I’m a generous tipper. I’m acutely aware of how horrible human beings are, and I know they’re at their very worst when they’re hungry. So when I take out my phone to use my tip calculator app, and I regularly choose 20% as my standard, I feel like I’m doing my civic duty. Not to mention, in the afterglow of a delicious meal, money has no object—you’re happy, your belly’s full, and with any luck, you just spent some time dining with someone that doesn’t make you want to stab yourself in the eye with your salad fork.
Up until yesterday I was on a hot streak of decent waiter/waitress service. In the past several trips out to restaurants, I had received a range of mediocre to very good service. In short, I haven’t experienced a bitchy, jaded wait staff member in quite some time. Unfortunately, the spell was broken yesterday at lunch with my friend at a small, local restaurant we frequent.
We stopped in for lunch, and the place was just about empty. Besides us, there were probably 5 other people there excluding the staff. We were seated immediately, and shortly thereafter we met the individual responsible for our dining experience, who will henceforth be known only as Cunty Waitress. Cunty Waitress took our simple drink order, a glass of water and a Pepsi, and also prematurely asked if we wanted any appetizers to start out with. Uh, slow your roll, I just finished unzipping my coat over here. But because I’m committed to being the most accommodating asshole customer that I can, and since I did already know I wanted a bowl chicken noodle soup, Monday’s soup of the day, since she asked, I figured I’d give her this information now in the hope the chef would personally begin preparing the finest bowl of soup ever to leave his/her kitchen.
Even though I wasn’t ready to choose my entrée, I made my soup desires known. She jotted it down, made a face, and insisted, “Well, then maybe we should just wait.” …What? Wasn’t this the very information she just asked me for? Now she’s soupblocking me all of a sudden? What I thought was an isolated incident of overzealous, hurried waitressing was really just the beginning of her cuntitude.
What followed was the typical chain of events: Cunty Waitress came back and mixed up our drinks, took our order, brought us salad, bread, and my delicious soup. While I wouldn’t say I was thrilled by her service at this point, I wasn’t exactly unhappy either. The time came for our entrées to arrive, which is always the most exciting part of the meal. While my friend dug into her pasta, and I shoved an entire half of a chicken wrap into my mouth, Cunty Waitress came back and asked the following question:
“Is everything satisfactory?”
Even with pieces of chewed up lettuce and chicken spilling out of my mouth, I was perturbed by this question. In my entire history of going out to eat, I’ve never had a server phrase the question that way. Typically they’ll ask, “How is everything?” or “How’s everything tasting?” …Is everything satisfactory? Look, I think I speak for everyone when I say that when it comes to food, I don’t ever want a meal to be just satisfactory. I want my tongue and teeth to hold hands and join in a chorus of jubilation at how delicious everything is. I want to taste all the different flavors the way Remy explains in Ratatouille. You’re not asking about how a used car is running or how my stay was at a hotel—this concerns matters of sustenance! Satisfactory? Nay. I want every meal to be phenomenal, orgasmic, and delicious. These delicate semantics should be part of every waiter’s or waitress’s training. With that inquiry, I should’ve known that from there on out, everything but the service was going to be satisfactory.
Roughly two minutes after the “satisfactory” incident, I’m drinking my water and getting ready to dig into the second half of my chicken wrap. My friend’s in the midst of twirling some pasta around her fork when we were
graced interrupted with Cunty Waitress’s presence once more.
“Did you need some containers here?”
It occurs to me that I’ve left something important out of this story. Prior to now you’ve been under the impression I was just having a nice lunch with one of my friends, but this was actually a double date. It was a very special gathering, as both of us decided to bring our significant others, our appetites, with us to this meal. Now, I could understand offering the containers if we were doing the occasional pick at the food, if we were forlornly looking around the restaurant in a full-stomach despair, or if you had seen either one of us unbutton our pants, but none of those conditions existed–so would you mind giving us a little privacy over here? We haven’t even had our food more than 15 minutes. Instead of getting the containers Cunty Waitress was pushing on us, my friend requested some more bread, which was delivered a few minutes later.
After some time passed, both my friend’s appetite and mine had left—they had another engagement—so we were left to fend for ourselves. Cunty Waitress showed up once more to bother my friend, who was still stirring her pasta and chewing her last bite, about the damn to-go container again. I looked down at my now-empty plate and leaned against the back of the booth to reminisce about the happy, albeit brief, time that I spent with my chicken wrap, and I decided to eat one last roll. As I reached into the breadbasket, Cunty Waitress swooped in like a vulture circling above an animal carcass and grabbed my empty plate in one hand, the bread basket in the other. I barely had time to seize the roll before she started to snatch the entire hoard of bread away.
…And that’s when I truly got pissed. Ain’t nobody comes between me and my bread.
“Oh, were you done with this?”
My plate, where I had intended on setting my bread like a civilized human being, and the basket filled with rolls, were being held hostage by Cunty Waitress, hovering just above our table in her clutches. I stared hard at the single roll in my hand, as if to indicate, “Am I done? I’m still holding a piece of bread here–where the fuck do you expect me to put this?” Yet, she didn’t budge. So I curtly responded, “Yep.”
What had I done deserve this kind of service, to get stuck in this endless screening of Good Will Cunting? I hadn’t made any special requests for things on the side. I didn’t ask asinine questions abut the menu offerings. I even tried to do her a favor with an immediate soup order! I ripped my bread in half, littering crumbs all over the table that was unprotected by the plate she hurriedly whisked away from me. Why was she hustling us out of the damn restaurant? It’s not like we were eating at some trendy , in-demand place with hungry hipsters loitering in the lobby, waiting for a seat. It was one o’clock in the afternoon on a damn Sunday at a restaurant that only gets marginally busy even during peak hours.
Our bill came to $24.72, and after a huddle that lasted all of two seconds, we agreed Cunty Waitress’s tip would come to a whopping $2. When she brought us back our change, she gave us a five and a ten dollar bill along with some change. Now, Cunty Waitress was already trying to scam us. According to my calculations, the 20% tip she should have gotten came to $4.94. In giving us a five and a ten dollar bill, she was making the assumption that her service was worth being rounded up six cents. I don’t like when my server makes assumptions about their service. The same applies when they ask, “Do you need change?” Under normal circumstances, I’d cut my losses and give a slightly higher tip to avoid asking for the dreaded change, but not after this display of cuntiness. As my friend gathered the ten to ask for smaller bills, a renegade penny fell off of the bill tray and into my friend’s leftover pasta. …Even our change was bold and determined to insult our server.
Little did we know, in asking for change we were really requesting a final cunty encore from our waitress. She swiped the ten out of my friend’s hand and rushed over the bar impatiently, then she left the room, giving me a dirty look on her way out, then she returned to wait by the bar again, tapping her foot impatiently. Well, apparently the bar didn’t have change for a ten—a statement that still boggles my mind—so she had to go to the carry out area to get our change. As annoyed as I was by Cunty Waitress’s impatience concerning our change request, I was inwardly giddy. Little did she know, she was running around and waiting to the get the very singles we planned on tipping her $2 with. When she finally we came back with the change and we tucked the two measly dollars in with the receipt, I noticed the penny, reflecting light from within the plate of pasta. As I zipped up my coat, I felt that awe-inspiring feeling of restaurant redemption–the incomparable feeling of power you get when give a bad tip to a particularly shitty waitress.
So the Cunty Waitress may have ruined my average restaurant service streak, but perhaps it marks the beginning of a new streak: the streak of consistently shitty restaurant service. Frankly, I almost hope it is. Two bucks and a penny (unintentionally) left in some pasta? That’s as close to omnipotent as it gets.