Yearly Archives: 2013

Say Goodbye to the Automatic Gratuity

rest in peace

rest in peace

Today is a sad day for many of us in the restaurant world. If I didn’t like my hair so much, I would have pulled it out when I heard about the new IRS rules that are going into effect on January 1, 2014. A lot of you aren’t going to like it. You know that automatic gratuity that we all love so much? You know the one. The one that’s usually 18-20% and it gets added to a party of six or more? Well, kiss it goodbye because it’s as done as a bottle of Absolute Citron in my apartment. So many people have written and asked me for my thoughts on this and I have hesitated to respond because it involves a lot of legal mumbo jumbo that I don’t want to misinterpret. For a much clearer explanation of the new law, click here to a real website written by hotel lawyers who probably don’t type with two fingers like I do. Jim Butler and Travis Gemoets know what they’re talking about, but please allow me to give you my condensed version.

Automatic gratuities are going to be classified as wages instead of tips which means that restaurant owners are going to have to do a lot more paperwork to keep track of these “service charges” and will have to withhold taxes and report them to the IRS. If your restaurant owner is anything like every one I have ever known, they are going to be like, “Aww, fuck that shit. Just scratch out that line on the bottom of the menu about adding the tip and let the waiter take his fucking chances.”

Prepare to be screwed, fellow servers. That automatic gratuity was there for a fucking reason. Contrary to what many people believe, it wasn’t there just so the waiter could give half-assed service knowing he had a set 20% tip. (I know a lot of servers do that and if you’re one of them, you suck.) The added gratuity was there to protect the server from spending his whole evening on one party of 15 that is celebrating Grandma’s 90th birthday, but Grandma thinks that a shiny quarter is still a good tip. At most places, we pay taxes based on our sales, so the added tip was there to make sure we were getting at least what the government expects us to receive. Also, if you have to tip out to support staff and that tip is based on sales, then that added tip was there to ensure that we weren’t losing money by waiting on some cheap ass party of ten. Say a ten-top has a bill of $200 and you have to tip out 4% of it to various people. That means that you owe $8 before a tip has even been calculated. The table should tip at least 15%, or $30, leaving you with $22 for yourself. If they only leave 10% you still owe $8 to the busser, food runner, bar, etc. But what if they don’t leave you anything? You will still owe $8 meaning you just paid money to wait on someone.

Restaurant owners don’t want any hassle so it’s going to be the servers who will suffer the most from this. Gone are the days when a server was happy to have a large party seated in his section. Seeing a group of ten women having a baby shower at Chili’s is never a comforting sight but at least you knew you would get to auto-grat them. Now, you’re gonna be lucky if a table like that leaves you with anything more than a bunch of wrapping paper, empty iced tea glasses and the smell of Jaclyn Smith perfume. Who knows? Maybe restaurants will still allow us to add the gratuity and they will happily fold it into our wages and claim the taxes for us and make sure that we are all happy to be at work. I’m sure they will do that right after they start paying for the uniforms they require us to wear, giving us the breaks that we are legally entitled to during a 10-hour double and offering us paid vacation and health benefits. Wait, what was that I just saw? I think it was a unicorn flying out my butt while singing “It’s Today” from Mame.

Good luck, servers. It looks like 2014 is going to take a bite out of our asses.

Warm, Fuzzy and Only Slightly Bitchy

warm and fuzzy

warm and fuzzy

Allow me to step off the soapbox full of bitch and take a moment to discuss the occasional warm fuzzy feeling that happens when working in a restaurant. Every once in a while, the sweet side of waiting tables pulls its head out of its own ass and says hello.

Every Thursday at the restaurant, I have a couple that comes in for dinner. They didn’t show up once for three weeks and I was pretty sure that they had fallen off the face of the earth but then one Thursday they showed up again and all was right in the world. They are very cool and they have even given me gifts on occasion. I like them, know them by name and I always look forward to when Anne and Jerry will be in my section. Over the last couple of years, I have learned that Jerry doesn’t drink water during dinner and Anne likes salt for her Caesar salad. She always saves about one third of her meal to be her lunch the next day and I happily wrap it up for her each week. I usually will write on the container something like “TGIF-Thank God, it’s food!” or “Yummy! Salmon!”

Their bill each week is about $75 and they always leave me at least a 25% tip. I try to do something nice for them when I can like not charge them for the decaf or slip them an extra glass of wine without adding it to the check. I figure since they come in pretty much every week, they deserve at least a free cup of decaf now and then. They came in last week and the manager/owner/chef told me he was going to comp their whole meal for them as a thank you for being such regulars. I was thrilled that he was finally going to acknowledge this couple who drops about $400 a month at his restaurant. I eagerly took their order knowing that they weren’t going to have to pay for it. Hoping they would order a lot, I described the specials with extra care, making sure to enunciate every syllable so that the curry cauliflower soup sounded especially enticing and the orecchiette pasta with prosciutto and peas in a cream sauce would make their mouths water. They ordered their usual glasses of pinot noir and chardonnay and then they decided on their meal, a bowl of soup and a Caesar salad with the New York shell steak and the pasta. I encouraged them to have a second round of wine and they easily took the suggestion. Throughout their meal, we chatted about things including how grateful they were for the time off, for they are both teachers in the New York City public school system.

When they had finished their meal, I cleared the table and brought them dessert menus.

“Oh, gosh, not tonight, We’re too full,” said Anne.

“Well, at least let me tell you what we have for dessert specials.”

I proceeded to describe the banana bread pudding served warm with vanilla ice cream, the flour-less chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and chocolate ice cream and the vanilla bean crème brûlée. “The banana bread pudding is really good. It practically melts in your mouth,” I said. “Think about it and I’ll come back in two minutes to see if you want anything.”

I really wanted them to splurge because I knew it was going to be free but I didn’t want to tell them that. When I got back to the table, they let me know they were “going to be good and skip dessert.” They asked for the check. I went to the computer to confirm that it had all been voided and headed back to their table, eager to share the good news.

“Your meal has been taken care of tonight. We wanted to thank you for always coming in and being such great customers. Happy holidays.”

They both looked stunned and began to protest but I stopped them.

“Nope, Tim has already taken care of it. I don’t even have a check to give you. We love having you come in every week, so thank you, thank you, thank you.”

It was a great feeling for me to be able to give them that little surprise. I forget that sometimes being a server allows us to make a person’s day a little bit better. Anne and Jerry always make my day better by being so nice and friendly and they always leave me a great tip. That night it was my turn to be able to do something nice for them. I felt happy and I wasn’t even drinking or anything. They thanked me profusely and then went to Tim and thanked him about a dozen times and left the restaurant with huge smiles on their faces. I had a smile on my face too. I knew that by comping them one meal, we had just gained loyal customers. Not that they weren’t already loyal, but now they know how much we appreciate them and whatever we can do to ensure good customers keep coming back is worth it.

Smiling, I went to their table to clean it and I saw they had left $50 on the table. My smile grew five sizes that day. It was a good Thursday night.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Mrs. Claus might be a ho.

Mrs. Claus might be a ho.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, in the front of the house
The only creature still stirring was that sad dying mouse;

The glue trap was placed by the reach-in with care,
In hopes that the rodents would soon be aware;

This server was ready to be home in his bed.
While visions of auto-grat danced in his head.

My apron now off, cleaning my last ketchup cap,
When I hear from the window a soft gentle rap.

I try to ignore all the obnoxious clatter,
But I walk towards the noise to see what’s the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Crack it open so slightly, do nothing rash.

The moon on the breasts of this tired looking ho
Gave me the feeling she wanted some mo’.

When, what to my wondering eye should appear,
This bitch had a coupon for one freebie beer.

With her Lee Press-on Nails and her mascara too thick,
I knew in a moment she must be some trick.

A hooker, a ho, or whatever the name,
“It’s Christmas Eve, bitch. We’re closed, it’s a shame.”

“Please, just a Bud, a Corona or Bass!
I have this free coupon I pulled from my ass!
In six more short days, the coupon’s not valid,
And if not a beer, maybe one small side salad?”

I looked at the lady, saw the need in her eyes,
And wondered how badly she wanted some fries.

“But we’re closed for the night and I’m ready to go”
So I turned off the light and shut the window.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
Scratching and gnawing giving me proof
That this crack whore was desperate and needed a beer
Or maybe she needed some holiday cheer.

She broke through the skylight and came down with a thud.
Her panties were twisted and and covered with mud.

Way too much makeup was covering her face
And her sad bloodshot eyes were scanning the place.

Her eyes- how they crossed! Her hair was so scary!
I pitied the loser who had popped her cherry.

Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And her nose was all white from doing some blow.

The stump of a blunt she held tight in her teeth.
And the stench of her body encircled her head like a wreath;

She had a broad face and a round big fat belly,
And she reached to a table for a packet of jelly.

She slurped it up quickly and looked at the shelf
I picked up a steak knife to protect myself.

The bottles of liquor went straight to her head,
And I knew right away I had nothing to dread;

She spoke not a word, but went straight to the whiskey.
She downed the whole bottle and asked “did you miss me?”

And laying her finger aside of her nose,
She took one deep sniff and reached into her clothes.

In her hand was the coupon for the beer that was free
She said “thank you,” then burped and gave it to me.

I opened the door and she went out of sight,
Saying “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.”

The Ultimate Bitchy Christmas

Merry Christmas...

Merry Christmas…

Well it’s almost that time when Santa Clause crams his fat ass down a chimney and hopes that someone forgot to shield their home with the Slomin’s shield. It’s the night before the night before Christmas and since so many people have asked (one person asked), I have gathered together all the Bitchy Waiter Christmas music videos in one spot. Happy holidays. Make big tips.

“My Favorite Things”

“12 Days of Bitchy Christmas”

“It’s Christmas Eve, Get Out”

“Bitchy Waiter’s Song for Santa”

Duck Dynasty + Bitchy Waiter = the Same?

Phil Robertson

Phil Robertson

Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard by now that Phil Robertson from A&E’s Duck Dynasty is on a suspension from his hit TV show for stating his opinion in an interview with GQ. Let’s not even begin to wonder why GQ wanted to interview a man who dresses mostly in camouflage and looks like he buys the rest of his clothes at a Wal-Mart fire sale. In the interview, Phil dropped a bunch of homophobic and racist words while standing behind a veil of Christianity. I won’t go into that, because it’s been said over and over again but you can go to GQ to read the article. Once the public got a hold of his opinions, people revolted and A&E dropped his bearded-ass faster than the Food Network punted Paula Deen down a butter slide when she said some rather insensitive things earlier this year about race. Since Duck Dynasty has a huge following with millions of viewers each week, he had lots of fans who were ready to stand up in his defense. One of those supporters was Sarah Palin who, as we all know, has to grab onto anything at all in an attempt to stay relevant, or at least stay in the news. She went straight to her Facebook page and said, “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.” She also shat out “Christians have a right too! I support you Phil” and “Christians needs to stand up for the word of GOD.” She seems to think that A&E is trampling on his right to free speech. She didn’t seem to think that earlier this month when Martin Bashir of MSNBC said  that someone should take a dump in her mouth. No, when someone says something bad about her, that person should be fired and who cares about his right to state his opinion? He ended up resigning over the whole matter.

I know very little about Duck Dynasty and even less about Phil Robertson, so what I am about to say may surprise you: He can say whatever he wants. Say it loud, say it proud.

The thing is though, you have to be prepared for the consequences. You can be an ignorant prick and say stupid shit all the live long day, but you have to realize that some people aren’t going to agree with you and in some cases you might even lose your job over it. On this blog, I say whatever I want. Some people don’t like it and they will email to tell me what an idiot I am or how small-minded I am. It’s my opinion and when I put it out there, I know that it is very possible that some people are going to be pissed off about it. If they don’t like what I stand for, then all they have to do is click away from this blog. Can’t people do that with Duck Dynasty too? If viewers know that Phil Robertson thinks that homosexuality leads right into bestiality, they can decide if his TV show is one they want to watch, right? By the way, A&E knows that he is a big moneymaker for them which is probably why they just put him on a suspension rather than fire him outright. He’ll probably be back within a few months.

A few years ago, I was writing blogs posts about a new job. No one at the restaurant knew about it and I never mentioned the names of any co-workers or the place I was working. One day, someone randomly read the blog and realized that what they were reading about had just happened at their job. They out two and two together and I was soon outed and fired. I never thought I should have been fired for expressing my opinion about people I worked with, especially since I never told them about it and never called them out by name. If I feel like I was unjustly fired for expressing my right to “freedom of speech,” then by that same argument, wouldn’t I have to say that Phil Robertson should get to keep his job too? How can I understand the plight of this asshole from Duck Dynasty? How can we be so different and yet experience the same thing? If he wants to, he can talk about the “sins” of gay people and how the African-Americans he grew up with under the Jim Crowe laws were all so happy, but maybe the consequence would be that his show slowly loses steam and is finally canceled because people make their own choice that they don’t want to support a bigoted racist asshole who needs goddamn razor. I suppose every employer has a right to fire an employee when the employee can possibly affect business. In my case, I wasn’t. In Phil’s, yeah, he probably is.

Yes, I am saying that our politically correct climate is more fucked up than the 66° weather that is predicted for New York City three days before Christmas. Do I agree with what he said? Oh, hell no. Will I support his show? Again, hell no. But he can say whatever he wants. However, once he says it, he has to prepare himself for people to turn off his show, stop buying his products and stop being an audience for his nonsense. Why don’t we let the public decide how they want to respond to him?

I cannot believe I am kind of agreeing with Sarah Palin. I just wish Martin Bashir would come back to MSNBC and say he has decided that he too has a right to his opinion. And then he can take a dump in Sarah Palin’s mouth. I’d totally watch that.

A Waiter’s Letter to Santa

Dear Santa

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

How are you? I hope that you and Mrs. Claus are doing well. When we last spoke, you mentioned that you were having some gastritis. How’s that going? Did you cut down on your drinking yet? Maybe you should stop adding Maker’s Mark to every glass of milk you see. You might want to cut down on the cookies too. Sure it’s adorable that your belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly every time you laugh, but c’mon, Santa, you’re too fat. Please tell Mrs. Claus I said hello and that I hope her osteoporosis is improving. Hey, here’s an idea: maybe you should just skip the milk all together and let her drink it. I think she he needs the calcium because the last time I saw her, she was pretty hunched over.

Anyhoo, I have been a very good waiter this year and I expect to see some major presents because of my phenomenal attitude over the last 12 months. Basically, I kicked some restaurant ass and all I want is what’s coming to me. All I want is my fair share. Please see the list below of all the gifts I have earned this year. I do expect all of these because I am still pissed off about you running over my Grandma with your drunk-ass reindeer a few years ago. I never called the cops but there is no statute of limitations for a crime like that. And if you don’t mind, can you just Fed Ex them? I don’t need you to be sneaking into my apartment while I’m sleeping. Honestly, it’s a little bit creepy.

  1. A new apron. The one you got me last year sucked. It was a cotton/linen weave and after I washed it two or three times it was all stretched out like a Teen Mom’s va-jay-jay. It was barely big enough to hold my check presenters and I hated the color. Don’t over think it, Santa. Just a simple black polyester apron that you can get at any restaurant supply store. Please don’t have one of your elves make it again. Yeah, I know Lil’ Magic Bit “made it with love” but please try again.
  2. New pens. Please don’t get me that crappy pack of 20 pens that come from the 99₵ Store. They glob up when I write and every other one of them leaked in my apron. (And since it was cotton/linen it was impossible to get the stains out!) I’m not asking for fancy pens. Just a pack of Bics or some other name brand. Black or blue only.
  3. New slip-resistant shoes. I loved the ones you got me last year. Wherever they came from, just duplicate them. Can you get me some extra shoelaces though? After a couple of months, they get all greasy and gross and I hate tying them. Actually, I would like 25 pairs of laces so they can be changed every two weeks. It would be ideal if you could work it out where one of your elves could just pop by my job every two weeks and replace them for me. I don’t want to try to keep up with 25 pairs of laces. If possible, send Lil’ Tid Bit to do it. He’s a cool fuckin’ elf and he usually has good weed.
  4. Vodka. I would like both premium vodka for when I am alone and drinking it on the rocks and also some bottom shelf vodka for when I am mixing it with something or sharing it with someone.
  5. Tequila. See above.
  6. A new job. I know that technically I could find a new job myself by going to Shiftgig, but I was thinking that if you could reach into your big ass bag of tricks it would be a huge help. I would prefer to be something like a college professor, an interior designer or maybe a movie star. If none of those are available, waiter is fine, but I’d like to be in a restaurant that has a 20% grat added to every table, no children are allowed and there is no limit on shift drinks. Actually, scrap the other jobs and just find me that one.
  7. A new reach-in cooler. It’s not for me, it’s for the restaurant. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be asking for something that would be for anyone but me, but the one we have now is not keeping my Chardonnay cold enough and it’s pissing me off.
  8. My two front teeth. That’s all I want for Christmas. And I promise I won’t open beer bottles with my mouth anymore even though it always impresses my tables and they tip me extra.

So, there you have it Santa. I don’t think it’s too much to ask since I really was pretty freakin’ stellar this year. I was nice to all of my customers. Well, to their face at least. What I say about them in the side stand doesn’t count, right? Or on the blog? Cool. Tell Rudolph that he owes me sixty-five bucks. He’ll know what you’re talking about.

The Bitchy Waiter