The waiting game

Cath Shone checks out bestseller Waiter Rant and goes back in time to dig up funnies from her days as a waitress.

by: Cathrine Shone: Food24 | 08 Sep 2008

Lately I've been hearing a lot about Waiter Rant, a blog turned book. It's about the antics of an anonymous waiter and the scandalously entertaining stories that have turned his blog into a best-selling novel.

I worked nine long years in the service industry and let me tell you my cup runneth over with hilarious tales. I've rounded up a few stories from the friends I've worked with over the years – for your entertainment.

The chancers

Douglas – 31, Project manager.
"I was working at one of the busiest Café Bars on Piccadilly. One evening, one of my customers ran up a huge bill and did a runner (meaning I would have to cover it). After running around the restaurant I found him getting into a cab outside.

"I jumped into the cab with him and embarked on a sight-seeing trip of Mayfair. After running up a huge fare, arguing with the drunkard, we arrived back and he eventually paid."

Doug's favourite restaurant is Belthazar, for their steak and winelist.

The 'not so bright'

Mark – 35, landscape gardener.
"I was managing pizza restaurant years ago and we had a lovely waitress who was quite young. She had been there a couple of weeks and I was puzzled as to why she didn't take the food out when the chef rang the bell. She replied innocently, 'Oh my gosh! I thought that was the microwave.'"

(You couldn't make it up.)

Mark's favourite restaurant is La Colombe

Cath – 33, me.
"I was working a shift at the Dome in Hampstead, in the summer of '96. I was spinning (that's waiter speak for crazy busy). I put in an order for a bottle of white wine and arrived at the bar to find my wine standing there. I squawked at the new Italian bartender to put the wine in an ice bucket. When I returned, I saw the bucket but no bottle.

"I enquired where the wine was, he said with a very confused look on his face, 'but eet ees in the bucket'. Sure enough I peered into the bucket, there was my Sancerre floating merrily with the ice cubes. What can you do but laugh?"

The not so innocent

"I don't think you can waitress for too long without being hit on. I had just got back from a month in Greece and I was young, tanned and…sigh…thin. I had hardly noticed a couple I was serving. Until they left that is. A wee note with a phone number on the back of the bill. 'Hi. We think you're very sexy. Give us a call sometime.' Yowzer!"

The clebs

Marian – 34, mobile product manager.
"I served the band INXS one night. Michael Hutchence wasn't there so I had no idea who they were. The drummer asked me afterwards if I enjoyed live music. He left me two VIP passes six weeks later for their concert at Wembley."

Marian's favourite restaurant is Olympia Café

The hell shift

Kate – 33, PA.
"This Sunday my partner called me from his newly acquired restaurant 'Kate my staff have not pitched, if you want to – please help.' 'I don't want to, but I will' I replied. I grabbed an apron and headed off for my first waitressing shift in nine years.

"It was hell – no it was worse. The only waitress (moi) was not using table numbers or the computer but rather handing the 'barrister' pieces of paper with scribble hoping he would be able to sniff out the table numbers, put the food orders in the computer and make all the drinks!

"I knew it had gone belly up a table heard me ordering their food when they should have been receiving it. I looked the young one straight in the eye and lied 'No that was not your order, scrambled eggs with crispy bacon on the side is a very popular dish. Your food is almost ready.'

"Some things just never change."

Kate's favourite restaurant is Trabella, best Brie and Cranberry pizza!

Now you've heard their stories, tell us yours!

- None


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