In The Weeds: Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?
So there I sat minding my own business on Friday afternoon at my new job. It was close to the end of the day, and I was finishing up some projects and trying to get out of there a few minutes early to spend time with my son who had just returned from a week at Disney World. For his birthday, my dad and step-mom generously took him on the trip of a (five-year-old) lifetime. When I heard the chime from my Outlook inbox alerting me to a new message, I took a quick look to see if it was anything that needed handling before the weekend. Relieved that it wasn’t, I saw that it was an email from my dad. “Oh good!”, I thought, “Disney pictures!”
If only. Apparently my busy executive, golf-playing, Cabernet/Scotch-sipping, ESPN-watching father didn’t have enough of the aforementioned things to get back to after a week in Florida. No, he wasn’t sending me photos or videos like a proud grandfather should, he had somehow found the time between Thunder Mountain and four flight connections to compose and send and email that he entitled “Thoughts on Servers.”
Always an avid reader and supporter of this blog (who am I kidding?…for months he was the ONLY avid reader and supporter), my father has stuck by me from my firing . . . “Corporate America does not appreciate your opinions in writing, but I do” …to my public food fights “you know, it’s brutal but you’re right about the whole food allergy thing.” So when I read his missive, I could only whisper, “Et tu Brute?”
Here it is. Go on. Read it. He really gets into it towards the end. Is he thinking of starting his own blog?
Did not want to post on your blog but since your last one about not handing things to the server, here are a few we thought you should consider from the customer’s point of view:
1. My water glass does not need to be refilled after every drink. You can wait until it is empty or almost empty. You are interrupting our conversation by coming by every 2 minutes to fill the water glass. Gotten to the point I don’t drink water anymore and still they come by and ask.
2. What is the with the sweeping of the table for bread, cracker, crumbs, whatever? Do you plan to use the table cloth again for the next seating? I put the damn things there so it isn’t bothering me, you neat freak.
3. The “Hover Craft”. Maybe we dine too early, but for goodness sake, do not watch over us like a parent wanting to make sure we eat our veggies.
4. The “Hearty Pourer.” This is the waiter that pours half of the wine bottle into two glasses. I know you don’t want to have to come back and refill. Hey, maybe you can get the water pitcher guy to do it for you. He seems to be always around. Each bottle of wine should contain 6 pours. Of course, when I order by the glass, I expect it to be poured up to the brim. As if !!
5. We are done eating. Where did you go? It never fails, after stopping by about 12 times to refill the water glass and about 5 times to sweep off the mess I have made, you disappear when I want to leave. We have finished the meal, after being upsold to after dinner drinks (don’t you know I am driving?) and dessert. We are done. The napkins are beside the plate (not on it…I learned) as we gaze about looking for the AWOL server, none can be found. Where do you guys go when we are ready for the check? My ass has gone numb waiting for some servers to appear with the check.
Her’s (my step-mom’s)6. I shouldn’t have to watch my waiter clean up every single item from my table while trying to hold a conversation. It’s obvious that the conversation has come to a screeching halt, and the waiter should take this as their cue to split. I know it makes it easier to turn the table when we leave, but that’s not my problem.7. I don’t care for the non-writing waiter. In all of our years of eating out, 90% of the waiter’s that don’t write it down, get it wrong. I shouldn’t have to be part of the test audience when my waiter is testing his/her mental acuity. When you approach my table without your pad, I smile knowing you’ll most likely get it wrong.8. The ding bat hostess that seats us near the kitchen door when 80% of the tables are empty, then rolls her eyes when we ask for another table. We are then left to stand in the middle of the restaurant while the hostess informs us, “I’ll be right back.” We have a reservation, and we come in with smiles on our face, so the least you can do is show some common sense and seat us at a decent table.9. The hurried, non-smiling waiter. Look, I’m sorry that you have an ass for a boss, and he’s given you 5 tables or whatever, but that isn’t my fault. I’m coming into this high end restaurant hoping to have a wonderful evening, so smile and suck it up.10. The restaurant that doesn’t update their wine list daily. The smile quickly leaves our face when we are informed that our 3rd and 4th choices are not available.11. Please, someone explain to Jose in the kitchen that a medium steak shouldn’t be rare! Because then I have to meekly inform my waiter that it needs to be sent back, and we all know what that means.
p.s. These pet peeves apply to high end restaurants…We have a whole other set for “family restaurants.”
Don’t you love that? Love always! Confronted by my father’s seemingly shifting allegiance, I was reduced to my 16-year-old self and was all like “What. Ever. Duh!” Of course he is right on in his observations, but still, I think I’ll respond with my own e-mail entitled “Thoughts On Corporate Executives.” There’s plenty of list-making material there, don’t you think?