Ok, so the title of this post is a bit misleading. I have been a waiter, but it was at a Mexican restaurant that was destined to fail. For the true, former in-house server of cocktails, you can turn to my colleague Barrie Hardymon. In any case, I do empathize with the servers who have to deal with the Assumers... the Ice Queens (and Kings)... and, of course, Harry Houdinis while balancing martinis and gin and tonics on a tray.
And I certainly can't take credit for these catchy titles for rabble rousers in the local bars across the land. Sarah Venture, a cocktail waitress at a music venue/bar in Phoenix meticulously recorded notes on her subjects, er, customers, and compiled a priceless list of the cast of characters she meets on a nightly basis.
She came up with nineteen interesting types of people, but I'll share a few right now:
Tricky McPlastic: When asked whether he'll be paying with cash, this customer says yes. But when I come back with a tray full of drinks, the customer will hand me a credit card and say, "Is this okay?" Well, it would have been okay if you had told me five minutes ago. Now, it's actually a huge pain in the ass. You may not know this, but I already paid the bar — in cash — for your drink. See, I'm allotted money at the beginning of the night with which I buy drinks from the bar, getting reimbursed by you. But I can't tell you that because then I look like the difficult one. You just wasted five minutes of my life, a**hole.
Ms. Mute: When someone — even a lowly waitress! — looks at you and asks you a question, the polite thing to do is answer. Sometimes, when a waitress asks a couple whether they want a drink, one person (usually the woman) won't answer. Not only will Ms. Mute not answer, she won't even look her waitress in the eye. Ms. Mute will usually tell the person she's with what she wants to drink. That person (usually the boyfriend or husband) will relay the information to the waitress. The worst? When there's a factual question to be answered by the waitress.
Waitress: Hi, there! Can I get you two anything to drink?
Woman (to man): Do they have margaritas?
Man (to waitress): Do you have margaritas?
Woman (to man): I'll have a margarita then.
Man (to waitress): She'll have a margarita.
Annoyed waitress (to Woman): Do you want salt on it?
Woman (without making eye contact) nods without saying anything.
I've actually had similar exchanges. On multiple occasions. Despite the bad rep that waitresses get, we're not all like the ones who wait on George Clooney or Tiger Woods. We're not checking out your guy. We're not flirting with him. We're just trying to do our job and be friendly. Sometimes that requires smiling. So sorry.
Click here for the rest... Grabby Paws.