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.

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

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

  1. I know my remark will probably be unpopular, but we always had water with dinner plus juice or milk or if we were dining out we could have pop, SO, I’m that #4 annoying customer 🤷‍♀️but I really do always tip 20% or more unless we have dismal service. I can honestly say I have only not tipped once in my life and it was years ago (I am 58) and I did speak to the manager on my way out. Every time I eat out I always am in awe of the wait staff because I could never do their job, I would be dumping someone’s food on them 😂 You all have one of the hardest jobs ever and I appreciate you. (But I still want my water and my Coke, lol 😂 thank you!)

  2. Oh fuck- it’s water with a goddamn lemon added- it i really that hard? and yes I know this site is called the bitchy waiter- I get it it but adding lemon to water just really doesn’t seem too difficult- If it is, then my apologies ..I realize on this site you must agree with the general opinion – sorry if lemon stresses you out

  3. Having been out of the industry for a few months — which is wonderful, might I add — this list gave me anxiety. Concerning the people who came to the restaurant to apparently just talk, as well as the indecisive ones, I give them their time. Instead of awkwardly bothering them every few minutes, just to find they’re still not ready, I pretend to walk by their table to do something else so if they are ready, they can flag me down.

  4. Annoying or not, when we (patrons) go to a restaurant to eat, we are paying guests and we don’t want to be rushed or limited to one drink. Your job is to serve, our job is to relax, eat a drink enjoy. That’s what we are paying for. Wow… Pick a different profession it you don’t want to do your job.

    1. Be careful Sandy- you must agree with the general opinion – otherwise you will be bombarded with immature responses- i.e. – “you do know this site is called the bitchy waiter don’t you” as if that means you can’t have an opposing opinion

  5. It is a first for me dealing with families and small childrens at this new job. Before that i hated serving small children (after 10 years of bars and a few finner dinning), i have to say that in general, parents do raise them well, i had mostly very polite kids, well behaved, for the summer tourist rush! And very pleased about what i had to deal with! On my side i brought my nephew to the restaurant were i was so sad how not well behaved he was.. i was out of words really..

  6. You guys do realize this blog is called BITCHY waiter. If you don’t like it stop following it. And I hate when people say well it’s the job you chose…sometimes we have to take the jobs available so ,you know, we can eat and not be homeless, and if we want to bitch about it then that’s what we’re going to do.

  7. I know serving can be very frustrating, but most people leave you a sizable tip. My daughter has been a server for years and I don’t ever hear these gripes, unless she is not telling me. You picked the job, you knew it wasn’t going to be easy, so stop the complaining, other people have other jobs and I am sure they could complain. Your earning money each day, your healthy and you should thank God you have a job. I’m sorry but life gives us all ups and downs and if if we don’t stop complaining we are only hurting ourselves. So, pick yourself up, stop comlaing and find a job more suitable to your liking. Good luck and I hope you find peace of mind.

  8. I only drink bottled water or bottled beer in any restaurant. I do not want servers putting their fingers in my drink. They all use a communal ice scooper, that mostly lays in the ice. They also use their nicotined, booger infested fingers to grab your lemons. Stop asking for lemons or limes with your water .

    1. I hate it when the server throws the lemon wedge into my tea. Put it on the side, please, and let me decide whether I just want the juice or the wedge in there. Same with iced tea spoons.

  9. We tip.. very well. There are a lot of aspects to my job I don’t like, but guess what.. I do them with a smile. It’s called being a grown up. If you don’t like bringing somebody water with lemon, or the way they order, deal with it…with a smile.

  10. I order water all the time, because I’m diabetic. All the drinks have to much suger. Also I can’t have anything with caffeine & lactose intolerant. So if you don’t know why people order water it’s none of your business. You’re a server and you need to serve what we want not what you want.

  11. I’ve been in the service industry for 30 Years. The millennia have no clue what good service is. I drunk lots of water and the lemon or orange or cucumber makes it more palatable. Sorry you can’t do your job and add a lemon. Sorry you don’t bring ecmxtra napkins when we have wings or something that requires more than a cloth nasty napkin that’s smells. Sorry you go to your favorite place and don’t realize what you demand and then bitch about that you didn’t get yet you complain about what you ha e to do as tour choice of being a server. Really sad…. go ahead and bash me , I’ve heard it all and seen it all… So go ahead. Get a clue what The Service Industry means

    1. agree Vicky- 100%. Didn’t’ realize adding lemon was such a big deal- but please you must tip 20% for their pain and suffering

  12. Agree with most of these, but as a parent and a server, think about #6 again. All the things you complain about in 1-5 might be alleviated if parents bothered to raise children properly. #6 is part of proper raising. It shouldn’t drag on for more than 30-45 seconds, but the child should be given the chance. And some will need to be coaxed.

    Also, regarding #7, while diet soda is not healthful by any means, zero calories is zero calories. Even after 4 or 5 glasses. So while you could be annoyed for legitimate reasons, no, it doesn’t cease to be “diet” after 4 glasses.

    1. No no no!!! Number six might be the MOST important thing on the do not do list. It’s the most inconsiderate waste of my time you can put me through. It’s your job to raise your children properly. It’s not my responsibility to lose money due to your lack of parenting skills. Teach your child to be sociable when it’s not coating others money or adversely affecting the service being provided to other customers. You’re basically telling your server, bartender, cooks, and every other customer in the house “My child is more important than everyone in this building. I don’t care if it screws up the whole system. This waiter isn’t leaving until my kid utters the phrase chicken strips (which we don’t even have btw)”… Not to mention that people who behave this way typically tip like shit.

  13. #4! I get it if you are drinking alcohol, but why do you need water and a soft drink?!? The only thing I hate more than a four top that requires 8 drinks, is making chocolate milk.

      1. Hot water with lemon… May as well just say “I brought my own drink to save money. Can you waste your time getting me the supplies I need for free so I can mix my own drink?”

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