Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Waitressing For Dummies *Updated*


Now, before Aunt Becky was Aunt Becky or Nurse Becky or Mommy or even a Kept Woman, she was a waitress for nearly 10 years.

Like all somewhat bad things in my life, I had blocked out much of those years (and phobias) until I was talking to my friend Stef yesterday (go see her, she’s my hero, and possibly my new wife if I can con her into leaving her husband), and we went back and forth talking about all of the “good” times.

What’s most interesting about serving is that most of the complaints are universal. I’m quite certain that she and I did NOT in fact serve in the same establishment, but by our intelligent conversation bitching, it just didn’t matter much.

Before I launch into a Server’s Shit List, I will tell you that it was one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had, mainly because unlike other fields I’ve pursued/been degreed in/fingerprinted for/licensed by the state of Illinois to do, it’s a complete “us vs. them” mentality (a far cry from hospital nursing which is more like “every person for his or her self”). The hours were awesome for a swinging bachelor, the parties were plentiful and the booze was free-flowing. Ah, the glory days.


Without further interruption or introspection I present to you A Server’s Shit List:

*Groups of women. Now, as I’ve gotten older, I have found many women that I do, in fact, really like to hang with (real-life or virtual), but as a rule, tables full of women will treat a female server (no matter how good she is) like complete shit (likely because they’re jealous or something) AND THEN sit in your best table for your whole shift, making damn certain that you don’t get anything more than the 13% tip (if you’re lucky) that they are going to give you (and never allowing you to turn your table and make some real money. Because they hate you and wish you were dead.

*Business-Type Lunchers. I hereby exclude anyone who comes in and has COCKTAILS with lunch, because they are awesome, tip well, and are generally not in a hurry. But the OTHER iced tea drinking sect (ALWAYS with the iced tea) sucks ass to wait on.

Firstly, they’re in a hurry and expect that you can somehow make THEIR order faster than all of the OTHER people who are also in a hurry (you can always tell who is used to getting their way at work, because they treat YOU like a minion). If you cannot, because the kitchen doesn’t operate like that, they will harass you approximately every 2-3 minutes by calling “MISS” at increasingly more grating intervals whenever you so much as think about walking near the table.

They are also known to snap their fingers at you to get your attention (not sure if there’s anything ruder than that for a waitress, or really, anyone. Last I checked, I am not a dog), which I always would snidely inform them that my name was, in fact, “Becky” and that I would respond in a much more timely manner if they would use that. And no, sir, your food isn’t up yet, I just checked. No sir, there is no problem with your order.

So yeah, my advice to people on a timetable for lunch (I dig it, I’ve been there) GET FAST FOOD (see that FAST in there? Work it) or pack a lunch. Don’t go to a sit down place and expect that anyone there will give a fuck if you’re in a hurry.

*Sunday Morning Church Crowd. Before you nail ME to any cross, let me assure you that I don’t mean that people who believe in God are assholes by nature. But typically, those who are coming out to eat in their Sunday Best after church treat the staff like shit (that’s EXACTLY what Jesus would do, right? I don’t think so.).

Nothing is ever right for them, ever, no matter what you do (you can’t pull each onion out of the French Onion Soup? WHY NOT, WAITRESS? Um, do you really want me to stick my hands in your soup anyway?). I’m not certain why going to church makes people so damn unpleasant (I’ve always thought of church as uplifting), but the shoe fits here. It just does.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that people that go out to eat at ANY TIME on a Sunday are pretty much the bottom of the barrel. They tip crappily, they run you ragged with their stupid requests, they leave you a religious pamphlet instead of a real tip (this inflames me because it’s essentially telling me that whatever I am doing is Wrong and that they are Right. Now, I’m a nurse, right? And I served when I was in school, but you NEVER saw ME telling a fat person NOT to order Country Fried Steak or a Bacon Cheeseburger, because they really shouldn’t be doing that. It’s a Bad Idea.).

*The My Soup Isn’t Hot Enough, Waitress People. Sometimes I like soup, and maybe I’m a weirdo because I don’t give a shit if it’s not piping hot (hate that phrase), but these people seemed to think that I was both aware that their soup was Not Hot and served it anyway! The nerve of that WAITRESS!

Firstly, I didn’t stick my fingers in your damn soup. Would you really want my grubby hands near something you were about to put into your mouth? I didn’t think so.

Secondly, the soup is not your meal. It comes WITH your meal, and although I appreciate that you like it anyway (whether you paid exclusively for it or not), get the fuck over it (and yourself).

Ask me to heat it up POLITELY and I will. Demand that I heat up something that came frozen from a BAG (not homemade, sorry), and I will trundle back to the kitchen with it, microwave it for AT LEAST 5 minutes and return it to you with a biting smile on my face, while I say a prayer that it burns your mouth.


* The You Made An Error Waitress And Ruined My Life Forever People. I’m sure that you don’t often think of the wait-staff as people with a life outside of meeting and exceeding all of your stupid demands, but I assure you with the utmost certainty that we do. We’re just usually good at covering it up when we’re having a bad day, after all, you’re not paying me to tell you about MY day, are you (I hate it when servers want to talk about their days. It annoys me, so I never did it)?

Servers (no matter how bad they are) are people too, remember, and as such, sometimes they MAKE MISTAKES. Trust me, once they realize it, their heart drops into their stomach as they scramble to make it right, because no matter who is at fault, it’s your server that has to ultimately come back to you and tell you that something is wrong. And then be screamed at about it like THEY DID IT ON PURPOSE (trust me, this is how I make money. My paycheck nets me about $0.46 every two weeks. Therefore I would never jeopardize my only livelihood on purpose).

Specifically, I can remember when I worked in a pizza place, and I’m not sure which side had messed up (I always wrote down my orders, not because I needed to, but because I always wanted to be able to reference them should I need to later on. Comes in very handy, I swear.), but what I had written was apparently not what the table of old farts had ordered. When I dropped off the pizza (not realizing my error) and came back to check on them, they treated me as though I had personally killed their dog and then laughed about it to their face while they informed me that no matter WHAT my notepad said, they DID NOT order this.

The following day, I ran into this spawn of Satan couple at the pharmacy where they recognized me as the person who had ruined EVERYTHING IN THEIR WHOLE LIFE and GLARED AT ME SILENTLY until I made a rude gesture to their face and walked away. I’ll take shit at work, but I refuse to take shit from people outside of work.

My other horror story is about the table of 10 that came in, immediately demanded soda and bread and cheese sticks (Hi, nice to meet you, too!). I got all of their appetizers ready, and made an error in balancing the tray when setting it down and it promptly fell over. Not a huge deal, right? I didn’t hurt anyone, didn’t drop anything anywhere but the floor, and promptly fixed it.

The head guy from the table tried to insist that I wipe marinara sauce from his shoe (you don’t know who you’re dealing with, fucker, but I don’t do that for ANYONE, let alone a 5% tip, which I am sure you’re going to give me IF I’M LUCKY), and even though I apologized and got them fresh bread (which was free) and cheesesticks, they left me a dollar. On an $80 tab.

* The Hot Tea People. To be fair, I like a cuppa hot tea now and again, so much so that I have a huge drawer full of it here at home, and once in awhile I will order it when I go out (when I was pregnant). But every time I ordered it, I always followed that up with an “I’m sorry” and a “I won’t complain about what you give me.”

In theory, hot tea shouldn’t be such a big deal to prepare. It’s hot water, a tea bag, lemon, cream and (if you have it) honey. The first problem is (much like real estate) location, location, location. Nothing you need for this is ANYWHERE close to each other. Fine, so you go and make a pot of hot water, grab a tea bag, run to the back for lemon and cream, search high and low for honey, only to realize that you’re out of it, go back, water’s still brewing (yes, you have to MAKE hot water and it always takes FOREVER) so you go grab the other drinks for the table. Then, when the water is done, you pour it into a METAL CONTAINER (metal, I should not have to tell you CONDUCTS HEAT) burn your hand in 10 places, decide you don’t have time for a band-aid as your table is looking around the place wondering where the hell their drinks and server are, and when you drop it off (after carefully putting the hot water down so it only burns YOU again) you realize you needed a spoon.

When you return with the spoon, this is what you hear:

“I wanted decaf hot tea. Is this decaf?”

“Where’s the honey?”

“Don’t you have any other flavors of hot tea?”

“You should have more flavors of decaf hot tea.”

“Is this decaf?”

“I want more lemon.”

“I need more cream. You didn’t give me enough.”


“This cream is warm. I want cold cream.”

“Where’s the honey?”



As you can see, the second problem with hot tea is that the people who order it are complete dickheads.

If you don’t believe me and think I’m overreacting here, just say to any server that you know the phrase, “Hot Tea,” and if they don’t shudder and look around for something to kill, I will personally apologize for making this generalization.

*The My Kid’s Shit Smells Like Roses People. As we all know, I do happen to have 2 children of my own, and have been known to take them out to eat occasionally many times each week, and I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank each and every shitty parent whose brats sat in my section and reminded me how NOT to raise my kids.

Let me make a general disclaimer that my big son has been known to be somewhat special needs at times, so parents whose children suffer from real disorders and not just “My Kid Is A Complete Fucking Asshole, Because I Am A Really, REALLY Shitty Parent Complex” get a pass here.

But, for each and every fucking piece of shit kid that sat in my section, said “Bring me a Coke” rather than “Can I please have a Coke,” dumped red pepper and cheese all over the table, tripped me while I was carrying a large tray, SHOOK their drink cup at me to indicate that I should refill their soda rather than use their voice, screamed uncontrollably, ran around like a damn banshee on crack, and generally behaved like a Fuck Head, you all should really be ashamed of yourselves.

Don’t you DARE look at me with that Aw-Shucks look when your kids act like fucks, because I will never say “Oh, they’re just being kids,” because due to a little thing I like to call Laying The Smack Down, my kids don’t act like that. Or if they do, we leave. Immediately. No matter how hungry we are.

Crawl back into your cave, people, and stay there until your kids are adults who corn hole picnic tables. Then you’ll know that you done raised ’em right.

Shit, that was better than sex, it was so relieving to complain about. I figure that most of my readers who haven’t served before will think I’m being harsh, but I assure you, this is what happens (not that YOU’D behave this way UNLESS YOU NEEDED TO, which I understand too).

So dish to Aunt Becky about YOUR work horror stories. I’m down for a good laugh right about now.

36 Comments to

“Waitressing For Dummies *Updated*”

  1. On April 2nd, 2008 at 11:59 am honeywine Says:

    I live on tea at home, but I never order it out. I have a hard enough time getting M. to make it right. I like my food hot enough to scorch the sun, and it’s never hot enough outside my house. In the hospital with Mom all I got was tepid food for a week. I despise that. Hot and sweetened just right that’s all I ask for. Yeah, I am a beyotch. But only at home. In public, I just cross my fingers and if things taste reasonably like food and aren’t dirty, I call it a win!

  2. On April 2nd, 2008 at 12:11 pm Leslee Says:

    Dude. I swear I am THE nicest person evAr when I eat out. If I have to talk to the server about anything I get paranoid that there will be some form of body fluid in my food and then I can’t eat it. o_O

    Work horror stories? Mine typically involve stupid people yelling at me cuzz they’re too stupid to realize that THEY’RE the ones being stupid. Heh.

  3. On April 2nd, 2008 at 12:39 pm Tony Says:

    I never served, but I did manage a Little Caesars Pizza place. My god…people are just *freaks* when it comes to their food. I had one guy come in and *throw* the pizzas at our sign, knocking all the letters down and breaking the lights (and consequently getting himself arrested for disorderly conduct and destruction of property) because we *forgot* the green peppers…

  4. On April 2nd, 2008 at 1:00 pm g Says:

    Dude, seriously. Sunday after church people are the rudest people EVER. Picture this… I worked at a buffet. Do I need to say more? Isn’t glutton and honor thy neighbor right up there on that list? Yah, no.

    I hate buffets now. Seriously people, don’t eat at one. I am just trying to protect you.

    Ok, now I am off to my work luncheon. I will be ordering Ice Tea (no lemon), but I don’t plan to snap my fingers. Because really, if the lunch takes a long time… YAY!!


    hmmm, soup

  5. On April 2nd, 2008 at 1:07 pm kc Says:

    Oh you KNOW I have stories. Stupid years of waitressing. Did I tell you about the time someone threw a KNIFE at me? No lie.

  6. On April 2nd, 2008 at 1:08 pm andria Says:

    My friend was a waitress while her husband was laid off. I got to watch her newborn while she got two dollar tips on sixty dollar tables even though she was the best waitress there, and I’m not saying that just because I like her. I have never waitressed myself, but I give huge tips to everyone because I know how badly it sucks by association. The last time we went out we had HORRIBLE service, as in your bringing my bill TWO hours later and still didn’t serve my husband his food (but charged us for it) and he asked me how I thought of him as a waiter on a scale from 1 to 10. He was seriously a 2 at best, but I still told him 7 and you know what? He got pissed and swiped our credit card number and started charging stuff on it later that night. WE can’t prove it was him, but it was quite coincidental.

    Anyway, I was a teacher and dealing with parents as a teacher really blows. No matter what you do, it isn’t enough, and every little problem their child has even if it isn’t school related is the teacher’s fault. YOu have to buy all the school supplies that aren’t brought in which are usually for the non-free lunch kids. You get a ten minute lunch and a thirty minute planning period and you take all your work home and work there until you fall asleep on your papers and you don’t get paid enough to cover groceries, rent, and a car payment so you eat ramen noodles and drink tap water and hike in the next day so the kids can act like hoodlums but you can’t do anything about it because you may get sued. To think I went to college for that.

  7. On April 2nd, 2008 at 1:13 pm Kristen Says:

    I have to say that I have the utmost respect for servers. I am often in horror of other patrons when we eat out. Yikes!
    I always feel bad when we show up in a restaurant. We are 6 people, with 4 kids and 2 little messy ones. They make a mess, they drink a lot. They want to talk to the servers themselves. I always start my tip at 20% and add if we are particularly messy or difficult or the server smiles at my kids.
    The worst is when my mother-in-law comes with us. She is getting much better now, after years of my cringing with embarrassment and slipping extra twenties under my plate for the server (and sometimes apologies) after my m-i-l had gotten up.
    She could be the star of all your horror stories. She treated the servers like scum, tipped barely anything, complained and sent food back, if her coffee isn’t to her standards she will just get up and leave!
    The worst part is that she loves to eat out. Always wants to go out with us.
    Thankfully she is much better behaved and I will speak up to her if I think she is out of line now.
    I apologize for all the people you served like her, especially those churchy people-she was one of those too.

  8. On April 2nd, 2008 at 2:02 pm Ashley Says:

    While hosting at a pizza place I HATED a family of 5 that came in every Wednesday for the fmily night special. You see they insisted they needed a padded booth rather than a hard chaired table b/c the mother had A PHYSICAL PROBLEM (complete with ass pillow she carried). Now I am not judging based on this b/c whatever the issue was, I’m sure it sucked, but the issue was that were NO booths in the place for more than 4. And to put a chair on the end of a 4 person booth was against fire code. We had this fight every single week. WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?????

  9. On April 2nd, 2008 at 2:34 pm As American as Apple Pie Says:

    I hear ya. I waitressed my way through college and then for a FUN part-time job when I was a stay-at-home mommy. I really enjoyed the people for the most part but I CANNOT stand those that think they’re better than you just cause your serving them. “Hello! I’m getting my Master’s degree in Ministry while raising three children and keeping a house. This is my night away. What have you done lately?” Is that too bitchy?

    Therefore, I am always supremely nice and understanding when out to eat. And because I usually have 3 (barely housetrained) children with me, I tip REALLY good.

  10. On April 2nd, 2008 at 3:32 pm becky Says:

    Man… I had no idea that ordering hot tea was such an ordeal. I did a brief stint as a waitress in college, but I guess maybe our place was really well organized or something? Everything – including a little bucket of lemons on ice – was all in the same place, and hot water was continuously brewed. Maybe we’re just yuppies.

    But now I feel awful for every single time I’ve ordered hot tea while I’m out 🙁 But I’m a nice girl, and I always overtip (mostly because I can’t do math so I always just round up)… so maybe it’s okay.

    Regardless… thanks for the perspective, Beck.

  11. On April 2nd, 2008 at 4:03 pm Heather Says:

    My mother’s sister (who would technically be my aunt, but I’m not claiming her in this story or in real life either, to be exact) and her husband – a MINISTER are horrific diners! HORRIFIC. They live in another state and when they visit, we would all eat out together until the embarrassment became too much. I have *never* eaten out with them and NOT had them send something back and expect to get the meal for free — every stinking time. We (my family) think it’s a ploy. The last trick was when my cousin, who was about five months pregnant, ordered a steak – RARE – and then sent it back because it was “too done” (the server explained it had only been warmed so that she wasn’t served a cold slab of bloody carcass.

    Humiliating, I swear. I should hope if they were ever in your restaurant, you would’ve dropped something on them on purpose because they wouldn’t have paid anyway.

    As for bad jobs, I worked in a pharmacy and on my first night a man got out of his car at the drive-thru window and starting banging on the bullet-proof glass (thank GOD!) and calling me a little fucker because the pharmacist wouldn’t let me sell the guy syringes. I have many more as I used to work retail and teach school, but I’ll stop here before I cause your blog to crash 🙂 .

  12. On April 2nd, 2008 at 4:08 pm Tombo Says:

    My friend is one of THOSE people. A million minuscule requests, gets pissy when a table isn’t ready the second he walks in the door, hates when (GOD FORBID) there isn’t silverware on the table when you sit down…. etc.

    It’s always fun to eat out with him, because I make him keep his trap shut and live with it. Oh, there is a table available now, but there is an elderly couple waiting behind us? Give them the table, we will be happy to wait. You got both our orders wrong? That’s okay, I wanted to try this anyway.

    And then I tip really well (30-50%) which absolutely drives him nuts (cheap ass bastard busts out his calculator otherwise). It is a truly entertaining experience.

  13. On April 2nd, 2008 at 4:38 pm b Says:

    HA HA HA! Girl, this brought back memories..I tell YA! The best thing I ever did was drop a full pitcher of iced tea down the ministers wife’s back..and she couldn’t say a fucking thing..they had members of their congregation eating with them. A veteran waitress ALWAYS leaves a good tip, and tries to be especially kind..guess it’s that whole walk a mile in a waitresses non slip shoes thing.

  14. On April 2nd, 2008 at 5:01 pm Amy Says:

    You so need to write the book on this! Using of course all expletives that you have used! I have a story but am too lazy to type it all out! Let’s just say…some people don’t understand that you only make 2.63 an hour! I always, no matter how bad things are (food included) tip 20%, even for carryout! Sad I know but when you’ve been there you do that!

  15. On April 2nd, 2008 at 5:15 pm Angela Says:

    I was always so jealous of my sister, because she got to wait tables, and I spent my spare time freezing my fingers numb scooping ice cream for no tips. You’ve made me rethink things here. We always tip well, though. Yep.

  16. On April 2nd, 2008 at 5:54 pm Juli Says:

    I’ll see your ten years and raise you a WHOLE BUNCH and we can write that book together, m’girly. I have horror stories even you wouldn’t believe.

    Here’s one of my favorite not-gross ones: a table of eleven teachers, who had me run a cash bar; pay per drink, rather than running a tab… which means there’s no final total on which you will be expected to tip, and don’t for one second think they actually tipped me per drink, either, cuz they didn’t, and they also played that fun game where you take a drink order, ask if anyone else needs anything and they all stare at you blankly, until you return to the table with the drinks an then someone says, “Oh you know what? I’ll have another too.” “Anyone else?” you ask. “No, we’re fine” they reply, until you come back with THAT drink and then some bitch says, “Oooh, that looks good, can I have one too?” and that continues for roughly FIVE FUCKING MONTHS and *deep breath* then you get them to order two appetizer platters to share so you can have SOMETHING on a check. Then they make you run for more ranch dressing, and another beer and no, no one else needs anything until you return and…

    After enduring all this, they finally start to make leaving noises and you give them their bill, which for two hours of them drinking, eating and not tipping, comes to 24.90. And they hand you $25 and tell you to keep the change, “because we can’t divide a dime eleven ways hahahahAHAHA!”

    And then you throw a penny on the table and say, “There you go, that should make it easier. Have a nice day” and then you go in the back hallway and scream.

  17. On April 2nd, 2008 at 6:48 pm Ames Says:

    I was never was a server, but I worked in a grocery store as a cashier for about 7 years (high school through college) and it was very rare that I came across a person who treated me half way decent during a transaction.

    I once had a man shit his pants in my line waiting to ring out his groceries…like diarreah dripping down his pant leg. Totally disgusting… and he had the nerve to tell me I should clean it up as he walked away. Disgusting I tell ya!

    P.S. I always give a 20% tip whenever I go out!

  18. On April 2nd, 2008 at 7:56 pm Jerseygirl89 Says:

    And this is why I’ve never been a server – if I had been, many of these people would be dead and I would be living in Rio under an assumed name. (not that that would be ALL bad) Kudos to you for not killing any of them. That was a really funny post.

  19. On April 2nd, 2008 at 8:57 pm CLC Says:

    I dropped a cheesesteak on a woman’s lap. I have to say she was very gracious about it. I think they even left me a tip. It was my boss that freaked out. She made me pay for the cost of the replacement cheese steak. The thought of that place makes me many stories, so little time.

  20. On April 2nd, 2008 at 10:31 pm theramblinghousewife Says:

    I waited tables for six LONG months during college and that was far too long.

    Seriously the most horrible job ever.

    I would rather bag groceries any day!!

    (which is what I did! 🙂

    People don’t get near as angsty about their paper and plastic!

  21. On April 2nd, 2008 at 11:05 pm Natalie Says:

    I never waited tables, but I worked at Subway for 9 months. Most of the time it was okay, but some days…. some days.

    The one that really stands out in my mind is one older guy. When I counted his change out to him he insisted that I was wrong. I counted it out again. He then instructed me on how I was to calculate how much I owed him, which turned out to be a different way of arriving at the SAME ANSWER. I am not kidding, the amount was exactly the same but he was adamant that I had used an incorrect method to calculate it. The moron did NOT seem to understand the fundamentals of MATH and that there are more than one way of figuring it out, he just kept on arguing with me. Finally I had to tell him that yes of course he was correct just to make him go the hell away and leave me alone.

    There was one guy who came in and bitched loudly about the country music we were playing. Like LOUDLY and RUDELY. The owner told him to leave, hehehe.

  22. On April 3rd, 2008 at 8:31 am Chris Says:

    I’ve always told my children that I would rather clean people’s ass than wait on tables. BTW an excellent tipper, even at Buffet Restaurants.

    This was a perfect opening for my day.

  23. On April 3rd, 2008 at 8:49 am Victoria Says:

    We’re always 20% tipping family because I can’t do math and doubling is about the extent of my multiplication skills. 🙂

    Work horror stories? My ex-bosses once held a “model search” for corporate client of ours (when I was working at an ad agency) and I came in to find ass-cheek marks and pics of half-clothed girls (and not even hot ones) on my desk by “accident”. Whatevs.

  24. On April 3rd, 2008 at 10:44 am Kristine Says:

    My MIL is one of those horrific people. There was nearly a fist fight at our rehearsal dinner because of her insistance that the waitress read her the receipt and point to who ate what.

    I always tip a minimum of 15% no matter the service, and then up from there for good service. And something has to be completely and utterly wrong for me to send something back…like…I don’t know….raw meat or something. I do not want spit in my food.

  25. On April 3rd, 2008 at 10:57 am Margaret Says:

    You poor thing! I never waited tables…..I got married instead, at the tender of age of 18. No, I wasn’t pregnant, just a glutton for punishment! My daughter DOES wait tables, and has done so since she was 16 (she’s 23 now). Everything you wrote, she has bitched about too. Sunday tips, the pain in the ass of preparing hot tea, caddy women…..she’s a love of a girl and some asshole had the nerve to leave her a McDondalds coupon for her tip! I don’t know how she didn’t run after them and take them down in the parking lot. That’s what working in the service industry gets you……a free hamburger from stinking McDonalds!!!
    My work horror story (I’m a preschool teacher), is when one little four year old had pooped her pants, but didn’t want to be found out. (I’d recommend just NOT pooping your pants, but I’m harsh!) SO, she goes into the bathroom, pulls down her pants, only to have the poop wad fall on the floor. I came walking in to check on her, and she did what any normal minded 4 year old would do. She STEPPED on the poo, to attempt to cover it. Yep, it was quite lovely to clean the poop off of the floor and scrape it off of her shoes! But I did it without making her feel bad (or barfing). Such is life!

  26. On April 3rd, 2008 at 11:15 am becky Says:

    Oh, don’t worry guys. It actually wasn’t the bad tippers that bothered me. Shit, I know how it goes, sometimes you just don’t have the extra cash to shell out, and that didn’t bother me.

    It was just that I hated all the assholes who thought it was appropriate to treat me (and all of the other servers) like total crap.

    But since you’re all good tippers, you’d best come in if I ever, ever (not fucking likely) go back to serving.

  27. On April 3rd, 2008 at 11:34 am Kyddryn Says:

    I was a bad Denny’s waitress. Yes I was. If you’ve never been a waitron, you have no idea what talent that took. It required effort to be as awful as I was. I should have won an award.

    I had the overnight shift and usually worked the smoking section (smokers tipped better and were generally lower maintenance than non-smokers, so it was worth the constant respiratory distress I underwent, being allergic to cigarettes and all), but every now and then would cover some tables over in the larger non-smoking section, too. Usually when the other waitron was sleeping off his “lunch” on a booth bench in the back.

    One night, I had a ten top of folks over from the convention center next door. Well dressed, professional looking people. They were polite, ordered quickly and without fuss. They didn’t run me ragged, demanding extra lemon for their water, hotter water for their hot tea, pickles, catsup, napkins, or any of the usual high-maintenance crap. I thought it was going nicely, right up until it was time to pay the tab. They paid it, exactly. No tip. They proudly proclaimed that they were part of the bible convention next door, and for my tip they were going to pray for me.

    I had to walk away or I would have wiped the smug, self-righteous looks right off their faces with a bent steak knife. I really, really wanted to tell them that they could go pray at the phone company and see if it paid my bill. I also wanted to ask them if they were at all familiar with the phrase “theft of services”, and what exactly led them to believe my soul needed praying for anyway? but I just went back into the kitchen and waited until they left.

    Can you imagine, they were crestfallen that I didn’t dance for joy and embrace their necks for praying for my soul instead of paying for my service? They actually complained to the manager – not about my service (which wasn’t bad at all, that night) but rather about my distinct lack of appreciation for their generosity. Barf.

    That’s just one of many tales from the dark side. I’ll spare you the rest – I’m sure you’ve experienced the same sorts of things. Suffice it to say that my time in the depths of waitressing hell enforced my already established tipping policy – 15% minimum, even if the service sucked (although I am crass enough to point out where the server went wrong and how they could improve, which I imagine doesn’t win me any favor in their eyes), 20% for standard service, and it just goes up when the server is stellar. I’ve doubled a tab before for a waitress who was freakin’ amazing and deserved it.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  28. On April 3rd, 2008 at 3:34 pm Stefanie Says:

    OMG I’m your 28th comment on this hot topic. I’m remiss in doing mine because I suddenly got depressed yesterday. But I’m posting mine tomorrow. I’m going to write it now.

  29. On April 3rd, 2008 at 7:05 pm c. Says:

    Fabulous blog, Becky! I used to waitress and I wholeheartedly agree with pretty much all of your observances/experiences. One other group I found completely irritating was teachers (I used to be a teacher; does that make this comment any better?)I just can’t stand the ol’ pull out the calculator and see who owes what exactly. I mean, can’t you just divide the bill in equal parts and be done with it? It burns my butt really. If they were good tippers, maybe I could forgive this failing. But they aren’t and I can’t. Sorry. (My apologies to any teacher who read this that aren’t like the teachers I used to serve.)

  30. On April 3rd, 2008 at 8:35 pm Heather P. Says:

    Becky you really need to read this website
    You will laugh your butt off.
    I was never a waitress, but I did work in the shoe department of a nicer chain store. One Easter Saturday, (which was hell on earth in retail) I had a witch throw a pair of shoes at me, there were about 200 people in the shoe department, and she could have hurt someone. The manager had the nerve to say something to me about it, and in defending myself, I gave my two weeks notice. So glad I don’t have to put up with that kind of crap any more.

  31. On April 4th, 2008 at 7:53 pm van Says:

    I never worked in a restaurant but my husband did (as a teenager) – we always tip well and never complain- because even if something is really wrong- he hisses at me about not wanting spit in his food.
    I now work in a hospital and I have stories!!!! The worst that has personally happened to me involoved someone else’s liquid diarrhea mist, and my face. Enough said.

  32. On January 28th, 2009 at 2:23 pm Katizzle Says:

    You are so right about everything. While I was waitressing, I HATED going out to eat. If anyone I was with was the least bit rude to the waitress, I would always smile at her in a sorry-my-friends-are-bitches-you’re-doing-fine kinda way and hope she wasn’t in the back talking crap about all of us to her coworkers. I had to stack all the plates and put them near the edge so it’d be easier for the waitress and pick p any bits of paper or wrappers. I was so paranoid. I was thanking them for everything. (which is actually kinda annoying to hear so much, but…) For anyone who hasn’t waited tables, please realize that these people are in fact there to give you a good experience. Give them a break. AND please consider tipping to be part of the expense of going out. If you are to cheap to leave at least a 20% tip, FORGET IT. unless they totally and completely are rude and horrible, 10-15% went out the window long ago.

  33. On February 24th, 2010 at 2:02 pm ashley Says:

    omg this is hilarious!! i kno exactly what your talking about i have waitressed for going on 4 yrs now and its nice to kno im not the only one who gets dicks for customers. 🙂

  34. On August 11th, 2010 at 4:39 am Waiter Says:

    You’re right about every point you made, especially women and waiting on them. They treat both male and female servers like shit. Why is that? I don’t know. Some type of power trip? They’re miserable? We may never know! I just wrote an article about this exact topic!

    Besides women, I hate waiting on, uhm, most people of color (no tips, run you like a dog), church folk (too many. annoying! will leave literature as a tip) and kids (no money. stupid. make a mess. etc. etc.)

  35. On January 28th, 2011 at 1:51 am Kat Says:

    I never worked as a waitress but I worked as a cashier for a Rite Aid for a few months. This one lady bought a bunch of stuff and she gave me a twenty. I gave her the change for it and she left. She came back to argue with me that I had given her the wrong change and she deserves more. She whined at me and I asked to see her receipt but she told me all that stuff is in the car and I don’t want to get it GIVEMEMYCHANGE. Computer screen, meet face.

  36. On January 28th, 2011 at 11:50 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bwahahahahahaha. Working for the public. Man, those were the days.

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