversation at any point.” Oh, I’m sorry Laurie, are we not allowed to speak to you? Again, we aren’t listening to the banal conversations that are happening at each of our tables. Sometimes at work, we barely have time to listen to the voice inside our head that’s telling us to run out of the restaurant and never come back. Do you honestly think we are paying attention to the incessant drivel that is spewing from the mouths of our customers? And don’t think I haven’t waited for a more opportune time to inject myself into the conversation, but after standing there for 30 or 45 seconds, I need to interrupt, because if I don’t, I’ll never know if you’re going to eat that last fucking piece of romaine lettuce that’s been sitting on your plate for 15 minutes and if I don’t know if you’re done eating or not, I can’t tell the kitchen to fire your entrees. So, sorry I interrupted your stupid joke, but I have a job to do. If you need to eat without interruption, warm up a Lean Cuisine and eat it at home.
Don’t be so pretentious. Well if you go to a pretentious restaurant, you’re gonna get pretension. In fact, your whole article seems pretentious. Are you the only one who is allowed to be pretentious? Do you need to be the most pretentious person in the room? Congratulations on such a lofty goal.
Don’t ever ask me how something tastes. Umm, okay. So you want me to drop the food and never ask you how it is. Or is it that you don’t like the way servers ask? “Did you enjoy the profile of your dish?” sounds pretentious which makes me question where the fuck you are dining. I don’t know a server who would ask a question that way or this way: “How are your flavors tasting this morning?” Who the hell talks that way? It sounds to me that you are choosing restaurants that are going to give you everything you claim to hate. Don’t go to those places anymore.
So, Laurie, if you are ever in my restaurant I know how to treat you: I make sure you get a table right away even if we are fully booked and you don’t have a reservation. Put a salt lick on the table. Don’t talk to you. Speak like a commoner. Assume the food is fine. I suppose your article was meant to be tongue in cheek, but from a server’s point of view, it’s rather insulting.