Why Your Busboy Hates You

Categories: Top Lists
Carol Blonder

​In the tradition of Sarah Ventre (Why Your Cocktail Waitress Hates You), as well as our anonymous Starbucks barista and pizza delivery guy, the quintessential busboy shares his anecdotes of restaurant service and Why Your Busboy Hates You, as told to this writer.

No we are not revealing his identity, as he respects his employer and the crew he works with, and does not speak as his employer's representative.

The real me: I am a college student with an interest in Restaurant and Hospitality Management. I work in the restaurant service industry (have since high school) because I like the fast pace, being on the food scene, and the people. I get it, my job -- barista, bartender, busboy and server -- is all about the service. But there are times when I roll my eyes and shake my head at you, the customer.

Hey, call me "Cinder-fella".  To you I may just be the bitch's bitch, just a mule pulling the wagon. My work begins hours before you even think about coming in to get your next meal. I clean the floors where you deposit yesterday's trash from your purse or pockets, scrub tables and chairs deposited with chewing gum and snotty tissue, and scrape food you didn't even purchase here off plates.

So yeah, I've got my gripes. Here are a few:  

This is a dining experience, not a track meet: Flagging me over to your table and sending me running is fine. What is annoying is asking for a clean napkin, and as soon as I return with it, you have decided you need mustard. I deliver the mustard, and now you need an extra plate to share your food with your mother. Here comes the extra plate, and now you are ready to order that glass of wine. Why is this annoying?  Maybe the other five tables in my section would like some service, too.

Enough with the PDA: Glad you like your date but I don't want to watch your foreplay.  Grabbing her ass is embarrassing to her, to me, to the table next to yours. I get it, your girlfriend is hot, so go home and get freaky later. A nice nibble on the ear then cut the action. And don't bother giving me the stare down, I'm just here to bring the drinks, I can get my own action, privately.

And as for your potty behavior.... Yep, the staff cleans the bathrooms. If you shut yourself in the bathroom for 20 minutes, and we can smell the stink, we have a pretty good idea it was you who crapped all over the toilet seat and left. Clean it up, man. Paper towels stuffed in urinals and bloody napkins floating in the toilets? Who does that? Do you trash your house like this? The same goes for your vomit; if you can't control your alcohol go outside. If you are going to puke in the restroom, try to aim for the toilet and hit the flusher before you exit.

Tips on tipping and how I really feel about your kids, after the jump.

kid restaurant.jpg

I like little kids, just not yours: You don't want to pay attention to your little kids, what makes you think I do? I am not a babysitter, and if I go the extra mile for you and your baby mess, think of what you would be paying to leave baby at home with a sitter and show your appreciation (it's called a tip). While you were on your cell phone your barefoot toddler ran around the booths, emptying saltshakers on the tables. Thank you for leaving it for me to clean up along with the empty jars of baby food and dirty baby wipes. Oh, and that cereal you brought to keep baby quiet, is now ground into every crevice within 5 feet of the high chair.

No psychics work here: The purpose of a menu is to list the dishes we prepare and the ingredients. Your server and the chef want to get your order right. Read the menu and ask questions if the information isn't given, but don't bust my ass and send back your food because you didn't pay attention when you gave the server your order. Own it and let me know in a civil manner why you are cranky. Then give the kitchen time to work their magic. If you send a dish back to the kitchen, don't wine to me about the wait. If you want fast food, try the intersection down the road.

Tip Like a Trump: Think about it. Don't assume that because you are ordering take out you don't need to tip. I check your order, package your order, make sure you have eating utensils, napkins and condiments, and cashier the bill. Just because you aren't being served at a table, doesn't mean you didn't get served.

Million-dollar schmuck: The worst tipper I ever encountered was a local sports celebrity. He was with his kid and ordered breakfast, drinks and dessert. He left eighty-five cents on the table, the change from his bill. Seriously, like I don't know who you are. Way to treat the fans.

Circle of love: The best tipper was a local chef-restaurant owner, well known here and on the national scene. He came in with his girlfriend, sat on our patio and ordered wine. They quietly enjoyed the wine, and left fifty bucks on the table. Guess where I'm going to choose to go out to dinner next time I have a night off?

FYI: Restaurant servers are paid less than minimum wage. We depend on a well-known system of tipping to earn our bread. We did not invent the system. I know my job is all about customer service; I will be polite and take care of you even if you act like a self-centered jerk. If you have a complaint about the food take it up with the manager. If the service was good don't stiff the wait staff, the kitchen doesn't get a share of the tips, you are punishing the wrong people.

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