“Is your gingerale made with real ginger?”

I like to consider myself a generally easygoing, friendly individual, respectful of those around me as well as completely aware that the world does not, unfortunately, revolve around me. My actions affect others, and my mama raised me to have manners or else I’d get my ass kicked.

After a few years working in the restaurant business, it’s become obvious to me that there are several individuals who do not share my thoughts on this matter, or else did not have a mother and father who taught them how NOT to be a douche bag.

So for this post, I thought I’d join the thousands of servers and bartenders who have already cried out in anger about the guy who didn’t tip, or the girl who sent her drink back 3 times, or the couple with the baby that made a mess of half the restaurant.

So, here it is, from my tiny pocket of the world –

(My) 10 Reasons the Bartender (or Server) Hates You

(In friendly pink text!)

1. “Hi! How are you? My name’s Ni-”


In this scenario, I usually carry on with my friendly introduction anyway. More often than not, the customer then looks at me in total confusion.

2. (This one applies specifically to those who work in an airport.)

“I need my check, ASAP – I have a flight to catch!!”

My response: “NO WAY!!!”

3. ::Customer walks into extremely crowded restaurant and waves me over; meanwhile, I have two menus stuffed under each arm, stacks of dirty glasses in each hand and a fry in my hair::

Me: “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, are there any free tables?”

(Keep in mind, in this scenario, a large “Please Seat Yourself” sign is kept in clear view at the front of the restaurant.)

4. :Customer sits directly in front of beer taps::

Me: “Hi! Can I start you out with something to drink?”

Customer: “Yeah. What do you have on tap?”

::I turn around and do my best Vanna White impression::

5. Customer: “Is this tip okay?”

::Shows me the slip. Bill: $50. Tip: $2.::

Me: “That’s…fine!”

Are you expecting me to say, “No, leave more, you cheapskate”?

6. ::Hand menu to customer::

Customer: “Do you have appetizers?”

Me: “Yes!” ::I point to ‘Starters’ section::

Customer: “Do you have soup?”

Me: “Yes” ::I point to ‘Soup/Salad’ section::

Customer: “Do you have -”


7. Customer: “So, uh…what’s good here?”

My mind’s response: “Nothing. It’s all crap. You don’t wanna eat here. You may as well just leave Right. Now.”

My actual response: “The chicken sandwiches are delicious!” (Eh, something like that.)

8. Customer: “There’s no alcohol in this drink.” (They just watched me make it, and pour about 2 ounces of vodka into the glass.)

I have no response for this.

9. ::I make my way to a table to deliver an order::

Me: “French fries?”

Customer(s): ::silence::

Me: “French fries?”

Customer(s): ::silence:: ::someone starts texting::

::I place french fries on table and walk away::

10. ::The ‘Section Closed’ sign is in place and I am busy mopping said section.::

Customer: “Is this section open?”

Again, no response to this.


Le sigh.

This is only a tiny piece of the strange things we see and hear on a weekly basis. But – we put on a big, fake smile and tolerate, because at the end of the night, it’s (usually) worth it.







Filed under Job, Uncategorized

7 responses to ““Is your gingerale made with real ginger?”

  1. Good lord! I’ve seen some of this happen at other tables and it even makes me want to scream.

    The one about the customer not attempting to read the menu makes me wonder though. I had a customer long ago at a deli I worked in, who asked me the names of about twenty different meats and cheeses in the case. I finally realized that the affluent-looking person asking me probably couldn’t read them for herself. People who, for whatever reason, can’t read won’t tell you that.

    My WOH story, Brunch, is a true story, so if it won’t cause a problem to answer here, I was wondering: when there’s an all you can eat special, are the waitstaff ever instructed to dissuade people from ordering more than one refill? Just thought I’d ask.

    • Re, you are right – while I would never wish illiteracy on someone, I can only hope that is the reason these people ask me so many questions. In a horrible way, it beats pure laziness!!

      As for the all you can eat specials, thankfully I have never had the “pleasure” of working in a place that has those, lol. I worked in a fifties themed diner, an Italian restaurant, a steakhouse, and now a sports bar. I’ll gladly give you two more Cokes, but don’t you ask me for free fries!! 😉

  2. Well, I worked in a restaurant kitchen when as a teenager, but knew better than to get near the public interface. You’ve just confirmed my hunch!.

    Being a big fan of all things ginger, I was horrified at first by your title, fearing an expose of synthetic ginger, as in, “Say it ain’t so, Nicole!” At least I can still believe in Canada Dry!

    • Hahaha! Thank you for reading, Morgan. I envy the kitchen staff not having to deal directly with the public. Especially when they lose an order, and I have to take the blow for them. Pft! (It’s not often, but it certainly sucks when it does happen.)

      And as for the title, I just thought it was a great play on some of the silly questions I get asked. It was inspired by a conversation with this customer:

      Me: ::flips open menu to a list of ALL drinks (alcoholic and non), and points to mentioned list:: “Here’s a list of all of our drinks, what can I get for you?”

      Customer: ::reads list:: “Do you have ginger beer?” (This is not listed.)

      Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t. We only have what you see listed there.”

      Customer: “What brand is your gingerale?” (Our gingerale comes out of the bar gun. I honestly was not sure.)

      Me: “I’m not sure, but I can find out for you if you’d like!”

      Customer: “No that’s alright. Is your lemonade really sugary? What brand is it?” (This also comes out of the bar gun.)

      Me: “Again, I’m not sure.”

      Customer: “Is your (something I can’t remember) organic?”

      Me: “No.”

      Customer: “We’ll have two waters.”

      It went something like that. ::sigh::

  3. NM, all too familiar. i once had a gun pointed at me when i tended bar…i said “shoot me” (no lie) just before my friend smashed the drunk over the head with a chair. ahhh…those were the days. lovely post…i bet you feel a whole lot better now eh? continue…

  4. Having waited tables long long ago, I have nothing but sympathy for you.
    And when I go out, I try and be as social as I can with the wait staff.
    And hell, they’re generally a cool bunch. (Plus friendliness frequently scores an aextra drink)

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