In The Weeds: OctoWaitron
Look lady, nobody would enjoy me having eight hands more than I would (and possibly my husband), but I don’t. So stop handing me shit.
Did I hand you your menu, a glass of water, a napkin, a wine glass, a hot towel and four courses worth of silverware in quick succession upon your ass hitting my booth? No. No I did not. Because I recognized you for what you are…human, a mere mortal… and was able to quickly do the math in my head — two hands+two objects=capacity. Lucky for you, servers are not average people and servers who are also moms are f#!&ing superhuman and can carry at an 8:1 item to hand ratio. So I can take your plate, his plate, their plates, those empty glasses, a few stray forks, and a crumpled napkin (you’re supposed to keep that on your lap BTW), but when I start to slow down and am clearly now shifting my attention to balancing, please, for the love of dark chocolate, don’t start piling on like you want to help me. You’re not helping, and you know it.
I suspect that you are fundamentally evil – not to put too fine of point on it – and that you are either 1) too self absorbed to notice that your insistence on a totally clear table RIGHT NOW is about to have disastrous consequences or 2) you like to watch people squirm. Either way, you suck.
Yes, it’s true that proper service includes having enough hands to do a proper clear or “swarm” on a table so that the guest does not wait with dirty items while the server makes several trips to the dish pit. Trust me, I would love nothing more than to have an available server assistant and several team members tableside when you are ready to be cleared. But dang if it doesn’t get rockin busy and I can’t round up a team because they are waist deep in their own weeds. When I am getting close to arm capacity, you’ll see my eyes darting around for help, sending out a mental S.O.S. Sometimes it comes. Usually it doesn’t. This is not your opportunity to intervene. Just sit back, order nice Colheita and relax.
While I’m on the subject of handing me too much stuff, allow me to provide you with a handy list of what to NEVER hand me. This list was compiled from traumatic actual “hand-offs” from depraved guests who wouldn’t dream of handing these things to their neighbors who invited them over for dinner. So WTF?
Do not hand me:
Chewed gum (even in a napkin)
Napkins hiding chunks of chewed-up meat
Napkins hiding anything
Food that fell on the floor
Vomit in a water glass
For a more complete list of helpful guests who are totally unhelpful, visit my new favorite blog “Sorry Not My Table” written by a Napa Valley restaurant manager. Highlights include the “Plate Stacker,” “Napkin Tosser” and “Extreme Napkin Tosser.” A restaurant manager with a sense of humor? I’m intrigued but still suspicious. Proceed with caution.