The Door Bitch
HO. HO. HO.
The DOOR BITCH does Christmas!  I work every year on christmas.  It totally sucks!  If I were a snowman, I’d probably use my blow dryer to melt a more cheerful snowman on my way home from work.  So, I decided to write a song, to all the CRAZY REGULARS out there who are spending the holidays with me… just like every other day of the year…(can’t people get a little more original?)
***TUNE TO:  CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE***
Breasts approaching…oh set me on fire.
That boss’s staring at your (panty) hose.
Her name’s name’s Carol, she’d like to sit by the fire,
And folks dressed up in slutty clothes.
Everybody knows, a regular with camel toe.
Hell, it makes the evening sight.
Many shots, and her eyes are a glow.
We see this routine every night…
I have more in store… beware of the regulars who drink.  This time of year you may see sides of them that you wish never existed!  I’ve seen tears, I’ve had threats, I’ve seen cheating.  It’s like they turn into extra scary monsters who have more demands than ever before and act like they own this joint.  But it’s ok, because we all get to start over in the new year…right? 

HO. HO. HO.

The DOOR BITCH does Christmas!  I work every year on christmas.  It totally sucks!  If I were a snowman, I’d probably use my blow dryer to melt a more cheerful snowman on my way home from work.  So, I decided to write a song, to all the CRAZY REGULARS out there who are spending the holidays with me… just like every other day of the year…(can’t people get a little more original?)

***TUNE TO:  CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE***

Breasts approaching…oh set me on fire.

That boss’s staring at your (panty) hose.

Her name’s name’s Carol, she’d like to sit by the fire,

And folks dressed up in slutty clothes.

Everybody knows, a regular with camel toe.

Hell, it makes the evening sight.

Many shots, and her eyes are a glow.

We see this routine every night…

I have more in store… beware of the regulars who drink.  This time of year you may see sides of them that you wish never existed!  I’ve seen tears, I’ve had threats, I’ve seen cheating.  It’s like they turn into extra scary monsters who have more demands than ever before and act like they own this joint.  But it’s ok, because we all get to start over in the new year…right? 

Tales of a Restaurant Regular: “The WEINER.” (pronounced WHINER)

The bitch is back!  (Or so Elton John told me)  It’s been a busy holiday season, FULL of crazies, but I’m back with a brand new installment of the series, “Tales of a Restaurant Regular.” 

We’ll call her Lisa Weiner, because she totally was one (a whiner)!  She was in her late 50s, a Jew from NYC, and she was single.  Nothing wrong with that, until I found out she still lived with her parents.  And that says a lot about a person!  I started to question… does she still use their credit cards?  Do they make her french toast on Saturday mornings?  Has she ever brought a man home to meet them? (Not a boy, a MAN)  Oh so many questions.  But you can’t get too personal with restaurant regulars…THEY KNOW WHERE YOU WORK.  It was hard to avoid that with Lisa.  She dined alone for lunch and dinner at my restaurant or the sister restaurant for years.  She would call ahead and ask to speak to the bartender (she knew all of their names) and asked for them to reserve “her seat” for her.  Bar seats are never reserved unless you’re like… Barack Obama.  So we never guaranteed it to her.  Of course her seat was the one right next to the service bar and where the servers would go to pick up their drinks for tables so she could chat with them too.  She paced herself quite well, knowing she would be there for 5-8 hours at a time.  Here’s how her order would go:

12:15pm - Lemonade

1:00pm - Iced tea (she switched)

1:30 - Side salad

2:30 - Hot tea

4:00 - Dozen Oysters (because even single ladies need an aphrodisiac, right?!)

5:30 - Club Soda

….Rest period….

7pm - Salad that SHE created (items combined from all salads on the menu, of course)

8pm - Steamed fish (whatever was on the menu)

9pm - SHE’S GONE!

Lisa would just stare at people.  One time she brought her holiday cards to write while sitting at the bar.  Her list was EVERYONE who worked in the restaurant, or for the company.  Because we were her only friends!  Sad, right?  A little.  But NOT SO SAD when she gets in on the “gossip”.  She would know who liked who, who was dumped by who, who had made out drunkenly over the weekend, who had their period.  You name it!  Funny thing is, I never met her parents.  She talked about them, but never brought them in.  In 4 years of knowing her, I never saw her eat with anyone!  The worst was when she joined facebook.  Oy!  You couldn’t NOT accept the friend request, because she would be in the restaurant that day and question you about it!  She was one of the nosiest people though, so when you were friends on facebook, she’d come in and say things like “How was your cousin’s wedding?  The chocolate-chip cake and candles on the centerpieces looked really great.”  She was on the spectrum of Regular —> Stalker.  And it was happening fast!  Finally one day we got a new manager, and he did not like Lisa.  He was all about making the big bucks for the restaurant, and here was a woman who took up a bar seat for 8 hours at a time and drank lemonades.  To him, it was not worth her business.  So, one day he said we were not reserving her seat.  And she was appalled by this, which I totally understand.  But he was serious about this.  He wanted to get rid of the Weiner for GOOD.  I felt bad, but I also hoped maybe this would be a good sendoff into the world!  Maybe she would walk down the street and meet a friend, or a man, or buy a pet, or an apartment far away from her mom and dad!  

But lets be honest here… she definitely found the next restaurant that would reserve her a bar seat and create her “off the menu salad” and let her sit and stalk the employees night and day.

I haven’t seen her in a long time, but once in a blue moon I get a facebook message.  Only now, I don’t have to respond since I know she won’t be showing up at work!

Until next time, with Tales of a Restaurant Regular! #doNOTbeaCrazyRegular

You know you’ve become a foodie when…

You can smell truffle oil from miles away.

You bring obscure spices to your friends houses to cook dinner.

Your DVR is full of food network shows.

Your DVR is also full of Man Vs. Food episodes.

You stay in on Tuesdays to watch CHOPPED.

You discuss recipes with strangers instead of talking about…the weather?

Vacations are based around restaurant reservations.

Your mom calls you for advice on cooking.

Your grandmom calls you for advice on cooking.

Your cousin texts you where to bring his date to dinner.

You question if things are grass fed or organic.

You’re friendly with your local butcher.

You enjoy a vegan meal from time to time.

You find yourself enjoying walking into a Williams Sonoma as you did a clothing store.

You read food blogs.

You have “regular status” at at least 2 of your favorite restaurants.

You sit at bars instead of dining rooms.

You brunch every week.

You read restaurant reviews in the newspaper.

You have your concept for opening your “ideal restaurant” in the back of your mind.

You follow gourmet food trucks on twitter.

You can eat 2 dozen oysters and still want more.

You appreciate different cultures because of their cuisine.

Your go-to sushi place knows your order by your name.

Your iphone has a “PLACES TO EAT” list in the notes section.

In your fridge there is always hummus, good chocolate, fresh herbs.

You occasionally find yourself turning into a Japanese tourist and taking pictures of dishes worth remembering.

You go to wine tastings.

You judge what your coworkers order for lunch.

You judge yourself when you organize a “group dinner” somewhere.

People call you “fancy” (you’re just well fed)

You know the best outdoor patios to eat on.

You were raised on fine dining, or worked in fine dining.  (There comes a time when these 2 worlds collide and you are on a common level.)

OR WHEN SOMEONE REFERS TO YOU AS A FUCKIN’ FOODIE.

…..What?  This isn’t me…or is it?  Foodies UNITE.  Catch a falling (4) star (rating) and enjoy yourself!  Now fuck off.

Tales of a Restaurant Regular…”Drew & Catherine” [3rd installment]

I’ve met a lot of weird, fucked up people in my life, but Restaurant Regulars can out-weird them all. Here’s another tale for you.

Drew and Catherine were 2 of a kind. And their relationship blossomed from a casual dating relationship to a full blown marriage just before my eyes. Literally… they were married in the steak house where I worked. Catherine was frail with translucent skin, a bob of wirey hair that was too cartoon-like for her bony face with a 3-time nose job. I can only imagine that “pointy” was all she could reference when she spoke with the plastic surgeon. I couldn’t even tell her age because she had the body of a 7 year old boy and the head of a 90 year old woman. I’m gonna go with 40-ish. Drew was just the yin to her yang. He was a little taller than her, tanning-bed-bronzed skin, perfect white teeth, an uncomfortably tight shirt usually tucked into tighter jeans, and shoe’s that he borrowed from Elton John’s tour bus. He was the most flamboyant man I had ever met………. with a wife. Catherine obviously didn’t see that side of him. She let him finish every sentence she started, she giggled as he flailed his arms in the air when we were out of his favorite dessert, she let him complement every outfit I ever wore, and she accepted that he traveled 3/7 days a week for “business.” To top off their lovely little marriage, they had a white shitzu who they treated as their child.

Now, this couple was also a fucking pain in the ass. They had notes* like no other in opentable. (*you can add “notes” to people’s history at the restaurant if they use opentable… be afraid…you never know if you’re the “bald a-hole who tips like shit” or “irritating sweaty woman”…or not!!!) Drew and Catherine’s notes read something like this:


ALLERGY TO NUTS.

ALLERGY TO PEANUTS.

NO NUTS. (except in his mouth? sorry- too easy)…

NO NUT OIL.

WILL DIE IF YOU USE NUTS.

CHOP THEIR SALAD.

LIKES TO SHARE THINGS.

NO ICE IN WATER, WILL SEND IT BACK.

CORNER TABLE - ALWAYS!!!

CALLS 3 MINUTES BEFORE HE EXPECTS A CORNER TABLE.

LOVES CARROT CAKE MINUS NUTS.

HAD THEIR WEDDING HERE.

SERIOUSLY, A CORNER FUCKING TABLE OR HE WILL EAT YOUR FACE.

ALLERGY***NUTS***

Now, we take allergies very seriously in the restaurant industry, but the fact that he had to tell us IN ADDITION to the many times we had it in his notes already was just comical after a while. And let me explain to all of your corner table requests out there- if you call 3 MIN BEFORE, we probably don’t have a corner table for you. I’d get a lot of “ohhhh, you dont? but we got married here…” from Drew everytime he would come in after calling 3 minutes before, expecting me to roll out the red carpet. SORRY! But there are other important people that dine out too.

The wedding was too much. They had a Jewish wedding in a steak house that was full of pork and non kosher meat. The chuppa was atop the wine cooler, where guests could stare at bottles of red and white as they watched the 2 crazies become 1 unit. Catherine wanted pictures in the butcher’s section of the kitchen. She wanted to rub her white dress up against the bloody side of a cow so she could remember this special day. Drew encouraged it. It was disgusting. They smooched below huge sides of animal aka hanging cured pork. As a dead pig stared up at them as the photographer captured the essence of their future. She smelled of dead animal as she kissed the guests at the wedding. The best is, they don’t even eat steak half of the times they come in! Since when did it have some symbolic meaning to their marriage? Drew bragged to all of his too-fabulously-dressed-men-aka-his-“cousins”. It must be the weirdest fucking wedding album to look at. I’m not making this up. It was a trip to watch, and I am probably in the background of a picture standing by the podium with my mouth half open as I stared in disbelief.

Drew and Catherine continue to come in as regulars. The look on their faces when they come in is priceless: She looks as if she is going to pass out from starvation, and he is usually bubbling with excitement to see what my outfit is. We’ve even discussed where we shop. I think if he didn’t have Catherine on his arm, we might even be friends! I’m a great fag hag. The whole situation was fun to fantasize about until I realized the underlying REAL reason they live their lives as a married couple.

Drew is from Canada…

‘Nuff said.

Till next time with Tales of A Restaurant Regular… Hasta luego!

Do you know how many phone calls I get a night with guests who ask, “What is your dress code?”  I’m trained to answer with, “Business Casual sir.  No jacket required.”  As if we are in fucking 1845 and you’re going to show up in a dinner jacket with a handle bar mustache.  [Ehhh hipsters, don’t answer that one.]  I love how that confuses people more:  ”Soooo are jeans allowed?”  is usually the next peak in our conversation.  
What I’d really like to say is, “WE WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY NO MATTER WHAT THE FUCK YOU ARE WEARING.  THOSE ARE THE KIND OF PEOPLE I WORK FOR.  IF YOU WANT TO WEAR YOUR MOST INAPPROPRIATE OUTFIT BUT WILL BUY A DECENT BOTTLE OF WINE, BY ALL MEANS COME IN SO WE CAN SERVE YOU.”

Do you know how many phone calls I get a night with guests who ask, “What is your dress code?”  I’m trained to answer with, “Business Casual sir.  No jacket required.”  As if we are in fucking 1845 and you’re going to show up in a dinner jacket with a handle bar mustache.  [Ehhh hipsters, don’t answer that one.]  I love how that confuses people more:  ”Soooo are jeans allowed?”  is usually the next peak in our conversation.  

What I’d really like to say is, “WE WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY NO MATTER WHAT THE FUCK YOU ARE WEARING.  THOSE ARE THE KIND OF PEOPLE I WORK FOR.  IF YOU WANT TO WEAR YOUR MOST INAPPROPRIATE OUTFIT BUT WILL BUY A DECENT BOTTLE OF WINE, BY ALL MEANS COME IN SO WE CAN SERVE YOU.”

GO FUCK YOURSELF…the answer to everything.

I find that working in a restaurant has helped me develop an answer to ANY impossible request, bizarre question, or uncomfortable situation:  GO FUCK YOURSELF.  Seriously, it works every time!  Here are ten examples of when to think to yourself (or say out loud and collect unemployment) GO FUCK YOURSELF.

1.  Woman walks up to the host stand to complain about her table AFTER she has placed her order with the server and is already having a drink at the table.  What can I do for her she asks?

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

2.  Picky person on the phone wants to know what we have on the menu… excuse me, ALL OF THE MENU?  I offer a website to go to and they’re “not near a computer”… everyone has a smartphone or ipad or a friend with one of the 2.  My answer to you is…

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

3.  Two year old kid is running loose in the dining room.  Mother is sipping a glass of wine and smiling as if THE WORLD THINKS HER KID IS SO CUTE it doesn’t matter that this child is causing a hazardous threat for the staff and other guests.  Hire a babysitter or…

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

4.  Sad and lonely weird dude is at the bar.  After too many drinks and dinner alone, he comes up to try and make conversation with me and some of my hosts.  Seriously, you are sweaty and drunk and unappealing.  Go on match.com or…

GO FUCK YOURSELF.  (no seriously, go home and masturbate and maybe you’ll feel better about yourself?)

5.  Oh your manager is not giving you the vacation request you put in like 6 months ago?  Because he predicts it to be a “busy weekend and we need you here”…?  I’m going to make up a sexual harassment claim to corporate or you can…

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

6.  Oh no that server is NOT complaining again that you triple sat him!  What a pussy.  If you can’t handle that then you shouldn’t have applied to work in a busy restaurant.  Take it like a man or…

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

7.  VIP table didn’t get the corner they asked for!  UH OH!  That table is EVERYTHING TO THEM.  They’re mad because they always sit there?  Unless you’re the king of the world, you can…

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

8.  You can’t wait at the bar for your table because you don’t drink?  I get that, but I can’t seat you yet and there is nowhere else for you to stand.  OH, so you want to stand directly in front of me and have a staring contest?  You know what you can do?  You can…

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

9.  You have an allergy to CARBS?  You mean you have to eat gluten free.  You have celiac?  Oh, no… just CARBS in general?  Is that why you have a tummy tuck and anorexic looking arms?  I get it now… you’re “allergic” to carbs… RIGHT on lady, you can just…

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

10.  Thanks for the tip!  You almost hit 15% which is pretty rude here in America. Oh… That’s not a tip?  That’s your valet money.  SILLY ME, I thought I gave you great service and made this evening PERFECT for you.  Ohhhh you’re just going to smile at me as I clear your disgusting plates.  YOU CAN SERIOUSLY

GO FUCK YOURSELF.

XOXO,

The Door Bitch.

Tales of a “Restaurant Regular”…Grey-ish Gardens. The 2nd installment.

Tales of a “Restaurant Regular”…Grey-ish Gardens.

I have a love/hate relationship with “regulars”.  I love the half smile they have when they walk through the door.  A smile that says something like, “Yeah, sorry it’s ME again.  I know, I know, I eat here a LOT, don’t I?  I walk in unannounced and demand a corner table.  I’m a pain, aren’t I?  Teeheehee.  But look at my apologetic little smile!  Doesn’t this make you like me?  I just NEED to have that fish dish I get 3 times a week…for the past 6 years.”  Teeheehee my ass.  You’ve become so entitled I wanna throw that fucking fish on your perfectly salon-blow-dryed hair.  Did that come out of my mouth?  PHEW NO.  Seriously, too many of these people exist.  Restaurant regulars are the equivalent of monsters.  And it’s sad but true to say, that we have totally created them!  We are the enablers.  Whatever, nothing I can do about that but smile and BITCH.

ONTO TALES OF A RESTAURANT REGULAR,  #2…

Once upon a time I was working at this fancy steakhouse, and we had some pretty pretentious clientele.  I take that back: EVERYONE was pretentious, or “VIP” as we deem them.  And my favorite was an elderly mother/daughter duo that could paint the town CHANEL.  Everytime they walked in, it felt like I was breathing in designer.  They never repeated an item of clothing.  Ever.  Now that’s impressive.  We will call the daughter SuzieQ and the mother, Clara.  SuzieQ was about 70 and Clara was about 90, both in age and weight.  They made a reservation for EVERY Weds/Sat of EVERY week at 8:30.  I like that- old women who eat at 8:30, way cooler than the 5:30 walker-crowd. Right?  Though their order never really changed, they still wanted to be presented with menus every time so they could read them to see if they were in the mood for something else.  I guess it was the thrill of dining out that entertained them.  My issue at the front door was really about making sure I had the ONE TABLE that they sat on.  That’s right, they would not sit ANYWHERE else.  Table 20.  I will never forget it.  According to SuzieQ, it was the perfect table to see what was going on, not too close to the kitchen, and to be able to hear one another because it was a corner table.  I think I tried so hard to get them table 20 every time because  part of me thought I’d get put in the will for a few Chanel blazers or a bag.  One can only dream!  Anyway, it was always hard because EVERY couple I would seat in that booth would take their sweet fucking time and not let backwaiters clear their food and I would walk by a million times and then they’d still sit longer.  Annoying.  Or I’d seat a deuce who would eat in 35 minutes and then the table would sit open until 8:30 and my boss would flip a shit on me.  Glorious.  I’d say 1 out of 3 times I’d have their table for them though because I’m THAT good.

SuzieQ and Clara had a great routine.  They only liked ONE server, and if she wasn’t there they liked one of the managers.  If for some reason both of them were not there, she trusted me to take her order at the front door.  They were “highly uncomfortable” if someone who they did not trust was going to take their order.  I knew the order because about 2-3 nights when they weren’t in, they’d order take out!  They lived around the corner in an entire floor apartment together.  Have you seen Grey Gardens?  Picture them, only skinnier.  Their order was great too- SuzieQ would have steamed fish with about 6 sides of steamed vegetables:  NO SALT, NO BUTTER whatsoever.  Countless times she sent back things because she could “sense some salt in there”.  We would have to tell her that the chef blanched her vegetables before she came in, separate from the salt-blanched-veggies for the rest of the service.  She believed it, though I highly doubt that was true!  Who is allergic to salt anyway, right?  A 70 pound woman, that’s who ;)  Clara was even better.  She would have a huge double-chop, fatty, rack of lamb with all of the sides SuzieQ would never even touch:  fries, mashed potatoes, creamy spinach, cheesey potatoes, onion rings; really anything that was coated in a layer of fatty cream/salt/butter.  I guess when I’m 90 I’m gonna let it all go too.  They only drank bottled flat water, and never had dessert.  Throughout dinner SuzieQ would write down notes on a notepad and make these mysterious lists.  And this is great, they both worked!  Together, too…like real work in an office.  They’d come in late because they were in “meetings.”  I plan to retire at like 45 so that’s extremely admirable that these 2 wealthy ladies still work!  They should relax and take a fucking trip to Fiji! (Ok, they probably do that too, let’s be honest…) I felt so bad for their driver Enrique- a lovely man from Ecuador who once was a surgeon and now answers to their beckon call.  He drives them half a block to and from the restaurant every night.  He picks up their take-out orders every other night.  On the nights when they’d send their take-out back because something wasn’t “hot” enough, I’d ask Enrique if they had an oven. He’d answer with “Yes, many ovens, and 7 bedrooms. They don’t cook.”  These women made me smile.  I swear, when I’m dripping in Chanel pearls, I will use an oven!  (…who am I kidding.  I’m dripping in H&M and I barely make cereal…)

As high maintenance as they were, they were also always so nice to me.  The only time I ever heard Clara speak was when she let out a soft yelp and touched my dress.  I was wearing leopard, and SuzieQ walked up to me and said, “OH MY, CHEETAH is Clara’s favorite print!”  It was amazing.  Maybe I was just lucky because they didn’t even acknowledge the rest of the staff.  Everyone was so irritated by them too!  How can you not love 2 cute old ladies who spend 5 nights between take-out and reservations eating the food from our restaurant?  You can’t!  Unless you dont have table 20, you don’t have any server on that night who they like, you don’t have rack of lamb in house, you drop a pinch of salt on the food, the air conditioning isn’t working, the table is reserved by a president, and the list goes on… then shit might go down.  BADLY.  This has totally happened to me many times, but I survived.

I adored SuzieQ and Clara so much so that I check my mailbox everyday for a package slip with hopes of receiving a fabulous Chanel blazer with my name on it.  **Wishful thinking**

Until next time, with Tales of a Restaurant Regular…

Ways to deal with angry people?  I’ve got a few.
1.  Kill them with kindness or,  ”The bitch in reverse” !
I know, I know, how do you smile at someone who is acting just plain old nasty?  It sucks, but it works.  The nicer you are, the dumber they feel.  Don’t turn away, it works I promise!  They can complain about their food, their table, the weather, the fact that they can’t fit into their pants, WHATEVER!  But, they cannot complain about you not being hospitable.  It’s a hard thing to do, and trust me, when someone is yelling in my face if I cannot seat them without the rest of their party, all I want to do is tell them to leave me the fuck alone and hope they spill red wine all over their already-too-tight-white dress. (Am I judging?) Just translate what you are thinking in your head to being overtly nice and hospitable.  Turn the bitch around.  (Also Gloria Estefan’s latest hit)
2.  Say something, question it!
Sometimes the angry people don’t show it until AFTER their meal.  I hate this!  How can we fix something that is bothering you if you don’t say something?  We check back with tables, we check back with guests ALL NIGHT LONG.  So there really shouldn’t be a reason to hold back unless you’re just looking for free shit.  UGH. And you KNOW people love to do this just for free shit.  Honestly, if I see something is not looking right, if a guest isn’t eating their meal, if they LOOK unhappy, I ask what’s wrong?  I assume something isn’t right.  Let’s just hope they’re not in the middle of a divorce conversation.
3. Juuuuuust Breathe.  Don’t take things personally.
In the words of Anna Nalick (ok I did actually have to look up who sings that song) JUUUUST BREATHE!  This is most likely not your career.  You know how doctors need to go through years and years of school just to get their degree?  These are our years of school.  Our years of struggle, of learning, of trying new things, of not feeling like you’re at the top of your game.  It sucks most of the time, and you spend a lot of nights “rethinking your life” but know that YOU’RE NOT ALONE.  Whether you’re an actor, comedian, dancer, painter, or have no idea what you ‘wanna be when you grow up’, that’s OK.  Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you learn at a restaurant.  Do NOT let these Angry People GET TO YOU!  Don’t take it personally.  Forget them, and breathe!!  Life’s a bitch, but we’ll all get to where we wanna be one day.  ***THIS IS THE MOST POSITIVE I’VE BEEN IN A LONG TIME***BECAUSE I TOO STILL WORK IN A RESTAURANT***AMEN.
4. Karma’s a bitch.  REMEMBER THAT!
I saw a woman tumble down 2 flights of stairs.  I like to think Karma got her GOOD.  She was drunk, she was rude to me at the front door, rude to the server, rude to the backwaiter…etc.  And in the end?  She got served a fucking fall that looked like something Jackie Chan does in action movies.  It was awesome/scary, but it goes to show- keep your cool, karma will take care of the rest.
5. Eat a Reeses!
Seriously.  Unless you have a peanut allergy (because we all know how prevalent they are now!!!).  Around 11pm on a busy night after being yelled at and scorned by numerous angry people, there is nothing better than stuffing my face full of chocolate.  Reeses in particular.  Spare the calories and give yourself a damn good treat!  It helps, I promise.
You can do it.  Smile at an angry person at your shift today and you’ll feel a little better inside. Xoxo, the Door Bitch.

Ways to deal with angry people?  I’ve got a few.

1.  Kill them with kindness or,  ”The bitch in reverse” !

I know, I know, how do you smile at someone who is acting just plain old nasty?  It sucks, but it works.  The nicer you are, the dumber they feel.  Don’t turn away, it works I promise!  They can complain about their food, their table, the weather, the fact that they can’t fit into their pants, WHATEVER!  But, they cannot complain about you not being hospitable.  It’s a hard thing to do, and trust me, when someone is yelling in my face if I cannot seat them without the rest of their party, all I want to do is tell them to leave me the fuck alone and hope they spill red wine all over their already-too-tight-white dress. (Am I judging?) Just translate what you are thinking in your head to being overtly nice and hospitable.  Turn the bitch around.  (Also Gloria Estefan’s latest hit)

2.  Say something, question it!

Sometimes the angry people don’t show it until AFTER their meal.  I hate this!  How can we fix something that is bothering you if you don’t say something?  We check back with tables, we check back with guests ALL NIGHT LONG.  So there really shouldn’t be a reason to hold back unless you’re just looking for free shit.  UGH. And you KNOW people love to do this just for free shit.  Honestly, if I see something is not looking right, if a guest isn’t eating their meal, if they LOOK unhappy, I ask what’s wrong?  I assume something isn’t right.  Let’s just hope they’re not in the middle of a divorce conversation.

3. Juuuuuust Breathe.  Don’t take things personally.

In the words of Anna Nalick (ok I did actually have to look up who sings that song) JUUUUST BREATHE!  This is most likely not your career.  You know how doctors need to go through years and years of school just to get their degree?  These are our years of school.  Our years of struggle, of learning, of trying new things, of not feeling like you’re at the top of your game.  It sucks most of the time, and you spend a lot of nights “rethinking your life” but know that YOU’RE NOT ALONE.  Whether you’re an actor, comedian, dancer, painter, or have no idea what you ‘wanna be when you grow up’, that’s OK.  Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you learn at a restaurant.  Do NOT let these Angry People GET TO YOU!  Don’t take it personally.  Forget them, and breathe!!  Life’s a bitch, but we’ll all get to where we wanna be one day.  ***THIS IS THE MOST POSITIVE I’VE BEEN IN A LONG TIME***BECAUSE I TOO STILL WORK IN A RESTAURANT***AMEN.

4. Karma’s a bitch.  REMEMBER THAT!

I saw a woman tumble down 2 flights of stairs.  I like to think Karma got her GOOD.  She was drunk, she was rude to me at the front door, rude to the server, rude to the backwaiter…etc.  And in the end?  She got served a fucking fall that looked like something Jackie Chan does in action movies.  It was awesome/scary, but it goes to show- keep your cool, karma will take care of the rest.

5. Eat a Reeses!

Seriously.  Unless you have a peanut allergy (because we all know how prevalent they are now!!!).  Around 11pm on a busy night after being yelled at and scorned by numerous angry people, there is nothing better than stuffing my face full of chocolate.  Reeses in particular.  Spare the calories and give yourself a damn good treat!  It helps, I promise.

You can do it.  Smile at an angry person at your shift today and you’ll feel a little better inside. Xoxo, the Door Bitch.

Everytime I hear “heyyyy mami, mi corazon…” I want to throw them the finger.  But of course, sometimes I question it!

Everytime I hear “heyyyy mami, mi corazon…” I want to throw them the finger.  But of course, sometimes I question it!

Tales of a “Restaurant Regular”…1st installment.

"Regulars" exist in every restaurant.  You know, the people who dine at your place at least once or 4 times a week?  Everyone has them, and everyone has a love/hate relationship with them.  You love the business they bring (especially if they tip well) and you hate them for being major assholes if their specific needs are not met.

I’ve met and worked with a LOT of regulars over the years of working in restaurants… so I’d like to consider this the first installment of the Tales of a Restaurant Regular series.

ONCE UPON A TIME, years ago, I met this man who I will call Mr. T.  He was a very rich man, who obviously had a thing about change, because he dined at the restaurant I was working at EVERY Monday and Thursday.  Since they opened.  It had already been 4 years when I met him.  Things obviously were already in place.  I looked at his history (in opentable you can check on people’s history and see their specific preferences and how many times they’ve dined there, etc.) and his notes looked more like a scroll.  He had a LONG LIST of servers he put on his “X” list.  Can you believe that?  There were about 8 servers on the list that were NOT ALLOWED TO WAIT ON HIM. I wonder what possibly could have happened to get put on the “X” list of Mr. T.  Maybe they were not his type, or too sarcastic, democrat, or smelled funny, or spit in his food?  I can only imagine.  Mr. T did have about 3 (it might have been 2, honestly) servers that were on his GOOD list.  Phew!  Thank god the manager scheduled Mr. T’s servers on Mon/Thurs.  Though I’d be curious to go back and see if his head blew up or if he just went ape shit and broke all the glassware in the restaurant if someone from the “X” list showed up and asked him what kind of water he preferred.  Water was another highlight of the notes.  He liked his water with NO ice and in a wine glass instead of a water glass.  Probably to feel fancy?  That’s why I drink water out of a wine glass.  He had a special tea that he liked in a special tea kettle that he purchased for the restaurant to keep for him.  HE HAD A FUCKING SHELF IN THE KITCHEN with his little cast iron tea pot.  I didn’t even have a locker and I was a full-time employee!  WTF man.  Mr. T. was using us as his dining room.  He owned property at the restaurant and had the worlds highest expectations that everything would go according to plan when he walked in that door.  And he always dined with one woman, who I will call Betty.  For the first year that I worked at this place, I thought Betty was his wife.  One day a server corrected me and said that Mr. T was a huge queen and Betty was his secretary.  What?  They were both like 70 years old, and I’d already pictured their house in the country and the two of them sipping tea on a patio under the summer sun.  Once I learned about their relationship, it all made sense.  There were moments where he would SHUSH Betty and I thought, omg does he beat her?  One time, they were walking out of the restaurant and before I could give them a proper goodbye, he flipped on Betty and said “Why the hell do you not have the keys out?  The unlock button works from here dammit.”  Betty seemed to be used to the silencing act Mr. T clearly had done before.  She looked at me and shrugged her arms.  I think from that moment on, I was happy she wasn’t his wife.  I wonder if his tea kettle still sits on the Mr. T shelf too.  I know one thing, I NEVER made it onto the “X” list!  Wahooooo!

More “Regular Guest” stories for another time… thanks have a great evening!