Many of my close friends and family members who've been spared from a life of service often ask me, "How can I make sure I don't piss off my waiter and end up on a self-congratulatory, questionably embellished blog about rude customers?"
So simple! Just follow these steps:
1. Be polite when your server greets you.
Those delicate first moments of interaction will shape how your server feels about you.
Reading a text message? Put it down. Taking a call? Don't. In a bad mood? Sorry, it's not your waiter's fault you decided to take your bad mood out for chips and queso.
We're not asking you to pull up a chair and rub our feet as you inquire about the minutiae of our day, but a smile, reciprocated eye contact and an "I'm doing well, thanks, how are you?" will set you apart from the others whose drinks we're fucking with because they were rude. Just kidding, but not at all.
2. Know who's responsible.
Was the hostess a bitch to you? That stupid slut, I hate her too. Did the bartender make you a weak drink while you were waiting to be sat? Tell me about it, it's like he expects me to get drunk mid-shift with just one shot of vodka in my flask. Did the kitchen overcook your steak? Those peons, they always mess up the food I'm secretly taking home to live off of, as well.
I get it. Other people in my restaurant are just as tedious and incompetent as you are, so of course that kind of reflection will put you in a bad mood. But let's get our bearings on the blame game, shall we? I'm not the hostess, I'm not the bartender, and I'm not the cook, so treating me poorly because they messed up will only guarantee you one more enemy, and whereas these people unintentionally pissed you off? My aim is loaded with all manner of intent.
3. Know your surroundings.
In the case of my place of employment, you've found yourself in a Mexican restaurant. Not an Italian restaurant, not a sushi restaurant, and not Paleo Diet: The Restaurant. Nothing about my restaurant's name, menu, or tacky faux Mexican decor is misleading. If you peruse our menu with a snarl, unsure why everything is in Spanish, and then ask if we have any pasta? I will personally guarantee that the mentally unstable kitchen hand with gold teeth and 8 or 9 fingers is the one prepping your heavily modified fajita salad.
4. Allergies are one thing; being a crazy bitch is another.
If you don't like cilantro, that's fine, it won't hurt my feelings. Cilantro isn't my newborn child or the macaroni art I slaved over in school for your birthday. Just have the cajones to say "hold the cilantro." Don't make up some stupid allergy just because your passive aggressive neuroses command that you rationalize every single decision you make.
5. Keeps your kids in line.
I don't think I've bemoaned any group of people on this blog more so than untamed children and the parents who enable them.
NEWS FLASH: You're the ONLY one who thinks your kid is cute; you're the ONLY one who wants to listen to him/her take 10 minutes to decide between our shitty kid's quesadilla or our shitty kid's nacho plate; You're the ONLY one who thinks the sugar packet art is endearing and not grounds for being blindfolded and forced to walk home in traffic.
You had a kid; you didn't cure cancer. So get the fuck over yourself and stop waiving around the byproduct of your need for attention in front of my face as if it's going to inspire me to admire or not hate you.6. When you're done, leave
I'm sure the bimbo you met on Match.com is just creaming to hear more about your fascinating accomplishments as an actor/writer/producer/personal trainer/pet masseuse, but all I see is a sea of customers waiting to sit at your cleared table and hopefully tip me enough to buy the cheapest bottle of vodka Trader Joe's has to offer.
So take your canoodling and your cavorting to a more appropriate venue, like a Starbucks or a knife fight in Compton. You're done here.