23 August 2009

Tips for Dining Out: A Diatribe

Here's a depressing thought: I've been waiting tables for almost a decade. Ten years of serving the American public has left me a bit of a misanthrope.

I currently work at a popular casual dining restaurant. I work Saturdays and Sundays on weekends during the school year, and during the summer I've been working Thursdays through Sundays. The extra two shifts bring in enough cash for me not to feel guilty about spending so much on my days off during the summer. The cash is nice, but the extra time waiting tables has taken an irreparable toll on my opinion of the human race

The extra exposure to the patrons of said casual dining restaurant has not only made me support mandatory sterilization, but it's also made me wish that the fictional Obama death panels were real.

Let me give you an example. A couple of days ago I waited on a middle-aged couple. When they were ordering their meals, they made it clear to me that they do not eat pork and didn't want pork on their food. So, I made sure that their appetizer and the man's salad--both of which normally come with bacon on top--were made without bacon. I double checked with the table to ensure that the food had no bacon on it. After they'd had their entrees for about 10 minutes, the lady called me over, disgusted, to complain about her chicken quesadilla. She insisted to me that the meat looked, smelled, and tasted like pork.

Now, the best part of this story is that, with the exception of bacon, the restaurant does not even carry pork. No pork chops, no pork tenderloin. AND, if she doesn't eat pork, how does she know if something looks, smells, and tastes like pork? Both I and my manager informed the woman that the only form of pork in the restaurant is bacon, which only made her more angry. Because it's a conspiracy, you know. Because this huge corporation is out to get her, and in an attempt to play a sick joke has replaced all of the chicken with pork. And how dare we call her a liar? Really, woman? Really?

Another table in the restaurant (not my table), angry that they had been waiting too long for service, told the manager: "We got here at 1:45. It's 2:00 now and we've been waiting for a half an hour." AHHHHHHHH!!!!

I hate people. It's amazing how stupid, inconsiderate, and disgusting they can be. I know that the following list is not applicable to the readers of this blog, but please feel free to pass this list along to any person you know who may need it.

Tips for dining out (and each one of these comes from a personal experience):
  1. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. Standard tip is 15% for average service, and 20% for great service. Get a calculator if you must.
  2. If the server asks you if you are ready to order, and you are not ready to order, just say so. Under no circumstance is it appropriate to force your server to stand there, awkwardly watching you try to read a menu and make a decision. Also, learn to read.
  3. Never whistle or snap your fingers to get the attention of your server. Doing so may result in a punch to the face.
  4. If you plan to drink alcohol, bring your ID, particularly if you look like you're twelve.
  5. Never give your baby sweet tea. (Again, sterilization.)
  6. Do not interrupt your server's interaction with another guest to ask an inane question or to demand more ranch dressing.
  7. Do not let your child shit all over the high chair.
  8. If your baby begins to scream, remove the baby from the restaurant. Neither the employees nor the other guests want to hear your little darling screaming. Also, use birth control.
  9. If your only way of communicating your meal choice is to point to a picture and grunt, please (PLEASE!) do not be surprised when your food comes out looking just like the picture. We really can't dumb it down any more for you.
  10. Why must you sit in a booth? Also, chances are that you're too fat to fit in the booth.
  11. Do not order hot tea or hot chocolate unless you want your server to immediately judge you as a douche bag.
  12. Do not wait until the very end of your meal to bring up a problem you have. At that point, it's pretty hard to fix, idiot.
  13. Don't be an asshole in general.

That's all I've got for now. Did you spend any time in the service industry? Did I leave anything out?


  1. 14. if you are going out on a date, don't same-side-sit. you probably aren't getting play at the table anyways, which is the only reason to justify same-side-sitting.

  2. The official position of M Cubed regarding same-side sitting is that people should only do it in extreme circumstances (i.e., the person in the next booth has extreme body odor). In most circumstances, same-side sitting only proves the couple to be insecure and weird.

  3. I'm sorry I shit all over the high chair, Mandy. How often do I have to apologize for that?! I thought it would be funny, it wasn't, but I deserve some credit for taking the chance rather than just making a safe little 'ah will all have a little chortle and then never remember why five seconds later.'

  4. Steven, you should be sorry! Seriously, though, that happened. I had been smelling the child for quite some time, and as I walked by the table the mom pushed the high chair toward me and said we might want to clean it up. It was COVERED in shit. We're talking pieces of corn and peas here, too. I sent my manager out, and he almost puked. It was really, really disgusting.

    Oh, also, the kid was like 3 1/2 years old, and then she just stripped him down naked and kept eating.

    I hate people. How's our death panel thing working out?

  5. 14. Don't complain about calorie count before, during, or after your meal. I did not make the food. p.s. don't eat out if you don't want to get fat - learn how to cook .

    I especially love #2 and #13.

    I'm a server too :)

  6. Oh, Kelsey, you're clearly in a different part of the country. Here we deal more with people who are too fat to fit in booths and consume more calories in a single meal than they probably should in a week. It's the South, baby!

  7. I emphathize with you. I know how it is to be a misanthrope! It seems like the human population evolved, got smarter, and now its like going in reverse!

  8. I think it has something to do with how stupid people tend to have more children.



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