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Monday, February 10, 2014

The Crappy Old Guy Waiter Restaurant

The New Orleans "Picayune" mascot fr...
The New Orleans "Picayune" mascot frog character as a waiter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
     

         Social security just doesn't meet the needs of people like me.   I suppose I might ditch the house I have now in favor of smaller cheaper living quarters and subsist on a meager diet of stuff I buy in bulk or at the 99 Cent Store.  I could just stay home and not ever get new clothes or do much of anything but watch TV--free digital television over the airwaves.   There are a lot of things that I could cut back on I suppose, but my wife would really hate it I'm sure.

         With all this in mind I've been contemplating ways I could pick up extra income.  Saturday, while dining at Red Lobster,  my in-laws' favorite restaurant, I began daydreaming over my fishy lunch as I watched the waitstaff bustling about.   Then it hit me--maybe I could wait tables in a restaurant like that.  Why not?  Tips would probably not be too bad and I could probably get discounts on meals for all the times we eat there.  Believe me--we should own stock in the Darden Restaurant group.

         As I pondered my table waiting dream, I realized that these were young folks.  I would be totally out of place in an establishment like this.  No one would want a slow old guy like me waiting on them.  And  I'd be a pretty crappy waiter at that.  I'd be screwing up orders and spilling stuff and undoubtedly getting pretty cranky as my shift wore on.  

         Maybe I could get a job at the Original Pantry Cafe, one of L.A.'s oldest restaurants.  That's a place with some old waiters.  I've heard that some of those waiters have been there for 70 years.  Those guys must really like their jobs.  I'd probably have to wait for one of them to keel over dead before there would be an opening.   Actually some of the waiters already look like they've died.   They've been working there so long that they're just in the habit of being there and don't realize they're dead.   It's possible that a lot of the customers are dead too so they don't pay any attention to the dead waiters.

          If I'm going to work as a crappy old guy waiter then maybe I'll have to start my own Crappy Old Guy Waiter Restaurant.  If I'm the owner though I guess I shouldn't be waiting tables.  I should be greeting customers with a scowl and grumpy demeanor.   So where can I find all those crappy old guys to wait tables?    Or the bigger question is who wants to go to a restaurant where a bunch of crappy old guys are waiting tables?

         Well I'm probably screwed on this idea.   Scrap another great plan and get back to lunch.  Something's fishy at Red Lobster.  

            Have you ever waited tables?    What has been your rudest waiter in a restaurant?   Which restaurant would you want to work in if you were going to work there for 50 years or more?

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38 comments:

  1. Lee what gives you the idea that you're a crappy old waiter.?
    Just two years ago we met and you were very energetic, certainly not old, OK many places like younger waiters but remember experience comes with age(remember you're NOT old) some of the younger waiters may not be so polite as the Lee I know.

    Have a good week.
    Yvonne.

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  2. They already have such a restaurant. It's in NYC. It's called the Carnegie Deli.

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  3. That's probably one of the funniest things you've ever written! I don't think I'd want to eat at a place where the waiters looked like they'd died. And no, fortunately I've never had to wait tables.

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  4. I've waitressed before and it's not a fun job, especially for that long. If you work at a high scale restaurant though, you can pull down some serious cash.

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  5. I worked as a waitress when I was seventeen. I enjoyed the work and if I had to, I would do it again. But as an older woman it'd be the local mom and pop restaurant - the high scale restaurants want the young good looking folk.
    I've never been served, by a crappy old guy waiter - but if it happens I'll snap a picture for you! LOL

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  6. I waited tables in my college years. It's not a fun job but the money can be really good. It has taught me to be kind to wait staff.

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  7. BOIDMAN ~
    I agree with Alex: This was your most entertaining post for some time now.

    The last time I was at 'THE PANTRY', I was on vacation in L.A. and with my friend Pooh. I pointed out this one strange looking "character actor-like" dude and said he looked kind of familiar to me.

    Pooh immediately recognized him as being...

    ...damn, I can't remember who he was now. But he was a famous old Rock star.

    And then again... maybe that wasn't at 'The Pantry', but at that other famous restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. The one closer to Union Station.

    ...No, not 'COLE'S' on Sixth Street. That... other... one... even CLOSER to Union Station.

    Oh, damn it all to hell! I think my memory is now as dead as is any waiter at 'THE PANTRY'!

    It's a bee-itch to get old, man! I'm just glad I don't remember OLD AGE happening to me.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  8. Lee, this is too too funny. I loved it. No, I've never waited tables. If anyone was ever rude to me, I'd probably dump the food all over them. Nope, it wouldn't be for me.

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  9. Yvonne-- What a sweet comment to start off with! I feel younger already.

    Chuck-- Must be a pretty good place. I like the name.

    Alex -- Funny? Funny like a clown? I was trying to be serious.

    L.Diane -- The Original Pantry is a L.A. landmark. Something must hold these waiters there for so long.

    Yolanda -- I just hope the guy in the picture isn't actually me.

    Susan GK-- A couple of my daughters have waited tables in the past and I tend to be nice to wait people as well.

    StMc -- Are you thinking of Phillippe's? That place is another L.A. institution where employees have been there for a long time. It's a pretty good place to go and has a lot of character(s). Yeah, I know that memory thing. I think that's why I started my memoir blog--to help me remember.

    Karen -- I'd probably be a disaster as well, but we never know what our true hidden talents might be. You and I might do a terrific job at waiting tables.

    Lee

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  10. As someone who waited tables one summer in college, I can tell you that I hated it. The summer before I sold books door to door. Before waiting tables, I thought door to door selling was THE WORST JOB EVER. A month into waiting tables and I wished I had decided to go another round selling books door to door. The money was better and the people were nicer... and that is saying something. I got blown pretty hard off some porches.

    I would keep thinking job options and take a pass on waiting tables.

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  11. Never a waiter, always a customer but it's difficult to serve in a wheelchair.

    People often think you make more than you do on Social Security, as if you're swimming around like Scrooge McDuck in his vault of gold.

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  12. I've never waited tables, not because I'm above the job, but because people in my crappy hometown just don't tip. At all. It's insane. And frankly, my time is worth more than $2.15 an hour.

    I'm with everyone else. This was hilarious.

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  13. Never been a waiter but I wouldn't mind working at one of the fancy Chinese Restaurants if I had to be there for a long time. Good luck finding alternate income.

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  14. I've done some cooking, but I've never waited tables. I don't think I like people enough to do that job. And I don't take crap very well. I'd probably fit right in with your crappy old guy theme. Except without the crap, because all I could think of when you said that was old guys in full diapers with odor lines coming off of them.

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  15. Good luck to you and your endeavours. Sorry about your financial situation!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  16. I've never waited tables because my 2 weeks at McDonalds when I was a senior in high school taught me that I really hate the public. I don't have the personality to be pleasant to assholes. Nor do I have the upper body strength to lift trays to my shoulders. Plus being short, no one sees me so I envision patrons and other waitstaff crashing into me as I brought a trayload of food to a table.

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  17. For us, RL is the rare treat, and we go starved. So, yeah, I'm thinking either we'd force a Red Bull down your throat, or just kill and serve you with cheddar bays.

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  18. Do you mean creepy old waiter?

    Just because you're an old waiter would not make you crappy.

    I've been to a few concerts where the average age of the audience was close to three decades sotuh of mine, which certainly made me the creepy old fan.

    Take heart, Lee-if you move to Arizona to become a waiter, there is always Denny's within walker distance!

    Larry

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  19. Waiting tables is hard. Not that I've ever done it, but I did work retail, and dealing with the public is hard on a daily basis. I try to appreciate the waitstaff at any restaurant. They've got it hard.

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  20. I'm a big fan of Red Lobster. Those rolls are just too good!

    Ugh, my restaurant days. They weren't pretty. I was a hostess at an upscale place. When they got busy, I was supposed to help out the waitresses. That ended when I accidentally poured water into a kids lap on the day of his bar mitzvah.

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  21. Waiting tables is one of the many character building jobs I have done. Hated it.
    Sooo, I don't think I should get a job in your imaginary hotel. I do make amazing pies, so I would supply you with those.

    I leave large tips, by the way.

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  22. I have a feeling that if I had ever tried to wait tables, obnoxious customers would have had food dumped in their laps. I could not put up with some of the behaviour of some customers.

    I know what you mean about pensions though.

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  23. Robin -- I think I might opt for waiting tables over door to door sales.

    Jennifer -- There's a cap on what you can receive from SS from what I understand and it doesn't amount to much.

    Beer-- Maybe you can turn this into a cartoon.

    Sheena-Kay -- My luck finding alternate income has not been very good so far.

    Andrew -- Now there's a disturbing image.

    Poet Andrew -- Actually our financial situation is not all that bad, but it could be a little better.

    JoJo -- I like working with the public but not so much if it has to do with food. Hungry people can get vicious.

    CW -- I getting a bit tired of Red Lobster, but my father-in-law loves it so thats where we go when we take him out to eat which is once every month or so.

    Lee

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  24. Larry -- I assure you that if I were a waiter I'd be a crappy one, but some customers might think I was creepy as well.

    Liz A. --Always be nice to the person waiting on you in the restaurant. They usually will be nice back to you and they won't do anything weird to your food hopefully.

    Elsie -- I guess better to pour water on someone that scalding hot coffee.

    Susan K-- Maybe I should get a job in the restaurant you frequent most often.

    Jo -- I tend to be pretty patient and tolerant. And if I did poor waiting job I could always plead old age.

    Lee

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  25. Never worked in a restaurant (got this severe hang up/phobia in touching food meant for other people).

    Never really had a rude waiter per se, but I did leave a memorable impression with a waitress who made the mistake of telling me that my order was put in twenty minutes after I gave it.

    For the first and only time in my life, I swore at her. She went slack jawed, and to top it off, after I had left a $3 tip on $42 bill, she complained about the tip to her co-workers.

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  26. I've waited my share of tables throughout my life and I generally have a pretty good time doing it. I kind of like messing with people, and flirting in a safe environment. I've never been stiffed and always done pretty well, no matter the scale of the restaurant. I've also done my share of time behind the bar. That can be fun also, depending on the establishment.

    I have to admit that I have never had a carppy/crabby/otherwise old waiter. Generally speaking, in my experience, the older the waiter the nicer and more helpful they are. You never know, you might make a very good 'old (as in not so very) guy waiter'.

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  27. Wow, your mind just went all over the place there Lee! I'm sure you would be a great waiter, but I think you'll make a better host since you are great at welcome folks and making people feel at home. I never waited tables, but I worked in a bar/cafe in a small hotel. A tourist who didn't speak English lit me up as I misunderstood that he needed help. I almost quit, but stuck it out. I did quit 6 months later, but that's another story. Never been chewed out like that before and the experience is seared into my brain.

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  28. I have done a tiny bit of this and it's not really all that fun.

    You could start a book blog tour company - and do everything from your computer! Lots of writer's like to sign up for those, including me - I'm trying one out the end of the month. :)

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  29. GB -- I used to leave bad tips if I wasn't happy with the service, but then I learned about other factors that the wait person couldn't be blamed for. They probably could always do more to compensate, but it depends I guess. I haven't had truly poor service in a long time.

    Faraway -- Attitude is everything no matter what we do.

    Buck -- I probably wouldn't do well with that kind of treatment.

    Kimberly -- A job done from home on my computer might be nice.

    Lee

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  30. We like going to the KacKaPon in WV. They have an older wait staff and are always very friendly. With my bummed knee I can't see me doing that type of work though. I'd have to be really amazing like balancing a tray on a cane or something to thinking about making tips. Loved the post!

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  31. LOL! This post was great. Waiting tables is hard work though.

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  32. I've waited on more tables than I care to think about, but only at home. That was enough to keep me out of working for a restaurant. Even when the food is good and the peeps are happy, it's a tough job and a lot of messy, dirty work.

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  33. The original Original Joe's in San Francisco used to have (maybe they still do?) crabby old waiters. They wore black suits and white shirts. All they were missing was the white napkin over their left forearm. People went there to be served by them as much as for the food. :-)

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  34. I tried waiting tables, but I have a serious attitude problem with people who have attitude problems. So that didn;t work out.

    But I know people can make a living and support a family waiting tables at a good restaurant. it's a gift, and I always treat people waiting on me with respect.

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  35. Gossip Girl-- Hmmm...I guess I could juggle stuff.

    Shelly -- I think it would be hard for me for sure.

    MJ -- Nasty old food!

    Jagoda -- Nothing like atmosphere to draw the crowds.

    Stephen T. -- I'm sure working at the right restaurant can be quite lucrative.

    Lee

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  36. Loved this post. I worked in a restaurant waiting tables for only about two months, and had absolutely the worst boss in the world. He was quite a character: when he interviewed me he informed me he wasn't interested in paying "the candle in the wind," compared me to Princess Diana, said he was glad I didn't talk a lot, and hired me on the spot. Two months later, he fired me for wanting to give someone correct change, told me I was simultaneously too skinny and too fat for the job, and sent me packing. I never want to wait tables again, but it certainly made me feel gentle forevermore toward the waiters of the world. But you know? I think restaurant clientele could actually stand some MORE crotchety old-guy waiters to make them appreciate how hard the work is!

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  37. You could never be a creepy, crappy waiter. The customers would love all of your stories. What about bringing your juggling act to a restaurant? In order to attract more customers, some restaurants have a weekly family night where they have singers, or magicians perform. You could probably do all three at the same time. There is no end to your talents, Lee! This was fun!

    Julie

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  38. Oh Arlee, I'm headed down to socal to live sometime this Spring. As soon as my husband lands a job in town, I guess I'll have to check out this Pantry place. I actually like that sort of thing!
    Surely there must be something you could do that uses your natural talents. Maybe a tour guide, or entertainer of some sort?

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