I know we have rough days and the idea of going home and slaving over a hot stove is just out of the question. I'll also be the first one to admit it feels great to sit back and relax as someone caters to you when you're having "one of those days." So nonetheless, as your waitress I know that when you sit in my section you came out for a good time and I'm going to try and make it as smooth as possible. However, it can only go that way if you cooperate with me. Now, if you so happen to cross that thin line and become "that table" then I'm here to inform you that your waitress or waiter has thought these things while taking care of you.
1. There's a menu with full descriptions. Try reading it.
I will gladly answer specific questions like, "I'm allergic to ___. Is this OK?" But do not ask me to reiterate the whole menu to you as you sit with it open in your hands. Read it. It's shiny and pretty.
2. You aren't the only table. Give me a second.
When you see me running around constantly with food and drinks in my hand be considerate. I didn't forget about you or the series of things you so desperately need at this very moment. I just have to balance my attention between tables.
3. I can't make your food come out any faster, so staring me down will only make this awkward.
To reiterate again: You aren't the only table in the building, so you aren't the only table the kitchen is cooking for. Take into consideration what you ordered ( if you order a well done steak don't ask me why it hasn't came out after 10 minutes) think about how long it took you to order, if you got an appetizer or not. If you want fast food, I'm sure you can find a McDonalds down the road.
4. Can you just answer the questions without the attitude?
I can't read your mind, so it's either you answer my questions or your food comes out wrong. Contrary to what you might actually believe, I don't actually enjoy repeating the ingredients in a loaded baked potato or our house salad over and over again?
5. Are you really going to make me reach across you to grab your dirty dishes?
I'd rather not reach over the entire table to grab that one dirty dish. Help me out, meet me halfway. And while we're on the subject, I don't ask to take your dishes away because I like touching chewed up food and messy plates, I ask because it's less work at the end for me and it shuts my manager up. So when I ask and you say no, odds are I think you're tacky and I hate you.
6. Did you really tip me that?
I'll be the first to admit I can be a better waitress. I'm new and still learning. But I can promise you I try my best. However, it sends mixed signals when you tell me I was a great waitress but the tip doesn't reflect that. You have to keep in mind I get paid basically nothing hourly so I live off tips. Be considerate.
7. Can you fight over the bill in private please?
Don't make me stand here awkwardly as you fight over how you're going to split up the check or who's covering it all. I frankly couldn't care less as long as someone gives me the money or credit card to pay for it.
8. Why did you tell me you're ready if you're making me stand here awkwardly as you continue to stare at the menu?
If you aren't ready, that's fine, but please don't make me stand here and watch you stare at the menu. It just gets creepy, and honestly, I have other things to do that are more entertaining and beneficial with to time.
9. Why the hell do you need two drinks at the same time?
Are you just trying to test my tray carrying skills? Or are you pretending to look healthy with that water in front of you while you casually ask me to refill your Coca Cola three times and leave your water untouched?
10. Let me introduce myself and tell you about our specials, damn.
Nothing will come across as more rude then introducing yourself and people are already jumping down your throat with drink orders. Give me a second to introduce myself and our new specials. It's part of our standards. I don't want to do it as much as you don't want to listen to me so the faster it goes the faster we move on from it. And frankly, I'm sure you'll ask at some point in the dining experience you'll ask what my name is, and if you were quiet while I gave my introduction you would have known.
11. Don't ask my opinion on the food because I promise I won't tell you.
I'm most certainly not going to tell you I haven't tried more than half of the entrees here because I'm a vegetarian who works at a steakhouse, and I'm most definitely not going to tell you that my favorite thing on our menu is the kid's mac and cheese with grilled shrimp.
12. What do you want me to do about the prices on the menu?
I have no control on our menu. That include the prices and the food. It's not my fault we run out of prime rib on Friday nights, or that your favorite thing on the menu got taken off, and I most definitely have no control of the prices. If you want something cheaper, go order off the dollar menu.
13. I can tell something's wrong. So just tell me.
When I come back in two minutes after your food is dropped off I can automatically tell by your facial expressions whether everything came out good or not. When you hesitate, I know your lying. It's easier to fix a mistake early than it is when you've finished 90 percent of your steak and then tell me it was overcooked.
14. I did not cook your food so don't yell at me about it.
I only serve the food to people. In no way shape or form do I cook it. If I went near a stove I can promise you I would have burned down the restaurant a week into starting. I understand you're upset that it didn't come out cooked to your liking but I can only do so much for you and yelling at me won't get either of us anywhere. Trust me, I hate when food comes out the wrong way, and my name is associated with a three star dining experience. But somethings are out of my control.
15. Why are you camped out in my section?
I understand you want to sit and chat with your friends or family, but we get a three table section. How much money I make in a night is all based on how fast I can turn my tables around and when you pitch up a tent, start a bbq and camp out at my table for hours after paying I'm losing money. The ultimate worst is being cut and waiting on you guys to leave. Go chat outside, in a car, on a bus, a train, frankly anywhere but my table.
Of course, like every waitress and waiter will admit, we bite our tongue and smile through our teeth and whether we jot down the insults in our serving pad or vent to our closest coworker on the way into the kitchen we'll never show it because you're the guest and we have to make you happy because the company (and let's be real, our job) depends on it. It might also be because we're striving for at least a 20 percent tip and we'll do whatever it takes to get it.