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This Is NOT a Good Reason To Stiff Your Server

This may be a surprise to hear, but I do believe that there are some very rare occurrences that make it alright to not leave your server a tip. If your server was deliberately rude to you when you asked for a iced tea refill and he threw the pitcher at your face bruising your forehead and dousing your clothes, no tip! If you asked for a medium-rare cheeseburger and your waitress said, “Nawww, we buy our hamburger patties off the back of a pick up every other Wednesday. You’re gonna want that shit extra well-done. And no cheese for you. You look like you had enough calories for the day. And I’m gonna leave off the bun too, fat ass,” that might be reason to forgo a tip. Other than extreme situations like that when the server is specifically to blame for your bad restaurant experience, you should be ponying up a tip.

I was recently sent a photo of a credit card slip that explicitly denies a tip on a $176 bill because the fire alarm went off while they were eating. Despite the “good service” this cheap ass decided that there would be no tip for the server, effectively denying that server approximately $35. The photo came to me with the name of the offending customer cropped out which is incredibly lucky for the customer because there is nothing I like better than publicly exposing someone for the cheap ass that they are. However, I can still use this photo as a lesson.

Attention customers: when you are deciding how much to tip your server, please keep in mind what the server did for you. If you didn’t like your food and your server was apologetic and did everything possible to make it right for you, tip them for it. If there was another table nearby that had a screaming child that was bothering you, that is no reason to stiff your server. That is, unless the crying baby actually belonged to your server which would just be weird. You don’t stiff your server because the sun was too bright in the window or because the music was not to your liking or because you didn’t like the type of to-go containers the restaurant uses. These things have nothing to to do with the service your received. A tip is for service. Period.

As a waiter, it is my job to make your dining experience as good as it can possibly be. I want you to be happy because happy customers tip more. Just remember that I’m not the one making the food and I sure as hell am not the one who pulled the fire alarm. If the fire alarm goes off while you are eating, maybe the restaurant should comp you a drink or buy you dessert, but it doesn’t give you the right to completely disregard everything I have done to serve you. And if there really was a fire, I would think you would be grateful for it since it probably saved your life. Think how disappointing it would be if you were dead and couldn’t keep on stiffing servers in your life. Probably about as disappointed as your server was when they saw you had stiffed them for the stupidest fucking reason ever.

The First A**hole Customer of 2017

I don’t know why I agreed to pick up a shift on Monday, but I did. I never work on Mondays, but a week and a half ago, we had a server quit with two days notice. He said he got a new job as a postal carrier and his first day was December 26th. Never mind that the postal service was closed on December 26th observing Christmas. I mean, if you’re going to lie, at least do some fucking fact-checking, kid. So boom, he quit three days before Christmas and I was asked if I could pick up a shift. My boss, knowing me very well, happened to give me my Christmas present of a bottle of tequila and a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolate minutes before he popped the big question. Of course I agreed.

I arrive to work on January 2, not sure if I am serving or bartending. Bartending is something I am quite comfortable doing at home, but at the restaurant it’s different. The restaurant has silly things like recipes and limits to how many ounces of liquor goes into a cocktail. I tell my boss I would rather wait tables this evening. This is when he tells me that who ever is serving tonight will be training a new server who will be replacing our lying future postal worker.

“Oh, I guess I can bartend then,” I say. “Training sucks. I hate dealing with new hires.”

“Hi, I’m (name I already forgot). I’m training tonight,” says a quiet girl I had not noticed sitting at Booth 9.

“Oh. Hi. Awkward.”

The other server shows up ten minutes later. We agree that I will show New Girl the opening sidework if he will set up the bar for me. She will follow him while I will stand behind the safety of the bar encouraging people to order beer and wine.

“The first person who orders an Old Fashioned is going to be severely disappointed,” I think.

The night goes without incident. Closing at 10:00 on Monday instead of 11:00 like I am used to is the one saving grace that gets me through the night. The most complicated drink I am asked to make is a daiquiri that is requested by one of my friends who mysteriously heard that I was bartending this night. I also make a Pimm’s Cup which makes me wonder, “who the fuck orders a Pimm’s Cup in January?”

By 9:15, it looks like the evening will be an easy one. And then at 9:20, three men come in for dinner. I suspect that one of them is who called me earlier asking how late we server dinner. I am grateful they are showing up 40 minutes before closing time. I begin breaking down the bar, preparing myself to waltz out of the door at 10:00 sharp. At 9:55, I mosey back toward Table 16 to see how close they are to getting the hell out when I notice that their food is just now being plated.

“What the hell? Why have they not even stared eating yet?” I ask the other server.

“They didn’t want to order. I finally told them at 9:50 that we close in ten minutes and we needed to get their food in.”

Of course they ordered the roasted chicken which is the one thing on the menu that takes the longest. They get their food knowing that we have been closed for twelve minutes. I do my best to not glower at them, but I can’t help it. It’s like my facial muscles have involuntarily contracted into a unending scowl that is permanently etched onto my face. My neck won’t let me look any other direction than the table of the three men who are discussing singers, musicals and Juilliard. Ordinarily, these topics would make my face light up with joy, but not tonight. At 10:40, I leave the bar and start clearing their table. Thankfully, they ask for their check and then pay it immediately, saying “we know you guys are closed.” And then they sit. And sit. And sit. At 11:00, they are still there. They care not that the candles have burned out, the kitchen has been cleaned, the trash has been emptied and the the lights in the kitchen are off. We have sent New Girl home for the evening.

“This is so fucked up,” I say to the other server. “Who the fuck does that? How can anyone sit in a restaurant for an hour after it’s been closed? What a bunch of assholes. This pisses me right off. I mean, seriously…”

“You can go home if you want. There’s no reason for us both to wait here,” he says.

Unsure if he is really that nice or if he just wants my Negative Nancy ass out of his perennially positive space, I jump at the chance to leave. We pool tips, so technically, we are both supposed to stay until the end.

“Are you sure?” I ask him.

“Totally. The paperwork is already done, I’m just waiting to re-set their table. I’ll take care of it.”

I give him my thanks and bolt the hell out of the restaurant, knowing I have just experienced the first asshole table of 2017.

For the People Who Complain About Everything

This is the story of the man who did not know what he liked to drink.

He’s a tall man who I have never seen before. His legs are like two tree trunks attached to a torso and when he sits down at Booth 8, it seems he would be more comfortable at a table. Since he doesn’t say anything about his knees rubbing the underside of the table top, I decide to not offer him another place to sit.

“What’s your darkest beer?” he asks me.

Without hesitation, I tell him we have Guinness.

“No, that’s too dark,” he says and asks for something that is dark but not quite that dark. As I stare at the menu in his hands that has a list of every beer we sell, I ask him if he would like a Brooklyn Lager.

“What’s that like?” he wants to know.

“Well, it’s an amber lager with a hoppy taste and a malty bitter aftertaste. Want to try it?”

This is when he tells me he wants the least hoppiest beer we have so I suggest a Hefeweizen which is basically a wheat beer and not at all dark. At long last, he agrees to order it and I can tell that this guys is going to be really a super lot of fun to take a food order from. After he takes a few sips of his beer, he lets me know he does not like it but “will drink it anyway.”

I don’t care if he drinks it or not, because it’s already on his bill and it’s not coming off. Why do people think they are doing me a favor by suffering through eating or drinking something that they don’t like? You ordered it, you pay for it. That’s how it works. Whether you eat it, stare at it, stab it with a fork, put it in a to-go bag or ask me to throw it away, you are paying for it. You can take that rare steak home with you and call it your pet cow for all I care. It’s yours.

After he places his surprisingly simple food order, he asks for another beer, this time a Corona which is neither dark nor hop-free.

When his roasted chicken arrives, he is ready for another drink, but wants to look at the cocktail menu. After studying it like he’s about to take the LSAT for Harvard Law School, he decides on an Old Fashioned which I promptly ring in. Moments later, I set the perfectly crafted cocktail before him and as he picks it up, he eyes the fruit in the glass.

“Hmmm, a cherry. Well, that’s interesting.”

“Actually, it is interesting,” I say. “This cocktail has been around since 1881 when it was invented by a bartender named James E. Pepper. I’m pretty sure it always had citrus in it, but the cherry has been pretty standard for as long as I’ve been waiting tables and I started at Bennigan’s back in the early 1900’s.”

He does not laugh at my joke which doesn’t bother me one bit because, quite frankly, I no longer give a flying maraschino fuck about him. He takes a sip of the cocktail and declares that it taste like water. “But I’ll drink it anyway,” he tells me.

“Yes, you sure will, asshole, I mutter to myself as I walk away from his booth.

At long last, he has somehow sucked down the watery Old Fashioned and now wants a mojito. If this guy is trying to diversify his alcohol intake, he’s doing a splendid job. I quickly carry a mojito to him, place it before him and wonder what he will have to say about it.

“That’s a lot of mint.”

“Yes, yes it is. Mojitos always have a lot of mint.”

He takes a sip of the cocktail and again tells me it tastes like water. I immediately decide I want to live where he lives because if his tap water comes out tasting like an Old fashioned or a mojito, he has the world’s perfect faucet. No longer would I be challenged to drink eight glasses of water a day, for that would happen before breakfast.

As I walk away from him, I hear him say “I’ll drink it anyway.” I print his check and cram it into my apron, hopeful he doesn’t ask for coffee, a port or some other liquid refreshment that will surely only bring disappointment to him.

Just drink water, asshole.

An Applebee’s Birthday is the Best Birthday

Happy Birthday, Beverly! We here at Applebee’s do a lot for birthdays! First of all, we gather the entire staff around your table so we can all give thanks that you were born. It’s sorta the same thing as Christmas, except instead of being thankful for the birth of Jesus Christ Our Savior, we’re just really pumped that Beverly was born! As soon as everyone has their five minutes each to tell you what a special snowflake you are, the real festivities begin! Clowns, balloons, monkeys, crazy hats, water sports and a 30-minute foot massage is what we have in store for you!

Clowns: they will sit at your table and make farting noises the entire time you are at the restaurant. You will also get to be part of an all out pie-throwing party! (Please note: the “pies” will actually be plates of Triple Chocolate Meltdown®) You will be covered in “pie.” In fact, if you don’t find some type of dessert crammed into your deepest orifice, we will keep throwing pies until that happens. Fun!

Balloons: our very own in-house balloon artist will create a one-of-a-kind balloon sculpture of you! That’s right, Beverly! It will be life size and it will be scary as hell.

Monkeys: your meal will be brought out to by a group of trained chimpanzees who will dance for you if you toss them a shiny penny. They will be wearing little bow ties, vests and teeny, tiny little fezzes. The monkeys will also join the clowns in making farting noises. However, while the farts from the clowns will be created by various whoopee cushions, the farts from the monkeys will be actual farts. (Please note: we are not responsible if a monkey rips off your face or the face of any of your guests. Should that happen, just remember how cute they were while they were doing it.)

Crazy Hats: you and your entire party will be given wacky hats that will create just the right atmosphere for your celebration. From sailor hats, to top hats, to beanies, everyone will love wearing fun hats. But don’t you worry, Beverly. You will be wearing a crown because you are a pretty, pretty princess who deserves nothing but the best!

Water Sports: we will clear the dining room of all other tables and turn it into a swimming pool where you can play Marco Polo and high dive off a hostess stand. It may seem crazy that we would ask everyone else to leave just so we can build you a swimming pool, but it’s not every day that you celebrate a birthday, is it? Birthdays are a huge deal and if a few of our other customers are accidentally drowned while we “fill the pool,” it’s alright. It’s what they get for coming to Applebee’s on Beverly’s birthday.

Foot Massage: we will have our pantry cook, Rosalia, stop what she is doing and come rub your feet for half an hour. She will use a handful of crushed Churro S’mores to exfoliate your feet and then soak them in your choice of BBQ, spicy sweet Asian chile, classic & hot buffalo or thai peanut sauce. (Please note: allow up to ninety minutes for this massage to be completed as Rosalia will have to stop and go to the kitchen each time someone orders something in pantry.)

Beverly, we cannot wait to have you as our guest here at Applebee’s! We know that birthdays are a very rare thing and not everyone gets to have one, so we take them seriously. It is our goal to give you a birthday you will never forget! See you soon, birthday girl!

Jesus Celebrates Birthday at Olive Garden

“Thank you for calling Olive Garden of Nazareth, this is Bathsheba can I help you?”

The voice on the other line is weary and tired because this is easily the tenth restaurant he has called this morning.

“Umm, hi. My name is Bartholomew and I wanted to make a reservation for my friend’s 21st birthday.”

“Absolutely, we would love to celebrate with you. How many people and what day can we expect you?”

“Well, there will be ten of us on December 25th at, like 7:30.”

“Ohhh, I am sorry,” says Bathsheba. “We are closed that day for Christmas. You know, ever since Jess was born twenty-one years ago, we all get an extra day off so, yeah. I can fit you in on the 26th, will that work?”

Bartholomew decides to drop the name bomb on this hostess to see if it will change her perspective.

“Actually, the birthday party is for Jesus. He’s my best friend and each year everything is closed on his birthday. This year, seeing that he can legally drink and everything, I thought it would be nice if he could celebrate his birthday in a restaurant. Usually, we just hang out in a donkey stable and do shots, but I wanted something special this time.”

Bathsheba sighs heavily. “Yeah, no, we’re closed. Maybe try the IHOP over in Zarzir? I think they stay open for his birthday. And tell Jesus I love him!” And with that, Bathsheba hangs up the phone.

Frustrated, Bartholomew slams the receiver back onto its crook. “IHOP doesn’t even have a liquor license,” he mutters, “I’ll be damned if I’m gonna ask Jesus to turn water into wine on his own birthday.”

Back at Olive Garden, Bathsheba tells the other hostess Salome about the phone call from Jesus’ best friend. “Can you believe he thinks that we’re gonna stay open just so he can celebrate his birthday? Ummm, hello? You may have brought everlasting light into my heart, but that’s my day off.”

Salome is shocked to hear such disdain for Jesus. “But Bathsheba, he’s the son of God. And I read on TMZ that he is supposed to die for our sins some day. He’s kinda a big deal.”

“Whatever,” snorted Bathsheba. “Happy birthday, Jesus but it’s not my fault that you have a shitty birthday.”

Salome looks at the caller ID and writes down Bartholomew’s phone number. Later that day, she hesitantly calls Bartholomew who is at the end of his rope trying to plan a birthday party for Jesus. He picks up the phone. “Hello?”

“Hi, my name is Salome and I work at Olive Garden. I understand you want to have a party of ten on December 25th. What time would you like to be here?”

Surprised, Bartholomew clears his throat. ”But I thought you were closed that day. Did something change?”

“Yes. Yes, it did. What time can we expect you?”

“7:30?”

“We will see you then,” says Salome. “”Have a good day!”

Salome did not know how she was going to manage this, but she knew it had to happen. “I mean, Jesus Christ, it’s Jesus Christ’s birthday, right?” she says out loud. And then she begins to pray.

“Dear God, I need your help. It’s your son’s birthday in a couple of days and I’m sure you already got him something really great, but I want him to be able to come to Olive Garden of Nazareth. Our front door says ‘when you’re here, you’re family” so I want to live up to that slogan. Help me make this happen for Jesus. Amen.”

Three days later, Bartholomew is at Jesus’ house. He watches as Jesus opens his birthday present from his parents, Mary and Joseph.

“Oh. My. Dad. You got me more frankincense?? I cannot believe you got me more frankincense. I ran out of this like 15 years ago, thank you!”

“Your father said it was too expensive, but I said ‘no, Joe, he’s 21 years old. I want him to have some more frankincense.’ Isn’t that right Joseph? Always so cheap, your father.”

Joseph laughs as Mary pokes him playfully in the ribs. “You deserve it son of God,” he says. “Just don’t use it all in one sitting, you hear me?”

Jesus gives his parents a hug and Bartholomew promptly announces they have dinner reservations. The four of them pile onto the donkey and head over to Olive Garden. In the parking lot, they are greeted by six of their friends, Simon, James, Thomas, Phillip, Esther and Sussudio. They all yell “surprise” at him and Jesus is in shock.

“You guys! I feel so popular right now. And are we really eating at Olive Garden? Really? I thought they were closed today. This is so wonderful. I have the best friends ever. Bartholomew, was this your doing? Come here, you!’

The two friends embrace heartily, Bartholomew feeling that the hug ends just slightly sooner than he would have liked. Jesus pulls away from his somewhat clingy friend and laughs uncomfortably.

At the front door, Salome appears. She is holding a basket of bread sticks and two jugs of wine.

“When you’re here, your family!” she exclaims. “Come in!”

As everyone is ushered to the table, Bartholomew quickly realizes they are the only ones in the restaurant. He goes to Salome and asks her how she managed for this to happen.

“Well, I prayed to God for this to happen. I prayed every day for three days straight for him to open the eyes of management so they could see how very important this day is for Jesus Christ our Savior.”

“And God answered your prayers, right?”

“No, actually I never heard back from him, so I stole the keys from the manager and just opened the place myself. I’ll do all the cooking and serving.”

“I am so grateful, thank you,” says Bartholomew. “But can you cook for this many people?”

“Oh, sure it’ll be fine. I found the directions for everything and it’s pretty much all just microwaved. I can do this. I just really wanted Jesus to have a great 21st birthday. Wine?”

She fills his glass and then heads back to the table to pour wine for Jesus and his friends.

“Happy birthday, Jesus. Or Merry Christmas or whatever! Crispy Chicken Ravioli Supremo for everyone!”

When Holiday Parties Go Bad

A holiday party in Dyersville, Iowa took a frightening turn when one employee shanked another employee with a candy cane that had been whittled down to a very dangerous weapon. Police were called to Kayla’s Kuntry Kitchen sometime late Sunday evening after the popular restaurant had closed early for its annual Christmas party. Waitress Heather Dipinsky, 24, was arrested on the scene while her co-worker, 43-year-old Darla Dipinsky was treated for minor injuries. The two women are mother and daughter.

Kayla Kuntablo, the owner of the restaurant, was shocked by what went down. “Them two have been at each other for a couple of weeks. It all started when Heather got in the weeds one night and her Mama went and covered her section for a bit. Well, Darla kept them tips from Heather’s tables and it just went downhill from there. They love each other but sometimes they just don’t like each other, you know?”

Co-workers say the feud had escalated earlier in the day when Darla spilled some hot chocolate onto her daughter’s lap, claiming it was an accident. Line cook, Robert “Bobby Boy” Reed says he saw it happen and it “certainly didn’t look like no accident.” He goes on to say, “Even if it was an accident, it doesn’t matter. Our hot chocolate machine sucks and it’s barely lukewarm anyway.”

After the eatery closed, the group had some egg nog and began playing the Dirty Santa gift exchange game where one person is entitled to “steal” a gift from someone else. Everyone had their eye on the $20 gift card from Wal-Mart that had been “stolen” several times already. When Darla opted to take it from her daughter, Heather produced the candy cane that she had been sucking on for 15 minutes, creating a “shank” and attempted to stab her mother in the leg. The wound was superficial. Heather was immediately subdued by a co-worker who knocked her to the ground with a ten pound bag of potatoes that some asshole was trying to pan off as a fucking Christmas present when everyone knew he had just gotten the potatoes from dry storage.

Police and paramedics arrived quickly seeing that local sheriff, Roscoe Coltrane happened to be next door having a beer. Darla was given a Dora the Explorer Band Aid and quickly went in for her fifth Solo cup of egg nog.  As Heather was put into handcuffs and the “weapon” was confiscated, her mother was quoted as saying, “I ain’t surprised she was able to get that candy cane into such a sharp point. She’s real good at sucking. Been doing it since seventh grade.”

The party continued and forty-five minutes later, Heather returned. The elder Dipinsky decided to not press charges and the two have since made up. However, they have decided to no longer work the same shifts; one will work the breakfast/lunch while the other will do dinners. No word on who ended up with the $20 gift card from Wal-Mart.

You can read the whole story here.