Category Archives: Best of Bitchy Waiter

Your Server Does Not Want to Sing Happy Birthday To You.

"I need birthday singers."

“I need birthday singers.”

This post was pretty popular when it went up a few weeks ago because everyone who has waited tables has had to deal with the dreaded “I need birthday singers” moment. Since I am on vacation and acting like everyday is my birthday (in other words, eating cake and drinking cocktails at all possible times), it seemed only natural to post it again.

On my birthday, I like to do things that involve people who care about me. I surround myself with my husband and good friends like Marlene, Scott and Svedka. These are the people who I think don’t mind singing the Happy Birthday Song to me and then when it’s their birthday I return the favor. It’s what people do.

You know who does not want to sing the Happy Birthday Song to you? Your server, that’s who. A reader sent me a little story about what went down in her section a couple of weeks ago. I am not going to give his name because I don’t want to take the chance that the is violating a social media contract. Basically, the story is this: at his corporate restaurant, they banned singing happy birthday because of a lawsuit involving harassment. He didn’t give me the details but I assume it went something like, “Oh my God, these bitches cain’t sing at all and they are ruining my Awesome Blossom eatin’ time. Harassment!” Anyhoo, the servers at his restaurant are exempt from the hell that is known as “I need birthday singers.” A lady came into the restaurant with her little girl and asked that they sing for her birthday. The server said they can’t do it, but gave her a free dessert anyway. The lady talked to the manager who confirmed that it was not gonna happen. The lady then got all pissed off and stiffed the server on a $32 bill and left this note which I Photoshopped a little bit so you can’t see what restaurant it came from:

Crappy birthday!

Crappy birthday!

“We wanted to give a better tip but felt no accommodations were given or consideration for the child’s birthday. It was her choice to come here but no candle or any type of celebration was done. We are kinda disappointed…!”

You know what, Mom? Get the fuck over it. If it’s the restaurant’s policy to not sing the goddamn stupid ass happy fucking birthday song, then that’s how it goes. Eat your free piece of thawed out birthday cake and move on. And what kind of life are you living if your daughter’s idea of a great birthday is to go to some chain restaurant that’s in the parking lot of a mall? When I was a kid, I celebrated my birthday in my back yard with my friends. My mom and dad would buy a sheet cake from Albertson’s and make some Kool-Aid and then all the kids from the neighborhood would come over and we’d play on the swing set. At some point, we’d sit at a big table and I would let them all serenade me until I was given the cue to to rip open my presents. That’s what a kid’s birthday should be like. The server told me that you said her “big day was ruined.” Well, honey, if my birthday passed without a bunch people I don’t know begrudgingly singing Happy Birthday to me off-key, I’d call that a rip-roaring success. And you’re mad because they didn’t put a candle in the cake? They didn’t have any fucking candles. Do you want your server to pull one out of her ass? Or how about they just put a chopstick in it and light it on fire? Or a Bic lighter? Would that have made her “special day” any better? And then you’re not going to leave a tip? Why in the hell does the server have to pay the price for a corporate policy? If you’re unhappy with the policy at a restaurant, do what every other disappointed customer does these days: go to Yelp and write a review about it and then go to their Facebook page and complain until they send you a fucking coupon for a free Apple Chimicheesecake and 10% off your next visit.

And to the little girl, I say this: aim higher. The next time your mom wants to take you somewhere for your big day, choose someplace where she’s gonna have to dig a little deeper into her pockets. You’re worth more than $32 (and that was for two adults and two children, by the way.) When you are older and look back on this day of disappointment, you will realize that not having the servers sing to you was a blessing in disguise. When I worked at Houlihan’s in Times Square, we were all singers. Before and after work, all of us were auditioning for Broadway shows. We could sing, like really sing, but when someone asked us to sing to them for their birthday, we would choose five different keys and and turn the volume to “shut the hell up.” It was not pretty. It was just our way to make that special day as memorable as possible. Hopefully next year, your mom can take you to Chuck E. Cheese or better yet, she will pony up the cash for a sheet cake from Costco and you can be surrounded by people who actually care about you and will want to sing Happy Birthday to you.

Okay, I’m done. That just rubs me wrong when people stiff the server for something the server has nothing to do with. Just remember: no server ever ever ever wants to sing happy birthday to you. Ever.

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Michael Cera ♥’s Chess

Clueless Famous Person

Clueless Famous Person

I am still on vacation and we continue with this lousy “Best of Bitchy Waiter” bullshit. Of course I have to repost this classic about Michael Cera because it is the most viewed post ever in the history of The Bitchy Waiter. It really stirred things up and made for great comments about what an asshole I am for writing about it. It really brought out the ire in people, especially chefs who said they’d rather have a famous person like Michael Cera sitting in their restaurant and playing chess than a no-talent hack blogger like me. But fuck them. I am reposting anyway.

Famous people live by their own set of rules. I don’t believe it’s necessarily because they are all horrible people but because they live in a bubble where people never tell them “no.” They probably surround themselves with “yes men” who are there simply to confirm that every decision they make is a good one even if it’s not. It’s a horrible cycle that continues because famous people are so delusional and the people around them allow it to continue.

I am going out to dinner in Brooklyn to a great place called Buttermilk Channel. They are known for their fried chicken which is served on a waffle, but me, being the purist that I am, can only enjoy fried chicken when it is of the nugget variety so I always opt for a hamburger. It is a Tuesday night and they are slammed as always. There are three of us and we put our name on the list and begin our wait. We are told it will take about fifteen minutes, but I can see that the restaurant is full of two-tops so it’s going to be a while before two two-tops leave at the same time opening up a place to push two tables together for the three of us. The bar is full as well, so we stand on the sidewalk. We are in no hurry and take the time to catch up on our lives and appreciate the late summer weather. After about twenty minutes, I see the hostess come outside with menus in hand but she escorts another group of people to their table. We continue to wait, which is fine. We understand that it is a busy night and people are sitting at all the tables and enjoying their delicious fried chicken. After another twenty minutes, it’s our turn. The hostess leads us to a table in the back of the restaurant and as we walk through the dining room, I habitually survey the situation to see how things appear to be going for those at work. All the tables are full and the servers are busy but smiling. The hostess leads us to our table but right before we get to ours, I notice something unusual. I see a four top-that has only two people at it, a man and a woman, which is a bit surprising seeing how full the restaurant is. That is not the thing that is so unusual though. The two people at the table are playing a game of chess. They have rolled out a portable plastic chess board and are in the middle of some checkmate shit.

“Who the fuck thinks it’s okay to play chess in a busy restaurant?” I ask my friends as we sit down. “And why the hell is the restaurant letting them do that? That’s fucked up.”

We sit down and look at our menus, but the conversation quickly turns back to the Bobby Fischer wannabes at the table next to us. “That’s shitty,” I say again. “They are taking up a four-top to play chess and we waited for a table for forty fuckin’ minutes. Who the hell does that shit?”

“I think I know who the hell does that shit,” says my friend Jane. “Look who that guy is.”

I focus my attention to the guy at the table and I see a young hipster-looking dude who is drinking a cappuccino and holding a rook in his hand as he stares at his rolled out chess board. He looks familiar and I try to recognize where I know him from. “Is he from our neighborhood? Did I used to work with him? Was I his babysitter once? Who is he, how do I know him?”

“Isn’t that the guy from Arrested Development?” says Jane.

“Is it? I can’t tell.”

At this point, Chess King says something to his Chess Queen and I instantly recognize the voice of George-Michael Bluth. Michael Cera is sitting next to us and he is taking up a four-top so that he can play fucking chess.

“We waited for forty minutes so George-Michael could play chess? Awwwww, hell no. Lemme get my phone out and take a picture of this bullshit ’cause this right here is a fucking blog post.”

I reach into my bag and tell my husband to lean over so I can make it look like I am taking a picture of him when really I just want photographic evidence of a celebrity taking advantage of his celebrity.

Michael Cera

Michael Cera

We watch George-Michael finish his game of chess and then we watch him start another game of chess. We are at the restaurant for an hour and when we leave, he is still playing chess. It blows me away that a restaurant would let anyone, no matter how famous they are, take a up a table for that long in a busy restaurant when they aren’t even eating. That’s what Starbucks and your own fucking living room are for. As we leave, I approach someone who works at the restaurant. (I told this person I would not give away their identity.)

“Hi,” I say. “Can I ask you a quick question?”

They oblige.

“I write a blog about waiting tables. It’s called the Bitchy Waiter-”

“Wait, you’re The Bitchy Waiter?? Oh my god, I love that blog!!”

I resist the urge to turn the conversation to more about myself and say, “About that guy playing chess at the table back there.”

The employee’s eyes roll. “Oh, Michael Cera?”

“Yeah, you guys are so busy. What kind of person does that?”

“Someone who has never worked in a restaurant, that’s who.”

I am told that he got there at 6:30 PM. It is now 9:30 PM.

“Did he eat dinner?” I ask.

“He ordered mussels a couple of hours ago.”

I give my business card to the employee and promise them that this will be a blog very soon and leave the restaurant.

Michael Cera has no clue that there was anything wrong with what he was doing. In his world of celebrity, he has made it okay in his brain to use a busy restaurant as his own personal game room No one at the restaurant wanted to tell him that he needed to wrap it up because the restaurant doesn’t want to take the chance of pissing off a famous person and risking that they will never come back again. So the cycle continues. Celebrities make self-involved decisions and no one is willing to tell them otherwise. I did the same thing. I thought about giving him one of my business cards as I walked out so he could read about how his selfish behavior affects others but I didn’t. However, I did write this blog post about him and maybe, if he has a Google alert on himself like I do, he will get an email that will alert him to this blog. If you are reading this, Michael, please pay attention:

It would be fine to take up a table in a restaurant for three or more hours if you were using that table to eat. It is not cool though to sit there and play chess all night making other people have to wait even longer for a table. I suppose it could have been worse though. You could have played Risk or Monopoly and that shit would have taken even longer. No one told you what you were doing was wrong because they didn’t want to upset a famous person. But I am telling you now that it is not cool. If you want to play chess for three hours, do it where everyone else does; at your own home or at Union Square. It’s rude, famous or not, it’s rude.

I hope you will share this so perhaps it will eventually fall into the lap of Michael Cera or one of his people so he can learn the error of his ways.

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Sloppy Drunk Red Meat Sex

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Red Meat Love Story

Okay, this post did not do well the first time it went up so it can hardly be considered a “Best of Bitchy Waiter.” However, I really liked it and thought it was worth putting up again. And since it’s Saturday and I am on vacation, I plan on having a big juicy steak tonight.

As I lead the two customers to Booth 9, I surmise that the booth may be too small to accommodate their rather large frames. They look at it and ask to sit at a table. I am embarrassed for not thinking of this sooner, but I am so accustomed to people clamoring for a booth that it is habit to lead them to an empty one. The woman seems to have already been drinking but it does not stop them from ordering a bottle of red wine. After the wine is poured, I take their order.

“I want a New York shell steak, black and blue,” says the man. “Tell the cook to just sear it on each side and out it on the plate. I don’t mind if it’s still mooing when it gets here.”

The woman smiles at me, revealing purple teeth proving that she has in fact already had plenty of wine earlier, if not moments before, then continuously for several years.

“I’ll have a blue cheese burger medium-rare with no bun and no fries, but with a salad instead,” she slurs.

I step over to the computer to ring in their order and watch as they reach across the table and fondle each other’s hands. At first, it seems rather sweet but after a few minutes it looks more like molestation than affection. Their hands are twisted together in some kind of thumb-battle rape situation and she is staring into his eyes with the intensity of the Death Star. They suck down the wine, never breaking their stare.

When I place their food before them, I fear that the steak is going to be over-cooked, for Juan tends to think that people don’t really want their meat rare. The man cuts into the steak and I watch blood and juice spill out onto the plate and swirl around in a pool of not-well-doneness.

“Well, this more medium-rare, but I guess it will do,” he says.

I offer to have the steak recooked, but he insists it is fine. Meanwhile, his lady lover has her bleary eyes set on her burger. I leave them to their meal and step aside to observe how much more she can drink before dissolving onto a puddle of drunk. I can tell that the man is not happy with his steak and I feel bad that it came out wrong. On the other hand, I’m just the server and all I can do is tell the kitchen how to make it and hope they comprendé. If he doesn’t want me to get him another one, I have done all I can do.

By this point, the lady seems trashed. Her face is flushed and she very often stops eating to rest her chin on her hands. She manages to eat all of the burger but I notice that the man has eaten only half of the steak. Then, I watch as he takes the steak and slides it onto her plate. It drips with blood and he tells her to eat it. She does.

She picks up his steak knife and cuts off a huge portion of meat and slowly and seductively puts in into her mouth, never taking her eyes off of his. She crams the big piece of meat into her pouty little mouth and begins to chew. And chew. And chew. I alert one of my co-workers to the show. We are watching some kind of ritualistic red-meat foreplay and the man seems to be quite enjoying it. She begins to swallow with great difficulty, tilting her head downward and moving her closed fist to her mouth with her eyes closed.

“Is she choking?” my friend asks.

“I hope not, because I don’t know the Heimlich, do you?”

“Well, there’s a poster about it in the side stand-wait, she’s okay!”

She swallows hard and then looks up at her Man Meat and smiles to show not just purple teeth but a need for a case of dental floss.

“How was it?” he asks.

“Soooo good. I want more,” she says and she cuts off an even bigger piece of beef and stuffs it into her face.

“Is this for real?” asks my co-worker.

We watch as she struggles to get the piece of meat down, ignoring any gag reflex she may have once had. She again closes her eyes and looks downward, covering her mouth once more with her hand that is now covered with meat juice. Once the meat is down her food pipe, she takes the final swig of wine in her glass. She tugs at her sweater to achieve a sexy off-the-shoulder look and then pulls her bra strap down exposing a bare shoulder with an angry red mark from where her bra strap had been. After a few minutes of no more ingesting, I go to the table and ask if they are finished.

They are. I remove their plates and offer dessert, but I have a feeling that dessert will be had later this evening and it won’t involve anything on our menu. They ask for the check and I give it to them, minus the steak because I know it was not to his liking although I think he quite enjoyed it in other ways. He is very generous with his tip (that’s what she said) and I am happy that it has all worked out.

He gets up and goes around the table to help his Meat Eater to her feet. She leans on him and the two of them stumble out of the restaurant on their way home to some corpulent copulation.

I imagine that when they get home he says something like, ‘Show me again how you took all that meat.”

And she’s all, “Oh yeah, baby, why don’t you feed me that tube steak?”

And he says,” Do you think you can take it all?”

And she goes, “I can take it all if you put enough A-1 sauce on it, baby.”

And he’s all, “Oh, yeah, baby, lemme smother it with some A-1 sauce and then I’ll throw some cracked pepper corns on it with some heavy cream.”

And she’s all, “Steak au poivre me, baby, steak au poivre me right now!”

And he does and when he climaxes it’s worcestershire sauce and when she climaxes she shoots out a loaded baked potato.

It is some sloppy drunk red meat sex.

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The Lamb, the Bitch and The Chambord

I just want lamb.

I just want lamb.

I am on vacation and since I was too lazy to write anything in advance and too lazy to ask for guest bloggers, I have decided to do a “Best of Bitchy Waiter” for a few days. (Totally lame, I know.) As you read this post, just know that I am in Miami on South Beach drinking frozen cocktails and trying to tan my pasty white body.

The scheduling Gods smiled down on me last week and granted me a Saturday off. When the schedule first appeared, I gave it a cursory glance expecting to see my usual days off. However, since I had volunteered to work on Labor Day, I was rewarded with a Saturday off instead. When I saw the word “OFF” on a Saturday, my jaw dropped to the floor that I was supposed to have mopped earlier that morning but didn’t because it seemed pretty clean already and why not just make the lights a little dimmer instead? After I reinserted my eyeballs into their sockets, they glazed over at the thought of doing regular Saturday morning things like all those other people who have “real jobs.” Brunch, maybe, or shopping. Or brunch!

I thought it might be nice to spend the day on Governors Island which is only a short ferry ride from Manhattan but a world away. I had never been there before because it is only open on the weekends. Once I looked at their website and determined that they were open and that they did indeed serve cocktails, it was a done deal. Onto the ferry I went, venturing across the East River and through Buttermilk Channel and into a world of island adventure. Once there, I discovered that there was an vintage French carnival happening with with French music piped in through speakers on the tress. Old fashioned carnival rides were everywhere and surrounding that were buildings housing art installations. Further beyond was a massive field with a free miniature golf course and a food court. There were old forts and castles to explore and bicycles to rent and live musicians and food and gift shops. It was truly like being in another country and if not another country, at least it was not Queens.

After some exploring of the island, it was time to quench my thirst and I found a place that had cocktails all made with Chambord, you know, since it’s French and shit. The Chambord Lemonade was exactly what my parched throat needed; Chambord, Vodka and fresh-squeezed lemonade. My empty stomach thanked me for the drink and within minutes, my buzz was nice and rolling, much like the hills before me that children were rolling down. As I sat and listened to a woman sing in French, the smell of pommes frites filled my nose holes and I knew that before cocktail number two, I needed some of those fried potatoes, so I went to the line at the food counter.

The line was long and I went to the front to ask if they took credit cards or cash only. I saw a woman standing at the front of the line holding her baby. She was a young woman, nicely dressed and attractive, but her behavior was quite the opposite of her appearance. She was angry and yelling at the woman behind the counter.

“No, I want leg of lamb. You fucking told me that it would be ready at 5:00 and it’s not.”

“Yes, ma’am, I know, but it’s not ready yet.” The counter worker was calm and professional.

“I have been standing in this line for too damn long and the only reason I waited was because you told me that it would be ready and now it’s not fucking ready. I don’t appreciate that.”

“Ma’am, I understand that, but it’s simply not ready. What else would you like?”

“I’d like some leg of lamb.”

“Other than that, what can I get you?” She rattled off the available items which included several other option, none of them being leg of lamb.

The woman went bat-merde crazy. “Fuck this bullshit. I want to talk to the person over you.”

“That would be the chef, and he is busy.”

“Then I want to talk to the person over him.”

“You’re talking to me, ma’am.”

I couldn’t believe that this lady couldn’t let the lack of lamb go. It was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect, it’s Saturday and we’re on an island in the river and there are worse things that staring at the water on a Saturday.

“Fuck this. I don’t appreciate this bullshit,” she continued “I am in management and when something goes wrong I accept responsibility for it. That’s what I do. Are you accepting responsibility for this? Are you? Cause you told me you’d have fucking leg of lamb and now you don’t.”

Meanwhile, her baby looked bored like it was thinking, “Here we go again…my mom’s being a bitch.”

“Yes, ma’am. I accept responsibility. “Listen, my crew has been here since 8 AM. We took our first break at 5:00 and we will be here until 1:00 tonight. We stopped to eat and things took a little longer than we expected.”

“That’s not my problem, how long you’ve been at work. I waited in line for forty minutes for leg of lamb and now I’m not getting any.”

I stood there and watched that poor woman behind the counter and felt sorry for her that she was being verbally dumped on by this woman. And then I remembered something: “I am not at work.”

“Excuse me,” I said to Lamb Lady. “You’re holding up the line complaining about something you’re not gonna get. Why don’t you just choose something that’s available and chill the fuck out, lady?”

She turned her venom at me now. “If you don’t like it then you can go get in another fucking line!”

Another woman turned to me and said, “In her defense, they did tell her it would be ready and she’s been in the line for a really long time.”

“THERE’S. NO. LEG. OF. LAMB. Let it go. Move on,” I bellowed. “Is yelling at someone gonna make it cook faster? It’s alright to curse at someone? And while you’re holding your baby? Maybe you’d like the lamb now and you can just eat it raw.”

“Fuck you,” she told me.

I looked at her and saw her as every vile customer who has ever mistreated me. I raised my right hand and flapped my fingers to the thumb repeatedly as if I had a puppet on my hand. “Blah, blah, blah,” I said. “Get over it.”

She gave up her fight and stomped away from the line, sans leg of lamb. I gave a smile of support to the woman behind the counter and then decided that fries were no longer needed but a cocktail was.

I went back to the bar area to get another Chambord Lemonade and continued watching the live musicians. My drink was cold and the sun was warm. I felt good about my day off and even better that I was able to put a customer in her place. Why do people think they can mistreat those who serve them? I think it’s because they know that we can’t fight back unless we are willing to lose our job. People like this Lamb Bitch take advantage of the situation and use it to make themselves feel better about their lot in life. If she truly was “in management” then she should know that no one wants to be treated the way she was treating that woman. It felt wonderful to be able to stand up for that woman who was being screamed at. It felt great to tell a customer, although not mine, to chill the fuck out. I felt satisfied. I took another sip of my Chambord Lemonade and listened to another Edith Piaf song and gave thanks for my Saturday off.


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