John Mc

This is a collection of my thoughts. Some of the thoughts that I once had, I no longer do. Some thoughts I have now I have never had. Yet none shal be discounted. This blog is soley for the enjoyment of the author and the readers. On occasion the views expressed are overly exagerated in order to prove a point. Also there may be a dirty word or thought in some of the posts. Grow up and take this for what it's worth - a blog that barely anyone will ever see.


Serving Rant

I am not a fan of waiting tables. Not at all.
Why do I do it? I certainly don't do it for the money, the prestige or the birthday songs. I do it because I enjoy the people that I work with. (Even the ones dating an accused murderer, sometimes.)
At the restaurant, they encourage us to call each customer "guest." I'm guessing it is because some focus group somewhere found the term "guest" was warmer and more personable than "customer" and they thought that the restaurant would get more repeat business if we approached each customer with this mindset. I, however, won't be doing this today. Mainly because the a-holes that I will be disgusing in this rant would NEVER be welcome in my home.
In every job, there are things that tick me off. The main thing about waiting tables is tips. Now, I have lucked out. I have been working in the service industry for over three years (two separate restaurants) and have only been stiffed roughly 6-7 times. However, this doesn't include the awful tips that sometimes get left.
Let me explain to you why tips are so very important. Obviously, the more money you tip, the more money goes to the server. That is an equation that everyone can figure out. However, what most people don't understand is that the server is working for LESS THAN Minimum wage. That's right. LESS THAN! Most servers make roughly $4 an hour. Why is this legal? It is because the government assumes that the server is not an idiot and can make up the remainder of the minimum wage from the tables they help. Plus the government assumes that the kindness of strangers will pay your rent. It usually does. What also happens is that at the end of the night, we have to tip out 3% of our total sales. 1% goes to the bussers who clean the tables. 1% goes to the bartenders who make the drinks. (This is 1% of everything, not just liquor sales, which I think is B.S. because what the hell does the bartender have to do with the chicken fingers that I served?!) and the final 1% goes to the hosts. Why we tip them out is beyond me, they are mostly morons who are too dumb to be able to handle a mindless job like waiting tables. Most of the time they can't even count to get the seating plan correct. But, that is a whole different rant.
Let me show you how easy it is to figure out your tip. If you can multiply by two, you can figure this out. You take the total of your bill and ignore everything after the decimal. If your bill is $15, then you double that. You get $30. Thus, your tip should be $3. If your bill is $55, double that. Your tip should be.... $11. See how easy that is?
Yet there are some people that have issues with that. OR you have the idiots that carry that tip card around with them so that they can figure it out to the penny. Don't worry about change - EVER. All it does is accumulate on my dresser. (Unless you want to toss me some quarters. I'm cool with quarters because I have laundry to do.)
There are other people that leave $5. NO MATTER WHAT THEIR BILL IS - $5. On a $20 bill, $5 is appreciated. On a $50 bill, it is frowned upon. On a $100 bill - you are getting your licence plate written down and I will come find you at your job and get your cheep-ass fired so you have no income to go out to restaurants ever again. Enjoy your Ramon noodles, bitch.
Right now, in order to bring in more customers, my restaurant is offering "buy one entree, get one entree free" coupons. Really? You have to be kidding me. This does bring in more customers, but it hurts our tips greatly. Let me explain.
Let us say that you and your friend have each ordered $20 meals. Your bill (if we keep this simple and take out appetizers, drinks and tax) would be $40. With the coupon, you would only have $20 left. You should still tip me on the $40. Give me AT LEAST the $8 that is due to me. I did 100% of my job. Just because you paid 50% doesn't mean you should tip me 50%. PLUS I have to tip out on the whole amount. Remember that 3% I mentioned earlier? That is on th $40 not on the $20. So, my tip is even LOWER thanks to these dumbass coupons.

Being a server makes you a racist. It does. I won't go into it, but what I will say is that the racist thoughts are shared with all servers irregardless of the race of the server. Everyone knows it, yet they can't discuss it at work or they risk being fired.
It sucks, I know. I treat all my tables the same, because on occasion you will find someone who wishes to live above the stereotype. Unfortunately, they are few and far between.
Tables that ask if there are "free refills" you know are not going to tip you well. If right off the bat you are proving that you are a cheep-ass, then we know that you are going to give only 10% or less on your bill.
If you run my ass off, I know that I'm not going to get a good tip from you. Logic would say that the inverse is true. Not so. If I drop off the food and one of the people at the table asks for a side of ranch, I smile (like I care) and run to the back to pester the cooks for the side of ranch that you should have asked for when you originally placed your order. The cooks are running around making meals for the entire restaurant. Most people don't realize that this could take a moment for them to stop what they are doing so they can put a bit of ranch in a cup for the customer that lacks fore-sight.
Should I return to your table with your precious dollop of ranch and another member of your table also asks for a side they neglected to order, not only am I pissed now because I have to go all the way back to the kitchen, ask for everyone to stop what they are doing once again and then bring it back to the woman who shouldn't be asking for more dressing ANYWAY, but I know that I'm not going to get tipped on this table.
Why? My theory is this. They don't get it. They don't see us handing multiple tables at the same time. Refills for this table, ordering for this table, check drop off at this table, sides for this one. Constant running. These people who run you don't see that they are not the only ones in the restaurant. I did not drive a half hour to work just to wait on you. (And if I did, I would expect your tip to AT LEAST cover my gas consumption on this hour-long round-trip!) I came in to work today to make money from every table that I am asked to help.

One other group of people that aggravate the F___ out of me is the indecisive. If you haven't made up your mind - FINE! When I ask "Are we ready to go?" Don't say yes and then say "I haven't really decided what I want." What part of my question was confusing? It is one thing if you are between two items and are asking for my opinion. (What I like is when I recommend option A over B and they look at the menu, thank me then pick option B. What was that? That some stupid power trip mind screw that you just pulled? If you don't want to use my opinion, then why the hell did you ask me in the first place?!) I get it. If you are close, then fine. But when you say that you are ready and you are not, you are wasting my time. More importantly you are wasting the time of all the other tables that I'm supposed to be helping. Out of the corner of my eye I see the 8 year-old at the table next you polish off his 12th Dr. Pepper that I could be refilling. I see the old people in the other direction finish looking at the desert menu with their selection in mind. I see the table behind me getting sat with a family of 5 with a high chair. All the while YOU CAN'T MAKE UP YOUR MIND! Release me. Let me take care of the other tables and I will be back to you in 3 minutes or less. By then you should have been able to make it through the entire menu several times. (Well, if you got help with the big words like "cheeseburger.")
At this point, I usually say something like "I can come back to you in a moment or two when you are ready." I have learned to not wait for a response. Because the indecisive are sure about one thing at this moment - they will "be ready in just a second." NO. NO YOU WON'T! I have been down this road before. The old people are getting impatient and want their cheesecake. The family behind me are looking for their server and are about to complain to management that no one has helped me and that little brat is banging his empty cup on the table in search of more Dr. Pepper!
What is just as bad are the cell phone users or the mumblers. I put these people in the same category because they are both capable of communication, but are not willing to do so. If I come up to your table and you are on the cell phone, what I used to do is patiently wait until you tell whoever is on the other line to hold while you make your order. Now I look at your eyes and then walk away. You know that I was there to help you out, but you are on the phone. I then don't come back up until you are off the phone. At the very core of what you are doing, it is rude and I won't tolerate it.
I also don't understand the mothers that come in with their kids and the kids have to occupy themselves with the crayons and placentas while mom is on the phone. Going out to eat should be a bonding experience for families. You shouldn't be talking about who did who over the weekend in front of your 3 year old anyway, you poor excuse for a parent. Put down the damn phone and talk to your kid before he grows up to be a thief because you didn't talk to him enough. I also have had it with the mumblers. If you place your order and I can't hear you, what I used to do was lean in and say "I'm sorry, what was that?" and really work with you. Now I lean back and say "I can't hear you."
"Oh, yeah, I want a cheeseburger."
"That comes with lettuce, pickle, onion and tomato."
"Aw, nofremblkake."
"What was that? I couldn't catch that."
"No pickles."
(I then start messing with you.)
"So that's lettuce, onion and tomato."
"Uh, slfcowhcqie."
"You are going to have to speak up."
"Uh, yeah."
"Any soup or salad to start?"
"Um, slehiwergonewasdoifweoihoigh4htaohgoihweoithhtew."
"Was there a number 4 in there? I didn't get any of that. Please repeat it." (at this point, usually the others at the table are just as aggravated with the mumbler as I am.)
"Great. I'm going to get that started."

After serving for as long as I have, you begin to notice personality types. I can (usually) within 30 seconds of talking to a table tell you what kind of tippers they are. Now, this doesn't mean that they won't always tip. Let me explain. Some people are just nice people. They are easy to get along with and are out to a restaurant for a change of pace. They are out to enjoy themselves with their families. This is the ideal situation. Very little effort is necessary here. Joke around a bit with mom and dad, call the kids sir and ma'am and you have it in the bag.
Then you have the people who have had a stressful day and are not in the best of moods. This can go either way. This is what separates the good servers from the bad servers. You can either make their day worse or better. It is up to how things go and you pray that the kitchen or the idiots that run your food don't mess anything up. Because, should the slightest mistake occur, all your hard work goes down the drain. However, these tables bring the greatest reward if you can turn their day around.
Then you have the sadistic bastards that come in that are at a restaurant NOT to have a good time with their families, but (I believe) because there is a place where they can order someone around. Perhaps something happened to them in their childhood or they have a boss that really brow-beats them. Whatever it is, it isn't my fault. Don't think that you can take it out on me. If you dish it, I will smile my biggest sarcastic smile and ask "Is there anything else I can do for you?" You won't be able to rattle me. If you have come in to piss me off, I will turn the tables and have you feeling worse when you leave. These people will pay for their piss-poor attitudes once Jesus calls them over on judgement day.
"Why am I not going to heaven?" They will ask wondering what they did wrong.
Jesus will reply "You were a jerk-face to that server. That is what pushed you over the end. If it wasn't for that, you'd be in. You will now spend an eternity fetching ranch from a kitchen that is too far."
I see this as part sociology experiment. I am a good judge of character and have become better thanks to this job. For example, I have recently been wondering why is it that the bigger the customer the smaller the tip? I really don't get this. I have a theory on this expressed by the following video:

What I like is when our dumb-ass hosts try to seat these people in the booths. Look, when you are halved by the table, perhaps you should start walking more. Oh, and SIT AT A DAMN TABLE!!!
Now, with all this being said, a healthy majority of customers are great people. They come in to have a good time and a good experience and don't want to make things hard on the server or anyone else. They make the job worthwhile. It is unfortunate that there are several ignorant a-holes that ruin it for everyone else.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get ready for work.

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  • At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Chadley said…

    I'm a flat out pisspoor tipper...and I'm honest about it. I many times will not go to a sit down restaurant just so I don't have to tip and I can save money for my greedy ass. Sometimes I'll order cheap and am slow to drink my soda to keep any undue pressure off of the wait staff so i don't feel guilty about tipping. Having been a former waiter myself...I really don't blame people, though. They are who they are. Karma is a bitch and they'll get theres as I will get mine. They work hard all week and I think we all agree that we are ALL underpaid. I've gotten better about tipping as I've gotten paid more...but, the cost of the food, doesn't always seem to equate to how good the service is. For an $11 tip, I'd better be getting the upgrade service with free alcohol and testicle waxing. Damn, if I got $3, I was shitting sunshine!

  • At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Jackie Monfre said…

    John - I would love it if you could explain something to me. Why do servers bring the check when you're only about half way through your meal? This is something that has happened to me on a few occasions and it REALLY pisses me off. I am a decent tipper 99% of the time, but when something like that happens I do decrease the tip. I know your rant was about the customers (who definitely can suck), but there are some pretty crappy servers out there too. (IMO) P.S. where do you work so Tony and I can visit and tip you well? ;)

  • At 11:28 AM, Blogger John Mc. said…

    Don't get me wrong! There are some LOUSY servers out there! (I work with some!)
    At the place I'm at, they actually encourage us to drop the check when we check up on you. ("Check up, check down" was thier motto for those that need a catchy phraze to remember such a complex new way of approaching serving!)
    When I am forced to do it, I do let the customer know that I'm being forced to do it and that it is for your convienence if you are in a hurry because you are on lunch and need to get back to work quickly. I also stress "No hurry" when I do deliver the check so people don't feel rushed.
    I won't say where I work here, but I can tell you it is the same place that you saw Blythe and I.


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