While I've been at work slaving away over a server tray, I got to thinking about all the people who have never worked in the food service industry. Mainly about how lucky you are if you never have, because they don't call it the Black Hole Industry for nothin'. Actually I totally made that up just now, but people HAVE said it. I need a trademark, asap.
Anyway, there are certain things that go on inside a restaurant you don't see. Certain...undesirable things. Things that would make you never, ever want to eat out again. I'm going to break the code of Servers Working for Servers to let you guys in on a couple of secrets. If you don't hear from me in a few days, assume I've been moved and placed into the folds of the Witness Protection Program, Waitress Division.
Firstly, we eat your food. French fries, veggies, popcorn shrimp, olives, spinach dip, if its small enough for you to not notice it being gone, we've eaten it. I even used to know a girl who would press her finger on the steaks and lick off the juices! We are working around yummy, delicious food constantly. We are hungry! However, we never double dip and sometimes we use our own sauces. A small consolation for you.
The kitchen staff drops food on the floor constantly. And guess what? they don't throw it away, either. They might not even wash it off. I don't know. But they toss that baby on the grill or in the fryer and "cook off the germs". Would you do that in your own home? Hell to the no. But it happens. I've seen it with my own two eyes, plenty of times. Think about that the next time you order a tuna steak.
If you order a mixed drink we've never tried, we will try it. We'll stick a straw in that baby, put our finger on the top, lean our heads back and drink from the straw. This isn't too bad, since there are no germ transfers from us waitstaff (bar staff is an entirely different story...their fingers are all up in your drink, by the way) but I've seen people do worse. This has amazing benefits, since you don't have to order a $7 chocolate martini just to taste it.
Lastly, we talk shit about you. Especially if you are rude. The number one thing you can do wrong while eating out is be rude to your server. The more you're an asshole, the more we don't care, and you will cease to get a refill and decent service. Most of the time, the owners even encourage this.
Also, if you're hot, your waiter will go brag to all the other waitstaff about the hottie he/she's waiting on and everyone will try to discreetly look at you and then crack jokes about what you would be like in bed. Seriously. Its disgusting how ruthless we are. (Edited to add: by "we" I do not specifically mean me because I am way above this kind of behavior. Now, I mean. Five years ago, not so much.)
BUT! With the bad comes the good - no one will spit in your food/drink no matter how awful you are, we are constantly washing our hands because we think germs are gross, too, and don't like handling other people's food, either, and most of the time we genuinely care about your dining experience. Unless you're a dick, then good luck getting another jack and coke, baby.