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What is wrong with people??? Stupid customers... - Page 3

post #61 of 77
When I go out to a resturant, i always try to leave as much of a decent tip as i can. (being on a set income though sometimes i don't have a lot to give but i always go out of my way to let the watiress/waiter know how much i appreciate their good servies/ how i wish i could give them more if i don't have a ton on me) I also try to let the manager know (if they stop by the table- many resturants around here they do) if i've hand an awsome server- how good they were to hopefully get them a promotion/raise of some sort.I think i'm one of the few people left around here that actually calls the "how am i doing cards" some resturants leave behind and give the waiter/waitress a great compliment. So since i have a lot of friends that work in resturants- and i used to work in one myself- i can understand how crummy the pay can be....i ALWAYS try to tip. Now that being said- there has been one or two times where i have been in a resturant where the waitress was just soooooo vile and rude- so unhelpfull and a plethra of other things that i did not tip at all. One instance was where there was a bug FLOATING in the dip that a waitress brought me- i pointed it out to her and she said "oh, ok (insert a big SIGH and ) did you want me to replace that" Umm yes please! The lady went to the kitchen (we were back by the open door and could see- and to my shock, we watched her scoop out the dead fly, then bring it back Needless to say I NEVER tipped her nor did i ever go back to that resturant- that is just disghusting. I have had food poisioning twice now -and i will not tip/patronize a place that does things like that / However that is a rare exception to the rule- if i have a good waitress/waiter- there is no doubt that i will tip them as much as i can and make sure they get the recognization they deserve.
post #62 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
I hate Nickel and Dimed. It's ridiculous. I read the whole book and it made me boil! The woman who wrote it obviously felt like she was totally better than these people and was acting like she was "discovering" something. Half the people in America know exactly what it is like to ACTUALLY live on minimum wage, without being able to dip into your hefty bank account if times get too tough. She didn't show any of the emotional aspect, or teamwork, or social structure. That whole sense of entitlement... if she had been working with me, and told me "Oh, I just did this for a book actually I have a bunch of money!" I would have been SOOO mad, especially after helping her, training her, etc. Morgan Spurlock did the same thing and did it better. Watch his 30 Days on minimum wage. He doesn't start off with 1000 dollars.

Puts the hijack ninja back in its cage...
That's okay... I know what you're saying and I don't like her personality either. I still think she sheds some light on some pretty important issues, though. She writes in a style that people with money would understand, and can sympathize with, so the people that need to read this book do because it was written with them as an audience.
post #63 of 77
Thread Starter 
I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but from a server's standpoint, I have a couple of ideas... you could get icewater instead of a drink, a cheaper entree, no dessert, or some other small thing and instead save that money for a proper tip. Set an amount you can spend on the dinner, and stick within that assuming a 15-20% tip. Go up or down from there depending on the service. Your server will love you for being considerate of her. That is how I was raised. My husband and I do this because we don't have a lot of money either. It's not nice to take advantage of the system just because you can't spend an extra five bucks on dinner. Find a cheaper place to eat, or at least try not to make it a habit. If things are that tight, you shouldn't be going out to eat anyway... but we all deserve it once in a while, so that is why I don't mind it when it happens as long as it isn't the same people coming in again and again.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, and I really do appreciate your sentiment (I totally understand that, and I don't mind it when I have guests that are in that boat...), but I was raised that way, and I live that way. It's a small thing, but if a lot more people did that, servers wouldn't get so bitter and would be able to afford things because they can rely on their income and make a living wage.

Maybe this should go in IMO...


Oh, that story about the fly... that is disgusting! I would have gotten a new glass and asked the manager for free meals (depending on the manager, having such a request means anything from nothing being done to grat-ing the entire meal for all at the table). That was just gross... you have such bad luck with places to eat, don't you starryeyedtiger?
post #64 of 77
Along with what Godiva suggested- eating lunch is also a great way to try new and interesting foods at pricey places. DH and I like to eat really good food. We know that right now we can't afford to fork out $25-30 a plate, but if we go to lunch that same entree in a lunch size might be $12- so it's like splurging affordably. Heck, places like Olive Garden, Applebee's, and O'Charley's have soup/salad/sandwich combos for $5.99-6.99. If we want to eat out, we usually do lunch, that way leaving $5 isn't too hard when your total meal is under $15.
post #65 of 77
This is all fascinating! I'm learning a lot... and I've been waiting for a couple of things to come up, but since they haven't, let me ask about them...

You folks who have worked as servers: When the restaurant is busy, I fully expect things to take awhile, and I know some things will be forgotten -- no problem. Servers are only human, after all. But what I've never understood is why, when you go into a nearly empty restaurant at 3:30 in the afternoon, the server is far, far slower, surlier, and less accurate than during the lunch rush! This has been a very consistent experience for us, and I'm really not so much complaining about it as trying to figure out why. Can anyone educate me?

The other question is: do servers have a standard reaction when the hostess gives them a woman dining alone? How about two women? What if they announce that they're vegetarians, and they don't order any liquor? When faced with customers like that, do servers resent having their table taken up that way? Do they assume the bill will be low, and/or that such customers will undertip?

Just curious. These are things we don't want to ask of our friends who are servers, since they often serve US... wouldn't want them to think we were complaining!
post #66 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
This is all fascinating! I'm learning a lot... and I've been waiting for a couple of things to come up, but since they haven't, let me ask about them...

You folks who have worked as servers: When the restaurant is busy, I fully expect things to take awhile, and I know some things will be forgotten -- no problem. Servers are only human, after all. But what I've never understood is why, when you go into a nearly empty restaurant at 3:30 in the afternoon, the server is far, far slower, surlier, and less accurate than during the lunch rush! This has been a very consistent experience for us, and I'm really not so much complaining about it as trying to figure out why. Can anyone educate me?

The other question is: do servers have a standard reaction when the hostess gives them a woman dining alone? How about two women? What if they announce that they're vegetarians, and they don't order any liquor? When faced with customers like that, do servers resent having their table taken up that way? Do they assume the bill will be low, and/or that such customers will undertip?

Just curious. These are things we don't want to ask of our friends who are servers, since they often serve US... wouldn't want them to think we were complaining!
Well, at where I work, things can go slowly around 3:30-5ish because there are fewer servers on the floor, and sometimes I will have more tables at once than if it were busy, because when it's busy, there are more servers. The restaurant may be slow, but I am busy personally. Does that make sense? Also, around that time of day, there's a shift change in the kitchen, so we have to do a lot more behind the scenes than we normally do... that takes time. Plus, everything is out of stock from the busy lunch crowd. That is the time of day we servers have to get some sidework done, too... such as rolling dinner silverware, detailing some section of the restaurant, or whatever.
In general, if a server is gone a long time for some reason or another, it's either because they had to do something for another table, are waiting on something in the kitchen, or had to go potty. We don't sit on our butts in the back, at our place, we only chat during downtime out by our tables so we can see if we get sat.

I approach each of my tables the same way. Unless they're rude from the get go, I don't make assumptions to the extent it would affect my service... of course, that usually changes when I get the tip back and the suspicions in the back of my mind are affirmed. But, also, I don't mind if you get don't get a five course meal with alcohol. Not everyone can afford it... but if you are eating something really really cheap (soup and salad at Olive Garden), try not to be too picky and demanding, you know what I mean? Such as don't ask for five salad refills, with extra everything, plain breadsticks, extra ice, extra lemons, AND soup without pasta.... I can only handle so many requests at once, and I do have other tables I need to take care of. I get a lot more offended with undertipping than I do a low bill. Not very many people make a full course meal out of going out anymore. If you're alone, just be nice, act appreciative, and you'll get great service. I like serving people that are alone because they usually tend to want to chat a little, and I love to do that! The single most predictive indicator of what kind of tip I think I'll receive is how polite you are to me, and if you look me in the eye.

I hope that helps!

Edit to add... if for some reason I'm done with my sidework and things aren't out of stock, I have noticed sometimes I forget to get specific requests during that time of day (3-5) too. I think it's because I'm burned out from keeping everything straight and orderly the previous four hours... it's a physically and mentally demanding job when it's busy, and your brain kind of rebels on you after so long doing that. That's especially true if I had a bad day... I'm just not mentally with it enough by that time, and I have to double check everything I do at that time of day or I"ll forget!
post #67 of 77
my 2 cents on the afternoon thing, sometimes servers can get resentful of having to work that shift when there are no tables, therefore they're going to make no money, when I was a server, i used that time to be the very bet server I could, cause I figured it was really my only chance to give really good service, most of the time it worked and I got a nice tip and as for the customers, I tried to treat everyone exactly the same, even teenagers because groups of younger folks actually left me some of my best tips. You never know who's going to stiff you or give you a great tip so its best to approach every table the same, IMO.

The one thing that was the most irrtating to me when I served was when I would come to the table ask if everything was ok, did anyone need anything? Extra napkins, got it-any refills? no? okey-doke, get the napkins, comeback, now someone needs a refill *sigh* ok, anything else? no? get the refill, come back, now someone needs mustard or something- for cripes sake!! I have other tables! figure out what you need all together so I don't have to make 10 trips!! another thing is when your server standing at another table, taking an order or something, do not yell across the restaurant "excuse me, miss??" that used to make me so mad!! usually a decent server can "feel" you looking at her, or at the most kinda raise your hand a little and wave
post #68 of 77
When I worked in restaraunts like 12 years ago, the 3-5 thing was all about smoke breaks. Usually the server went out back to have a long haul cigerette break and that was where they went. I hated it as a hostess because I would get teh grouchy customers asking me "where the heck is our server?" (but not as friendly).
post #69 of 77
Thank you all so much for your responses! They all make perfect sense... and most of it I would never have thought of.

Just so you know -- I'm a big-time overtipper. I feel like I'm insulting you if I leave just 20%.

Godiva -- what you said about looking you in the eye made me flash back to two of the strangest people I've ever known. They were sisters, and I'd known them for about 14 years when I moved away to another town. We stayed in touch, and after a year or so, they came to town for a science fiction convention. I was thrilled! I picked them up at their hotel and took them to my favorite Italian place for dinner, a small restaurant where I knew several of the servers by name.

We had what I thought was a lovely time, except that I noticed they became progressively more morose during the meal... but I figured they were tired from their trip, so I carried the conversation and stayed cheerful. Finally, I paid the bill and we went out to my car.

As soon as we were in the car, my two old friends announced, "This is the last time we're going to a restaurant with you."

At first I thought it was a joke of some kind, but they assured me it was not. I asked what was wrong, and they explained that they had been mortally embarrassed by my flirting with the waiter.

My WHAAAAAT? The charge was absurd -- anyone who knows me will tell you that George Clooney could be standing right in front of me and I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to even BEGIN to "flirt!"

So I asked my friends what on earth they were talking about. With delicate moues of distaste, they described how I had (1) made eye contact with the waiter, (2) thanked him every time he did something for me, and (3) called him by name when I said goodbye.

I contended that these were just normal courtesies; they informed me that "waiters are servants and should be treated as invisible."

I tried to argue that we live in America, not Victorian England, and that I am not comfortable with being treated as if I'm somehow superior to someone just because his job entails carrying food to my table. But they wouldn't discuss it any further. "It was a humiliating display," they told me. "We were mortified."

I thought to myself (but did not say), You're right -- that is the last time you're going to a restaurant with me. And it was... they completely dropped me after that.

So anyway... I take it that I was correct in my belief that making eye contact with a server does not constitute an invitation to bed?
post #70 of 77
Godiva, I totally understand!!! Totally!! I make $2.13... sounds like you make just a bit more!! lol!! That is the main reason I am an adult student and am changing careers. The "everything was great, Thanks!" doesn't pay the utility bill. I really don't think people understand that we really do work hard for their tip or sometimes lack of. We have to treat everyone as they are going to tip, in the hope that they actually do. One more year and the restaurant business will be behind me, I hope. I will do almost anything not to work on Sundays. Seems like a different crowd comes in Sundays....
post #71 of 77
Ok, I've only skimmed through this thread because I really should be doing the dishes...lol...but I just HAVE to add my two cents!

I cannot believe that your wage is around $2 an hour! If that happened here the employer who tried that would be taken to court so fast his head would spin! I'm not saying it's illegal where you are, but I do really feel that it's SO wrong. It just means that the employer can get away with paying next to nothing for wages and rely on the customer to make sure his staff get a fair salary. It's awful, and should be outlawed IMO. It puts wait-staff at the mercy of whichever scumbag happens to not leave enough of a tip and leaves you constantly scrambling for your wage.

If you work somewhere, you are entitled to a fair wage equalling the work you provide, and it is the responsibility of the employer to provide that. The customer keeps his business going - they shouldn't have to directly pay his staff, too. I'm honestly just so appalled - I mean I knew the basic wage was low in the States for this kind of work but I honestly thought minimum wage was legally what you were entitled to and tips came on top of that.

My girlfriend owns a restaurant and she has staff who are paid cash if they want to avoid tax and others who are on the books and do pay tax. It's dodgy of course but lots of employers do it with casual wait-staff. The staff who are paid cash are obviously paid a lower rate than the staff who are on the books, and they keep their tips either way.

Her cash staff are on $14 per hour. Her on-the-books staff are on about $18 per hour. That is much more appropriate for the work they do. Granted, in Australia tipping is considered a gift - something you do if you have had outstanding service and an experience that has otherwise met or exceeded your expectations. Because tipping isn't mandatory in Australia, though, a lot of wait-staff have attitudes that are questionable, to say the least. So when you do get a really good waiter or really good service tipping is a way to say thank you. Having been a waitress for many years when I was younger, I am fussy about service and will only tip if it's good enough to deserve it. But when I do tip I tip generously, and I nearly always leave something anyway.

Here it is considered an extra bonus for a job well done. But even where it is not considered to be that and you know that you are helping out a waiter with their salary, and is pretty mandatory like it is in the States, paying a base wage so low is just outrageous and should really be made illegal.

Otherwise it's just a great, legal, government-sanctioned way for employers to exploit their staff. Godiva, I truly feel for you. Oh, and I would never be so rude as to ask someone why they were working on a holiday! That's their job to work! You don't get paid for sitting at home on your butt! You can say sympathetically to someone `Oh, poor you working on a holiday. That's a pain, isn't it?' but not, `What are you doing here??'. I can't believe that!
post #72 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Thank you all so much for your responses! They all make perfect sense... and most of it I would never have thought of.

Just so you know -- I'm a big-time overtipper. I feel like I'm insulting you if I leave just 20%.

Godiva -- what you said about looking you in the eye made me flash back to two of the strangest people I've ever known. They were sisters, and I'd known them for about 14 years when I moved away to another town. We stayed in touch, and after a year or so, they came to town for a science fiction convention. I was thrilled! I picked them up at their hotel and took them to my favorite Italian place for dinner, a small restaurant where I knew several of the servers by name.

We had what I thought was a lovely time, except that I noticed they became progressively more morose during the meal... but I figured they were tired from their trip, so I carried the conversation and stayed cheerful. Finally, I paid the bill and we went out to my car.

As soon as we were in the car, my two old friends announced, "This is the last time we're going to a restaurant with you."

At first I thought it was a joke of some kind, but they assured me it was not. I asked what was wrong, and they explained that they had been mortally embarrassed by my flirting with the waiter.

My WHAAAAAT? The charge was absurd -- anyone who knows me will tell you that George Clooney could be standing right in front of me and I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to even BEGIN to "flirt!"

So I asked my friends what on earth they were talking about. With delicate moues of distaste, they described how I had (1) made eye contact with the waiter, (2) thanked him every time he did something for me, and (3) called him by name when I said goodbye.

I contended that these were just normal courtesies; they informed me that "waiters are servants and should be treated as invisible."

I tried to argue that we live in America, not Victorian England, and that I am not comfortable with being treated as if I'm somehow superior to someone just because his job entails carrying food to my table. But they wouldn't discuss it any further. "It was a humiliating display," they told me. "We were mortified."

I thought to myself (but did not say), You're right -- that is the last time you're going to a restaurant with me. And it was... they completely dropped me after that.

So anyway... I take it that I was correct in my belief that making eye contact with a server does not constitute an invitation to bed?

That's horrible! I'm sorry you lost some friends over it (hopefully they still talk to you at least). They sound like they would be no good anyway.

I love it when I get a couple in and guy tries to be nice to me and then the girl gets jealous, won't look at me, etc...

And yes, Sundays bring in a special crowd. It's incredible busy and one *should* make decent money, but because of the crowd, it's usually a less-than-10% day. I also tend to get a few witnessing tracts... thanks for the thought, but that doesn't pay the bill.
post #73 of 77
$2??!! Thats like £1 an hour! I get paid 7 times more than that and I'm 17!!

My tipping varies wildly, mostly because I live in London so service is included. Its usually just £1 unless I felt well looked after when it can go up to 50% -I tend to round up to the nearest 10 on those occasions. I do sometimes wish I could tip more but I'm still doing my A-levels and I have to survive the week on my saturday job.
Being a librarian pays pretty well, but you always get treated like a burden to your boss, even when you're doing Him the favour.

Once my colleagues booked a restaurant for a leaving do, when they got there they were served drinks, and then kept waiting for an hour! The staff just watched them, refused to serve them anymore drinks, and when they tried to order informed them that the kitchen was closed!! They then had the cheek to try and keep the service charge on the bill!! .

When I went to New York with my parents my dad told us about how waitresses have to live on tips so we gave min 50% tips on every meal so we didn't seem like ignorant/tight-fisted tourists.
post #74 of 77
Cata-mint -- We tried to be good tourists, too, but when we visited Scotland and Ireland in 2001, I'm afraid we may have actually insulted people by leaving tips... particularly a cabdriver who was especially good to us. We just couldn't help ourselves! It's so ingrained in us here in the States.

But it shouldn't be. Like healthcare and executions, this is one of those areas where our ever-so-advanced country needs to catch up with the rest of the civilized world.
post #75 of 77
CarolPetunia- Its a shame when you try to be nice and you accidently get it wrong- I do that too when I try and tell people to 'keep the change' and they keep giving it back to me
I'm surprised it was a cab driver though, I thought they were the job most likely to be used to getting a tip- maybe its just in money-grabbing london though
Sometimes it works out well for the waiters. I heard about one guy who said that if he won the lottery he'd leave 1/2 his winnings as a tip, and he did.
Obviously though for the vast majority of servers this will never happen and a much fairer pay system needs to be put in place. I can't believe they tax as though you cet 10% of tips regardless
post #76 of 77
Carol- I loved it when tables used my name. If I got a "thank you Lindsay" or parents who reminded their kids to say "thank you" I knew I would get a decent tip- every time. It never failed. They made me feel like a human being for one thing. Looking someone in the eyes reminds you that they are a fellow human being, not just a lowly servant. It amazed me how many people I shocked when they asked why I waitressed. I'd tell them I was working my way through grad school and they'd remark in a shocked way, "you mean you have a college degree?" It's amazing. A lot of people assume that you are just some bad kid who wants to party all night and not get a 'real' job- so they treat you like poo. I always ask my server how he/she is doing and say please and thank you. I'm not chatty, but I'm very polite. I also tend to write something on the receipt, like 'thanks for the great service.' There was a time at my first serving job when you could get a free dessert out of a kind remark from a guest.
post #77 of 77
Cat-a-mint -- yes, that cab driver was in the small town of St. Andrew's, Scotland... such a lovely place! If we were ever to move outside the U.S., my whole family agrees that's where we'd go.

Well, my mom and I just got back from being the very last customers of the restaurant career of one of our friends! He's leaving the job to go into a totally different business where he'll make a lot more money... and then he can marry our other restaurant friend, and they can start a family. We're delighted for them!

Lindsay, that's amazing that someone would say that to you! I mean... not only is it insulting to imply that you couldn't possibly be all that smart if you're waiting tables, but also, waiting tables well is not work for dummies! It takes a lot of mental coordination, logic, and common sense, not to mention a sense of humor and the ability to communicate with a wide variety of people.

And at the restaurants around here, the vast majority of servers are students -- we know some that are studying biochemistry, psychology, nursing... and one fellow who just got certified as a firefighter and paramedic. Anyone who thinks servers are servers because that's all they're capable of doing is simply ignorant.

I have spoken!
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