Being a waiter has it highs and lows and is definitely not for the faint hearted. It is a job, where no two days are alike, where one table can be your best friends and the next your worst enemy and where you are fully at liberty to crack as many jokes and flirt as much as you want with any customer you choose. Ask any waiter, you could not make it through the day if there was no enjoyment in it. Saying that, here are a list of 10 ways to annoy your waiter to no extent.
1. It’s the obvious one so let’s get it out of the way: those who don’t tip. I could argue till I am blue in the face about why we should tip, but what is the point? At this stage I can spot them the moment they walk through the door. I spend their meal living in hope that my cynicism is wrong, that I have just been in the game too long and that these kind, well dressed seemingly affluent people will restore my faith in humanity come time for their bill. But alas my heart has been broken one too many times, as I return their 3.80 change from a 126.20 bill and they smile, thank me, and put it straight in their back pocket.
2. “I’ll have my steak very well done please” Now unfortunately it is a customer’s prerogative to, excuse the pun, butcher their steak anyway they seem fit. But if you chose to have your steak cremated, then pay attention when I tell you that will take 30-35 minutes to cook and don’t waste your time burning your eyes into the back of my head, hoping that will make it come out sooner. It’s just not possible. Deal with it.
3. A concept that some can’t seem to get their heads around is that Chefs are more than Cooks. These men and women have trained, become qualified and enjoy making beautiful and delicious food and want to share their expertise with you. This means that yes, that meal will come with sauce, yes there is spice in that dish, and yes that “green stuff” is of course edible. Now I can understand when people occasionally want their sauce on the side, or specify they rather that burger didn’t come with cheese but when a meal comes out with garnish, as most of them do, and a customer proceeds to scrape it off the plate as if it will infect the rest of the food, I just don’t understand. It’s salad leaves, it’s not a sauce and in no way does it contaminate the rest of your food. Just work around it.
4. Customer service is your number one priority as a waitress, if you aren’t there to attend the needs of your tables then there is really no point of you being there. This is why, we regularly ask the table “Are you enjoying everything here folks?” and try our best to fix a problem as soon as possible should any arise. That is why it is even more painful when, come the end of the meal when 90% of it has been eaten and nothing can be changed about it then, a customer then decides to speak up on their list of complaints. “Yes I am sorry your chips were cold and your meat wasn’t too your liking, but unfortunately you didn’t tell me this 10 minutes ago when I asked you for the third time were you enjoying your meal and now, it is clearly, TOO LATE!!!”
5. Kids with rice. Now, really I blame this just as much on the part of the restaurant as I do on the customer. Rice is the glitter of the cooking world, once given to children it will turn up on every surface within a quarter mile radius and there is no getting rid it. You will find it in the carpets, down the side of the chairs and in that flower pot and candle holder in the middle of the table. You may think you have cleaned it all up once the child has gone, but you can be sure, come the end of the night, you will still be picking up those single grains from the carpet, off the chairs and probably even from your own hair.
6. When people cover their food in a napkin once they are finished with it as if covering a corpse. The food was dead to begin with; why do you feel the need to cover it up now? Moreover, what did you do to the meal that you can’t bear to stand the sight of it anymore?
7. When people order their condiments one by one. “So guys, can I get you anything else? Vinegar? Ketchup? Mayonnaise?” Then as I bring the ketchup they asked for back to the table they remember they need vinegar. And after the vinegar? “Sorry you wouldn’t have some mayonnaise by any chance would you?” No. Just no.
8. Now bless, I know sometimes people can’t help but be the mammies that they are but however noble your intentions were, piling up the plates on top of each other at the edge of your table once you are finished your meal is of no help to your waiter. We cannot balance them that way, we cannot take that weight all at the one time and we end cradling the pile like a child towards the kitchen, covered in the gravy and mash potato which has oozed out from between the plates.
9. When a customer refuses to pay their bill at the table. It comes to the end of the meal and the waiter kindly comes to the table and says “Is there anything else I can get for you their folks? No? No worries.” The customer then proceeds to vanish from the table, and panic sets in over the waiter. “Where have they gone? Are they coming back? How will they pay for the table when they have no idea how the numbering system works?” They rush to the till, and find the customer there describing to some member of management or another unfortunate waiter what the table they sat on looked like. All you had to do was ask, we would have brought you the bill and don’t worry this won’t mean that we will force you to give us a tip.
10. And last but definitely not least, the table who fight over the bill. “No now Mrs Doyle this one is on me!” “You won’t. Put that purse away, this ones one me!” “Now don’t be silly of course this one is on me”. And it goes on and on, while the waiter stands there, smiling and pretending they don’t have 100 other things to be doing. Then, when at last someone forces the other guest into submission and triumphantly pays for the four-person bill; no one tips the waiter.