I like being a waitress, I really do. I enjoy the friendly small talk you and your family provide me with, I love delighting you by remembering your food preference and name when you step foot in my cafe. I will do my very best to make your day each and every time you walk in the door. That being said… There are a few customers that try my patience to such an extreme amount that I start to fully understand the TV show ‘Snapped’. I figured I’d do a little PSA on how to (or not to) piss off your server.
1. If I ask you how you are, I am being courteous and showing good customer service, I do not need a rant or a novel – one word answers are your friend in these cases. Also, If you reply with asking me how I am and my answer is ‘doin’ good’ do NOT, under any circumstances, correct me by answering with ‘no superheros do good – you’re doing well’. I don’t have the patience for your smart ass attitude and actually, now that I’m thinking about it, just correcting my English or grammar in general is a no-no. You can correct my math if I’m off but I serve your food, I’m not an Ivy League professor and besides, in most cases the good that I’m doin’ is not bashing your head in for correcting me…. So technically I’m saving lives which I think qualifies as good… Don’t you?
2. I think all my fellow food service workers will agree with me on this next one: WE DON’T HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER OUR MENU OR PRICES!!! So stop bitching to me about high prices, recently raised prices, or the fact that we don’t have sweet potato fries on our menu. Did you know that there is an egg shortage, and that the price of lettuce recently went up, and that gas prices influence grocery costs…. No? Well I do but I STILL don’t have any control over what we sell and at what price. Anyway…. Chances are that I agree with you but will get in trouble if I say or do otherwise.
3. Let’s talk about tipping. Do you or don’t you? What makes you tip (or not tip)? Speaking as a poor 20 something (and yes, I can still say that for a few more months) with experience on both sides of the counter, let me drop some knowledge on you. This may blow your mind, are you sitting down? Unless you’re at a full service, sit down restaurant, we do not expect you to tip every time. Seriously, we don’t, baristas, fast food workers, and employees of cafes and diners where you order at the cash register do NOT expect every customer to tip, or tip well if they do. As long as we make minimum wage or more it’s not required for you to tip (I’m using the word required to make sure you understand that it absolutely IS required at full service, sit down establishments, irregardless of service. But I think you all know that so I’m not wasting time with that one). So, we don’t expect a tip. HOWEVER, if you don’t leave a tip have the freaking decency to be friendly, order clearly, and clean up after yourself and your spawn. Don’t come in with your whole family, order enough food to feed a small army, and then give me attitude about the cost while ignoring the fact that your kids are careening haphazardly through my dining room getting their grubby little hands on all the surfaces that I will then be required to sanitize! JUST. DON’T. DO. IT. I’m not saying that tipping excuses that behavior, but we all know that it does help grease the wheels a bit.
While we’re on the subject of tipping, don’t tell us we need to ‘work for it’. Tip or don’t tip that’s your prerogative. But don’t ask me what I did to deserve a tip or force me to jump through hoops to earn it. I don’t come into your office and demand for you to justify your salary while expecting perfect service so don’t do it to me!
One of the worst tips I’ve ever received was a $20 bill that a leering jackass attempted to slip in my cleavage after watching me clean up the mess he made on the floor! DON’T BE THAT GUY! On the other hand the best tip I’ve ever gotten was a crumpled one dollar bill, 3 pennies, and monopoly money left by a single mom with 2 kids. Tips don’t make you memorable; your attitude does.
I’m gonna leave you with that for now. There’s more to come but the next subject is along the lines of how to order so as not to give your server an embolism…. And believe it or not? That one could easily take up a few blog posts by itself. So until then farewell and don’t forget to give your waitress a hug.