You may or may not know I am a server at a smallish restaurant here in Ruidoso and normally I like my job. Or maybe I just like the money and lack of stress to take home with me when the day is done. That’s not to say that many a night during the summer I didn’t have crazy awake-dreams where I thought I was still at the restaurant, or that customers were at my house waiting to eat or something, but usually most of the manic stress happens at the P.O.B.
This is also not to say that I haven’t broken down from time to time (what my boss refers to as "cracking up"). I try to keep those instances to a minimum and just keep my adrenaline to myself until later, but I have been formulating a list in my head about stuff that makes me NUTS about restaurant customers, and thought I’d share what I can remember here....
Special eaters - Go the F*CK home. No one wants to deal with your aversion to butter or salt or peas or cheese or meat or eggs or capers or cumin. That’s why you go out to restaurants... the food tastes better because the cooks use more of that "bad" stuff to taste up your normally bland food. And your server pretends to care, but we don’t. We secretly loathe you and honestly, unless someone has a severe allergy, I probably don’t even say anything and neither do you because -GASP- your food tastes good that way! ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the time someone designed a recipe one way because it works. They know what they’re doing. Leave well enough alone.
Ten percenters - The year is 2008, not 1958. The norm for tipping these days is twenty percent. If you can’t afford to tip your server, you can’t afford to eat at an establishment that employs people to refill your drinks, bring you your food, ask you if you need anything else. Go to Arby’s. They don’t expect tips because they get paid more than three bucks an hour. And seriously, I don’t think restaurant patrons know how much this means to a server. Give them the twenty percent, and maybe give them a dollar more. ONE DOLLAR. You have no idea how you could make someone’s day.
Well-done steak eaters - Stop kidding yourself when you try to order a steak medium-rare by saying, "Wellllll... What’s medium here? I like it just pink in the middle, but still juicy." "Medium is still going to be a little bloody, dear patron." "Oh, no, no, no. No blood." Mental note: Hmmm, ok. How about medium-well, you nasty bastard? And when you say it’s too dry and ask for steak sauce you can kiss my ass because we don’t have any.... Just effing order the steak how you want it. I won’t say anything to your face...
Flavored tea drinkers/straw users - Let’s start here with a question: Who started this flavored tea trend? Trust me, I love a flavored tea as much as the next idiot, but I would never expect an establishment to carry flavored teas unless it was like "Aunt Bea’s Flavored Tea Emporium". So stop acting so surprised when I tell you we only have regular iced tea. And to those of you who require a straw to drink a beverage... I don’t get it. If you have serious tooth sensitivity, you should carry your own straws with you. If you don’t like your lips to touch a restaurant glass, you are a lunatic. And if you’re a kid, too bad. You need to learn how to drink out of a glass like the rest of functioning society.
Obese people - You gross me out and I don’t even want to feed you because it’s like enabling an alcoholic. You ask for a fourth basket of bread and extra butter and another Diet Coke, and I die a little bit inside. Then you can’t decide if you want to get dessert because you’re so full. Just get it. You know you’re going to eat that half gallon of rocky road when you get home regardless. Might as well add another six bucks to my sales...
Old people - You don’t have an appetite, so don’t go out to eat. You want your coffee at temperatures that cause evaporation. You ask for ice to put in your wine. You tip badly. You smell. You ask for salt and pepper before I have even given you a menu (Which reminds me to tell you that you are an uncouth jerk if you season your food before you taste it). You complain more than anyone and that makes me hate you.
Wannabe sommeliers - Having you taste the wine before I pour you a glass is NOT to see whether or not you like the wine. It is to make sure the bottle has not turned because of the cork, etc. If you don’t like it, that’s your fault because you don’t know what kind of wine you ordered/like. And by the way, smelling the cork is for morons. If you want to squeeze it to make sure it’s not dry or rotted, be my guest. But smelling it forces me to probably give you a look of severe disdain that you don’t recognize because you don’t know me. And to those of you who drink white zinfandel... I am not even going to go there. You are just revoltingly lame.
Table movers/chair swappers - I’ll keep this simple. The host seated you in one place for a reason. Stay there unless there is a REALLY good reason to move. And leave the chairs where they are. If you have a bony ass or hemorrhoids, carry around your donut cushion because that is not my fault.
Wow. I honestly probably have a list ten times this long with more nuggets you can’t live without. It’ll get worse. Maybe I’ll get some more written down. Until then, if you haven’t seen Waiting, watch it. It’s incredibly accurate where restaurants are concerned and if you’re never going to wait tables to see what it’s like, you need to be taught a lesson by Ryan Reynolds and Luis Guzman. Watch it immediately if not sooner. If nothing else, it’s funny as hell.