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The Mom from the Diner Defends Her Actions. I Disagree.

Image via The Washington Post

Image via The Washington Post

Unless you live under a rock and your names is Springs1, you have certainly heard by now the story about the Portland, Maine diner owner who yelled at a baby after the parents failed to do anything about the crying for 40 minutes. I blogged about it a couple of days ago myself which you should read here because my version of the story is better than any other version on the Internet. Well, the mother has written her side of the story for the Washington Post and it’s all kinds of annoying. As if the Washington Post hadn’t lowered their standards enough when they did a story on me, now they have really scraped the bottom of the barrel.

The mother’s name is Tara Carson and I would like to take this opportunity now to say hello to Tara because you know she has a Google alert on herself and is gobbling up every last second of her fifteen minutes of fame. Allow me, if you will, to study several lines of her rendition of that fateful day and respond to each of them:

Making national news was the last thing we expected on our quiet summer getaway to Maine this week. However, since you’re a marketing manager in New York City you are thrilled at the chance to get some press about you and your family, right?

We had stayed overnight in Portland, a place close to our hearts where my husband spent a lot of time in the Coast Guard. Nice attempt at playing the Coast Guard/military angle in order to get some sympathy for your side.

When we arrived, we were told there would be a 30-minute wait for a table. I hope you had some fucking crackers in your bag to appease your baby daughter because waiting thirty minutes makes everyone grumpy. Hell, I’m 48-years old and I get pretty bitchy when I have to wait that long for a table.

I ordered pancakes for my daughter, which took about 40 minutes to arrive. At this point, my 21-month-old was getting antsy. I read that the diner warned you that the pancakes would take a while, but you still thought that after waiting half an hour for a table, your daughter would be able to wait even longer for food? And we all know that “antsy” is a code for “screaming like a goat who has a beer can stuck in its throat.”

She wasn’t having a meltdown, so we decided to stay in our corner booth rather than go outside in the rain. In the noisy diner I didn’t see anyone looking at us or think we were causing a disturbance. Again, we all know that “wasn’t having a meltdown” is code for “she was totally having a meltdown.” And I also see what you did there by telling us you were in a corner booth. You think that a corner booth somehow creates a sound barrier that doesn’t allow the bone-rattling shrieks of a starving child to waft beyond your table.

When the food came, my daughter was still fussing. “Fussing” is code for “screeching like a bat out of hell that is being fisted by Bigfoot without any lube.”

Out of nowhere, Marcy’s Diner owner Darla Neugebauer threw to-go containers at my husband and yelled, “Either she goes or you go!” So, what you’re saying is that Darla gave you the option of staying. All you had to do was put your daughter in her stroller (I’m sure it was on of those really big ones and you had it parked in a very inconvenient place) and send her out in the rain. Then you and your Coast Guard hero of a husband could have stayed. You see? Darla was being nice.

She seemed so unprofessional that we didn’t take it seriously. Our waitress seemed embarrassed by the owner’s behavior too. My guess is that the waitress was only pretending to be embarrassed in order to make you feel better. In reality, she was was probably grateful that she works for someone who doesn’t stand for parents who don’t know how to parent their own children.

A few minutes later, Neugebauer, now behind the grill, slammed her hands on the counter. She pointed at my baby’s face and screamed, “You need to shut the hell up!” My husband replied, “Are you serious? Are you really yelling at a toddler right now?” “As serious as a heart attack,” she said, with fury in her eyes. Okay, she yelled it from behind the grill, so it’s not like it was right in your baby’s face or anything. And if she was “fussing” and “not having a meltdown” and being “antsy” for forty minutes, why did it take a complete stranger to make you figure out that it was too much? And I love the “with fury in her yes” bit, but why not really go for it and take some poetic license? Might I suggest the following: “She bellowed as if she had been saving up a thousand years worth of frustration and the words spewed forth from her mouth like a volcano erupting with lava that was filled with vile resentment, sulfur and the hatred of an angry God.” That’s much better, don’t you think Tara?

I’ll never forget the look of fear on my baby’s face. Because you probably took a picture with your cell phone and now it’s your profile picture on Facebook, right?

It was then that I turned to my daughter and said calmly, “This is exactly how I’m raising you not to be.” Umm, she’s 21 months old. I doubt she has the cognitive ability to understand that teaching moment, Tara, but whatever.

We then paid the bill, tipped the waitress 25 percent and left. Uh huh. Right. Sure you did.

I thought that was that. But after I left a Facebook post about my experience on the Marcy’s Diner page… If you really thought “that was that,” you would not have gone to the trouble to find the Facebook page and write more about it.

All of a sudden, thousands of strangers were commenting on my parenting skills. Add me to that list of strangers commenting on your parenting skills, because if your baby was crying consistently for forty minutes, you made the wrong decision when you thought it was okay to stay there and make everyone else deal with your child.

What got lost is that it’s never okay to yell at a baby, especially if you own a restaurant. What also got lost was that a business owner has a right to refuse service to anyone they choose, even a 21-month old baby.

She should not have thrown things or yelled or cursed. But she did, Blanche! She did throw things, yell and curse!

Babies cry and sometimes moms make the call between a tantrum in the loud diner or going out into the rain. And sometimes it’s the wrong call. By the way, there is this new-fangled invention that helps people deal with rain. It’s called an umbrella. Look into it.

It’s compassion I try to model for my daughter. I wish others would do the same. It’s a civilized restaurant that most diners want to sit in and I wish parents who let their children cry for 40 minutes would do something about it before a diner owner has to finally snap and throw a to-go container at the family to make them take notice that their child’s behavior is unacceptable.

Thanks Tara, for the great read. You are absolutely hysterical. If (let’s be honest: WHEN) you get the Google alert about yourself make sure you reach out and say hello to me. And this concludes my rant on the infamous Diner-Gate Scandal of 2015. That is, unless something else comes out about it that I can’t resist putting my two cents in about.

This is What Might Happen If You’re Rude to Your Server

Just be nice, asshole.

Just be nice, asshole.

Oh, dear customer. Dear, sweet customer who felt it was okay to snap your fingers at me all night and constantly expect me to be there for you whenever you needed something yet completely ignored me when I would ask you any question. Why were you so rude to me? Everything was fine and dandy when you first came in and I thought we started out on the right foot with one another, but somewhere between me filling up your water and serving you the bread basket, which you told me to bring to you rather than asking me, things went downhill. Did a bee get in your bonnet? Did someone piss in your Wheaties? Did a bug crawl up your ass and commit suicide after realizing it had entered a never-ending colon maze of cholesterol that it would never be able to escape?

Even though you never once said please or thank you to me and even though I saw at least one of your friends roll his eyes at how you treated me, I remained professional and respectful to you, determined to be the bigger person. I kept a smile on my face knowing that I would have my vengeance when I sat in front of my computer and wrote a blog post about your wretched behavior. But then I saw another way I could exact my passive aggressive revenge on you.

“Wrap that up for me,” you burp out to me, sliding your plate to the edge of the table and not making eye contact with me. On the plate, I see a sad bite of filet mignon and a few pieces of roasted potatoes that avoided the gaping hole of disgust that you call a mouth. “Hurry up, I gotta go.”

I take your food to the sidestand and wrap it up, pulling out my phone to document what I will do in order to make myself feel better about being mistreated by a low-lying piece of scum such as you. I hope you enjoy your food later, asshole. And thanks for the 12% tip. What a surprise.

 

How I wrap up food to go for a customer who was rude to me. #serverlife #bitchywaiter

A video posted by thebitchywaiter (@thebitchywaiter) on

 

Customers: Stop Bringing Your Own Food Into the Restaurant

Please, people. Just stop it.

Please, people. Just stop it.

Why do people go into a restaurant and insist upon bringing their own food? Do they not understand that the restaurant has food in it that is there for the sole purpose of being ordered by customers? I mean, that’s what the restaurant was built for: so people could come in and have food. That doesn’t seem to get through the thick skulls of some customers who see absolutely no problem with stopping by Whole Foods or Piggly Wiggly on their way to a restaurant.

A couple of weeks ago, a reader sent me a photo of an empty can of chicken salad resting comfortably on a plate that once held a simple house salad. I was told that the woman who ordered the simple (read: cheap) house salad was having lunch with a friend and informed her server that she “isn’t very hungry.” The server takes her for her word and brings the simple house salad only to later realize that the woman had a protein hidden away in her purse.

Customers: don’t do that! If you want to put food into a bag and then carry it somewhere else to eat it with friends, that is called a potluck dinner or a fucking picnic. That is not what you do when you go to a restaurant. However, you would be surprised how very often it happens. I recall a woman who once brought in her own grapefruits and asked that we squeeze them for her Greyhound because she wanted fresh-squeezed juice. The bartender did it for her, but it took all my restraint to not fresh-squeeze the last breath of air out of her lungs. Another time a woman brought her own bread and asked that we make a sandwich for her. It wasn’t gluten-free bread or anything like that, she just liked it better than what we normally served. Ummm, then maybe you should be at home making your own damn sandwich, lady. I have even seen a parent bring in a can of soup and ask that we heat it up for their child as if our children’s menu of chicken fingers and peanut butter and jelly isn’t good enough.

I truly do not understand why people do that. It seems to me that if you go into a restaurant knowing that you don’t like the food that is served there, then you are wasting your time. With all the technology that is at out fingertips, wouldn’t it just be better to Google a restaurant that offers what you want rather than going into one and setting yourself up for disappointment? Very often, a restaurant is not going to allow you to bring in food because it’s kinda sorta against health code violations. And it seems that restaurants are the only places that people do this type of thing. Or is it?

Imagine, if you will, this same woman stepping into JCPenny’s with a bag full of clothes she bought the day before at Target.

Sales clerk: Can I help you find anything?
Woman: No, thank you. I’m just looking around. But do you have a changing room? I wanna try on these clothes I brought from another store and if I like them, I’m going to wear them out.
Sales clerk: We do have a dressing room, but why would you do that?
Woman: Because I’m an annoying fuck of epic proportions and i don’t know any better. Also, if I give you two grapefruits, can you freshly squeeze them for me?
Sales clerk: Get the fuck outta here.

A Comment on Comments; the “You Suck” Edition

A Comment on Comments

A Comment on Comments

Each and every time I reach into my skull to pull out my brain in order to wring out a blog post, I hope to engage the reader with what I write. I always encourage people to leave a comment or to send me an email so that I can know if I have been successful or not.  A rather mundane post from a few days ago in which I bemoaned the fact that the restaurant I work in doesn’t accept American Express seems to have especially affected at least one person who sent me an email.  His name is JS and his email address is an AOL one which leads me to believe that he used an old email account to write to me. Perhaps he did that because his current email has his real name attached to it and he doesn’t want me to know who he is. I am half tempted to give out the email address since he more than likely doesn’t use it very often and I know that so many of you would like to say hello to him, but I won’t do that because that would irresponsible. Well, I probably won’t do that. I dunno, maybe I will.  Anyway, this is what he wrote to me that has caused me to feel the need to publicly reply:

You try so hard, really you do. But you mean ’80s and ’90s pop music, not 80’s and 90’s. Your “bitchy-put-upon shtick” is really lame and not cool like you think. You should invest more money in learning to write and edit and don’t quit your day job, ever. You suck at writing like you surely suck at waiting tables. The world owes you nothing and we’re all sick of the woe is me attitude. Fuck off!

Actually, JS, I do try so hard, I really do. You think it’s easy to write a blog for almost 7 years when the only topic of the blog can be about waiting tables? It’s extremely difficult and I am the first one to admit that this blog is repetitive as hell since there are only so many ways one can write the same ten complaints over and over again. Honestly, me complaining about children in my station is like beating a dead horse. Albeit, I’m beating that dead horse with a baby that I snatched from Table 2, but still. If you are upset about where the apostrophes were placed when I was describing music from the decades of 1980 and 1990, I have to wonder what kind of sad fucking life you live. Did you honestly log in to an email account that you hardly ever use just to complain about that? You probably had to create a new password and everything just to make sure that I knew how unhappy you were with my apostrophe placement. Well, I did a little bit of research and have discovered that the apostrophe can go in either place, so your argument is invalid. I would suggest that you take those apostrophes and shove them up your asshole. In all actuality, those apostrophes are so small that they would probably slip right into your ass without any problem whatsoever so I see your apostrophes and I raise you two exclamation points, a question mark, three asterisks and an ampersand. Your hungry hungry hippo asshole will gobble up those punctuation marks so greedily that when it swallows them up it will probably ask for a couple of semicolons for dessert.

As for your belief that my “bitchy-put-upon shtick is really lame and not cool” like I think, I am going to have to disagree with you on that one. My Facebook page gains between 900 and 1300 new “likes” each week so there are some people out there who would probably disagree with you as well. If you want to believe that it’s lame, then you go right ahead, but don’t be a dick  about it. I know you’re not alone in disliking this blog, but there are plenty of people who do like it. Don’t like it? Don’t read it.

When you suggest that I invest more money in learning to write and edit, you are under the mistaken impression that I must have spent some money to learn to write and edit. I haven’t. All this sub-par writing is completely self taught and I have no plans to quit my day job at this time. Once my book comes out in April of 2016 I will then consider cutting down on my shifts. You see, contrary to your opinion, an agent liked my writing enough to send my manuscript to Sterling Publishing who liked my writing enough to buy it and pay me money for it. In fact, I’ve already received 50% of my advance check and it is in my bank account right this very minute. You might think I suck at writing, but someone else doesn’t and that someone else had money to back it up. As for waiting tables, you don’t know whether I suck or not but my boss, who knows about my “other career” and is probably reading this very blog post, does not think I suck at waiting tables. I suppose this is why I have worked for him for well over four years and every time one of my customers leaves me a 20-25% tip, I can only assume that they too think I don’t suck at waiting tables. Until you have sat in my section and I brought out your wrong food, spilled a drink on you and then made you wait ten minutes for your check, you can’t really form a valid option, can you?

I agree that the world owes me nothing which is why this blog is free and I don’t expect anyone to do anything with it other than read it if they choose to. You yourself read it, didn’t you? Thank you for the click on the website because you were one of the 190,452 views of the page over the last thirty days and that makes me think there are lots of people who are not sick of the “woe is me attitude.”

Thank you for your email, JS. You want me to fuck off and I feel the same way about you. Once you have removed all those punctuation marks from your asshole, maybe there will be room in your colon for something else like a tray jack, a pitcher of water, a fajita skillet and a big fucking stack of dessert menus. Fuck off!

Finally, I have decided that posting JS’s email address would be a childish and irresponsible thing to do. Only an immature asshole would stoop to that level of immaturity. Your email address is safe with me, Glen Burnie.

We Don’t Take Am Ex, Get Over It

Get over it, bitch.

Get over it, bitch.

Dear Lady at Table 16,

No, we do not take American Express. I did not make that decision so why don’t you just keep the attitude to yourself. Although I am immensely impressed by the Olympic-caliber eye rolling that you were able to produce, it will not change anything. We take MasterCard, Visa and Discover so please reach into your knock off Michael Kors bag and find one of those pieces of plastic or walk your ass over to an ATM and scrounge up some cash.

“Who doesn’t take Am Ex?” you ask your friend. “Why on earth would they not take Am Ex?” you ask your other friend. “I’m trying to get points” you say to the third person at your table. “Why are we even friends with this bitch?” they all think.

I do not know why we don’t accept American Express. I assume the owner has a good reason for it, but he has not passed those thoughts to me, the server. If he ever did decide to include me in his decision making process, my first question for him would be “why are the walls of the restaurant painted this horrible burgundy color of an apple that sat in the sun for two months?” My next question would be “why have you let someone like me work here for almost five years? I’m awful.”

Since I don’t know the real reason we don’t accept American Express, I am going to assume that is has something to do with the owner possibly being distinctly un-American which would explain why we don’t have American cheese, hot dogs or apple pie on the menu. Come to think of it, not once has he ever asked me to recite the pledge of allegiance and the Pandora channel he plays never has Kate Smith belting out “God Bless America.” Most of the time, the music is a mixture of 80’s and 90’s pop music and one day I heard “Der Kommissar” which is downright communistic. Although I had never thought about it before this moment, if all makes perfect sense why we don’t accept the American Express card: the owner hates America more than Arriana Grande does which would also explain why I recently saw him licking a tray of donuts. Maybe the owner doesn’t believe that this country is the greatest place on earth and the only way he could think to show his disdain for his homeland is to shun the most American of all credit cards, American Express.

“I defy this country! I care not for its amber waves of grain or the purple mountain majesty above the fruited plains!” he cries out from his office in the basement of the restaurant. “Oh how can I show the world my true feelings about America? Is it not enough that I listen exclusively to music created by foreign artists like Elton John, Celine Dion and The Rolling Stones? Is it not clear by the fact that I use mayonnaise on my fries rather than ketchup? No, it is not, so I shall do what I must which is to deny the use of the American Express card in my restaurant. Only then will people truly understand that I am not a patriot! Down with the USA and down with American Express!”

So, Lady at Table 16, that totally must be the reason we don’t accept American Express. I can think of no other possibility other than the fact that the processing fee for businesses to use their card is higher than the fees for other credit cards. But it’s probably because the owner is un-American. Yeah, that’s it.

Mustard and mayo,
The Bitchy Waiter

Here’s Why You Should Tip Extra at IHOP on July 7

Tip your server.

Tip your server.

Please, can we all hold hands and send out some positive thoughts to all those servers who will be working their asses off at IHOP on Tuesday July 7th? That is the day that participating IHOPs will be offering their guests a short stack of buttermilk pancakes for the price of 57 cents. Yes, some corporate head of bullshit came up with that idea in order to celebrate the 57th anniversary of IHOP. As he (you know it was a “he.”) was sitting in his glass tower surrounded by Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘n Fruity posters and sipping his bottomless cup of crappy coffee, he sharted out the idea when he sneezed too hard. (Technically, a “snart.”) As he was cleaning his underwear, he noticed his poo had formed into the shape of a “57” and a lightbulb went off over his head. (Dr. Oz wants our poo to be in the shape of an “S” but at IHOP, they settle for the shape of a dollar sign.) Mr. Corporate quickly sent out an email that filtered down to every server who now looks at July 7th as the day they will literally work until their asses fall off and they are flatter than an order of Harvest Grain ‘n Nut Pancakes. And you know what kind of customers will be in their restaurant that day? Too many cheap ass people who don’t want to leave a decent tip.

Look, we all know you’re supposed to tip 20% of the bill, but when there is some promotion that makes the bill practically non-existent, you can’t go with 20% anymore. The rules change. Imagine that some cheap asshole and his five cheap friends all order the 57 cent short stack and five glasses of water. They take up a prime booth and they stay there for 45 minutes. They run their waitress ragged and ask for refills and extra butter and extra syrup and extra napkins and then they even ask her to take a photo of them. After taxes, the bill will be about $3.09. 20% of that would be a 60 cent tip which is beyond crappy, but we all know it will happen because it’s IHOP. When people see they can get a cheap meal somewhere, they will crawl out of the woodwork like roaches crawling out of bag of beans that has been in dry storage for too long. And who pays for it? The servers that’s who.

Hurrah for IHOP for coming up with such a great promotional tactic, but please let us know that the folks on the front lines are going to be making some money that day. If you are one of the thousands of people who can’t resist a breakfast that will cost less than a roll of toilet paper at the dollar store, please remember to leave your server a decent tip. Factor in what the meal would have been had it not been National Cheap People Day. Look at your server and see how hard she is working and let that reflect in the tip you leave. Working at IHOP can never be easy, but on a day like July 7th, it has to be even more challenging. If your meal is only $1, can’t you just throw some extra money down for the tip? After all, it wasn’t the server’s idea to hand out almost free food all day. They have bills to pay and they don’t want to do a day of charity work.

Tip your server. Eat your cheap pancakes, enjoy your free water but take care of your server. It’s the right thing to do. If you’re one of the people who thinks it’s okay to only leave 20% even when the bill is less than a dollar, I want you to order a Stuffed French Toast and stuff it up your ass.

Here is IHOP’s Facebook page in case you want to add this blog post to their page.