Mein Kampf: A Server’s Manifesto Presents…Campers

20 Jul

Welcome to our third installment in this eye-opening series about what your server thinks about you (and likely discusses behind your back) when you go out to eat. With each post we attack a specific area of annoyance, and today that area is camping out.

You’ve all done it before, and don’t pretend to not know what I’m talking about. You are out to a nice dinner with your family and/or friends. The food was good, the drinks were good, and you might have even been polite to your server in the process. The check comes and you pay it, and maybe, just maybe you left a 20% tip. At this point (if you are a normal person), your restaurant experience is over and it’s time to go home…but you aren’t normal, are you?

Of course you aren’t, you decide to set up shop and bunker down at my table, or perhaps that booth of mine that you weaseled your way into…more on that in my previous post. It’s 7:00 on a Friday night and you decide that it’s the perfect time to sit there and play high school reunion for the next three hours or so. Meanwhile, your server is somewhere off in the distance cursing at you, begging for you to leave.

Once again, serving is all about the money, and the longer you sit there taking up space, the less money I will make. It blows my mind that it just does not occur to people that they’re costing their server a lot of money by just sitting there. At first, I’ll make a couple of passes by your table, shooting a dirtier look each time. When that doesn’t work I’ll try bussing the table while you’re still sitting there, hopefully giving you a strong enough hint for you to go the fuck home already. At this point you’ll do one of three things. You’ll either leave and my hatred of you will diminish, you might stay and my hatred of you remains, or you’ll do something foolish like ask for a new glass of water and I’ll hate you forever. At some point, I will begin to completely ignore you until that glorious moment arrives when you decide that you have cost me enough money that day, and you go home.

At this point it’s a good two or three hours after you got sat and the dinner rush is over. You have successfully cost me at least $40-$50, all so you could sit there and talk like you’re in your living room. Never mind the fact that you could just as easily go to a bar or go home and talk just the same…but at least you’re going home before the restaurant closes.

If you’re one of those people who hangs out after a restaurant closes, all I can say is STOP IT, stop it right now. As aggravating as it is to have someone camp out in your section during the shift, it’s arguably worse when you do it at the end of the night. Picture if you will, you’re the ONLY customers still left in the restaurant, and the closing servers are just standing there staring at you. At this point, you’re preventing people from going home after a 7-12 hour shift . The lights come up, and you still sit there. The music turns off, and you still sit there. The chairs are being put up on the tables, and you STILL sit there. At this point, I don’t care if you go outside and bang out on the hood of your car, just leave the damn building already! Five years of serving, and I have still yet to figure out why people insist up sitting there after a place closes down, but if you are one of those people, rest assured that we all hate you.


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