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I’m shit-tastic at coming up with titles (guest post)

Today’s guest post comes from Emma. Emma is a writer, bartender and generally happy person from Brisbane, Australia. Her career has been predominantly in the hospitality industry as a restauranteur, and she holds a special interest in mixology. Some of her many talents include removing lipstick off wine glasses and replacing coasters which have been shredded into small squares. Emma began writing about her antics and experiences and this has evolved into an online author platform. Her first novel has been submitted for publication. Visit her at:

At Your Own Whisk
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I’ll be the first to admit, I forgot about the others.

People kept coming and politely requesting drinks. They waited patiently while I made them. They thanked me afterwards. I should have known. It was too good to be true.

The lie the lovely people sold to me seemed comforting and nostalgically familiar, like seeing a long-lost friend after some time.

Little did I know, I was about to be put back in my place.

She sauntered up to the bar, with a certain air about her. She was a woman who expected the absolute best. Her sparkly stilettos highlighted the sway in her strut, and her heart-shaped lips matched her heart-shaped arse perfectly. She threw her accessory forward: a gangly companion to pay for her drinks.

From the moment he mumbled, “One bourbon cola,” I knew how this relationship worked. On the surface, she was out of his league, but in reality, he had fallen in love with her body, and she had fallen in love with his wallet.

“Sure,” I said, grabbing a glass. “And for you? Can I get you a drink?” I asked the woman.

“Make me something gooooood,” she purred expectantly.

“Sure, ok, what kind would you like?” I asked. “Can I make you a cocktail maybe?”

She leans forward and breathes sexily, “I want something just for me,” licking her lips in anticipation.

“Ok…” I start creating various recipes in my mind, but I just needed that little bit more of information. “What kind of flavours do you like? Would you like something sweet, or fruity, maybe something bitter? Or creamy or tart even? What do you normally drink?”

That was it. The show was over. How dare I?

Now as the creator of many drinks over the years, I have learnt to give people what they ask for, and never assume anything. The last time I made something out of thin air, I was met with a huff and scream of, “I hate mango!” (after, of course, she’d watched me make it).

“What do you normally drink?” I asked gently, half smiling and half concerned – a well-practised expression to let her know I genuinely care. The truth was, I knew I was in trouble by then. It was better to act innocent that to interrogate.

She froze, and turned to me, slowly. I could see the flames burning in her eyes, menacingly glaring at me for ruining the moment. You know what? I probably ruined her night. The look she gave me, said that I’d ruined her life.

“What kind of drinks do you have?!” she snapped.

I take a minute to admire the taps of beer to my left. I drop a cocktail menu in front of her, and take the time to observe the shelves. I look back at her to check that she’s watching, and my eyes turn the fridges circling the lower bar.

“I can make you pretty much any drink you’d like, provided we have the right ingredients here…” I start.

“Well?!” she demands. “What drinks do you have?!”

I take a breath, and tell her, “We have beers. We have wines. We have bourbons and rums and whiskeys. We have tequila and we have gin. We have liqueurs, sodas, juices and waters. We have teas, coffees and hot chocolates. We even have bottles of things that I’m not sure of what they are. What do you normally drink? Tell me what you like and we’ll go from there.” I shot daggers at her, then transformed my face into my Customer Smile.

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

“I’ll get a bourbon cola too,” she says.

At Your Own Whisk
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Top 5 Things To Know When Visiting a Tourist Town (and how to not annoy the service workers there.) (guest post)

It seems ironic that I am posting about horrible people who are on vacation while I myself am on vacation. But I promise I’m not a horrible customer. This guest post comes from Kailey Geary. You can follow her on Instagram at @kjgears. Thanks, everyone.  xo, BW

 

We get it. You’re on vacation. You’re happy. You’ve been on Bourbon St for the last 3 hours and drank 7 hurricanes. You’re looking to stumble into somewhere to eat loudly, and soak up all that Everclear in your stomach. You have your best camo on, with your favorite NASCAR hat and you want good service, dammit. But please, PLEASE, try to remember a few things.

  1. We are not on vacation. On the contrary, we are on the opposite of vacation. We’re at work, dealing with your drunk ass. And we’re trying, we really are, to make your experience great but cut us some slack if we don’t have the same lust for life 9 hours into a double as you do on your vacation.
  2. We are not human maps. We may not know where your hotel is, or that bar your cousin’s husband told you about, or “you know, that place with the drinks that have the sharks in them.” Sorry.
  3. We are not licensed historians. We don’t know the history of all things in the city. Go on a history tour with someone who knows what they’re talking about, instead of asking me to make shit up to you while I’m trying to work an 8 table section and I know my food is up in the kitchen. My chef is 6’2 and told me the next time my food dies in the window he’s going to throw it at me.
  4. Don’t ask “where the locals hang out.” I’m not going to tell you. I don’t want to see you at the bar tonight. I’m going to lie, the same way every other service worker is going to lie to you. We like tourists for the money, not the company.
  5. If you see us walking down the street in our uniforms, leave us alone. Just because I’m a service employee does not mean I exist for your every need at all times.I don’t want to take a picture of your ugly family, or give you directions (seriously don’t we all have phones?), or have you say “going to work, huh? That sucks” as you chug you 86 oz beer, most of which you’ve spilled on your shirt.

So there you have it, a nifty guide to being a tourist. Come. Tip well. Leave. Oh, and a bit of New Orleans specific advice, don’t wear Mardi Gras beads unless it’s Mardi Gras. All they say is: “hey I’m not from here, please rob me.”

Everyone Has One & Servers Don’t Care About Yours (guest post)

This guest post is written by Rob Saul and I think we can all relate. Thanks. xo, BW
Birthdays. As mine approaches tomorrow, I have plans to go out with friends and colleagues. I’ll probably even dine out to a place of my liking. Birthdays are fun and should be celebrated. As a server, there is something I think you should be aware of when going out into the public to dine. We don’t give a fuck about your birthday. Here is a list of things that I would kindly ask you to refrain from when going out for either your or a loved one’s birthday.
1. Announcing it at the first approach. Or at any approach really. When we walk up to introduce ourselves and get your drink order and you decide to blurt out “It’s My Birthday!!!”
it makes me want to jump out of my skin… or the restaurant window. It takes a special kind of narcissism to think that a complete stranger who is serving your food to pay their rent or student loans is supposed to be excited that how ever many years ago on this date, you were thrust from your mum’s under region.
2. Birthday gear. Ughhhh!!! As an adult, there’s no better way to say “I have an unhealthy need for attention” then wearing your light up tiara or Birthday hat/t-shirt. What is the thought behind this? That you’re going out and strangers won’t know it’s your birthday? Is that unacceptable? You have to brand yourselves so that strangers will acknowledge that on this date YOU WERE BORN? Oy vey
3. Discretely flagging down server. If ever there’s a moment in a dining experience that makes me want to rip off my apron and get out, it’s this. When I go to turn that corner to the soda machine or POS and in my peripheral I see you hunched down and hidden while loudly “PSSSTTTT”ing me and wildly waving your hands. This usually leads to the most dreadful request, which segways me into number 4
4. Asking the wait staff to come out and sing. Something that myself and most sane staff members try desperately avoid at all costs. This isn’t broadway and I’m certainly not making Bette Midler’s salary. I don’t want to sing to you. I especially don’t want all your phones pointing at me while I’m forced to do it. I can’t wait for my family and friends to scroll across a video on Facebook or YouTube of me awkwardly singing to you holding a molten cake with a candle in it. They’ll be so proud
5. Big Birthday Expectations. There’s always those people whose birthdays are RUINED because their potato wasn’t warm enough, the scallops were a little dry, the salmon took longer than expected. Working in a restaurant, it is always our goal to make sure our guests are happy and served in a timely manner but things are bound to go wrong sometimes. For the most part, we’ll make it right. But you have to be a real egomaniac to think that the restaurant goes into a huge uproar, starts calling extra people in, pulling out all the stops because they were just informed that it’s Sally at Table 4’s birthday. If your birthday is ruined because of a mistake at a restaurant, you should probably reevaluate your existence.
So there you have it, if you didn’t know, now you do. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!
You can follow Rob on Twitter @RobSaul or check out his website here.

Why people who order water with lemon are the worst and other minor (major) server inconveniences (guest post)

I am excited to announce that while I am on vacation, this blog will be updated with various guest bloggers and today is the first one! This piece is written by Shannon Monson who has a blog called Confessions of a Twenty Something. I hope you will check it out. Thanks!  xo, BW

I recently exited the service industry (hopefully for forever), which I have been employed in since I was 18 years old. I like to think that before all of my awful customers made me hate everyone that I was a moderately amicable person. Now, I am good at faking it when I have to and prefer the presence of animals to humans.

Anyway, servers live for complaining about their customers/jobs/coworkers/etc. Like if I can find someone who actually likes listening to all of the crap I have to say when I finish a serving shift (bonus if they agree with what I’m saying and will sit at some townie bar until close with me), I want them to be my new BFF. This blog is aimed specifically at complaining about customers because they are the worst.

Here is a list of annoying things customers do:

1. Get a table when their party is incomplete
When you say the entire party is present and they don’t arrive for 40 minutes, that delays your order for 40 minutes. The server whose time you just squandered could have had an entire table in and out in that amount of time. This means you cost them money. We come to work for the tips, not to wait for your rude family to arrive very late to a pre-arranged dinner that they definitely knew the time of beforehand.

2. Interrupting the server greeting
Me: “Hi, my name is-
Customer who clearly hasn’t been taught manners yet: “Diet coke light ice two limes”
Me: *obnoxiously fake smiles* “Absolutely! Be right back!”
HONESTLY WHO RAISED YOU?! In what realm of the universe did someone teach you that your time is so valued that you cannot muster the patience to allow someone to tell you hello, their name, that they will be your server for the evening, and maybe throw out some specials the restaurant is having for the day? Ugh.

3. Not acknowledging the server when they greet you/drop things off/ask questions/etc.
Eye contact goes a long way. So does the phrase “thank you”. I’m your server, not your servant. Pay attention to me.

4. Ordering “a water AND…”
I really don’t have an explanation for why this bothers me so much other than I don’t understand why you can’t just drink a single beverage. I guess if you drink the water, fine okay I’ll bring you several. I would honestly rather bring this person 17 refills than bring one water to a person that literally does not touch it (which tends to be the more common scenario). Also, this request is a million times worse with a large party. Please just don’t.

5. Ordering a water with lemon
Okay now I really don’t know why this one annoys me. It really doesn’t take much effort on my part to do this for you but I (and all servers everywhere) just hate it. Maybe it’s because I’m a judgmental little B when I’m serving (and most other times) but every time someone orders water with lemon, I want to squirt the lemon juice on their paper cut.

6. Forcing their children to order when they are terrified to talk to me
This makes both me and your child uncomfortable. I understand that you might be trying to teach your kid independence or whatever, but I don’t have time to try to coax them to utter the phrase “mac and cheese with applesauce” for five minutes. The lady at 211 needs her large side of ranch, extra butter, and diet coke no ice and she is staring through me right now.

7. Finishing 4 diet cokes before your salad even arrives
I’m sorry to break the news, but at a certain point your soda is no longer “diet”. This is one scenario where ordering a water AND a diet coke would be appropriate.

8. Getting mad at me for not IDing you when you are clearly old enough to consume alcohol
You and I both know you hit age 21 a decade ago. If it bothers you that much, try botox or something, idk.

9. Asking, “What’s the WiFi?”
There is no WiFi because we don’t want you to sit in the restaurant any longer than it takes you to eat your food/drink your drinks. This is a business, not a library. Talk to your friends while you’re out. Entertain your children. Watch the freakin’ TVs if you must. Just be present.

10. Not bothering to look at a menu/not being able to decide after 15 minutes of being seated
Didn’t you come here because you are hungry? It’s incredibly awkward for me to keep coming back to ask if you’re ready. Also, I assure you that if you accidentally (heaven forbid) choose the thing that you like second best, life will go on and you will be okay. If the hardest decision you make today is mashed potatoes or fries, your life is blissful.

To read the rest of the list, go check out Confessions of a Twenty Something.

Five Reasons Servers Aren’t People (guest post)

As I take a vacation and drink my way through Italy, I have enlisted guest bloggers to fill the Bitchy Waiter void. Please enjoy their musings, but not so much that you stop liking me. I’m needy. xo, BW

  1. They don’t have feelings. So, when you shake your glass or snap your fingers, they don’t actually punch you in the throat. They should but they don’t.
  2. They don’t have bills. They don’t have to worry about rent or car payments, so no point in tipping them. They serve just for the love of serving.
  3. They don’t have to use the washroom. That’s why you see them running around for eight hours without a break. They don’t need one.
  4. They actually love to clean up after you. So, do let your kid spill everything and throw his food on the floor. Servers live for that, they really are here just to serve you.
  5. They have infinite patience. So, do ask all the questions you can think of. “What’s in the stir fry?” or “What is the burger served with?” Nothing they love more than reading the menu that’s right in front of you.

Do go ahead, they aren’t people, so no need to treat them like they are.

Laura McGowan writes for Skinny and Single.

You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Solar Eclipse is a Living Hell for Servers

In case you hadn’t heard, there is a solar eclipse today that is going to create a massive shadow here in the United States. The 70-mile wide swath of darkness will hit cities from the West Coast to the East Coast and some small towns that will see 100% totality were not prepared for the massive influx of tourists who have besieged upon them like a swarm of locust.

Yes, the solar eclipse is a scientific marvel and all that, but just to keep it in perspective, I want to share this message I got from a server who lives directly in the path of the great shadow of 2017. This is from “Lucky” who lives in Clarkesville, Georgia, population 1,733.

All these people want to come to our little, quiet town to see the eclipse and then bitch because nothing opens until 12 on a Sunday. And then bitch some more because the restaurant I work at is closed on Monday. Please, go back to your big city life and leave us the hell alone. And FYI, it’s a small town and a small restaurant with not a huge staff which means, Monday is THE only day some of our staff get a day off. If you can’t respect that, LEAVE. Quit being dicks. Watch the eclipse and leave. Please don’t come back if you can’t be a decent human being. We don’t have time for assholes.

Be strong, Lucky. Be strong.