I have been working as a food server off and on since I was fourteen and it never gets any less interesting. This is not about fine dining, its about the flip side of the industry working in the trenches of the massive national restaurant chains. Laugh or cry, people!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Please Don’t Hump the Waitress

People, I cannot emphasize this point enough: DON’T TOUCH ME.

This is my job. I don’t love you and you are not my friend. I am doing my best to maintain my professionalism and dignity and I do not want you to touch me. Do not be lured into a false sense of security by the uniform. I am an individual that you DO NOT KNOW.

That said…

We have a regular who brings her mother in every Saturday for brunch. The daughter is in her sixties, the mother in her eighties. They are both crazy as shithouse rats.

It seems the mother (M) insists on paying for the meal and then dictates to the daughter (D) what items are acceptable to order. They argue viscously over content and price and it takes about twenty goddamn minutes for them to come to terms. I have not waited on them since the day D groped me in the dining room against my will.

Let me walk you through it:

First, the nerve-wracking twenty minute decision time. I am fucking busy. If you have to ask me the price of beverages, you can’t afford them. Also, you cannot share beverages that have bottomless refills. The charge applies to each person drinking said beverage. You are welcome to order one iced tea and drink out of the same glass but I’m charging you for two on your bill. Get real. But I digress…

After much negotiation, the three of us finally settled on the chicken strip dinner with a senior discount ($8), hot water with a lemon ($0), and iced water with a lemon (also $0). They want it plated separately, which I will do because I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

They get two side choices and they want a baked potato, even though it is lunch time and baked potatoes are not technically available for another 4 hours. After much discussion and argument, I decide to microwave a potato for them myself because I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

They want to share a tiny dinner salad because they are too cheap to pay for a second one and D wants me to plate this separately as well. When I hesitate to agree, M says, “Oh, don’t worry about that. Just bring me an extra plate and I’ll split it for us.”

“NO!” D almost screams and then realizes the sane guests around her are staring and my mouth is hanging open in shock. She grabs my forearm and squeezes urgently, hissing, “I don’t want her touching my food.” I agree to split the salad because again, I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I need to get away. I have an 8-top and three other booths that aren’t crazy and I want this over with so I can make some money.

I head away from the crazies to enter their order. It is necessary to cross the entire dining room because my section today is in the backwater. I’m almost there when I hear D yelling after me above the buzz of conversations between 100 other guests. “AND WE MIGHT ORDER DESSERT LATER!” I keep walking without turning around, as if she could be talking to someone else. Ok bitch. Like I need to know right now what you might do later. Let’s just try to get through lunch.

Lunch is a nightmare. After finally delivering their meal, which I plated separately for no extra charge, they changed their minds about a bunch of shit one item at a time.

M wants hot tea now, regardless of price. But she only wants one cup and she wants me to ask a manager if I can make an exception to the rule on their bill. I say I will and then don’t because I already know the answer and have explained bottomless beverages to this bitch 3 times since she got here.

D wants more lemons. I bring them.

Now D wants more napkins, even though they still have unused extra napkins from a previous trip to the table. I bring them.

M wants a fresh cup because her hot tea got cold sitting there. I bring a fresh cup.

M wants a glass of OJ, but she wants to order it in a child’s cup and be charged accordingly. I bring her a kid’s OJ and put a charge on her bill for an adult’s small OJ. I don’t make the rules.

M wants pancakes now, but she doesn’t want to pay for a senior’s side of cakes ($4) because “she just wants a taste.” I order her a single pancake ($1.50).

When I bring it to the table, she eyes the maple syrup disdainfully. “I only eat pancakes with applesauce.” She wants me to bring her a side of applesauce to eat on her pancake in lieu of syrup and not charge her. I bring her a side of applesauce and put it on her bill.

They argue the entire time. Every trip to the table to see if they need anything else takes me forever because they want to discuss their needs while I stand there. They are almost impossible to get away from. I hate them.

They barely eat anything. They camp at my table all the way through lunch rush. After an hour and a half, they want me to box all of their crap to go. And they each want their own boxes. I’m not doing that. We don’t even offer to box leftovers here. We just drop off the boxes and you do it yourself. Because I don’t suck, I often help my guests with this task table-side, especially my older regulars. Our plates are very heavy and if you are nice, I will help you. I’m not helping these bitches anymore. I have run out of goodwill.

I remember the scream across the dining room and ask if they have saved any room for dessert. M gives me a shrewd look, like I’m trying to trick her. “Is it FREE?” she asks me loudly. I’ve had it.


She doesn’t give a fuck and she’s not embarrassed, which disappoints me.

She pays the bill and receives $6.37 in change. I already know what’s going to happen. I try not to look, but I have a fucked up calculator in my waitress brain. I know for a fact that she just put the $5 in her purse and left me $1.37 for the tip.

In the amount of time they sat at my table, I could easily have made $15 at this booth alone. That doesn’t take into account the money I’ve lost at my other tables because these crazy bitches needed so much shit, so many times.

The daughter is standing, trying to gather coats and purses and to-go boxes. I wish them an enjoyable afternoon and turn to walk away, relieved it is finally over.

I feel D grab my hips from behind, forcefully jerking my body back against hers. She wraps her arms around my waist and whisper-screams in my ear “Don’t let her see!”

She thrusts her left hand into my apron pocket, which incidentally is located directly in front of my pussy. I have no idea what just happened and I’m not sticking around to find out. I pull away from her (she is incredibly strong for a 60-year old woman), and get out of the dining room as fast as I can.

For a minute, I’m scared to check my pocket. Did an old crazy bitch just slip me her phone number? A note of apology? What could it be? It seemed so urgent.

It was $2.

You hear me, people?

That’s right.

I was just groped by an old woman for $2.


  1. HAHAHAHAHAHAH Oh my God! Oh. My. God. I freaking love you.

    I HATE it when people touch me and I think I might have screamed bloody murder if someone did that to me.

    I'm linking to you on my blog. You're too hilarious not to.
    Keep posting, girl!

  2. Thanks Sista Server! I don't know why people think they can touch us. You can't touch the naked women who work at strip clubs, so why would you touch me? I'm fully dressed and I brought you food. Weird.

  3. Pancake Grrl--Haha, the one time I actually freaked out on a customer (i talk big, but i ususally run and hide when people grab me), I TOLD the guy who grabbed me from behind that if he did to a stripper who had undressed for his creepy viewing pleasure what he had just done to me, a 400lb bouncer would knock the shit out of him. Because that's the law. It is illegal to touch a naked woman in a strip club.

    Restaurants should have 400lb bouncers, too. I can understand why women who work as sex teases would need a million legal and real protections from the gropers...but it's absurd that a chic who gets naked for creeps' viewing pleasure can have a guy kicked out of her place for laying a finger on her, while a waitress who even comments that an asshole grabbed her ass can expect (at best) to transfer the jackass to someone else.