Friday, August 7, 2015

Cover My Shift!!!

The anxiety of trying to get your shift covered at a serving job ranks up there with wondering if the pee stick is going to turn positive or negative after a long night of having shots with your coworkers, and you ended up hooking up with one of them.  Eventually, the pregnancy scare turns out to be negative, you get your shift covered, and everything is right with the world.

But trying to get your shift covered is never easy.  Especially when you feel like you go out of your way to cover other people's shifts when they ask, but when the time comes for you to ask them, it becomes an entire ordeal.

"Hey Steve, would you be able to cover my shift next Wednesday night?  My parents are going to be in town," I asked last Saturday night.

"I might be able to, but I won't know until Tuesday.  Can I get back to you then?" Steve replied.

"That's cutting it close," I said.  "Would you be able to tell me by Monday?"

"I can't cause I have a thing.  And I won't find out about that thing until Tuesday."

And so I waited.  And of course, didn't find out until late Tuesday, that the thing that Steve was waiting for, actually turned out to be, a thing, and he couldn't cover my shift.

Such is the case for a lot of servers.  The whole reason why so many of us work in this industry is because we are pursuing other endeavors.  Such as the entertainment industry.  The service industry allows us to have flexible schedules, so hopefully when we have an audition, we will be able to get the shift covered, go to the audition, book it, and then end our penance of working in the service industry.

So this is meant for Steve, and all of the Steve's out there.  Cover shifts, because sometimes that thing you're holding off on covering someone's shift, may cost you.  And in Steve's case, that thing was drinking on the job, or in other words, alcoholism.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!





Friday, July 31, 2015

The Bitter Bistro Book: Chapter 1-- The Bitter Intro "Go Home!"

Here is a sample from my upcoming book, "The Bitter Bistro."  If you're looking for a positive read, stop right now and put on your Anthony Robbins CD.  This is as negative and bitter as they come.  

the bitter intro:  go home!

Thousands of hopeful comedians, actors, and writers move to Los Angeles every year.  Los Angeles needs more of these people like Kim Kardashian needs another husband for publicity.  Hasn’t anybody learned from the previous thousands of people who moved here and failed?  I’m speaking from experience.  15 years ago, I was the same idiot.
   
I was living in Santa Barbara, working full-time as a bartender, and I wanted to be on Saturday Night Live.  This should already tell you what kind of moron I was, because SNL shoots in New York, and I wanted to move to Los Angeles.  I figured I'd move to LA, start doing improv and stand-up comedy, and Lorne Michaels would come-a-calling.  He didn't.  And nobody else did either.  I probably should've taken the hint when I was kicked out of the Drama Department at UC Santa Barbara.  They told me, “you're not ready to be pushed in the direction that we like to push our actors.”  Meaning, I couldn't even act well enough in a classroom, so why even try down in LA.

15 years later:  I've been hired, fired, and quit over 9 restaurant and bar gigs, performed the minimum 10,000 Malcolm Gladwell hours in stand-up, auditioned for very little, booked a lead in a celebrity driven pilot, but the only script I consistently have to memorize are the daily specials.  I am stuck here, but the least I can do for the people who are thinking of moving here, or the ones who haven’t been here as long as I have is to tell you all to get THE FUCK out of here, and stay THE FUCK away!

Los Angeles doesn't have enough parking spaces for another actor.  Fountain Avenue has become too congested to be considered “the fast way,” and the wait time to use the machines at the gym is longer than the “Star Tours” line at Disneyland.  Do you get where I am going with this?  I am saving you thousands of dollars and years of therapy.  And since you won’t have health insurance, it will cost you even more.

The Bitter Bistro will not renew your faith in humanity, nor will it be a book to inspire you to push forward no matter what the obstacle.  In fact, this book IS the obstacle that makes you pack up and move.  I know, you think you're going to be the exception.  You're in a great acting class, and you found a restaurant gig where you make decent money that is flexible enough to give you the time off you need to make it to your auditions.  But that is a farce.  The fact that you are working in a restaurant should tell you that you aren't going to succeed in the entertainment industry.  And the only thing your acting class is going to do for you is to help you act like you like working in a restaurant.

I had an audition for the show, “Entourage.”  It was for the role of a SERVER, and they were shooting the episode at the actual restaurant that I work at.  I got the audition through the sales team who handled the location booking and they said that I could go right to callbacks for this part.  

I auditioned and I didn't get the part.  Meaning, that I'm not even good enough to play myself, in my server uniform, at the place that I work.  A metaphor for all servers in life.

If you insist on reading further, then be prepared to consider another career option.  The service industry will prepare you for the entertainment industry, but at the end of the day, you will be back putting on that apron, or getting back behind the bar, and working with idiots and serving people that you hate.  

That’s the service industry.  

You're welcome!  The Bitter Bistro.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS! 


Saturday, July 18, 2015

1 Fish 2 Fish Whole Fish Means the Whole F#&king Fish!

People don't know how to read anymore, or they are reading selectively.  Whatever the case, customers are not using their brains and are making themselves look like idiots.  Sounds like any Friday night in the restaurant biz.

I had a lady order the Dorade.  It says on the menu that it is a "whole fish."  This means, that when the fish arrives at the table, it will be looking at you.  No, it won't be swimming or moving around on the plate, but it will have a head and a fin and other parts that would necessitate us calling it a "whole fish."

I even repeated back to her that she was getting the Dorade, the "WHOLE fish."  She confirmed that was what she wanted.  I put in her order.  Guess what?  When her entree arrived, she freaked out.

"Is everything okay," I asked.

"This isn't what I ordered," she replied.

"Didn't you order the Dorade," I asked.

"Yes.  But they didn't filet it.  Why would you serve something like this?  I can't eat it like this!" she complained.

"Why don't I have the chef filet it for you so you don't have to make eye contact with the fish," I joked.

"Fine.  Just take it."

I took it back to the kitchen.  First, the chef looked at me like he wanted to cut me, but then he finally took the meat off of the whole fish that also had already been deboned.  I brought it back to the lady.

She calls me back over.

"I found a bone in the fish.  Just take it away.  The food here is terrible," she cried.

Just to let everyone know, you might find a bone here and there if you order fish.  The bones are very fine and had to get sometimes, but MOST of the time, fish will not have any bones in it.

I tried to offer her something else so the woman wouldn't be so upset.

"Would you like to try something else?  Perhaps the WHOLE filet mignon?"

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Waffle Versus the Egg

"We're vegetarian.  We don't eat egg or egg white," they told me for the tenth time in less than an hour.  I get it.  You're from a part of the world that worships cows and you don't consume animal products, but you are getting on my last nerve.  And I was on my last nerve over two hours ago.

Your dietary restrictions, whether based on religion or allergens, are fine with me.  But please stop making it the responsibility of the server or the restaurant to cater to your needs.

This couple came in for just desserts.  The woman ordered a hot chocolate.  But she said she's vegetarian, but somehow she is okay with milk.  Then her husband came in and joined her.  He said he's vegetarian.  He wanted to know what desserts we had that didn't have any egg or egg whites.

But before I left to get a dessert menu, he stopped me and ask me to have the chef make sure that he would have an eggless waffle ready for him when he comes in for breakfast the next morning at 7am.  Eggless, waffle?!?  I don't even want to imagine how that is going to taste, but if you don't eat eggs, then maybe you shouldn't eat things that have eggs in the recipe.  

I went and got the dessert menu and I reviewed it with them and explained what they could and could not have.  Again, the husband explained to me that they're vegetarian and cannot have any dessert that have eggs, meat, or fish.  Seriously?  You're the same guy that is going to eat an eggless waffle tomorrow morning, right?  I know you don't eat that stuff.

By now, I had my fill of vegetables.

"I'll be right back.  I need to check with our Pastry Chef to see which of our desserts have fish.  I'm pretty sure you can't have the caviar sorbet."

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Butter Knife

I've noticed that the majority of customers that come into my restaurant know which silverware to eat with for each course.  But this blog is not for the majority of customers that come into my restaurant, it is for the the people who live life on the edge, by trying to cut their steak with a butter knife.

I'm talking about the short knife that is on the edge of the small bread plate that is to the left of your salad fork.  Sorry, I know I just dropped a lot of knowledge just now, but try to keep up.  If it were up to me, we would just use sporks and a steak knife for everything.  But that is not the world we live in.

We live in a world where a customer yells at me to bring them another knife, or asks me why their drink is taking so long to get to them, and I have to point out that the knife and drink that they asked for the first time, is sitting right-in-fricking-front-of-them.

"Anything else I can get for you right now?  I didn't think so."

Pay attention, please!  Get off your phone, stop texting imaginary people who you think care about you when you are sitting next to someone doing the exact same thing.  And use the butter knife to butter your bread; the small fork for your salad; the big fork for your entree.  And use your big knife for your entree or steak knife for the same.

And please don't steal any of the above said items.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

#TBT Throw Bad Tips

It's like quicksand.  Meaning, that the more I struggle to get out of the restaurant industry, the more I sink into to it.  At this moment, I can't even get fired from my current gig, and I'm not even knocking on wood.

Summer can be a lonely time for those of us that work far from the beach.  As I write this, any server working in a Santa Monica restaurant has made at least $200.00 for a lunch shift.  And if you didn't, you probably still made more than I did on my night shifts.

I have almost come full circle at my current restaurant.  I helped open the place 9 years ago, and it was the busiest and most profitable gig I have had to date.  It wasn't perfect, but at least I knew that all I had to do was make it to the end of the shift, and I would somehow see the light.  And that light being at least $300.00.  Nowadays the light is very dim.  But the new light at the end of the tunnel is a complete renovation of the space.  That's right.  Soon I'll be opening another restaurant, in the same spot that I currently work at.  Yes, even my head is spinning.  But like they say, when one door closes and you can't open it, it's because a manager has the key, and you can't find them.

All of this does however give me ample time to work on all of my impressions of my managers and co-workers.  And I must say that they have become quite good.  Maybe I should start doing impressions in my comedy act?  If only strangers would know who the hell I'm talking about...

I remember one time, years ago, the restaurant manager wrote me up for pointing at him during a busy dinner shift.  I had to put in orders for three tables, and he wanted me to go and greet a new table that just got sat.  Yes, I know that he should have just gone over and greeted them, but he's a manager... remember.  He just kept telling me to go over to the table, so finally I got frustrated and just pointed at him.  I didn't say anything.  I just pointed.  The next day, he sat me down in the office with the assistant manager, and they went over the write up with me.  He wrote my name 17 times in the actual write up.  17 TIMES!  "Joey did this.  Joey acted this way.  Joey grew increasingly frustrated.  Joey.  Joey.  Joey."  WTF?  The fact that my name is at the top of the form, inside the box that says, "name of employee," should have sufficed.

Another time, I was waiting on a guest who was sitting outside on the patio.  She was joined by two friends.  She didn't want to see a menu, she just wanted me to order things for them.  When they finished the first course, I went to clear the dirty plates.  She stopped me and demanded that I go get them another bottle of wine.  As I turned to walk away, she stopped me again to say that she wanted more shrimp, and she asked for the bottle of wine again.  As I turned to walk away again, she stopped me and began to stack the dirty plates that I had left because she had demanded more wine, and barked at me to take the plates away.  As I had the plates in my hands, she pushes my arm away and tells me to get them another bottle of wine.  Somehow, I forgot that I was clocked in and said,

"Don't fucking touch me!"  And I stormed back into the restaurant and told my manager that I wasn't waiting on her anymore, but I was still getting the tip.

I think I understand why Danny Glover's character in Lethal Weapon kept saying, "I'm getting too old for this shit."

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!






Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Don't Forget Your Teeth

An older lady was dining with her husband, granddaughter, and her granddaughter's boyfriend one night, when the old lady turns to me and says,

"What do you have that's soft to eat?  I forgot my teeth."

Who the hell forgets their teeth?  Let me get this straight, when you looked at yourself in the mirror before you left, you didn't notice something was missing when you smiled?


"I know how you feel," I said, "sometimes I forget my phone.  I feel lost without it."  She just looked at me as if she didn't know what I meant by that because she still uses a rotary phone.  (Look it up.)

I explained that we have soups that she could have, but she was concerned about her choices for salad.  She and her family were using a Groupon, so they had to select from the items on the prefixed menu.

"Is the salad soft?" she asked.

"I could have the kitchen chop it fine for you.  That would make it easier to eat." I replied.  I was also going to suggest that our food runner, Gerry, chew the food for her and then feed to her like a mama bird.  But I managed to keep my mouth closed on that one.

The first course arrived for everybody, and the old lady was enjoying her soup.  Then she calls me over to ask for another spoon so her granddaughter can share the soup.

"I'll get you one," I answered.  And I grabbed a spoon and quickly returned to see that the old lady was indeed sharing her soup, but she had managed to pour the granddaughter's portion onto her bread-plate.  (I'll give you a second for this one.)  Let me type that again, she poured the portion of soup she was going to share with her granddaughter on a bread-plate!

I turned to the granddaughter and said, "enjoy your puddle of soup."

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

LA Times Doesn't Want You to TIP Your Server!

The minimum wage is Los Angeles is supposed to be raised to 15 dollars by the year 2020.  LA follows other cities like Chicago and Seattle by making the minimum wage more tolerable to the increasing costs of living.

This could be fantastic news to those of us who work in the service industry.  That would mean that many of us WOULD actually be getting money on our paychecks.  If you still live under a naive rock, servers don't get money on the paychecks because all of it is taken out for taxes because the wage is so low.  And even lower in places on the East coast like New York and Pennsylvania.

I have come across more than the usual backlash about tipping, and even worse, people wanting to do away with tipping all together.  While making a better wage does sound appealing, doing away with tipping is going to sacrifice the dining experience all together.

Case in point, an article written by a man who doesn't work in the service industry.  Perhaps at one time, he did--when he still had a soul.  But for sake of this post, he no longer works in the service industry because his taxes state that he is a columnist for the LA Times.  And I always thoroughly enjoy somebody who doesn't work in my business who thinks they know what the hell they're talking about.

David Lazarus wrote this article (LINK) about how archaic the whole process of tipping has become, and in fact, we are the last of the countries to still practice the tipping standard.  Claiming that although Europe started the tipping practice, they no longer uses it as their service industry people somehow have magically become wealthy, earning a higher than average salary, while still putting up with customers.  But they still hold the title for being some of the worst tippers of all time.

UHG!!!

If the acronym is true or not, T.I.P.S. is To Insure Proper Service.

We are there for you to have a great time, where you don't have to do anything but eat, drink, and be whatever.  But, by not tipping, restaurant owners are going to have to sacrifice what customers are accustomed to getting:  Free refills on sodas, ice-t, and coffees.  Big portions.  And being able to order off of the menu.

Menu prices were dramatically increase, meaning that people won't go out as much, and the places that you once liked to eat at, will no longer be there.

The only saving grace for the cheapos is that there will still be restaurant deals on Groupon, Living Social, and the "I Hate Spending Money in Restaurants but Still Expect Great Service" sites.

All because you didn't like tipping your server.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

  

Friday, May 22, 2015

#nationalwaitstaffday

Yesterday was National Waitstaff Day.  A day of remembrance, and sovereignty.  Where people were asked to, "be nice to your waiters and bartenders, and tip them 20 percent.  Much like Mother's Day, and Father's Day, we now need another "special day" to remind people to be nice to people who serve their food and drinks.  This world is ridiculous.  I would rather customers just be nice, and if they don't, then just be the assholes that they always are, and then we servers just talk about them in the side-station.

Here's an example of how customers can get into our heads and make us feel like we are idiots:

The other night, a man and a woman were sitting in my section.  Right away, this sounds like how all of my stories start.  The man starts questioning me about the food.

"My wife and I only eat fish.  We don't eat meat," he stated.

"The Branzino and the Salmon are both delicious," I answered.

"I think I'm going to have the Salmon," said the man.  "Does it come with a sauce?"

"No.  It's seared and served with a fava puree, wheat berries, and greens.  The fish is lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, and tastes great without a sauce," I told him.

"No sauce?  So it's plain?"

"Yes."

"They don't put anything on it?  Are you sure?  Do you know the menu?  You're not selling me on the Salmon," he said.

"We don't put sauces on the fish.  But I'll go ask the Chef to double check that I know what I'm talking about.  I have to help out four other tables right now.  I'll be back."

"Yeah, see if somebody knows if there's a sauce," he begged.

Happy #NATIONALWAITSTAFFDAY

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Customer's Got Talent

America's Got Talent?  Hell, no!  Customer's Got Talent!  Seriously, customers can do it all:  Bitch.  Praise.  Complain.  Eat.  Criticize.  Argue.  Drink.  And, make funny sounds.

The other night, I had a couple sitting in my section and they were celebrating the man's birthday.  I got roped into the usual conversation about "what else do you do besides wait tables?"  And I know, you never know who knows whom in this town, so I try to be nice when answering the question, but when I tell people that I'm a stand-up comedian, it just opens the door to people saying they have always wanted to try stand-up, and has them trying out jokes and random material on me, and it usually leaves me just staring at them.

Well, the man decided to tell me that he's getting back into acting.  Specifically because he's very good at making certain sounds.  To be honest, not something I hear everyday.  And, I'm also good at making certain sounds.  Especially after eating from a Taco Truck.

"I can sound like a chicken, a duck, a fire engine, a pigeon, and like an airplane landing," he boasted.

"I don't think a lot of people can do an airplane landing," I added.  "Taking off, and flying.  But not landing.  So you're trying to get into voice-overs?"

"No.  Regular acting with those sounds.  I do the sounds on my wife all the time--"

"--he does," she interrupted.  "All the time."

"You're very talented, sir.  Have you decided what you'd like to eat?"

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!




Friday, May 15, 2015

Server Tweets of the Week

Some people in the service industry that I follow on Twitter say the best things.  Here are some of my favorites over the past week:






Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Veterans

Yes, the service industry survived another Mother's Day.  That is such a weird way to start my conversation with you.  It's like surviving a World War, but putting yourself voluntarily through it EVERY year.

I actually didn't have to work during the "brunch" this year.  Instead of working brunch, I was able to ACTUALLY brunch with my mom and family.  But for some reason, the dinner reservations at my work were just as busy as the brunch reservations.

First of all, Mother's Day is supposed to be a day to celebrate your mom, the woman who birthed you, and who suffered raising you in this crappy world.  I just think it's (almost) funny that we want to add to the suffering of motherhood by bringing your mom to brunch in a busier than normal restaurant.  With food that is pricier than normal.  With servers who are stressed out more than normal.  

It's too crowded; it's too expensive, and there are too many moms.

Here are two of my favorite things that happened during my shift last night:

1. The busboy brought bread to a table that was occupied by an older woman (late 40's) and a younger woman (late 20's.)  When he greeted the table he said, "Happy Mother's Day."  

Immediately, the younger woman replied, "She's not my mom.  We're girlfriends."  And then they made out.

Lesson learned for the busboy... Never judge a book by it's lesbian cover.

2. A mother was questioning me about the menu, and asked me about the Ahi Tuna.  "What's tuna?" she asked.

"Tuna is a fish," I answered.

"I know it's a fish."  She said with an attitude.  "But what's Ahi Tuna?" she demanded to know.

"That's the same fish."

Lesson learned for me... Brunch is fun.  Working brunch sucks.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Friday, May 8, 2015

We're Ready to Order!

Whenever a customer tells me that they're ready to order, it usually means that they need another 15 minutes to decide what the hell they want.  I can understand being indecisive and having a hard time trying to decide between one or two things, but some people act like they're picking a college.  (thanks Lou Santini.)

And then guests will ask me what I like.  I tell them three items that I really enjoy on the menu.  Then they ask me about something I didn't mention.  I tell them it's not in my top three.  Now I'm somehow in an argument about why I didn't mention EVERYTHING on the menu.

Here's how a conversation went with a table the other night:

Customer:  "We're ready to order."

Me:  "What may I get for you?"

Customer IMMEDIATELY looks back at the menu and says nothing for 2 minutes.

Me:  "I'll give you another moment."

Customer:  "That's not necessary.  I told you that we're ready to order!"

Me:  "Please.  What may I get for you."

Customer:  "Don't start with me.  Go to somebody else."

Me:  "I can't start with somebody else.  You're the only one at the table."

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Assuming Makes An Ass Just Out of Me

Everybody has their favorite cocktail.  Their drink of choice.  A love for their libations.  Whatever!  Whether somebody is rough around the edges, gay, black, nerdy, white, female, or tranny, I've served every cocktail around the sun to everybody, but I can usually tell what type of drink goes with the person.

The other night I "assumed" wrong.  

A man and woman were sat in my section.  The woman excused herself to go to the ladies room.  I approached the gentleman, (50's) glasses, with distinguished grey hair, welcomed him, and asked him if I could get him a drink.

"While my date is in the restroom, I'll order for both of us.  A Strawberry Basil Martini, and a Makers' Mark Manhattan up," he politely requested.

I put in their drink order.  His date, (early 40's) pretty, Asian, arrived back from taking her dump.

I got the drinks from the bar, brought them to their table, and placed the Strawberry Basil Martini in front of the woman.

"That's actually my drink," the man interrupted.  "Sorry for the confusion.  I know it seems the opposite.  I would assume the same thing."

"I never assume anything.  Or ever again, for that matter.  I should go."

And I quickly walked away.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Traitor Lobster Benedict Arnold

The evil Benedict reared it's ugly head again.  This time fooling a customer with a poached egg on their Lobster Benedict.  And the customer exclaimed,

"I didn't know there are poached eggs on Lobster Benedict.  I don't want no poached egg."

I don't even know where to begin with this.  Who the hell doesn't know that there are poached eggs on ANYTHING Benedict?

And to make things even better, it actually said in the description of the dish, that it had poached eggs.

Now the customer is just dumb and can't read.  And that's no way to go through life.

Plus, you just wasted Lobster.  That's a crime in itself!

I offered to make things better, but she pulled the old, "I'm not hungry anymore" line on me.  At this point, I was fine with that.  Seriously?  You don't go to a restaurant hungry, and then suddenly not be hungry.  That's not how it works.  You are mixing up your emotions.  You're still hungry, but now you're just being an asshole...

A hungry asshole.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."










ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Wine O Confusion

Do you know the difference between red and white wine?

In case you don't, let me help you.  Red wine is RED.  White wine is WHITE.  Doesn't that sound simple?  I thought it did.  However, the customers that I had the other night did not agree.

They ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir.  That is a red wine.  The fact that the word "Noir" is in the name of the varietal should tip people off that that the wine is going to be a darker color.  I did my usual schtick of presenting the wine to make sure it was the right one that they ordered, including pouring out a taste, and so on and so forth.  They both agreed the wine was good and correct and when I left the table, the man and woman BOTH had a glass of red wine in their wine glasses.  I repeat, the color of wine in their glasses was the color RED.

Later I went back to the table to check on everything and they say that the wine wasn't the one that they had ordered.  They said that they ordered a bottle of white wine.

I don't throw the word "stupid" around very often, but these two dingbats have got to be two of biggest morons I've ever had sit in my section.  Where do I begin?

First off, the color of the wine should've been a red flag.  You said you ordered white, but the wine that I poured out was red.  And it also says what type of wine it is on the bottle.  In this case, it said Pinot Noir.  That's a red wine, folks!

And did you notice how I didn't put the bottle on ice after I poured the two glasses.  That's because you don't put red wine on ice.  Although I have had guests request that a couple of times, but typically, you don't keep red wine chilled.  White wine on the other hand always likes to chill out.  Which is exactly what I needed these guests to do:  CHILL OUT!

Somehow this turned out to be my fault, saying that I didn't listen to what they wanted, but on the third day Jesus rose from the dead and they were upset about that because they're Jewish.

The good news is that my manager still made them pay for the wine because of the obvious.

The bad news is that they didn't tip me.  That's okay because I got their license plate number and reported them to the cops for drunk driving... or did I?

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."










ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Micro-Manage This!

Control freak.  Bossy.  Obsessive compulsive.  Nit-picky.  Micro-manager.  Call them what you want, I can't stand any of them.  Being a manager is already a disliked position in a restaurant, but add the word "micro" to it, and now you've got somebody who will stay on you like stink on shit.  And they really enjoy the smell of shit.

I work with one of these... (ahem)... people.  And I don't know why I ahemed them, but basically this person is a major pain-in-my-ass.  Sure, the intentions might be good, but when a server is trying desperately to do their job so they can make money in order to pay their bills, the last thing we need is somebody getting in our way of making that money.

There is a thing called, "The Steps of Service," that most of us servers try to follow with each table.  That's the rapport that I am trying to establish with each guest that is sitting in my section.  I am trying to get you to like and trust me, and then I can do my job of making sure that you have some sort of pleasant dining experience.

Then the control freak steps in and completely takes over my table.  Usually you would expect this from one of your server co-workers, but not somebody in a management-type position.  Now that he has completely monopolized all of my customer's time, I try to step back in a do my job only to find out that their entire order has been taken.  Like I said, normally this would be called table stealing, (KIM,) but in this case, it's micro-managing.

And now I've become the weird guy at the table because the guests don't understand that I'm their server, not the manager with the control issues.

It's like when you are outside, and there's a fly that keeps buzzing around you for no apparent reason.  That's what it's like.  And the more I try to run away and swat at it, the more it keeps buzzing around me.

BUZZ OFF!!!

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."










ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bike vs Car. Car Weighs More, but Bike Acts Like Car

I drive through Beverly Hills when I go to work.  Besides the usual annoying things like Bentleys, Porsches, and Maseratis; me having to ignore all of the texting and driving--because apparently if you have money, you're exempt from this law.  That leaves me with the bicyclists, and they are the worst of the bunch.  They are the worst because they think that they're cars too.

Since when does a bike outweigh a car?  I got A's in Chemistry so I'm going to confidently say that a car outweighs a bike.  Even if the person riding the bike is morbidly obese, my car still outweighs the bicycle package.  But bicyclists still act like they are a semi-truck driver, barreling down the road, on the way to make a delivery to the supermarket, while peeing in a wide-mouth-jug.

My last encounter involved a guy riding his bike right in the middle of the road.  Just to give you a visual, there are two lanes going in each direction.  But those two lanes are packed with cars desperately trying to cut each other off, in order to save 15 seconds so when they arrive at their destination they can give a shorter apology for being late.

This guy doesn't move left, and he doesn't move right.  He stayed smack in the middle, and ignored any sign that there was a car behind him.  That car was me.

I give the "Hello?" horn honk as a courtesy.  He turns around and courteously gives me the finger.  I can't go around him because I've got an older woman driving a Cadillac to my right, and she is drifting around her lane like a boat that didn't get tied down in the marina.

We go a couple of more blocks and I see that a bike lane has started on the righthand side.  I know that the bike lane has started because it had a sign that said, "Begin Bike Lane."  Again, I honk.  He turns around and I motion that he should move over to the bike lane.  He doesn't get what I am pointing at, but instead he decides to ride along the side of my car.

Our conversation went as follows:

Bike Guy:  "What the fuck?"

Me:  "No thanks.  I was just telling you that there's a bike lane over there.  ALL FOR YOU!."

And I pulled away.  Because another thing a car can do better than a bike, is go faster.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."










ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Waiter? My Teeth Are in the Bread

When things get awkward between a server and the guest, they get REALLY awkward.  Sometimes the problem can be solved with some sort of diplomacy, and other times the server can only walk away and blog about it the next day.

Last night was the latter.  

I had an older gentleman and his daughter sitting in my section.  I wasn't sure if she was his daughter or not--but it didn't gross me out as much to think of her as his daughter--so I just went with that.

After they had ordered, I brought them the bread.  It's a mix of baguettes, crackers, and stuff.  Next thing I know, the daughter is waving me over.

"Is everything okay?" I ask.

"Not really."  She motions to the gentleman.  "He bit into the baguette and broke his front teeth off."

Sure enough, the man showed me where his front teeth used to be, and they weren't there.  But the whole time I'm thinking of what to say in this moment.  I've handled a lot of situations, but never something like this.  I was assuming that these were fake teeth that broke off and not his real ones.

"Did it hurt?" I asked.

"Of course it hurt," the woman responded.

What I didn't get was, why the hell would somebody who has fixed-fake-front-teeth, bite into a baguette?  The baguettes are the hardest of the breads that I offered.  And now the woman was worried about the rest of their meal that wasn't yet at the table.  I just apologized to them, and walked away.  

I told my supervisor, and the chef, and we didn't know what to do.  We got an incident report filled out just in case they would want to get some sort of compensation for the teeth.

The food arrived at the table, and the woman was worried about how her dad was going to eat the Chicken Caesar Salad, and Margarita Pizza.  He was just interested in eating, but she had to keep telling him that he had no front teeth.

He found a way to do it, because the food disappeared.  Hey, if worse came to worse, I would have offered to puree the salad and pizza.  That's how you know I'm a professional, I'm willing to go above and beyond for my customers.

But now I am going to start carrying a tube of "Fixadent" in my apron for the next time this happens.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Review About Yelp by An Elite Yelper

The following post is my interpretation of what a review of Yelp would look like by one of their "elite" Yelpers.

A friend of mine told me about Yelp a while back so I decided that I would give it a try since I have nothing better to do with my life.  You call this a helpful website?  First of all, the color scheme is all about the red.  Some of it is white, but it's mostly red.  Way to try hard at picking colors, Yelp!  I don't know about you guys, but red doesn't say "helpful," it says "I'm mad as hell."

Seriously?  I'm missing "The Real Housewives of Portland" to do this right now.

God!  I need a cocktail.

Anyways...

You would think that Yelp would be more welcoming to having people come to their website to use it.  And I know what the hell I am talking about, I use websites all the time.  All I do is go to the browser thingy and type "www" and then whatever I'm looking for and (BAM!)... internet magic.

My first impression of Yelp was just okay.  I wasn't excited, but it wasn't like I was going to be doing anything else, so I gave it a chance.  I enjoy being able to say bad things about people behind their backs, so this is a perfect place to do that.  But then I had to look around the site to find the "write a review" link.  I'm out of breath just thinking about how hard that was.

MOVING ON...

Now I was asked to create a profile.  REALLY YELP?  My profiles are all over the internet.  I already have so many social network friends, that I can count on any of them to give me a ride to the airport, OR help me move.  That's how important I am in my world...

So I created the profile.

After I lost 10 minutes of my life (I had to take several selfies to use for my profile pic) I got down to business.  And Yelp should kiss my feet for giving them any business in the first place.

When I was writing my review, it did something weird on the website and I had to wait a whole 5 seconds for it to not do the weird thing so I could finish writing my dissertation.  Everybody loves what I have to say.  Hence, my elite social media status, so all of my social media friends just die whevever I write a review becuz I'm so funny!  I'm even LOL'ing right now as I write this shizz.

I am giving Yelp 2 stars because most of it sucks except for the fact that my review is now on it.  (That's worth 5 stars alone!  HELLO?)  Now that Ithink about it, I am going to move it up to 3.5 stars.  So half of it sucks, and the half that my review is on is great.  So that means that my review is "funny," "useful," and "cool."

And along with the bad color scheme, they have a tasteless exclamation point after the Yelp logo that has a Daisy for the dot on the bottom of the mark.  First of all, I'm allergic to flowers.  So just seeing a Daisy makes my eyes water.  NOT COOL YELP.  By the way, you owe me an Allegra.

I won't be "Yelping" again anytime soon.  BTW... you should totally follow me on instagram.  I'm @itsallaboutme.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Dine LA Syndrome

Everybody wants a deal these days!  Well Dine LA is back, and the deals are-a-flowing, and the cheap customers be-a-coming.  Dine LA should be better known as the "I can't afford to eat at your place, but now I can... but I still can't afford to tip.

Or maybe it's the, "I don't know how to tip," syndrome.  Whatever the 'drome, these people need to realize that just because they already paid for their deal, they are still receiving great service, and therefore, they should show their appreciation.  And not by just saying that the service was wonderful.  Hello?  "Servers don't pay their rent with compliments," anyone?

And to make things even worse, we are also offering a Groupon deal as well.  Dine LA plus Groupon is a recipe for tip disaster.  The disaster being no tip, and customers still wanting exceptional service.  Even though most of them have never dined in a nice restaurant before.  But they probably have watched "Top Chef," so that makes them an expert.

Whether it's Groupon, Dine LA, or the "I hate full price" coupon, please take care of your server.  After all, we are introducing you to our restaurant that you normally would not be eating at.

And for the professional Dine LA'ers, stay off of Yelp!  All of the Yelp reviews for Dine LA always state that the portions are small, and there aren't many options.  No shit!  It's a prefix menu, you dildos.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Golden Duds

I would be happy to be nominated for a Golden Globe.  I would be even more happy to win one.  The red carpet looks fun, and I know that the show is long and drawn out, but at least I would get to kiss the ass of directors and actors I would want to work with, instead my usual ass kissing of my managers so I can get the days off that I need from the restaurant.

But the people who like to act like they are somebody, when I don't know who the hell they are, have got to go.  And go fast!

I waited on some people attending an after party for The Golden Globes and it was like having my gums scraped.  First of all, these people were at a Golden Globes *after party* while the Golden Globes was still on!  If you're anybody, you go to the after party, AFTER the show is over.

There were a bunch of punks acting like they owned the place as if they're the next boy-band-sensation; some weird-hippy twins who seemed like they played the "ghost twins" in the second Matrix movie, and a guy who came in twice and said that he wanted a table for seven and when he did finally sit down, he was the only one eating... BY HIMSELF!!!  Then he was joined by the bitchy girl who knew telepathy, because when I offered her something to drink, she kept looking at her phone, but then the guy answered for her.

To which I responded, "she looks too busy to order anything anyways."

Then there was an unprofessional looking, crappy step-and-repeat, followed by an interview with a poorly dressed host using what looked like a VHS camcorder with a microphone that looked like the one that hooked up to my old Apple IIE computer.

The only good part about all of this, was that my customers were extremely entertained by this whole debacle.  Especially the couple from Australia.  But the last thing America needs are the Aussies to go home and tell their friends and countrymen what a bunch of idiots we are.

Listen up wannabes:  You are all on the same train as the rest of us fools who moved to this town to "make it" in the entertainment biz.  And the train is going nowhere!  So you might as well sit back down in your seat, put your seatbelt back on, and just watch from the window like the rest of us.

Acting like you're somebody doesn't make you an actor, it makes you an asshole.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









ITUNES
STITCHER
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BITTER THAN THIS!