Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Whinging Wednesday, the waiters retort....

Following on from Whinging Wednesday I present the, very, long list of issues that irks you the guest along with my advice/response.

It's a fairly varied list from hoovering hovering waiters to sighing waiters to other peoples kids.

Sigh...
I want my bill/parmesan/attention/left alone/silence
I know what you want fella....


  1. Overpriced food that ain't worth the cash. Complain, times are tough people you don't have to pay for bad food. Plus managers are easy and just want a quiet life. But do it before you finish, an empty plates makes you look like a little porky liar.
  2. Disappearing waiters/abandonment. Tricky one this. There is a fine line between being patient and being ignored. All I can say is look around you, is the place busy? Is there one solitary sweaty waiter who looks like he is having a stroke? If not seek the manager!
  3. Having to ask for the bill. And what? I see no problem with this. Believe me most people get very fucking shirty if you bring them the bill without them requesting it. So if you want the bill make it known when they serve your coffee or are finished your meal. Pfft. And if you are in a hurry tell the waiter.
  4. Poor food and drink menu. Eh check before you go. No seriously I google every restaurant before I venture out. I know this isn't always possible but I do recommend it. Also I very rarely visit a new place within the first six months. Muriel's being the exception.
  5. Waiters without order books. This was flagged by a waiter so that's amusing. Now I've worked with some Rainman types over the years and they have always impressed/scared the bejesus out of me with their abilIty to take a four tops entire order without need for an order pad. Not me, I wear a name badge just to remember my name. I've learnt the hard way and take an order pad just for the coffees. Hey if the waiter can do it without then well done them but if it goes horribly wrong then you have cause to go just a little mad.
  6. Being rushed off the table. I think this answers number 3. But, there is always a but. But did you reserve a table? Where you told that they needed it back for a certain time? Where you on time for your table? Have you been there for so long that they have given you a rent book instead of a bill? If they didn't tell you that they needed the table back, booked or not, then you just sit there and enjoy yourself and take no shit from them. Unless of course you arrived two minutes off closing, well then you are just being an arse.
  7. Hovering waiters. Well this really does annoy you doesn't it? A good waiter doesn't hover. A good waiter can judge how long it takes to eat your meal. They spy on you from a distance and make judgements accordingly. Many judgements are made and not necessarily about what you may think. Believe me waiters don't want to hover, it's the management see, they have a hovering fixation. They want us out there on the floor hovering. But I don't hover, well not near your table. That's what the bar is for. Listen it's not about making you feel uncomfortable, quite the opposite, we need to be in your eye line so we can make your dining dreams come true. You can of course make things easier for us. Judging when someone is finished eating can be difficult sometimes. And there is nothing worse than getting to the table and lifting a plate only for the other diner to start eating again. We just wanna die/smack something when that happens. So if you are finished please just put your cutlery in the appropriate position and then we know.
  8. Fussy waiters. Oh for the love of big Gordon Ramsay people make your minds up. On one hand we have those suffering from abandonment issues and on the other we have those who feel crowded. Again a good waiter can judge the appropriate level of service/attention that any table needs. Some need the constant love and reassurance of the man in black others just go all Greta Garbo. But like I say a good waiter knows. They cut the chit chat out where they feels it's not wanted. They cut the refilling out when it's clear the guest has the ability and desire to do it themselves. But it should be noted that we also employ the "kill with kindness" tactic to some guests if they are being rude/jerks/or have previous form for shoddy tipping or other offenses. Be warned.
  9. Other guests. This is as tricky as fuckity fuck. On one hand we want all guests to have a good time. We want them to express themselves and relax. On the other hand people need to be aware that other guests may not want to hear all about sex last night with the guy/girl they met in a bar. Waiters are reluctant to step in unless it is obviously out of hand for two reasons. The first being that what I have already said, everyone is entitled to a good night and the second is fear of tip loss. And that is after all what we are all about. Some people are over sensitive, like this mook. But then again I had to tell a woman to put her nail varnish away last night. Man does that shit stick the house out! We will move your table if we can, but the moment you ask us to have a word with someone bear in mind that we are about to take a loss. This is especially true when it comes to the little darlings who are racing round the restaurant or are throwing soggy spit soaked bread at you. The moment we ask a parent to reign young junior in we open a huge big can of whoop ass. Parents get all defensive and huffy. It's a nightmare. And no matter how nicely you ask it always ends up in a fight. Personally I can block out the noise and running around of children when out for something to eat but it's the way they stare at you that sends me other the edge. Children should be seen and not served.
  10. "Hey you guys." What? Seems like a friendly enough greeting. Hehehehehehe! I never really knew that it annoyed people so much. I did write about it way back in the early days of WDF but it was more of a defense/verbal assault. Waiters will never stop using it, it;s just nice n easy. But I promise to intersperse it with a few, "Folks", "Guys n Galls", "Sir and Madam", "Big fella and Chicko" or maybe even just "Yo wasssuuuppp." No but seriously I will try and curb it.
Sweet mother of the holy booking sheets this is going on a bit.
So it's now a two parter.
More to follow.

21 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

I love two parters.

Parents should try to take their kids out at an early hour when it's fairly slow and tip heavily for the massive clean up that always follows. There's no reason to see kids at an 8pm sitting.
That's bath time, isn't it?

dave said...

Manuel, I couldn't be arsed reading to the end of the post....Can you sum it up in a few sentences?

cheers, dave

Manuel said...

medbh: hell yes! Every parents kids are little darlings and would never pull the coast stand apart or pour coke down the plants. Bastards grrrrrr

dave: thanks dave......eat pay tip leave....as always.....

Maxi Cane said...

Ah the complaining to the manager with an empty plate.
I actually barred someone last week for that. Not the reaction they were looking for, but when they clean the plate with bread and then say it was the worst slop they've ever choked down I have to call them lying bastards.
Fat. Lousy. Lying. Bastards.

And their parents weren't too happy either!!

Anonymous Boxer said...

"little porky liar" ahahahah.

I just love that line.

Anyhoo, after nearly one year of THE SCHOOL of W.D.F. I have learned to be a better customer and I no longer do that "making the finger sign a check look" to get the check. I just say, "I need the check."

I've always over tipped - I'm in service too.

MJ said...

You may address me as Mistress MJ.

You may now rise.

sheepworrier said...

"Hey you guys."

Just got a sloth from the goonies vibe there. Do you do impressions?

Conan Drumm said...

What, you got two posts out of us? I'll need another espresso then.

Manuel said...

maxi cane: bwahahahahaha - crunchy nut cornflakes all over the screen!

boxer: no such thing as over tipping......hehehehehe awh bless

mj: you crazy canadian guys....

sheepo: never seen it......not getting the reference...never seen an india jones either......

conan: single or double sir......and anyways it's all the complaining that caused a two part post......

Eddie said...

here's one which bugs me. I eat a lot faster than my girlfriend, cos I'm a porker. Waiters always seem to swoop in and take my plate away, even when the lady isn't halfway through.

So, it makes me feel like a horse, and her rushed. It means I have to say, "leave it until were both finished please" to which I get a look of "wanker".

Manuel said...

eddie: where the hell you eating at? that is the like the first thing waiters are taught no to do......(wanker)

B said...

always attacking the poor managers, just because 99.99% of them are bastards doesn't mean they all are.

Manuel said...

b: bwahahahaha. I used to be one.......then I caught a grip.....now I'm happy and my conscience is clear....

Kimberly said...

I never ask a server to deal with an obnoxious child. Its one thing if someone has a fussy baby, you can't do a whole lot when they are that small, but when they are ambulatory, with a grasp of language, and they are evil little crumbsnatchers AND they are around my table I bend down, look then right in the eye, and say, "Go away." You'd be surprised how few kids are accustomed to unfriendly adults who actually MEAN go the hell away. They do it. Quickly.

Manuel said...

kimberly: I'm constantly worried about getting a punch on the nose......

Comrade Stalin said...

I actually prefer it if the waiter writes down the order, no matter how good their memory is. Otherwise, you get slightly anxious that the order will get screwed up somehow.

I wouldn't ask the waiter to tell other people to shutup/reign in their kids/etc, I'd go over and tell them myself.

Manuel said...

comrade stalin: I agree....but if it works for them then hey go for it.....but like I say they have fuck all comeback if it goes wrong......

harried_dad said...

"Every parents kids are little darlings and would never pull the coast stand apart "

Mine would and do. They also scream, fart, laugh, yell and do anything they consider to be fun. Thats why they stay at home.

Seriously, if you can afford to go out to a restaurant you can swap the cost of the kiddie meal for the cost of a baby sitter.

The kids get to harrass a strapped-for-cash teenager and you get to have some quiet parent time. Win-Win (except the harried teenager, but they are going to be miserable anyway).

I appreciate the tip dilemma, but the first restaurant that demands hannibal lecter like restraints for under 16's (face mask, straight jacket, wheeled on a trolley) will get 10 years worth of bookings from me.

Ranting aside, I need to ask a question. How do you deal / cope with people who stink ? There was a chap the other night who had that "five years since I last touched soap" kind of stench to him. There was almost a heat shimmer of throat wrenching vileness surrounding him.

I can only assume he was either the owner or tipped really well, because no-one said anything and waiters were quite happy to let him take his time. Having read your blog I was sure he would have had the dishes whisked away the second the cutlery left his hands and the bill presented without an offer of coffees / dessert, it appears I was mistaken.

So spill the beans, what clue did I miss Holmes ?

problemchildbride said...

I would die a mortified death if my kids carried on like that in a restaurant. It's not that they're not capable of it. They are far from being little angels and can whoop it up with the toa-raggiest of them, but then they'd have me to answer to, and they know they don't want to have to deal with mummy. We have the battles about table-manners at home so that the battles out in public are less likely to happen.

But Medbh's right. Past 8 in a restaurant is adult time. Every grown-up has the right to expect that civilising principle. Kids just get tired and crankier then anyway, and nobody's happy.

j0j0 said...

My parents called into my place of work for a meal a few weeks ago. My OWN FREAKING MOTHER started touching up her nail polish at the table.

As it was my mum I was able to tell her to quit it without having to sugar coat it or worry about tip-loss. Luckily there weren't any other tables near her, but what the FUCK? For the record, she is generally very well mannered and knows how to behave in public...

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