Server Hell: Diary of a Petty Server: The Meatloaf that Got Away


3 SERVERFrom DabblesInDirewolvesTalesFromYourServer

Dear Diary,

With great service comes great responsibility.

It comes with the territory, pal. I mean, you're dealing with one of the most hardcore life-driving forces in the fucking universe here: food. On top of that, you're tasked with delivering this most sacred of nourishment to people in their most delicate state: hunger.

Hunger makes people do fucking weird shit. Like go to bed without eating and wake up as a different person shit. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hangrey type shit. I've seen outbursts of food-related madness that had me cowering in fear, fully expecting a demon made of cockroaches and hellspawn to erupt from a human suit.

I've witnessed a man go into apoplectic rage at the discontinuation of his favorite promotion, which led him to rip the offending menu to shreds with an assassin's cold hearted efficiency. To shreds, you say? Aye, to absolute fucking confetti, which he then promptly stuffed into an innocent raspberry lemonade before bailing.

Freddy2 113There's a certain sort of primal anger that overtakes a person when they're faced with a culinary crisis. But shit, all the world's a stage, and all the humans merely players, and I'm about to play your mad hungry ass for a fool. Butter you up like a fucking biscuit and then set the record straight. This is me and you vs. the goddamn world, sir. You're gonna have the epic experience you came here for if I have to douse hell and burn heaven to do it.

That soup is cold? Of COURSE I'll get you a freshie silly, and I'll be fucking delighted to do so again in twenty minutes when you next extricate your head from your date's ass. Your hot tea is too hot? I gotchu sir, I'm bout to beat this boiling water's ass. There's a stray piece of okra in your fries? We're writing the goddamn Governor. And then you tuck them in and give them a binky, and they are none the wiser that you've successfully tugged the invisible strings connected to both the heart and wallet. Jedi Master of Bullshit strikes again.

I can deal with any fucker in a bad mood. At some point, you will leave, and you will either be touched by my efforts or utterly unmoved, in which case you were determined to be unhappy anyway. But you will be gone, and I will either chuckle or curse you, and that will be it.

If only Cowboy had gotten angry. That, I could nagivate. This...this was a new beast entirely.

Cowboy is a middle-aged gentleman at Table 122, dressed in a sort of bullrider's chic. In the couple of minutes I spend with him at our introduction, I learn two things: he loves his horse, Whisper, and he really loves our meatloaf. He and Whisper have been driving for six hours to get home from a competition, and for six hours he has impatiently looked forward to his prize. "You don't understand, ma'am," he says in a drawl. "I. Love. This. Meatloaf."

Shit, everyone does, it's fucking delicious. It's one of the most popular menu items we have. There are days when I serve no other function than being a fucking choo-choo train for meatloaf plates. The more people love it, the more they order. The more they order, the faster we run out. The faster we run out...yeah, well, we're still cooking the goddamn things at the same pace. The thing about food, it's gotta cook.

Carolanne 054abvbI've already spent a fair portion of the day ruining people's lives over the lack of meatloaf, and I'm not keen to do so again. I get Cowboy's drink order, and tell him to think on his sides while I go touch base with the kitchen. I have a come-to-Jesus moment with the grill cook, making him bend down and look me in the fucking eye and tell me we have meatloaf. All's well. Nine orders left for the night. Breathe a sigh of relief, hit up a sweet tea, scream for the 84th time for someone to bloody PLEASE get the To-Go phone, and make tracks for the table.

Cowboy's tickled pink once I inform him that yes, sir, you can nom those meaty loaves until Kingdom Fucking Come. He fires off his sides and I get it on the books. Wait there, sir, we're about to make some magic happen.

I return to the kitchen to enter the order, pleased as fucking punch that one of the lazy shitfritters has finally deemed to answer the phone. They finish up and I whip Table 122 into the system.

The ticket has barely chattered out of the machine when I hear the dreaded shout: "86 Meatloaf for the night!" I fly over to the window, mouth agape in horror...and I will be DAMNED!! Absolutely damned I say! Those lazy no-good ass-sucking To-Go creeps have ordered us out of meatloaf. Nine goddamned To-Go Meatloafs, already posing prettily in a line of black plastic containers. Surely eight of the fuckers could have cut off a tiny slice to assemble a decent hunk of meatloaf!

My panic is palpable. This man has been driving the highway for six fucking hours, with nothing to staunch the loneliness except the thought of our mouth watering meatloaf. I would rather be tied to Whisper, doused in lemon juice, and dragged through a field of cacti than go break the news.

Immediately I begin to think of a way out of this shithole. Do I bat my eyes and flirt up the cook? Jack one of the meatloafs and feign ignorance when questioned? Run shrieking out the back door into the night and never look back? All useless. As useless as the sad plate of okra, mac and cheese, and green beans that sits forlornly in the window, no meatloaf to be found.

Jason2 034Jesus hula-hooping Christ. This shit again.

I'm on the verge of a panic attack when the grill cook calls me over. He's well aware of my everlasting battle with these pepper and onion stuffed fuckers, and in a fit of gallantry, he has found me a hunk of meatloaf. A smaller hunk than portion size calls for, true, but meatloaf nevertheless. I almost burst into tears at the news, and yes, fucking yes, I'll comp the whole fucking thing and pay for it myself, as long as this man gets a couple of mouthfuls of his ketchup-coated desire. The cook slides the too-small loaf onto the plate of sides and sells the ticket.

I'm immediately aware of why this meatloaf was not counted in the original tally. I know meatloaf, and this meatloaf is all wrong. Not just small, but shriveled. Dry, crusted along the outside. I could have offered this meatolaf to the Donner Party and they still would have eaten each other. On my honor as a server, I cannot serve this to my guest.

It's with a heavy heart I journey back to Table 122. Cowboy is smiling pleasantly at me, probably assuming I'm coming to check on his tea or assure him that yes, your meatloaf madness will soon be at an end.

There is no such happy ending.

I have the script memorized by heart. I'm insanely sorry, sir, but due to the fact that this meatloaf is, as you know, the best meatloaf fucking ever, we have unfortunately run out. Normally, there are two routes people take when I inform them that their culinary orgasm is not to be: nonchalant acceptance, or blood-vessel-popping rage.

But new.

The denial sets in first. He stares at me blankly, head cocked quizzically to one side, as though unsure he has heard me correctly. " joking?"

"No sir," I reply sadly. "If only Whisper had a few teammates, we could get the Delorean up to 88 miles an hour and go back to just before the To-Go phone rang. Can you believe it? Nine meatloafs spoken for in one To-Go order."

RHU Characters 265I hope the half-hearted attempt at humor will break him from the haze, but his face remains impassive. "Nine? Nine whole pieces? In one order?"

"Yes, sir," I reply, admittedly wrong-footed by the distinct disbelief to his tone. Visions of Whisper galloping alongside a minivan race through my head, and of course in the fantasy Cowboy is victorious, lassoing the whole fucking order through the open window. Reality, it seems, is far more dire.

I gently prod Cowboy for a replacement order; in his catatonic state, he rattles off a robotic backup, and I swear to God and sonny Jesus if we don't have chicken and dumplings I'm burning this fucker to the ground. Ashes, I tell you!

It's the fastest ticket we've ever sold. I shout down the cooks the moment I step into the back, and you can fuck yourself with the ticket for all I care, B. I'll ring the bitch in when Cowboy is eating and not a goddamned moment before. Less than a minute later, I present Cowboy with his steaming hot dinner, an extra portion of mac and cheese on the side for good measure. He rouses enough to thank me politely, but shit, if I'd just been fucked by the meatloaf gods in such a cruel fashion, I wouldn't be up for thanking me. Ten minutes minutes later, he's to the point of a small smile and nod when I ask if everything tastes good. I top off his tea, leave the check, and sincerely wish him a great night.

I sadly return to the kitchen and join the team packing this thrice-damned meatloaf into the To-Go bags. A beep soon alerts us that the party is here to receive their order, and a coworker grumpily humps the three bags up to the cash stand. I trail out behind him, listlessly sorting menus, when I hear a wordless sound of despair. I glance up and freeze.

Cowboy is standing at the cash register, watching with sad eyes as Coworker pulls out and presents each meatloaf plate to the guest for his approval. Despite the fact that he has already paid, Cowboy waits and watches through the whole debacle. As do I.

As the last meatloaf is approved and paid for, Cowboy nods to the burly man now cradling the three steaming sacks. "Enjoy your dinner," he says in a pleasant voice.

A god among mortals, this man. My heart cannot take much more...but It must, and as I hesitantly check my credit tips a few moments later, I am overtaken. A $10 tip on an $8 ticket. Over 100%.

Godspeed, Cowboy. Whenever you and Whisper may travel next, I fervently hope that there is meatloaf, more meatloaf than you could have ever dreamed possible.



Server Hell: An Awful Woman Made Me Cry


From Xeno_Prism_Power, Tales From Your Server:

Tonight while I was taking a table's drink order, a woman noticed my necklace and asked about it. I let her know that my boyfriend had bought it for me in Ireland, and that it was green and orange amber in a silver Celtic knot design.

Lady: Amber, that's tree sap isn't it?

X: Yes ma'am, fossilized tree resin.

Lady: It's lovely dear.

And then, her scummy friend? pipes up in the most condescending 'better than you' tone I've ever heard.

Scummy: It's sad he's too cheap to buy you diamonds. My boyfriend got me a diamond. (Flashes her ring at me)

I started tearing up and finished taking those drink orders as quickly as I could, and by the time I got back to the kitchen I was crying.

I know that table couldn't have known that I'd just recently lost my boyfriend, and that I'm still not over how it happened. But she didn't need to get nasty like that.

I've never been a diamond girl. I know there's that old saying 'diamonds are a girl's best friend' but I'd rather have amber, or moonstones, or a prism. And my boyfriend knew that about me and got me something I loved.

Had she just showed me the ring, I'd have been super happy for her that her boyfriend got her something that she clearly loved. But she didn't need to make it into a 'my boyfriend is better than your boyfriend'.

Thankfully, Sammy traded me that table for one of hers, and I didn't have to go back over there again. But her nastiness really made me upset. Why would you feel the need to put another person down like that for no reason?








Server Hell: The Dairy of a Petty Server: The Day Table 124 Almost Broke Me.


2 SERVERFrom DabblesInDirewolvesTalesFromYourServer

Dear Diary.

Let's get something straight off the goddamn bat. I love food. Nay, I adore food. I spend much of my time studying it, appreciating it, and cramming it into my apron pockets to bolt down in the breakroom. Food and I have a special relationship, and it will always receive due justice.

LOVE recommending food. Especially at my current restaurant. We have a wide array of choices: steaks, seafood out the proverbial ass, a snootful of different chicken dishes. On top of that, our breakfast menu is the bees fucking knees...and if bees do have fucking knees, the total knees of bees in one metric fuckton of bees = the choices on our breakfast menu. Shit is endless.

I know this food. I goddamn live this food. And if you wanna know about this food, I got you fam. You need a recommendation? What suits your particular fancy, sir? I got a bangarangin' ribeye that'll make you wanna hug a cow and weep. Fish so fresh that shit's wriggling off the metaphorical plate. You never know the power of food, sir, until you witness a holy man curse his mother for not having the best meatloaf in the damn world...and you, too, can know this power. We will share that special moment, that moment when our eyes, having bitten into the sexiest roast beef you dared not imagine...and I, your humble sherpa, Biden-pointing my approval two tables over.

Making sure the guests enjoys the food...and my daily battle in this trench of coffee burns and grease-encrusted shoes. A battle I regularly enjoy.

Freddy2 086And then...there was Table 124.

Things start off very optimistically. As I reach the table, I notice the smaller girl has already drawn a huge blue crayon circle around the shrimp plate on her kids menu. Perfect, that shrimp joke I've had in the cannon will knock her Dora socks off. And that stringy teen, why, is that a copy of Game of Thrones I see tucked under that arm? Aw yiss, motherfucker is already used to food being described in elaborate and exhausting detail...we'll be fast friends. Mom's already talking up the fish special, and yes ma'am, we can batter and fry that bad boy or spice his fucking fishy brains out and grill him to a high sheen. Will there be hushpuppies? Ma'am, somebody's getting shanked if there aren't. And just like that, BAM. 3/4 of Table 124, conquered.

And then...rounding out this lovely family of four, is Kevin.

I first learn Kevin's name after a gentle prompt from his wife. Here we are, at the pinnacle of the order. Last seat about to be on the books...and man, this guy is in some deep thought. He finally emerges from behind the menu, locks me in his crosshairs, and asks, "What's good?"

Here we go. My moment to fucking SHINE. "I am so glad you asked,, so hold on to your hats, cause we're gonna have to operate at break-neck speed to even get through the specials..."

"I don't want anything foreign or fancy!" he breaks in, very seriously. It was here I experience the first fleeting moments of bamboozlement. We are, after all, in a chain restaurant in the rural south, a chain restaurant definitely not known for promoting either the foreign or the fancy. But it's a tiny misstep. I recover immediately.

"Well then, today is your lucky day! I happen to have a de-fancy-fied steak, salad, and potato plate that will..."

RHU Characters 226"I don't eat beef."

"No beef it is! But we can still take advice from adorably anthropomorphic cows and EAT MOR CHIKIN! We have a baked barbecue chicken breast that's topped with app..."

"Not chicken. I only eat chicken if it's boneless."

"Perfect! All of our chicken just so happens..."

"What about the trout?"

And off I go, changing directions at the speed of light, spending the next few minutes chatting up this fish like I'm looking to score it a date. My efforts are rewarded by a blank stare, and then, "I don't really like the trout here. I prefer catfish."

"Oh! We have a new catfish layered in pecans..."

"That's stupid."


"Who puts nuts on a fish?"

"I....I don't know, I guess people somewhere."

At this point, Kevin could put his dick in the fish as long as he orders. I'm trying to be light with the banter, but inwardly, I'm losing my cool. No beef, no chicken, no fish. Kevin's still staring me down, so I launch into another monologue, praising our salads to the high heavens.

Carolanne 024a"Psh. I'm not here to eat salad. Salad's not food."


We continue on in this vein for some time: I, your humble narrator, desperately rattling off our most popular items with a few personal favorites peppered in, and Kevin, who is being insatiably Kevin. I've been with the table longer than I care to imagine, and I finally notice a trend: the more I babble enthusiastically about our choices, the deeper Kevin's frown becomes. You would think that the man was staring down the Grinch Who Stole Goddamn Christmas. A regular Cindy-Lou Douchcanoe we got right here.

Finally, at long, long last, I've reached the end of my exhaustive list.

Soup? No, too fucking cold for hot soup, 73 and fucking frigid. Sandwiches? A Reuben, perhaps? No Reubens , they make him gassy.

"I told you I wouldn't like anything here," Kevin laments to his wife, who is Fifty Shades of Scarlet (whether from embarrassment or the high blood pressure that would come along with being married to Kevin, I'm not sure.) "I should have stayed home and made a grilled cheese, like I wanted."

And in the fog of frustration and bewilderment that was the aftereffects of my conversation with Kevin, I manage to stammer out... "We... have grilled cheese."

Kevin fixes me with his steeliest stare yet. "Why didn't you say that in the first place? Then we could have been eating by now!"

"That is a...good question." I wrap up the order, and then, a little over fifteen minutes since I first approached the table, I escape. Table 124 is finally behind me.

All seems well when I do the check-backs. One happy little girl nibbling shrimp and coloring, one gangly teen alternating between Eggs in a Basket and Ned's execution, one catfish-stuffed Mama slurping up coleslaw like it's going out of style. And lastly, one Kevin. One grilled cheese. A match made in Kevin Heaven.

Thirty minutes later, I'm standing in the kitchen, mindlessly dreaming of the endless liquor waterfalls in which I will one day frolic, when the host walks past me. He pauses, and I look up to catch his eye. He places a hand on his earpiece, listening...and then causally says to me, "Had a complaint on you, DabblesInDirewolves. He suggests you learn the menu."



Server Hell: I Don't Care about your $80 Tip




From   catyoung19, Tales From Your Server:

Backstory- I've been working food service for awhile, but just recently started waitressing. Also I work at a 24 hour joint in a bad part of town, so clientele is interesting.

Today a customer wanted to help me improve my skills because he has made $80 tips in the Caribbean where he used to work. I could brush it off, except every time I did something he'd give feedback. I would improve my times blah blah blah. I so bad wanted to say, unless your leaving me an $80 tip I really don't care.

-- catyoung19











Server Hell: I Wanted The Fries Substituted For The Soup


1 SERVERFrom ExtraterritorialKelpTalesFromYourServer

So in addition to being well known for lunch, we're also well known for our hospitality, and basically - if its possible to do we will do it, regardless of how inconveniencing it is to BOH.

Lots of our dishes come in side sizes as well, so you can sub out fries for spaghetti and a meatball, or a side of naan or papadum, or whatever.

Another two top, transcribed as follows:

Seat 1: What's your soup of the day?

Me: Today's soup is creamy wild mushroom.

Seat 1: Great. I'll have that and the X burger.

Me: Excellent. Is that all?

Seat 1: Yes.

I check on them once they get their food and everything is fine, delicious, incredible, etc.

RHSEPT 303Has anyone had a burger that didn't come served with fries? I mean, that's the golden standard! Well apparently this lady has only had lonely, fry-less burgers, because when one of my managers approached them to take payment at my request, suddenly she spoke up about wanting the fries subbed for the soup.

Which, whatever, we ended up losing $3 after the manager fixed it for her. She was polite and kind so again, whatever.

But damn couldn't you have TOLD me that you wanted them subbed out before I put the order in? Or told me that you forgot to mention it when I checked in on you so I could fix it then? Or not eaten all the fries at the very least? Or not specifically asked for the remainder of the fries to be boxed up? Or just sucked it up and paid the extra $7 since you ate all the soup, practically all the fries and wanted the stragglers to go home with you?

I don't think she was trying to scam us, and her friend paid for her meal so she was doing no favours to her friend by saving her $3. She was just clueless.

Anyways, they left, and my manager agreed that it was weird but still had to coach me on asking customers if they want to sub stuff out even when it makes no sense to ask.