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History Lesson: in 1918 a Waiter Poisoned Over 100 Customers

Do NOT poison your customers.

Do NOT poison your customers.

June 22,1918

Dear Diary,

What a day I had today. First off, let me say this: I did not mean to poison anybody, alright? It was an accident and I blame it all on Jean Crones, that asshole. It was his fault that all them people was taken to the hospital. Lemme start at the beginning.

It was just another day at the job. I was working a banquet for the Chicago University Club and I was doing me usual job of setting up the tables and polishing all the silverware and I was supposed to be washing dishes later on. The people were supposed to get there at 5:00 for dinner but at 4:00 we was so far behind it looked like we’d be lucky to serve by 7:00. A lot of workers called in sick saying they had a touch of the typhoid fever but I know they was all lying. The boss was cracking the whip trying to get us to do the work of the ten men who was probably nursing their hangovers and not going through the sweats of the fever at all. At 4:45, he throws an old ratty tuxedo jacket at me and says, “You’re a waiter tonight. He’ll tell you what to do.” He points at a man standing in the corner smoking a cigarette.

The man has dark wavy hair that hangs in his eyes and he is leaning against a wall as if his sole purpose is to keep it from falling down. His eyes look mean. I’d never talked to him before but I knew who he was: Jean Crones. He has a reputation of being a loner, a thief, a womanizer, lazy and I have also heard he was born with the tail of the devil but he cut it off with an axe when he was a kid. Nobody likes him and we all figure he must have something on the boss because if he didn’t, he would have been fired a long time ago.

I hold out my hand to shake his but he flicks a cigarette ash into it instead. “You get tables fifteen to twenty. Go get the bread ready and put it at your tables and then on mine, eleven to fourteen.”

“Why do you have four tables and I have six?” I ask.

He puts his fingers to his mouth and removes some tobacco from his tongue. “Fuck off.”

Thirty minutes later the hall is full of rich people in fancy clothes and I am doing all the work for my tables as well as Jean Crones’. I ain’t never waited tables before but it’s pretty much like being at me mum’s house; just get what people ask for and say “yes ma’am” a lot.

When it comes time to clear the tables for coffee service, I notice that Jean is no where to be found. I had seen him just a few minutes earlier at the big giant coffee urns and I am surprised because it looks like he is actually making coffee instead of telling me to do it. I also notice that he is lingering there for a long time but I don’t think nothing of it. I also don’t think nothing of him pouring some powder into the urns because I just thought it was sugar of some sort.

I serves the coffee to my tables and he serves it to his and I can’t help but notice he has a big grin on his face while he’s doing it like he’s enjoying his job all of a sudden. He even gives coffee to the people who say they don’t want it and I see him pour some into a cup for a little girl who I had almost tripped over not ten minutes before when she was playing with her dolly in the aisle.

About ten minutes later, it gets awful weird in there. People start excusing themselves to the toilets and the line at the john is stretched around the whole room. I hears people saying they have headaches and dizziness and I figure it’s just the heat in the room but when people start vomiting all over the place, I knows we have a problem. Meanwhile, Jean is back in his corner holding up the wall again while smoking another cigarette. And he’s laughing. I don’t see nothing funny about 100 people puking their guts up and it’s even less funny when me boss tells me I am no longer a waiter and that I have to go get the mop.

The doctors are called and the place is crawling with coppers because they figure that someone must have poisoned the customers. Right away I know it was Jean Crones and I try to tell them, but they don’t listen to me. I’m just a lousy nobody mopping up vomit, after all. The cops arrest all of us workers and throw us in the back of the paddy wagon for questioning. Of course, Jean Crones is nowhere to be found.

Three people died in that hall. Most of us were let go from the jail but they kept four men who admitted that they had put Mickey Finn Powder in the coffee. They bought it for 20 cents from W. Stuart Wood who was selling it at the bar at the waiters’ union headquarters. He made the powder with his wife and they was both arrested too. Everyone said it was Jean Crones’ idea to begin with. He wanted to “give them rich folks something to think about,” people said.

I hope they find Jean Crones. He should pay for his crime, he should. Them people didn’t deserve to get poisoned and they sure didn’t deserve to die. Well, that little girl that got sick kinda deserved it. She was running all over the place and screaming like a right out little brat, she was. She left a pile of toasted oats under her table and who do you think had to clean that up? Me, that’s who.

So, diary, it was quite the day alright indeed. I left me house this morning as a dishwasher and came home with a whole days worth of experience waiting tables. I hope to leave my days as a dishwasher behind and start a new life as a waiter. It’s got to be better than scrubbing pots and pans for a living. Jean Crones may have had a helping hand in poisoning a 100 people today but he also gave me a chance at a brighter future. I’m a waiter now, thanks to his training. I will take what he taught me and make a better life for myself. Well, except for that whole poisoning people bit. I don’t think most servers want to go around killing their customers. Or maybe they do. What do I know? I’ve only been a waiter for one day.

signed,
Albert Millian, waiter

(Okay, the diary entry isn’t real, but the facts are…)

 

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Openers Versus Closers (Yeah, I’m Pissed)

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I am pissed off

Is there any relationship that is more tenuous than that of the people who close the restaurant and the people who open it? It’s a fine line from one to the other, because very often people can switch back and forth between the two. One week, you might close for three days and the next week, you are the opener. I am almost always the opener and I have one thing to say to the person who closed the night before: what the fuck is wrong with you?

Look, I get it, You were there until 11:30 at night and you didn’t want to give the dining room another sweep because it was late and you wanted to go home, but suck it up. If you don’t sweep at night, who do you think has to do it the next day? Me, that’s who. I also have to mop and those six or seven crushed Goldfish crackers under Table 16 are not going to go willingly into the mop bucket. That should have been swept up by your lazy ass since it was left there by a lazy ass parent who had a baby who couldn’t get the Goldfish into its lazy ass mouth. That’s the deal: closer sweeps, opener mops.

And why is there no silver rolled? Oh, I know why, it’s because you didn’t ask the dishwasher to run it so you were able to leave claiming there was no clean silverware to roll. That’s not fair and you suck. And don’t tell me it was busy because you know I can look in the computer and see what the sales were for any day I want, right? All I have to do is run a report for last night and see that it was dead enough for you to have time to do something other than twiddle your thumbs for five fucking hours. You had time to pull the broom from your ass and use it to sweep up some goddamn Goldfish crackers and roll twenty-five roll-ups.

And really? There are no paper towels in the bathroom? I have to do that too? How fucking lazy are you? What did you do, just wipe your hands on your apron after you washed them because you knew that I would be here the next day to take care of it? It was also nice of you to leave the coffee pot with grounds in it so that when I went to brew hot water, it produced some leftover weak ass coffee that meant I had to dump it out and then wash the pot.

You’re an asshole, whoever closed last night. A lazy son of a bitch who I hope I never have to work with. I want to report you to the manager so he knows what a horrible employee you are. Maybe you need to be re-trained. Or maybe I need to get out the side work chart and have it tattooed on your face so every time you look in the mirror, you will know what you have to do next. We may not work at the same time but we still have to work together. I am going to look at the schedule and see who was the miserable piece of shit who closed the restaurant last night so I will know who to talk shit about behind their back. I am talking about last night, Tuesday. Who closes on Tuesday nights? Yes, I know who it is, it’s that new girl Angie. I knew I didn’t like her from the first time I worked with her and she was all smiley and everything to her tables and saying “my pleasure” and “absolutely.” And then last week she told me that she needed someone to cover her shift for her because she had a previous commitment at some shelter where she serves food to the needy. God, what a fucking goody two shoes. I wonder if she leaves the shelter in shit shape like she did the restaurant last night. So I agreed to cover her shift because I’m so fucking nice and friendly and where does it get me?

Wait, I covered her shift for her. On Tuesday night. Last night. I closed last night. Nevermind.

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If You Read One Thing Today, Let It Be This (RIP, Sophia)

If you drink and drive, you're an asshole.

If you drink and drive, you’re an asshole.

Some days, I sit at my computer and struggle as I try to think of something to write about for this blog. Complaining about annoying customers is always an option as is making fun of what someone said on the Olive Garden Facebook page, but today the topic was painfully obvious. Yesterday, my mom told me of a family friend who is suffering a great loss. Their little girl, Sophia, was killed in a drunk driving accident in my hometown of Victoria, Texas.

I never met Sophia, but if she was like most 9-year old girls, she was the center of the universe for her parents. I know that she leaves behind an older brother who probably cannot forgive himself for the last argument they had over something that was inconsequential. We all had fights with our little brother or sister when we were kids, but we always knew that we would be able to kiss and make up. This little girl didn’t even get to start her life and now it’s gone all because someone made the bad decision to get behind the wheel of a car after having too much to drink. The driver was arrested and has been charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is, no doubt, regretting that last drink that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Many times, this blog trumpets and elevates the alcoholic beverage, but never once would I ever advocate that it’s alright to drive after having too many cocktails. Sophia has left a hole in the hearts of her family and all of her friends. Her principal at her school had to make an announcement on Monday that they would never see their friend again. Can you imagine what it must be like to be in the third grade and to get such a harsh dose of reality? It is difficult enough to keep children as children; our world today forces them to grow up too quickly and I wish that every kid could stay as innocent and naive to the cruelness of this world for as long as possible, but thanks to a drunk driver, that won’t happen for Sophia’s friends. They will spend the rest of their lives knowing that sometimes bad things happen to good people for no reason.

Her mom, who was driving the car, is in the hospital with a collapsed lung and a broken shoulder. She will heal physically, but we all know that emotionally, she will never fully recover. How can she? I cannot imagine there being any grief that is deeper than that of losing a child. A fund has been set up to help cover the costs of Sophia’s funeral and I am hoping that we can help them reach their goal of $6000. I know that some of you have already donated to help these people you don’t even know and I am asking that more of you do it as well. Anything is going to help them. Five dollars is not a lot of money and if you give, you will know that you are helping support a family that is in need and I’m not just talking about financially. Emotional support is just as important for the Calhoun family and for them to know that people all over the world are thinking about them could help them through this dark dark moment. If you can’t donate, then “like” this post or share it so others can see it too.

Please click this link to donate whatever you can. This blog gets read by a lot of people and if everyone gave $5 (the minimum on the funding page) we could smash this goal for them. Yes, this blog post is unlike so many others that I write, but surely you must know that I am not a total bitch all the time. I just play one on the Internet. With this many readers, I should be able to do some good every once in a while.

The next time you have a drink, make sure you think about Sophia and don’t drink and drive. If you do, you’re an asshole and everybody knows it.

Sophia Calhoun

Sophia Calhoun

CLICK HERE TO DONATE, PLEASE.

 

 

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It’s Official: Fecal-Covered Tip Really Stinks

shitty tip

shitty tip

Well, here’s some news that will make you want to slather your body in Purell and then crawl into a big Ziplock baggie the next time you go to work. A customer in Muncie, Indiana left his waitress a tip with a little something extra on it. It wasn’t a smiley face or his phone number or some other cutsie little doodle, it was poo. Yes, poo. This asshole took his money to the bathroom, wiped his butt with some bills, and then gave that money as a tip to his waitress.

The suspect, a 17-year old kid who has not been identified because he is a minor, has been charged with battery with bodily waste. He was at the table with three football players from Ball State (which I understand to be a university with a very awkward name) who have been identified, but it has yet to be determined how much they had to do with smearing of fecal matter onto the tip.

The waitress is said to have noticed the kid laughing when she picked up the check presenter and that she smelled a “foul odor.” Shortly after leaving the table, she was in the side stand when she exclaimed, “Awww, hell no! Someone done wiped shit all over these dollars!”

What can we say about this? How would anyone think that giving your waitress a shit-covered dollar is acceptable? The only person who wants a shit-covered dollar is nobody. Nobody wants a shit-covered dollar. And what about George Washington? There he is, just living the dream on a dollar bill in this kid’s wallet when all of a sudden things get dark:

La di da, la di da. I am George Washington, the father of my country and here I am on the dollar bill. How fortunate am I to have this honor bestowed upon me. Of course, I am also part of Mt. Rushmore, so basically, I got it goin’ on. Oh yes, and I am on the quarter as well, but all that means is that most of the time I am stuck in the coin slots of laundromats across the country. My highest honor is to have my face on this dollar bill, the most common of all currency. Oh, I cannot tell a lie, I love being crumpled up in the wallets of the people of this country. Each time the wallet is opened, I know that I am about to become a vital part of the economy of this great land. Perhaps I shall be used to purchase bread for a hard-working family or maybe I will be stuffed into the paper cup of someone less than fortunate who has taken to begging on the street. My use is always for good.I will admit I do not take kindly to being rolled up and used as an instrument to snort drugs into one’s nostrils. Neither do I appreciate assisting someone to roll a marijuana cigarette, but most of the time I am proud to have my face on this dollar bill.

What’s this? The wallet is being opened by my current owner, a young man who has but his whole future ahead of him. Maybe he is using me to buy a new text book or school supplies! Oh the privilege! Wait, why are we in the bathroom? I’m hardly ever seen in the bathroom. Is this young man sitting on the toilet while counting his money? This seems wrong. I do not like the odor and I do not like the sounds in here. Oh, good he’s standing up now, we must be leaving. I’m sure as soon as he uses that roll of toilet paper we will be making our way out of here so so that I can be given away in exchange for something honorable and necessary. Maybe I will be the tip for the bathroom attendant. No wait, am I heading toward his ass? Oh my God, i am heading towards his ass. Stop, I’m George Washington on a dollar bill! I am not toilet paper, do you hear me? I am NOT toilet paper! Oh God in heaven, save me, save me! Noooooo!”

 

 

 

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Meanest Customer In the History of Serving

Damn, bitch.

Damn, bitch.

I do not condone violence, for I am a lover, not a fighter. The last time I went to fisticuffs was in the fifth grade when I met Gabriel Chapa after school and we had a fight because I thought he was getting on too many people’s nerves and wanted to bring him down a peg. We were caught by teachers thirty seconds into our brawl and we both ended up in the principal’s office getting three pops with a paddle. (Hey, it was 1978 and corporal punishment was no big deal.) Nor do I ever think it is right for a man to strike a woman. Ever.

Until now.

This video has made me seriously question whether or not I would have been able to restrain my hand from flying through the air and making contact with the face of one of these horrible women who are really upset about the lack of Guinness beer. Knowing me, I would have produced a full on, open-palmed slap of All My Children proportions and then the woman would punch me in the face with a fist, sending me to the floor crying like a baby. The only good thing that could come out of that would be that she knocks the teeth out of my head and I would get to go to the dentist and get some new ones, preferably the straight white kind as opposed to the yellow crooked ones that I am blessed with now.

Still, if I was their server, I don’t know if I would have been able to be as calm as the guys in the video. These bitches really push the boundaries. Good job to the men who show greater reserve than I would have.

Update: According to this article, the video was staged for publicity. Thank God those women are not for real.

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This is What We DO NOT Want For a Tip

This is not a tip.

This is not a tip.

You want to know what your server wants for a tip? Money. Preferably cash money but if you want to put it on a credit card that’s fine too, we’ll take it. We want 20% of the total of your check. You can bitch and whine about how you think that the restaurant should be paying the server’s salary and it’s not your responsibility, but you know what? If you live in the United States, this is the culture we have so for whatever reason, it is your responsibility. Suck it up and deal with it or move to Europe where servers make more per hour and tips aren’t as important as they are here.

You want to know what we don’t want for a tip? A pile of fucking coupons. What are we supposed to do with those? “Hey, Mr. Landlord, thanks for the roof over my head for the last thirty days, it was great. I appreciate it so much and I want to show my appreciation by giving you this pile of coupons that some cheap bitch left me last week.” No, it does not work that way.

Someone sent me this photo and this is what they actually received for a tip: coupons. A lady took the time to go through the weekly circular of the Piggly-Wiggly or whatever, find some scissors and cut these out for her server. Or maybe she didn’t have any cash and she pulled out her coupon wallet and “made it rain.”

$1.00 off Russell Stover Candy: Who the fuck wants to eat Russell Stover candy? That’s the shit you buy at the damn drugstore the night before Valentine’s Day because you have absolutely no other option and you’re alright with your girlfriend being royally pissed off at you. You buy Russell Stover for your mom’s birthday when you’re in the third grade because you think it’s fancy. Potheads with the major munchies would probably even skip over a bowl of Russell Stover candy and eat the cushions from their couch first. Nobody wants Russell Stover Candy and you don’t leave a coupon for it as a tip.

$1.00 off Lancaster Brand Pizza: I don’t even know what “Lancaster Brand Pizza” is. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want a coupon for Stouffer’s or Totino’s either so don’t get any bright ideas. But a dollar off a fucking frozen pizza? Wouldn’t that pretty much make the pizza free? “But it’s for cheese, pepperoni or combo,” I can hear Coupon Queen saying. “It’s such a great deal!” No. it’s not a great deal. It sucks but probably not as much as a lLancaster Brand Pizza does.

Free bottle of water: Wow, it’s up to a $1.19 value, but you have to buy something called  a Planters NUT-rition Tube before you can claim that valuable bottle of water. A NUT-rition tube? What is that? A tube of nuts? It sounds like something Mr. Peanut would buy at a sex shop along with some Planters Lube and a cock ring for his Macadamia nuts. No thank you.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: Another candy coupon, great! The person who sent me the picture pointed out that there is a whole punched into this coupon so it was invalid. That’s right, the bitch tipped with a used fucking coupon. She probably still had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup breath when she sat down to order. Then again, that peanut breath may be from the blow job she gave Mr. Peanut out in the parking lot.

People, don’t insult your server by leaving coupons as a tip. Those four coupons were for a total of $3.19 so it’s a shitty tip even if they wanted to use them. Don’t assume that your server is going to be grateful for bestowing upon them the opportunity to get items from the grocery store that they probably don’t even want. It’s rude, disrespectful and cheap. In addition to all those things, you run the risk that your server is going to take a picture of it, send it to The Bitchy Waiter who will then make fun of you for performing fellatio on an animated mascot for nuts.

Bottom line: do not ever leave coupons as a tip.

mr-peanut

This is a repost after the original posting of this was accidentally deleted.