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.
“Opening your eyes is all that is needing. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin.”- Syrio Forel, Game of Thrones (on sword fighting, the ways of the world, and in this case…waitressing).
You thought I was done with the weird-literary-references-that-actually-make-no-sense, after last week’s post, didn’t you? Well, think again. This week, I’ll be using the wise words of Syrio Forel (or, more accurately, George R.R. Martin) as a premise for some real waitressing advice. I know I declared that there are no true rules of waitressing, and I stand by that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try to give you some helpful advice. Just think of me as the Syrio Forel to your Arya Stark.
Let’s take a closer look at Syrio’s words, shall we?:
Look with your eyes
As a waiter/waitress, there’s nothing more important than looking. No dummies, I don’t mean aimlessly looking around the restaurant. Although, I do spend more time than I should doing just that. I mean really looking… basically, STALK THE $H*T out of your table. Well, okay, don’t creep them out… stalk gracefully. Stalk their glasses, stalk their plates and stalk their facial expressions. Bringing them a refill, taking away an unwanted plate and/or giving them a shoulder to cry on can vastly increase the likelihood of a fat tip.
How, you ask, do you stalk gracefully? I usually just walk by casually and peer out of the corner of my eye (not creepy in any way, I assure you). But seriously, being conscious of what is right in front of you (whether you like it or not) is a skill that will serve you well in life (got that lil’ double meaning there…ahhh, waitressing humor).
Hear with your ears
This one is pretty literally. You’ve got to listen for the beautiful expressions such as: Escuse me! YOU! WAITRESS! SHAWTY! MA! BILL PLEAZE! MORE BEER! (Yes, unfortunately those are all things people have yelled at me). As a server, you deal with all sorts of strange human beings… leading to some of the most quotable moments of your life. Hold on to those… cherish them. They’ll get you through a bad night.
For example, last week, whilst listening with my ears, I had quite an interesting conversation. Let me re-create yet another dialogue for you (I’ll admit, it can't quite compare with last week’s eloquence):
Woman (accompanied by her five children): Escayooze me miss, do you guys have menuz?
Me: Yes, hold on, I’ll go grab you some.
**Hands woman and her five blob-like children menus. They begin to look over menus.**
W: What iz thesze numbaz on the menuz?
Me: I’m sorry, what do you mean?
W: What iz these numbaz next to the food? Is that the numba of food youz give? Like 7 chicken wings? 6 green beans? That's pretty stingy if ya ask me. Whoz gonna be full off 6 green beans, huh?
Me: Uh… no ma’m… that would be the price of each item.
**Yes, that happened.**
Taste with your mouth
Okay, this is also quite literal. What’s the greatest part of working at a restaurant? The free/discounted food. Yes, Cuban Revolution’s food is both fattening & slightly disgusting… but there ain't nothin' better than free food (except maybe... good food).
Feel with your skin
Okay, now we’re getting less literal… and real deep. As I’ve previously mentioned—I’m sort of a klutz. So, my biggest obstacle, thus far as a waitress, has been not tripping/stumbling/dropping food everywhere. I have failed at this many a time. But what is the true bane of my existence as a waitress…? TRAYS. Those suckers are deceiving. They’re all like... come here, Sameet. Let me help you bring those five cups of water to that table! I got your back, girlfriend! DON’T BE FOOLED. Feel that tray up! And if you don’t like what you feel, ditch it. If you’re not comfortable using it, don’t. Make ten trips to the table if you have to.
Are you not buying how truly EVIL trays are? Let me tell you about that one time I spilled ice-cold water all over a customer’s crotch. I made the mistake of believing I was a tray connoisseur. I casually brought a tray of drinks over to a table, it tipped over when I lifted a few drinks off… and a waterfall of water fell all over a female customer’s lap. That’s not even the worst part. The customer proceeded to spend 30 minutes standing up, publicly fanning her crotch. So yeah, TRAYS ARE ALL THAT IS EVIL IN THIS WORLD.
Screenshots by Sameet Dhillon/Gavel Media