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Friday, March 13, 2009

Things waiters do that drive me mad.

Like my previous column on bad customer behaviour, the purpose if this column is to have a gigantic whinge. All that pent up anger and frustration can't be good for me, so I've decided to get it all out.

I'm home and bored on a Friday night, feeling a little ill. I thought I'd make the most of being sober at this time of day/week to entertain you all with more of my incessant ranting. Enjoy.

The top 15 things that customer service staff (waiters, sales people, bartenders etc) do that piss me off:

1. Forgetting my order. I feel so unloved. Especially when I am in a group, and everyone else gets their meal/ drink/ whatever, except for me.
2. Don't ignore me. Customer evasion, not the way to go. Don't pretend you don't see me. Unless I am waving, clicking whistling to get your attention. Just acknowledge my existence, and I'll be patient until you come to serve me.
3. Don't have a conversation with another member of staff while you are taking my order. I have wanted to walk off in the middle of many purchases.
4. Pet names. Sometimes, there is such a thing as over familiarly. I loathe being called baby/sweetie/ darling by anyone I am not sleeping with. And even then it's a stretch.
5. Obviously the customer is not always right. Neither is the service staff. Don't pretend you know the answer to my question when you clearly have no idea, go and find out.
6. Overzealousness. Clearing before all people finish breaks a massive service rule. Sure, it’s a little old school, but unless I'm at McDonalds… you get the picture.
7. Overzealousness.2. Taking away something I am not finished eating drinking. A waiter who is prising a half full latte glass from my iron grip is not my friend.
8. Crankiness never goes down well. Although lately when I encounter rude wait staff I see it as a personal challenge as to who can be ruder. I'm not setting a good example, I apologise.
9. Don't act as if a glass of water is a problem. I know it's free, but it is a pretty simple request. There is a good chance I am buying something else in your establishment.
10. Value judgments. So what I have a sudden craving for a vodka Red Bull? Don't look down your nose; you don't have to drink it. If we were all drinking gin from a bathtub we would be living with prohibition. It's 2009. Not everyone wants a classic anymore.
11. Back of house problems should never make it to the front of house. Bickering waiters make everyone uncomfortable. I am not in your establishment to resolve your in house politics.
12. Inappropriate clothing. Fine if there is no uniform, but don't put your boobs in my face. If you want to get your tits out go work at Hooters.
13. Money is dirty. Touching money, then grabbing food with fingers is filthy. Use tongs, they are there for a reason. It is a legal reason.
14. At the end of the night, slamming chairs and tables up around remaining customers is uncalled for. We get the picture. You are closing. The time allowed before this is acceptable is proportionate to the menu prices.
15. There is nothing worse than a waiter who reeks of booze. Go home and shower, put on some clean clothes, and try to get a little sleep before work.


Sapuche said...

This list was great. I’ve never been served by a waiter who reeks of booze, nor has a waitress shoved her breasts in my face while serving me. Everything else was familiar to me, unfortunately. Oh, and if I were to compile my own list of what customers do that piss me off, I’d have to include this, though I’ve only seen it happen twice (both times in NYC): when customers seated outdoors offer their dogs the chance to lap cream from a tableside dispenser and then replace it on the table so that the next customer gets a little dog saliva with their cream. I always wonder what makes people so inconsiderate sometimes, and I’ve yet to come up with a decent answer.

Maggie said...

Cream in a table dispenser? I can't even imagine that. Why would there be cream on the table? Oh, actually I get it, milk for coffee right? That is disgusting. Dogs shouldn't be eating cream anyway.

I have a dog, and I take her to cafes, but I don't let her lick things other customers would use! I do feed her table scraps though, which is probably a little uncouth, but she is so cute, I can't resist her cute little begging face.

Sapuche said...

Ah, sorry I wasn't clear. Yes, the creamer was for coffee. A tremendous guilt dawned on me about half an hour after I saw it the first time. I'd meant to notify the waiter about it after the couple had left, but I got distracted by conversation and when I remembered and looked back, another couple was already seated at the table...and drinking coffee with cream in it. The second time I told the waiter to replace the creamer. So I'm probably going to hell for forgetting the first time, but the second time I sort of redeemed myself. Anyway, it's said that the bacteria in dogs' mouths is cleaner than that in human mouths, but I don't know...Anyway, I don't blame you for feeding your cute pup table scraps. It's not like you have her lick the complementary bread and then replace it in the basket...I hope!

Maggie said...

I wouldn't worry. If you are going to Hell for that one, I'm in trouble. After 10 years waitressing I probably did a lot of awful things to customers myself.

Dog lick is clean. Heals cuts and grazes, kills germs.

My dog and I can't afford to go anywhere with complimentary bread, so that solves that problem!

Anonymous said...

Dear Maggie!
Greetings again!
I noticed that good Sapuche has already visited you!
Holy Macaroni! You remind me of my days when I had to work in hotels back in England when I was at college!
I know what the work of a waiter/waitres/barman/barlady implies. I have a very quick temper.
Therefore I have a simple technique when some staff pisses me off: Keep a grip on my old self, smile, and talk very slowly in very polite, even difficult, language. It usually works 90% of the time. Only when that fails, I can be extremely rude with a smile! LOL

Christie said...

Great list! as an ex-waiter myself i am pretty forgiving when i go out, but some people really shouldn't be working in restaurants/cafes/bars etc. if you're not a people person (or can't pretent to be) you should find a new job. i am so over staff that look pissed off to be at work!