Nearly a year ago, my husband and I made a commitment to each other to start doing Date Night again. We picked Monday nights, because it gave us something to look forward to after the first work day of the week. Each week we pick a new restaurant and spend a couple of hours off of our phones and catching up with each other. It's been a great way to help us stay connected no matter how busy we get.
I'll talk more about that another time, though, because this blog entry is focused on something completely different. Being out in various restaurants week after week, I've started to pay much more attention to what is going on around me. And one constant I am seeing is other people being crappy to their wait staff.
What's happening, exactly? So many things. And they're all completely wrong.
- Remember where you are. If you only have a half hour to eat, don't go to a full-service restaurant and bitch that you are in a hurry. Likewise, don't complain that you have to clear your own table and toss your trash out if you are eating at a fast food joint.
- If a server or busser is walking by with their hands full of plates and glasses, that is not the time to call to them and start chattering on about a problem with your order. Let them go to the back, and drop off the dirty dishes first. It won't kill you to wait a moment.
- If you see your server is taking an order at the table next to you, don't start barking out your own request. They're already talking to someone and don't need you distracting them. Wait your damn turn.
- If you've placed your menu down on the table in the universal "I'm ready to order" signal, be ready. The moment your server asks what you are having is not the time to ponder the many options available.
- If there is a problem with your order, take a breath. It's not the end of the world. Calmly get your server's attention and explain what is incorrect. Trust that they will be happy to resolve the issue and make things right. Don't act like they made the mistake on purpose just to ruin your dining experience.
- And most importantly, tip appropriately. Servers not only rely on those tips to make a living, they often have to "tip out" other employees a portion of the tips they receive. So your lack of a tip often means your server is working for nothing. Believe me, your $3 tip on a $50 check is bullshit.
Servers are human beings doing a difficult job for an insufficient amount of pay. Remember that next time you are enjoying a meal out in a restaurant. Have a little respect for the wait staff and be a bright spot in their shift. Trust me, there are already plenty of other people who are fighting to be the biggest asshat.
(Image courtesy of StateHornet.com)