You Order Eggroll?

Occasionally, The Bitchy Waiter gets to go to a restaurant and have someone fuck up his order for a change. After nearly a score of waiting tables, (as in four score and seven years ago…), the dining experience for me is almost always uncomfortable. I want to help the server; I stack my plates, I never complain, I over tip and God forbid I go out with a large group of people who want to push tables together and all be on separate checks. When I eat out, I spend the whole time overcompensating. Waiting tables has ruined the experience for me. But I went out to dinner a few nights ago.

There was a craving for Chinese food in the homestead so I Googled, Zagated, and CitySearched until I found a place that was highly recommended. The reviews for Hunan Park were good and the price was right, read cheap. It was little bit out of the way but I was feeling adventurous. Why not? Off to the Upper West Side I shall go! With address in hand and salivating for some good orange chicken, my dining partner (none of your beeswax, busy bodies) head to Columbus Avenue and 70th Street. When we get there, we go back and forth on the supposed block and see nothing that serves egg rolls. Every other ethnic restaurant is on that block but not one fucking Chinese place. We look up the address and realize we are standing in front of it, but it is now some lame ass deli that I applied for a job at about three weeks ago. What the fuck? Did Hunan Park up and leave? Never fear, there is another location on 91st Street, only twenty blocks up. We trudged ahead. At 91st street, nuthin’. A grocery store, a post office and a homeless lady who may or may not have been Chinese. We call the mysterious Hunan Park and they say “No! No! Ninety-fifth Street. Five Five!” Four more blocks and we finally behold the wonder that is Hunan Park; the magical mystical Far East heaven that has made me travel all the way from Queens to a neighborhood I didn’t even know the name of. Hunan Park was a dump.

“Well, Zagat gave it a 9 for decor but a 19 for food. It must be good. There’s no one here though, that’s weird.” As we ignored every red flag that was waving before us, we stepped into a place that may as well have been next door to me in Queens. Zagat can not lead us astray, could they? There was an old man sitting at a table with headphones on and a pile of food in front of him. He looked like he could be a close personal friend to the homeless lady at 91st Street. The only other people eating were employees on this fine Friday night. We sat “anywhere” and a waitress threw some water glasses and some chips with duck sauce at us. She looked like she was in a real hurry, like she must have been in the middle of giving a manicure to someone else at the same time. She came back about ten seconds later and said “you ready?” We politely asked for more time so she moved about two feet away from us and stood there staring at us. No pressure or anything, Fawn Lawn Young. It was only 9:30 and they didn’t close until 11:00 so I don’t know what her fucking hurry was. Maybe it was Chinese New Year or something and she needed to go build a dragon mask. We ordered an egg roll (greasy and possibly frozen) and vegetable dumplings (I didn’t try them because they were green and I don’t like green food) for our appetizers. I then ordered pineapple chicken because they didn’t have orange chicken. It came out as some doughy fried chicken with about six cubes of canned pineapple next to it. And a huge bowl of sauce that may as well have been called High Fructose Corn Syrup with MSG. Across from me, my dining companion had a plate of Moo Shoo Chicken that was said to taste like dish soap. Again, I didn’t taste it because I don’t like food that tastes like dish soap. The only decent thing we had were the two bottles of Tsing Tao beer. Perfectly prepared, they were.

The check came along with an orange slice (fancy!) and fortune cookies. I wrapped up my chicken because even though it was horrible, gummy, disgusting and I thought it tasted like shit, a homeless person might want it. We put down $43 dollars and left. No one else came in the whole time we were there except for a group of three who walked in, looked around and left. And another couple who picked up some food to go. Zagat was wrong. They lied to me and owe me $43. How long will it be before I am ready to again venture to the other side of the menu? Days? Weeks? Hunan Park and Zagat just made this bitchy waiter a little bit bitchier.


Bitch at Table 19

It is hard to find things to bitch about being a waiter when one’s waiting job is actually tolerable. That’s right, The Bitchy Waiter has little to complain about. The job is profitable, the hours are short, the co-workers are nice, the managers are cool and I get to listen to amazing performers sing while I work. Well, there was this one woman the other night. What a beyatch.

At the club, it is very important that people sit where the hostess has seated them. Everyone has to pay a cover charge and some people pay different amounts so it really screws things up when people move around, because I am not a psychic. I can’t be calling my psychic friend, Dionne Warwick, and asking her how much is the bitch at table 19 supposed to be paying for the show. Two couples came to the show and they wanted to switch their seats so they could sit next to their partners instead of across from them. Isn’t that sweet? I mean, really, who gives a shit? The show is an hour. Get over it, co-dependents. I picked up their seating passes which alert me who is paying what, but since they had ants in their pants and had moved around, the seating passes got mixed up. It wasn’t my fault, I promise. When I gave the checks at the end of the night, I had charged one couple a cover charge even though they had prepaid. The man was really nice about it, and I just voided off the cover charges. No biggie. So for the other couple I had put two $0 cover charges when I really needed to put two $25 cover charges. I had to add the $50 cover charge, but I didn’t bother voiding off the two $0 items since…well, since they were for zero dollars. I laid their check down and moved on. Five minutes later, the lady is at my side breathing down my neck.

“Excuse me? Ummm, Excuse me?” I turned to see what she needed and she was already complaining to the manager. “Hi there. Yes…uh…I am not responsible for my friends cover charge,” she says. I looked at my manager and gave him a look that said “I don’t know what this bitch is complaining about.” He took the check from her icy talons and reviewed it with her and then she snatched it back and mumbled to herself for a few seconds. “Two cover charges for $25 each…two scotch and sodas…one chardonnay…one Pelligrino…” She shut up. I knew she had finally noticed that two of the cover charges, the ones for her friends that she would not be responsible for, were for zero dollars. That’s right, lady, read the check. She was all ready to complain and make a stink that smelled worse than her crotch probably did and she had no fucking argument. She just rolled her lips into her mouth (do that, so you know what I mean) and slinked back to the table without an explanation. When I went to pick up the check, she avoided eye contact with me because bitch knew she was wrong.

I love love love it when customers are wrong. Especially when I am new and it is quite possible that it was my fuck up. But not tonight lady. You moved tables and didn’t tell anyone about it and made the check all complicated for you and your pea brain. The customer is not always right.


Say Cheese, Asshole

My first day at my new job went off without a hitch with the exception of one huge asshole who sat at table 24. Do they follow me? Am I an asshole magnet? My fellow co-workers were shocked that this guy treated me the way he did. “We never get people like that. I am so sorry you had to deal with him.” Poor me, destined to deal with assholes no matter where I work. I may as well be a fucking proctologist.

So this place I work at now is pretty nice. Did I mention we have candles? Yeah, candles. Most of the folks that come in for the shows are prepared to drop a pretty penny for the cover charge and the two-drink minimum. But this guy was different. He plopped his fat ass at his seat. I gave him the shpiel about how he had to have two drinks while there and how helpful it would be to tell me both of them now so as not to interrupt him during the performance. “Do you gots Bud Light?” Being new to the job and seeing that he had a list of beers in front of him, I paused and told him I wasn’t sure. I looked at the list and said, “No, sorry just Amstel Light and Sam Adams Light.” He informed me that he would have an Amstel Light.

“Alright, sir. And would you like that for your second drink as well?”

“I dunno.” Long pause as he stared at me. “I’ll tell you what I do want though. Get the biggest glass you have. Fill it with ice. Then fill it with water. Then put a lemon in it. I want two of those right now.” I make my way to another table and he calls me again. “Do you have any food?” I suppose he doesn’t understand the purpose of the menu sitting in front of him.

“Yes sir, we do. I have hummus and pita chips, spinach artichoke dip-“

“No, no no. Food. Real food.”

“That is food sir. We do consume that.”

“Meat. Do you have any food that is meat?”

I was staring to hate this guy. “Then no sir, we don’t have any food.”

“What kind of food do you have then?”

I have now crossed the line from starting to hate this guy to actually hating this guy. I reiterated our food options and he finally agreed on the cheese plate and then berated me for not knowing the price without looking at the menu. He almost choked when I told him how expensive it was, but he ordered it. The table next to him told me “good luck” as I went to ring in his order. He yelled out to me he also wanted a shot of Jack Daniels. When I brought out his beer, shot and two waters (which he never touched) he told me he needed a Coke chaser and he was not paying for it because where he comes from you just automatically get a Coke chaser with a shot of Jack and he was not paying for it and he would not be paying for it. Got it, ass. Fine.

Halfway through the show he leaves his seat to come to the bar and complain that he is dissatisfied with his cheese plate. He was not paying for a plate of crackers with one piece of cheese. He would not be paying for it. Got it, fine. Meanwhile the other server went to retrieve said cheese plate and showed him several pieces of cheese that were still on it proving that it did have more than one piece as he claimed. “Well, I don’t like swiss!” (It was edam.) “And I don’t know what those other cheeses are!” (They were gouda and brie.) I guess he just didn’t recognize his old stalwart cheeses of American, cheddar and Whiz.

We took the cheese plate of his bill. After the show, he walked around the room talking to some of his friends and ignoring me as I waited to accept payment. About fifteen minutes later I hear the other server calling after him as he walked toward the door. “Sir, are you going to pay your check??” Asshole laughed. “Oh my Lord. I totally forgot about it. I’m sorry. How much do I owe you? Hardy har har.”

I ran his credit card and you know what the asshole did? On a $49 check, he left me ten bucks. I swear to God, I just don’t get people.


On Your Mark. Get set. Go.

Today is the big day. My new career as a cocktail server begins. After hours upon hours of highly intensive training with skilled professionals who know the ins and outs of serving liquid libations, I am ready to have my first very own shift at the new job. I am freaking out. I dreamed about it the other night too. One of those horrible waiting tables dreams that all servers have. You know the one: where you have a whole giant restaurant as your station and every single table is wanting your attention. They all need drinks refilled and food orders to be taken and people want their checks. You have about twenty credit cards to ring in and you can’t get caught up at all and you wake up covered in sweat. I hate that. Because in real life if I get that far into the weeds, I just go to the bathroom, wash my face, make a phone call, take a deep breath and figure “who gives a fuck?” But in the dreams for some reason I actually care. Hmmm, weird. Hopefully during my first real shift all my training will come to the forefront and make me a server superstar.

I trained for three shifts. For no pay. It’s such a drag to be the trailer because you do all the dirty work while the server you follow gets half the workload and all the tips. The first night they threw me a twenty dollar bill and a glass of wine so I felt like it was a real score. Little do they know I would have done it for the wine alone. The job definitely has some real potential and can I just reiterate how satisfying it is to have no kitchen? Really really satisfying. The food is minimal and all we have to do is throw some over-priced dip on a plate, pop it in the microwave, serve it and ring it in. Cha ching!

Surely after a few days of serving potent potables, new stories will come my way that I shall pass on. Since this is a new job, I have tried my hardest to conceal the Bitchy Waiter that lies beneath the surface. But he is there. Lurking in the shadows of glass racks and giant containers of Goldfish, he patiently waits for the perfect moment to emerge. When will someone push the button? That button that makes him think, “this lady needs a fucking punch in the cunt.” Wish me luck. I trudge ahead to make life better for the world, one table at a time.


Rest in Peace

Now that I have earned gainful employment at a new establishment, I finally feel free to write about my last job and how I was unceremoniously dumped from it. I won’t say the name of the place because that would be completely unprofessional, but they really acted like a total piece of shit. Well, when I say “they” I really mean the owner. My actual managers were all pretty cool and so were the people I worked with except for one guy. Man, this guy was a total fruit loop and really really old. (Hey, Bill! Luv ya!)

I gave VYNL on the Upper East Side the best eleven months of my life. I was on time, respectful, fastidious, reliable and loyal. And if you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know how well I treated my tables. For the last three months rumors were swirling that we would be closing but no one would confirm or deny. We were told that maybe the restaurant would close for two weeks to remodel and then reopen as a Mexican food restaurant, but we would all still have jobs. And in the two weeks that we would be closed, they would do their best to find us shifts in some of the other restaurants that the asshole owner owned. Or maybe they would give us a stipend to tide us over while the remodel happened. That talk slowly faded away. Because the owner is an asshole.

After weeks of rumors the most persistent one was that we would close by the end of August. Here it was the middle of the month and we still had no official word. So I called the corporate office.

“Thank you for calling Chowdown Inc, can I help you?”

“Uh, hi. My name is [The Bitchy Waiter] and I work at VYNL Second Avenue. I keep hearing that we are closing next week but no one will tell me if that’s true. Since I’ve worked there for almost a year, I feel like I should know if I will be unemployed next week. Can you tell me what’s going on?”

Pause. Pause. “I dunno. I haven’t heard anything about the restaurant closing.”

“Really?” I say incredulously. “Because I would think if one of your five restaurants were closing then if anyone would know about it, it would be the corporate office. Don’t you think that’s odd?”

“Have you asked you manager about it,” she asked me. Like I hadn’t thought of that brilliant idea.

“Yeah, I did. They say they don’t know either and I don’t know if they really don’t know or they’re just supposed to say they don’t know. You know? Can you understand my frustration?”

Pause. “You should ask John about this.” John is the asshole owner who had avoided coming into our location for the last few weeks because he knew we would ask him this very question.

I told her I would ask John. “Can I have his number?”

Pause. Pause. “I don’t know it.” Seriously? This bitch thinks I believe that she doesn’t have the number for her boss who is the president and owner of the company that she works for? She doesn’t know how to reach him? It must make it really difficult to give him his messages, poor thing. “I can send you to his voice mail,” she eeks out.

So I left him a completely professional voice mail-for real, totally professional- about how I just kinda needed to know if I should be looking for a job and could he please call me back when he gets a chance and all that. He didn’t call back. So I called back two days later and left another really nice voice mail which he didn’t return either. Because he’s an asshole.

A few days later we were finally told. On Thursday they informed us that we would be closing and our last day would be Sunday. They gave us three whole days of notice and I only had one shift left. On my last day we were told not to tell any of our tables that we were closing and reopening later. They didn’t want customers to know that it would be the same company with a different name and menu. I could totally respect that so I told every single table that we were closing and we were reopening later but it would be the same company with a different name and menu. I also told every table how little notice they gave us because I was totally playing the sympathy card. One regular we called Coach (hated him) overheard me telling someone we were closing in two days. His response? “Oh no! My turkey burger!” My response? “Oh no, my job!” That shut him up.

Two week later, I had not received my last paycheck, so I made a call to the corporate office. The clueless wonder of a receptionist said that she thinks they were mailed to another restaurant for us to go pick them up. Nevermind I didn’t work at that restaurant and was never told that was where my check would be. “I think they were going to see if anyone came to pick them up and if they didn’t they would mail them out to you.”

I responded. “Why would I go to a restaurant I have never worked at to get my final check after I was fired? I don’t wanna sit around for three weeks and wait until someone finally decides to put a stamp on my paycheck. Do me a favor. Call them and ask them to mail me my check tomorrow, please.” I got my check two days later.

And VYNL Second Avenue can eat it. Along with the owner, John. They both suck.

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Two Year Old Bitch in England

I may have found my new hero. Someone sent me a story (holla out to Bonnie) about a something that happened somewhere called Hallifax West Yorkshire in England-land. The link is at the bottom of the page but here is the gist of it written in a much more entertaining way and with much worse grammar.

Some family went to the grand opening of a Mexican restaurant and brought with them, as parents are apt to do, their two-year old child, Molly. Jeez, do parents have to take their kids everywhere? It’s so annoying. The parents were obviously pretty stupid because they were going to a Mexican restaurant. In England. What the fuck is that? Chicken enchiladas with a side of scone? And English Breakfast margaritas? Whatever. I guess the restaurant was really slammed, or as they say in the Queen’s English, “bartle bagged.” (I totally made that up.) The family had to wait a long time for their food and I guess (say this with a Cockney accent) the lit’le tyke got a might impatient waitin’ for ‘er food and threw a bit o’ a ‘issy fit. (You can stop with the Cockney accent. You’re really bad at it.) The article doesn’t say exactly what Molly did other than get a bit “moany” and “grumbly” but I am pretty sure I know how she behaved. She wanted to wander around the restaurant and get in people’s way and annoy other people who do not have kids. When her “mum” made her sit down, Molly began to scream at the top of her lungs and throw sugar packets and bread pudding spoons all over the fucking place. When the dad threatened to spank her arse, she cried until the food finally arrived making the waiter and every table around her hate dear sweet adorable Molly.

When they got the check they noticed at the bottom of it that something had been typed in underneath the food. It said, “thankyyou littell fucker.” Now even though there are some points deducted for spelling, it is clear what was being said. The check called Molly a little fucker. Bravo! Here ye here ye! My hero. This server is Queen of all Bitchy Waiters. Capital B. Capital W. Understandably, the family got in a tizzy for insulting their little precious bundle of cunt and demanded an apology and blah blah blah blah. I am sure they got the apology and probably a free order of fish n chips quesadillas too. The sad thing is the person responsible for the “offensive” remark got fired. Or “sacked” as they say they across the pond. The server was just speaking the truth. Had she lived in America maybe she could have stood behind the freedom of speech and all that crap, but seeing that she lived in jolly old England, they fired her British ass. Hopefully, that server will move on to her next position having learned something from her mistake. You can never insult the customer. What I mean is you can never insult the customer where they will find out about it. Say it in the kitchen, write on your pad, think it in your head. Do not print it on their check. Amateur.