Archive for April, 2008

The Wai-ai-ting Is the Hardest Part

A few days ago Becky from Mommy Needs Vodka (actually it’s Mommy Wants Vodka but I think needs is better) and I were reminiscing on our days of waiting tables. Fun times. As a former waitress, I feel it’s my duty to give everyone a few tips on how to make the most of your dining experience.

The first thing you’ll notice when you come through the door of most any fine dining establishment is the Please Wait To Be Seated sign. Ignore it. This does not mean you. You have eyes. You don’t need to be told where or where not to sit. Just wander around until you find the busiest section. This means that your server is the “popular” server and you want to be right where the action is. The perfect table will probably be dirty so create your own personal space by conspicuously shoving everything to one side of the table. Then take your napkin and disgustedly start wiping it off.

Now you need to get the servers attention. Whistling or snapping your fingers will make your server respond with greater alacrity. As the hostess walks by seating less assertive people, cheerily call out, “Hey, we need menus!” Now your server will probably come over to your table and intrusively ask, “How are you today?” Avoid eye contact at all costs. Say nothing. Finish your conversation with your dining companion. You must make it clear from the start just who is calling the shots here – you. Your server may now make a second attempt to establish rapport by asking, “May I get you something to drink?” Shoot them down. Respond with “No thanks. I’ll just have water.” Again, you’re in control. Your server will wonder just how you’re going to ingest it if you’re not going to drink it. Intravenously? Or perhaps by spilling it on the table and absorbing it through osmosis?

When your server returns with the water tell him/her that you are ready to order. Now is a chance to really let them shine. Ask a lot of questions about the menu. Ask about the Early Bird Special. So what if it’s after 9 pm? Ask for the kids menu. If he tells you there is no kids menu say, “are you sure? The last time I was here there was definitely a kids’ menu.” After awhile your server will start to shift his weight from foot to foot looking around the restaurant at his other tables who are probably waving to get attention. This is the perfect time to ask about the specials. Vacillate between the two chicken specials for awhile and then order the pasta off the menu. Wait at least ten minutes before changing your order. Your server shouldn’t have been pressuring you to make up your mind! Flag down the busboy or better yet, make physical contact. Explain to him that you’ve changed your mind and you want the chicken special after all. Except you want it dry, broiled, sauce on the side, without the skin and no butter. Repeat no butter! You’re allergic. Wait no more than five minutes to ask what’s taking so long. After all didn’t you say you were in a hurry?

When your food FINALLY arrives the real fun begins. You are in the driver’s seat. This is the time to make your server work for their tip (if they get one) Asking for a variety of items will make him feel useful. Ask for salt. When he comes back with it ask for pepper. Oil and vinegar? you get the picture. Request some Tabasco sauce. Even if you don’t use it it will comfort you to know it’s there.

At this point your server may start making himself scarce. Track him down. Follow him into the kitchen or send your precocious four-year-old after him. Restaurant servers love children. Think of the establishment as your own personal Gymboree. Your child should be able to express themselves vocally, physically and spatially. Remember, the restaurant is responsible for their safety.

Once your server places down the check, look it over, then find an item you don’t feel like paying for. Wasn’t that rice a little starchy? Demand that it be taken off the bill. If your server hesitates even for a moment, ask to see a manager. If you feel your confrontation with the manager is not heading towards a complimentary meal , feel free to use the “there was a hair in my food” line. When your server returns with your discounted check tell him you’re thinking about dessert. But for now you’ll just have coffee, preferably with non-fat milk and decaf. Definitely decaf. You’re allergic to caffeine.

After six refills of coffee (they’re free) you may notice some of the other workers are putting chairs upside down on the table. Now is a great time to have a look-see at the dessert menu. Take your time eating because after all, you’re not just a customer but you’re a guest in their home. Once you get your last single bite of dessert boxed up to take home, settle up the check. Don’t insult your waiter who is probably lingering around in his street clothes, by leaving a tip. it is his pleasure to serve you.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on April 4, 2008 7:57 pmUncategorized16 comments  

Fatty Mattie and Slim Sadie with Update photo

Here are my babies at four-months (not corrected age for those of you calculating in your heads.

This is Matilda in all her double chin glory. Don’t you just want to pinch those cheeks?

And here’s Sadie. She’s delicious I know. But don’t you just want to give her a muffin?

Grow, Sadie, grow!

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on April 3, 2008 5:07 pmUncategorized26 comments  

And the New Featherweight Champion is…

So, the babies have not stopped having shitfits just about every night around 6 but I’m managing. And Sadie is also not growing adequatly. She is still shy of 8 pounds and it’s a pretty scary situation to me. But then again, running low on apricot beer is a scary situation for me so it’s possible that I’m overreacting. Because I can’t seem to stay away from my pediatrician’s office for more than a week at a time, I’m bringing them back in on Friday. At my last appointment I asked my doctor if I should buy a scale so I could weigh her and he said no because I would probably get obsessed. How did he know that about me? Am I that obvious? I must’ve had that slightly desperate look in my eye that said, “You know what would be great? A Google alert everytime my baby puts on an ounce.”

My doctor said that he too is worried about Sadie’s slow gaining and that he wants to take “more aggressive measures” to find out what’s going on. What does that mean? Of course I asked but he said he needs to see her again to decide what to do. Apparently supplementing the formula is not the way to go –at this point I want to give her a Quarter Pounder with cheese. Of course I’m driving myself crazy with my Preemies book and the Internet trying to diagnose her myself but it’s pretty difficult to determine. She just doesn’t eat very much. It’s not like she’s guzzling down formula but not gaining weight – she’s not eating enough. Anyone else had this problem? I’m scared.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on April 2, 2008 11:34 pmUncategorized23 comments  


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