Sit your ignorant ass down and let The Bitchy Waiter school you on how to act like a civil person in a restaurant, you monsters.
His real name is Darron Cardosa, and everyone is required to devour his most brilliant blog. The focus is on the nightmare customers who have tortured his world on a daily basis, ever since he muttered his first “Can I take your order?” at a Texas steakhouse in 1984.
These days, he’s waiting tables in New York City, where if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And by “make it,” we mean getting through a shift with your dignity intact, your eyes dry, your fists unclenched and you not losing your shit.
Are you one of his blog subjects? Let’s find out. If you see yourself in these posts, then you are out of control. We’re living in a society. What the actual fuck is wrong with you? Stop it.
Make sure you buy his book too.
Here, we ask our hero why people are so stupid, who his all-time-worst customer was, and why people bring young children to restaurants but don’t bring pacifiers.
Bitchy Waiter, I love you. I also respect you and all servers. My question isn’t “Why did you decide to write this blog?” My question is “Why aren’t you reading this blog from a loudspeaker of a traveling truck, and why isn’t this blog used to push legislation to make customer rudeness a misdemeanor?”
I tried to do that once, but the driver of the Mister Softee truck did not take kindly to me screaming at his young customers about how much I despised them.
What happens to people when they go to a restaurant? Is it a Jekyll & Hyde thing? Outside of the restaurant, they could appear seemingly normal, kind, loving, altruistic, and low-key, but something comes over them when they are being served. You’ve obviously given much thought to the dark side of the human condition here.
Certain people go into a restaurant eager for the chance to have someone beckon to their every whim. Maybe they are used to being shat upon and this is their opportunity to be the one who does the shitting. Of course, not all customer are like that, but there are some and those are the ones I choose to focus on when I blog.
It must require a certain kind of person to be a server: thick skin, strong constitution, perhaps even some sociopathic tendencies where empathy is lacking. Have you considered a composite of the typical server, if there is a typical one? Or maybe just common traits?
Servers all share some common traits. We all have an innate desire to help others, whether we want to admit it or not. Any server who has been doing it for a number of years automatically develops a skin thicker than that of a bowl of gravy that sat in the sidestand over night. Finally, all servers have an overwhelming desire to have a job that gives us flexible hours, decent income and lets us not take our work home with us other than the smell of fajita smoke in our hair.
You must have seen thousands of servers come and go, often in tears. What are the things that finally send servers over the top and out the door?
I think the thing that can send more people out the door than anything else is poor management. No matter how awful a customer may treat us, we all know it’s only temporary. If the mistreatment is coming directly from our boss, we know that our shitty days will continue to be shitty and we have to move on.
Do people ever ask you to “get a real job?” Is serving a “real job?”
People make “real” money waiting tables. With that money, people pay bills, buy food and provide homes for their families. They also pay real taxes. Now, tell me how waiting tables isn’t a “real job.”
Can we address the revenge tactic of placing inedible items, including bodily fluids, in difficult customers’ food? I’m sure you’ve never done it, but this is not just an urban myth, is it? Can you share some incidents? I’m sure they were all well deserved and no jury in this land would convict you.
Spitting in food happens, but not nearly as often as people seem to think it does. In my 25 years of waiting tables, I have done it one time. I felt horrible about immediately afterwards and it’s one of my biggest regrets. If you want the details that made me stoop that low, you’ll have to buy my book.
Why do people bring children to restaurants? And why do they always neglect to bring a pacifier?
I suppose people bring children to restaurants because the kids need to eat just like grownups do. As for the lack of pacifier, I don’t know why they don’t always have them, but it would be my pleasure to supply a wet towel to stuff into their mouth instead.
What is the absolute worst customer/experience you ever had, bar none?
A few months after 9/11, a customer of Middle Eastern descent accused me of being racist when they thought I ignored them to go to another table who hadn’t been waiting as long as they had. The truth was I had just punched in and the restaurant was slammed. A co-worker asked me to go right to the dining room and take any table that had not been taken yet just so the restaurant could get out of the weeds. I had no idea who had been there longer; I just went to the first table I saw. Unhappy, the first table asked for a manager and told them that I was a racist. It really upset me because it was such an unfair accusation. That was the last time I cried at work. And I still had to serve them.
How has being a waiter made you a stronger or more patient person?
After waiting for a shy two-year old to take ten minutes to mumble out that he wants chicken fingers for dinner, I feel like I have the patience of a saint, albeit, a bitchy one.
Is there a certain type of server-staffed restaurant or food choice that brings the worst customers?
If the staff is all female and wearing tight T-shirts and short-shorts, the customers are probably going to be pretty lame. Also, a restaurant that has any of the following items on the menu is going to bring out people I would rather not wait on: fried mozzarella, potato skins or all-you-can-eat anything.
It’s not a class thing, is it? Rich people can be just as ignorant as poor people, right?
Yes. Maybe more “clueless” than ignorant, but yes.
Why are people so stupid?
Because their heads are so far up their asses that they can’t get any oxygen to their tiny, little, walnut-sized brains.
What are some of the best/worst customer quirks or demands that you will never forget?
Too many to list. Remember, I have been waiting tables pretty consistently since the early 1990s. Buy the book.
Have you witnessed your share of couples breaking up, or severe family dysfunction?
Yes, I watched a girl get dumped in my section once and the guy left her as she sat at the table crying. She quickly sorted herself out, moved to the bar and started hitting on one of our regulars who she didn’t realize was gay. It really made for a great night of entertainment.
Are most people slobs? In what ways?
Not most, but some. It’s like people just make a marginal effort to get the food into their mouths and if two-thirds of it ends ups on the table and on the floor they are happy that they got to eat some of it. I wish I could strap bibs and/or feeding bags onto the faces of some people. Also, napkins are wonderful things and if the restaurant is going to be kind enough to give you one, please fucking use it.
Your bio says that you love The Brady Bunch. Do you think Mike and Carol were wrong to leave the fancy restaurant, after they were seated and before ordering their dinner, because they were nervous about the kids being left alone without a babysitter? The maître’ d seemed pretty pissed off, and rightfully so, right?
Ordinarily, I would side with the maître’ d, but in this case, since it’s Mike and Carol Brady, I will say that they are allowed to do whatever they fucking want. They’re Mike and Carol Brady, for cryin’ out loud. Now if it was Sam the Butcher who did that with any side piece other than Alice, I’d think they were total assholes.
You have your blog to vent your frustration, but how else do you unwind at the end of a shift?
Two words: shift drink.
Should this blog be required reading for all offenders, and a cautionary tale for others?
Yes. It should be on the required reading list just like Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Bible.
Thanks, Bitchy! Let’s hope your blog, book and this article will help change the world.
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Here is The Bitchy Waiter’s interpretation of a customer’s reaction when the food is perceived to be “cold:”