(Gawker Explains It All will occasionally make like Clarissa, except without the mismatched earrings and with more breaking down of the nitty gritty of life in New York City. It's aimed at people who are way too stupid to even be reading it — or, actually, reading — in the first place. But you could always print it out and hand it to them on the street.)
We firmly believe that the world is made up of three types of people: people who used to work in restaurants, people who used to work in retail, and born-rich assholes. And when it comes time to go out to eat, the latter two types are at a huge disadvantage in the not acting twatty department, because they don't know what it's like to be on the receiving end of their own bullshit. Herewith, then, a handy guide to the behaviors that put you at risk for inadvertently consuming an amuse-bouche of busboycum-tainted soup, and how to avoid them.
- Know What Kind Of Restaurant You're Eating In
This might seem basic, but we often seem to find ourselves dining with people who think that the one server responsible for all ten-tables in a doll-sized East Village restaurant is somehow going to be able to refill their water every five seconds, replenish the bread plate, notice they're done and wordlessly deliver the check, and generally provide four-star service, all for a $5 tip. You assholes, why are we having dinner with you?? This is also the kind of person who thinks it's okay to get the server's attention with a peremptory snap. When we were a server, we didn't just spit in this type of person's food, we performed a voodoo hex that gave them inoperable colon cancer.
- Make Up Your Fucking Mind
A lot of people, especially girls, think it's 'cute' to have, like, a ten-minute conversation about what they're going to order with their server or bartender. Just fyi, the answer to all of these questions: "What do you think I should get?" "Is the special, like, good, or should I just go with the steak?" "Which one is your favorite?" is "ShutupshutupshutupshutupIdon'tcaaaaaaaaaaaaare."
- Rule Three: Your Server Does Not Cook Your Food
It totally is your server's job to notice that something is wrong with your food before it gets to you, or to give you new food if your food legitimately displeases you. But if you just don't like what you ordered, it's not okay to take it out on your server. And if your order is wrong, and you browbeat her, it won't result in her going back to the kitchen and sternly conveying your displeasure to the person who made your salad too salty. It'll result in a new salad with highly unpalatable special ingredients.
- Don't Flirt
There is nothing more pathetic than flirting with the waiter, waitress, or bartender. Please, you really think that hot waiter is going to help you get your middle-aged groove back? The real world is not Sex in the City or an ad for Disaronno. Also, he is gay, duh! If he returns your advances, don't get any big ideas. He is just being a mercenary whore, because that's his job.
- Don't Play Stump the Waiter
"What's sopressata?" "What's a croutade?" "What's the difference between Blue Point and Kumamoto oysters?" Fucking google it later and don't embarrass yourself.
- Don't Linger
The price of your dinner rents a table for a set amount of time, not for the duration of the evening. It's fine to stay a while if you keep ordering more stuff. But by "more stuff," we don't mean "one herbal tea that you sip for five hours."
- Drink, You Asshole!
If you're pregnant or Muslim, fine. But otherwise, just have a glass of wine already, okay? It'll make you nicer and it'll make your server seem nicer, too! We all win! If you're trying to save money by not ordering drinks, we'd like to point out that you could save even more money by not going out to eat instead.