Category Archives: Uncategorized

Is This Mommy Blogger Trying To Make Servers Hate Her?

I had never heard of MommyShorts.com until someone sent me the above photo, so I immediately put down my glass of Pinot Grigio to Google it. (I just got back from Italy, so wine is my current thing.) It’s no surprise that Mommy Shorts is a “mommy blog.” I swear to god, the only thing there are more of than insufferable children is blogs about them. I didn’t spend a lot of time on the blog because reading about a mom’s adventures with her two kids is about as interesting for me to read as this blog is for 99.99% of the world population. In other words, I get that mommy blogs are way more popular than ones where middle-aged men gripe about the state of their employment situation. However, if that’s your thing, you can check out the blog here or got to the Mommy Shorts Facebook page and tell them I said hello.

Anyhoo, the photo from Mommy Shorts rubs me wrong in very much the same way the collar of my polyester Black Eyed Pea uniform shirt used to. I get that it’s a tongue in cheek letter to her server, but the overall tone is slightly condescending:

Dear Server,

Hi. We don’t know each other. Yet. But my children will under both yours and my care for the next one to two hours.

How that goes is up to both of us.

I know I may seem like an asshole when I demand bread and water before I even sit down at the table, but everything I do and say from this point forward is strictly to ensure that we are in and out of here quickly and with as little ado as possible.

We are on the same team, you and I. Got it?

Okay.

Now take my order, get me some crayons and bring the check with the food.

Sincerely,
MOMMYSHORTS.com.

P.S. I have moved the cutlery and the candle intentionally. Please don’t move them back.

Okay, is it just me, or is that fucking letter ripe with pretension? I mean, come on! I took the liberty of correcting the letter for Miss Mommy Shorts so she can fully understand how truly shitty it was. I also went ahead and wrote a letter that I would like to give to her if she ever sits in my section:I realize that by posting this, I may have to face the wrath of thousands of mommy blog fans, but I’m ready. Hey, I have been on vacation for two weeks and I am ready to stir the fucking pot.

And by the way, if you want some more bitchy, you can buy my book by clicking here.

A Comment on Comments; the 22-Month-Old-Baby Edition

Last week, I wrote a blog post about a woman who was celebrating the 22-month anniversary of a baby clawing its way out of a vagina. It really pushed some buttons and touched some nerves and, for the life of me, I can’t imagine why. The post on the Facebook page had a reach of over 500,000 people so it clearly resonated for some. Most people could see the sense of humor but plenty of folks decidedly did not like what I was writing about. I need to make one thing clear: the server who received the note undoubtedly brought a “small cupcake or brownie” for the baby celebrating the non-birthday and then served it with a smile. That is what we do as servers. The entire point of this blog is to write about the things we wish we could say. It doesn’t mean we actually do the things I write about.

There were a lot of hateful comments directed ant me and other servers about what awful people we are and after reading about 700 hundred of them, it kinda got me all like:

But one comment in particular stood out. It came from Lauren:

Whomever wrote this is a huge douche who needs to get laid, go on vacation, and take a Xanax. Not specifically in that order. Get over yourself, honey. Your shitty job is to bring people whatever the fuck they want, and pretend you’re enjoying doing so. If you don’t like that, get an education and do something else.

Ouch, Lauren. You cut me to the quick, bitch. What you fail to realize is that 99.9% of the time we servers do bring people whatever the fuck they want and we pretend we are enjoying it. It’s just that I like to write about the other .01% of the time. And I am afraid you are wrong with your assumption that I am “huge douche.” At 5’9” and 141 pounds, I’d say I’m really more of a small or medium.

However, I think I shall take your unsolicited advice regarding getting laid, going on vacation and taking a Xanax. (Not necessarily in that order.) Effective today, I am on vacation for 12 days. This morning I went to CVS to pick up my prescription of Xanax. As soon as my husband and I land in Italy on Thursday morning, I will get to work on the “get laid” part. I don’t think it will be very difficult to achieve. Thanks for the great advice, Lauren. You’re the best.

 

Getting laid, going on vacation and taking Xanax!

Woman Under Mistaken Impression That Server Cares About 22-Month Old Baby

Look at this note that someone gave to their server because they thought that a 22-month old baby deserved some special attention from a restaurant. The note is ridiculous for so many reasons but let me just point out a few of them.

  • Who the fuck celebrates a 22-month anniversary of a birth? Just wait two more months and call it a second birthday. And why do parents feel the need to tell us the age of a baby in months? At what age does that officially stop? Just say he’s almost two, we’ll get it. (By the way, on September 29th, I’ll be 604 months old.)
  • I love how the person had to write it down on paper and pass it to the server as if someone at the table might have heard her say it out loud and then ruin the surprise for the baby.
  • Isn’t it adorable that she wants a “small” cupcake or brownie? Not a regular size cupcake or brownie that might be on the menu and therefore cost money, but one of the “small” cupcakes that every restaurant has hidden away in a back stock room just in case a 22-month old baby comes in to celebrate. Also, I have never worked in a restaurant that has cupcakes on the menu, small or otherwise. You’re not at a bakery, lady.
  • And are we pretending that an almost two-year-old is going to fully appreciate a candle on a cupcake? This baby doesn’t know what a birthday is and it’s NOT EVEN IT’S BIRTHDAY. It’s just some random fucking Tuesday with someone trying to add importance to it.
  • “He’s 22 months today” cracks me up because she feels the need to clarify that today is the day. As if celebrating 21 months and 29 days would just be stupid or something. I can just imagine how excited the staff was to gather around a baby to sing happy birthday to it and then realize in the middle of the song that it makes no sense, because it’s not a birthday.

Lady, the baby doesn’t give a shit about turning twenty-two months old and neither do we. Seriously, I could not give you any shit. Even if I had a huge bucket of shit, like one of those 5-gallon orange ones from Home Depot that was full of it, I still wouldn’t give it to you. I could be holding that big bucket of shit, straining every muscle in my body because a 5-gallon bucket of shit would be really, really heavy, and I still wouldn’t give it to you. That is how much of a shit I don’t give.

Get over yourself.

Waiting on a Miracle

Artwork by Tim Brown

In this day and age, it may be hard to believe in them, but we have to open our hearts in order to see the true beauty of the world and be willing to accept the miracles that happen before us each and every day. They may not be as obvious as the parting of the Red Sea or changing water to wine, but miracles still happen.

It is Thursday night at the restaurant and a very slow one at that. In between the occasional customer, I long for something that will help the time pass more quickly. As if to make it move even slower, fate sends in two of the oldest people I have ever seen. Their wrinkles have wrinkles and they are basically two big age spots asking for a table. The woman looks to have been born sometime during the John Adams administration (the first president Adams and not the second president Adams) and moves slowly with the help of a cane. I have seen glaciers move faster than this woman and her cane looks as if it has become part of her, solidly attached to her right hand. Her husband looks even older and is pretty much a walking fossil from the pleistocene era. Had I not known better, I would assume he was on leave from the Museum of Natural History. Amazingly, he has no cane, but he is leaning on his wife, both of them depending on the strength of that cane to support them. After they sit down and produce some reading glasses with lenses that are as thick as her ankles, they eventually decide upon their meals, minus every bit of seasoning and spice.

As they are eating their dinner, I wonder what it must be like to be that old. I look at her cane leaning on the next table and it seems to be grateful for the opportunity to relax. I think to myself that if I am ever that old, I hope that when I go to a restaurant there isn’t some bitchy ass waiter taking notes about me so he can write a story about my life. I also hope I never need a cane. The couple is very sweet and I find myself hoping only good things for them. I make a mental note that that the next time I find a penny on the sidewalk that I want to wish for them to be healthy and happy. Do they even bother celebrating birthdays anymore? And what kind of holiday season do they have? After 200 years of marriage, do they still buy presents for each other? How do they shop? If they can barely make it to Table 11, I cannot fathom that they go to Target on Black Friday. Perhaps they do all of their shopping online, but that too seems unlikely since they are probably still trying to understand the newest invention in their home, the radio.

“Dadgummit, I can’t find Amos and Andy anywhere on this thing!”

“Well, dear, that’s because that isn’t the radio. That’s the other new invention we bought. It’s called a toaster.”

 
To read the rest of the story, click here and visit The Shift Drink.

3 Useful Skills for a Career in Tech I Learned from Waiting Tables

I have always said that we can pick uo all kids of skills in the restaurant that can carry over to other jobs. Ben Singer thinks the same way and this guest post shows us exactly that. You can check out Ben’s website here. Thanks!  -BW

 

I spent years waiting tables as I attempted to be the next big thing in music with my band Muff Punch. I loved it. The camaraderie combined with late nights closing down the bar are some of my fondest memories, and I will forever associate the buzz of a packed restaurant with making money. Sadly, Muff Punch disbanded, and I moved on from the Service Industry to a career where I wouldn’t stay until 5 AM on a Tuesday drinking excessively. Naturally, I landed in tech. Though now a Client Relationship Specialist, the waiter in me lives on I perpetually ranting how random tasks are “just like waiting table.” Here’s a few:

Greeting a Table:

It’s an inherently intrusive to greet a table, as the waiter must interrupt an intimate group to conduct business. It’s an artificially created situation with an extended face-to-face exchange. Every server takes a different approach. I threw out a casual “How’re y’all ding tonight?”. I then react according to their response. Drunken enthusiasm is met with something aggressive. If they’re all business, I’m all business. I calibrate to the response. These 30 seconds are a chance to gauge the table and add some personality. Match the vibe right, everybody’s happy.

Today, I call up clients using our software to explain new features, updates, and to bitch about why they’ve yet to signed their contract. This is the same conversation as greeting tables with me intruding on their day in the name of conducting business. Taking the same 30 seconds for a mindful hello improves these significantly.

Life in the Weeds:

Eventually we all get slammed with more work to do than hours in the day. I thrive in these scenarios from days when unexpected rushes were met with a criminally understaffed FOH. What’s one to do when what we thought was a full section magically gains a 10 top magically where it was thought only 8 could be sat? My first time, a veteran server Alex observed the “I’m about to break down in tears” look on my face, and gave some sage advice.

“Ben, you’re in the weeds. Accept it. Put the blinders on, pick one task, and go! Smoke your way out, one puff at a time!”

The mind blowing-ly effective stoner Alex nailed it. Whenever overwhelmed at the office, I put the blinders on, make my to-do list, and smoke my way out.

Reset The Restaurant

Everything goes to shit in a slammed restaurant. God forbid you can actually find a manager when a table revolts over a 40 minutes ticket time. When the flooding recedes, suddenly the manager returns with the command “No one leaves until this restaurant is reset!” Groans ensue as the side work triples, but the establishment must be ready in case of another swarm of hungry patrons. When the swarm comes, that reset is a godsend.

After a day in tech jumping from fire to fire, I’ve ignored emails, failed to send out meeting invites, and my client notes are a pile of illiteracy. I’m “reset” once I could handle another fire drill of our systems going down without missing any notes. The same principle is at play, only what was formerly a restaurant is now my digital organizational system.

The service industry weeds out the weak. It’s high-intensity, but for those that are good, the money is superb. Despite my love, as I grew older priorities changed and returned to a traditional office environment. That said, I feel bad for those who never worked service industry. It’s the best education I ever got paid to do.

You can check out Ben’s website here.

What NOT To Do When You Go Out To Eat (guest post)

 

Today’s post comes from a waitress from down under, Lauren Nugent. It seems that servers on both sides of the world deal with the exact same things. You can visit Lauren at her website Nourished Spirits or her Facebook page. Thanks!  -BW

 

One. Ignoring the “wait to be seated” sign, and sitting wherever you please. This sign is there for a reason – so we can keep track of who sits where when. If you sit wherever you like and then complain about being ignored, you are the devil. If you are offered a table and then get up and move to another table (especially if it’s dirty or unset), you’re even worse. You are not at home, you cannot eat wherever you like. We’ll do our best to find you a table you like, but please try and be logical.

Two. Forgetting what you ordered when we bring your food to the table. Wondering why we’re standing there looking constipated? Two of the three plates we’re holding are piping hot and quickly branding our hands and arms. If we bring the wrong meal, we’re genuinely sorry and we’ll get that fixed up for you right away. But 9 times out of 10 we’ve brought the right meals, you just don’t listen or remember when we try to get your attention. And if we’re holding three plates and you rudely tell us there should be more meals coming – we’d like to remind you that we only have two hands.

Three. Not telling us about your dietary requirements, and then getting pissy at us when you can’t (or won’t) eat your meal. We take dietary requirements very seriously and we will always do our best to accommodate you and keep you happy and healthy – but if we don’t know about your severe onion allergy, how exactly are we meant to cater to it? You’re an adult, you’ve chosen to eat out, and it’s your responsibility to make us aware of your needs. Don’t waste our time and money by getting your meal remade – tell us, and we’ll get it right the first time.

Four. Clicking at us, yelling at us, waving at us rudely… If you wouldn’t try to get the attention of your mother like that, don’t do it to us. And if you would act that way to your mother, I feel sorry for her.

Five. Arguing with us that our workplace policies are stupid. Maybe you’re right – but that doesn’t change the fact that that’s the way things are done, and we’re not going to change it for you, especially if you’re rude or abusive. If the menus say “One Bill Per Table”, then that’s exactly what you can expect. If you don’t trust your friends enough to pay you back when you pick up the cheque, should you be eating out with them at all?

If you’ve never worked in hospitality you can’t possibly understand how we feel. Daily, we are treated as third rate members of society. Well we have news for you – we’re not. Yes, hospitality is our job. But it’s not who we are. Many of us are studying to be doctors or lawyers; some of us have already graduated and are job hunting. We might have a day job in an office and rush to get to our restaurant job afterwards to make some extra money. Or maybe we work full time as a waiter – but outside of that, we’re strong people with interesting, sometimes difficult lives, who deserve respect.

The customers is not always right. You can not come into our workplace and treat our family like we don’t matter. We are people – we are worthwhile, smart, brave, hard working people. And we will be treated as such.

You can visit Lauren at her website Nourished Spirits or her Facebook page.