Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chopsticks Optional

Dear New China Buffet Busboy or Carpet Cleaner,

I'm sorry. So very sorry. One of the main reasons my family splurges to go out to eat is not because of your amazingly tasty and authentic Chinese cuisine located in the middle of landlocked Arkansas, but for the simple fact I don't have to clean up after it. I know you probably cringe when you see us come in and I could hear your sigh as you grabbed the nearest grimy high chair and led us to our booth. I almost felt sorry for you, because being the mother of my children I knew what mess was in store for you upon our departure.

Let's be clear, this isn't just your run of the mill mess. Take one very hungry baby with a penchant for throwing things and add sticky rice. The result is the equivalent of rice fireworks in an approximately 10 foot radius of before mentioned high chair. Sprinkle in some eggroll filling, rice noodles, sweet bread, and half an almond cookie. All slightly regurgitated. You get a vague picture of the mess of which I am speaking. I forgot to mention the plate throwing. Yeah. I know you saw that. It would have made more sense in your mind of course, had I just dumped the food on the table directly in front of her and let her have at it. At least you wouldn't have had to duck as you hovered nearby getting worked up over the display of rice fireworks. Yes, that would have possibly worked better than giving a one year old a plate or three, but who knows the last time you cleaned your table. At least your plates have been through a dishwasher, I hope. And sorry, I'm not one of those moms who's organized enough to have those sticky disposable place mats attached to my hip.

I'm guessing you did realize that I am one of those moms who will do anything to not have to cook and clean for JUST ONE NIGHT. I will let my daughter throw won tons at her daddy. I will let my son use his spoon as a catapult for mushroom bombs. I am that tired of doing dishes.

I understand you probably don't make much in the way of wages. And you probably scoffed at our 4 dollar tip. But honestly host/waiter/busboy/carpet cleaner, what did you do to serve us? You brought our drinks and then we fixed our own plates. Every single time. You didn't even offer me a refill on my water. And that is one of the main reasons I am comfortable taking my children to a buffet restaurant. So if I were you, I would be grateful for the $4. If someone offered me a tip for sweeping the floor at my place of business (which happens to be my house) I'd jump on it. Just saying.

So again, sorry. I'm sure you had to work a little bit harder on our table when it was time to close up shop and believe me I understand. Just put yourself in my shoes and imagine cleaning up that same mess at least 5 times a day and never seeing a cent.

We even?

Okay. Good.

Sincerely yours,


  1. haha that was good! i got super good visuals from this. i always over tip when i go out to eat with mini me. i think it has to do in spending a good four years of my life working in a restaurant. (in which i despised misbehaved children and the messes they made and that i had to clean and their ungrateful 15% tipping parents) but that place was a little different than a china buffet!! i hate buffets though any way. totally gross me out (like how many people have breathed all over it? EW!) and i get pissed about my drink getting refilled, because that's all they have to do! not to mention i never eat the $8.99 worth of food. me, the tipping QUEEN has stiffed numerous buffet "waiters" due to the fact of inadequate drink refill-age. (sorry about the novel!)

  2. lol. been there, done that. heck there are times we still manage to leave a mess and my baby is now 4 and 1/2. :) But to not have to clean up the house? priceless!

  3. Wow, this sounds like a day in my life at the Chinese Buffet. Back when Jorja was 1 and a half-ish, we went to the local Chinese Buffet, probably just like the one you speak of. Of course, with Jorja being a year old, most of her rice and whatever else she attempted to eat ended up on the floor. Yeah, I felt bad, but it's to be expected and there's just not much we can do about it. So anyway, our little server girl proceeds to sweep in between, around, and under my daughter's high chair and those of us sitting on either side of her. Awwwwwkward! I mean, seriously. You could say I was horrified when I looked to my right to see the server in between my daughter and me, with her elbow in my face, while she sleeps rice up from under out table while we're all still sitting there eating!


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