A Comment on Comments, the Allergy Edition, Volume 2

A Comment on Comments
A Comment on Comments

A few days ago, I posted a couple of allergy related items onto the Bitchy Waiter Facebook page, one being a comic from the The New Yorker and the other a video clip from the TV show Inside Amy Schumer. The two posts stirred up lots of comments and feelings and combined, they were seen by over 100,000 people. Most people saw the humor and could laugh at it, while some people thought I had punched them right in their nut allergy faces. Regardless, now I get to comment on some of my favorite comments.

Let us begin with the comic strip. First off, I didn’t fucking draw it, I just put it on my Facebook page. I understand the difference between gluten-free and celiac. One of my best friends in the world (you can read about her here) was diagnosed as celiac almost ten years ago, so I get it. I even called Mary Ann about the post to make sure she knew I was just being funny and she had already seen the cartoon in the The New Yorker and cut it out and stuck it on her fridge. Mary Ann is cool like that.

The New Yorker
The New Yorker

Not everyone was so cool:

Brittany says: As someone who is gluten free, fuck off. If there was a food you ate that caused you to have severe stomach pain to the point you are unable to leave the couch and the toilet for three days, unable to eat or keep water down for that long, you would try to avoid it too. I pray to god your child develops a peanut allergy so everyone can tell you it’s a pain in the ass and they should just get over it. Wow, Brit Brit, angry much? I don’t know God personally, but I’m pretty sure He thinks you’re a bitch for praying to Him to give a child a peanut allergy.

Amber says: And, why should I have to avoid Italian restaurants because of my wheat allergy? If the restaurant wants my family to eat there, there needs to be wheat/gluten free food. Okay, Amber, every restaurant has a right to serve whatever they feel like serving. They don’t have a responsibility to create their menu to satisfy every single person in the world. Your argument fails. That’s like saying that if you feel like Mexican food (which is very easy to eat gluten-free, by the way) you should be able to get it where ever you go, even if you’re at an Indian restaurant. The truth is, it’s your responsibility to do a little research and figure out which places can accommodate your needs. How fucking entitled are you?

Kristin says: It was finally recognized more frequently in the past few years … If you do not want to deal with people’s food allergies you have no business working in a restaurant … Looking down on food allergies of any kind is ignorant … I hope each and everyone of you that think dealing with allergies is a pain in the ass either develop one or a loved one does !!!! I think Kristin and Brittany should band together and start their own little parade for people who wish bad things on others. Don’t they sound like fun? No server is going to intentionally ignore a food allergy, but it can be very challenging for us when a customer is allergic to almost every single thing that exists.

Carrie says: Two days ago, a customer needed “Wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free.” That was a hard one — everything on the menu had at least one of the offending items. I’m vegan myself and willing to comb through a menu to help people, but geez. With all her restrictions, what are you left with, kale and air? I rest my case.

Melissa says: It’s mostly the people that say they’re gluten free but gluten does nothing to them. They’re just being dumb and think it’s gonna make them lose weight. The people who have the allergy are very nice most of the time. I couldn’t agree more. Mary Ann has told me that it’s the people who are doing the gluten-free thing as a fad diet that are making it difficult for people who really suffer from celiac. Mary Ann knows what questions to ask and most of the time she can look at a menu and figure out what is safe for her to eat and what isn’t.  If you’re truly celiac, you would never go into a restaurant and simply say, “I’m gluten-free, so what can I eat?” Those are the people who haven’t educated themselves because they probably don’t really need to be gluten-free.

Adam says: My favorite was the woman who told me she was extremely allergic to gluten as she was eating a breadstick. In her hand, mouth chewing. I was like “ummm…” Exactly.

Moving on to this sketch about a nut allergy. It’s funny. We servers do our best to accommodate allergies, but if you are someone who could literally die if a nut comes within two feet of your plate, it can be a little nerve-wracking for us. I certainly don’t want to responsible for your death because I served you a Chinese Chicken Salad that had a leftover peanut hiding under a Mandarin orange wedge. The sketch is funny because all servers have seen this type of customer before.



Ron says: You wouldn’t think it is funny to have this allergy if someone in your family had it. My 2 grandsons are highly allergic to all nuts and yes that includes peanuts. Actually, I do think if I was allergic to nuts, I would still think this video is funny. Parker Posey is just funny, Ron, accept it.

Erin says: Ok, people. Chill out. The video is not about how “annoying” peanut allergies are. It’s about how annoying people are. We are all very aware that peanut allergies are real and dangerous. My nephew has a peanut allergy, yet I still found humor in the video. Thank you, Erin. Comedy is about finding the lighter side of everything and figuring out a way to laugh at it.

Leo says: I love people that come into a sushi bar and say they’re deathly allergic to shellfish…. Guess what there was probably shellfish on that cutting board at one point during the night… Do the best to accommodate everyone but why would you even go into a seafood place? As I said before, it’s the customers’ responsibility to make sure they are going someplace that will be able to accommodate them. Being allergic to shellfish and then going to a sushi place is just asking for trouble with a capital “you’re fucked.”

Ashton says: I had a lady send back a Bahama mama and wanted it remade because it was garnished with a pineapple and she was allergic, I explained that the drink itself had pineapple juice in it and this ratchet told me “I’m only allergic to pineapples NOT pineapple juice!!!” Uh.. What? This is a classic case of someone who uses the word ‘allergic” when they should be using the words “I don’t like it.”

I am not against people who have allergies. How could I be? Even I am not that big of a bitch. The issue that some servers may have with customers who have allergies is that some people act as if it’s our problem. It isn’t. It’s our job to help you make an informed decision about what you can and cannot have from our menu. We want you you to be able to have a meal that will not kill you or make you go into anaphylactic shock because nine time out of ten, when a server kills their customer, the tip is going to suck. We just ask that people with allergies understand that we will do our best and to please not get angry with us for not being able to serve you a gluten-free pizza with no dairy or a peanut butter sandwich with no nuts.

I wait tables and bitch about it on my blog, The Bitchy Waiter.

29 thoughts on “A Comment on Comments, the Allergy Edition, Volume 2

  1. Alright. I may have an allergy to shellfish. My mother died of it and it runs in my family. Also nuts. Husband deathly allergic to sulfur (big antibiotic) and penecillian. My poor children are kinda a shitfest of “watches”.

    That said, I know where I can eat. I avoid those places. Same with medicines. I don’t run around going “ohmygooood” My kids and I are also allergic to latex and the adhesives in bandaids (like I said, crapshots, here). Now, I am very careful with the latex but sometimes it happens and I kinda have to shrug. It won’t kill me and it happens.

    I don’t mind when someone warns someone about an allergy, but it’s YOUR ALLERGY. You need to be alert of it and make it YOUR priority to find the best places that won’t have trouble accommodating it.Expecting everyone to bend over backwards to do as you demand is outrageous and entitled.

  2. A lady came into the place I used to work and ordered french toast for her son and insisted on the eggs that came with it to be on a separate plate from the french toast or the bacon that came with it because her son was allergic to eggs. When informed that the french toast itself was soaked in an egg wash she said he was only allergic to eggs by themselves. Idiot.

    Also at my new restaurant a kid had to be rushed to the er because his parents didn’t feel the need to mention his fish allergy to their server or ask if his chicken strips would be in contact with any fish or fried in the same oil. A fish strip ended up in with his chicken by mistake… stupid parents. We aren’t mind readers!

  3. Most of this could just be avoided with people telling the truth. There is indeed a distinct difference between, “I’m allergic” and “I don’t like it” or “My doctor said to cut-back”. In only one of these scenarios is there a chance of the person dying. I’ve had people actually choose something from our gluten-free menu and modify the item, when the disclaimer specifically states, “We are not able to guarantee that modified items will be gluten-free”. In other words, we only guarantee it, if you order the item as prepared. I don’t know about you, but if I was “allergic” I wouldn’t modify the items. If you tell your server the truth, you could actually broaden your choices. But saying “allergic” seriously limits what we can do, because we don’t want to be responsible for killing someone.

  4. Every reasonable person I know with a food allergy/special diet goes out of his/her way to stay informed about what (s)he can and cannot eat at any given restaurant. When health is truly at stake, people take ownership.

    Unfortunately, our customer-is-entitled-to-act-like-king-shit restaurant culture has actually convinced people that it’s up to servers–not them–to monitor and accommodate all their unique health/lifestyle needs. (I say “lifestyle” because the gluten-free thing is now a choice for so many, which in turn hurts true celiacs.) Never mind that it’s above the entire staff’s pay grade to do so.

  5. YES YES YES. The video is spot on. We get that y’all have allergies. Now do us the courtesy of realizing that we somehow manage to not kill our customers on a regular basis. Let us do our job and we will let you eat ( and live through the meal). Deal? It’s what going out to eat is all about.

  6. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects less than 1% of the population of the United States. The ingestion of gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley, gives rise to antibodies that attack the small intestine. At first, the symptoms are annoying: stomachaches, gas, and diarrhea. Over time, they can grow to be debilitating. The autoimmune assault corrodes the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients, which can prompt anemia, chronic fatigue, and weight loss. There is one treatment for celiac’s: strict, lifelong adherence to a diet that’s devoid of gluten.
    That being said, people either have celiac’s disease or you choose to abide by a gluten free diet for whatever reason. I have been waiting tables for about 6 years and I have NEVER had a customer ask for a gluten free menu because they have celiac’s disease. It’s always because they have a gluten allergy (which isn’t even a thing).
    If someone orders off of our gluten free menu, I don’t ask questions, I just follow the protocol of our company which is to alert the manager of a gluten free meal. The manager then oversees sanitizing the grill and the preparation of the meal. It’s kind of a pain in the ass to do for someone who will suffer no medical consequences if they ingest gluten.
    Also, if people choose to go gluten free, they should do some research. Learn what foods have gluten and what do not. I am not a nutritionist and if people ask me if the sausage has gluten in it, I know they are just cruising the gluten free fad. Of course I take actual allergies very seriously, as does the restaurant at which I work. But when I hear “gluten allergy” i just want to do an epic eye roll.

  7. Im extremely allergic to shellfish… As a normal person I dont go to Red Lobster and freak out on the staff that they dont have a huge menu for people who cant eat shellfish. As a waitress I especially dont go there expecting to have a huge menu without seafood. People need to get a fxcking grip and calm the fxck down…. Im sorry about your allergies but myself and my work place dont owe you anything. Dont like it? Im pretty sure thats what your kitchen is for. Find humor in everything…. If you cant youre missing out on more than peanurs or shellfish.

  8. Its just that some people wanna be difficult all the time. They could go to a vegan place and avoid all the meats yet they go to a steak house and bitch about 25 cuts on the menu with no pasta. Go Italian, bitch. Or they come to pasta-pizza-breadstick place and bitch about gluten. Make it easier on everybody, go where you can eat and stop forcing a seafood place to bleach out the whole kitchen and start over with fresh utensils to make your fucking chicken fingers that are not even on the menu.
    I swear, one time I worked at a seafood place with complimentary peanuts – throw ’em on the floor kinda deal. And this family walks into a seafood house where the floor is two-inch covered with peanut shells, telling us they can’t be around peanuts and they’re allergic to seafood. Not your cup of tea than, bitch. Go someplace else. We’re not closing down and changing the menu for a night just because you decided to get you water and split an app, wasting 2 hrs of my time in our place. Fuck people like that. If I don’t like Italian, I don’t go there. If I like girls, I don’t go to a gay bar and bitch about them not having ladies. If I hate Britney Spears, she’s not on my playlist. Its that fucking simple.

  9. I had a table the other day ask me for a chocolate pastry for their 3 year old daughter. They asked if it has nuts in it. Said she had a nut allergy. I told them it didn’t but it was baked in house in a kitchen that used nuts. They said and I quote “we will go ahead and get it… we have an epi pen on us worst case scenario” talk about freak me out!!! But they were nice and laughed about it.

  10. this is a little bit off topic but another one that is extremely annoying is when customers come into a steak and seafood restaurant order their food and then flag me down to tell me they’re deathly allergic to seafood and their food cannot be fried in the same oil or cooked on the same grill as any type of seafood..or their plate cannot come within a certain distance of any seafood..seriously people? why would u go to a seafood specific place knowing it could kill you then bitch that we serve seafood!!? gtfo

  11. Wishing something as a deathly allergy on a yet to born child? And they thought you were heartless for posting this jokes? Wow.

    I have a friend who goes on and on about how her and her two sons have to eat gluten free, otherwise they get sick. She never quite describes the “sick” but I know it isn’t celiac sick. More like stomach upset [not cramps] and occasional diahrreha if they eat too much of the gluten. Sucky? Yes. Extremely painful? No. Minor discomfort Deadly? Absolutely not. I can’t post a single recipe without her commenting “oh, that’s nice ::sad face:: I can’t have it we can’t eat gluten.” WE KNOW, WE GET IT. It’s the internet you aren’t obligated to make the recipe I posted, nor do you have to point out everytime someone shares a food idea you are gluten free. If gluten gave me mild symptoms then I do wouldn’t eat it, but I am not going to fuss about it. There is always something on the menu, if you do your research first.

    The people that claim allergies, but it’s a matter of dislike, are the worst tho’. It does freak servers out when we worry about harming you, but those with true allergies are usually the nicest of the bunch. They are there to enjoy a meal and not make a fuss.

  12. My daughter (almost 9) cannot have anything with red dye. It’s a very common food sensitivity (not an allergy, she won’t die or go into anaphylactic shock if exposed, just get really nauseated and/or vomit, feel tired, and usually sleep for a couple of hours). By the time she could read, she was reading labels, asking if red dye was in foods/drinks, foregoing certain foods, even cake if it’s in the icing at birthday parties (red dye is in red, pink, black, and purple dyes, even some orange makes her ill). My point is that it is up to us to make sure she has options that are safe, and we have taught her to be aware and proactive in this issue so she can safely consume foods/drinks. Even with our diligence, she still has bouts of symptoms because red dye is seemingly in EVERYthing. It happens. While it’s typical we will ask servers what color lemonade they serve or color- or dye-specific questions about certain menu items, it is ultimately our own responsibility to make sure foods and drinks are safe for consumption. And it’s okay to laugh at ourselves and situations. We shouldn’t take ourselves or life so seriously all the damn time. People need to lighten up.

  13. Being a former cook for many years, these people don’t actually realize what we in the back have to do to accommodate their request. We basically have to sanitize our entire line to make sure no nuts/gluten is in their food. And this is mid shift. For the servers, imagine having to break down and reset your entire section during a rush. Doesn’t sound like fun right?
    I can remember one time a waitress came in and said one of the people who ordered a sausage mushroom and onion pizza was “deathly allergic” to onions, but they said it was fine if only half the pizza had no onion. We told her it actually wasn’t, but the lady insisted she had done it before. /eyeroll.
    If you don’t like something, that’s fine. We won’t put it in. But don’t pull the allergy card when you’re clearly not allergic. It really just makes you look like a pretentious douche.

    1. Oh man, I remember an order pretty much the same as that at a place I worked, because one person was ‘allergic’ to seafood. They just didn’t want to pay for two separate meals. I played a straight face and refused to do it for health and safety reasons, as seafood allergies are deadly and I didn’t want to have to call the ambulance and have them end up in hospital. Because they initially lied, they had to keep going with the lie and agree to order two separate meals (a creamy chicken pasta and a creamy prawn pasta, instead of both together so the guy with ‘allergies’ could just pick out the ‘safe bits for himself). Cheapskates.

  14. Peanut allergies are deadly. Gluten is not an allergy. It’s an intolerance. No one will die from it. Same goes for lactose intolerance. You can’t compare them.

  15. I work at olive garden and had a couple order gluten free pasta then turn around and ask for a side of alfredo sauce for their breadsticks, I was like um ok

  16. Haha, love it, as usual. I work at Olive Garden a yesterday a lady said she was allergic to iceburg lettuce, so she could only have romaine for her salad. Riiight. Just ask for it, there’s even a button for romaine only in the computer.

  17. You know what is hilarious. The ad at the bottom of the post at the moment is an ad for “600 Gluten Free Recipes!”

  18. I’m a server in a nice seafood/steak restaurant so I deal with “special orders” way too often. In response to the “allergy and gluten” topic, I say if really, REALLY, have a gluten allergy, stay the F home. Same with nuts and/or dairy. It sucks for you that you were dealt allergies, I get it, but dont go out to eat. You make yourself look stupid and annoy your waiter. I have had meals I’ve served to customers who have nagged me on their gluten free that I didn’t pass along the message to the chef and nothing ever happened.

    We joke that gluten allergies are a “white people disease” that just became a fad. Unless you have severe celiac, shut the hell up and eat your food. My mother chooses to eat a light gluten diet as gluten affects her arthritis. I’ve served her sauces and even breading on fish that hasn’t cause a flare in her pain.

    Bottom line. Stay home

    1. Wow. The joy and light that must radiate from you, Angel, must be an inspiration to both your co-workers and guests. I think we can all safely assume that you are only serving when your inspirational speaking schedule allows. The concern you show for your mother is unrivaled. Did you know that there is a correlation between Celiac disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis? Since they are both autoimmune that’s probably why a “gluten light” diet helps her. Btw, were you serving her items with gluten in them without her knowing so you could call her on her bullshit? Especially because you noted that there’s no flare up of pain. Was your childhood really that bad? I would think you would want to do whatever possible to prevent any pain to your mother or at least not try add to it. I’m sure she would never tell a little white lie so you didn’t feel bad or responsible. Letting someone know that the food they prepared for you made them sick just makes you a twat waffle.

      I’ve been a server before and will be again once I’m carrying a full-time class load. I also suffer from #whitegirlproblems (aka Celiac) thanks to my European heritage. Sickle-cell, Tay-Sachs, and Celiac genes are all from genes originally found in certain populations. Also, it can be hard to diagnose. I struggled for years and the learning curve of what I couldn’t eat was huge. The people who do it as a fad diet instead of just eating more whole foods and less processed. Do they annoy me? Yes. Do I know for sure who is actually allergic, might be, or is new to learning how to live with this change? No. I hate when people are dicks about their allergies but they are usually just dicks in general. Kind of like how I know servers who are dicks about allergies and getting their guests sick are just dicks in general. I hate that I have to always be aware of what I eat but I know that it’s no one else’s issue but mine. I accept there will always be a risk if I’m not making it myself from scratch. I can generally figure out what I can eat or not even if there is no g-free menu. I may *gasp* ask about a specific ingredient in a dish but that’s because it is a 50/50 shot of it being an issue when I let you know that I do have an allergy. Just a simple inquiry and I try to make sure my server can ask when they’re headed into the kitchen anyways. Most people might have a milder reaction or spend the rest of the night in the bathroom curled into a fetal position. If you’re not passing on the info someone will need an EpiPen sooner or later. Also, I’m generally more concerned with getting out of there before pooping my pants instead of letting my server know.

      If you are having that many “special orders” then other servers must be in the same boat. Sounds like your restaurant may want to look at better practices and processes.

      Allergies are irritating and people shouldn’t be dicks about them but it doesn’t mean everyone should just stay home. I think you should stay home but that’s just because you sound like a complete bitch. If all these people just stayed home you probably would just have fewer orders overall and less sales. Less people. Fewer issues. Bitch about the jackasses that will always be a part of the job, but just stop fucking with people’s health and food.

      PS – I find that when people think I’m not skeptical of actually having an allergy I have fewer issues overall. I usually find a way to get them to admit things that they just don’t want included instead of allergies by just asking a few clarifying questions. Try not being a bigger asshole than your worst client. It makes work so much easier.

  19. Brittany and Kristin are just flat out cunts. If they truly have loved ones with deathly peanut allergies, they would never wish that on anyone else, especially a child. I literally (and I mean the original definition of “literally,” not the new dumbed down version) hope they fall down a flight of stairs and can never work again.

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