What’s Your Order? : Shake, Shake, Shake…


What’s You Order is where The Waitress Confessions leaves telling the tales of the service industry up to you!

If you’d like to be part of this segment and share your story,  just write to us!


Dear Waitress…

Okay, so I’ve been hostessing for three years now to make money for college. I’ll have a few more expenses coming this fall, so when offered a second job at a different restaurant as a server, I took it.

Now I’m not new to serving. My mother owned and operated a restaurant for 40 years before she retired. So obviously being around the industry my whole life, I know the difference between good service and bad service. I just needed to learn the menu and any required phrases when I took this job.

So I’m serving one night, and this couple comes in. First off, the floor changed and I was not told this. More so, the floor chart was shoved to the side and not displayed where I could actually see it. So they sat there for a bit before I got to them. I apologized and got their shakes and burgers out asap. I came back multiple times to make sure everything was okay. “Oh yes, everything is good, thank you.” was what I was told. It was when they ordered a shake to-go that things went bad. They waited for-ever for that shake because the shake person was behind. I did everything I could besides going back there and and forcing him to make it. That’s when they asked the manager to come over, and they told him that both the food and the service was horrible. He comped their check, and then after they got their shake, they left – without leaving any tip.

Now okay, I’m not saying I didn’t make any mistakes here. I could have been more attentive to the stations, and I could have asked the manager to make the shake. BUT at the same time, and I’ve seen this countless countless times at my other job too, the couple could have TOLD me their was something wrong with their food BEFORE they ate it all. We are servers, not mind readers. If customers do not tell us there is a problem, then we can not help them. Fortunately my manager was understanding, especially since I’ve been giving great service to all my other customers. However some are not so lucky. Obviously if there’s a complaint on the service then it’s on us.

It just tears me up that full grown adults cannot speak for themselves when they have a problem, and then get upset when said problem isn’t magically fixed. Even if it’s just a small thing, TELL US! Not only will you get a great dining experience, but we will know that you are 100% happy with your meal.

Sincerely,
Angela

 

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Where’s My Food?!

“Serving up the surprising truth about waiters and waitresses”


The Waitress Confessions
recently received a post on its Facebook Page (join the club and like us!) about a documentary film that is in the works by Telsius Productions called Where’s My Food?!.

From what we can gather from the 1.5 minute trailer is that this awesome documentary is about the reality of being a server and how the restaurant business actually is – because let’s face it, you have no clue about it until you’re in it .  Nine food servers are interviewed and spill their guts on the reality of the crazy amounts of money you could make in one shift, the kinds of tips people leave, the disgustingly low hourly salary rate (and that’s my opinion), and “the dark side of the industry” – alcohol and drug abuse.  Not only does it discuss the dramatic side of serving tables, but also the fact that as servers we live off of our tips.  Out sick one day? Well then we don’t get paid.  No sick days means sometimes having to choose between staying home and getting well or going in sick and running ourselves to the ground just so we can pay our rent.

“Great blog, Marie! You should probably be aware of our soon-to-be-released documentary “Where’s My Food?!” that looks deep inside the world of America’s
hard working and underpaid waiters and waitresses.”

 

We thought this would be an excellent trailer to show to you all, whether you are in the service industry or not.  Take a look and tell us what you think.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @WConfessions!

 

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When Your Tips Just Don’t Add Up

tipsToday was such a great day.  I had an amazing lunch rush for a Sunday and everyone seemed to be in the best of moods.  And you know what good moods mean?  Good tips!  I won’t lie, I schmoozed a little bit, but was genuinely happy to be serving our customers today.  Life was good and the tips were generous.

The night shift was slow, but I had a couple of good tables that left me $20.00 so that helped me out quite a bit.  At the end of my shift, I tallied up the tips that I had made throughout the day (I keep a record so that I have a good idea of what I’ll be leaving with).  So, here’s the number all my tips added up to:

$173.00

I felt very happy about that.  I worked hard, served my customers well, ran plates and drinks, cleaned and helped other waiters.  Seemed like for the amount of work I put in…well it was fair.  When it came to doing my “reading” or my “report” (where the manager checks all my credit cards, interacs, cash, and tip-outs) I was left with $120.00.

$120.00?!?!?

It didn’t make sense to me.  Didn’t add up.  So when I checked how much I tipped out ($22.00) and deducted that from my total, I was left with $151.00 (which would make sense).  But where was that $30.00?  The manager checked everything again and even went as far as to go through all my bills with me in case another waiter was ringing up orders on my code and closing it cash.  Hey..it could happen.  But that wasn’t the case.  I was missing $30.00

What a bitch, lemme tell ya!  What happened to that money?  Other servers were asking “Did you put some money aside? Put it somewhere else by accident?” and the answer was plain and simple: NO!  I am very careful with my money when it comes to counting and keeping it safe in my apron. So what happened?  I honestly have absolutely no idea.  The only thing I can think of is if it accidentally fell out of my money clip.  But everything stays together in one place and it’s pretty secure.

So, I had no choice but to accept it.  Everything else balanced and the restaurant isn’t going to reimburse me for any lost money because it is…technically…my fault.  But, when you’re a stickler for precision and money, it’s really hard to believe that I misplaced it.  I just left.  Took the hit and left.

Getting home and opening a cheap bottle of wine to drown my sorrows in, I keep going over my day – wondering if I somehow miscalculated or put money aside without realizing it. But my thoughts also dance around the idea of relying on technology to calculate all of my sales, tips, taxes and discounts.  Could the computer I use somehow be deducting money without me realizing?  Is it possible that somewhere in the computer system there is a glitch?

The idea of the possibility of technology being the culprit scares me, because to be honest I have no idea how it works.  All the deductions and calculations it automatically makes.  As an owner or manager, you can set the computer to pretty much whatever you want, so in my mind…is it possible that something somewhere in the computer is making a deduction it shouldn’t?  Now…that’s a scary thought.

But us, as servers, how are we supposed to know this? Just take the word of the people we work for who are mostly there to make money?  Sounds like it could be fishy to me, especially when they are the ones setting the conditions for the computer system. We can’t exactly approach them and say “What’s the deal here? I’m missing money!!” and expect them to pay out of their pocket when they believe you’re the one who lost it somehow.  There’s no way to prove it, no complete record of cash (because a server could just pocket it), no way to show that you made the money you made 100%.

So it’s a problem – at least in my eyes.

I’ll take it as a bad day.  A day where I lost money somewhere and it cost me in tips.  There’s nothing more I can do except write about it and then move on.  But in reality – it does come down to money.  And I need money to pay for bills, food, rent, etc.  The missing money is almost my cellphone bill for the month.  When you look at it that way, when your tips just don’t add up, it’s not just a few dollars here and there.  It can be a whole big difference.

 

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That Restaurant Life by vickyamartin


Here at The Waitress Confessions we love hearing about your own daily lives as a waiter or waitress.  Here is a post that we found called That Restaurant Life by vickyamartin.  Check out her blog and read the original post


 

Back in 2012…

waitress pollwhen I was looking for a summer job, I remember countless people saying to me “Become a waitress!  You will make a ton of money.”  As a college student I thought, how bad could it be?  The money that came from tips sounded appealing and I worked as a cook in a pizza shop since high school so I had some restaurant experience.  I got hired at a Buffalo Wild Wings and there I learned what waitressing was all about. And after swearing to myself that I would never wait tables again for any reason after quitting that job, I decided to work at a local bar and restaurant once again this past summer.

On a busy Friday night, restaurants are a nightmare. Waiters and waitresses are bumping into one another while running food and drinks to tables, cooks are yelling at one another to complete orders, and the printer is spitting out orders to the cooks almost constantly.

As a waitress at a restaurant that has a bar, I have become accustomed to staying up until 2 a.m. waiting for a handful of customers to drink their final beer after last call.  I have met some customers who are always a delight to wait on.  Those people understand that the servers and bartenders are working for far less than minimum wage ($2.13 an hour) and their positive attitudes make it easy to enjoy my job.  They also understand what gratuity is fair and our paychecks are hardly enough to buy dinner at McDonalds.  Their tips are what we use to get by; they are the cash that goes into our pockets at the end of the night.  Then there are the people who do not understand said tipping concept, or the effort being put in my cooks, bartenders, and servers to keep the restaurant sailing smoothly. Whether it is ignorance or a bad experience that prevent these people from tipping, it still should not be the servers pay that suffers.  I work at a restaurant that does not add gratuity to checks and many of times have found that it should be mandatory.

One busy Saturday night in January, I was running around from table to table as usual; refilling Pepsi with the one soda machine in the restaurant, running beer and drinks to customers, taking food and drink orders, and checking to see how my eight or nine tables were doing.  I introduced myself to an older couple got them their drinks and took their food order.  While waiting for their food to come up, I ran checks to other customers who were leaving and took drinks to new arriving customers.

When the older couple’s hoagies were ready, I took them to the table and asked if they needed anything else, and left.  When I returned to their table, what I experienced was something worse than scorn you would receive from your own mother.

“This is unacceptable!” the old man shouted at me.  The woman chimed in and added that my service was terrible as they had watched their hoagies sit on the oven for a whole two minutes while I brought drinks to my other customers. When I offered to get them something else to eat on the house, suddenly nothing was good enough.  If they were not the center of my attention the whole night, I wasn’t a good enough waitress either.  I gave them their check and got a 13 cent tip.  The inability to understand how a restaurant works and lash out at your waitress for something they could not control shocked me. When waiting on many tables at once, it isn’t right to skip out on taking care of one table because of the impatient needs of another.

I realized from this experience why I enjoy my job as a waitress.  Interacting with people and making them smile and laugh while they are out to dinner also puts a smile on my face.  Seeing families together having a good time helps me suck up the fact that I am getting paid $2.13 an hour. And most of the time, goodhearted people are the understanding ones who have worked for minimum wage or less and are generous.

It is possible some people will find a reason to be cheap and skip out on tipping their waitress because of just about anything.  I came across an article from the Huffington Post about a waitress from New Jersey who was left a note instead of a tip by a family of four.  It read “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle choices.” The woman, who was gay, also happened to be a marine and posted a photo of the note to Facebook.  This is an example that people are unethical and look for reasons to not tip.  In this case, the family was banned from the restaurant and the waitress received an outpouring of donations after this incident went public.  While I do not believe that all non-tippers should be banned from restaurants—because sometimes there is good reason for not tipping—I believe if you are eating out at a restaurant and have a server provide you good service, gratuity should be mandatory.  Many people raise children, pay for their education, and pay living expenses from their tips as servers.

As a server, you have to have a backbone.  The bottom line is that if people are not working hard at a restaurant, the restaurant will likely fail.  If all restaurants added in gratuity that could be taken off in the event of terrible service, which does happen, servers would still work hard and things would run efficiently, perhaps even better.  Waiters and waitresses can go home with money to pay their expenses like workers of other occupations, rather than having their wallet pay because of someone’s personal issues.

Written by : vickyamartin

 

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True Story: The Proposal

Romantic Dinner
Romantic Dinner by Samantha Ombregt

Last Wednesday, I was replacing a coworker of mine since she needed the day off.  I was getting ready for work when my boss calls me, saying he forgot to schedule a waiter to come in at 4 o’clock and asked if I could come in early.  I said “No problem” and headed off to work.

As I get to the restaurant, I see that there is a table just being seated and since I know it will be mine, I change as quickly as possible.The day waitress has already taken their wine order and is explaining to me the specials of the day when I see another couple being seated two tables down. I’m excited, since I won’t just be waiting around for tables to come in.

I head over to the table, say a friendly hello and inform them of the specials and ask if they want anything to drink.

Just water, thanks.” They both say.

I get them two glasses of water and give them time to look through the menu.  As I head back towards the kitchen, I start a fresh pot of coffee and see the man from the second table get up and head towards the washrooms.  I smile at him as he passes and he motions to follow him.  What the hell? I think.  I walk towards the hallway leading to the bathroom and ask “May I help you?”

He calls me further down the hallway without saying a word, and when we are out of sight of the rest of the restaurant he says:

“I need a really big favor from you.”

“Okaaaay…” I say hesitantly.  He’s reaching around in his pocket for God knows what.

He pulls out a little, tiny plastic baggie and says:

“I’m proposing to my girlfriend and would really appreciate it if you could put it in the chocolate mousse and bring it to the table.”

At first I felt relieved to see a beautiful ring inside and then extremely happy.  How cute!  Then the nerves kicked in after he left the ring with my after I promised to do my part.

What if I lose it? What if I drop it? What if she says no?

All these thoughts were going through my head and I could not imaging what he was going through. I tried to act normal at the table as I took their order.  He was drinking water like a fish (probably because of the nerves) so I made sure to refill it as much as possible, especially after he finished his meal.

She took 15 minutes after he was done eating to finish her meal.  I could feel the nervers as he played nervously with his napkin and probably thinking “Hurry up and finish eating! I want to tell you I want to spend the rest of my life with you!

Then I realized, as I picked up her plate (finally), that I never asked him if he wanted me to just bring the dessert or go one with the service as usual and he’ll ask me for it.  What if he’s changed his mind at the last second?  So, I went to get the dessert menu and told them I’d give them a few seconds to choose.  When I went back to the table I asked her if she was having dessert.  She said “Oh God, no.  I’m way too full!”  So I turned to him and asked if he’d saved any room.  He ordered the chocolate mousse and I said “Excellent choice. It’s my favorite.

So I went to prepare the dessert, place the ring on top of the mint leaves we use to dress-up the mousse, and started walking to the table.  Don’t drop it, don’t drop it, I kept thinking.  I decided to come from behind the woman so she wouldn’t see me approaching with it and so that he would see me from afar and prepare for whatever speech he was going to give.  I placed it on the table, gave him a confident nod and walked away.

There was a gasp and a huge smile, but she never put the ring on and he never took it to put it on her finger.  Did she say yes?  So after 2 minutes I walked by the table without looking, turned around to the man and he gave me a thumbs up sign.  Phew!  She said yes!  There were tears of joy, squeals of delight, kisses, hugs, and phone calls to family.  I brought them a little bottle of champagne “On the house! Congratulations!” I said.

He paid for their meal and hand in hand they walked out of the restaurant.

I was a part of someone’s big day, helped a man propose to the woman of his dreams.  It made my whole night.  Thank goodness I didn’t screw it up.

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True Story: The Bacon Blunder

Sorry father, for I have sinned…

tmdsI live on the outskirts of Toronto, the most multicultural city in Canada, but I grew up in a village of 1500 white people. You can imagine there was a bit of a culture shock when I first moved there. One night, I had a family of brown people come into the restaurant and sit in my section. I say brown people because at the time, I didn’t know that they were Muslim, and I didn’t know that Muslim’s don’t eat pork.

So the gentleman orders a delicious meat-lovers Panini (one of my favorites) but without the bacon. “No problem” I say aloud as I write down NO BACON on my notepad. I always use big letters because I am a very forgetful person. I didn’t think much of it as I continued on, as usual, topping up drinks and removing the dirty dishes from my other tables.

By the time their dinner was over, I stopped by my Muslim friends and asked how their dinner was, as they seemed to have really enjoyed it. “Do you not like the bacon? I find it adds a great smoky flavor!” I said smiling. The man turned to me; “No, I am Muslim! I do not eat any pork!” He said sharply. “I have never had pork in my entire life and I never will.” He said, in a rather angry tone. Suddenly I began to sweat and swallowed hard as I removed their dishes in silence.

I walked to the back looking a little pale as one of the cooks looked at me. “Are you okay?” he asked, you look like you’re going to be sick. “Does the meat-lovers Panini have sausage in it?” I asked him, dreading the answer I already knew. “Yeah of course it does dude.” He laughed. I blinked very slowly. “And our sausage is made of pork, right?” I asked, even more worriedly. “Oh yeah baby,” he laughed, “100% pork. Why?”
“I think I just sent a man to hell.”

by: The Million Dollar Server

Website: themilliondollarserver.com
Twitter: @M_DollarServer
Facebook: fb.com/themilliondollarserver

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True Story: Getting Pinned and Promoted

cast iron grillCast Iron Grill
2 hours ago near Lubbock

Last month a couple came in for breakfast. I stopped by their table to check on their meal, “Everything great today yall?” Their reply was yes & then she started telling me of their journey. They were heading to the East coast to visit their son and grandkids, her excitement was contagious as she shared……”Our son is in the navy and he is being promoted to master chief”. Her pride was evident as she talks of HER hero….he is not just a navy guy, he is a great husband and an amazing father of 4, one with a disability, he called and asked if I would be the one to pin his new medal on his beautiful dress white uniform”. My heart was so excited for this mom and dad, they were so excited to be apart and celebrate in this very special ceremony…..

Tuesday the grill was crazy busy(what a blessing) as I look out in the foyer at the sea of people waiting in line I see a group familiar green fatigues…I make eye contact with my regular that is part of this group, she tells me a table of 6 and I start looking for a place. I got to know this regular through her husband that has been a regular of mine for many years now…..I never knew she served in the US Army, actually the US Army hospital, until last Spring, she started bringing in a group of girls with her, all adorned in the Army green.

I got these soldiers a table and proceeded to take care of all the other guest…..a little while later my precious regular comes up to me and asked my permission for her to do something, a question I will remember forever….. Happy Beautiful Thursday yall….In the middles of the chaotic, loud, busy grill my regular stood up and spoke in her commanding voice and the grill stopped.

She promoted 3 of these soldiers right here in the middle of the dining room. I stood back with tears running down my face as we all watched these soldiers get “pinned” & promoted. My precious regular explained to the 180 guest present that since the government “shut down”, there are no ceremonies right now and no venues available for promotion but these soldiers deserved to get recognized and promoted. Oh Mylanta it was an amazing blessing to be apart of this special occasion….it may not have been as grand as the regular that was able to pin her son with the dress uniform on and many family and friend present but it was special and truly a gift.

This is the grill….flawed in so many ways & yet our Heavenly Father allows amazing “perfect” things to happen. I am honored to have been apart of these soldiers’ journey.

by: Teresa

Website: http://Www.castirongrilllubbock.com
Follow on Twitter: @Castirongrilltx

True Story: The Cold Soup Conundrum

As I was closing up one night at the Hot Spot on a Wednesday night, I saw two last minute customers walk into the restaurant.  The manager on duty at that point was a little bothered by it.  We had no one in the restaurant for the past hour and the kitchen was closing in 10 minutes.  He was looking forward to getting home a little earlier than usual.

The Manager says to me “Go see them right away and see what they want to eat.” So I walk as quickly as possible and as I come closer I see that it’s a couple, a man and a woman, and their menus are closed, just waiting to order. I was glad that they knew what they wanted already.  I asked them if they were ready to order.

Woman:  We’re just here for a bowl of your daily soup. [laughs)

As she’s speaking, I can tell that she’s either extremely drunk or on some sort of drug.  She’s wearing a sloppy smile and slurring her words.  The man has a goofy grin on his face and looks like he’s trying not to laugh.

Me: Will that be all? The kitchen is closing in 5 minutes so if you’d like anything else I need to let them know.

Man: Nope. Ha ha ha……that’s it.

Woman : [laughs hysterically]

I walk away and tell the manager that they only want the soup and he tells the kitchen staff to start closing up.  I ladle soup into two bowls and take it to the table.  I put one down in front of each of them and they’re silent.

Me: Here we are! Enjoy!

Woman: We will! [mimicking my cheerful voice]

Man: [laughs]

I just walk away and let them eat their soup in peace.  I start finishing up my closing tasks when I see the woman get up from her seat and start waving her arm in the air.  I drop what I’m doing to go see her right away.

Me: Is everything alright here, ma’am?

Woman: The soup’s cold.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry about that. Let me warm it up for you.  Sir, would you like me to warm up yours as well?

Man: [half way done his soup] No, mine’s fine.

Me: Alright. I’ll be right back with your soup, ma’am.

I checked the temperature of the soup and it seemed quite warm, not scalding hot, but not cold either.  The only way for us to warm up soup is to nuke it for a bit.  So, I stuck her bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds.  I didn’t want to put it in too long because I didn’t want her to burn her tongue.  The microwave beeped and I stirred up the soup, changed the bowl and spoon, and brought the bowl back to the table.

Me: Here we are, ma’am.  I hope it’s hotter now.

No one said anything so I left the table as the woman was stirring the soup.  Suddenly I hear the woman trying to get my attention.

Woman: Uh….excuse me!

I turn around and head back to the table.

Me: Yes, ma’am?

Woman: It’s still cold. [laughs]

I kind of chuckled, thinking she was joking but she just kept staring at me.  I apologized and told her I’d warm it up some more.  The man was finished with his and I cleared the bowl from the table at the same time.  I headed back towards the soup station.

Manager:  What’s wrong?

Me: She says the soup is still cold.  I’ll put it in for another 45 seconds.

Manager: Well, she obviously wants her soup to be boiling hot, so just stick it in for a minute and a half to be sure.

So I wait as the microwave counts down the seconds.  When the soup’s ready I take it back to the table and place it in front of the woman.  I can see the steam rising from the bowl.  There’s no way that she can think it’s cold now.

Me: Here we are.  Just please be careful, I’m sure the soup is quite hot now.

She barely listens to me as she stirs the soup quickly and takes a huge spoonful.

Woman: Ugh! It’s too hot now! Take it away. I don’t want it.

Man: Baby, just let it sit for a bit and it will cool down.

Woman: [laughs]  Oh yeah! Ha, ha, ha! It’s okay. I’ll eat it.

I just stood there for a moment, trying to judge the situation.  Was this for real?  I started to walk away and kept looking back.  I could see the woman sitting with her hands on her lap, staring blankly at the bowl of soup just waiting for it to cool.  The weird thing was that the man was doing exactly the same thing.  They just sat there for 5 minutes, staring at one bowl of soup.

From afar I could see the woman take her spoon and start eating.  She was done in less than 2 minutes. I brought them the bill (about $10).  They got up to pay with a credit card, so I passed it and handed them their copy to sign.

Me: Thank you so much, have a wonderful evening.

They said nothing and just walked out the door.  I checked the bill.

They left me 25 cents.

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Customer Confession

One of my sisters told me that not too long ago they were at a restaurant chain and there was a very drunk woman with a man at a table near them. The woman sprawled herself out on top of the table then vomited. The police were called and they left. What upset my sister was that the staff just wiped the table off and in their eyes it was good to go again. They haven’t been back there since.

– yourothermotherhere

True Story: The Grand Marnier Mishap

As a waitress, I know when a waitress serving me is trying to fuck me over.

Last night, I ordered a Grand Marnier, no ice. The waitress looked at me with a dumb look on her face and said “A what?!”. I repeated it patiently to her, asked again for no ice and she walked off. I waited 15 minutes…no drink. I saw her walking by and I asked her nicely if the drink was coming. “Oh yeah!” she said, and ran off. Okay…she forgot about it. It happens.

She came back with a Grand Marnier that had obviously been sitting at the bar too long because the ice I asked her NOT to put in had pretty much melted all the way, making it a very light orangish color. Gross.

“Uh—I asked for no ice.”

“Oh…sorry” she said and placed the drink in front of me.

I was shocked. I asked her to get me one with no ice, she rolled her eyes and walked away. She came back 5 minutes later with the same drink. She had obviously just scooped the ice out with a spoon. Gee thanks…that makes it a lot better. So I said to her “Did you just go and scoop out the ice?” “Yeah.” she said. *sigh*….Well at least she was honest. I told her to take it off my bill and went to get a Grand Marnier (no ice) at the bar. They seem to actually know how to listen to an order.

The Waitress Confessions

True Story: An Impossible Demand

This past Sunday, I went in for the lunch shift at the Hot Spot and got a table of 4 people.  They seemed nice enough as I approached them for their drink order, but as time passed I realized that these would be difficult customers to satisfy.  As nice as they were, they were extremely specific (and altogether picky like crazy) about their order and I worried that they may complain about everything from the timing of the service to the quality of the food.

First of all, they wanted their Brazilian Coffees to be hot.  “Put the coffee in the microwave if you have to,” they said.  So that’s what I did.  As much as I hate to nuke things in the microwave, I did what they asked.  The coffee seemed hot enough as I took it out and poured it into a sugar rimmed glass mug.  They didn’t want whipped cream, so I filled it to the top and took it to the table.

I set the coffee down in front of the two people who ordered it.  One of them took a sip right away and said it wasn’t hot enough, so I brought it back to heat it up for a minute and a half.  The coffee was boiling and bubbling, so I told the gentleman to be careful.  He touched the mug and seemed happy with how hot it was.

Then, the woman with the other coffee said (in a very disgusted voice, might I add) “Is there even any alcohol in here?”.  I was a little stunned and told her that I had put the correct amount, but if she wasn’t pleased with it i could get her some more.  “Well, yeah. I mean, there’s no alcohol in here at all.”

I sighed to myself.  Of course there was alcohol.  I’m not going to cheap out on that, but I also can’t make it half alcohol and half coffee (like some people may make at home).  “I’ll get you some more, ma’am.  It won’t be a problem at all,” I reassured her.

Before I could leave and get the alcohol for her, another man at the table told me they were ready to order, so I set down the tray I used to bring the drinks and took out my pad of paper and pen.  Their order was complicated and they were changing things around on the menu to suit their preferences, but I didn’t mind as much since they were the only table in the restaurant.  I also didn’t feel like arguing with them that normally we don’t put ketchup on our burgers.

As soon as I was taking the menus from them and about to walk away from the table, the woman with the coffee said “Excuse me, but is that alcohol coming?”

Cue the crickets.

I didn’t speak for a moment because I was shocked at her question.  I could not believe what she was asking.  How could the alcohol possibly get to the table without me leaving to go order it, let alone get it from the bar.  Did she think I could have sent out a discreet signal to someone to get it right away?  Did she think I could somehow communicate with the bar that she wanted more? How could she possibly think that it could get there if I never even left the table?  It seemed like such a ridiculous question to me.  I guess some people don’t have much common sense in how things work.  It is impossible for me to get something if I haven’t even left the table.  If I could use The Force, I would.  But I can’t.

So I said “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I haven’t even had a chance to leave the table yet, but I’ll get it for you right away.”

“Well, don’t forget it.” She replied.

All I could do was repeat “I’ll get it right away ma’am”.

So I pretty much ran to the bar and prepared it for her and took it to the table.

“How is it?” I asked as she added it to her mug.

“It’s good enough, I guess.” She said.

The rest of the service was pretty much the same way.  Complaints about the soup not being hot enough, the fact that I didn’t bring bread to the table (we only bring bread if the customers ask), asking what we give for free for birthdays and saying a chocolate cake wasn’t good enough, etc.

Every waiter has had customers like this.  And sometimes it’s a little infuriating.  People need to realize that we are only human, we only have two hands, and we are not mind readers.  I really tried my best, and it still didn’t seem good enough.

TIPS FOR CUSTOMERS

Think about what you are asking from a server.  Is your demand physically impossible? If so…then take a moment to maybe rephrase your request.

TIP FOR SERVERS

Try to keep your cool.

The Waitress Confessions

True Story: The Best Buy Bandit

One cold and snowy day in December, back when I was a hostess at The Hot Spot, I was standing around wishing I had something to do.  My daily cleaning tasks were done and because of the weather, there were only a couple tables in the restaurant.  No one was walking in and the phone would ring maybe once every hour.

Standing at the front desk, I can see outside into the front parking lot.  While glancing out the big window, I saw a girl running up to the restaurant.  I guess she was cold and wanted to get inside as fast as possible.

“She looked like she was in trouble.”

The girl swung open the front door and glanced behind her nervously.  Strange, I thought.  She actually looked like she was in trouble.  She finally came through the entrance doors and into the front lobby and looked around quickly.

“May I help you?” I asked.

“Where’s the back door?” She demanded.

I looked at her, stunned for a moment.  First of all, we don’t have a back door for customers.  Secondly, why would she just want to walk through the whole restaurant just to get to the back (if it even were possible).  She kept looking out the window and ducking down.

“The only door is the one you came through.” I told her.

“Fuck!” she cried as she opened the lobby door and then stopped dead in her tracks.  Two guys stormed into the front door wearing Best Buy uniforms, faces and arms red from the cold outdoors and started blocking her way out.

“Don’t fucking touch me!”

“Get out of my way! Don’t fucking touch me!” she yelled.  They two Best Buy employees held up their arms as if to say “We’re not laying a finger on you” and she pushed her way through the door, turning left to run down the side alley next to the restaurant.  Right as she was about to step off the walkway, a police car came to a screeching halt.  An officer jumped out of the car and caught her, bringing her into the back seat.

I turned to the two guys and asked “What the hell was that all about?”.

“She stole hundreds of dollars worth of stuff from the store so we chased her all the way here.” One of them told me, out of breath.  They sat down for a moment, trying to regain their composure.

“Do you guys need a glass of water or something?”

“No, no.  We have to get going.” They explained.

I imagine the adrenaline was overwhelming, chasing and catching a Best Buy Bandit.  Even just running from there must have took a lot out of them, especially running through the snow and slush.  They soon left to talk to the police and I guess to get back to work.  I wonder if they got a round of applause upon their return.  Or maybe even a bonus.

That was one of the most unexpected experience that I’ve had working at the restaurant.  There I was, just wishing something exciting would happen and I get to see a thief caught red handed.

The Waitress Confessions

True Story: Mourning Flowers

“Im down…”  she replied. “My husband is dying” 

A few months ago, a regular customer of mine ( a lady of around 60 years old) came to the restaurant to eat.  I didn’t notice her until another waitress asked me “Does she usually take the small order or the regular meal?”  I really had no idea what she was talking about at first.  I quickly finished cleaning my section so I could go over and say hello.

She’s only been coming every Sunday for the past 2-3 weeks, and every time by herself, and always orders a Bloody Caesar (with double vodka) to start.  Last time, she offered to buy me one!  I told her that was really sweet, but we aren’t allowed to drink on the job.  She understood and told me that she was really thankful for the wonderful service.  I was touched.  She said she would come back to see me because I was a really sweet waitress.
Yesterday, however, when I went over to say hello she didn’t seem like herself.

“Hello there! How are you today?” I asked.

She shook her head and played around with a magazine and bouquet of flowers she had on the table.

“I’m…down.” She replied. “My husband is dying…”

I didn’t really know what to say, except  that I was sorry to hear that.  I’ve never really been good at knowing what to say in those types of situations, especially with people I don’t really know.  She proceeded to tell me that she didn’t know what to do.  She was so depressed, even though it had been a long time coming.   The way I see it, no one can ever be fully prepared for that, no matter how long you might know it will happen.

The woman also told me that she had no family around, no friends, and that she was alone.  I told her that I work during the day on weekends and it’s relatively quiet (not too many people at that time), so if she felt up for having a quick bite to eat she could come to the restaurant and we could chat.  She said she would really love that.  She promised to bring me pictures of her grandchildren that live in Toronto.  I said I’d love to see them.

“Enough about this, I don’t want to burden you at all,” she told me.

“It’s not a burden,” I explained.

“I’m so glad I met you!” she said sweetly.  All I could do was smile.

Her waitress came by at that point and we all chatted for a bit.  A few minutes later we passed by the table again to check on her and she told us that she wanted us to have her flowers.  We denied them at first, saying it was too generous and she deserved to have some beautiful flowers around her house.  She explained that she already had too many.

“I’m an old woman!  Don’t argue with me!” she exclaimed as she thrust the bouquet into our hands.

So the other waitress and I accepted and thanked her for her generosity.  She headed home after…I hope that she got home safely.  She seemed pretty down.  I haven’t seen her since, but hope to see her once again to know that she’s okay.  I at least hope that maybe I cheered her up a little bit by lending an ear.  Everyone needs someone to talk to.

The Waitress Confessions