Chardonnay=Pinot Grigio=Sauvignon Blanc

Now I am not a fancy wine drinker or anything. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like the stuff. In fact I am having a glass of it right now and it isn’t even from a box. It is from a really large bottle though. Like a two liter size that was on special at Bill’s Liquor Store down the street. I am also a big fan of the Two Buck Chuck you can get at Trader Joe’s. Like I said, I am having some right now so if there are typos, you will know whay. My point is I can’t tell the difference between one wine from the other. White from red, yes but among the whites? Forget it. Over the years I have worked in some pretty dumpy fuckin’ places (R.I.P. Houlihan’s) that served lots of wine. People always order it like they think they are a fucking sommelier. My thought is if you are ordering wine at Houlihan’s you ain’t no big deal. I love when they ask to taste it first and swirl the wine in the glass to get the bouquet before they give me approval to pour for the rest of the table. Gimme a break. Now, if you were in some high class fancy ass place that was known for their wine like Las Vegas or Olive Garden, then sure, you go to town. But at the crap houses I have worked at there is no reason to taste the wine before I serve it. I can already tell you it will taste like ass. But it’s always some guy trying to impress his date who wants to taste it first. He takes a sip and then furrows his brow and cocks his head before he nods very slowly as if to say, “ah yes, this is the finest glass of piss water I have had in ages. Very nice, Monsieur.” At least he can be sure he is getting what he ordered if he asks for the whole bottle. Plenty of times someone has asked for the pinot grigio, but we are out so we pour their ass a glass of sauvignon blanc and call it a day. Or a glass of chardonnay. Whatever. In all the times I have done this (and there have been plenty) not once did someone notice. I have been tempted to put a splash of cranberry into some chardonnay and see if I can pass it off as white zinfandel, but just have not done that yet. (Note to self: this weekend, put a splash of cranberry into some chardonnay and see if I can pass it off as white zinfandel.) It’s sorta like when someone orders a ginger ale and you can put a splash of Coke into a Sprite and they never know. For real. I worked at place for three years and we never carried ginger ale but I served it hundreds of times with that little trick.

Anyhoo, I am just sipping my chardonnay or pinot or whatever the fuck it is and thought about how people will drink whatever you place in front of them. They’re like cows. Only not as tasty when made into a hamburger.


Good Tip vs. Bad Tip

I was recently asked if I could spot a good tipper from a bad tipper by some waiter vibe that I have honed over my years of service. The answer is yes. Yes, I can tell when a person will be good tipper and when someone is a complete and utter piece of shit. I think most servers can do this to an extent, but I am exceptional at it. It takes practice and it’s almost like reading someones aura. You have to squint your eyes and look to the soul of the customer to determine the future tip. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

Contrary to popular belief, rich people are not necessarily good tippers. My x-ray vision can see right through their Rolex watches, diamond tennis bracelets and fur coats and recognize a cheap asshole or a bitch whore who became rich by hording their money and leaving crappy five and ten percent tips to waiters. I have never waited on Donald Trump, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say his tips suck worse than his hairdo. And that hairdo is pretty fucking bad. Here’s a tip for The Donald: Hats. Wear ’em. On the flip side, working class folks always seem to tip better. Surely it is because they are used to doing the menial labor and can appreciate the job that a waiter is doing for them. Or maybe there is some rule in the Wal-Mart handbook that says to leave a decent tip and always be nice. It is the only logical explanation really.

If someone looks directly in my eyes to order and knows how to say please and thank you, I can usually expect a decent tip. If they are pleasant to their spouse, their kids, their friends, then I can expect them to be pleasant to me and hopefully the tip will reflect that kindness. There are some exceptions. Nuns. They don’t tip well. They can be the sweetest thing this side of Jesus, but expect a quarter at most. I can’t blame them. I mean, where do they get their money? What is minimum wage for a nun anyway? They can’t be blowing all their cash on tips when they probably get paid with Bible verses, pennies and IOU’s from God saying He will make sure they will have a kick-ass mansion when they get to heaven. Generally though, nice people tip better.

Bad tippers usually have a way about them. Maybe they have shifty eyes or they mumble when they talk but you can always smell a bad tipper. No, seriously, they have an odor. They smell like cardamom spice and heavy cream that sat in the sun for a while. Not quite spoiled, but close to it. I also find that really hot chicks with big boobies leave crappy tips because they must think that just seeing their bosoms is enough for me. It isn’t. It so isn’t. There are also some people who leave other things instead of tips. One thing that popped up in the south a lot were pieces of paper that looked like dollar bills but were actually cards from a church that said things like “Smile, God Loves You” and “You Have Been Blessed!” That shit pissed me off because when I tried to deposit them into my account, it turns out the bank doesn’t accept that as money. And I recently read about a guy who was tipped with candy. Seriously? Save that shit for the trick-or-treaters, don’t tip me with it.

I guess the point is, all people tip what they want. We all hope for a good tip from the nice lady and don’t expect anything from the crotchety old man. Most of the time, the stereotype lives up to itself. Every once in a while, we are surprised by a 20% tip from a crazy looking bitch who only wanted hot water and lemons and yelled about her salad being wrong. But for the most part, we waiters can sense when we will hit pay dirt and when to brush them off. It just takes practice.

Not Your Turn, Lady

We had a really busy night the other night. I think we had about eighty-something people there and only two of us serving. The difference with this place as opposed to a restaurant is that everyone comes in at once, orders at once and then leaves at once. If the show is at 7:30, at 7:15 we are taking orders for every single person and then when the show is done all of them want the check right that second. It gets a little hairy and sometimes people have to wait. Most people are okay with it. Some are not.

The show had ended and I had collected most of my checks. I was setting the room for the next show when this bat out of hell rushes up to me looking like she is having a stroke. She was so angry. She couldn’t even keep her eyes open because they were squished together in petulance. I hadn’t noticed her before because she was not in my section. “I am so upset. I am so upset. Why is it taking so long to get my check? Why am I the last one? I mean I wasn’t the last one to arrive so why am I the last one now? I am so upset. This is crazy!” The lady was about to cry. Her hands were balled up into fists and she was shaking them up and down. Her face was completely wrinkled and and her brow was furrowed to the nth degree. She also had really frizzy hair that was obviously dyed black and wasn’t age appropriate. That has nothing to do with her behavior, but it should be duly noted.

I reached my hand out to her and gently touched her forearm. “Hi there. Is everything okay?” I asked.

“I don’t know where my waiter is and why he is taking so long,” she screeched at me.

Pulling my hand away from her for fear that it would get sucked into the vacuum that was her bitchiness, I told her I was certain that her waiter was taking care of her check and would be right back.

She screams at me. “But I am so upset that it is taking so long, I just don’t understand it!”

I paused for a moment and said, “I’m sorry but did I do something that upset you?”

She looked at me like I had just asked her to solve the health care crisis. “No,” she said like it was the most ridiculous question I could have asked.

“Then why are you yelling at me?” Pause. Pause. Staring at her all the while. After sufficient awkwardness on her part, off I go to finish my sidework as she stood there with her mouth open. Dumb bitch. Didn’t she learn in kindergarten that someone has to be last? Jesus, someone just has to be last. It may as well be the ugliest woman in the room.


Here’s the Story of a Lovely Lady

My life missed being perfect and whole by a mere twenty-four hours. I worked on October 11th, but if I would have worked on October 10th instead, my life could have been completely different. Everything in the world would have come together to make sense and my days would be complete for I would have been serving Florence Henderson. Yes, I am speaking of the brilliant actress known the world over as Carol Brady from my favorite television show ever, The Brady Bunch. I was told that she was in the club the night before and when I found out, my heart broke into as many pieces as the vase that Greg, Peter and Bobby broke by playing ball in the house. The Brady Bunch is genius and to have had the opportunity to serve Carol Brady herself would have been a slice of heaven for me. Seriously. I love her.

I love her as much as Marcia loved Davy Jones in episode #63 “Getting Davy Jones.” You know the one? Where she is president of his fan club and promises that she can get him to sing at the prom? And she does! She loves him so much that when he knocks on her front door to be her date, she freaks out and slams the door in his face. I would have been like that with Florence Henderson. She would have ordered her drinks and then I would have run away giggling because Carol Brady asked me to brink her a martini extra dry, dirty with olives.

I idolize her like Bobby idolized football superstar Joe Namath in episode #96 “Mail Order Hero” where he and Cindy fake a serious illness just so Joe will come to see him and then he gets to play football in the backyard with him. Okay, I don’t really want to play football with Florence, but I idolize her just the same.

I am obsessed. Like when Greg becomes obsessed with baseball and Don Drysdale in episode #26 “The Dropout” and can think of nothing else. His grades slip because all he wants to do is eat, drink and sleep baseball. All I want to do is eat, drink and sleep Florence Henderson. The very thought of serving her makes my head swell up bigger than Marcia’s nose did in episode #90 “The Subject Was Noses” when Peter hits her smack in the face with a football.

Alas, I missed my opportunity by one night. Why, oh why could I have not been scheduled for the 10th when the Goddess known as Carol Brady graced my station? I weep with misfortune. And just in case you think this post is not enough about serving, let me briefly mention episode #104 “Marcia Gets Creamed” where she is the afternoon manager at Haskell’s Ice Cream Hut and hires Peter who is a crappy waiter and fires him and then hires Jan who is a fantastic server and then mean old Mr. Haskell fires Marcia and keeps Jan instead. Ah, the perils of food service are fraught with difficulty even in the land of Brady.

I did serve one famous person that night; Broadway star
Tammy Grimes. She’s cool. Has a couple of Tony Awards. But she ain’t no Carol Brady.

Thou Shalt Not Tweet at Work

Everyone is jib-jabbering about the California waiter who Tweeted about getting stiffed by the actress Jane Adams. If you have been living under a fucking rock, here is the link to the full E! True Hollywood Story. I guess he tweeted that she walked on the check, his boss found out and then they tweeted his ass to the curb. Fired. Supposedly, she forgot her purse in her car and went out to get it and then just didn’t come back in to pay. We’ve all heard that one before. That’s right up there with “the check is in the mail” and “trust me, I’ll pull out.” One of her people came back the next day and paid the tab, but left no tip. So he tweeted about that too. Long story short, he is unemployed for talking about his own personal life. Pity. So many people have sent me this news piece as a sort of warning I suppose. Thank you, people. What can we learn from this sad story?

First off, we can assume that Jane Adams may or may not be a thieving celebrity who may have had no intention of ever paying her check in the first place. She may or may not have done this before as well as shoplifted, kidnapped, burgled, counterfeited and committed grand theft auto and arson. I don’t know any of these things for sure, I’m just saying that she could have.

We also learn that maybe it is not the best thing to Tweet, blog, Facebook, text or whatever about the specifics of your job. That would just be career suicide. Follow my lead. I never never ever talk specifically about the place that I work or have worked with the exception of Bennigan’s, Houlihan’s, Pizzeria Uno, VYNL, Black Eyed Pea and every other place I have ever worked. Stay vague. And do not talk shit about your boss, unless his name is John and he owns VYNL in New York City, because he can suck it. Honestly, I don’t give too much of a shit because everything I said about him and his crappy restaurant is true so what can he do? Sue me for truthfulness?

Finally, we learn that if you wait on a famous person, treat them like every other nobody in your station. Famous people are whores who want more and more attention and if you fawn over them or give them special attention, their heads swell to abnormal proportions. When Miss Famous Actor said she forgot her purse, the waiter should have told her the same thing I say to some loser bag who tells me that tired excuse. “Well, you better call someone to bring you some money or get your ass in the kitchen and introduce yourself to the stack of dirty dishes, because you owe me some cash, bitch.” The only famous person I have written about serving is that old man who played Palmer Courtland on All My Children and I didn’t say anything bad about him. (He was with a really hot younger guy who I can only assume was his gay homosexual lover. Can we say Sugar Daddy?) I also wrote another story about Doris Roberts from Everybody Loves Raymond, but that story was told to me by someone else so the fact that she was a bitch is just secondhand information and might not be true at all. Although it probably is. I’m just sayin’.

The Bitchy Waiter wishes good luck on the poor server who was fired for speaking the truth about his famous customer who tried to steal. Hopefully, one door closing will mean another door is opening and he will soon be living life to the fullest again and taking food orders and carrying drinks to people who are much more successful than he is. Godspeed, waiter. Fare thee well. And Jane Adams, you might be habitual criminal. Just sayin’.


No Cell Phones, Please

Being in a new serving environment has opened up a whole new can of worms regarding annoyances. At the last job, it was like a can of Upper East Side stroller mom bitch worms, while at this place it’s an occasional worm of total cluelessness. Seeing that I now work in a classy joint with candles and performers, the customers are, for the most part, pretty aware of the situation. They are there to see a show. A performer will be on the stage in front of them singing songs and baring their soul and they do not want to hear a fucking cell phone go off. It baffles me that people can listen to an announcement that says to please turn off all cell phones and then just not do it. In a restaurant, it’s annoying, but not a deal breaker. In a movie, it disturbs me, but movies are full of people who have no manners so it’s kinda expected. At a Broadway show, that shit really pisses me off because I paid an arm, a leg, an eyeball and my left nipple for the ticket and don’t be ruining my night at the theater.

A few nights ago, the place was pretty full because the performer was popular and the show had good reviews. The announcement came on that said to cease and desist with the cell phone crap and to enjoy the show. I was dealing with table 34 and trying to get them to understand that there was a two-drink minimum. Bitch ordered a cranberry seltzer and then wanted to know if tap water could count as her second drink. What do you think the answer is to that? She really just wanted water for the second drink which is totally fine by me. One five dollar bottled water it is. Her husband wanted the same thing. Already they were annoying the piss out of me because their check was going to be for $20 before the cover charge so maybe I was looking at a three dollar tip. Wishing they had ordered the $15 Pear Cosmos, I shuffled off to get their drinks. I was mentally done with them because two cranberry seltzers and two bottled waters means nothing to me at the new job. I like to focus on the old men with big swollen alcohol noses who will order three or four Jack Daniels in the course of one hour. I love those fucking losers.

About three songs into the evening, I hear a cell phone go off. The performer somehow didn’t hear it, or if they did they just ignored it. If it was my ass up on the stage, I’d be all up in their business and embarrass the hell out of the bitch who doesn’t know how to hit vibrate or silent. It rings a second time. I look over at Miss Cranberry Seltzer and she is rifling through her giant pleather purse to find her phone. I inch my way towards her so I can shoot her a crusty just as she pulls the phone out of her bag. And the she answers it. What the fuck? She thinks she is whispering. “Hello?,” she says all scrunched down in her seat like it makes a difference. “Oh hi there. How are you? Uh huh…uh huh…oooh, okay…well, alright. Listen, I’ve gotta go, I’m at a show… I’m seeing a show. A show.” She finally hangs up.

Seriously? This place only hold about 100 people and it’s really small. She was about twelve feet away from the stage and she thought it was alright to have a freaking telephone conversation? I handed her the five dollar bottle of water and gave her a mental cunt punch. The show ended without incident, but I can see that this job will have its own idiosyncrasies for me to get used to. Like bitches who use their phone while I’m trying to serve drinks and someone else is trying to sing.