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5 Times Your Server Wants to Laugh at You

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Restaurant servers are great actors. They must present the image that they are happy to be at work and eager to serve people while behind that facade, they are very often the exact opposite. If it was possible to earn money with a “poker face” waiters and waitresses wouldn’t need to wait tables anymore because their wealth would be abundant. There is never a time that this ability to hide their emotions is more important than when a customer does or says something that is so jaw-droopingly dumb that the server has to bite the insides of their cheeks to keep from laughing.

That’s right, there are times your server literally wants to laugh right in your face, but they don’t because they are professionals who will wait until they are out of your sight before letting loose with a hale and hearty laugh. Here’s when they want to laugh at you, but they don’t:

When you want to know the difference between the 8-ounce sirloin steak and the 12-ounce sirloin steak. The difference is FOUR OUNCES. It’s not that hard to decipher. They both come with a vegetable and a starch and maybe a basket of bread, but one steak is bigger than the other one. It’s like wanting to know the difference between a two-egg omelet and a three-egg omelet. Math is hard, but not laughing at these inane questions is a lot harder.

When you expect something free for your birthday. Servers are not impressed by birthdays. There are estimates that 385,000 babies are born every day so it’s really not that big of a deal that you were, you know, born. It took no effort on your part and expecting the red carpet to be rolled out for you is a teeny, tiny bit sad. Unless you’re ten years old and at a pizza place with animatronic entertainers, all you should expect is a warm and sincere happy birthday wish from your server. And then the sound of laughter as they walk away from your table.

When a bird poops on you while sitting on the patio. You’re in the bird’s world, it’s not in yours. If you were sitting at Booth 9 and a pigeon made its presence known on your shoulder, it’d be different, but you’re outside. Complaining about the heat, wind, bugs, sirens or anything else that naturally happens in nature is a chance for the server to put on their acting mask and act like they can do anything about it.

When your credit card is declined and you implore your server to “try again.” It’s nobody’s fault but your own that you have bad credit and that Visa is fed up with you. No amount of swiping, tapping, or inserting is going to change what the credit card company has already decided. When your card is declined, accept it and pull out another one even if the first one is “the good one.” The more you protest, the funnier it is.

When you pretend to be a wine connoisseur, but you are definitely not one. If you send your White Zinfandel back because it’s pink, you can be certain that your server is struggling to keep a straight face. Same thing if you swirl your glass of wine to see if it “has legs” or if you sniff the cork. These are things you saw happen in a movie once that seemed like a good idea. If you pronounce the “t” at the end of Cabernet or Pinot, it’s another guarantee that your server wants to chortle in your general direction.

Rest assured that any server who takes their job seriously is not going to snicker, snort, or chuckle at a customer. They know that making a customer feel embarrassed can affect their tip and no server wants that. They’ll maintain their stoic facial expression and wait until they get to the safety of the kitchen before flat out laughing at you.

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Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.


  1. Jimmy
    January 12, 2023 at 12:32 pm — Reply

    On the subject of tasting the wine … I resent being presented with the cork and having a little splash in my glass to taste, like I know a damn thing about wine beyond red or white. It feels like a dare by my server.

    • Stephanie
      January 12, 2023 at 3:10 pm — Reply

      The cork is for you to see that the bottle you’re presented with matches the label and is what you ordered; i.e., the restaurant hasn’t done any switcheroos. The taste is basically for you to make sure the wine isn’t corked or is otherwise spoiled–you’ll be able to tell right away if that’s the case.

  2. Brian
    January 12, 2023 at 3:05 pm — Reply

    Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing Jimmy was.

  3. Jordan
    January 14, 2023 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    And in the end they are still a wait staff that is bringing me my food and I am literally paying their salary.

    • Sue
      January 17, 2023 at 2:26 pm — Reply

      You are not ‘literally’ paying their salary. The word you need there is ‘figuratively’, which is implied anyway so you actually don’t need either word.
      Anyway. You’re contributing a part of their entire earnings for the day, not their salary. If you were at the place I work, you’d have to come up with about $450 per server on any given day to even come close to paying anyone’s ‘salary’.

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