Portrait of young waitress in white blouse holding a tray
Portrait of young waitress in white blouse holding a tray

I am a good tipper. In fact, I find it hard not to give someone a 20% tip. If you are my bartender and make a good drink, gosh, you might just be able to retire. I understand how hard it is to wait on people. I was an employee and a manager for several years at a local Arby’s before I went on to real estate, secretary, PC support, and then on to network/systems administration. People can be disconcerting. People can be downright arrogant. Moreover, for some reason they think they are always right. NOT! However, when the waiter or waitress is just rude for no reason, I would like to know why. I bring this up because of several occasions recently experienced.


Kim and her daughter were having lunch at a local restaurant. They perhaps had the gall to order from the all-day breakfast menu at 11AM that caused the older waitress to becoming enraged. She threw their food on the table, and making little mouth ticks and rolling her eyes. Kim first thought that she was having a bad day, but later observed her being extremely polite to everyone else. Between Kim and her daughter, they agreed and walked out without leaving a tip. I do not know that I could do that, and does the waitress really learn from that?


Kim and I were at this restaurant about 7PM, a castle looking building located on what used to be a private country club.  The Berks Jazz Fest was playing in the bar room, and we were enjoying being just outside the doorway, getting a measured amount of music just enough to hear but still being able to talk. We waited fifteen minutes, for the waiter to show up, a talk and a gawky teen who appeared to be scared of his own shadow. He took our order, drinks and food and disappeared. We waited and grooved on the slow and fast metered beats and then our food came out with the manager. She set down the food with our questioning looks. “Did you order drinks?” Yes. Back into the bar room she went, and got an iced tea and my martini. “If you want any more, get me, it is on the house.” Then the waiter brought out water glasses, and a tray of bread, excusing profusely. OK, I thought. New guy. First time. I get it. He apologized. The food was good. He got his 20%, but we have not been back.


The third incident was at another restaurant. Kim and I arrived at 5PM and were seated quickly. Our friend Alison joined us. The waitress was quick with our drinks, and we waited for food. It was a transitive time. I get it. I watched at help showed up and quickly took their positions. The floor manager came over and apologized for the wait. OK. We at the bread and drank our drinks and eventually the food came out. It was good. We finished and waited. I saw our waitress deliver food to other tables as it came out, and she was busy. However, there were times when she was jawing with the manager or the other waitresses, and totally ignoring my trying to flag her down. We waited 30 to 45 minutes before Kim stopped one of the other waitresses asking for her help. Again, the manager comes over and apologizes and hands us the bill. Didn’t ask if we wanted more drinks. Didn’t ask if we wanted dessert. Alison asked that the bill be split, which he did not. He went back and split the bill. Still our original waitress did not come over, totally ignored us. I am still scratching my head. What did we do? If it was not her table and she was covering, why wouldn’t she continue with it? I do not know. I gave a tip, less than I would have and noted on the bill that it was less because of being ignored.


What happened to customer service? I like to go out when I can, and I do not like to feel like I am an inconvenience to the server. I do not care what shit is going on in your life, you are there to do a job, and if you do not, or if you are rude then maybe you should not have it. I must say, Kim and I were out this weekend without incident, reminding me that these incidences are the exception instead of the rule.

What Do I Know About Writing?

Samuel Taylor texture through glassesI’ve been asked before what I know about writing and I have the same answer for everyone that cares to listen; NOTHING! It’s not that I’m a hard ass, wanting the questioner to struggle through the same bullshit learning that I had to do. It’s not that I’m a pious in individual thinking that I’m better than you, and can’t be bothered by such mundane questions. Writing, like a life, is a personal learning process that begins with experiences and continues throughout your life. Yes, I have written two books (Spoon Girl and Malaise, published by AuthorHouse), but to me that means nothing; every day there is more to learn, more to experience. The meager things I can tell you about writing, is that it’s about putting words on a page that somehow make sense to you (if it doesn’t, that can be fixed in editing.) If you ask me about advertising, and get the word out about your novel, short story, etc., I might just be able to give you some pointers. Writing? It’s a thing you do with the voices in your head. The more you write, the better you could get. The how to write though, it’s within the individual.

The process of writing is typically lonely. You and a computer are unseparated for finite amount of time. Most of the time you are looking at each other, wondering if either of you is going to fill up the white space. I spend my 15 minutes driving to work thinking about what I might write about that day. Other down times are filled about thinking about my novel. If I’m writing a specific chapter, I’ll map it out in my mind for later regurgitation. I don’t have a problem remembering the plan (so far), but you might want to have something to record ideas you might come up with.
Many famous writers have blocked out their schedules to write at the same time of the day. Setting a routine does help. I try to write over lunch at work. It’s the only time, I find when my mind is already working, and can tap into vein to get down a few words down on the blank page. Writing is not a race. Writing is a destination, so plotting out the story is helpful, whether it’s the entire idea or breaking things down so you can get from A to B.
Many people recommend writing down as much as you can. You need to stop that little person in your ear that makes you want to edit every word, change every sentence as you move through writing. It is a given that the first draft is crap. Except it! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if you can write completed full novels without it have to be edited, then you are in a different class all together. While Mozart might have been able to write original orchestrations for his musical works in ink and pen without making mistakes, most people are not in that league. Again, life is a learning experience. As you grow with your knowledge, you will learn how to make your writing better. Tweaking will become second nature to you as you continue to write.

READ READ READ. If you are writing, you should read. There is nothing better to keep the creative juices flowing than reading other things in you genre. Not to plagiarize them but to learn. I think it was John Updike, when he was young and just starting out, that used to keep a book of phases from other novelists that spoke to him. You never know when you’ll need a turn of phrase that could be simplified, and oh, look, this writing said it best, then by taking one of these sentences you’ve written down, modifying them, and making them your own. If you believe in the 10,000-hour rule (Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell), you too can be an expert, by just putting in the time, reading and writing.
A lot of these things you’ve probably already heard, but they bear repeating. I’m not an expert. Actual mileage may vary. That’s all I know, and it’s what I’ve learned from other writers. I think writing is like starting a self-exercise program. You use what you got, then you see what others do, modify it to suit what you like or can do, and eventually you make it your own. It might hurt you. It might make you stronger. You might try to get a coach to help you, but they can’t do the exercise for you. You need to make the effort and you can’t blame others for not having the time. MAKE THE TIME!

Besides my own Facebook page, I run an online writers support group writers at There you have a group of 500+ strong if you have a question, comment, or you can take advantage of the knowledge drawn from other writing websites. It has a blog site too . There you can download presentations, and other writing information.