Sunday, October 10, 2010

How Was Your Service Tonight?

So I went for dinner with my mother and sister to The Keg. Now if you've been a long time reader of this blog (which, HA! - you could have started reading this today and finished the whole thing in 20 minutes), but you would assume that I eat there all the time. The reality is, I've only eaten there maybe four times in my whole life, this specific dinner being one of those times.

Either way, we went because it was kid friendly and casual, but we certainly regretted it after. None of us ate well and it seemed like everything annoyed us. Now I don't know if it's because we have a restaurant and have certain expectations of how things should be, but we are never satisfied. It's true. It's a wonder why we ever leave the house. What I'm wondering though, is how long does it take you to realize you like/loathe your server? My sister and I got seated and the server asked what we'd like to drink and as soon as she left, we both blurted out: "I hate this bitch".

Now normally a server does something listed below to irritate me:

1. Too much enthusiasm: I appreciate enthusiasm, but don't act like you were waiting all night for me to show up. I know you weren't. Also, I don't genuinely believe that you are that excited about your daily features, so calm down. Let's both take a step back and you can talk to me like a reasonable person, instead of talking to me through a creepy smile. Also, don't even think about being so engaged with me that you bend down/crouch to a squat and lean on my table. I will be mildly annoyed. My husband will probably kill you.

2. Not enthusiastic enough: Of course it's a fine balance, and I've stated above, I don't need you to be doing cartwheels at my table, but please, act like you have a pulse, and I'm not a huge burden on you. I get it, no one loves their job every day, but everyone has to do their job every day, so grin and bear it.

3. They tell you their name: I'm not trying to sound like a snob, because I don't mean to say, "like your name even matters, peon", but rather, We don't know eachother -  I'm not actually going to call you by your name - ever!

In this instance though, she didn't really do any of the above (except #3), and yet we were done with her before she even brought us our drinks. Which leads me to believe that in fact, we may be the problem. Having grown up in a restaurant has ruined us. Our expectations too high, and our tolerance for poor service too low. Because I understand the world is fair, I am certain, that servers have a 10 point list about which customers they like/can't stand similar to my list above. So when they see me walk in and I pretend to listen to them as they go through their script of daily specials, always order a glass of water plus my standard Diet Coke, and ask for no lettuce or tomato on a clubhouse, I am certain when they walk back to the server station they mutter to their coworkers, I hate this bitch.


  1. This entry reminded me of my fiance so much. He is a 20-25% tipper, but easily irritated with crappy service.. in which case he'll leave 10-15%... but he wants them to know that usually he leaves more.. so 15% isn't normal for him. While at a craft fair last year, we found little business cards that have adorable cartoons and say things like "I'm leaving ___% because the service was _____." Anyway, I don't know where I was going with this story... and it probably only really proves that we are neurotic people... so.. nevermind :)

  2. I need to have those business cards. We once left a note when I was with a group of girlfriends about how horrible the service was and why we didn't leave a tip. Neurotic or just catty? It's a fine line... :)

  3. lol. i've been in a similar situation. we thought we were doing her a service by telling her why we didn't tip so she could work on it. we have parents in the service industry too so we always tip. she was really, really horible.

    "no one loves their job every day, but everyone has to do their job every day, so grin and bear it." that's going to be added to my parenting zinger-list.