Editor's Note: Laurie Notaro writes often for us about her experiences in restaurants, some not so hot. One recent post — "5 Things Restaurants Need to Stop Doing Right Now," which catalogued complaints about everything from interrupting servers to judgments regarding salt — struck a nerve. We asked Notaro to respond to a few of the comments posted at phoenixnewtimes.com, which she did both on video — and below in writing.
Writing can be a dangerous job.
You get carpal tunnel syndrome.
When sitting for so long, you can get sciatica.
You rarely get paid when promised.
And then you get hate mail.
I have braces I wear at night on my hands. I have a chiropractor who jumps on me and cracks my neck like Liam Neeson. I'm overdrawn A LOT.
And I get hate mail.
Take for instance, a piece about the five things restaurants need to change. I wrote that piece two months ago — or in online news cycle terms, in another galaxy far, far away. Imagine my surprise when it was suddenly resurrected a couple weeks ago, like Jesus. Someone called The Bitchy Waiter rolled the boulder and poof! My piece was instantly regenerated.
And the hate mail rained in. Apparently, there's a bat cave somewhere where servers and waitstaff go after their shifts, hang upside down in clumps, and simply wait for someone to write about crappy service they got at a restaurant. The signal sounds — I'm guessing it's similar to a jackal finding a carcass — and the flutter starts.
Now, everyone loves a joke until they see too much of themselves in it, and I get it. I can't help you if you don't get the joke, and I also can't help you if you believe my Nana is going to put a curse on you with the chicken bones she keeps in her pocket. But when you leave a comment below the article that includes your name and WHERE YOU WORK (I can't make this up, I swear to the god of salt), I just might answer your troll-y self back.
Nothing has been changed. Not the names, places of employment, or grammar and syntax. All is as was.
Works at Hotel Valley Ho
This is absolutely disgusting to read. As a person who works very hard as a server and bartender for the last 16 years, I couldn't be more infuriated by this person. Get off your fucking high horse and go back to Arby's with your damn salt packets and maybe you won't have to assault some[one] there for interrupting your super awesome punchline. Do everyone in the industry [a favor] and stay the hell away from restaurants since you CLEARLY have zero idea how it works. You are an ignorant excuse for a human and the @phoenixnewtimes should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to be published under their name! Stay at home please! No one wants to deal with a nightmare customer like you. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.
Thank you for acknowledging that my punchline was super awesome, because I had worked on it for some time. I kept thinking, "What do you call it when you're in a bathroom standoff and the other person finally concedes, flushes, washes their hands but then comes back to the stall for another round?" What could that be? And then finally, it dawned on me while eating I had a feeling that one was going to get around! P.S.: It's also very cute how you Facebook stalked me and put some of my posts on your page. My favorite was the one about wearing the Baby Jane Hudson wig to Grand Jury duty. And yeah, I didn't get picked. Made $10.02, though.
Bartender Server at Lee and Ricks Oyster Bar
Laurie Notaro you are a pretentious snobby cunt.
Dear Mr. Multari;
I beg your pardon, sir. Is that how you treat a lady? I will have you know that in the course of my life, which has now reached a point in time no one would have ever predicted, have I ever been referred to as “pretentious!” How dare you. I just finished reading a paperback! I have been known to eat brownies made from a box. I once bought a bottle of wine at Trader Joe’s and had a sip before nearly retching and dumping the whole thing down the sink and then smacking my maid across the face for even suggesting it. And I think, although I cannot be entirely sure, that I know what a “week-end” might mean.
I just looked her up and she looks like someone who cares too much about food(fatty).
I’m fat? Are you serious? Oh my God. I had no idea. I only have mirrors at the height of my eyebrows and above. You’re right, I have absolutely no right to comment on anything due to my stupid, ignorant size. How can I know or experience life in the correct way when surrounded by so much flesh? How am I even typing this right now? To think that I, a fatty, hauled my corpulent monument of sway and rumble to a restaurant where others were eating. I shudder. I shudder. To imagine the sight of me, as thinner, better people were lifting forks and foods to their mouths, to thunder in and force the the sight of myself upon them; the revulsion must have been of tremendous magnitude. I believe they suffer still. Nevertheless, I persisted. Yes, I’m afraid, I do deserve to go to hell.
Bartender at Oro Brewing Company
This is the last time I will ever comment on an article by the phx new times for the sole reason that I will never waste my time reading another article. I understand that the times didn't write this story but for some reason unbeknownst to me someone with some athority approved this nonsense and therefor are directly responsible. And people wonder why the news is dying....
Dear Mr. Hollrah
Indeed, the news is dying because I asked for salt. I knew this was a consequence, a possibility, and yet I did it anyway. I was flagrant with my responsibility — like Lot’s wife, I heeded no warning and acted out of impulse. And now, because of me, an entire industry flops about like a gasping fish on the floorboards of a boat. All because I am a salter. I have killed the news in such a way that the New York Times was not even functional enough to report on my murder of the business. I have an inkling as to what would happen if I asked for pepper, but since I have already killed journalism, dare I assault?
Bartender Server at Uncle Julio's-Grapevine
Then don't go out to eat bitch! Most of the things you have an issue with are nothing other than your salty cuntness feelings that are about as worthless as the film that develops at the corner of your lips. There's a special place reserved for you in hell ma'am.
Dear Mr. Willoughby,
I certainly hope so. I went to the conference, got a free steak dinner (came with a baked potato that had cheese and bacon!) and they offered me such a good deal I couldn’t pass it up. A corner suite, right next to the Skin Pit and the Pool of Sin. I’ve been making my payments every month, because when it comes to Hell, I paid extra for that special place.
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SHOW ME HOW
Team Leader at Brio Tuscan Grille
Who even read this article at the Phoenix New Times and was like "looks good, go to print!" Do you and your editor even still have jobs?? Is your use of crude language supposed to be hip or funny. We are not impressed. It seems by your article that you find yourself very funny and articulate, what a joke. You're a disgrace and I truly hope you get bad service for the rest of your life. I hope servers recognize you and hit every single one of your hot button issues. Actually, better yet, just stay at home by yourself, as I'm sure you're single, and make dinner for your own damn self. Ps, your priorities are a bit out of whack if you say "pass the salt" more than "i love you." That's a real shame, I almost feel sorry for you. PPS: MAKE A FUCKIN RESERVATION idiot.
Dear Ms. Greene,
Thank you for your concern. Yes, we still have jobs.