Friday, May 09, 2003


Well, my landlord never showed up yesterday, and I had a feeling he would come today when I was at work. And he did, but there is no way I can be irritated about it, because in my kitchen sits the most beautiful sight: a brand-new, gleaming white stove with a can of Raid roach killer perched on top.

Now, I am a little aggravated about the can of Raid, because while I do think it's kind of cute and funny, if I'd wanted a can of Raid, I would have just gone and bought one! I want someone professional to come and spray, and take care of these goddamn roaches.

Oh well, I guess I will spray for the damn roaches myself. I care little because I have a brand new stove! I am so excited, it's almost sick. You have no idea, I mean, the big green monster is gone from my kitchen! Gone and replaced by a beautiful white specter of moderness. The cook in me shivers in delight. The stove is so new that all the parts are still bubble-wrapped inside, along with the manual. If I had a table and chairs, I'd have a freakin' dinner party!

I'm really so excited to not have to be intimidated by the green behemoth anymore when I enter my kitchen. The fact that this one is white brightens up my kitchen. It is just a marvel of loveliness and I will take care of it. I wonder if it's sick to be this excited about a new appliance, though it's not like I'm about to go humping it or anything, so don't worry. I shall always attempt to retain a small portion of sanity.

My archive thinger is all fucked up. It's now migrating to a different section of this page, all on its own (it was fine when I left it yesterday). I think I have a fair grasp on HTML, and this archive thing is just boggling the hell out of me. It's set how it should be set, all the code is correct and in place, no missing markers, no missing tags, nothing. It's just being a persistent pain in my ass.

I had a guy tonight leave me $1.88 on a $16 check. It amuses me because you know, instead of not being cheap and leaving a straight $2.00 for an hour of my time, he does what I and most other servers hate, he rounded on his credit card, happily falling somewhere near the 15% range. Rounding on your credit card is a pain in your server's ass, even though for the more anal customers, it seems to be quite a pleasure. Rounding is when you match the tip on your credit card slip to make an even number for a total. So if your bill was $16.75, you would leave a tip of $3.25, rounding your total to an even $20.

Why is this a pain in a server's ass? Because more often than not, in this situation, the server will lose out. The tips rarely fall as well as the guy's did tonight, so the server will end up with less than 15% in a situation where, with a cash tip, they would more likely than not have received something resembling 15% (we hope) in forms of bills (none of that change bullshit). And where if someone was just being cheap and was going to tip $3 anyway, seriously, that lost quarter really makes no difference. Likely if the cash change was $3.25, they would just leave it all on the table, quarter and all (unless they collect quarters or are cheap. Or both.).

I just really cannot get how cheap people are and all the different things they try to get away with. Extra dressing to dip your breadsticks in.. you mean, a way to get dipping sauce (which we charge for) for free? Water with 'extra, extra' lemon, so that you can pour sweetener in it and make your own lemonade, because you're too cheap to buy a glass, which, incidentally, have unlimited refills, too? I have seen people ask for a box for every goddamned thing on the table. Salad, breadsticks, drinks, sauces, you name it. First of all, you know this is a total sign of cheapness. That salad is covered in dressing, and that is going to be soggy and disgusting when you get it home. The breadsticks.. they're cheap brown-and-serve bread. The only time they're good is when they're fresh out of the oven and buttered/salted.

Then there are the people who refuse to ask you for everything all at once, they instead make you run off for one or two things, then when you come back, have something else they need, which you go get, then come back to something else being needed. Being a pain in the ass at a restaurant, folks, is not the way to gain your server's respect, nor are you guaranteed stellar service. You want to get good service at a restaurant? Let me tell you some key things.

* If you must be picky, know what you want to eat when your server takes your order. That includes any and all modifications to the dish necessary. Depending on what kind of pre-meal stuff a restaurant offers, make it clear any other modifications you need to things like salad, soup, appetizers, etc. Please make an effort to be prepared when ordering, and be up-front and clear about any and ALL modifications you need. Really, all at once. If you suddenly remember you don't want the onions in your entree after the food's been sent, it will not only delay your order, but if they're working on the food, the partly-prepared food may be scrapped and wasted. It takes time away from serving tables for the server to go and have to inform the kitchen. It also can be very frustrating.

* Unless you have a crappy server, they likely already know you need a refill. There is no need to continue to pester them about getting a refill, because, if they are busy or are having a tough time with things like other customers, long ticket times, or their grouchy general manager, they may just not be able to stop and get you another drink, and seriously, it happens. We get slammed hard sometimes, and get a backlog of different things we need to get and do. We call this being in the weeds. When you're in the weeds, you have no time for anything. And having someone repeatedly ask you for a refill when you're weeded, especially in short periods of time, is not going to score any points.

* Read the menu. I'm serious. Most answers to your questions can be found on the menu. Look it over, especially if you have never eaten at that restaurant before. Read the fine print. It's okay to tell your server you need a few more minutes to look at the menu. I would rather someone actually be ready when I ask them they're ready, instead of asking questions it would have taken no more than five seconds for them to find on the menu, and subsequently wasting my time that I need to do my job.

* Be prepared when you order. Don't hold your server at your table when you say you're ready, and really just want to play the "What should I get? What are you getting?" game with a captive (literally) audience. Do you not see the server has other tables, and that those tables likely need something? I don't understand WHY people do this. And it always seems they know the exact moment I'm slammed and reeeeeeeaaaally need to get that refill for my other table, and the check for my other table... What part of "Are you ready to order" is so difficult to understand? Has the definition of 'ready' changed and I somehow wasn't informed?

* 15% is what you should tip. If you have exceptional service, 20% is perfect.. more if you had astounding service. 10% is not a good tip. It is not what you give good servers. 10% is when your waitress was a total bitch, disappeared, ignored your table, and essentially started sucking up around cashout/tip time. We are talking about 15% minimum here! Even if your service was average, 15%. If it was great, they deserve at least 15%. People don't seem to understand this, and I don't think many know that most servers don't even make an hourly minimum wage. The wage for tip-based professions is $2.13/hr, which I believe is around half of the federal minimum wage. So I might bust my ass for 8 hours and make $16 hourly. Servers live on your tips. Please, please, please remember that when we do our best to provide you with excellent service.

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