Thursday, July 20, 2006

Waiter Rant

I recently discovered Waiter Rant. If you haven't heard about this, it is the blog of an anonymous waiter of a restaurant in New York. Oh is he popular!

Now if you, dear reader, already know Waiter Rant, and if you are thinking, "Huh, has this girl been living in a cave all this while?", then please bear with me for a while.

If I just say that I find the blog entertaining, I would be doing a disservice to Waiter, as he calls himself. The blog is totally enjoyable, and frighteningly addictive. Since he started blogging long back, I have a lot of stuff of his to catch up on. Whenever I am bored, or have ten minutes to spare, I go to his blog, click on the archives, and proceed to read.

What does he write about? Just about his work. About co-workers. But mostly about his customers. Their eccentricities. Their cheapness. Their silliness. The funny side of his job. The sad side. Everything. His stories are hilarious, wicked, poignant, all at the same time. He grabs you at the first line of each post, and holds your interest right down to the end. Anyway, in short, Waiter Rant is just a Waiter's Rant. And man, is it enjoyable!

Now, this blog got me thinking. If I were to write a blog only about my work, what would it look like? Left home. Boarded bus. Got stuck in traffic jam. Reached office. Checked mails. Drank tea. Pretended to work. Took some calls. Had lunch. Blogged a bit. Drank tea. Pretended to work. Left office. Got stuck in traffic jam. Reached home. Yawn.

So, a blog of which profession would be as entertaining? It has to be a job where you come across a variety of people. Just machines cannot be too interesting.

A doctor? Might work, but you might not really want to read it in your lunch break.
A lawyer? Maybe, but the legalese might get heavy.
A beautician? Now this one might be interesting.

But I can't think of anything more interesting than a Waiter's blog. (Can you?) Coz at a restaurant, people come in groups. And they spend some time there. You get to observe not just the person, but you also see his behaviour in a social setting, which tells you a lot more about him. And Waiter of Waiter Rant has this habit of drawing conclusions from the little slice of life of his customers, that he gets to observe. It might be slightly cruel at times, but for a bystander, its funny!

I guess that's what makes his blog popular. By Waiter ranting about his customers, you feel a certain superior goodness. That you could never be so rude. You would never tip so badly. You would never be so mean. I guess people read this blog for their daily dose of superiority!

Naturally, as you read this blog, you start viewing waiters in a totally different light. Now, as a rule, I am pretty polite and nice to waiters. After all, they bring me food. :) But what about tipping?

Waiter is very vociferous when it comes to tipping. How he treats a customer the next time they come in, depends on what they tipped him the previous time. Waiter says that the decent minimum is 15 %. If you are really happy with the food and service, you tip much higher. I googled a bit, and found that yes, this is the expected figure - but that is in the US. My momentary pangs of guilt dissipated. I googled a bit more, and arrived at some sites, which say that the average tip expected in a restaurant in India is 5-10 pc, which is comfortably equivalent to what I am used to. Phew! [Some restaurants add a service charge. So you are spared the agony of wondering how much to tip.]

But, really. I am sure I will never look at a waiter the same way again. What if one of the waiters at Aromas of China is a blogger, and writes about the crazy creature who always comes in, orders a plate of Honey-Pepper vegetables, attacks it and finishes it all, not letting her hapless husband take even a bite? *Shudder*

[Reading this through a feedreader? Here is the link to my blog until the end of the blog ban in India.]

28 comments:

RK said...

shruthi,
thanks for the post and the waiter's link.
really funny to read this post imagining all the waiters that i have come across till date. but somehow, my mind is simply thinking of the waiters in CTR! now you may think this guy always thinks of CTR, but just can't think of anyone else. ok, after i started writing this comment, I am able to thnk of one from Chung's.

actually after i have typed my comments till here, i am now able to think of the waiters in MG Raod COFFEE HOUSE too! and the guys at ...oh, i am able to remember so many of them.... i better post this comment right now. PUBLISH.

Shruthi said...

RK: Ha Ha!! :))
You really are obsessed with CTR! :))
Read a couple of Waiter's posts, and then go to a restaurant. I can assure you that you will never look at a waiter the same way again :))

Inder said...

and i have enough stories to write about waiters i have come across... interesting characters... lot of them are eternally bored. they act loke robots...

Supremus said...

"But I can't think of anything more interesting than a Waiter's blog. (Can you?) "

-- Tech Support.

Trust me, been there done that, and I've had use the wierdiest examples to get point accross to a 70 year old woman who didn't know how to get onto the internet :)

Suyog

Amodini said...

Welcome to the cave, Shruthi - I've been living there too. Went to the blog thru your link, and it is entertaining !

Raj said...

I first got to know about this blog few months ago and found it really funny.

I think a blog of a bouncer wud be pretty interesting too. He/she could brag about how they threw out certain people and refused entry to some others.

Shruthi said...

Inder: Ha ha... I have some nice waiter stories too :)) I wanted to continue this post further, but then I saw that it would get too long :)

Suyog: Ha ha!! If the mails we get about tech support are anything to go by, I would agree with you :D

Amodini: Fun, ha? :D

Raj: Ha ha! Coincidentally Waiter has even linked to a bouncer's blog once! I wish i could give you the link... i don't remember which post of his it is in.....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous writes :

I am surprise at how low waiters are tipped here in Bangalore. No matter how much is the bill amount, people generally tip 10-20 rupees!
I think it is almost same everywhere in India, may be except five stat hotels, where my lowlyself has never paid bill.

Now, on to the topic of Interesting blogs ;

I recommend following in no particular order, but Maddox makes me laugh the hardest.

http://maddox.xmission.com/

http://www.sepiamutiny.com/

http://greatbong.net/

Harsha said...

Its hilarious!!.Thanks for this recommendation. Its already turning into an addiction.

Sachin said...

Shruthi, thanks! Will definitely go through this one!

Just another take on this one, especially if you're like me and go to a restaraunt close to your office for lunch (maybe the same one everyday?). In this case, you know almost all the waiters and in fact you even know some of the patrons. Normally when I go for lunch, I tend to make my observations of both the waiters and these patrons too. Can say that even these are pretty much worth making.... :)

To answer your question: Yes, in my new job, I will HAVE to use the trains everyday (at least while in Andheri, I had an option)....now its Borivli to Dadar...

Sachin said...

Shruthi, fulfilled the "Weird" tag finally!! Have a look when you can...

jhantu said...

hey shruthi thanks for introing us new bloggers to this awesome blog..
as a matter of act ur blog is really nice too.. keep up the postings

Shruthi said...

Anon: Tipped here in Bangalore? You mean it is different in other Indian cities? I think it is kind of the same all over India, from my experience.
Thanks for the maddox link - will check it out. Of course, I do know the other two blogs :)
And please leave a name - even if its a false one, so that I can know which anon this is :)

Harsha: :D Glad you liked it!

Sachin: Oh yeah, I know what you mean. That can be quite a story too :))
To Dadar! A longer commute, ha?
Will check out the weird tag! :)

Jhantu: Thank you so much! And glad you liked the link :)

Shastri said...

Thanks for the link Shruthi, I am sure I will love the blog too.

I agree with you that a waiter's memoir can be very interesting. I was a waiter in a hotel and also at a Dance bar (yes, the one in which girls dance and potbellied bald men old enough to be those girls' grand fathers watch them).

I have seen how people behave to a waiter. Especially when people are drunk, they are totally out of their minds.

I was on that job for only about 2 weeks but it has changed the way I look towards people, dance bar girls, alcohol and the world in general.

And yes, I started to be more polite and understanding towards the waiters then on.

Swathi said...

good n entertaining blog but I seem to doubt the veracity of some of his stories (dunno y, doesn't sound genuine enough for me I guess)

I once had a friend from Hotel management and after he told me the plight of waiters I always ensure to leave a reasonable amount as tip(unless it is real bad service!)

Shruthi said...

Shastri: Whoa.. where did you have this experience? Hmmm I am sure your whole outlook must have changed!

Swathi: Oh yeah, I have also felt that all this cannot happen to one person!! His readers have accused him of cooking up stories too, but his defence is the same - "Believe it or not, I can't help it". Guess we should give him the benefit of doubt ;) But whatever the case may be, as long as it entertains - I don't really care :)

PRIDERA said...

Too bad ... you introduced me to this and now I am hooked ... ha ha ha

I guess a bus conductor or a stewart in an airplan will have some interesting experiences to share like the waiter.

Maverick said...

just read the latest post, amazing!but i wonder how'd a waiter in a not so big restaurant manage a website, but i'd rather believe it, cos its just too good.

Shruthi said...

Pridera: Hey you are right! A steward or a bus conductor would have some interesting experiences to share!

Maverick: He is a very popular blogger, remember - he started with blogspot, and then moved to his own domain - in some of his posts - he acknowledges some people for helping him with his site.

Brad #1 said...

www.standingonthebox.blogspot.com
is the link to the bouncer's blog. It's called clublife or something like that. Enjoy.

Shruthi said...

Brad: Thank you! :)

Viky said...

THANK YOU... THANK YOU...

This gave me much needed respite on a boring weekday, so much that for the rest of the day, I did nothing but read Waiter Rant, accumulated a lot of work, got scolded by PM, blah blah blah...

And I had to come here and put this comment, I was tired of taking up conversations on neutral territory.

Shruthi said...

Viky: Ha ha haaa!! Thank God I discovered it when I didn't have any work - else I would have been in the same state as you are :D
And yeah, really glad to see you here.. how did you manage it?

Viky said...

Cyber Cafe ki Jai

Anonymous said...

Just FYI, as a service industry employee for 11 years, Indian people are the WORST tippers. They are despised as customers because they run you to death and then give you what typically amounts to around 1% of the bill as a tip. Please, do yourself a service, do not model yourself after these people. To follow their example is like looking for a model to discipline children and deciding that Andrea Yates mode of mothering is the best answer. Get the point? Again, Indians are despised in many circles because of their utter cheapness. They are terrible to do business with. Straightforward and honest. Ask around.

Disgruntled Driver said...

Just thought I'd let you know about www.lousytippers.com. I got so fed up with getting stiffed that I created a website where servers and delivery drivers could list those who give them lousy tips or no tips at. Hope you like it.

Anonymous said...

I waited at Eddie V's for about ten months. It was great and for the first four months I made about fifteen percent. Trey, another server was pulling in almost thirty percent. He would use all of these tricks, like putting candy in with the check. I finally asked him about it, he said that he had bought a book on the internet and it showed him a bunch of tips on how to make better tips. I think it was www.tipscience.com.

I started copying him and and I went up to 25%. I saved up about 20k and now I'm finishing my degree at Texas State. Eddie V's is the definitely best restaurant to work at in austin.

Pete said...

You should check out inside dish

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