Irrational irritations and other unnecessary issues (2/2/16)

Jumping right into it this today, I’d like to say that one of my biggest pet peeves when I’m serving/waitering/bartending is customers who leave their shit in the way when I’m trying to put a plate down in front of them. It drives me absolutely (but still politely) mental. I’ll be approaching with three or more plates spread across my two hands, the customer will see the approach and put their phone or drink or faberge egg down in front of them, exactly where I intended to put the plate down. Then there’ll be this awkward moment where they just stare at me vacantly, waiting for me to place the food or whatever in front of them while I desperately (but still politely) try to indicate through limited body language that they need to move their phone, drink or faberge egg out of the fucking way.

Yeah, I know it would be faster if I simply asked them to move the obstacle away from the drop zone, but people always look really embarrassed when they need to actually be told they’re inconsiderate morons and that might affect my tip (not to mention there’s no challenge in just saying it out loud). More than likely though it’ll be whoever they’re dining with will notice the obstruction and be like, “Mom, move your phone,” or “For fuck’s sake dad! Put the goddamn egg away! I know you like to show it off but it’s very fragile and I doubt anyone here actually appreciates the exquisite Russian craftsmanship.” There’s an awkward laugh, maybe an apology and I thank them and (much more quietly) God because that one plate resting on the bare skin of my forearm had been sitting under the heat lamps for fucking ages and I could feel my flesh cooking and I’m extremely grateful to be able to put the bastard down and fang it back to the kitchen to run my arm under some mercifully cold water.

Thing you have to remember is that tables at most restaurants where you’re paying less than a hundred dollars a head for a main and single drink (another thirty for desert) is that they’re trying to maximise seating, so tables tend to be small. And small tables very quickly become cluttered. We do our best to keep clearing things up, and generally uncluttering, but we’re not about to start grabbing personal possessions and moving them without your permission and we’d like to minimise our contact with whatever you’re drinking out of (for your sake, as much as ours). We also don’t always have an arm free to move obstructions out of the way. So, when you see your server/waiter/foodrunner/bartender striding over with arms full of succulent morsels, do not just drop whatever you’d been distracting your hunger-ravaged mind with in the space in front of you. We need that space. Put it in your fucking pocket or handbag or whatever.

You shouldn’t have your phone out at the dinner table anyway. That’s fucking rude.

Irrational irritations and other unnecessary issues (27/7/2015)

It’s amazing the things that piss you off. I’m an easily offended, judgemental arsehole myself who’ll decide that an individual should be judged based upon a single bad habit or personality quirk. And I’m not talking about the big things that go into how we construct our individual identities like beliefs, preferences and biases. If you’re not hurting anybody then I’m not going to judge. No, I’m talking about ridiculous superficial shit. Like wearing a baseball cap at a uselessly jaunty angle. I hate people who wear baseball caps at uselessly jaunty angles so goddamn much. I try not to judge, but I do anyway. Because I’m a human being and that’s what we do. Judge. Bitch. Whine. Complain. So I’m gonna do something that I’m going to claim is constructive and start writing this stuff down in a series of light-hearted rants. Sometimes. Maybe weekly. We’ll see. Hopefully weekly. Let me know what you guys think, and we’ll see how long I can keep it up. Possibly. I get bored of this stuff too quickly sometimes. Moving on. Short one today.

This week’s topic is people who ask for water and don’t drink it. My great nemeses (that’s the plural for nemesis right? nemeses? I’ll google it later). This can be applied to people who don’t finish their drinks in general, but I take particular ire with people who don’t drink their water after they’ve asked for it. Why? Practicality mate. Practicality.

Y’see, working as a server (waiter) in a restaurant on a busy day, having to get water for a table as well as their paid beverages is a bit of a pain in the proverbial arse. That two minutes spent pouring glasses of water could be better spent taking orders or running food or making sure customers aren’t having violent allergic reactions to fucking kale or something. Seriously, I am bloody terrified by the possibility of customers having violent allergic reactions. I think most of us are.

But the getting of the water isn’t so much the problem, it is the not drinking of that water. I can carry a lot of empty glasses without a tray, stacking’em high and balancing them in the crook of my arm. I consider it a point of pride being able to clear a table without need for a tray. I fucking hate carrying full trays. I should always use trays but I don’t have the best balance, and I can actually usually carry more empty glasses than safely fit on a tray. Means that I can clear a recently vacated table without a tray as I pass it by. Means I can get a table cleared a lot faster for the next customer/s that needs it, which is good for everybody. But if the glasses are full, say, of water then I can’t stack the bastards. Need to go get a tray, come back, maybe have to make a second or third trip if it was a big table. Waste of everyone’s time that could be better spent making sure there aren’t any violent allergic reactions taking place. I’m a bit hung up on that tonight. Sorry ’bout that. Also, I hate using trays. So when customers don’t drink the water they asked for, it means they’re forcing me to use something I irrationally hate using. Maybe more than once. That’s not cool. Not cool at all.

I’m gonna throw it out there as well, there are a lot of places right now that are in the middle of some pretty severe droughts or don’t have access to clean water. Hell, here in Vancouver you’ve just got to look a few hours south at California, where they’re running out. So, yeah, you not drinking your water is basically mocking all those people who don’t have access it. That’s not cool either, you arrogant bastard.

Anyway. The message here is drink your goddamn water. Especially if you ask for it. Do it for me (or whoever’s serving you and clearing your table). Do it for Californians. Do it so you stay hydrated and healthy. Makes the hangovers easier the next morning.

Maybe next week I’ll talk about why people who don’t finish their drinks generally are arseholes as well. Or something else. We’ll see.