Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pet Peeves in the World of Serving.

As of now, my profession is serving. It's clearly less than glamorous. I've been in the industry on & off for about 3 years now. For the most part - I enjoy it. Human interaction can be interesting, entertaining, and fun when the people you're talking to aren't complete douchebags. As a server, there's a lot of things you have to do well to be successful. Mainly - managing your time correctly, and being able to read the faces of the people at your tables. But with any job, the good comes with the bad. This post will focus on the latter. If you find yourself doing any of the below - stop. This list is in no particular order. You are a customer. I am a server. Let us begin.

(That is not me, but I do want his glove)

1) Running us to death
Server brings food to the table. Usually (if the server is decent) they will ask 'Can I get anything else for you?' Let's say you need some mustard. Server will go and get some mustard. Upon returning to the table with said mustard, another table member suddenly needs a fork. Then someone needs a napkin. Then malt vinegar. HEY JACKASSES - You are not my only table. If possible, try to tell me eeeverything you need when I'm there. Next!

2) By all means, don't acknowledge my presence
To do our job, we have to talk to you. Since I don't know sign language, I have to speak english. So when I come over to greet you - don't sit there and say nothing. Unless you're socially retarded, humans speak when spoken to. You receive messages from the sender, and then you send a new message back. If you have a mouth full of food, or are talking on your cell (another, albeit less annoying pet peeve) - I'll come back. But if you've just been sat, and you're not on your cell phone, and your mouth isn't wired shut - please acknowledge my presence. If this seems weird to you upon reading this - it should. But you'd be amazed at how many people say absolutely nothing, or don't even look at the server when they are approached. Straight silly.

3) Buck up
Whats the thermostat in your residence set at? Probably what you're most comfortable with. Well guess what. The restaurant you're sitting in is not your house. "It's chilly in here." "Dang, you got the heat cranked up in here?" Dear customer: Shut up. Order a coffee if you're cold. Or don't be a skank and wear a halter top with a skirt in the winter when it's below zero. If you're hot - order some ice cream, and don't wear sweatpants if it's 80 degrees out (hypothetical scenario, this has never been witnessed by me...yet) At any rate - if YOU are cold - are you saying we should tamper with the temperature just to suit you? If you haven't noticed, you're dining with a few other dozen people. Just because you weight 89 pounds doesn't mean we're going to change the room temp for you.

4) Insane Modifications
So the turkey burger has onions on it. You want them off? That's fine. But it's shit like this that drives us crazy - "Can you sub rice for the spinach? And can you saute the spinach? Great. And instead of lettuce can I get 3 tomatoes, cut in half? Instead of swiss cheese can I have cheddar AND muenster?" And on and on and on and on. This isn't your kitchen. Don't do insane modifications. It's so unnecessary when you think about it. Plus I write everything down. It's just a huge waste of time for something, like I said, that's usually pretty unnecessary.

5) Admit it: You're finished
You've been letting your food digest for awhile now. Theres a 1 inch bun piece on your plate. Your drink is finished, and your ice is just marinating. You're slouched over in your chair. When I come by to ask if you're done and you say, "no"...or "I'm still working on it" - you're a liar. A mouse would not even eat what's left on your plate. I once had a lady say that she was going to keep her glass to "sip on the ice" because it still "has some gin on it". Admit it: You're finished.

6) Splitting Bills
I understand that sometimes you need to split a bill. Some people have cash, most people use their credit card... and so on and so on. I'm ok with it. It's annoying and time consuming - but it's a part of the job. The problem arises when there's a table of...lets say, 6 or more, and you tell me at the END of the session that you need your bill split. Cool - can you give me about 15 minutes to figure that all out? And if you've ordered multiple rounds of drinks and desserts - you can pretty much forget that. For future reference - if you want to split a bill - tell the server at the beginning of the night. It will make it easier for the server - and ultimately - you'll get better, more efficient service.

7) Don't like it? Don't eat it.
This kills me. Oh, you don't like your steak? Then why did you eat 3/4 of it? If you don't like how your food tastes - DONT EAT IT. Dumbass people try to come in and swindle the place of business into getting a free meal. Fuck off. If you don't like it after having a few bites - let someone know, and 99% of the time it will get taken off the bill, and you'll probably have enough time to order something else. It's amazing how many goofballs try to exploit servers/managers etc into getting free shit. Don't be a jagoff.

8) Your jokes: LAAAAME
Like I stated before. Usually servers will say something to the likes of, "Anything else I can get for you?" at some point in the server/customer sphere. When you come back with 'A million dollars' or 'A bottle of Jack' or 'A wife who would have stayed faithful' - just go die. I could go on forever with this one, but I won't.

9) The doneness of food
There are universal regulations & stuff for cooking food. Some cooks can eye it up, others touch it for doneness - others might even go to extreme lengths of using a meat thermometer (wrong, they'll never do this). Folks - 'medium' means 'some pink'. Get over it. If you order a burger 'well done', do not complain to me that the cooks burned it and there's no flavor. You ordered it that way. Eat it, ya pompous prick. Am I getting worked up over here?

10) If you can't afford to tip...
Then you can't afford to go out. In the days of old, tipping was set on the table before the server even greeted the guest. To "Tip"...actually means 'To Insure Promptness'. The server would show extra care and love depending on how much money the guest put on the table. Little tidbit of knowledge for you. Before you castrate me for bringing this issue up, hear me out. I understand that expecting any sort of tip is purely the customer's discretion. Sure, unless it's stated somewhere on the menu, restaurants do not require it. I don't demand you to tip me. My wage is $2 an hour - it would be nice if you helped me out a biiiit more. The standard seems to be 15%, although some say 18% is more common now. Unless I was speaking portuguese to you while spitting in your soup, 15% is healthy in my book. But if I'm on my game, and have been at or around your table all night as you've racked up a $100 tab, please don't give me anything less than $10. Keep it for yourself. I wish I could come up with a sweet analogy or limmerick or Irish Folktale involving this, but I cannot. For every outrageous tip of 20-25% I've gotten, I've received a 10, 11, or 12% tip the same night. It all works out in the end. I highly doubt anyone reading this has a problem with this one - but really, If you don't want to shell out a little extra for a tip - cook yourself something nice at home.

11) Don't put your shit on other tables
My oh my, what a large coat you have there ma'am! Do you think it deserves its own home on the chair behind you? Interesting, because that chair is at a table that you aren't currently seated at - and now I cannot sit another restaurant patron at that table because of your gaudy coat. Next time please throw your purse, coat, shoes, gloves, earings, douche, and whatever else you might have on you on the floor of the establishment. Because apparently you ARE eating at home. Seriously don't do this. Again I doubt any of you do or have done this, but I'm amazed that people think they can just put there shit on other chairs at other tables. Retarded.

*WHEW* I'm done. Glad to get that off my chest. I'd love to hear feedback on this post. Experiences, sights, sounds, stories. If I'm out of line on any of the above please tell me. If I've missed a point, please write. Until then, enjoy your meal, and I'll be back in a few to check on you...


Dustin said...

I like to consider myself a courteous diner, and I know splitting bills is a pain in the ass for servers. Sometimes though, you just forget, you were engaged in a conversation or something else where it slips your mind. Some people then think everyone has cash and thus an easy split amongst table members, while others (like myself) rarely carry cash. This often leads to last second bill splitting. I always feel bad and tip accordingly, but of the list you have, this is something that is going to happen and you shouldn't get too mad, unless the question was posed beforehand and they said no, then did.

That is a sweet glove, it is all shiny...I want to drink with it

Tepid Epics said...

Yeah, that scenario does happen quite a bit (people who have cash vs. people who dont). It's just a pet peeve. I guess you could say that one is a bit hypocritical of me, as I have asked for split bills at the end of the dining experience. No one, and I mean no one seems to carry cash on them anymore. It's fine. Cash is pretty sweet though when you think about it.

Are we too old for drinking gloves?


Tepid Epics said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sara said...

i love you! and hate about 40% of people that eat out.

you forgot to talk about the people that snap their fingers at you to get your attention, especially when you are clearly at another table.

Jim said...

When I am done with a customer on the phone I have to do the whole "can I help you with anything else today" thing and morons always say crap like that. I hate them.

Me - Anything else today?
Moron customer - Maybe you could come shovel my driveway for me.
Me - (Horrible fake laugh) ok have a good day then(then mumble obscenities under my breath and hope it's not being recorded)