Archive | December, 2010

Xenophobia

30 Dec

I am a masochist when it comes to foreigners: no matter how many times I’ve been stiffed, I just keep smiling.

Last night I had a section of Aussies, Italians, Brits, Indians, and Norwegians (in that order.) I didn’t have a single American table. First the Aussies left nothing after holding my table for three hours, then the Italians profusely thanked me by leaving $20 on $556 (“Grazie?”), and the Brits left their traditional Medieval tithe of 5%.

At my old place, I could just ask management to slap 20% on the bill. Unfortunately at my current establishment, you have to wait for the table to slight you, then you can ask for a manager to “talk” with them. As you can imagine, this policy is just embarrassing and ineffective.

As a waiter, I am not motivated by tips. I don’t do a better job if I think there is going to be a “fat tip” at the end of the night. I do a good job because I am just wired that way; I take pride in my work. I think most of us in the industry share this attitude. Waiters don’t walk around thinking, “Oh, I better get her drink now, or they aren’t going to tip me.” If we did, we’d all go crazy. Now, that said, when you realize you’ve been working all night and you’ve contributed twenty-two dollars to the tip-pool, reality sets in and you realize that indeed, you need some Goddamn tips or you’re not gonna’ be able to pay the rent.

Enter the Indian kids who turned me into something out of the French Revolution. Indians, (Yes, “Indians,” I’m just gonna’ start making mass sweeping statements about nationalities, so brace yourself ((I earned it)). No, let me qualify this statement a little further before I’m accused of being Xenophobic, rich Indians.) Rich Indians are even worse than the most loathsome, offensive group of international diners that the world has ever produced: Spaniards. Spaniards are simply insane, but rich Indians are not only insane, they’re emboldened. You would be emboldened too if you grew up in a country where more than 160 million people are rendered “Untouchables,” by an ancient caste system.

Well Mr. Kunadharaju, this is Manhattan, and while you might be able to get your government friends to kill me and get away with it in Bangalore; while you are here, you cannot hiss at my Bengali busser like that, and you certainly cannot leave us twelve bucks in cash on a five hundred-dollar tab. Oh the rage, the rage.

And you wanna’ know what I did? I went New York on him. I smacked that check presenter with his twelve singles in it back on his table, and said, “Keep it.” He seemed confused, and insisted, “This is for you!” I then gestured grandly to the twenty front of house staffers working the floor, as if he was a child visiting the zoo for the first time. I pointed to all the animals by name, listing about thirteen servers, bussers and runners in total, “You see [insert server name here], and —-, and —-, and this is my friend —. We all work here for fun. Please, keep this!” And you know what he did? He took the twelve bucks! Took it!

I just laughed, and moved on to the Norwegians.

Better Than Reality TV

11 Dec

I have worked five shifts since my last post. The restaurant during this holiday season has been totally exhausting, and as you can see, I’ve been getting home at 3:30am, with little time to write.

The rich quotes have been building up though, and I can’t keep them all on my waiter pad any longer.  From guests, to front of house staff, here are some of the gems that must be shared:

1) “Please, please, can we order? We’re starving. We’ve been shopping up and down 5th Avenue all day. My arms are about to fall right off!”

-Life’s a bitch when you’re rich, isn’t it? The girl who said this was certainly younger than twenty-two. Her date, and benefactor, was certainly over fifty.  His last name on his coporate black card was “de Gaudi.” Yes, insert verbal irony -“gaudy”- here.

2) “Done? You’re done? You guys suck. I’m going to a strip bar.”

-Apparently the night is not over till you spend a few thousand more on Patron shots. This i-banker wanted more meat than just a 10oz. filet.

3) The Prince’s Table

Manager:-Do you have the Prince’s table?

Server: -Prince is here? Oh my God, he’s like, at the top of people I’d like to fuck list.

Manager: -Uhm, not like the artist.

Server: -Damn.

Manager: -Like, the prince of Saudi Arabia or something.

Server: -Oh, Is he cute?

Manager: -No.

Server: -Damn.

4) “Twenty-five years ago I’d be doing an ‘eight-ball.’ Tonight I do a shot of tequila.”

-This was said by a true high-roller. Twenty-five years ago, he would have been twenty-five. Is cocaine ever going to make a come back? You bet it will, however, at the moment an eight-ball is  –well– it’s just gauche.

5) “Who’s on table ‘1’? They are fat, loud, n’ ugly. Get them out. Now. Like do whatever it takes. Take their water. Take their chairs. I don’t care. OUT!”

-We have a very sensitive Maitre d’. 

6) Irregular Moles

Guest: “So you’re going to help me out. You see that chick behind me, don’t look now, like right behind me? Not the old one, not the mom, but the young blonde. Yeah, you see her? Well, I think her name’s Dr. Reynard. I think she’s my dermatologist, and she just like, checked out a mole on my dick. So, tell you what. Can you like, you know, go over and say, “someone in the bar asked if you are Dr. Reynard.” Don’t be stupid, be subtle like, but find out if it’s Reynard. And if it is, can you send her a round on me?”

Me: So… you’re saying you want a second opinion about this mole, tonight.

Guest: Exactly.

Me: Let me see what I can do.

It’s 3:48. Not too shabby for a late night post. Tomorrow I’m going to write about all the guests who insist on touching me. It’s driving me nuts.