Category Archives: water

Table 16 Says Something So Stupid

NoWaterDropWebAnyone who works in the service industry has had their fair share of stupid questions and comments from customers. You certainly do not have to be waiting tables to deal with morons, but if you want a helpin’ heapin’ servin’ of dumb ass comments, then put on an apron and just wait for ’em. Sometimes people say things that I cannot decipher. In other words, it’s hard to tell if they are serious or giving me some feeble attempt at humor. This was the case not too long ago.

As I approach Table 16 with my pitcher of room temperature water and my attitude of lukewarm smugness, the lady at the table immediately reaches towards her glass. I think she is going to slide it to the edge of the table to make it easier for me to fill, but instead she pulls it closer to her and covers it with her hand. Maybe she knows that I didn’t bother to put ice in the pitcher and she is going to ask for cold water or maybe she is one of those people who want to first hold the glass up to the light to inspect it for water spots, lipstick stains and food remnants, which could all very easily be present since I was not the one who set that table and therefore did not give the utensils and glassware my usual eagle eye of approval. (That’s funny.)

“No water for me,” she says. “Water’s gross. Fish swim in it.”

Really? Is this lady kidding me? She doesn’t drink water because fish swim in it? They also poop in it, reproduce in it and die in it. People pee in it, oil tankers spill in it and factories pour garbage in it. Sea lions get their period in it and spring-breakers who have had too many Coronas throw up in it. The water that is in my pitcher was not just scooped out from the Hudson River nor did it come from Coney Island. It did not come from a pond nor a stream or even a babbling brook. It came from the tap and the last time I checked, there were no fish swimming in the faucet.

“So, no water?” I confirm.

“Blech,” she replies while making a face implying that water is the nastiest thing to have ever touched her lips. Looking at her husband, I know for a fact that her lips have touched something much, much nastier than water.

I have had people tell me before they don’t want any water and I am happy to oblige because it is one less glass I have to keep my eye on to make sure it’s full. Truth be told, even the people who say they love water and will require lots of it don’t necessarily get my undivided attention for keeping their glass full. There are other priorities in food service like hot food and frozen drinks and I am referring to my french fries that I keep in the sidestand and the leftover frozen margarita in a to-go cup that I keep next to said french fries.

I could tell she was waiting for a response from me, like maybe she wanted me to be all, “Oh my God, you don’t drink water??” or “But water is so good for you!!”

Instead I say, “Okay.”

Listen, if you don’t want to drink water, it’s fine with me. But “fish swim in it” is not a good reason. My sister-in-law doesn’t like water. She drinks only Diet Coke. She told me that she drinks nine cans of it a day, which means she probably drinks at least a dozen. The only time water ever makes it into her mouth is when she brushes her teeth, and yes, I too am surprised that she has any teeth to brush. When she goes to bed, she takes a glass of Diet Coke with her and sips it throughout the night. When I asked her why she doesn’t drink water, she just said ‘I don’t like it.” Fine. I don’t get it, but at least she didn’t say some stupid ass bullshit like “fish swim in it.”

When it comes time for the lady at Table 16 to order, she decides she wants the calamari appetizer and the grilled salmon for dinner. So I guess water is so freaking disgusting because fish swim in it but the fish themselves are so freaking delicious that she eats them anyway. Some customers are so eccentric. And by “eccentric” I mean fucking stupid and annoying.

Do Your Really Want That Water or Are You Wasting My Time?

As in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, I see water, water every where, but not a drop to drink. Unlike our seafaring sailor who was surrounded by salt water and unable to satiate his thirst with his surroundings, I see glass after glass of tap water that people ask for but they never let pass their lips.

We don’t live in a country where there is very often a water shortage so people feel free to waste water in the same way they waste their breath by telling me how they want their burger cooked or what they’re allergic to.

I go to a six-top to see what they would like for their two-drink minimum while watching the show. We are not a restaurant, so we don’t have pitchers of water at side stands that we fill glasses with every two minutes.

“Hello, folks, how are you tonight? Can I get you anything to drink yet or would you like a few minutes to look over the cocktail menu?”

Silence ensues.

“I can come back in a few minutes if you need some more time. I do realize our cocktail menu is quite extensive and it can take some time to decide which one of our delicious libations you would like to enjoy this evening.”

More silence. And then those dreaded words from one woman:

“I don’t know what I want, so can you just bring me a glass of water while I decide? Just bring everyone a glass of water.”

What if everyone doesn’t want a glass of water, lady? Did you ever think of that? Are the other five people going to drink that water or am I just using up valuable time to bring glasses of water that will never be touched? Her five friends don’t even acknowledge that she has just asked for water on their behalf which tells me that I am going to be doing this for nothing. We have a total of 75 people seeing this show. If I bring a glass of water to every single person, that is three extra racks of glasses that have to be cleared, carried down the stairs and sent through the dishwasher. That is 75 glasses that we will go through and maybe make us run out of them for important things like vodka tonics and my wine.

I return to the bar to ask the bartender for six glasses of water. He is up to his ass-less chaps in chits trying to keep up with the demand for real drinks like martinis and Manhattans but now has to put the brakes on productivity to get water for six people, five of which didn’t even ask for it.

“It’s so fucking irritating when someone orders water for the whole table. Ain’t nobody got time for that,” I bitch.

“I’m sure you’ve blogged about it before, right?” asks Tom.

I realize I have not.

“But then again,” he continues, “it’s not like it would be a whole blog. Probably just a paragraph.”

“Oh, I can make it a whole blog post,” I counter. “Just wait.”

I return to the table with the six glasses of water and, surprise, surprise, they still aren’t ready to order. I place the six glasses on the table and notice that four of the customers don’t even notice that it happened. Meanwhile, the lady at the table next to them sees the waters and decides that she too is parched.

“That looks good. Can I have a glass of water?”

“Me too,” says another man.

It’s as contagious as yawning. Everyone who sees a glass of water now thinks they need one too. It’s maddening. I feel myself falling into the weeds as I fetch additional glasses of water for people who moments before did not even know they wanted one.

After the show, I go to clear the room and head back to the table that started The Great Water Demand of 2013. Of the original six glasses of water I had brought to the table, five of them still have the paper on the straw meaning they were never touched. As I suspected, it was all for naught.

Look, I don’t mind getting water, I really don’t. I understand that water is a basic need and can be quite delicious when mixed with a cup of sugar and a packet of Kool-Aid. What I ask is that people think about it first before requesting “water for everyone.” Let people make theor own decisions about their water intake. Don’t assume they want it and certainly don’t assume that I will be happy to do it. Rest assured, if you ever find yourself saying ‘just bring water for everyone,” your server is muttering under his breath how irritated he is.

Let me end this post by quoting the last paragraph of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and showing you how it relates to the above water situation:

He went like one who hath been stunn’d,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.

What that means in present day speak is this:

The customer was like, “oh my God,”
I feel so bad for asking for water for everyone when I didn’t even know if they wanted it:
I know now it can be annoying and wasteful
And starting tomorrow I won’t do that anymore.

(See Tom? I told you I could write a whole blog post about it.)

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I Need a Drink

We all have regulars who come in all the time and we welcome them with open arms and warm greetings. Unless of course they are really annoying and in that case you pray that they won’t sit at your table. I have been known to intentionally dirty my tables if I see someone coming into the restaurant that I don’t want to serve. Just run to the bus tub, grab some dirty dishes and throw them all over your station so they are forced to sit somewhere else. Is that so wrong? Well, last night I had one of my nice regulars. This guy comes in maybe two or three times a week and he’s pretty okay if not just a bit creepy. But just because he comes in up to three times a week does not mean that I serve him every time. I only work twice a week so chances are good that he will come in on one of my five days off. He sat down and looked at me like I should know what he wanted to drink. Now I have not served him for at least two or three weeks so I don’t fucking remember what he usually orders. And honestly if I would have served him the night before I probably wouldn’t have remembered anyway because I really try not to waste precious brain space memorizing orders. That’s what pens and paper are for. I ask him what he wants to drink and he gives me this little smirky ass grin like he can’t believe I have to ask. He batted his eyes (I totally think he is flirting with me but I refuse to admit that) and says all coy-like, “I’ll have a TP with no ice.” So I write down TP and wonder what the fuck it is. I didn’t want to ask him because he is minutely important and I think he is ordering his own special thing that the bartender will know about. A lot of these regulars get all bent out of shape if they have to remind you that they want rum and Diet Coke without fruit or an order of mixed nuts, but just a half order or a gin and tonic with a glass of water. I walk up to the bartender and ask if he knows what Joe Blow means when he says TP. Toilet paper? Technology Programming? Titty Poppers? I have no fucking clue. Of course the bartender has no idea either and I have to go back and ask him specifically what TP is. Joe Blow laughs and says, “I can’t believe you just wrote it down and left. I want tap water. Hardy har har snort snort har.” What a freaking comedian this guy is. He acts like he just made up the funniest joke in the history of time and Jerry Seinfeld better step aside real quick. (And I know Jerry Seinfeld is so not a current reference to stand up comics, but I hate stand up comics and he is the only one I know.) So then I look all stupid for trying to get him what he wants without having to question him and he’s just being a joker? TP=tap water. Hilarious. So I took him his TP but I put ice in it. Just to be a dick. I hope it didn’t bother his sensitive gums too much. When I brought a second TP later, I left the ice out and apologized for forgetting it the first time. But I didn’t forget. I was just being a joker.

Fucking regulars. Can’t live with ’em can’t spit in their TP. Or can you?

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