I had a bad day yesterday – which wasn’t helped by having to leave one job and go straight to another.

I’m not a good waitress at the best of times – my attitude is “it’s just food, if it doesn’t arrive at your table all at the same time, you’re not going to starve – it’ll get here eventually and there are actually people outside who can’t afford to eat tonight, so shut up”…

Anyhoo, after last night’s disaster, here is (sorry…) a top ten list of all the things you should never do at a restaurant, especially if I’m serving you…

1. Don’t thrust a glass in my face to imply that it needs to be filled, but not take a breath in your conversation or even look at me – IT’S RUDE.

2. Don’t click your fingers at me to get my attention. IT’S VERY RUDE.

3. When I offer you a taste of the wine, don’t make the joke “if I don’t like it, does that mean I get to send it back?” I’m likely to reply “no dumb ass, you’re tasting it to see if the wine is corked, however since you are too idiotic to know that, there’s no point in me wasting my time – perhaps I should organise a cask wine for you?”

4. Don’t assume all waitresses are students on the side. There are some highly intelligent people who are in hospitality as a career path because they can travel and earn good money – they don’t need a scumbag secretary like you, implying that there’s something wrong with being a waitress full time.

5. Don’t stack your plates in the middle of the table. It’s an etiquette thing. Having said that, if you’re willing to stack them, perhaps you’re willing to wash them?… I’ll point you in the direction of the kitchen.

6. Don’t move your glass when I’m pouring water (or wine, depending on the glass) into it. I know you think you’re helping, but since I’m not psychic, and the water is already pouring out of the jug toward your glass, why would you choose that moment to move the glass toward me?

7. My name isn’t “Waitress”, please don’t call me that. This is an entirely new phenomenon. I never encountered it when I was working as a waitress years ago, but since recently starting again, the number of people who have said things like, “Thank you Waitress” or “Can I have the fish, Waitress” is astounding. I’m not my job. I have a name, and if you’d like to use it, I’m happy to give it to you… Do you go collect the mail and say “Thank you Postman”, or do you go to your accountant and say “Please do my tax return, Accountant”? No – of course you don’t. So stop doing it to waitresses…

8. Don’t give me a hard time when you call up at 10pm on Friday night, trying to book a table for Saturday night, and I tell you we’re fully booked. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Don’t give me some sob story about “it’s your anniversary, you had your first date at this restaurant, blah blah blah”. If the event meant that much to you, you would’ve booked earlier, like everyone else. Stop busting my balls.

9. Don’t walk into the restaurant and instantly use the Managers name because it makes you seem important, might get you a better table or service, or might wangle you a table when none is available. Do you know how many people use his name? We know you’re not his friend, we know he probably served you once or twice before and that’s it. We also know (and you don’t) that he probably has NO IDEA who you are – but he’s better at faking being nice then we are (thus he is the manager and we are not!). When you use his name, we think you’re a wanker.

10. Do not ever tip me 40c just to round your credit card total off. It’s so disgustingly rude. Do you know what that means? – it means you think it’s what I’m worth. So many people do it without thinking about how it’s going to make the person who spent the last four hours of their life pandering to your whims, wishes and fancies feel. I don’t mind if you don’t tip me if it’s not worth it – that’s honest. I love it when you do tip because you think it’s worth it (which happens surprisingly often), but do not ever treat me as if 40c is an appropriate, civilised or polite tip to give, it’s insensitive, thoughtless and rude.

Oops – that was a little bit more aggressive than I meant for it to be…

So next time you see me coming to serve you your Capriosca, run in the other direction, or smile, remember to say thank you, and we might all be able to live peaceably!

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