April 15, 2006
Serve the truth
I've always said that waiting tables in a restaurant is one of the most difficult and challenging jobs around--- not because the work is especially complicated, but because you have to deal so intimately with PEOPLE, and people can be incredible assholes. And some people seem to morph into hyper-assholery when dealing with waitpersons. There's no excuse for that crap.
You can listen to voice of experience here, and I agree with every word she says. Yeah. It's a lack of ego and self-esteem (or a VERY small dick) that makes a bully. And bullies like to pick on people who can't fight back, so they show their royal asses in restaurants.
I've complained about my food or the service in restaurants before, but I was polite when I did it. No screaming or cussing--- just a calm expression of dissatisfaction. I haven't done that very often (I'm really pretty easy to please. If I don't find a booger that ain't mine on my fork, I'm happy.), but when I did, I usually had the problem corrected quickly, with gushing apologies included. Twice, I've even had the restaurant comp my meal.
I think it's really a question of good manners, a quality that is sorely lacking in society today. Just try to be nice, even if you're all pissed off. Always remember that the people serving your food have feelings, too.
And they also have the opportunity to put boogers on your fork if you fuck with them.
Many CEO's agree with you. The article "CEOs say how you treat a waiter can predict a lot about character" is in Friday's USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2006-04-14-ceos-waiter-rule_x.htm
I've waited tables for 24 years now. I have some pretty good stories.
I've never taken any one's crap, I don't care WHO they are.
I had one snob actually ask me (after being a dick from the minute he sat down)
"You DO have a cheif here don't you?"
I replied with "Yes we do, we just hired the short order cook from IHOP this morning".
I've waitressed food, run a couple of different snack bars, been a cocktail waitress and a bartender in my lifetime. I never take it out on the waitperson when the food is bad, they don't cook it, and sometimes if the service is bad but it's clear it's not the waiter's fault and the place is just having a bad day for some reason, I'll tip double cause I know they'll get stiffed from other people who blame the waiter for everything.
Only time I ever stiffed a waiter was for this incredibly rude asshole I suffered through in Paris. Left the SOB one American penny I happened to find floating in my bag.
I once had dinner with an absolutely stunning blonde in LA on her way to being a z-list celebrity. It took all of one half-hour in a resteraunt with her to really, really dislike her. Her career never took off and I always wondered if that was because most of the actors and models she was dealing with were former waiters and waitresses.
When I waitressed, there was a woman who came in frequently who would eat 2 burgers, several bowls of soup, took several trips to the salad bar, and then go throw up in the bathroom. She would demand many, many refills of coffee and other things, and really kept you hopping. She demanded a booth, and stayed there several hours, keeping it from 'turning over' to other customers, thus keeping you from a chance to earn more tips. Then she would leave a quarter tip. All the wait staff despised her. One day I had her in my station, and already having a bad day, got really pissed off. When I turned the order in the cook noticed my agitation, and asked what was wrong. I told him, and he asked me if I wanted him to flip her burger on the floor while he was cooking it. I thought he was just joking, but *splat* he did it. Then he put it back on the grill, and *splat* one more time on the floor. I went ahead and served it to her...after all, she would just go throw it up in a few minutes, anyway. Yeah, yeah, maybe I should have been more considerate of her obvious medical/mental problems...but the moral of the story is, don't piss off the wait staff.
I have complained about the food and I have complained about bad service--but never until after I finished the meal if it was fit to eat. But after I complain I never go back to the place again. I let the manager of a place know I am dissastified, and why and let him/her know that not only I will not be back I will tell everyone I know about how bad the place is. But I also do the same with places that offer me good food and good service.
I've never waited tables, but I have been a cashier at a grocery store and I can say without hesitation grocery store customers are the rudest people I've ever encountered. They don't have to worry that those they insult and call names will spit on their food, and they act accordingly I guess.