Thanks for delivering my meal, which is basically your whole job.
Bravo! Nice going! Well done!
Now, please do me a favor. Go away and leave me the fuck alone.
I dine out to eat, not talk. Once I’m engaged in the act of consuming the food, your presence becomes annoying. If I need something, I’ll summon you. Or, if subtle eye contact doesn’t grab your attention, I’ll scream across the dining room. That always tends to always get a reaction.
So long as my glass is full, my guests are happy, and there’s at least half a stick of real butter on my table, consider the first phase of your duty accomplished. Now please, go back into the kitchen and wrap some silverware while I’m eating. Smoke a cigarette out on the loading dock. Talk to someone else. Frankly, I don’t care what you do the next 15 minutes. Just don’t blabber at me while I’m trying to eat my meal. I came here to enjoy my dinner, not listen to you prattle on with your life story.
Talky waiters drive me bonkers. At casual places. With fine dining. After waiting 45 minutes for my main course to arrive, the savory dish finally comes. A hot platter is placed in front of me. With a knife and fork in hand, I’m ready to attack.
Then comes — the interruption. Just as I prepare myself for that much-anticipated first bite, the waiter drags on with his story or worse, starts another. While he’s gabbing like a methed-up teenager, every ten seconds or so the temperature on my food drops one degree. Two minutes of extended conversation means my once hot meal is now lukewarm. I hate lukewarm food!
Here’s some advice.
Once I lift my fork, that’s your cue. Quit talking. Zip it. Scram. I’m not paying $115 plus a 20 percent tip to listen to who you think should start at running back for the Oakland Raiders. I don’t care. Now get lost! Roll that silverware. Go smoke a cigarette. Just don’t interrupt me or my guests. We’ll let you know when your services are needed. Believe me, you’ll know.
I know what you’re thinking. A few of you are fist-pumping every word because it’s happened to you, also. But most of you think I’m a total prick. That’s fine. Excuse me for wanting to enjoy my dinner in peace.
It might shock readers to learn that I used to wait tables. Two times I worked as a waiter. The first place, I worked at an Italian restaurant. After I got fired, next I took a job at a steakhouse. But I got let go from that waiter job too, for bitching about my customers, sometimes in front of them.
So yeah, I realize that serving the public sucks. Digging a ditch in the summer heat is less stressful. Waiters have to put up with lots of shit. Still, the fact is, I dine out for one reason — the food. End of story. I rarely even drink alcohol with food. And I won’t order wine in restaurants because I’ve got plenty of bottles of wine at home, and besides, American restaurants markup bottles at 4X. Don’t even get me started on wine by the glass, which is stale leftovers from a bottle opened two weeks ago with a $13 price tag for a 5-ounce pour. Screw that.
It’s the food I want and once it’s placed within my reach to my satisfaction I don’t care if Lady Gaga runs through the restaurant naked — I’m laser-focused on my plate and thinking about my palate ready to take my next bite. These 15 minutes at dinner represents the highlight of my day, unless I somehow win a sports bet.
Attention all waiter: Let’s make a deal, okay? If you really want to share your long, boring story, do it once I’m finished with every course. Preferably whilst I’m getting up from the table and exiting the restaurant in mid-sentence. Please, go ahead and finish your story. I’ll be out in the parking lot. Oh, and thanks for not bothering me while I was eating my main course. The food was delicious!