Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Things That Chap My Ass About Restaurants

We eat out a couple times a week.

Usually we get breakfast in town at least once on the weekends.

And if we go into Anchorage we get lunch or dinner.  Sometimes during the week we might get dinner in Palmer if I’m too damned tired to cook. And my wife and I meet for lunch in Anchorage when our mutual work schedules allow – usually about once a week.

So you could say we’re experienced at the whole dining out thing, we’re not novices to the restaurant scene (such as it is, here in Alaska).  And as limited as the selection in the Anchorage area is, I still consider it an improvement over the last place we lived - which was Southern California.

Oh, sure SoCal has a huge variety of places to eat. Huge. Everything from Humpback Left Handed Midget Hoboken Hoagies out of a cart on the sidewalk to Snooty French Food That Is Made From Little Tiny Birds Covered In Sauce That Costs Way Too Much and everything in between.  Problem is, there’s about five hundred billion people who’ve all decided to go stand in line at the very same restaurant you have your heart set on. You want Mexican? So does everybody else. Steak? Suddenly every carnivore south of the Golden Gate decides that’s the day they need the Fred Flintstone Ribs.  Salad? And you’re fighting ravenous Vegans armed with tofu and celery sticks. You’ll settle for Chinese? Everybody in LA decides they just have to have Wonton. Hell, even the drive through at In-N-Out is twenty deep on a good day (well, OK, I can understand this). Always.  Doesn’t matter where it is, doesn’t matter what time it is, you are going to stand in line – even if it’s a shitty chain joint.  We walked into The Outback Steakhouse in Escondido once and it was like trying to get into a Brittany concert, the hostess looked me right in the eye and said with dead seriousness, “The wait is about two hours, name?” Name? My name is Kiss My Ass you daffy bitch. Seriously, who waits two hours for Outback? I could slaughter a cow, butcher it, and cook my own in less time. I’m hungry now, and your food isn’t anywhere near good enough that I’m going to wait two damned hours in a hundred and ten degree heat.  Ten minutes is about all I’m good for when it comes to waiting for a table, after which I start to fidget and think about gnawing the limbs off of the other patrons. When I’m hungry I want to eat, I don’t want to sit around watching other people eat. But, standing in line for food is the national sport in California.

The choices out here in Alaska are pretty limited, but at least I don’t have to wait for them. Usually. And I don’t have to fix it, and I don’t have to clean up afterwards. 

So we eat out.

Now, I used to work in the food service industry. Back when I was a teenager and in my early twenties before I joined the military and went off to enjoy exotic food in charming third world countries (you may read that as either a) dysentery and/or b) monkey on a stick).  I know just how much it sucks to wait on tables and put up with jerk customers – believe me, I know.  Getting shot at in the Middle East is a step up. There’s a website out there called Waiter Rant. The guy that writes it is far more of a philosopher and has far more adventures in the restaurant business than I ever did, but he’s fun to read and he’s got a point – a lot of customers are dicks.  So I really try not to be that guy. I try to tip well, and I try to be understanding. I do. Really.

But there are things I see every day that just chap my ass about dinning out.

- Your tip is directly proportional to the level of tea in my glass: I.e low tea level, low tip.  Look, I understand you’re busy leaning on the cash register talking Star Search with the other girl who is ignoring her tables, but if I have to ask you for a refill you’ll have to ask me for a tip. It’s like being a pilot, you don’t wait for the engine to explode before you decide to check the oil pressure, you keep an eye on the instruments. Also, I like ice tea. Tea. As in hot water with leaves steeped in it until it’s dark brown, then poured over ice. Waving a Lipton bag past a 55 gallon drum full of cold water doesn’t cut it.

- Your tip is inversely proportional to the number of times you tell me what your favorite menu item is, i.e. the more you squeal obsequiously “ohhhh that’s my favorite!” the less you’re getting. I don’t care what you like. Hell you probably eat tomatoes, I hate tomatoes. And you look like the kind of goofy bastard who puts coconut on chocolate cake and pineapple on pizza.  You’ve got a ring through your lip and a stud in the middle of your tongue, frankly I don’t trust your sense of taste at all. Now, obviously if I ask, “say, how’s the fish today,” feel free to make up whatever bullshit you like, but otherwise just nod in a business like fashion and write down my order. Thanks.

- Speaking of which, your tip is directly proportional to the number of tongue piercings you have, i.e. the less I can understand the simian-like drooling coming out of your mouth, the less money you’re getting. Jesus Christ, I don’t know if you just said the Chef’s special tastes like boiled leather or if you offered to tickle my ass with a feather.

- Your tip is directly proportional to the temperature of my food, i.e. hot food, bigger tip. Long wait between order and arrival of cold food which shows up in a cloud of your ganja smoke and you shouldn’t get your hopes up – unless you really did offer to tickle my ass with a feather.

- Your tip is inversely proportional to your level of cleanliness, i.e. if you’re touching my plate with hands that look like you’ve been shoveling horse manure, then you damned well better have a grant or a scholarship or rich parents because you’re not paying for college with what you’ll be getting from me. Soap, Stable Boy, and lots of it. Just as a general rule, keep your thumb out of my soup and off the rim of my glass. I don’t know where your finger has been but I can probably guess. Also, if you commit murder and chop the body up for disposal in the kitchen garbage grinder – at least change your apron before you approach my table. Thanks.

- If you don’t write my order down, I will automatically deduct 10% right off the top.  Here’s why – you’re going to fuck it up. Yes, you will. You always do. Write. It. Down.  I came in to eat, not to see a magic trick, Dr. Memory. I’m more impressed with neat and legible penmanship easily read by the cook than I am with the fact that you almost, sort of, got my order correct. If you only sort of get my order right, I’m only sort of going to tip you. Write it down – especially that part where I said “no tomatoes.” In fact, underline that.

- If your cell phone rings while you’re waiting on me, it is highly likely that I’m going to be in a non-charitable mood. If you answer it while you’re waiting on me, your tip will be written on a cocktail napkin and signed “Scrooge McDuck.” On the other hand, when you get to the kitchen check your text messages, the one from me is a reminder about the fucking tomatoes.


Ah, hell, you know the truth is that unless you pour boiling soup in my lap, I’ll probably tip you the standard 15% minimum no matter what – just because I remember waiting tables and how much I hated customers who acted like assholes – and because I see a lot of customers still acting like assholes (but that’s another installment of Things That Chap My Ass). 

Here’s the thing – when I led Sailors in the US Navy I used to tell them this: Always, no matter what, put 100% percent into what you do.  If you swab out toilets for a living, then be the best Goddamned toilet swabber-outer anybody has ever seen, make people notice - and you won’t be swabbing toilets for long.  Same with waiting tables.  It’s an honorable job. It’s a necessary job. Take some fucking pride in it. Pay attention, go the extra mile, be professional – and you’ll find that I tip far above the industry standard.  I notice professional service, because there is damned little of it nowadays, and I’m willing to reward you for it.


Now, about that refill…



Really, what chaps your ass about going out to eat?


  1. My most recent rude waitstaff incident: waiter comes to my table and asks what I want. Before I can respond, however, he spots a longlost friend on the other side of the restaurant and proceeds to engage in lengthy effusive greetings (while still standing next to my table, mind). This was right after he completely failed to hear that I wanted water, not ice tea. I mean, I suppose "tea" and "water" sound really similar, but ... *shakes head sadly*

    (and, yes, I still tipped him anyway. Because I want to be able to go back to that restaurant later. They usually have excellent service.)

    Actually, that's not unlike my last visit to Best Buy, where the sales rep went in search of the computer equipment I wanted to buy, then just sort of wandered off. I followed him back to where I'd found him, and had to interrupt his attempt to help someone else. :p "'Scuse me? What happened to that monitor you were looking up for me?" (All of which was the last straw in my quest to buy my Acer, which I then ordered off of Amazon instead and spent two nerve-wracking mornings waiting for UPS to deliver it without just dropping it on my doorstep where it could easily be stolen.) (Funny tangential story about *that* too, involving a perky religious solicitor that I shut the door in the face of, because I'd come running down the stairs straight out of bed expecting a package, and wasn't actually awake enough to be polite about anything else.)

    Err. I do go on, huh. o.O

    pwavestr = a Matlab function that turns P waves into a string.

  2. Hmm. And while I'm babbling on... I must say, one of the things that really annoys me is when I'm in a fast food place and order something with a dipping sauce, and I say I want barbecue, but they automatically assume I said "sweet and sour." -.-

  3. Just extend that rant to everyone in the service industry. It sometimes seems unfortunate that we don't get to tip all clerks directly. I try to be nice (I am Canadian after all and if I'm not someone might tie one of those floating beavers from the closing ceremonies to me) but really - don't ignore me for your buddy just because I'm not hawt.

    zoinex - pain relief from servers;)

  4. Still being involved in a manner of the service industry I have rants about both sides of the counter. There is a line that separates feigning interest and being truly interested. I tend to be a good customer because I know what it is like to be on the other side of it. I like getting water automatically. You sit down and the wait(er/ress) fills the glass without having to be asked. I have to agree with KOS in one aspect and that is the hygiene. SOAP and HOT WATER, no tongue or lip piercings. Spit at me while talking or have a hair hanging from a pierced part just waiting to drop into my salad and I am done. gonna push the item aside, ask to see the manager or just split after informing the vile beast that they have just lost a customer and a tip, please cancel my order and hasta la vista. What surprises me about this post is that there was no mention of the Purple Roof Burrito place in San Diego. Come on acknowledgment must go to that little stand on the PCH. And what about the smash sandwich?

  5. Well, now I know why you live in Alaska. Now tell me why so many think that it's heaven on earth. Or is that over?

    lechoun = abbr., "lecherous hound."

  6. 1. If I order a steak "medium rare, closer to rare", please don't lecture me on the varieties of "done-ness" and tell me that what I want doesn't exist. Unless physics works differently in your kitchen, you cook it rare and then leave it on the grill just a little longer -- you twit.

    2. I may get annoyed at poor service and decrease the tip, but YOU GET NOTHING if you hold me hostage waiting for the check. I know you've been instructed not to rush people after a meal, but if I ask for the check with our coffee and dessert, that should be a clue.

    3. Slightly OT, but I've noticed that when we order food delivered, the kid bringing it is always shocked when I tip 20% (standard in NY). I can only assume that nobody else is tipping delivery guys. Why on earth do people who think it's necessary to tip someone who walked your meal all the way from the kitchen somehow think it's OK to stiff the kid who just rode his bike 6 blocks through a fucking blizzard.

  7. Purple Roof Place on the way to Point Loma, what the hell was the actual name of that joint, Beastly? I can never remember. Best carne asada California burritos in San Diego - but during lunch the line was around the block. And I put smash sandwiches firmly in the "monkey on a stick" category.

    Steve, I don't know that I'd call Alaska heaven on Earth, I think it depends entirely on your personality (and frankly "heaven" in the popular mythology sounds boring to me, Alaska isn't that). I'm not big on crowds - Alaska has lots of space and low population density - so it works for me. I hate standing in line more than anything else, to me California is the land of the endless queue. You can't be impulsive, you can't just say, "Hey, let's go out to dinner!" after about 4PM, because you need reservations and a hour to negotiate traffic and find a parking spot.

    Nathan, yeah, who doesn't tip the delivery guy?

  8. If I can afford to eat out, I tip. I tend to only eat out at places that serve the sort of food I don't or can't make at home very well. My only chappy bit is that my favorite restaurant isn't always open whenever I have chai cravings.

    storke: elite baby delivery.

  9. no hable español, ingleses por favor. At Denny's. I mean come on, you’re at Denny's, english should at least be a second language when interfacing with the public. And is 6:30 in the god damned morning, refill my fucking coffee before I have a fucking fit in your fucking dinning room from a fucking lack of fucking caffeine that YES I’m fucking addicted to. At least the food was good (as can be expected from fried grease).

    Like Nathan, don’t make me wait longer for my check than I waited for my food. Just don’t.

    I am a Neanderthal; I am large, hairy, and often hungry. I’ll eat it off the damned floor if I want to. Operative words there I want to, serve me my food on a dirty plate and you might be eating it, plate and all. (I have worked both sides of the serving window, it’s not that big a deal to look at the plate and make sure it’s clean before plating, and before serving)

    Gravy (twitch)… from a bag (twitch)… ok, I’m not going there too much pain…

    A sirloin is not a great cut of steak. I know cows. I’m from southern Missouri. I know which parts are good and which are not so good. Don’t try and convince me to have the sirloin special-27 pound-all you can eat-we’ll through in a free car-meal, I asked for a medium rare ribeye, that is what I want. No I don’t want soupy onions on that, and no, I don’t want your special sauce, yes I do want the baked potato, put some extra butter on it please, I can’t pallet them dry. Waitress, I requested extra butter on my spud. Waitress, I requested extra butter on my spud. Waitress, I requested extra butter on my spud. Waitress, I requested extra butter on my spud. Waitress, I requested extra butter on my spud. Waitress, I requested extra butter on my spud. Every time I ask, the tip goes down.

  10. I realize that we come to your steak retaurant with a kid, yes I do. She is a really well-behaved 7 year-old who likes steak. When I order it rare for her, please don't ask "Are you sure?" like I'm some sort of child abuser or my kid is a freak. She does understand English and asked recently why the waiter didn't want her to eat rare steak. I told her it was because he was an idiot.

    Also, I understand that you (the waitstaff) are twitchy about kids in restaurants having low blood sugar. However, bringing my kid her entree when you bring out our salads only makes for a bored and crabby kid about the time that TheHusband and I get our entrees. I am not going out to dinner in order to bolt my food.

    And Nathan's #2 (holding the check hostage) makes me totally insane. And, yes, the tip will drop accordingly.

  11. MWT, that's not bad service, that's unconscious (or conscious) racism. o.O

    (And you know I'm somewhat to the right of Atilla the Hun, so I don't toss that term around lightly...)

  12. Nick from the O.C.March 3, 2010 at 2:19 PM


    You are right about SoCal -- long waits unless you make reservations. Fortunately reservations are easy to make.

    My baseline tip is 15%. It goes down to 10% (but never lower) for bad service, and up to 25% for good service.

    My father once told me that the tip should be figured on the base food costs, excluding any alcohol and sales tax. I don't necessarily follow my father's advice but it's usually in my mind when I try to figure out how much to tip.

    wermilk = what weremommies feed their infants

  13. Waiting for a refil is probably my number one.

    I hate the places that wont do medium rare, i.e. Chili's. I know the big franchise restaurant is trying to cover its ass in case someone comes down with something from a medium rare steak or burger or whatever, but if I ordered it that way, I know what the risks are, just give it to me that way.

    If I'm out at a restaurant on a Friday or Saturday and you've got (insert local name) band or musician playing that night, I don't want my conversation drowned out by his/her/their playing. Let 'em play in the restaurant, fine, but you don't need to get a bunch of speakers set up to blast my eardrums so that I can't hear the person that's sitting two feet away from me.

  14. Yes, John. I know. And racism is rude and makes for bad service. :p

    Have I mentioned lately how much I hate huge swaths of America? That "slice of (my) life" post I wrote about Kentucky a while back is "normal" to me, remember. But if I flew into a rage about each and every occurrence, I'd never get anything else done.

  15. Matt,

    There are some states (or maybe it's just the towns) where it's illegal for the restaurant to serve anything less than well done (especially ground beef). And I was once told that I couldn't take home the leftovers from a meal with shrimp because of local ordinances.

  16. I hate lousy service. Hate it hate it hate it.

    But I also hate it when the kitchen screws up--that's not the waiter's fault.

    Re well done burgers, food regs around here forbid restaurants to sell ground meats and anything less than well done.

    The reason is because if you had a solid cut of meat, when you sear it on the outside, the bacterial will be killed. However, when meat is ground, all those bacteria on the outside, are now all mixed up in the inside and just waiting to kill you.

    Considering the condition of most slaughter houses, unless you're grinding your own, I don't see why you'd want to eat ground meat at any less than bacteria killing temperatures.

    nabat = sabbath for agnostics

  17. Paying $2.65 for a measly glass of pop. And then having to beg for a refill. Seriously, a glass shouldn't cost more than a 2ltr bottle does in the grocery store. So I've taken to "just water." Sure, look down at your shoes when I say that thinking, "Cheap bastard" and you'll get the commiserate tip. And let me, at any point in the night, get to the point of having to suck the icecubes for some water and I don't care if you do tickle my ass with a feather, your tip is going to suck.

    And when I order an appetizer with the drinks, I should have the appetizer before (or very shortly after) you ask what the entre will be, unless I stop you with the drinks to give you the rest of the order.

    Also, if the kitchen screws up, that's fine (late or wrong order). However your manager should be the one to come and tell me. And offer me drinks or dessert on the house. You shouldn't tell me and then have the manager do a drive by five minutes later with a "so everything good with you folks?"

    Finally, if I ask for more napkins, or refill, or another fork or knife, do not take another table's order and deliver their drinks before getting what I asked for.

    inste - the type of ice tea I hate

  18. Growing up in England in the 60's tippimg wasn't really part of the culture. Maybe we actually paid waiters decent wages back then or maybe we just "didn't do that sort of thing". Now that I live in a culture where the tip is the thing I am still not an automatic giver. I tip for service given and good service gets a proportionate amount. I will withold without conscience for lousy service. Sorry if that offends anyone but I still have issues with paying for something I didn't get even years of indoctrination.

    headscr - a short scratch to the scalp.

  19. MWT, you want I should beat up some racist asshole for you? I'll do it.

    CuteFilmNerd and eat out quite a bit and we rarely have long waits. even in busy restaurants. Then again, we rarely eat at chain restaurants (an hour wait for Cheesecake Factory? Really? No.) As a rule we eat at vegan/vegetarian restaurants - even at the popular ones we don't have to wait very long.

    Which brings me to my next point: it's been a looong time since you've been in SoCal, Jim, or at least the L.A. part of it. Vegans and vegetarians, thankfully, have a lot more to choose from than tofu, salad and celery sticks. Yay!

    My only requirement for waitstaff: do your damn job. That's it. Be attentive and courteous and I will tip you extravagantly. I have very definite likes and dislikes. I will be nice about my requests, but I will be definite. I am not an easy customer and I recognize this, so if you are attentive and courteous, you will be very happy with the tip I leave you. Because the job of the waitstaff is not an easy one and I want to make sure you don't regret having a picky person like me to wait on.

    However, if you act like my polite requests regarding my meal causes you great inconvenience, or if you forget I'm in your section, or you hold my bill hostage, you will be lucky if I don't report your negligence to your supervisor, let alone get a tip out of it.

    I will also write up my bad experience on websites that are well-known in the local veggie community. You do not want to get a bunch of vegetarians angry with you. Trust me on this.

  20. Sure Carol Elaine - start with the entire computers-area staff at the local Best Buy.

    On an unrelated note... when I worked as a cashier at the takeout, I helped each person one at a time. The Subway around the corner, however, had this annoying habit of trying to help everyone in line at once. So, he'd ask everyone what sandwiches they wanted, get out all the breads, slice them open, then put all the meats on them, then do each individual sandwich's allotment of veggies, THEN get around to ringing them all up.

    What that meant was if you were first in line, you had to wait for him to finish making the sandwich of the last person in line before you could leave. -.-

  21. Ardprest,

    A 15% tip is calculated as part of the waiters salary. Waitstaff actually work below minimum wage because they receive tips.

    If you do not tip, it means that 1) your server was working at below minimum wage and 2) they could get in trouble with management for not earning out to minimum wage (because then the restaurant has to make up the difference).

    No one--let me repeat that: NO ONE--deserves to work at below minimum wage.

    Not even the horrific Sarah Palin wannabe waitress we had.

  22. In Alaska, if anyone performing a service, from local government, to a cashier, to the folks behind a deli counter actually acknowledges me and shows even half the level of customer service we were used to Outside, I practically adore them and actually feel Thankful!

    Customer service, not taking us for granted, and understanding we are the ones to be welcomed and served seems to be missing in most places in Alaska. Guess its the lack of competition because where else will we take our money if lack of interest and sometimes even insolence is the norm?

  23. Nick from the O.C.: In a lot of restaurants, especially higher end places, food servers really dislike patrons who do not order alcohol because it lowers our bill and they expect to be tipped based on the inclusion of our drinks.

    I quit drinking for the most part years ago just because it gave me headaches, so I don't like knowing food servers expect us to order alcohol and hold it against us when we don't.

  24. Some restaurants do not allow food servers to write down orders. They think it makes them classier.

    I waited tables for several years in my youth (and worked as a hostess briefly too). I know that when the kitchen screws up, the food servers are blamed by the customers. I know, too, that sometimes the kitchen staff intentionally messes up the orders of food servers they have it in for. And I know that owners sometimes have policies the server can do nothing about, and the minimum wage for people in tipping industries is so low it is almost free labor for restaurants and hotels.

    I'm a conscientious tipper for those reasons, but I also have high standards about cleanliness, following health codes, and about how interactions between customers and servers should go.

    My experience was that most people were reasonable and nice. There were some first rate jerks, but they were the minority. As long as I was pleasant, attentive, and did my best, the vast majority of my customers were supportive, patient, and nice to me. Snotty food servers though, they want my money regardless of how they treat me or make me and my companions feel, so they annoy me more than any snotty customers ever did.

  25. Oh, and I too have noticed how surprised delivery people in Alaska are when we tip them. What is with that? Heck, a lot of them have to drive their own cars on top of being poorly paid!

  26. beemodern,

    As someone who worked in the kitchen... yes, we sometimes screwed up, but you we also got blamed any time a waiter put in an order wrong, and the number of waiters who left food sitting under the heat lamps because they were who knows where doing who knows what?

    That made me mad.

    hifts = manly hissing

  27. I too am a stickler for good service. And today I had lunch with a friend during the noon rush at a local establishment.

    Went well. We were greeted promptly, and although we were obviously not the business crowd from the surrounding office towers, got a table immediately. Server was pleasant & efficient without being overly perky. Took our orders sans notebook & they were exactly right, even with the onion rings arriving separately a few seconds after the main plate. Drinks were refilled without prompting. Check was left without asking when the first plate was cleared & after enquiring if we wanted dessert. We were not rushed out even though we chatted away long after we were done eating. Server had no trouble splitting the bill to two cards and she was well tipped by both of us for her efforts.

    Couple of side notes...server did not use a notebook when she took our order, but I did notice she used one for a larger group.

    Also, I did order my hamburger medium rare and it came out perfectly done. But then I've been patronizing this local chain for nearly 20 years, know several suppliers & owners, including the meat company the beef comes from. Probably the safest meat in the city. They also supply THE top restaurants in the city.

    Our only complaint? Server was a little too soft spoken at times to be heard over the lunch crowd din.

  28. Random Michelle K: I always sucked up to the cooks so I was treated well and my orders were consistently spot on. If I ever got into it with anyone in the kitchen it was always the head honcho chef, never those working for him. The honcho chef wasn't the one making my orders and putting them up for me to take; it was those other cooks who could make or break my shift. I wanted their friendship. Besides, good relationships with the kitchen crew made work more fun.

    And I shared more of my tips than required with bussers, which ensured my tables were always ready to go. (<:

    My son is a cook, and he always gets along with almost everyone, on the floor and in the kitchen, because he is amiable and willing to do what it takes to help out anyone who treats him decently.

    He tells funny stories about what goes on in the kitchen between the various levels of cooks (prep cooks, fry cooks, sauté cooks, sous chefs, head chefs, executive chefs and so on; plus the dishwashers and the bussers in and out. Also about feuds between certain cooks and food servers (usually because the cook thinks the server is a horse's ass for the reasons you mentioned, plus an imperious attitude).

    As you know from your own experience, those kitchens are hot, and when things are hopping, intense and stressful! It is like that on the floor too, except it isn't usually as hot, multiple people are not having to coordinate to make items for one table, and because servers are in front of customers, no fist fights, kicking, swearing, or knives pulled is allowed. hahaha I don't think I could take the stress of the kitchen.

    My son actually likes the environment, which I never would have predicted, and when he's worked in more low key places, became bored really fast and wanted back in the hot bed of working fast, immediate gratification and then on to the next order, yelling, angry head chefs, and hothead cooks going off on each other, and all. If there was more money in it, he would probably make it a career, but he says except for the top chefs, it doesn't pay enough for adult responsibilities and eventually having a family.

  29. WendyB_09: Is it kosher for you to tell us where you ate lunch?

  30. Sure is, Beemodern.

    It's a great Atlanta-local chain called Taco Mac. If you're familiar with Atlanta, we were at one of the newer locations near Perimeter Mall on the north side of town. Think it's been open about a year or so.

    Sports bar, eclectic menu, best beer selection (on tap AND bottled) in town if you're into imports and mircobrews. Even have a beer club if you're a regular.

    Fun place. I've happily patronized several locations over the years, always good, and I can only think of one time when the service wasn't up to par. The ones close to the college campuses are the most fun, you get the college student crowds on game days.

  31. Wendy, your mention of the college kids reminds me that a friend and I went to a movie and then a pub during the Superbowl this year. Unfortunately, there was a table of really loud and obnoxious young women at the table next to us. (One of the the young women could be overheard to complain that people were giving her dirty looks. HA!) I had to put my fingers in my ears when there was a big play for the Saints.

    Anywho, I drink a lot of water when I eat. Sometimes a waitperson will be smart and leave a carafe or pitcher, and sometimes they'll just notice and stop by more often. I once had to get up and go looking for the waitstaff's station so I could refill my own glass. We were there between rushes, so there weren't many waitpersons around to flag down. We had been abandoned for at least twenty minutes, if not longer. I don't get pissed at much, but I do not like it when they don't provide me with water.

    Michelle, I understand what you're getting at, but I don't think waitstaff *automatically* get below minimum wage. I think there's a range that starts down in the chain-restaurant-don't-give-a-damn-about-waitstaff-turnover and goes up to chi-chi-upscale-restaurant-who-hardly-ever-see-waitstaff-turnover.

    unbuff = what happens to your body when you what TV and eat Cheetos all day


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