Fair Warning

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Ten Reasons Why Your Server Thinks You’re A Douche

Intentionally screwing with the people who have access to your food makes about as much sense as lighting a cigarette while filling up your gas tank. However, there never seems to be a shortage of culinary warriors who insist on running face-first into a wall of pretense every chance they get. Whether motivated by ignorance or mere entitled douchebaggery, some diners just seem to possess an inherent knack for being huge twatsicles whenever they set foot in a restaurant – for no apparent reason other than they can.

Here then are a few examples that will move you to the front of the biggest spunkchunk I’ve encountered today list every damn time.

You don’t consolidate your requests. Here is the iced tea you requested.Thank you so much. And can I get some extra lemon with that? Here is the extra lemon you requested. That’s awesome. My friend here was looking at your wine list and would like a glass of chardonnay. Here is the chardonnay you requested. You’re amazing. This bread is so yummy, we already ran out. Do you think you could bring us some more? Here is the bread you requested. Awesome sauce! Is it too late to change our order? I think we want what that other table is having! Goes into kitchen and stabs self in the neck with a fork. Has anyone seen our waiter? He hasn’t been here in, like, five minutes.

You pretend like you’re 5 years old on your birthday. Birthdays are like assholes… everybody has one. The annual anniversary of the precise day the universe chose to shit you out may be your personal yearly orgasmic explosion, but the rest of us are too busy scraping by to feel overly celebratory that we’re graced with the end product of your parent’s lust. If you’re old enough to drive a car and still expect complimentary dessert while being serenaded off-key during dinner by minimum wage restaurant employees, then growing up needs to be at the top of your to-do list as you get older.

You ask for recommendations and then order what you were going to anyway. There’s nothing more enticing to a server than an adventurous customer with money to burn. Servers stay on chef’s good sides by selling the daily features they create, and the best shifts are often given to those who have a knack for peddling what they’re told. There’s nothing wrong with being the guy who comes in twice a month and always orders the Hawaiian Chicken with rice pilaf, but making your server go through the motions of describing stuff you have no intention of ordering is a little like finding out a call girl is only there for a kiss.

You act surprised when your credit card is declined. There are always those special breed of customers who go out to eat while leaving their money behind. These are the same taintplows who produce ten maxed-out credit cards and act incredulous when the server returns them accompanied by the declined notice from the POS system. They’re also the same assbabies who swear up one side and down the other that there’s money in the checking account that their debit card mysteriously can’t seem to access. Then – having exhausted all the plastic shuffling their wallets will allow – they invariably cough up the cash they were carrying in the first place.

You are the guy who would piss you off where you work. Being an asshole toward restaurant workers takes about as much courage as the hero who lights a cat on fire. The loose-wristed peesqueezer who treats service employees as if they were subservients is – not coincidentally – usually the same coward who gets regularly trampled either at home or his own place of employment and is looking for a little misdirected payback. However, bullying people who aren’t in a position to fight back doesn’t make you a swashbuckler as much as an opportunist trying to pick a fistfight with an armless opponent.

You expect stronger drinks than everyone else for the same price.Fewer words make a server cringe more than and make it a strong one after receiving a drink order. Attempting to bypass recipes and standard units of measurement to save a buck or two doesn’t make you look as suave as it does the cheap jackload you invariably are. Like most other industries, restaurants don’t remain in business by giving shit away, and you asking for more than the normally allotted portion jeopardizes everyone’s job just so you can feel like you were able to get over. If you want a double, pay for a double. If not, then either STFU and drink what you pay for or sneak in a flask and spike your cola when no one’s looking like the rest of the low-rent spoozenibblers who exude entitlement for no apparent reason.

You behave like Captain Creeper. Gentlemen, here’s a tip from your server. You’d have a much greater chance of getting laid by your waitress if you worked alongside her rather than slipping her your phone number scrawled on your credit card receipt next to your ten percent tip. Overly susceptible dudes wrestling with either loneliness or a mid-life crisis are a dime a dozen in the restaurant/bar biz, and mistaking the smile and flirtations of your waitress to be anything more than a sales technique to milk you out of a bigger tip makes you fodder for the staff who compare notes about their craziest and creepiest customers when they’re having drinks at the end of the night. And then winding up in bed together.

You lie. So the last time I was here I had a really bad experience and the manager said she’d take care of my dinner the next time I came in. Really? And who was the manager? I don’t remember her name. The tall one. All of our managers are male. Maybe it wasn’t a manager, then. It must’ve been the hostess. Our hostesses aren’t allowed to authorize complimentary meals without a manager’s authorization. I don’t know who it was, then. All I know is that I was promised a free meal! By who? Can I talk to a manager, please?

You recreate the space-time continuum. The next time you get pissed off and begin throwing a tantrum because “you’ve been sitting there waiting 45 minutes for your food to arrive,” remember this – every order that gets rung in is also logged with the time it was entered. That means we can and will check to see if you’re telling the truth or if your hunger is feeding your frenzy to be a lying piss sponge. For some individuals, restaurants are often black holes where time seems to magically stand still when they’re waiting for shit to arrive – and unfortunately these same people lose track of the very same time two hours later after they’ve finished eating and are sitting there chatting about their Facebook status while a hundred other people are waiting for a table.

You request a non-existent steak temperature. The mythological realm between medium and medium-well can be located precisely in the same stratosphere as either Atlantis or Narnia. You have a better chance of having your picture taken with Bigfoot while riding piggyback on the Loch Ness Monster than getting your porterhouse cooked somewhere between rare and medium-rare – because the temperature doesn’t exist! Ordering anything outside of the five universally accepted steak temperature choices is a sure sign that you either (a) don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, or (b) don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

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Good Work If You Can Get It

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So You Want To Be A Corporate Service Industry Manager…

Booyah! A manager position just opened up where you work. You’re already making plans to apply for it, and all of your years of hard grunt work in the trenches are finally about to pay off. You’ll make truckloads of money, have more vacation time than you’ll know what to do with, contribute to a 401K so you can retire in luxury and – most importantly – you’ll never have to scrub a floor or clean a toilet again.

Slow your roll, Powerball winner.

Before you begin cashing in on your big payday, do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the following fine print you’ll find on the reverse side of your winning lottery ticket. If after reading it you still agree to the terms, then there’s always a seat on the gravy train – especially for people just like you.

 Prepare to learn a second language. Indoctrination is as prominent in the corporate service world as crippling debt is to freshly-minted college graduates. Consequently, the carefully-crafted bullshit that is generated from most corporate Marketing and Human Resource departments makes evangelists bilking septuagenarians out of their life’s savings look tolerable in comparison. And unless you agree to memorize this syntax, your membership to the club will be revoked before you even have the opportunity to kiss your first ass. So prepare yourself to begin referring to customers as guests, employees as associates and holidays off as nonexistent. That’s because this is revenue-generating outside the box thinking which will quickly leverage existing performance based action items that are designed to synergistically disseminate robust methodologies and will lead down the path of assertively driving quality growth strategies. So if constantly speaking in euphemisms and nonsensical catchphrases doesn’t make your stomach turn, then this just may be the job for you.

Your General Manager will either be your best friend or worst enemy. Or both. Restaurant and retail General Managers are in the unique position of getting to determine their own schedules as well as yours – a benefit they take full advantage of. Most store General Managers are vampires in reverse, with most of them avoiding late night shifts with the same enthusiastic frequency that Vlad the Impaler enjoys working on his suntan. General Manager temperaments toward you can either lead you to think omigod I died and went to heaven or how the hell did I get stuck working for this raging psychotic and fluctuate as often as store profits and the Regional Managers who regularly reside up their asses dictate. They may or may not take a vested interest in your personal development and the decisions they make may often run contrary to your long-term best interest. Their mood swings are mostly determined by things they can’t control – yet that seldom precludes them from being the ultimate control freaks. So if enduring a boss who makes riding an upside-down rollercoaster seem like a leisurely stroll through your closest amusement park, then this just may be the job for you.

How it feels to be a legal alien. Alienation and legal liability go hand-in-hand with management positions the same way religious fundamentalism frequently does pirouettes with closed minds. Not only will you often be kept at arms’ length by the people you supervise, but the possibility of getting sued always looms like a cloud of potential lifetime poverty over your head. Salaried managers have legal liabilities that most hourly workers don’t. Managers frequently have to sign legally-binding documents, ensure the workplace is free from harassment and keep the people working for them safe. If a manager fails in any of these responsibilities, they may be held legally liable. If you are promoted from within the ranks of the people you used to work alongside, your relationship with them consequently must necessarily change so you can insulate yourself from this potential liability. In several states, not only can a company be sued when a manager demonstrates negligence, but a lawsuit can simultaneously be brought against the manager being accused as well. So if being on the outside looking in while closely guarding everything you say and do entices you, then this just may be the job for you.

Get used to living life in the crosshairs. The target on a service industry manager’s back is as large as the chasm between the average Kardashian’s ears, and the higher up the ladder you climb the more people you’ll encounter who try to send you back to the rung from which you just came. Every decision you make will simultaneously make someone’s day and piss someone off, so you’re always a hero and an asshole at the same time. Everyone who approaches you usually does so with an agenda, and their perception of you is based primarily on the degree to which you meet their requests or demands. Because of this you will constantly be under the microscope and there will always be some disgruntled individual waiting around the corner looking for retribution because you failed to deliver on their demands. Whether it be the employee who feels unjustly disciplined, the customer who wasn’t awarded the gift card they felt entitled to or a fellow manager who insecurely feels threatened by your existence, there will never be a shortage of people complaining about you or trying to take you out. So if going through life constantly ducking punches, dodging bullets and covering your ass while watching your back is your idea of a good time, then this just may be the job for you.

Keep your resume updated and uploaded. Turnover is as rampant in the service industry as intolerance for gun control is in the NRA. The turnover rate in the economy’s hospitality segment in 2015 rose to 72.1 percent, up from 66.7 percent in 2014, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. It was the fifth consecutive year of turnover rate increases. The one thing you can count on during your management tenure is that the grass will always seem greener on the other side of whatever fence you’re behind. The reality is – sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. Somewhere between the ridiculously long hours accompanied by the stress of enduring unreasonable customers, high-maintenance employees, semi-competent co-managers and the never-ending sting of the corporation reminding you that you can always do better, it’s easy to be lured by Craigslist and the opportunities it offers that you wish you currently had. And somewhere along the way someone somewhere will tap into your breaking point and send you spiraling over the edge where you will find yourself cascading toward the full time job of finding your next gig. So if expanding your resume by consistently job-hopping to companies who essentially do the same thing in slightly different ways coincides with your tolerance level, then this just may be the job for you.

Be ready to attend regular classes in Babysitting 101. More than most industries (other than perhaps professional athletics), the service sector is populated with its fair share of degenerates, addicts and transients who, combined, are as easily manageable as a drunk concertgoer slamming away against fellow ticket holders in a mosh pit. Service industry employees are notorious for calling in “sick” minutes before their shift is scheduled to begin, not showing up at all, coming in horribly hungover or not taking responsibility when they screw stuff up. And when the people you employ fail to live up to their obligations, guess who gets to fill in for their shortcomings. Every. Single. Fucking. Time. So if taking up the slack for irresponsible adolescents masquerading as adults is your particular cup of tea, then this just may be the job for you.

Remember that thing you used to call your life? You won’t say goodbye to it entirely, but there will be less of it to go around. Restaurant and retail managers work extremely long hours, sometimes as many as 12 to 15 per day, up to seven days per week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. During the course of any given day, managers may deal with upset customers, fill in for staff, train employees and place orders to restock inventory. Managers play an integral role in making certain an establishment is profitable and are the last line of defense to safeguard P&L controllable line items from getting out of whack. The long hours combined with the multiple responsibilities often lead to stress, exhaustion and substance abuse among many managers. And if you’re really into sadism, divide the average weekly hours you regularly work into your salary. So if working ridiculously long hours while most likely making less money than the people you oversee is something you aspire to, then this just may be the job for you.

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Casting A Line

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A Crappy Complaint

When it comes to extracting karma, there’s nothing like the internet to level the get-even playing field.

If there’s one thing corporate restaurant and retail chains have perfected, it’s the art of enabling cowards and entitled internet warriors with the ability to elevate their petty grievances without the nuisance of having to confront an actual breathing human being in the process. Thanks to the omnipresent Contact Us buttons on corporate websites, any crusty turdclump wearing a cowpie as a chip on their shoulder can now log on and abuse any hourly service worker from the safety of their anonymous computer screens instead of attempting to get them fired to their actual face.

Or so they think.

Too many online complainers are little more than serial bargain junkies looking for their next coupon fix. In the ongoing quest to satisfy their discount jones, these markdown minions have a take-no-prisoners outlook as long as they get theirs. And it’s that precise mentality that exposes them where they least expect it.

In order to receive the gift certificates they feel entitled to, these rebate nobjockeys have to turn over the one thing that exposes them the most to potential retribution – their personal information. The data you release to the World Wide Web is only as secure as those you surrender it to, and there’s often nothing more public than your address lying around unguarded on a person’s computer screen whom you’ve just chastised and abused.

And here’s why.

Restaurant and retail managers are not in the hospitality business. They are primarily in the dealing with complaints business. It’s amazing how many douchebags with a gripe are under the impression that someone ten states removed from them in a corporate office is going to stop everything they’re doing to address their miniscule rant. In reality, what most of these coupon hunting pricksacks fail to realize is that their attempts to bypass the local level are immediately dropped in the laps of the very people they’re trying to avoid in the first place. So that form you just filled out complaining about how so-and-so completely ruined your shopping or dining experience most often gets summarily rerouted back to the store or restaurant you’re trashing, and they’re required by their Regional Managers to have the first crack at making you go away as quickly and quietly as possible. In the end you may end up with the gift card you’re begging for, but you also have to cough up your address, email and phone number to get it.

Now here’s where the fun begins.

Mr. TC and his entitled friend recently came into the restaurant on a Sunday night where I currently work. They bypassed the dining room, opting instead for stools at the bar. They ordered a couple of glasses of wine and left after downing them. The following day, ol’ TC began his gift card fishing excursion by sending the following diatribe through the corporate complaint line.

EMAIL COMMENTS: Message: We stopped in Place Where I Work for a glass of wine, taking two seats at the end of the bar. We both noticed several Place Where I Work employees seated at the bar, eating dinner. One was close to us, while there were a few more at the other end, near the server’s station. We placed our order with the bartendress. After about 10 minutes another waiter arrived (either ending or beginning his shift) and took a seat next to my friend. That’s the beginning of us being ignored by the bartendress. Her focus and that of the other bartendress, was to engage two male waiters seated next to us and begin gossiping about work and workers. One could not help but overhear everything being said due to the proximity of the gossipers to us. My friend and I thought it very strange that a restaurant the likes of Place Where I Work allows its staff to be seated at the bar, either to take in a meal during break or to have a beer/cocktail after shift. First, it’s extremely unprofessional. Second, the three male waiters we saw were taking up valuable real estate at the bar that rightly should go to paying customers. Third, we were ignored as the men were center of attention. Upon leaving, we told the host…

And at that point ol’ TC had reached his bitching word limit and was summarily cut off, as even the internet gods have only so much tolerance for liars and bullies.

The next afternoon, ol’ TC was contacted via phone by a Guest Relations Representative at the home office. She politely listened to his plea for the freebie which would assuredly soothe his mistreated soul, and instead offered him a sincere apology due to his only ordering a couple glasses of cheap wine and no food to go with it. But not being one to accept defeat so easily, ol’ TC promptly hopped back on the internet bitch line and swung for the fences again, further complaining how “the host said he was sorry and that the next time we came in he could guarantee that we’d not witness staff seated at the bar, however he did not take down our names or go chasing after the manager.”

After numerous attempts to get every employee he encountered that evening either reprimanded or fired, ol’ TC ended up being sent the gift card he so sorely coveted just to make him shut the fuck up and take his perpetual butthurt on to his next unsuspecting victim. But in addition to his future comp, ol’ TC was also sent an additional reward for his efforts.

But we’ll get to that in a moment.

First, let’s realistically address ol’ TC’s allegations. The employees who were seated at the bar were actually workers from a neighboring restaurant who occasionally wind down by patronizing our watering hole when they get off work. And what they wear and discuss when they are away from their place of employment is their own business. If you don’t like the conversation you’re ear-hustling on that you weren’t invited to, move your pompous ass to a seat where your sensibilities won’t be so easily offended. It’s a bar and people discuss their problems in it. So the valuable real estate you bemoan as being “lost” was occupied by paying customers just like yourself, you gift-card-fishing queefwallet. You would have known that had you actually asked to speak to the manager you accused of ignoring you instead of hiding like a coward behind a computer screen after the fact. And that individual you offensively referred to as a bartendress gave you every opportunity to do what most normal people who come to restaurants do, which is eat and drink. You were presented a menu, served the beverage of your choice and given the option of ordering whatever your heart desired. At no point is it in her job description to figuratively hold your hand or literally stroke you in the manner you’ve apparently become accustomed to while engaging in your online porn hobby. Oh, and the host you chastised also did what he is required to do – address your concerns, no matter how infantile. Your complaints were handled on several occasions by numerous individuals, yet you still found it necessary to continue jeopardizing people’s employment until you got what you came for – a free pass so we can all look forward to dealing with your horrible persona again in the near future. Lucky us.

Enter: I Poop You dot com.

IPoopYou.com is a San Francisco based company that specializes in delivering high quality, farm raised, eco-friendly, hand-picked animal poop to that special deserving someone on anyone’s get-even list. There are numerous varieties from which to choose, including Cow Chocolate Pudding, Horse Spring-Rolls, Oink-Oink Turds, Chicken Delights and Goat Bites. Every poop arrives at its destination in a beautiful gift box including a leak-proof container that keeps the aroma always fresh & smelly. You can also add a personalized card, or remain anonymous if it’s to your advantage to do so. In addition, a UPS tracking number is sent when the package has been mailed so you can follow your poop selection all the way to its recipient’s doorstep. When it comes to professional delivery, these people are certainly the shit.

Now I would never be one to suggest that someone like ol’ TC either deserves or was sent a steaming heap of dung to the home address that was readily obtained from his ridiculous complaint where he unnecessarily targeted random individuals who were just doing their jobs while he was lobbying for a complimentary gift card he didn’t deserve. Nor would I imply that he is the sort of entitled individual who is more than likely a serial complainer who regularly harasses people at their places of employment when they are at their most vulnerable and least likely able to fight back. And I would never, ever, advocate that the tables should be turned whenever the opportunity presents itself on these type of schmucks who cowardly attempt to get free shit by making sure they receive exactly just that.

What I am suggesting, however, is that if you go through life unnecessarily dumping on people merely for your own gain then don’t be surprised when the karmic crap boomerangs back in your face. Or lands on your doorstep.

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May I Have Another Please

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