The Reality for Servers on Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day approaches, Cupid sharpens his arrow readying it to puncture the left ventricle of the heart which is where all the love is stored. Restaurant servers are also preparing, girding their loins for one of the busiest days of the year. The 14th of February falls on a Friday this year which is a bit of a disappointment for servers. We like it better when the restaurant is inexplicably crammed full of lovebirds on a normally slow Tuesday night instead of a Friday night when the restaurant will be busy anyway. Most couples have a pretty good expectation of what their Valentine’s Day will be like, but servers also know what to expect on this day of romance. From restaurant to restaurant, it’s the same thing every year, more regular than Old Faithful after a spoonful of organic psyllium husk.

Without fail, a server somewhere in the world will be asked to participate in a marriage proposal that might involve dropping a ring into a glass of champagne or carefully placing it onto a flourless chocolate torte to be served at the precise moment when love is in the air. Coordination is key for this to go off without a hitch. When cued, the server will be expected to forsake all their other tables and shine the spotlight of love on this most important of couples. If the one doing the proposing is nervous, the server is twice as skittish, because in addition to keeping track of the orders of seven different tables and how many fried artichoke heart appetizer specials remain, they are also tasked with the responsibility of keeping track of a ring in their apron that is probably worth of 1 to 3 months of their customer’s salary. If the answer to the popped question is yes, the server will immediately assume the role of engagement photographer so Instagram can be alerted to the big news. If the answer is no, the server gets to turn the table over more quickly than anticipated.

Servers can also expect to see at least one lone regular who comes into the restaurant every week to sit at the same place and order the same thing. Upon arrival, this person will realize two facts: the menu has fewer choices, but is more expensive and there is no place for a single person to sit in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. This person will begrudgingly sit at the bar and order their usual prosciutto pizza only to have it arrive in the shape of heart confirming that going to a restaurant alone on Valentine’s day is no fun. When they ask for the bill, it will come with two Hershey Kisses because the bartender thinks it’s cute.

Finally, somewhere there will be a server who will witness the most disappointing Valentine’s Day of someone’s life. A woman will enter the restaurant carrying a glittery, plastic rose with flashing LED lights and her face will already show the finest wrinkles of disappointment. Minute by minute, those fine lines will turn into fissures of discontent and the server will watch it play-by-play. When her date announces he’s not in the mood for champagne and orders a beer instead, the romance sheds a delicate layer of hope. When he refuses the “Steak & Lobster for Two” and instead orders the fish and chips and a burger so they can split it, all hope is lost. Still the server will persist, convincing them to order the strawberry shortcake dessert garnished with gold leaf. By the time the woman receives a red teddy bear that says “I Wuv You” and her date asks to split the check, the romance will have shriveled up and died on the vine.

At the end of the night, the couples will all go home for obligatory love-making while the single folks will go home to either bask in their single hood or wallow in it. Servers will reset the dining room, polish the silverware and sip their well deserved shift drink as they count their tips. You can keep your roses, your candy, your stuffed animals, and your sentimental Hallmark cards full of mushy expressions of ever-lasting love. We servers will always look at Valentine’s Day as the shift that fills our hearts and aprons with the one thing that will always be there for us: money.

Servers DO Want Rocks For Tips

I guess I’m an ungrateful, repulsive asshole who wouldn’t know gratitude if it came up and tickled my taint. A couple of days ago, I posted a photo on ye olde Facebook page that brought people up in arms. It was a photo of a tip someone named Kim left her server at Golden Corral. The bill was clearly visible as $35 and the tip consisted of what appeared to be two dollars and a rock. The rock was hand-painted, presumably by Kim. I thought it looked like an arts and craft project from a 10-year old’s art class at summer camp that some unlucky parent would obligingly hold onto for the rest of their days, ending up dusty on a shelf next to a wonky-ass ceramic ashtray and a picture frame made out of popsicle sticks. I mentioned that no server wants a freaking rock as a tip, but apparently I was wrong.

Comment after comment poured in from servers who claimed it was “adorable” and “touching” and “sweet.” Someone even tracked down the original photo’s Facebook post and found that the server who received the rock as part of her tip, Linda, was also appreciative of the rock. Apparently, it made her day.

Servers shared their stories of when customers had left them sweet gifts and surprisingly, plenty of other waiters and waitresses have also received rocks as tips. I was shook.

I am sorry. I’m sorry for thinking that a rock is a bad tip. I would like to go on record and say that from this day forward, I think every customer should be leaving rocks as tips. The bigger the better. Did your waiter manage to get you in and out of the restaurant in record time so you could get to a movie? Give him a painted rock! Did a waitress refill your water glass a total of seven times, never once letting it fall one inch below the rim? Give her two painted rocks! Did a server give your 12-top perfect service and separated all of the checks and then sing happy birthday to you? Roll in a fucking painted boulder for that server!

And servers, when it comes time to pay your rent, you load up all those rocks in a wheelbarrow and then you dump those rocks at the feet of your landlord and make sure they see how pretty they are. Surely, they will jump at the chance to own a ton of stones because who doesn’t want more rocks in their life? Put those rocks in safe deposit boxes and save them for your children! Write them into your wills!

After so much pushback about the painted rock, I thought maybe I simply didn’t see it for its full potential so I asked an art expert for his opinion. Dr. Blarney S. Tone is a professor of art history and one of the country’s leading geologists. She looked at the rock and gave me this appraisal:

The delicate brush strokes are similar to those seen in the early work of Leonardo DaVinci. It’s also abundantly clear that Kim has studied the works of Jackson Pollock and Keith Haring. As for the stone itself, it appears to be of the Paleozoic era. I am particularly impressed with the artists’s use of the Sharpie. Very impressive. Should this piece go onto auction in the international art community, I would expect to see bids upward of $100K. The server who received this exquisite work of art should be very, very grateful.

So there you have it. I was being a jerk thinking that no server wants a rock as a tip. To Kim, and every other server who appreciates the gift of stone, I apologize. I may be a bitch, but I can certainly see when I have misspoken. It takes a big man to admit when he was wrong and it takes an even bigger man to carry a pile of rocks to the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread.

Woman Wants 30 More Minutes Before Evacuating Restaurant

There was a terrorist attack in London on Sunday when a man stabbed two victims and was then shot dead by undercover police officers. I’m not going to get into the details because this blog tends to focus on other horrors such as waters with lemon that customers don’t even drink or servers who get a 10% tip even after the service was absolutely fucking perfect. What I am going to focus on is a video in nearby cafe where someone, presumably a British woman named Karen, had a shocking response to a police officer who came into the restaurant to tell them they needed to evacuate the area.

Police Officer: There’s been a terrorist incident down there. We’re closing everything down.

Woman: Just give us half an hour because people have to eat.

Police Officer: Madam, a terrorist has just been shot dead just down there. Got a possible IED vest on, which is a bomb.

So let me understand this: even though a man has been shot dead, literally down the street from the restaurant and he’s wearing a vest potentially covered in bombs, this woman is still going to ask for thirty minutes so she can finish her damn baked beans and Earl Grey tea? Who does she think she is being so needy, selfish and oblivious to the situation around her, an American? Lady, take your crumpet, wrap it up in a napkin and get the fuck out of there. It’s literally the chance to walk out on a check without paying for it while also possibly saving your life. Take the advice of the nice officer who is holding an automatic rifle and stop being so bloody tiresome. Grab your mate and scurry on outta there. He was nice enough to call you “madam” rather than “slag,” so be thankful for that.

Maybe it’s the cafe owner who was worried about watching her profits all walk out of the door, but I can’t imagine any customer choosing to stay over the word of a police officer. If anything, it would make me think this owner is a little bit too desperate for her own good.

Here I was, thinking that the only people who were that self-involved when it comes to dining out were sitting in Applebee’s in the United States, but this video proves that every country has their own version of this type of person. How do you say “Karen” in British?

Hey Texas Roadhouse: Justice for Luis!

So often, customers are upset with a restaurant for something that the restaurant has absolutely nothing to do with. How many of us have had to apologize to a customer for the sun shining too brightly through a window or because they couldn’t find a parking spot? In this day and age of people complaining for the sheer privilege of complaining, it can get exhausting. (Acknowledged irony: I literally complain every day.)

Gentle readers, I want to introduce you to Luis who is one of those people who wants to complain, but doesn’t know to whom the complaint should be directed to. He needs our help. While visiting a Texas Roadhouse for some Tater Skins and Fried Pickles, his car was hit in the parking lot. After his meal, while he should have been digesting his Pulled Pork Dinner, he discovered the disturbing hit and run. Rather than calling State Farm or Progressive to file an insurance claim for a busted headlight and dented bumper, he instead went to the Texas Roadhouse Facebook page to complain about the lack of cameras in the parking lot, like it’s their responsibility to keep track of what’s happening to his car while he guzzles down an Armadillo Punch and a couple of Texas Peach Fuzzes.

Most parking lot owners are not responsible for damage to cars even if there isn’t one of those signs that tells you exactly that. What that means is, Luis, you’re barking up the wrong Roadhouse. And even if they had cameras, do you really expect to be able to see who bumped your car? Yes, it sucks that your car has a dent in it. And it sucks that whoever did it didn’t have the Rattlesnake Balls to leave a note on your window. However, going to the Facebook page of a national chain restaurant and expecting them to apologize or suddenly install cameras in all 563 of their parking lots is a bit much. But I want to help you.

My hope for you is that this blog post brings enough attention to your case to at least receive a free gift card from Texas Roadhouse. Maybe they won’t pay to have the scratch in your car buffed out, but they can certainly spring for a plate of mouth-watering Steak Kabobs or some Chicken Critters®, am I right?

Readers, please go to the Texas Roadhouse Facebook page and comment on behalf of Luis. We can make change! We can do this! They owe him a damn gift card! #JusticeForLuis

Good luck, Luis. And you’re welcome. (By the way, this really happened, right Luis? You’re not just making shit up are you? Because it would super easy to say that someone hit your car in the parking lot when it didn’t actually happen in the parking lot and your car was already a beat up piece of shit before you got there.)

Man Arrested for Masturbating at Applebee’s

Man arrested for watching porn at Applebee’s

Some people go to Applebee’s for a high quality, craft cocktail that only costs a dollar. Others go to enjoy a bowl of chicken, bacon mac and cheese served fresh and steaming from the microwave. And then there’s Timothy Dugan of Thomasville, Georgia who goes to Applebee’s to spank his monkey.

For reasons unknown to anyone, Timothy thought that it was a good idea to watch some porn on his cell phone while waiting for his quesadilla burger. Maybe the signature Mexi-ranch sauce that comes with the burger wasn’t enough for Timothy so he pulled out the ol’ trouser snake and went to work on making his own signature sauce. As luck would have it, employees and customers got wind of what was going on at Table 207 and Timothy was asked to leave. Police were called and the horndog was found nearby hiding in a bush, presumably not his own. He was charged with with indecent exposure and child molestation.

I have so many questions:

  • Does Timothy just get turned on by the thought of choking the chicken while eating chicken wonton tacos?
  • Did he recently watch that movie  “American Pie” and decide he wanted to fuck the Sizzlin’ Caramel Apple Blondie?
  • In what other restaurants has he tickled his pickle? Does he beat his meat at Outback Steakhouse?
  • How much did the server have to tip out the busser to clean that table?

As shocking as this is, at least is wasn’t as bad as when a porno showed on the big screen at an Applebee’s a few years ago. Now, that was offensive and it certainly upset a woman named Francine:

Good luck, Timothy. And the next time you want to brew some baby gravy, do that at home. You can always get your food to go, you know.

You Get a Shift Drink! You Get a Shift Drink!

A new law is scheduled to go into effect on February 1, 2020 that will directly affect servers around the country. The legislative proposal, SD-requirement 1, was nestled within a much more complicated bill covering farm subsidies and soybean transfers within North America, specifically between Canada and Mexico. The law states:

All servers who are making at least the federal minimum wage for tipped employees of $2.13 an hour, will hereby also be entitled to one complimentary shift drink before or after their shift at any restaurant that has at least eight (8) employees. Should the employee choose to not take the shift drink, they can request credit onto their paycheck not to exceed $5.00 dollars per shift. The shift drink can be any beverage, but congress highly recommends that it be one of an alcoholic nature not to exceed either two ounces of alcohol per drink or a single glass of beer or wine. Should the employee be working a double, the law allows for the two shift drinks to be combined into one at the subsequent end of the second shift.

Servers across the country are celebrating the new law. Says Alfred K. Hallick, a server at Doug’s Donuts Diner in Beersheba Springs, TN, “I’m just grateful that the government finally did something that benefits me. All these tax cuts for the rich are great and everything but if I can get a free Coors Light after every shift, that’ll save me about $24 a week. Good bless the USA!”

Understandably, not everyone is happy about the sweeping changes, restaurant owners in particularly. Melba Totes, owner of a franchised Applebee’s in Spokane, WA says, “I have 19 servers in my store, so now I have to give away free cocktails to them? I’ll just give them those crappy ass Vodka Rum Frostbites that we’re selling for a dollar right now. They only cost about fifteen cents to make, so I guess I can afford that.” When reminded that the server gets to choose what drink they want or take a $5.00 credit, Totes’ head exploded, making a huge mess in section three. The busser tasked to clean up the mess, Nyada Faire, grumbled, “Of course the bussers don’t get a shift drink because I guess we just don’t matter.”

The law goes into effect on the first of next month so it is imperative that all restaurant owners are made aware of this change in policy. For a printout with the complete explanation of the new law as well as suggestions of what drinks to ask for in order to take the most advantage of the situation, please click here.