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.

A Thank You To Servers For All You Did in 2020

If there’s anything the year 2020 taught those of us in the restaurant industry, it’s that most people think we’re unimportant. Well, 2020 didn’t necessarily teach us that because we’ve known it all along. It’s been a difficult year to be a server. (Hell, it’s been a difficult year to be a human being.) Most of us have had to endure restaurant closures or working fewer shifts in less than ideal circumstance. And then there are some of us who continuously wore the apron throughout the pandemic dealing with whatever consequences came with it, be it fewer customers, getting sick or at the very least being worried about getting sick. My guess is that some of you never heard a thank you from either your bosses or your customers, so please allow me.

Thank you for your willingness to do whatever was asked of you this year to keep your restaurant running. Wear a mask for hours on end while at work? Done. Wash your hands so many times they feel as dry as a well done burger? Done. Deal with outdoor dining during rain, heatwaves and blizzards? Done. You did that because your bosses asked you to. So, thank you.

Thank you for your resiliency. Some of you were laid off from your job and then asked to come back only to be laid off again. But you did it. You bounced back because you knew you had to in order to make some money to pay for frivolous things like rent and car payments. You persevered even though you didn’t know if it was the right decision or not. So, thank you.

Thank you for doing your best to make your customers feel welcome at your restaurants. As they sat in your section laughing, talking, and eating, you diligently wore your mask and served them so they could have just a brief respite back to something normal while your life was anything but that. I bet a lot of you were smiling underneath your mask even though no one could see it. Your customers might not have said thank you enough, so I will: thank you.

Thank you for all the hours you spent on the unemployment website or on the phone with someone trying to understand what benefits you were eligible for. It’s navigational nightmare trying to decipher what you have to do to receive some financial help while our livelihood is dying, but you did it. You spent hours figuring it out because no one else was going to help you understand it and you needed that money. Your family needed it for groceries. And after you fell into that black hole of an unemployment website and wasted so much time, you immediately had to do something else like cook dinner for your kids. Thank you.

Thank you for being a good parent and learning what remote learning is making sure your kids are okay. They’re struggling just like we are and you were there for them every step of the way. You swallowed your stress so they’d have less of it. Thank you.

2020 has taken a lot out of us, but it didn’t take away our hope. Every year, we step into January 1st full of hope for a better year to come. This year is no different. Servers are innately optimistic, because every time we approach a new customer we don’t know what to expect, but we always hope for the best- a big tip, a kind customer, or an experience that will remind us that waiting tables can sometime be very fulfilling. That’s the last thing I want to thank you all for: your hopefulness. Don’t let it go. You hold onto that hope tighter than you hold onto a credit card receipt on a windy patio. Your hope is what’s going to get us through 2021.

Thank you.

Mike Pence Is (most likely) a Lousy Tipper

Before I move forward with this post about Vice President Mike Pence possibly leaving a less than generous tip to his server, I need to make two things clear:

  1. We do not know for certain that this receipt is actual. I’ve done some digging and it seems very likely, but I have not been able to confirm. More on that later.
  2. This is not a post meant to slam Vice President Mike Pence simply because of who he is. This post has all to do with the fact that a very famous man who has plenty of money apparently left a bad tip to his server and I slam anyone who leaves shitty tips.

Moving on…there is a photo of a receipt going viral on Twitter that alleges Mike Pence went to eat in a restaurant and left a $5.00 tip on a $44.25 check. The Tweet is from a “friend of a friend” so it’s ripe for hoaxes, but a lot of it checks out.

The receipt is from a restaurant called Coyote Cafe and dated 12/29/20. There is a Coyote Cafe in Beaver Creek, Colorado and their online menu shows the exact same sandwich on the receipt, a chipotle chicken sandwich. Mike Pence was in Vail, Colorado this week and Beaver Creek happens to be a quick 18 minute drive from Vail. The signature on the receipt looks very similar to Mike Pence’s real signature with the same swoopy-loopy “M” and the open “P.” Finally, doesn’t Mike Pence and his wife seem like they would be the kind of people who order two hot chocolates and a ginger ale for lunch? I did reach out to the Coyote Cafe for a confirmation, but have not heard back from them yet.

Now, let’s move on to the amount that Pence ALLEGEDLY left his server. The bill was $44.25 and he left $5.00. That is an 11.29% tip. So, maybe he doesn’t tip on the tax, right? Okay, that would make the bill $42.38 and the tip balloons to 11.79%. Giving Pence the benefit of the doubt, let’s say he also ignored the B.C. Assessment (B.C. Assessment is “Beaver Creek Assessment.” Every business in Beaver Creek Resort pays this % for upkeep of the resort) and tipped only on the food and beverage itself which was a total of $40.23. That means he left a 12.42% tip. Any way you look at it, it’s a crap tip. Servers in Colorado make $8.98 an hour while minimum wage in that state is $11.10. Granted, while servers in Beaver Creek aren’t making the pittance of $2.13 an hour, they probably still expect at least a 15% tip, especially from someone who has enough money to spend their Christmas vacation skiing in Vail. The annual salary for vice president is $235,000 so I’m pretty sure he could have reached deep down into his Dockers and found another few bucks.

Alright, so maybe Pence and Mother received awful service and that’s why he left such a grinchy ass tip. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter! When you’re as famous and wealthy as someone like Mike Pence, you have to know that leaving a bad tip is going to leak out all over social media just like Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye. It would just make more sense to squeeze out an additional $3.85 to leave an even 20% tip. That way, the server might be disappointed for not getting more from a rich person, but couldn’t really complain either because 20% is what we all strive for.

Again, I have not been able to clarify that this is an actual receipt. All signs point to yes, but if the restaurant reaches out to me with more info, I will let you know. However, I don’t expect that to happen. They probably want the story to go away. Mike Pence probably wants the story to go away. And the server who got the bad tip is probably looking for a new job since posting a photo of a tip is probably against the rules of working in a restaurant that caters to the rich and famous. (If you’re the server this happened to, PLEASE reach out to me!)

4 Ways to Actually Help Your Local Struggling Restaurant

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to decimate our country, small businesses and restaurants are taking the brunt of the devastation. Well, other than the 300,000 lives lost to the virus. Over 110,000 restaurants have closed either permanently or long-term since the health crisis began and with indoor dining shutting down in more and more states and the weather making outdoor dining less of an option, it’s only going to get worse. Since it seems that our government isn’t ready to step up and help the restaurant industry, it’s up to customers to do it for them, but how? If you have a favorite neighborhood restaurant and you are wondering if they are struggling or not, wonder no more: they are. The restaurant owner can use your help and so can the few employees who are still working there and here’s how to do it: