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December 16, 2014 / jeffnward

What customers hate about their servers

I know it was a mistake, but it’s so fascinating to delve into an entitlement mentality so vast that the oblivious wielder is willing to put it out there for all to see without any concern for the repercussions that are so blitheringly obvious to the rest of us.

And that mistake was to read yet another one of those “What your waitress/bartender/server really hates about you,” pieces on the Net.

Now, I hope I don’t sound like my more conservative friends here, but sometimes they’re right! If the sum total of your workforce skillset consists of being able to write stuff down and carry a plate 10 yards to a table, then it’s not my problem.

I was a waiter for a very short time, but, having quickly given up on the notion of having to deal so directly with the public, I didn’t complain – I simply moved on. For all of those servers who so clearly feel the same way, may I humbly suggest embarking upon a similar course of action.

Waitress Holding Tray

So! Since turnabout is always fair play, here’s what customers can’t stand about their servers/bartenders/hostesses:

1. Ask us if we made reservations when there’s four people in your 350 seat restaurant.

It doesn’t make you or your empty restaurant seem any more important to us, but it does make us question your eyesight and poor judgment.

2. Seat us right next to the kitchen when there’s four people in your 350 seat restaurant.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Frank Sinatra’s dead. There’s absolutely no chance that he and his entourage will show up at TGI Friday’s to demand all the “good” tables any time soon.

3. Introduce yourself and tell us you’ll be our server.

Have no fear! I would never have mistaken you for the Belgian Diplomatic Attache and, as far as your name goes, I have enough trouble remembering my wife’s name, so I’m gonna forget yours the second you leave our table.

4. Take twenty minutes to bring our drink order, get it wrong, and then spill a drink because you weren’t really looking where you put it down.

If the restaurant is packed to the gills, I understand, but when it’s 5:30 on a Sunday evening, I don’t. A glass of wine and a beer aren’t all that difficult to remember and they don’t require anything more than a bit of pouring! Also, after spilling the drink, it would be nice if you or a cohort  actually wiped the now sticky table down with a wet towel.

5. Water down the drinks in hopes we’ll order at least five $8 margaritas.

This one applies to the bartenders who clearly believe the fact they’re not servers sets them somewhere on a par with English royalty. As the great Paul Simon once sang, “who do you think you’re foolin’?” It certainly ain’t us.

7. Act surprised when we virtually have to tackle you to place our dinner order.

The fact that we’ve been waiting 20 minutes since the botched drinks, our menus are closed and neatly placed at the edge of the table, and we’re consistently glancing in your direction is not nearly enough of a clue that we’re ready to order. Perhaps we’ll use a signal flare next time.

8. Have no clue who ordered what when you bring the food back to the table.

I thought that’s why you wrote it down! There’s only two of us! Throw caution into the wind and give it your best shot.

9. Have no clue what a rare steak is and then sneer when we send it back.

Despite the fact that I specifically asked if your kitchen can handle a rare steak order, you bring me something a lot closer to the charred remains of a barn fire. A rare steak is so easy to cook that even I can consistently pull it off.

9. Spend more time flirting with the other servers or the manager than doing your job.

We all know you’re utterly irresistible and we understand that kind of thing can be a real burden, but might I suggest turning to  Match.com instead? That way, your job won’t get in the way of your flirting.

10. Purposely ignore us once the meal is served.

I’m no monster. I realize that, after serving two drinks and hauling two plates all the way from the kitchen, you may need to take a nap. But all I really want is a little more water because you serve it in absurdly small glasses in the hope that we’ll resort to ordering more alcohol-free margaritas. I can’t tell you how much we love your Helen Keller (look it up) impersonation in regards to any attempt to get your attention.

11. Please look up the word “grooming” too!

I’d like to inform all the male servers that the Charles Manson look is out. In fact, it was never “in.” He may get all the hot chicks, but it doesn’t play well in a restaurant. There’s a fabulous device called a comb and, trust me, there’s no such thing as too much deodorant.

12. Please wear a bra.

And I mean the kind of brassiere that you would wear to your grandmother’s funeral, not the kind that provides us with a clear indication of how cold the restaurant really is. Unless you work at hooters (your mother must be so proud!), we really don’t want a peep show, we just want our bleepin’ drinks and dinner. We’re not giving you a bigger tip just because you jiggle so nicely.

13. Get the check wrong, bring the wrong check, or ignore the discount coupon.

Which all happen with alarming frequency. Look, I understand that folks don’t always get tipping right on the pre-discount amount. But if you don’t like it, then complain to the owner who’s simply trying to get more butts through the door. And go ahead and bring the wrong check as long as it’s less than ours.

14. Put cute notes and smiley faces on the check.

If out of the goodness of your heart, you’ve decided to pay half the bill, then by all means, scribble away. But as far as anything else goes, we’re not in third grade anymore! You seem fairly pleasant, but despite your best efforts to be friends, we’re not gonna put you on our Christmas card list any time soon.

15. Ask if we need change!

No! When I put that C-note down on a $60 dinner tab, I fully intended to give you a 66 percent tip. You’re just that good! Trust me, if we’re all set, you’ll be the first to know.

16. Think we care about what you think.

Because we really don’t. Perhaps you’ll be president one day or you may even write the great American novel, but until then, our only concern is that you don’t spit in our food.

Listen, being a server or bartender is a time honored profession, but the truth is, any competent sixth grader could pull it off. (And that goes double for flight attendants who are nothing more than sky servers.) So please get over yourselves even though I know you never will.

Who said I couldn’t out entitlement mindset anybody out there?

75 Comments

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  1. Mark Wells / Dec 16 2014 11:41 am

    Many of these things are not under the control of the server.

    • springs1 / Dec 21 2014 8:56 am

      “Many of these things are not under the control of the server.”

      Many of them ARE in their control and you know it. Especially the one about doodling.

  2. Julie Krenz / Dec 16 2014 4:50 pm

    quit going to McDonalds

    • jeffnward / Dec 16 2014 4:56 pm

      Julie, Though I general don’t eat fast food, McDonalds does far better serving their customers than most high end restaurants!

  3. The Observer / Dec 16 2014 5:00 pm

    “We don’t want a peep show” ???

    Speak for yourself.

    I may be a “dirty” old man, but I’m not a DEAD old man, not yet anyway.

  4. Raina / Feb 18 2016 5:51 pm

    Dear Author,
    You sound like a total asshole. Do the restaurant industry a favour and stay home.
    Sincerely,
    Other Diners in the Restaurant

  5. jeffnward / Feb 18 2016 7:48 pm

    And you sound like a total bitch so we’re good!

    • Jeffnwardisapretentiousprick / Feb 18 2016 11:03 pm

      You’re a real piece of work, Mr. Ward. I’d call you an asshole, but that would be an insult to all the other assholes I’ve ever dealt with in my life.

      As someone who does not work in a restaurant, I might be wrong here, but the whole tone of this article comes off snobby, pretentious, and makes you sound like a prick. The fact that you’re asking a server to not be polite and introduce themselves is fucking asinine.
      I tried to take this seriously, but I really just couldn’t. You’re a whiny little bitch, whining about other whiny little bitches.
      You come off like the type of guy who spoils movies and tv shows on the internet just to shamesterbate to what you’ve done.

      You’re probably a real hit at parties, champ.

      Get fucked.

      • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 6:28 am

        Perhaps the reason you couldn’t take that piece seriously IS BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! Really!!?? I can’t remember my wife’s name? Please do us all a favor and never reproduce!

  6. M. / Feb 19 2016 2:18 am

    You should consider never going out. Considering that waitressing is now scientifically proven to be the one of highest stress jobs there is, it’s fair to say a 6 th grader does not have the emotional intelligence. They would not be able to prioritize your table. And maybe you did not notice the other table had a child and was their first so your waitress prioritized them. And maybe you didn’t know she had to run 3x to the kitchen because the line cook is new and he messed up someone else’s order so she didn’t see your water glass because it was behind you hunched over the table and you seemed to be enjoying your company and happy so she let it slide and went to someone who looked upset or in need first. Maybe 15 things are happening at once and she forgot to switch something on your bill and sorry you have to wait 3 minutes to have it fixed. Who are you that your 3 minutes is that crucial? If you are an Er doc they’ll make sure you get things cleared up asap so the bus full of kids that just crashed can get help. Try making so many split second decisions in an hour while running and smiling and dealing with the stress of unknown personalities wanting things… and sales, and specials, and knowledge of the whole menu, and the busser today is slow, etc. … Your 5 days in a restaurant qualifies you to know you can’t hack it and now your a miserable patron who should get take out.

  7. Kat / Feb 19 2016 2:20 am

    First of all, your server doesn’t make your drinks. So he/she can’t “water them down”. Secondly…YOU’RE A DICK.

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 6:31 am

      Perhaps that’s why I noted the fact that we were temporarily shifting to bartenders in that point. And I may be a dick, but it’s better than being you!

  8. jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 6:46 am

    Dear Readers,

    First, I’m flabbergasted that this column is getting attention well over a year after it was written. All of you foul-mouthed lunatics have certainly made my day!

    Second, though there has to be a grain of truth for hyperbole (look it up!) to work, this column is a ridiculously over-the-top response to far too many insipid “What Your Waitress/Server Hates About You” articles that continue popping up on a regular basis.

    The harsh reality is, we really don’t give a flying bleep about what you don’t like about your job and if you really don’t like it, then stop bitching an move on. Someday you will discover that the world doesn’t bend to your every whim and whine. Meanwhile, if you didn’t have customers you wouldn’t have a job.

    Sixty percent of restaurants fail in the first three years, typically as a result of overly entitled servers who insist upon making the dining experience varying degrees of miserable. Get over yourselves! Anyone can walk into a restaurant and do your job. They may not do it well, but writing things down and flinging plates really isn’t rocket science.

    So tell you what, when servers stop writing those whiny pieces, I’ll stop making fun of them.

    Jeff Ward

    • Karen / Feb 19 2016 10:28 am

      Jeff,
      I am a manager currently, a once 17 year veteran of bar tending and service. I hold my staff accountable on all levels. I put my guests first, but I will always back up my staff when coming across guests who seem entitled for better then everyone else attention. Believe me, bartenders do not have anything to gain by watering down drinks therefore in my history I’ve never witnessed this EVER happening. There is such a thing as people whom are in this industry actually love it! It’s highly stressful and highly rewarding! But I know several people who make 6 figures only working 4 days a week! That is why they do it, for the love of good food, great cocktails and fast cash. This article is crap! It’s based on your experience as a guest and as a one time job in the industry. Those whom love this industry WILL IN FACT, move on to another job with better management, training and better sales. Sounding pretentious, entitled happens on both sides, our guests and staff ( those I usually fire). But if you judge us as monkeys who sling plates, well then you sir deserve the drink spilled on you, the check taking forever and a watered down mythical libation! The food being cooked incorrectly is 9/10 due to the line cooks and or chef. But I’m guessing from this article you sir were fired from slinging plates because you probably couldn’t handle the dinner rush. As for the dress code, stop hanging out in chain shitty restaurants. The best thing YOU can do as a patron is ask to speak to the MOD and usually situations get corrected.

      • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 11:07 am

        Karen,

        I truly appreciate a sane response, but it would seem that even you are missing my point. Sadly, satire and hyperbole are lost arts these days.

        Again, that piece is an utterly over-the-top response to those insipid “What servers hate about their customers” columns that continue to pop up all over the Internet. It’s also an attack the entitlement mentality that grips too many servers and far too many American workers in general. It is NOT an attack on all servers.

        Is there a grain of truth in every instance cited? Yes! Or hyperbole wouldn’t work. But those incidents are clearly the exception and not the rule. The truth is, I can’t remember that last time I tipped less than 20 percent.

        Though my column wasn’t personal by any stretch, by all means, please keep up the personal attacks because that will most certainly change my mind about servers and restaurants! No! I was not fired, I just didn’t want to be a waiter anymore. And I’ve started thee separate business that make watering look like child’s play.

        And yes! Especially when it comes to watered down drinks I do speak up and, you’re right, that usually works out quite well.

        Here’s the bottom line. As long as servers keep writing “We hate our customers” articles, I’m going to keep making fun of them. And that’s exactly the point of this column, making fun of a ridiculous entitlement mentality.

        And BTW, if you could explain why this year and a half old column is suddenly so popular, I would appreciate it.

        Jeff

  9. Youreadouche / Feb 19 2016 12:04 pm

    You sir, have no idea what you’re talking about and should not be allowed the use of a computer.

  10. Youreatwat / Feb 19 2016 12:09 pm

    As a single mom and former server/bartender who is not enrolled in college in an effort to further my life and that of my family’s I’ll be the first to admit that serving is not the hardest job in the world. But people like you make it significantly more difficult than it needs to be. You wouldn’t last 15 minutes with 10 tables making eye contact with you because they need to get an order in and you’re drinks up and….oh shit, so is your food for table 14 and the manager stops you to ask a stupid question that could have waited and the bartender is boycotting your drink tickets because you accidentally ended up with bar patrons at one of your tables and now someone has spilled their very own damn drink and oh shit…..someone needed ranch for something it should never go on…..and so on and so forth. Much of what servers do is because they’ve been told they have to. Believe me, no one WANTS to give you their first fucking name for you to rudely shout across the restaurant because you don’t have the sense to see what is happening around you. No one WANTS to get a lesser tip because they didn’t make it back quickly enough to fill your water. Your job requires you to do assinine seemingly unimportant things, too. I’m sure of it. All jobs require some form of this. FYI- I’m going to be an English Lit teacher. I’ll be sure to save this to show my students precisely how to be a presumptive, offensive twat in their writing.

    Sincerely,
    The Servers of the world just trying to get by like everybody else

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 12:18 pm

      If you’re going to be an English Lit teacher, I highly recommend re-reading the chapters on hyperbole and satire. If you don’t, you’re gonna have real problems teaching Messrs. Swift and Carol.

      • Youreatwat / Feb 19 2016 2:04 pm

        Darn it, Jeff. You got me! I must be a moron because autocorrect snuck in and switched an intended “now” to”not”. You are the type of person I delete from social media for being a constant pain in the dick. You should be proud of yourself! A whole year later and you have managed to offend an entirely new audience AND not learn anything! Hyperbolic or satirical in voice and intention or not…this article serves no purpose. I can’t imagine that someone as smart as you couldn’t find one meaningful thing to write about. Or maybe I’m just assuming things about you for no good reason. How does it feel?

      • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 2:14 pm

        It feels pretty damn good actually!

  11. Susan Hood McDonald / Feb 19 2016 12:39 pm

    Actually I am a 20 year veteran of the service industry and I do know what Satire is. I laughed when I read this. I will say one thing it dose not sound like a very classy restaurant if you cash see her nipples! Have a good day!

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 12:41 pm

      Susan,

      Thank you for being the only one to get it! And it was an Applebees! The well-endowed young lady left very little to the imagination.

      Jeff

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 12:44 pm

      And Susan, if you could tell me how this 1.5 year-old column has taken off, I’d be interested!

  12. Ben / Feb 19 2016 1:13 pm

    The author is an idiot that CLEARLY could not even handle the simple workforce skill sets required for the restaurant biz. More than half of her list are issues that customers exxagerarate and create through their entitlement mentalities. The author of this article couldn’t even handle this job, and writing articles isn’t very good for her either.

  13. Ella / Feb 19 2016 1:13 pm

    I hope you know that your server is probably required to introduce themselves and may even be written up or fail an inspection if we fail to do so..? It’s not my fault if you don’t remember my name, I just gotta blurt out the required nonsense before I can proceed with my job. By the way, if you DO remember my name, I may just remember yours and greet you like a VIP on your next visit. Some establishments only let the host or manager apply discounts during the payment/cash-out process- AFTER you get your check. Not my fault, it’s the computer. And don’t worry, we don’t care what you think either. So when you ask us what we reccomend and you blatantly ignore the suggestion, or instead of placing your order you’d like to crack jokes while we are 3 tables behind but we laugh cause you’re soooo funny, or you have a few too many beers and want to tell us allll about how your wife caught you with your lover, and we nod sympathetically, on the inside we are usually praying you’ll shut up so we can get down to business. Oh, and maybe we left a note because you looked like a miserable a**hole and we wanted to give you a reason to smile. Sorry, not sorry.

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 1:30 pm

      Ella, Don’t tell anyone else, but the whole thing was a piece of satire that mocked all those why waiters hate their customers articles.

  14. Cakes / Feb 19 2016 1:22 pm

    Why Servers and Bartenders hate customers is a place to vent. The Hospitality Industry is a stressful fast paced multi-tasking business that requires talent and patience. It’s just a place to share the ups and downs of the job. Back off Jeff and gives us our place and peace. We already know most of our customers look down on us. They believe we can’t do anything else because we are uneducated and lazy!! All B.S. I have two degrees and I CHOOSE to do this work because generally I like people and I love the flexibility of the hours and the wonderful money I make. Let us be and we will do our best to provide you with great service. Insult us and most anything could go wrong. Whew, I feel better. See a little Vent goes a long way. Can’t wait to got to work tonight and make someones day. May you find Peace in your life!!

  15. Cakes / Feb 19 2016 1:25 pm

    Because you Jeff have pissed off another whole new generation of Servers and Bartenders with your ill conceived post. It doesn’t deserve the attention it is getting. You do not deserve any attention at all. Have a Happy Meal next time you go out. Leave us in Peace.

  16. Pedro Villabuena / Feb 19 2016 1:28 pm

    The reason they ask if you have reservations, you paint chip eating breast-fed-till-teen douchebag, is so they can cross you off the reservation list they have. And they introduce themselves because they know demeaning, pretentious assholes like you will confuse them for other servers so when you randomly ask some other unexpecting server why the dressing on the bag of Dicks you ordered didn’t come on the side they can ask the name of your server and expedite resolving your problem.

    I’m sure you when you left the industry there was a collective lament of loosing someone with the mastery of service you so easily displayed being that waiting tables was such a breeze for you. My guess is you begged your daddy to help him at the office once a manager asked you to clean the vomit out of a sink of the men’s bathroom. No one demands unearned tips or money, just respect. I hope people recognize you so they can contribute their biological donations to your next meal out. (Though the truth is, unless you’re in the shittiest of places that never happens)

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 1:31 pm

      Pedro, Thank you for proving my point!

  17. LB / Feb 19 2016 1:40 pm

    Don’t go out to eat if you have all these false “ideas” of what you think servers purpously do to their customers.
    1) Bartenders make the drinks, not the servers.
    2) Guess what, these things called cooks, cook the food. Servers don’t control how your food tastes or how well your meat is cooked.
    3) If you’re asked about a reservation, it’s most likely because if you did, they would remove your name from the list. Or maybe someone with a reservation had called in with a specific request.
    4) introducing your self with your name is being polite.
    5) A 6th grader? Cmon

    You should take into consideration some of the things are actually out of control of the server, and more the business they work for. Places have specific requirements of what to say to customers, how long to wait to take orders and MANY other things. Servers work on tips so I don’t think someone would purpously be an asshole or make mistakes knowing that will make them less money.

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 1:45 pm

      Trust me! I understand and appreciate the fact that servers introduce themselves. And don’t tell anyone, but the whole column was a joke intended to poke fun at all those “why servers hate you” pieces that are all over the Internet.

  18. SomeoneWithABrain / Feb 19 2016 1:44 pm

    Probably one of the worst articles I’ve ever read. Many of my friends shared this on Facebook merely to laugh at how unbelievably terrible it is, but I sincerely regret wasting the couple of minutes it took to power through this. Who hired this person to write? What mysoginistic, entitled, delusional hell hole did he crawl out of to write this? How is he married? Who allows him to go out in public? These are the real questions that need investigated. I would read an article on that any day.

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 1:48 pm

      Actually that piece is a perfect example of satire and hyperbole in the Swiftian style. What further proof do you need than how will it worked!

  19. Amanda / Feb 19 2016 1:48 pm

    While I have purposely made bartending my career because the money is amazing (despite my masters and 2 bachelor’s in other fields) I take absolutely no offense to this article. I understand the satirical nature of it. Clearly you didn’t make it obvious enough though and butthurt America is highly offended. I found you to sound ridiculous and douchy, but I find “what servers hate about you” almost as ridiculous so it’s fitting. The reason I’m writing this response however, is because you wanted to know why this article is suddenly receiving attention. It’s because it was pinned in at least 2 server groups recently. The one I belong to has about 40,000 members. Who knows how many their are in the other(s)

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 2:08 pm

      Amanda, Thank you for being the second person to get and especially for the explanation as to why an old column got legs. And the whole point was to sound like a complete dick because it mirrored those other insipid columns. Apparently, it worked!

      Jeff

  20. B Ball jr. / Feb 19 2016 2:06 pm

    Ive been a waiter for 20 yrs and that is the dumbest list ive ever heard of! U should cook at hme and stick to Mcds drive thru. I dont do any of those things. Some of them like being sat next to a kitchen is because of rotation thats entirely out of a servers control and sayen a name is part of building a clientel.Why would U even write this list when U dont know the ends and outs of being a server or realized U couldnt make it as one!

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 2:15 pm

      I did it just to piss you off!

  21. Craig / Feb 19 2016 2:13 pm

    You keep on referencing how this article is satirical and hyperbole. If you have to continually state that then you have obviously missed the mark in the message you were trying to convey. And adding snarky remarks to readers’ comments is just… hilarious. You, sir, are a donkey. Please continue this “lost art” of hyperbole & satirical writing, so we can continue to laugh at your expense.

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 2:18 pm

      Craig, The fact that satire is completely lost on Americans – and especially on servers – ain’t my problem. In fact it utterly proves my point. The entire point of satire is to afflict the comfortable and that certainly seems to have happened here.

      That article was so over-the-top that I can’t believe ANYONE took it seriously. Ah but leave it to servers to do just that!

      And I don’t care why you’re laughing, as long as you are laughing. That too was the entire point of the piece.

      • Craig / Feb 19 2016 2:24 pm

        It’s entertaining that you assume all these comments are coming from servers or industry people. And that Americans — and just servers especially, apparently — must not understand what satire is because you missed the mark. I hope you have a day job because writing may not be your calling card.

      • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 2:33 pm

        I live to entertain you Craig. How do I know the commentors are servers? BECAUSE THEY BLEEPIN’ SAY THEY ARE! And another reader, who actually got the column, explained that all these year-and-a-half later hits were coming – from servers. And as far whether my satire works, the number of hits on this piece says it all.

        I can see why you’re a waiter sir!

      • Craig / Feb 19 2016 3:06 pm

        Hmmmm, I must be the only commenter not in the industry.

        A commenter mentioned this article being posted in bartender/server groups and forums online, so I had to check it out. If I may make a suggestion, I wouldn’t be dining out in Geneva, IL any time soon because your face is plastered all over the web. May not have been wise to sh!t where you eat. Hope it was worth it.

      • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 3:22 pm

        It most certainly was worth it!

  22. John Jacobs / Feb 19 2016 2:23 pm

    You want to talk about entitled attitudes, and you write this shit? Listen you arrogant twat; you obviously have no idea how restaurants work. You know why you’re asked about a reservation? Because, shocker, you’re not the only fucking person going out to eat that night. You know why we tell you our name? So you’re not sir/ma’am across the restaurant, and it’s just polite. Tell me; do you do everything perfectly at your job every single fucking day? Doubt it. How about a little understanding that people sometimes make mistakes. Like your parents. Do everyone in the restaurant business a favor, and next time you feel like going out to eat, keep your smug, condescending ass at home.

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 2:33 pm

      John, Thank you for going out of your way to prove my point about servers. I couldn’t have done a better job!

  23. Jack / Feb 19 2016 3:16 pm

    May God have mercy on your pathetic soul.

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 3:24 pm

      Jack, It’s far too late for that!

      • Patrick Perez / Feb 19 2016 3:47 pm

        Wow, you have succeeded in passing people of long after the fact, what a unique talent! At least you didn’t refer to having to wear 32 pieces of flair!

      • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 3:50 pm

        Pat, Who knew I had these kinds of skills!

  24. hollyharrisct / Feb 19 2016 3:54 pm

    I think the reason that this doesn’t read as satire is because so many customers actually act like this (or worse) … the amount of verbal, emotional, and financial abuse servers receive from ridiculous customers is so severe and common that this comes off as one of just one of last night’s tables instead of hyperbole…

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 4:03 pm

      Holly, That is a fascinating point, but, in the end, I think it’s only 50 percent of it. As an 8 years Sun-Times News Group columnist, I quickly learned that Americans aren’t smart enough to get satire. But that won’t stop me from applying it. Meanwhile, I’ve never disrespected a server in my life – but that’s lost on this group!

  25. Heather / Feb 19 2016 4:14 pm

    Well looks like you don’t want any see awe when you go out to eat. Try fast food restaurants.

  26. Ranae Spiers / Feb 19 2016 6:15 pm

    You did forget to mention the fact that they ALWAYS seem to wait until you have your mouth full to ask if your meal is to your liking, then get upset when you take a few seconds to swallow your food before answering them. I swear there have been times that the server has stood in a corner and when they see you put food in your mouth, rush over to see if everything is alright.
    Or the busboys/servers who are in such a hurry to get you out the door that when you get up to use the restroom, you come back to an empty table. Cleared of everything except your check, that is if you haven’t paid it before going to the restroom.

    • jeffnward / Feb 19 2016 6:43 pm

      Ranae, What! An ally! If I wasn’t already married I’d propose!

  27. jerisquared / Feb 19 2016 6:28 pm

    Oh Lawd. I could write a book about this post. I think I could sum it up: get over yourself. Four people in a 350 seat restaurant is nothing and just because those are the only people you see, doesn’t mean that the reserve book was not carefully planned out to accommodate the 500 people on their way. So shut up. The doodling on the checks, okay, I’ll give you that one. I think that’s stupid and unprofessional. Bras? Uhhh, do you know their personal story? I’ve never worked with, been waited on by, or met a person who did not have those basic hygiene principles in place but I did work with a girl who had breast cancer and the bra straps messed with her shunt scars. So she wore sports bras that might have not done the job as effectively as a normal bra but she is alive so who really gives a shit about what she’s wearing? Why are you worried about it? You need to be looking at your menu and talking to your spouse/other guests more than you need to be concerned with your server’s bra or lack thereof. You’ve obviously never worked in a restaurant. It doesn’t sound like you were ever taught how to act in one either so here’s a tip: they invented drive thrus for people like you. Use them.

  28. chelsea / Feb 19 2016 10:20 pm

    You really are a self absorbed asshole sorry not sorry it’s 100 percent the truth. And yes I am a server!!!

    • jeffnward / Feb 20 2016 7:27 am

      Whenever I do anything I always give 100 percent!

  29. Lisanne Allen / Feb 19 2016 11:06 pm

    This is not only ridiculous, but it is also poorly-written and in no way entertaining. Oh, and it hits on every “dumb waiter” cliché while adding nothing of either interest or value to the table (pardon the pun.)
    Really?
    A sixth grade education?
    Perhaps.
    But how hard is it to sit on one’s fat arse at a desk and troll Facebook/play online solitaire/pretend to be working? It’s what a good percentage of working America does, and it’s something most 4-year-olds could pull off. Why no “fat arse on Facebook” bashing?
    Because servers are the easy/obvious/go-to target. It’s practically tradition.
    So.
    Congratulations for being trite, obvious, unoriginal and ridiculous. (Insert eye-rolling emoji here, right next to whatever other doodles offend you enough to prevent you from sending me a Christmas card.)

    • jeffnward / Feb 20 2016 7:27 am

      It’s called a sense of humor. Try it sometime!

  30. Laurie / Feb 20 2016 1:21 am

    It really should be mandatory that everyone should have ti be a server and fast food for at least six months. It’s a lot harder than you think. It takes a lot more finesse to maneuver arount the constant demands, needs and moods of the people you are serving. The hours are long and hard on your body. We have to smile no matter how much of a pretentious ass you are being. And most of us do NOT sport in your food or drink because we ARE better than you. We take in the world around us and don’t just think it’s the “ME” show. You only think about yourself, your needs. You don’t realise the waitress has been triple sat. Or you don’t teach your kids manners and they are grabbing at plates of other people’s food as the waitress is trying to deliver it. Or that the little old woman just is trying to order according to her new special diet for her “new illness” and the waitress is trying to help her get the right thing. Insinuating we are dumb just shows your ignorance. We have keep track of one party that has ten checks going because they are all to cheap to go on one check together. And half have changed their minds three times about their food and drink. I could go on but really a self absorbed individual as yourself can’t look past anything beyond themselves.

    • jeffnward / Feb 20 2016 7:28 am

      Sorry! I’m too busy looking at myself in the mirror to respond!

  31. Sunshine / Feb 20 2016 7:13 am

    Hahahahahaha this is fucking hilarious!! I can’t take a word of this seriously but I can see why everyone is all worked up about it. In the industry we have people who will complain about everything and anything just to get a few bucks off their bill. The people who want to be served as if they are the only table in a 350 seat restaurant .. I get it guys your defending your position but this shit is still funny. It’s the Internet relax. Not everything on Facebook is true or factual !!

    P.S you should write shit like this for every occupation!

    • jeffnward / Feb 20 2016 7:26 am

      Ah! The third person to get this column. And you’re right! Not much about this piece is true.

      Sadly, most of my Sun-Times News Group column rolled off the Internet when they sold the suburban papers to the Tribune, but rest assured, I’ve written many pieces like this, mostly about politicians.

  32. ciji c / Feb 20 2016 7:58 am

    Sir, I think that the reason for the server uproar is because unfortunately there are a lot of people that look down their noses at the profession and treat us like dirt. I do apologize on behalf of my fellow servers for jumping the gun and verbally bashing you. In this world it takes all kinds severs and guest alike.

    • jeffnward / Feb 20 2016 8:13 am

      Ciji, There is no need to apologize as the entire point of this column was to get a reaction. My mistake was thinking far more folks would get the joke. And I will once again say, for the record, that I’ve never disrespected a server, I understand mistakes happen with things get busy, and I can’t remember the last time I left less than a 20 percent tip.

  33. Server Ryan / Feb 20 2016 11:09 am

    As a server, most of these things are out of our control. You’re a guest nightmare.

  34. Lizertserver / Feb 20 2016 11:28 am

    I totally understand you were just trying to “poke fun” at all these “why your server hates you” columns all over the Internet. That’s why I clicked it, I thought it would be funny. Although a couple points you made were funny and true, overall your article just wasn’t funny. Making fun of a server writing smileys and hearts all over your check? Funny. Making fun of a server for introducing themselves? Not funny and just sounded like you ran out of ideas. It’s like you were looking way too far into something and grasping for ideas and subjects to make fun of. So it ended up coming off as offensive. I mean I wasn’t offended because I can’t take myself or job that seriously. I’m currently getting my masters in pathology and serve a couple nights a week to get by. Anyway, those articles that make fun of customers….are true and that’s why they’re funny. Your article was lame. (In my opinion.)

  35. Joebiden / Feb 20 2016 11:33 am

    Wow

  36. Ben / Mar 5 2016 9:45 am

    You know, I feel like the world would go way better if servers and guests alike just….stopped complaining? I worked as a server for a couple of years during college, and I was always excited to provide excellent service to my guests. I noticed, that with a good attitude, and a good outlook on my work and life, that my guests enjoyed their time with me infinitely more than if I was a robot. I’m a waiter as a profession, but I am a human being, talking to other human beings. Yes, money can complicate our relationship, but just know that there are some waiters (and you’ll know them when you get them.) that are genuinely happy people that want you to feel happy as well. All I ask is that you’re not a dick, and you reward them well.

    Cheers,

  37. Ain'tnobigthang / Jan 19 2017 9:12 am

    I’m a bartender and cringed when reading this–not because it was offensive (there are wars and genocide and crooked politicians running the world out there, people, have some perspective) but because I’ve done a lot of those things on that list and have had plenty of embarrassing “oh shit” moments.
    I have been guilty of pouring a Guinness and then walking away to multi-task something else, only to find it embarrassingly still sitting there 5 minutes later, forgotten and ugly. I’ve only done it once. Or twice. Or…never mind.
    I’ve forgotten a table (or two) after serving their food and left them to their own devices, only to check up on them and see all the drinks drained (cringe) and everyone at the table looking at me with that “Yes, we know that you know that we know you forgot all about us” look, or even worse, all the drinks are drained, the plates are empty and who knows how long they’ve been sitting there waiting for at least their check?
    I leave a little heart on each ticket.
    When I have to work the floor as a server and bring out endless ketchups and ranches and clean up after kid messes, I remember a more dignified life running a non-profit, or being a professional musician.
    And I also agree with the OP that all those “things bartenders and servers hate about you” articles are in poor taste. It’s like he said: without customers, we ain’t got no job. I may grumble to a co-worker about the rich, privileged party that act like they’re royalty and I’m their lowly servant (during which the whole time I’m serving them, my inner survival guide is also soothingly whispering to me “Remember you’re a quality musician, remember you’re a quality musician, remember you’re a–“) but that’s the extent of it. That table will eventually leave, and peace is restored. Also, shitty patrons are just par for the course. So are AMAZING ones! You know, the ones where you tease and laugh the whole time. I had 6 older Irish dudes come in recently and I’ve probably never had such a laugh.
    Last night I served a couple guys about 4 beers each as they hung out quietly at their table, enjoying casual chitchat. When it was time for their bill, they handed me a receipt with zero tip. I smiled and thanked them just the same and walked away, disappointed. Then one of the guys come right up to me and shoves a crisp 20 in my hand. I would have been happy with 5.
    Humans fascinate me and I wouldn’t be in this business if it jaded me. My old roommate has been a server for 15 years and it has made her bitter, dark and angry. All she did was bitch. She would have loved all those angry articles. And my best friend has been a pro server in fine dining for about 20 years, and he would just shrug and say “shitty tables, awesome tables, it’s all the nature of the game” and let it roll off his back.
    The funny thing about serving and bartending is that when you go out to eat or drink, you’re on the receiving end and get to witness other people’s absurdities. In fact it makes you more aware of it. I’ve been ignored. I’ve had servers who a.) don’t know the menu well enough to answer q’s (which is not a crime for a variety of reasons) but then b.) look pissy that they have to go find out. Bartenders that have slammed unopened drinks in front of me without looking at me. And the VERY worst (for me anyway) is the bartender who barely glanced at my tip without so much as a thank-you. Not only do I “thank you so much!” to everyone even if they left me a quarter, but yes I’m one of those ridiculous over-tippers when I go out. Yep, I just left you a 10-dollar tip on ONE 7-dollar craft beer and you’ve become so accustomed to high tipping as your birthright that you didn’t even say thank-you? Now who’s acting like entitled royalty? One bartender I used to work with used to loudly brag about all the patrons he pretends to care about just for their tips, but is secretly thinking “I don’t give a f*%k that you just lost your house and your wife. I just want you to have your drinks, tip me, then leave so I don’t have to hear about it anymore.” Seriously?? Taking a jab at moronic service workers is only fair–one turn deserves another.

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