*DISCLAIMER* This post is harsh. But not at all untrue. There is some language that a lady should probably not use so freely, but (spoiler alert!), a lady I am not.
I manage a restaurant. I have for about two years, and before that I slaved away at a country club in my hometown for five (with a brief salon stint in between… oh yeah, I’m certainly putting my double degree to good use). It is my avid belief, and anyone else who’s ever worked in the service industry, that everyone should work in the service industry. Everyone. Ever. Seriously. Because, if everyone took their turns servicing others’ irritating, over-the-top, bullshit requests on a daily basis, situations like these would never happen again (ah, wishful thinking…).
Never, ever, walk into a place like you own it. This includes walking in, past all staff members who futily try to greet you as you snake past them, seating yourself at “your” table and setting up camp. Then getting pissy when your server, who probably didn’t see you anyway (remember how you neglected to act like a decent, patient human being when you walked in?), because she wasn’t there immediately to hear that you want “the regular” (which isn’t even on the menu). Now don’t get me wrong, we love regulars. They keep us afloat, we get to know each other, and even the special orders aren’t that bad – you like what you like, it’s why you keep coming back. Just don’t be an asshole about it.
Don’t try to seem clever or witty when it comes to saving money on your bill. Me: I’m sorry your table took an extra minute to set up. I’m sorry you were short a menu. I’m sorry I brought you water with ice in it. You: Ha ha, that’s okay, it’ll reflect on my bill, right? *wink* Me: Ha ha, no, you’re an asshole. Or this one… You: Make sure you take good care of me, I’m the one paying the bill. Me: *automatic 18% gratuity* Ha ha, of course, sir. You’re obviously an asshole.
Absolutely, under no circumstances, whistle at a staff member. This actually happened to me once. As I was walking to the back to seat an older couple, dude whistles (two fingers, straight up dog style) to alert me he wants to sit in the front (which segways me to my next don’t…), right by our open windows. As his wife tried to excuse his inexcusable behavior, saying he didn’t mean to make such a loud noise, he corrected her, letting us both know he did mean to. As I went in the kitchen to cool off and keep from throwing him out aforementioned window, the old bastard had the further audacity to close the window (p.s. keep your hands off the windows… and the blinds… and the tables and chairs… this is not a self-service station, assholes, ask for some assistance… and permission). The man at the next table then reopened the window, alerting the o.b. that he and his family were there first and wanted to sit by the windows because they were open. So the old couple had to slink to a table in the back. What an asshole.
Don’t try to seat yourself. Restaurants have hostesses and sections for a reason. We’re not putting you in the corner because you were bad, we’re putting you there because the last four tables didn’t want to sit there either, and now Lindsay’s only had one table compared to everyone else’s four. So no, you can’t sit there instead. Sit down where I tell you to, shut up and enjoy your meal. Asshole.
Don’t rack up a $100 bill and leave less than $20 (and so on). Don’t complain about your fries being too hard or there being “hair” on your plain chicken wings or your not-strong-enough drink or your burger being overcooked (after you’ve eaten half of it), thinking you’re going to get something comped. When the server adds on a gratuity, don’t tip less. Never tip less than 20% (regardless of what Oprah says and unless of course the server doesn’t deserve it) – this is the money servers need to pay for bills and rent and therapy after dealing with cheap assholes like you for so many years.
This isn’t brain surgery, people. It’s common sense. It’s common decency. So if you can’t afford to tip, get take out (even though you should still leave at least a dollar because those taxes come out of a server’s non-existent paycheck) or visit your local drive thru. Or better yet, stay home. Because chances are nobody wants to have to deal with you anyway.