Sunday, January 30, 2011

Do your job... Or I'll do it for you.

I understand that waiters and waitresses have difficult jobs. I consider myself lucky not to work in food service and have a really good job elsewhere. Usually I can sympathize. However, last night there was no reason in the world that our waitress should have acted like she did.
Here's the story.
It was Charming's brother's birthday last night, he turned 18 and can legally drink in Alberta. To celebrate, he and a bunch of friends went to Schanks, a sports bar. I offered to DD him and Charming and a couple other friends. No problems, I was fine not drinking. I have to make an extra trip, so I wasn't there when they first arrived at the bar, so the first part of this story is secondhand from Charming. In this bar, you seat yourself. They were a large group, so trying to find a big non-reserved table wasn't easy. They flagged down a waitress to ask if they would be able to sit at a table that had a sign saying "Reserved at 7:30" (by this time it was 9, almost 10) No one was sitting there, but you can't be too careful. The waitress they asked said it would be fine. So they sit down and wait. Eventually another waitress comes up and doesn't greet them kindly, doesn't ask politely, instead yells "Who said you could sit here!" What a fantastic start, because now everyone's going to really want to stay. Anyways, Charming explains what happened, and her response was that she would have to check with a manager if they could sit there. So they wait some more. Being mostly 18 year old boys, they got thirsty and went to the bar for drinks, and paid at the bar. Not usually a problem... unless your waitress is Miss Psycho. She came back and saw they had drinks and screamed at them again and insisted that everything else had to go through her. Well fine, but you have to be around to be ordered from to justify your hissy fits. Anyways, they agree, and Charming pays for the first round and some food.
At this point I arrive and I'm thirsty as well as a little hungry, but i didn't particularily want what had been ordered, I just wanted honey garlic wings. So I waited nearly fifteen minutes after arriving to order a Sprite and chicken wings. I can understand that it was a Saturday night and it was busy. But even Charming could see who our waitress was, and we weren't exactly hidden in a corner, we were with quite a few other tables that I would think would be part of her section. Anyways, she finally comes over and we tell her some more people have arrived and we'd like to order more. She kind of huffs and says that Charming has to pay her right away (which is fine, he doesn't really care.) Eventually we get everything and Charming then tells me that he's been trying to tip her really well the whole night in the hopes that good tips will encourage her to come back. It took a little while, but she eventually warmed up to us. Some guys wanted more to drink that she was coming around to take orders for, so they ended up parking at the bar for a little while. I waited until I saw her punching in an order and just walked up and said "When you have a minute, I'd like to put an order in." She told me that I could wait right there and she'd take it in a minute. Eventually we saw her more and more. As the night was winding down, she came by and asked if anyone wanted more food. She was standing by the girls who were airheadly chatting to her, while the guys decided that they wanted food. Unfortunately, these girls had already sent her away because THEY didn't want food. Ugh. My Bro then decided he wanted food, so I pointed out our waitress to him, but he somehow manages to flag down someone who isn't a waitress, she just runs the games... and our waitress came up and made a bit of a scene. Why? Who the hell knows! I'd already chastised my Bro for calling hte wrong girl in front of her, so I really didn't see the need to do that. Anyways, we probably left a couple hundred dollars that night, consistiently tipping 20% and often more as encouragement for her to come back.
I can see a couple reasons why she might have avoided our table a little. One, a bunch of 18 year old boys who likely aren't going to tip well and will just get really drunk. However, Charming is 20, I'm 19 and I was sober and could have handled anything. Charming, even when drunk is still pretty sober. So she didn't have to worry if we were taking care of the money. Two, she was really freaking busy. This one only flies if we had seen her running around, which we hadn't at all. Three, she was about to get evicted, her boyfriend cheated on her and her parents just told her she was adopted. I can understand if you're having a bad day. I've had days where I have absolutely no desire to go to work, let alone smile when I'm there. But I do it anyways because that's good customer service. Whatever her reasons, I'm sure she walked away with some healthy coin in her pocket from us, even after having to share it around the staff.

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