Last updated on: Sunday, May 23rd, 1999
Please analyze your behavior carefully and see whether you are on your favorite waitress' hit list. Ask yourself whether you do these things...
If you're an unattractive, dateless man, act like your waitress is talking to you because she "likes" you. Hint: it's her JOB to be polite to you. Save your fantasies for at-home dining.
As the server is running past your table, yell, "WE'RE READY TO ORDER!!" She KNOWS you're ready to order, and is getting to you as quickly as she can.
Act like waitressing is easy. It is by far the most difficult job I've ever had (including "professional" jobs). You need legs of iron, a memory like a steel trap, and the patience of a saint.
If you are dining with another person, don't look at the menu and rudely shout out "We're ready to order right away," without consulting your companion. Watch as he or she stammers uncomfortably and skims the menu to try and find something fast.
Ask obscure and irrelevant questions like, "Are your cows fed with wheat grass or crab grass?" Your server is just going to make up the answer anyway.
Be too cheap to order a drink, then ask to have your water refilled five times. (By the way, please don't write and complain that you really LIKE water, you're NOT cheap, and you resent the insinuation. Believe it or not I've gotten several such e-mails.)
Worse yet, be too cheap to order a drink, ask for water with extra, extra lemon, and use the sugar in the caddy to prepare your own lemonade. (Thank you Chris in Hickory, NC)
Demand to be helped immediately, on a busy Friday night, even though others who arrived before you haven't been helped yet.
Complain that we don't have what you want. Most menus are posted out front, if our food doesn't appeal to you, go somewhere else. Your server did not design the menu.
Let your baby throw food on the floor, then don't clean up after it.
Ask to have your food prepared in some bizarre way that's not on the menu.
Ask your server his/her first name if it's not offered. It's impolite to call strangers by their first names. If you need something, address him/her with "Excuse me."
The obvious one: meager tips. At least 15% is appropriate, and if you have 3 people sharing one entree, for example, adjust accordingly. Any confusion, please visit The Original Tipping Page.
Say "I don't believe in tipping." My landlord still believes in getting a rent check.
Order something when you don't know what it is, don't ask what it is, and then complain that it's not what you wanted.
Act superior to your server, since you have such little power in your "real" life, and ordering someone around makes you feel important. Many servers are working to pay their college tuition and have triple your IQ... and believe me, they're all laughing about you in the kitchen!
I have uploaded some pictures of the good ole' diner where I worked for four of my eight years as a waitress. After being in business since 1926, it was torn down to become a "Men's Wearhouse." We had a full ice cream fountain and everything... yum!
Doug in Massachusetts, who is not actually a server:
A good friend took me to a local breakfast place in a town to which he had just moved. He ordered "9 grain pancakes" from the menu, and when it was served, he asked the waitress why there were only 4 pancakes; what happened to the other 5?
Genna in Chicago:
Had a guy and his airhead girlfriend come in the other night and he asked for a glass of wine... ok sir... white or red?... (blank stare)... well sir, we have Sutter Home or Gallo in white wine and Merlot in red... "just give me regular wine".. gee... can you define regular wine for me sir?
Chris and Dave in Louisville, Kentucky:
Q: "What kind o fish is that fillett?"
A: "Im sorry sir, the Filet is STEAK fish."
Q: "Ya'll got white bread?"
A: "Would you like it toasted sir, just how mama used to make it?"
Jennifer in Franklin, New Hampshire:
Waitress: (answering the phone) "Good afternoon, FAVORITES, how can I help you?"
Girl on phone: "Do you take, like, FRIENDLY's coupons?"
Waitress: "No, but you might call FRIENDLY's--maybe they do."
Melissa Ambrose in Memphis, Tennessee:
I was asked today what our sweet tea is sweetened with! Um, we dump some jolly ranchers in there.. yah, that's right.
Julie in Iowa:
*I actually had a "guest" ask me once, "Is the water good here?"
*Someone asked me the other day if the drink came with the meal...its not McDonald's...sheeeesh!
Darren in Victoria, British Columbia:
What is the difference in size between the 8" and the 12" pizza?
You've only scratched the surface if you're just reading this page! There are four more sections devoted to mail I have received from readers, all updated regularly:
Please e-mail me and send me your own gripe, stupid question, or story... and I'll include the best ones on the page! I cannot emphasize enough that I can't air your gripe unless you include your name, city, and state! Also, please put "gripes" in the subject line. I have a junk mail filter that filters out anything with a different subject. If you're a customer who's reading the page and is infuriated at everyone's horrible attitude, don't bother writing, just take the advice I will reply with anyway: lighten up! life is a lot more fun when you learn to laugh at yourself (and your crappy job)!