Waitress Rant: The rules of waitressing

Waitress Rant is a blog in which I document the daunting tasks of “walking in a straight line” and “not dropping things” at a semi-offensively-entitled-restaurant. I’m hoping this’ll be about 60% complaining (humorously, of course), 25% wisdom and 15% helpful-tips-on-how-to-be-a-shy-klutz-and-a-waitress. 

gavel4The Rules of Fight Club  Waitressing:

1st Rule: You do not talk about Fight Club Waitressing

2nd Rule: You DO NOT talk about Fight Club Waitressing

3rd Rule (only rule): Ok, just kidding... since the very existence of this blog disregards the two previous rules, I’m going to go ahead and declare the only real rule of waitressing is — *drumroll/young-and-the-restless-esque-pause*… there are no rules. (Am I cliche enough for you?)

Like many other valiant souls before me, I’ve always dreamed of incorporating a “cool” quote from Fight Club into casual conversation or, in this case, a blog post. This week, I finally accomplished this grand dream.

I’ll have you know that though said quoting may seem rather random and strange, I was inspired by the fact that sometimes waitressing feels very much like participating in a “fight club”—as I sometimes find myself surrounded by people who appear to enjoy fighting as a recreational sport.  Don’t believe me? Let’s delve into Round 1…my first real life fight in the terrifying and tortured world of waitressing

Round 1: Waitress vs. Table of Enraged Lesbians

Possible weapons...?

Possible weapons...?

So much depends upon… a $25 dollar coupon from restaurants.com. I found this out the hard way while serving a lovely table of lesbians (Sidebar: I’m only mentioning this fact because it adds a bit of irony later in the story). It was an eight-top, they were super nice, and the odds of receiving a good tip were ever in my favor. But $250 dollars later, the trouble began.

One of the ladies presented a $25 coupon. Why is this trouble? You’re thinking to yourself doesn’t everyone in the world love a good coupon? Yes, but not an…invalid one. After attempting to scan the coupon 3 times, and calling the restaurant.com help line (it felt a lot like the suicide hotline)… I gave them the bad news.

From the looks on their faces, you would’ve thought I told them that Ingrid Michaelson died.  But here comes the irony & commencement of Fight Club Cuban Edition. Below is a re-creation of the verbal warfare that occurred between me and the alpha female (AF) of the group (the power of this dialogue is equivalent to that of an intense physical fight… and some might say it appears to be written by Hemingway himself):

Me: Uh… um… so I called restaurant.com and tried scanning the coupon multiple times. Unfortunately it is…. uh... invalid (this last one word was said so quickly that it sounded more like hacking up phlegm or sneezing)

AF: (while I was speaking she rose from her chair to face me) ESCAYOOOZEEEEE ME?

Me: Um... uh… (Making eye contact…with the floor) Um... uh… the coupon isn’t working. I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do.

AF: (stepping away from the table, and towards me) ARE YOU FU#!NG KIDDIN’ ME? IS THIZ SUM KINDA JOKE? DO YA THINK YA FUNNY?!

Me:  Uh… nope. I’m… being serious (maybe taking her words a bit to literally…on the verge of running to the bathroom to cry)

AF: (brace yourself for the irony of it all) SUCK MY D#%@!!!!! DID YA HEAR ME? I SAID SUCK MY D#%@! (at this point she’s lunging towards me, and my manager steps in as the referee).

 Round 1 End Results: AF (1) Me (0)


Maybe I could've used this syrup like pepper spray? Photo taken by Sameet Dhillon/Gavel Media

Maybe I could've used these syrups like pepper spray?

 Now that I’ve recovered from the occurence, I can say, with a sort of disturbed pride that… yes, a lesbian once told me to S-her-D.

Aside from the overall hilarity and resulting trauma of the situation, there are you guessed it, some valuable life lesson to be gained from this lovely experience.

For starters, beware of coupons. People will go buck wild if it means they’ll save $25. Also, the truth is, there are all kinds of people out there. Dare I say… the world is a fight club (I sorta hate myself for this line)... in which we're all participating (willingly or unwillingly). Filled with some people who are just looking for a fight, some lookin' for meaning in thiz world, OR maybe just a VALID coupon.

So what’s the best you can hope for in this wicked place we call earth…? Well... that your manager steps in to protect you from being shanked by an angry customer, that you can walk away from that “fight” with a good cry & funny story to tell, and… (most importantly) that you don’t end up on the roof of a high-rise building –where you are being held at gunpoint by none other than yourself.

As we say at Cuban Revolution (Restaurant & Bar), “Viva la revolución!” Or maybe, in my case, “Viva la rant!”

Photos by Sameet Dhillon/Gavel Media