Eat & Drink

4 Things Your Server Does Not Want To Hear You Talking About

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Restaurant servers basically have bionic ears. Years of working in places with music that’s too loud in rooms with poor acoustics, have trained their audible senses to be able to pick up the slightest sound. It might seem like we can’t hear you, but we can. We just hear what we choose to hear. Every time we approach a table, our ears are picking up snippets of conversations about everything from financial crises to family dramas and everything in between. Since we can’t power off our ears whenever we get near your table, please zip it when your waiter or waitress comes within earshot. As a restaurant customer, you are of course free to talk about anything you like, but there are a few things your server definitely does not want to listen to.

Sex: It’s great that you hit it off with your Tinder or Grindr hookup the night before, but spare your server the dirty details. Your bestie might want to hear all about it. Your server just wants to hear what you’d like to eat for dinner. Listening to the sordid stories of your carnal pleasures is awkward for anyone that the story is not directed to. Besides, do you want strangers to know the intimate details of your sex life? If you do, tell those stories at full volume while on public transportation like a normal freak. 

Money: The last thing a server wants to hear as they are passing your table is how broke you are. That’s a red flag that you’re going to leave a not-so-great tip. Discussing your credit history or how a debt collector has been hounding you for weeks tells your server that you probably shouldn’t be spending money on overpriced restaurant food. If you’re destitute and on the verge of bankruptcy, keep it from your server. Let them bask in ignorance about your financial situation so when you leave a meager tip they won’t have to say, “I knew this poverty-stricken POS was going to stiff me.”

Arguments: Nothing is more uncomfortable for a server than seeing a couple in the middle of an argument. Sure, it’s exciting to see if someone is going to end up with a glass of water thrown in their face, but we’d rather watch that on Real Housewives. When customers are arguing at their table, the server has to gauge when is the most appropriate time to step in to ask how the food is or refill a glass of water. Of course, no one can anticipate when an argument might happen and sometimes it’s between the appetizer course and the entree. Just consider reeling it in a bit so your server can do their job without having to choose sides.

Physical health: A server never wants to hear about the Covid or flu symptoms you are currently experiencing as they stand inches away from your germ-ridden body. And while the miracle of childbirth is surely astonishing, nobody except close friends, family, and medical professionals wants to know how quickly your cervix went from 6 centimeters to 10. If you recently had surgery and you’re eager to share the details over dinner, remember that your server cares not about your medical history.

No restaurant worker expects customers to only talk about sunshine, rainbows, and puppies while at dinner. All we ask is that you remember that some topics of conversation are meant for smaller audiences and, if possible, we’d rather not be a part of the conversation. Some of those stories stick with us much longer than a salad dressing stain on an apron.

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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.

2 Comments

  1. Moi
    January 21, 2023 at 4:27 am — Reply

    Not to be a bit on the nose, but you are a server. You serve all kinds of people. They talk about all kinds of stuff. What you want them to talk about isn’t really material. Grin and deal with it . . . as you do.

    But, asking them to only discuss what you want them to discuss?! You might want to consider a new occupation.

    I get being a bitchy waiter. Thin-skinned though? Perhaps you need more moisturizer and a degree of balance. Again, what you do: serve people.

    • Melissa
      January 21, 2023 at 3:42 pm — Reply

      I think more the point is to remind people that those conversations at restaurants are not as private as some people think they are No server expects to be able to dictate what people can talk about. Even us bitchy ones

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