I just read Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip - Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by “The Waiter,” who also authored a notorious blog chronicling his life as a NYC server and restaurant manager. Ouch, there’s not much love here for the majority of his clientele unless they tow the line or charm him in some way. The entire book is written from his perspective, so you are duly warned about bad customer behavior, how much you SHOULD tip, when NOT to eat out (certain holidays must be avoided at all costs), etc. All this makes clear why you really don’t want to become a waiter or restaurant owner yourself. I’m down with that!
On the other hand, there is very little concern for the customer’s point of view unless he/she happens to be a well-tipping regular. It seems the primary purpose of a waiter’s evening shift is to survive it without blowing an artery in rage, burning an arm on sizzling platters or putting up with atrocious hazing and insults from fellow servers and kitchen staff. It also helps to maintain a Zen-like calm in the face of customer rudeness while hoping to come out of it with enough tip money to cover the bills. Whew! In his defense, the behavior of many of his customers (wealthy and full-of-themselves types) is to be despised. There are enough hair-raising, shocking stories to entertain the reader for the few hours that it takes to breeze through the book, and you will come out the other end with a heightened sense of the typical waiter’s daily grind. A little courtesy on both sides should make for a pleasant dining experience…if you’re lucky.