Congress is Passing a New Law to Benefit Servers

A new bill has passed thought the house and is expected to sail through the senate with bi-partisan support. Introduced by Janky Fitzsimmons (D) from Rhode Island, the measure would allow servers who work in restaurants with ten or more employees the option to slap a customer upside the head once every two months. Which customer is to be slapped is entirely up to the server and the decision lies solely upon them. Says Fitzsimmons, “I believe the morale and overall job performance will shoot through the roof once servers have this opportunity to release a little bit of steam. It will lead to better service for other customers.”

Most servers are happy that elected officials are thinking of them, but feel the new measure misses the mark. Ally Gaiter, a server for eight years at a Texas Roadhouse in Nampa, ID says, “Well, I was really hoping for paid time off or sick days or maybe even a raise, but I guess if all I get to do is slap a Karen upside the head every once in a while, I’ll take it.”

To be clear, servers will not be using their own hands for the slapping upside the heads. Each restaurant will be issued a federally mandated “slapping stick’ very similar to what is seen in children’s obstacle course where they dodge padded arms that spin in a circle. The slapping stick will be kept in the manager’s office along with an official slapping log to ensure no server slaps more heads than they are entitled to.

Kyle Rufus, a waiter at a Applebee’s in Prescott, AZ already has a plan. “Dude, I know exactly who I’m gonna slap. We have this regular named Carl who is so annoying. If I can slap him every two months, can I slap him, like on May 1 at 11:59 PM and then slap him again at 12:01 AM on May 2 and then just not do it again until July 3?”

Representative Fitzsimmons has not responded to requests to explain if Mr. Rufus’ plan is allowed under law or not.

If you work in a restaurant and want to register for your slapping stick, please click here to find out more details.

One Year Ago, Life Was Normal

One year ago today, March 8th, 2020, I had my last my meal in a restaurant. You now, like a real “sit at the bar and have cocktails and dinner” kind of experience. At that point, I had certainly heard of the coronavirus, but it wasn’t all-consuming quite yet. My diary entry for February 27th was the first mention of it: “Coronavirus. I just wanted to acknowledge it in case it becomes this huge thing that brings down our world…” On March 6th, I wrote “So, coronavirus… does it actually have me worried? Yes, a little bit it does.” On March 7th I wrote “Coronavirus is cray cray.” The next day, my husband and I went out to dinner, aware enough of this possible pandemic to make sure the bartender wiped down the bar, but not aware enough to know what was to come. We went to a restaurant in Astoria called Sugar Freak. 

It was a crowded Sunday night and I was so eager to eat all the fried foods and drink all the spicy margaritas. I remember sitting next to another couple and talking to the guy about his fried catfish and how delicious it was. He was probably only six inches away from me instead of six feet. The bartender was friendly, the food was incredible and it was a great night; one of those New York City evenings where everyone can sense that Spring is right around the corner. When I posted a photo of my cocktail onto my Instagram page, someone immediately commented “No way!!! I work there!! See you soon!!!” Within minutes, a young woman named Veronica was introducing herself to me and she bought my husband and I a round of tequila shots. I had no idea that this was our last night of normalcy, but I’m so grateful that it was so wonderful.

Five days later, Broadway shut down, leaving my husband with no place to work having worked there for 25 years. Two days after that all the restaurants in New York City were closed. Two days later, my other (non-restaurant) job laid me off. On March 16th my diary entry was very short: “Hi. Are we all gonna die?” And here we are, one year later with a lot of the same concerns. Broadway is still closed. I work part-time at my restaurant while hoping my other job will eventually find room for me to return. Its still scary, but not like it was when 1000 people a day were dying in New York.

A lot has changed since March 8, 2020. Twelve months ago, there was no immediate hope for a vaccine, but I’m happy to say that I have been fully vaccinated as of three days ago. One year ago, we thought stocking up on our groceries meant an extra loaf of bread and some canned beans, but now we can go to the grocery store, we just wear two masks while doing it. Time has given us a new perspective on what this pandemic can do to us. Over 500,000 people in our country have died of Covid since that night I had cocktails and fried food in a restaurant. It’s been a long, hard year for all of us, but for the family members of those who have been lost, it’s been way harder. Sure, I miss eating out. I hate that my glasses fog up because of my mask. I long to travel again and be able to socialize with friends like I did 365 days ago. But all of those inconveniences pale in comparison to what others have suffered through. I am incredibly grateful to be healthy and that we have had enough money to get through this last year. It may have been boring and tedious staying inside for months at a time, but I’m here.

If we look at how much has happened over the last year, imagine how much more will happen in the next twelve months. Maybe by March 8th, 2022, we will be looking at Covid as a terrible chapter that is complexly behind us and we will all be celebrating with a brand new version of he Roaring Twenties. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait all the way until 2022. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And as soon as we reach that light you will find me sitting at the bar of Sugar Freak, drinking a spicy margarita and talking to whoever happens to be sitting next to me.

Two Men Face Charges After Gun Threat at Ay Caramba Restaurant

Tensions are running high in restaurants these days thanks to the added stress of Covid, but it nearly boiled over at a restaurant called Ay Caramba in Asheville, NC earlier this week. Asheville police charged two individuals after they say threats were made during a dispute over takeout food. Yes, takeout food became such an issue that two men, George Christian Anagnostopoulos and West McCaskill Hunter, were freaking arrested because they were so upset about their Ay Caramba order.

Dudes, calm down. Was it really worth these charges:

  • Assault by pointing a gun (3 counts)
  • Going armed to the terror of the public
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Open container of alcohol in a vehicle

Both men were arrested on bond, but surely they woke up the next morning and thought, “what the fuck did we do?” While we cannot know for certain what went down in that Mexican restaurant, we can imagine it, can’t we?

(insert dreamy harp music here)

Becky: Welcome to Ay Caramba! Are you picking up food that you ordered?

George: Chorizo.

West: Schlimazel.

Both of them: Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!

Becky: Okay…so are you picking up food to go then? What’s the name?

George: My name is Luka!

West: He lives on the second floor!

Becky: I don’t have time for this, boys. I’ve been wearing a mask for the last six hours and my glasses are so fogged up I can’t even see how drunk you are, but I can smell you. What’s the name on the order?

George: I like big butts…

West: …and he cannot lie.

Becky: Okay, is this your order? I have a Nacho Supreme with extra guac, jalapeño poppers, a burrito fajita, and an order of flautas.

George and West fumble around for their wallets when a gun falls from the pocket of one of their hoodies. And then another gun falls to the floor, landing in a small puddle of pico de gallo.

George: Aw, man! My gun got salsa on it!

Becky: I’m gonna ask you both to leave right now.

George: But I want my burrito!

West: He likes big burritos and he cannot lie.

Becky: Get out or I’m calling the cops.

West: Hey, look his gun is all covered with salsa and my gun isn’t covered in anything. No fair! Can I have some sour cream for mine?

West points the gun at Becky.

Becky: Sir, does this look like a Wendy’s? Put the gun away.

George and West put their guns back into their pockets.

Becky: Give me one minute to get you order together, alright? If you’ll sit over there and wait for ten minutes, I will give you a complementary order of churros, alright?

George and West: Churro! Churro! Churro!

They both do as Becky asks and they sit down to wait for free churros. Meanwhile, Becky calls the cops who show up five minutes later and drag their asses to jail.

Of course we don’t know if this is how things actually transpired, but wouldn’t it just make fucking sense?

 

An Open Letter To Gov. Cuomo

Dear Governor Cuomo,

You announced this week that indoor dining in New York City could begin again on Sunday February 14th. Usually, Valentine’s Day is a pretty busy night in a restaurant, but could it be even busier this year? After weeks of takeout and outdoor dining in frigid weather being the only options, customers might swarm to restaurants on that Sunday eager for a chance to eat inside a restaurant again. That, coupled with the lovebirds who would normally go out on the 14th of February, might make that first shift a doozy. Well, 25% of a doozy, anyway.

This brings me to the topic of the vaccine. More specifically, when do restaurant workers get it? According to the New York State Covid-19 vaccine eligibility guidelines, the next phase of 1b is supposed to start in February and those who will be able to get the vaccine are “other frontline essential workers (to be determined by New York State).” Well, February is in just a couple of days, sir. If you are expecting us restaurant workers to go back to our jobs in just over two weeks, it seems like NOW would be a good time to decide who those “other frontline essential workers” are and that restaurant workers should be included in that group. 

Think about it: waiters and waitresses are working within close proximity to people who aren’t wearing masks. That can’t be good. The only other profession I can think of that are in that same situation are dentists and they were eligible for the vaccine weeks ago. If you allow restaurant workers to get the vaccine on February 1, that gives us two weeks for the antibodies to settle in so we can slap those aprons back on by February 14th and start serving over-priced romantic dinners for two on Valentine’s Day. The timing could not be more perfect, but we need the state to determine who those other frontline essential workers are.  And by “the state” I mean you and by “other frontline workers” I mean me.

Those of us in the food and beverage industry are ready to go back to work, we really are, but we want to feel safe when we do it. Aren’t we owed that? After all, our industry is the one that has been closed, then reopened, then closed, then reopened again, each time with changing guidelines and expectations that are almost impossible to keep up with. We don’t have the opportunity to work from home, so instead we’ve been losing money by gong to work and doing takeout orders for little or no tips OR bundling up in coats, gloves and scarves in order to serve food outside to customers who get to sit inches away from a propane heater. We deserve a break. We deserve the vaccine.

Mr. Cuomo, please determine that restaurant workers are in the next group to receive the vaccine on February 1. Health care workers, nursing home residents, 65 and older, grocery store workers, first responders, correction officers, educators, and public transit workers have all had their chance and now it should be our turn. For months, the general public has been clamoring about their insistence that restaurants and bars stay open. It’s literally their only form of entertainment outside of Netflix. Restaurant workers have been going to their jobs in order to provide this tiny slice of normalcy and in doing so, we’ve also been risking our health. It would be nice to hear a thank you every once in a. while. And it would be even nicer to be able to go to work on February 14th and know that we are protected.

Mustard and mayo,

The Bitchy Waiter

A Comment on Comments: “Get a Real Job”

It’s only day two of this new year that I had such high hopes for and already it’s seeming like a broken record when it comes to stupid comments on my Facebook page. You know my Facebook page, right? It’s the page that shares the name of this blog and its sole purpose is to bitch about being a waiter? It should be no surprise then that the page has its fair share of bitching on it, but what is surprising is how many people are surprised to find bitching on it.

On a recent post that generated over 2,000 comments, one particular comment stood out to me like a herpes sore on a waxed pelvis:

Oh, William. Dear, sweet, addlebrained William. I’ve been blogging about the restaurant industry since before you sprouted your first pubic hair and you think telling me to get a real job is something I haven’t heard before? Sweetie, waiting tables is a real job. It’s more real than that girlfriend of yours that you have to blow up before she can give you a blow job. And when I say “blow job” I mean inserting your penis into a Fleshlight shaped like lips, as free Pornhub videos stream on your cell phone.

You say it’s not our fault that we choose to serve shitty people and you are absolutely correct. We don’t choose which shitty people sit in our sections. It’s based on rotations and seating charts. You should be happy about that because if servers could choose which people they were going to wait on, your shitty ass would be delegated to fast-food, takeout and buffets, which is probably right up your asshole alley anyway.

Perhaps you think I sound pathetic, but what does that make you for commenting on it? This blog is where I come to do exactly what I am doing right now: vent about the frustrations of one’s job, just like everyone does. Teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers and sanitation workers all complain about the things that drive them crazy in their jobs. That doesn’t mean they’re all going to quit their jobs and find new ones. If you want to call us morons, that’s fine. Then I’ll call you what you are: a troll who cruises Facebook pages looking for things to comment on just to elicit a response so you can get the attention that your blow-up doll of a girlfriend can’t give you. So here is the attention you wanted, William. I happily serve it to you just as I would serve you if you sat in my section. I give it to you with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. I’m not a pathetic moron. I’m a waiter and I’m a blogger.

I can also give credit where credit is due, William. You said I’m petty and you’re right. You can call me Petty LaBelle or Peppermint Petty or Petty Which Way But Loose. I accept all of those monikers and if this blog post calling you out doesn’t prove that I embrace my pettiness, I don’t know what else will.

Happy new year, William. Now leave me the fuck alone.