10 Reasons Why

15 Fun Responses to Irritate Your Annoying Food Service Technician

1. “How many people in your party?”

I’m standing here alone. Do you think the rest of them are hiding in the bushes? Or is it pathetic that I dine singly? It’s okay if I eat by myself, you know. No one will be arrested, I promise. If it helps you adjust, just pretend that I’ve brought an imaginary friend who can’t actually eat or drink for religious reasons.

2. “Table or booth?”

Okay, wheel-chair and disabled access aside, why would anyone in their right mind take a table over a booth? I don’t want to sit at a little square on a spindly chair in the middle of the room, while heathens on the sidelines, with grease dripping off their chins, study me like a museum exhibit. I want something with more structural reinforcements, preferably along some wall where the lighting is poor and traffic is low.

Unless, of course, you have crappy booth seats with little shock absorption. I also don’t want to be menaced by Thunderina the Hyper Bear Cub in the booth behind me, launching me into the stratosphere every time she bounces while telling an insipid story about who she saw at Dairy Queen last night.

3. “Would you like a nice, cold margarita?”

It’s 9:30 in the morning! I’ll just have a beer.

4. “Would you like an appetizer to start things off?”

Sweetie, I’m not even in my seat yet. I haven’t opened the little booklet that you shoved at me. Can you give me a few seconds to break the crusty salsa seal so I can pry the pages apart and see what you have to offer? (Do you ever wipe these things down, or are the stains supposed to be part of the charm?) Can you just go get that beer and let me get my reading glasses out? Let’s hold off on the upsell approach for now. I’ll make some sort of hand signal when it’s okay to come back to the table.

5. “Is Pepsi okay instead of Coke?”

Would you rather have a dildo than the real thing?

6. “How would you like that cooked?”

Preferably while Pavarotti is singing in the background. If that can’t be arranged, some light jazz would be fine.

7. “Would you like the half order or the full order?”

Look at the size of my ass. What do you think?

8. “I’ll have that right out for you.”

I don’t believe you. You said that the last time I was here and it took three days before a speck of food showed up. I only kept waiting because I was too weak to leave. But, as I was fading in and out with my head on the placemat, I at least got to watch a drug deal going down one night between the guy who shampoos the carpet and the guy who empties the grease bins in the kitchen. (I know, I’m just as surprised as you are that they clean this place.) It was kind of fun, like being in an episode of “The Wire” where everybody was really, really hungry and willing to do whatever it took to score a chicken wing.

9. “Can I refill your water?”

I’ve taken one sip. The glass is basically full. Why do you want to top off something that’s already topped? Surely there’s something you can do back there in that kitchen besides hover and interrogate people. Maybe work on a better way to wrap the silverware in the napkin so I don’t risk losing a finger when I try to get the surgical tape off the little bundled corpse?

10. “That is the cutest blouse. I was just saying to my friend Dacie the other day that-”

Go get the manager.

11. “Would you like more chips?”

Um, we don’t need any chips at our table. Maybe you meant to ask that other table where they are using coasters to scoop out the queso. One of them just broke a tooth, so you might want to give them something free before they start posting on Yelp. This place can’t afford to lose that one star.

12. “Can I get you anything else?”

Since you asked, would you mind going to that table over there and explaining to Missing Link and No Teeth that, one, they should never produce any more offspring, and two, no one on this planet is interested in a story about surprise yeast infections. I promise I’ll write about you in my blog if you do. Go on, it’ll be fun. Bonus points if somebody gets slapped.

13. “Did you save room for dessert?”

Honey, our bellies are so extended right now that the table is not even touching the floor. Flee from here and throw away that stupid dessert booklet that you’re waving about like the crabs are acting up again. Wait, do any of the desserts feature alcohol?

14. “Would you mind going to the link on this receipt and taking a short survey about your dining experience?”

I didn’t come to this place for the homework. Besides, the only people who ever take those surveys are folks who are never satisfied, and they are seeking vengeance like Donald Trump on Twitter. Don’t be an enabler and never mention that link again. Your performance review will be better for it.

15. “Thanks for coming in, and have a sunshiny day!”

You’re getting a tip. Knock it off.


Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 12/03/10 and “Bonnywood Manor” on 04/17/15. Some changes made, including the replacement of one item that was so mind-numbingly banal that I wept in shame. On a more serious note, and despite my crotchety sarcasm, always tip your food service technician in a respectful manner, as in most cases they depend on those tips for their livelihood instead of the paltry wage they receive. (Many of them are paid less than minimum wage, because this country is jacked when it comes to realistic compensation in the service trades.)

And if possible, the tip should be in actual cash. Otherwise, they have to run your credit card again, and many times the transaction fee comes out of the tip, meaning you didn’t leave them as big of a tip as you thought. This message brought to you by MyBleedingLiberalHeart.com, proudly sponsored by Bonnywood Manor. If we don’t look out for each other, there will come a day when no one is looking out for you. Peace.


40 replies »

  1. 6. “How would you like that cooked?”
    Preferably while Pavarotti is singing in the background. If that can’t be arranged, some light jazz would be fine.

    I must remember that repartee.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I read this in the voice of Jack Nicholson in ‘As Good As It Gets’ …. this is praise for the avoidance of doubt. One of the reasons that I cannot honestly call the US a First World Country is its deplorable attitude to rémunérations for those in the food service industry. It makes me boil. But it’s OK …. I have a nice little apéro in mind to calm me. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve never actually seen the movie, but I know enough about it to realize that you have, once again, been kind and generous with the comparison. And yes, the pay inequities in America are astounding, even more so in that there is absolutely no reason for it. This country is amazingly wealthy but you would never know it based on the incomes of so much of the population. Ugh! Excuse me while I sneak a sip of your apéro…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. #2? Uh some prefer the table because a) they can’t get OUT of the %$@# booth designed for Twiggy and her anorexic friends. This is because the designer of the booth affair is apparently a frustrated nincompoop who is passive aggressive and it was a way to get back at his/her overbearing obese mother… b) because some of us need the extra support of a chair. The thing might be wobbly and the table more so, but isn’t that the niftiest (and most legal) way to gain sympathy when one falls over, taking both the table and chair with them. Those law suits can be lucrative… 😉 AND lastly (although this particular dead horse doesn’t need further lashes or furtive kicking as it’s DEAD)..some of us have claustrophobia and a deep and abiding hatred of little children. People with ten children and the neighbor’s fifteen often prefer booths to tables because they can effectively (sort of) corral the little psychotic darlings in a booth, which leads to the last reason I prefer a table over a booth. I’m claustrophic and being trapped in one of those damn things is a nightmare. If it’s not the WIDTH of the thing impeding my escape, it’s that faux vinyl that inevitable sticks to anything of a skin nature that might touch it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As I was editing this for the re-post, I kept thinking that I had had a comment conversation with someone before concerning the booth vs. table dilemma, and know I realize that it must have been you, as your words sound very familiar. (I don’t recall the circumstances, but I’m sure I initiated the situation as I’m very vocal about my booth preference. (I have departed restaurants before when they only had tables available, I’m that firm about it when it comes to certain establishments.)

      My anxiety makes it difficult for me to relax at a table in a crowded restaurant. I’m sure it’s something psychological about the perceived exposure or some such. But I do understand that we all have our perceptions and circumstances, so I would never stop following you just because of where you prefer to sit… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t believe you and I have ever discussed the table over booth or vice versa dilemma. Maybe I should just start carrying a towel in my handbag whenever I dine out so if companions want to squish into a booth (I DO fit, I just feel claustrophic) I can spread the towel, avoiding unsightly burns on my anatomy (not that anyone is looking). We’ve agreed to disagree before (onions?? sausage (I’m eating some summer sausage right now actually..) …um there are a couple more I think) and come through just fine. One more point ala favor of table over booth. A person has some territory at a table, a nifty 1/4 of the surface. No quibbling and no argument about that, whereas in the booth … people just set things whereever they want without thought to elbows and other breeches in good manners, which might send the beverage in question into the lap of one of the attendees. Still. Good way to break up a tet a tet, should it be unwelcome. And I forgot to mention #5 at all. MY bad. That had me howling. Huny came to see if I was dying and if some assistance was needed…. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was stuck in Florida after hurricane Michael or Matthew or whoeverthefuckhewas, I was staying with some friends.
    We went to Panera and I treated them. I thought it only fair that I paid for all the food since they had graciously opened their home (without power and water but still a nice respite.)
    Anyway, we walked up to order and the “gal”s said “how many in your party?” I said “three” and told my friends to go ahead and order first. I made sure to tell the “gal” that we were all together. She asked them….”eat in or carry out?”
    They both echoed “eat in.” Then it was my turn to order. I gave her my choice and she said “eat in or carry out?”
    I smiled and said “why carry out, of course. My friends are going to eat inside and I’m going to go out to the parking lot to eat.”
    Get this….she put my food in to go containers.
    That’s one time I would have liked to have been given a link to take a survey. LOL

    Liked by 3 people

  5. There is a secret facility in Kansas where all food service technicians are “trained” a la Jason Bourne. It’s a Taco Bell/General Motors/CIA conspiracy to turn every restaurant into drive-thru. Stand your ground Brian!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Personal fave was #10, though I don’t think I’ve ever once asked to see a manager and I can’t see that changing. Even so. Great response.
    To more important matters: I believe you’ve used that photo before if I’m not mistaken, and I’m still curious as to what the wedge-shaped, cheesy-looking thing is and did it give you gastronomic giddiness as I suspect it would me? 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    • I rarely ask for a manager, but I have done so in certain extremely annoying situations. Most of the time I just protest silently by never going back. Decreased revenue is often loud and clear…

      But I think we’re bonding over the dissatisfaction with overly-chatter attendants. I don’t need the background, I just want to hear the specials…

      I’ve used this photo several times, with and without my go-to sepia filter. Everything you are seeing was extraordinarily fresh and scrumptious. This was a tapas plate served at a cliff-side restaurant in Ronda, Spain. I think I’ve shared other photos of this experience as well, but I may be mistaken. I am actually sitting up against the railing of said cliff, with a massive drop in geography directly behind me. The view was beyond words…

      Liked by 1 person

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