Monthly Archives: July 2010

Can’t Take My Eye Off Of You

So I don’t know if I have mentioned this or not or even if anyone gives a shit, but I am not waiting tables for a couple of weeks because I am too busy being an actor. That’s right. Someone is paying me to put on silly costumes and act a fool up on a stage. This has been the summer of not waiting tables because I have been lucky enough to go from show to vacation to show. Never fear though, because in a couple of weeks I will again have a pen and pad in my hand, an apron around my waist and a razor blade next to my wrists. My show opened last night and to celebrate (and to work off the hangover) I took myself to breakfast this morning in lovely Maryland.

My waitress was Nancy who was great. She had obviously been waiting tables for a long long time. I can imagine her taking orders on a stone tablet with a hammer and chisel when the special of the day was roasted Brontosaurus burgers with a side of Dodo bird. I ordered my breakfast (cheddar and bacon omelet, home fries, rye toast and Pepsi) and it came out moments later. No sooner had I taken the first bite when my gaze fell upon something that took away my appetite and nearly had the tequila from the night before coming up for a visit. No, it wasn’t a roach or a mouse or anything so ordinary. It was another waitress. But this waitress appeared to have only one eye. Wait, what? A one-eyed fucking waitress? This lady’s left eye looked like it had simply called it quits on that bitch and the skin grew right over it. I kid you not. She saw me looking at her (well, half saw me) and I looked the other way. Now how the hell am I supposed to eat my way through a hangover when I got Cyclops Sally eyeing me down? She walked away but I kept staring at her wanting to make sure that I was not imagining that a woman with purple/grey skin covering her eye had just served food to a table. I think somewhere in Maryland there is an actual pirate museum. Why didn’t this lady swing down to the gift shop and pick up an eye patch for $1.99 so diners didn’t have to be grossed out every time she attempted to make eye contact? How do you make eye contact with that? I guess it’s easier than trying to make eye contact with a lazy eye because in that case you have to make a choice about which eye you want to look at. In this case the choice was made for us: we look at the one eye that is not rotting. I said a little thank you prayer to Martha, the patron saint of waiters for allowing me to have Nancy as my server and not Captain Hook over there in the other station.

I finished my meal with my head down so I didn’t accidentally catch the gaze of Ol‘ One Eyed Wilma. As I went up to pay my check, she was standing there next to the register. She smiled and I said good morning. I wondered how she lost her eye and thought about how much it would cost to stick a marble up in there and pull an old Sammy Davis, Jr or Sandy Duncan. I felt like I should give her some money because in New York City when you see someone like that, they usually have a styrofoam cup in their hand asking for handouts. But she just told me to have a nice day. She seemed nice and friendly and like a really sweet person. I could just tell. I could see it in her eye.

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The Mexican Rice Emergency

emergencia!

So how many times can I write about inept restaurant managers before I have told every store that needs to be told? Apparently, there is an never-ending supply of stupid ass restaurant managers so the stories are infinite. I was recently having a margarita in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park when I saw some total ineptitude happening right in my face. Thankfully, my face also had some salt on it from the rim of my glass so I was able to deal with what I witnessed. First off, I sat down at 3:45 and ordered my cocktail. Immediately afterwards, I saw the table tent that alerted me to the taco bar and drink special that started in a whopping fifteen minutes. At 4:00, margaritas would be two for one. Why oh why could I not have been told that had I waited a few minutes I could have double the pleasure of tequila? Whatever. I survived. I watched as the servers were setting up the buffet table with the big silver chafing dishes. And then the manager came out to make sure everything was going as planned. She just stood there with her hands on her hips scanning the action and struggling to look important. And then she uttered these immortal words of advice:

So if someone comes up to you and says something like, “uh, hey you’re outta rice”, then what you should do is…? Go tell someone that you need more rice. Okay?

Wow, someone needs to run out and get a stone tablet because it sounds like we now have eleven commandments.
We need a rewrite and reprint for the Bible.
Call Confucius and tell him he’s got a new saying for his next batch of fortune cookies.
Alert CNN that they have their latest news crawl for the bottom of the screen.
Send out a mass text.
Rosetta Stone is no longer the answer to the world of language.
Embroider that shit on a pillow.

Was she for real? Who the hell couldn’t figure that out on their own? I think if you threw an apron on a ten year old and told them to start waiting tables they would immediately start crying (that’s what I did on my first day of waiting tables) but they would know what to do if someone told them there was no more rice. But thank God Idiot Savant Manager was there that day. I can just imagine what could have happened if she had not passed on that vital piece of information.

Customer: Uh…hey you’re outta rice.

Waiter: What?

Customer: You’re outta rice, can you get some more?

Waiter: Gee, I dunno if I should. No one told me what to do if we ran out of rice. Maybe I should get more Jello.

Customer: But I want rice.

Waiter: Or pudding. Pudding’s good. Oh, or what if I got more hummus? Or french fries! Yeah, I’ll get more french fries, maybe. Oh God, I dunno what to do. Why didn’t someone train me for this situation?? This is horrible!

Customer: Maybe you can just go to the kitchen and get more rice?

Waiter: Lemme go ask my manager what to do. Hold on. (He goes to kitchen and then returns.) Okay, I’m back. She told me I should just go get more rice. So I’ll go get more rice.

Customer: Wow, that manager must really be a genius. She really averted a potential crisis.

Why must so many managers be oh so very very lame?

 

 

Chew Chew Train, Part Two

Once before I wrote about being on a train and it was not a very great experience. In fact I would feel comfortable saying it was the opposite of great which is shitty. However, while on vacation I traveled by train from San Francisco all the way to Portland, Oregon. It was scheduled to be a 17 hour train ride which blossomed into a 25 hour train ride. It wasn’t so bad because I had a first class ticket (I’m fancy) and my own private sleeping quarters. Meals were also included and they were served on real plates with real silverware and served by a real honest to goodness waitress that stepped right out of a television sitcom. You know of my love for Flo, Alice and Shirley and this waitress was like all three of them rolled into one snarky wise ass waitress. I never got her name, so I shall refer to her as Pearl.

Pearl was one of those waitresses who always has a quick comeback whenever you ask for anything and if she didn’t say it with a smile and a wink you would just think she was a total bitch. I wanted to know what it was like to wait tables on a train and live in the same place that you work for days at a time. She told us that her days were 18 hours long and she worked three days in a row and then had six days off. As if waiting tables isn’t hard enough, Pearl has to do it 18 hours at a time and on a train that sways back and forth as it rolls across the country. She was my new hero. I asked her how she managed to deal with such a crazy kind of job. Her answer: drugs. I just fell in love with her a little bit more. I think she meant something like Ambien or Prozac, but in my mind I imagined good ol’ Pearl curled up in her sleeping quarters while sucking on a crackpipe and free basing some crystal meth before her breakfast shift.

By the end of my breakfast, she told me that her drugs had kicked in and she had a joke for me. “What do you call a cow eating grass?” she asked. In my world that would just be a hamburger, but she told me the answer was a “lawn mooer!” And then she busted out laughing like it was the funniest thing she’d ever heard. Hmm, maybe she really was on crack. Her joke led to a whole smorgasbord of bad jokes from every other table in the dining car. And here they are:

Q: What do you call a group of rabbits walking backwards?
A: A receding hare line!

Q: What do you call a monkey with a time bomb?
A: A baboom!

Q: What did the fish say when it swam into the wall?
A: Dam!

Q: Why was six afraid of seven?
A: Because seven ate nine!

Thank you, folks. I’m here all week. Try the veal.

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How To Make More Money

“Do you want to make more money? Of course we all do.” Does that phrase ring a bell for anyone? It’s the opening line for the commercial that iconic actress Sally Struthers did in the early 90’s for International Correspondence Schools. That shit ran all the time usually when you were watching your stories to see if Luke and Laura were going to stay together on “General Hospital.” Sally offered all of us the opportunity to learn at home and get better jobs and promotions. If you called the 1-800 number you could be on your way to an exciting career in learning the personal computer, interior decorating, child day care, gun repair, or even catering! Luckily for me, I had an innate skill for catering and gun repair so I never had to call the number. Other people who are too afraid to make the call that will change their life have to come up with other ways to make more money and I came across one of these people last week.

I was sitting on the bus in San Francisco when I heard this dumb bitch behind me yapping on her cell phone. She was jib jabbing away about things that nobody cared about but we were all forced to listen to. And then things got interesting. She started to tell her friend how she had discovered a new way to make more money at her job. I thought that maybe she wasn’t as dumb as she sounded because she clearly seemed as of she wanted to move ahead in her career. My nosy ass started listening closer to see if I could glean some wisdom from this career-minded independent woman. And then I realized she was a fucking cocktail waitress. And her brilliant idea to make more money was basically stealing. She had realized that if she didn’t ring in all the drinks and just collected the money, she could then pocket that cash as her own. Bitch, please. Does she really think she is the first one to come up with that idea? Waiters have been skimming like that since the dawn of time. I think Benjamin Franklin was pocketing coins the same way when he was waiting tables at Ye Olde Tavern Inn back in 1750 right before he discovered electricity and invented bifocals. She was all proud of herself for discovering stealing. “Girl, I took a hundred dollars last night. If I could do that three times a week that would be like… (ridiculously long pause here as she tried to multiply) …$300 dollars a week!” Yes, honey or $1200 a month. And then two to three years in jail when they bust your ass for theft. She was clearly not the brightest bulb. Every smart thieving waiter knows that taking that much a week is just asking for trouble. Start small. Ten dollars here and ten dollars there. What a fucking amateur.

I don’t steal from my jobs. Not worth it. Sure maybe the occasional cocktail or a lunch that I eat that I don’t pay for, but cash? No way. Never. Well, except for that one summer I worked at a Putt-Putt miniature golf course and pilfered a few bucks a day to pay for my Dairy Queen blizzards and my lunch of chicken sandwich from the Burger King that shared the parking lot with me. But nothing since then. (Sorry, Putt-Putt. I was young and hungry and only making $5.00 an hour.) Word of advice: don’t steal. If you want to make more money, take Sally’s advice and call this number: 1-800-228-3800. And you can watch her commercial here and be on your way to financial freedom.

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For Amos (A.K.A. I Hate Kids)

While having one of the best meals of my entire vacation, I was visually assaulted by the horrific sight of a booth that was crammed with unruly children. The picture that you see is an actual photo of these awful beasts. I was going to draw one of those black lines across their eyes to protect their identity, but I couldn’t figure out how to get Photo Shop to work and I decided that I didn’t fucking care anyway. This family deserves to be seen so that waiters across the land can steer clear of these people if they ever venture into their section.

I was in a great restaurant in San Francisco enjoying good food, good cocktails and better company when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little girl wandering around the restaurant with a napkin on her head. She thought she was playing Princess Fiona or some shit by prancing around but really she was just in the mother fucking way. The server who was tolerating this table was also my server and his name was Amos. I promised him that I would write about these brats and I truly hope he sees it. (Amos, if you read this, give me a sign.) These three little girls were all over the place. The mother had her head resting in her hands as if she had given up on the whole “living a happy life” thing and the father was just as removed. He looked like he had mentally checked out of the situation right after he realized that he had three daughters and estrogen would be ruling his household for the rest of his life. The three girls were loud and irritating to everyone around them. My favorite part of their performance was when they each decided that chopsticks would be fun to use as musical instruments and serenaded the whole restaurant with a rousing rendition of every one’s favorite song, “We Want to Ruin Your Meal.”

Amos came up to the table to gauge our cocktail situation. “Is everything alright here?” he said.
As I slurped down the last of my first drink, I slurred to him, “We are good, but how are you? How’s that table over there treatin‘ ya?” Being the professional that he was, he answered with a smile. “Oh, they’re fine. No worries.” I looked at Amos with a deep look of understanding and said, “I’m a waiter. You can tell me the truth.” Amos sighed and said through gritted teeth and forced grin, “They’re a pleasure.” But he said the word “pleasure” as if it meant that he was getting a homemade tattoo with a needle, a candle and a ballpoint pen. I felt for Amos, I really did. It seemed so unfair that I was on vacation and not having to deal with little twats like them while he was slaving away at work. But then I remembered that I didn’t really know Amos and asked him to brink me cocktail number two.

As soon as the table of terror left, there was a collective sigh amongst the section because finally we could all enjoy our meal without the screeching of misbehaved children and the deafening silence of their inattentive parents. I looked over at the booth and saw the requisite pile of food and napkins thrown on the floor and watched Amos as he got down on his hands and knees to clean it up. Again, I felt a little guilty that I was away from the world of service while others carried on in my place. And then I ordered cocktail number three. Amos, you rock,

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Hello, My Name is Bitchy Waiter…

I am back. This is the first new post in days and days so forgive any typos and the apathy that may creep into this writing. My brain is still on vacation mode. While gallivanting across the Pacific Northwest, I ventured into many dining establishments and was served by a variety of servers. Young or old, experienced or newbie, they all had one thing in common. Each and every one of them brought my ass a cocktail. It is not surprising that I drank my way through my vacation. What is surprising is that I carried a pen and paper with me so I could keep meticulous notes of all the alcohol that I ingested. On average it’s about three cocktails a day so it’s not like I have a fucking problem or anything. Some were better than others but all were divine. Below, you can witness the slow poisoning of my liver and I have listed where they each came from in case you want to sample them sometime. Some were made for me at the homes of friends but I am pretty sure if you turn up on Stephanie or Ron’s door, they would be happy to make you a cocktail. Or at least give you the recipe.

  • #1- Pisco Punch at my hotel The Galleria Park in San Francisco. Never had Pisco before but fucking loved it.
  • #2- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Twin Peaks bar in The Castro
  • #3- Pomegranate martini, 2223 restaurant
  • #4- Pomegranate martini, 2223 restaurant
  • #5- Margarita on the rocks with salt, Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park
  • #6- Pomegranate martini at Stephanie’s house
  • #7- Pomegranate martini at Stephanie’s house
  • #8- Pomegranate martini at Stephanie’s house
  • #9- some French beer at some French bistro. Bastille Day!
  • #10- Blueberry rum fizz at my hotel
  • #11- Kiwi cosmo, Catch restaurant
  • #12- Vodka gimlet, Badlands bar in The Castro
  • #13- Margarita on the rocks with salt, The Lodge in Sonoma, CA
  • #14- Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Della Santina’s restaurant
  • #15- Wine tasting at Gundlach Bunschu winery
  • #16- Wine tasting, Bartholomew Park Winery
  • #17- margarita on the rocks with salt, Maya restaurant
  • #18- Pomegranate martini, Stephanie’s house back in San Francisco
  • #19- Betel Juice (midori, rum and pineapple), Betelnut restaurant
  • #20- Betel Juice (midori, rum and pineapple), Betelnut restaurant
  • #21- Betel Juice (midori, rum and pineapple), Betelnut restaurant
  • #22- Vodka/cranberry on Amtrak train going to Portland, OR
  • #23- Frozen mango martini at Ron and Larry”s house
  • #24- Pink margarita on the rocks with salt, Dots Cafe
  • #25- Pink margarita on the rocks with salt, Dots Cafe
  • #26- Mirrorball (watermelon vodka, cranberry, prosecco), Saucebox restaurant
  • #27- Vodka gimlet, Ron Tom bar
  • #28- Blackberry cosmo, Doug Fir Bar
  • #29- Blood orange margarita on the rocks with salt, The Farm restaurant
  • #30- Portland pomegranate martini at Ron and Larry’s house
  • #31- Portland pomegranate martini at Ron and Larry’s house
  • #32- Miss Mona (frozen vodka, orange juice and pomegranate), at Ron and Larry’s house
  • #33- Epic Peachy Bitchy Spritz (vodka, peach lemonade, seltzer), at Ron and Larry’s house and thank you to Sarah for creating it.
  • #34- a beer at Ron and Larry’s house before getting on the plane
And in case any of you were wondering, I do not go to Alcoholics Anonymous. Yet