Friday, October 23, 2009

Black Magic Waitress

Now, I don’t want you to take offense to this, or to be otherwise disturbed with me for the following commentary, so please allow me to preface with the following disclaimer: If you are a waiter, I have nothing but love for you. I don’t hate waiters or any sort of service staff, in fact I quite often engage in a healthy bit of banter with the waitstaff which, on the whole, improves my meal..

I just hate paying you guys.

I was looking for ways to save money the other day (without really curtailing my spending) and I just happened to notice a pile of restaurant receipts on my dresser. I couldn't help but spy the double-subtotals and all the scrawl underneath where I had indicated a tip amount, so I started adding it up.

Let me just tell you: I've got the entire food service staff of Sandy Springs on my payroll.

I was appalled. I mean seriously. Why do I pay someone 20% of my total food bill to write down what I want to eat, carry that slip of paper 14 feet, then bring my food back to me? In a free market that's worth about $1, not 20%.

20% means for every dollar I spend I pay someone $0.20 to carry my plate around. It’s like a tax to sponsor bad attitude.

Why don’t we pay the mailman 20%? That’s a valuable service right there - even if I do have to wait an extra 30 minutes while he reads my NRA magazines in the driveway.

Think about it like this: say you spend on average $30 per day for food. You eat pretty much every day (at least I do), and I eat out more often than I eat in, so let’s say you’re single and eat out 75% of the time. Shake all that information up and here’s how it works out: 365*30*75% = $8,212

With those numbers you spend a shade over $8,000 per year on eating out alone – and that’s not even including alcoholic beverages. What’s 20% of that? $1,642.00. $1,600 for the pure luxury of having someone who you don’t know traipse around with your plate, wave some bad attitude around, and give you terrible advice on eggplant entrees.

That works out to $4.50 per day, or $135 per month. $135 per month on waiters and you don’t even get to deduct it off your taxes as a business expense. From what I understand, for $4.50 per day you can literally FEED an entire family off in Africa somewhere. I bet that includes tipping the waitstaff too.

So here is what I propose: let’s take all the local waiters and waitresses (God bless them), put them on a boat, and send them on vacation until I’m dead. For even 10% off my bill I’ll be glad to walk in the back, holler at the cook, pick up my food, eat it, wash my dish, and put it away. I’ll give myself my own advice on the entree selections based on what’s in the menu. It is, after all, written in English - not Sanskrit as they would have you believe. I may even bring my own Chinet and skip the dish washing which is, in my opinion, the classiest solution.

How about this? I can bring my own waiter. For $10 an hour you can get one of the guys that hangs around by the Citgo in Sandy Springs to do pretty much anything labor-wise you like. Last week when I pulled up for gas 4 of them jumped in the back of my truck without saying a word. Looks like a truckload of waiters if you ask me! No seat belt? No problem! Split 4 ways over a 2hr dinner the cost of one of those guys is only $5 apiece. Of course, two of them hollered and jumped right back out when they saw all the dried blood in the truck bed from the deer I killed last week.

I was impressed with the two that hung around.

Or how about this? A person from the table who came in front of you serves you dinner, and you serve dinner to the people who came in behind you? And you know what? They can wear latex gloves if you like; but for 20%, no, I don’t care if you wash your hands or not. Take down the “must wash your hands signs” that they all ignore anyway - I’ll take my chances. You can get naked and wander around with the water pitcher for all I care.

I’d actually be willing to pay a little bit more for the luxury of being allowed to cruise back behind the swinging door at random. I want to find out just exactly what the hell is going on back there anyway. I know for a fact you can’t make a whole chimichanga at home in 4.8 minutes, so I want to learn whatever black Aztec art they've rediscovered in the back at Taxco - its been hidden from the world long enough.

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