Friday, September 24, 2010

Not Exactly on Topic

I don't know anyone that would be rude or inappropriate to someone in the service industry, but I thought I'd bring up standing up for waitresses when they're being harassed.

I work in a small, Southern restaurant during the lunch shift. The majority of our customers are regulars and we get to know them pretty well. It's also kind of cramped, so conversations are easily overheard from one table to the next.

When Nick and I were first married, one of the other waitresses was gushing over my wedding to a customer. Gushing was her thing, and weddings, babies, and birthdays really got her going. I was called over to the table and, upon seeing how young I am, the customer said, "So, how many children do you have?"

Not, "What colors did you use?" or, "How did you and your husband meet?" No. Instead, she decided to assume things about me and back me into a corner. The nicest thing I could possibly say: "I've never been pregnant."

I smiled and walked away, seething. What I had really wanted to say was, "I know it's unconventional, but we got married for love -- weird, right?" but I value my job. I know other people heard this conversation and decided to stay quiet.

Today, a guy that we've had trouble with before was ordering to-go, and my manager was very close by. He was joking around and said that he'd need to get the employee discount because he's the dishwasher. I joked back, saying, "I know the dishwasher and you aren't him". He got this look on his face and said, "Oh, I'm sure you do. I'm sure you know him real well."

I stopped what I was doing and focused all my attention on him. "I am married," I spat, "And you can not talk about me like that."

My manager completely ignored the situation, but other waitresses might not be so fortunate. Working at another place, I could have been written up or even lost my job for responding.

Now, I know waitresses can be rude sometimes, and if you notice someone berating a waitress for her behavior or service, it is best to stay out of it or alert a manager. But if you hear inappropriate, personal things being said to a waitress, please stand up for her and say the things she can't. If a manager gets involved, let them know the truth about the situation. The waitress will be forever grateful and you'll have done your good deed for the day.

OK, we'll return to normal posts this weekend. Just needed to rant a little =)


Kingsley Tang said...

Every since I had a friend in high school who was a waitress I've learned to always be polite to service people, even when they are being rude.

There are SO many things that a waiter can do to your food and often when you get bad service it's not actually the waiter's fault. It could be the kitchen staff or a bad manager who never trained the waitstaff.

I'll never forget watching a person complain to a waiter about the prices at Chili's. Really, do they honestly think that person has any control over that?

Payton said...

I've never understood complaining about the price. If you don't want to pay that much, pay for your drink and go to McDonald's.

Now at my restaurant, we would NEVER mess with your food. Not only are we upstanding citizens, but we have an open kitchen and would be quickly caught.

Thank you for being nice to service people! I don't imagine many people would like their pay based on how much they smiled throughout the day!