Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't Get Scrappy

As some of you may already know, my husband and I recently traveled to San Francisco.

Whilst in the Golden Gate City we ate a scrumptious breakfast at a delightful little place called Dottie's True Blue Cafe. Check out their awesome tables:

The wait (which was a line outside of the door) was about forty-five minutes and well worth it.  Aside from chatting with a group of European tourists who seemed rather determined to be perceived as eccentric snobs, I spent the time studying an untitled document that was taped to the entrance of Dottie's True Blue Cafe.  I suppose most people would label this "Rules" but I prefer to call it "General Guidelines For Maintaining Proper Behavior At Most Any Restaurant (Plus Some Dottie's True Blue Cafe Trivia That Will Help You Understand Where We're Coming From).  This sign is so intensely specific that I had to get a photo:

I know, right? Six paragraphs! Seems a little much.  Especially because most of the suggestions seem like they are advising against stuff that no one would actually do. Such as "Please don't ask us to ask someone to leave." Or "Please don't start waving your hands and telling us you are ready to order as soon as you are seated." And the "We average 250 + meals per day.  We have 6 burners, 2 ovens, a 24" x 32" griddle and a small char boiler. We seat 40." seems like it should be followed by "I drive a Dodge Stratus!!!"  

But here's the thing- for two years I waited tables in a small restaurant that would get extremely crowded and my experiences there lead me to believe that these guidelines were typed up because people actually did these things consistently. If you learn one thing from waiting tables it's this: when people are hungry- they get scrappy.  

To illustrate this point, I would like to present you with the following:

All Time Scrappiest Moments In My Personal Waitressing History  

(These moments are in no particular order, because I feel they are all equally insane.) 

1.  The time a mother of three small, horribly behaved children yelled at me because I repeated her son's order of chocolate milk as "chocolate milk" instead of "chocolate moo" (as it was called on our menu) thereby ruining his "magical experience."  Yes, she used the term "magical experience" while yelling at me.  

2.  The time an elderly man slapped my hand (yes, slapped) away from his walker and screamed "I don't need any help from the likes of you." Apparently, waitresses are subhuman.  

3.  The time a family of four ignored the line of fellow patrons as well as the hostess's pleas of "um . . . hey! Y'all! Excuse me!", plopped down in a booth and refused to abandon the unjustly acquired table because, "Hey, we're in a hurry."  

4.  The time a man yelled at me because I was "making [him] miss [his] son's baseball game" due to the fact that his "Fiesta Salad" was taking longer than three minutes.  

5.  The time a child threw a spoon at my face and his mother shrugged her shoulders and said, "he's really hungry.  Can't you tell them to hurry?"  

So for all of you who have never waited tables: while there is such a thing as bad service, there is also such a thing as patrons who wave their hands in the air as soon as they are seated.  So the next time you go out to eat, and you're really hungry- don't get scrappy.  


  1. Loved "Don't get Scrappy"...didn't some man give you a $50 dollar tip once? now that's NOT scrappy!

  2. Thanks! And yes, I did receive a $50 tip (on a $25 ticket) the very first night I waited tables all because the man was from Sacramento and I said that I hated the Lakers.

  3. "I don't need any help from the likes of you."


  4. I think "the likes of you" is The Greatest Generation's ultimate put down.