Rambling Rant

Let’s talk about high expectations, serving at a restaurant at the mall, and cheap bitchy customers.

The mall:

Get off the interstate and head to the mall. There’s traffic. You stop and go, trailing close behind a hunter green Dodge Strattus that winds ever slowly through that right turn. Once you reach a crowded parking lot you realize there’s not a chance in hell you’ll grab a decent spot, so you settle for some shitty patch of pavement between a minivan and a Lexus – between Sears and Rite Aid – a friggen quartermiledash to your restaurant’s front door. You run past the cars with tantalizing anticipation of a busy night. All these people are here to eat! you think. Excitement builds. It creeps through your skin, through your wallet, out your smile. Imagine the guests at the tables, the tips in your pocket – the money!

You blast through the door – can’t get there fast enough – and blink a few times to fully comprehend the visual of ghost town a la carte. Empty booths, vacant tables, bored hostesses, zombie servers…that rush? That tease? For nuttin’.

This must be what it feels like to be blue-balled.

And so would be tonight, along with so many other nights/situations in which my childlike optimism gets the best of me. I.E. hope is foolish – and that the old complaint about serving is so true: The money at this job is so unpredictable and it’s really hard to budget yourself when you’re working for tips. The crowded parking lot could either mean a busy night for you or a sale at Macy’s. The two women in Ralph Lauren could mean rich people who tip or pathetic phonies looking to impress….(somebody. But not me.)

haha you suck

haha you suck

Let’s talk about those women, and let’s not mince words. This pair of C U Next Tuesdays tipped me $5 on $51. The one in a Ralph Lauren shirt, the other in a Ralph Lauren hat. Both get wine, appies, dinner. Seem extremely refined and gracious – way more polite than I am even if I was being fake. They seem to take their sweet time – like the type of customer that likes to “wine n dine” as to SLOWLY enjoy the dining experience. These types generally enjoy running you into the ground with special requests and bizarre customizations – but if you do it in an obliging and professional manner, they tip you quite well. In fact, these are usually the types that enjoy hearing my “I’m a college student…No, I’m single…I grew up in Buffalo…I want to do PR in Boston” schpeal because they either A) feel like I’m a future successful member of “their” league therefore of their caliber and worthy of a tip or B) are really awesome, humble people who worked really hard to get to where they are and remember where they came from. But yea, they tip well if you do your job.

Not these “ladies.” $5 on a $51.79 tab?! Are you kidding me? Are you freaking kidding me? That is less than 10%, and to this I ask #1 What the heck is wrong with you #2 Where’d you get your clothes, Plato’s Closet? Waterloo Outlets? Screw you. #3 Do you even know how sorry I feel for you, that you have to put on that kind of show to make yourself look like some yuppie when in fact you’re just a cheap POS?

Here’s the thing about status: You can wear what you want, and you can act how you act to make yourself seem all hoyty toyty to the people you are trying to impress. But the real rich people are the ones who have the money, but never lost the perspective of where they came from, the memory of a time when ten bucks made a difference, the compassion of the financial situation of others who are actually working hard for a dollar. Character is what you do when no one is watching, and I feel the same way about status. It’s not the popped collars and the diamonds that make you seem rich to me. It’s not those outward symbols of money. It’s using cash-not credit. It’s the people who tip well and say thank you. The people in designer clothes who leave crappy tips are in denial. So I’m here to remind you that you are as fake as the lame-ass polyester wig on your head. You’re rude, trashy, and if I saw you again in public I’d happily hand you back the five bucks you insultingly tipped me because you obviously need that more than I do.

Phew. Breathe.

Finally, I’d remind you that I’m not taking your BS cop-out of a tip personally because it’s you – not me. Five years from now, after the recession, after Miley Cyrus goes to rehab and after one of the Jonas Brothers inevitably comes out, I won’t be a server. But you’ll still be pathetically tipping your server $5, wearing the same stupid Ralph Lauren hat in the same stupid restaurant.

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3 Responses

  1. Nice Site layout for your blog. I am looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

  2. What a couple of bitches! This makes Ralph Lauren clothing very unappealing.

  3. Very entertaining blog.

    I’ve never worked a job that depends on tips but I’ve had friends who did. Amazingly, these were the people who would complain about getting stiffed on tips at their jobs but would then embarrass the rest of us when we went out to eat by not leaving a tip themselves. Unbelievable.

    Anyways, as for your thoughts on Twitter, I still don’t get it. Maybe I’m just not in a spot to use it for real purposes like you are. Who knows though, after the whole newspaper industry goes under, I’ll have to find a new job somehow …

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