posted by Matt W on May 2nd, 2012

I clicked on the internet the other day and saw that after 100 years the San Francisco restaurant, Sam Wo, which claimed to have the world’s rudest waiter had closed. A local Chinese restaurant, China Pearl, was apparently started by the same guy because the owner is such an incredible jerk, it just can’t be a coincidence. He yelled at us whenever we came in, in restaurant or take-out, continually cursed out his employees, and I’m sure wondered why I never left him a tip. Needless to say, we don’t go there anymore. But it made me start to wonder, who really was the worst Waiter/Waitress I ever had. It didn’t take me long to remember.

When I was in high school, I and the guys would go to Tower Lanes to waste time. Tower Lanes is a decrepit old bowling alley and restaurant that happened to have a putt-putt golf course behind it but it had decent pinball machines. I liked going there because they had a wide assortment of bowling balls, not just the ones drilled for a small kindergarten girl’s fingers  or Andre the Giant (Princess Bride’s Fezzik the Giant, for those of you who didn’t follow Big-Time Wrestling in the 70’s and 80’s). The ball I liked best was a nice 16 pound ball, #666 (which was very defiant and cool for a young Baptist), that was drilled just perfect for my hand. I rolled some awfully nice games with that ball (my first 200 game). I also liked the Aces Wild pinball machine they had. But the best part about going to Tower was the cranky old waitresses in the dirty, smoke-filled restaurant in back.

We would all ramble back to the restaurant, and try to sit at the table of the meanest of the waitresses, Rose (worst waiter/waitress numbers 2-5 would also be Tower Waitresses). A half cigarette, half ash cylinder perpetually dangled from her lips except of course when she took your order, or delivered your food, then she would rest it in the ashtray at your table, classy. Rose had the voice that comes along with her 5 pack a day habit. We always asked her what an SOS was; because we liked hearing her crackly ”Shit on a Shingle” reply. It never got old. Then one random person out of the group would order a hamburger and fries, and because she refused to bring us waters, the rest would order Fanta orange or grape sodas. She would yell at us for being cheap and take our order back to the kitchen (probably to spit in the food). She would come back with our food, blow smoke in our faces, put her cigarette in our ashtray, and randomly put sodas and food in front of us. (I think she gave us the wrong orders on purpose because you would have to think statistically she would have delivered the orders correctly at least once on accident.) She’d pick up her cigarette, blow another big puff of smoke in our faces and leave the bill and never return. Ever. We would sit there for an hour or two, B.S.ing until we had to go home or felt like bowling again. We would then throw our money together on the table, and as my friends were cheapskate high schoolers (and I had a job), I usually ended up leaving the entire $1 tip. We did this fairly often throughout high school.

So while the Sam Wo Waiter/China Pearl Owner guy definitely holds the “rude” title, I will always remember old Rose as the worst (and most memorable) waitress I’ve ever had.



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