March 29, By Christian Murray
Sunnyside resident Darron Cardosa has waited tables in Queens and Manhattan for the better part of 25 years.
He has dealt with rude customers, troublesome children and entitled mothers with tank-sized strollers. Then there are those pesky customers who require that their every whim be catered to—before leaving a lousy tip.
Cardosa, 48, has plenty to say about his experiences and tells them in a blunt, irreverent way in his first book titled “The Bitchy Waiter,” which has been published by Sterling and is available at Barnes & Noble and at Amazon.
The book is a collection of short stories based on Cardosa’s time working at venues such as the now-shuttered Houlihan's in Times Square, the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan, the former Vynl on the Upper East Side and Quaint in Sunnyside.
Nearly one-third of the book is based on his experience working at Quaint, the Sunnyside restaurant located at 46-10 Skillman Ave., Cardosa said in an interview.
Cardosa has been documenting his experiences since 2008, when he launched a blog of the same title
He said the blog was initially a voice for servers.
“I wrote what many of us were thinking but did not say,” he explained.
He said he would use the blog to vent after dealing with selfish customers. The aim was to write it in a truthful yet humorous fashion.
The first story he wrote, he said, dealt with a mother who asked him in a curt fashion to turn off the TV since her children always had to have it off when they ate.
Cardosa, much to the woman’s chagrin, said the TV had to stay on, as other customers were watching it.
“This woman expected everyone else to forgo their experience for her,” he said. “It irritated me.”
After years of writing similar stories, he has built a following where he now has about 340,000 Facebook followers and about 15,000 Twitter and Instagram followers.
He has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning
, the Today Show
and Dr. Phil
. He is often quoted in major newspapers.
With the official launch of the book scheduled for the first week of April, Cardosa is anxious about the reception it may receive from some Sunnysiders.
“I’m a little worried,” he said. “I feel I need to apologize in advance. Many people might see themselves in this book, but it was all in good fun and, hey, they are all true stories.”
Cardosa tells one story about an inebriated patron from the bar located next door to Quaint who bought mashed potatoes to go with her beer.
“She is a regular who hangs out at the bar next door,” he wrote. “I’ve never gone inside the bar… It’s one of those places where people drink hard liquor and smoke cigars with one foot outside the door and the other foot inside, so they can drink and smoke at the same time.”
In Cardosa’s telling, the inebriated patron pops into Quaint and asks for a large portion of potatoes. She claims that they were too expensive upon receiving the bill—failing to realize that she ordered a massive quantity. She then wants a partial discount, threatening that she would tell everyone about her experience if she didn’t receive one.
Cardosa was baffled and discusses how and why she got the discount.
There are several other stories in the book which, when read carefully, might be familiar to a Sunnyside resident or Quaint patron.
He writes about stroller moms and children in a chapter called: “I hate your kids.” One story within that chapter, titled “Waffles for Beelzebub,” is based on an incident in Quaint.
“Dealing with the children of parents who don’t care that their child is coloring on the wall and throwing chicken nuggets across the room is enough to make anyone dislike kids,” he writes. “It’s practically taboo to admit that you find children as endearing as a case of herpes.”
He provides stories about children who leave cereal everywhere, spill their drinks, sit in strollers blocking the servers, scream and run around the restaurant.
At least two of the stories come from experiences at Quaint, Cardosa said.
Cardosa said parents have always taken it personally when he has tried to provide them with some friendly advice.
“They think I’m telling them that they don’t know how to raise their kids,” he said, adding that he has stopped trying to modify parents’ behavior and instead takes out his frustration on his blog.
In one anecdote, Cardosa is baffled by the parents of an overweight child ordering a fattening meal devoid of vegetables—and allowing the child to gulp it down with copious amounts of bread and butter.
But sometimes Cardosa’s conscience gets the better of him. He writes: “They should never smile in the sweetest way or say something really cute, because it makes me feel like an A-hole for saying how much I dislike children.”
Then he has a chapter titled “Stroller Bitches from Hell,” based on his experiences working at an Upper East Side restaurant.
He describes the behavior of two moms, one with a double stroller and the other with a single stroller, who barricaded themselves behind the table making it difficult for him to get within two feet of them to serve them. Then when he served the food over the strollers they got upset.
He wrote that he tried to help them and didn’t get a thank you. Then when the meal was done one of the mothers, he wrote, waved the check as if to say, “I am ready for you to take care of my needs. I am Queen of all Stroller Moms, and I will mow you over with my Titantic Stroller of Death if you don’t attend to me immediately.”
When they left, he writes, the table was a wreck.
Cardosa, who has lived in Sunnyside for the past 12 years, said that he enjoys working as a waiter—despite the fact that some customers don’t give people in his field the respect they deserve.
“Nobody does something for so long without liking it a little bit,” he said, noting that most people have pet peeves about their job or the industry they work in and still enjoy it.
Cardosa said he had celebrated his fifth anniversary at Quaint last month.
The book can be purchased on Amazon. Click for link