Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Adventure in Excellent Service: Part 1

Quiet times had once again descended upon the restaurant. And by quiet, I actually mean extremely DEAD.

Needing to do something to amuse myself I declared boldly (to no one in particular) that I would become dedicated to the pursuit of giving the most excellent service known to man. I would lay it on so thick that people would be handing me 100% tips without even thinking about it. I would become insanely wealthy and quit. In actuality, I was just curious to see that if stepping up my game a bit might actually have any consequence. (being that I consistently average 22-25% minimum- which is pretty good.) Being that my patience with Captain Rig's was wearing thin I decided that a one day trial of Excellent service was about all I could handle. After that I would go back to by old ways of spitting in peoples soup and screaming "WHATCHA WANT" to take an order.

(I also decided that if I were to find myself laden with Canadians that all bets were off.)

The night in question was slow enough to guarantee that I would be able to perform my act of Excellent waiting- and that the kitchen would not be too busy to be slow and screw me all up. Things progressed nicely and I found that although people were astonished to listen to me recite by memory the 17 specials, and were pleased to have instant water refills, immediate crumb wipe-age and absurdly detailed descriptions of the desserts my tips stayed put in my same 22-25% range.

Part of the way thru the night I was seated with a mother/teen daughter combo. This is not always the most promising situation but my Mom and I enjoy dining together on a regular basis and always appreciate good service (and tip accordingly, obvi.) So I brought my infamous "A Game" to this table and regaled them with my knowledge of San Manzano Tomatoes, attended to their every request with a flourish and a smile and was altogether delightful. Typically little teen girls like me, because I am not so old as to be an uncool parental authority figure. This girl however was deeply imbedded in some sort of emo subculture and was clearly very sad and depressed about her 13 year old life. She moped about, shaking her hair over her face and brooding over Twilight and death (I don't know. I'm just guessing!) After to attending to them like some kind of freaking superhero waitress I went over to clear their plates and to offer them an excellent homemade (at some others home) dessert. The Mom said to me after I dished out the tempting offer of a luscious tiramisu "You know.... There is something about your voice that REALLY bothers me.... Maybe it is just because you are SO loud!" Horrified and deeply offended I looked at her, agog. Thinking back on every interaction I had with them I realized that I most certainly had not been loud, brash or anything but extra nurturing and friendly. My hackles were up! Biting back all kinds of inappropriate things I plastered on my biggest, toothiest grin and said "I'm so sorry that you were offended by mo tone or volume. I must make sure that when I talk that even people who are listening to their ipods can hear me...." (with a sideways look at the princess of the ear buds, who scowled at me and buried herself deeper into the banquette.) Clearing their plates away the Mom continued "The little princess did not like her dinner but didn't want me to say anything." Looking at the offending dish I discovered that as inedible as it had been most of it was gone. "I'm sorry to hear that" I said dryly "What seems to have been the problem?" I was addressing the emo princess but she wanted nothing to do with me, and she turned up the volume on her ipod while rolling her eyes in disgust at the incompetence of adults. (at this age, if I had acted like this i would have been sent to sit in the car. Oh, after having my ipod ripped from my person, my hat removed from my head and my bad attitude washed off my face. but we don't discipline our children in these times...) "Oh nothing...." sighed the indulgant Mom "she just didn't like it...." Knowing that I had no chance for a good tip at this table I calmly reached out and removed a bud from emo princess ear "Hey" I said with the utmost friendliness "If you don't like your dinner and you don't tell me.... There is NOTHING that I can do about it! So... You just remember that for next time, ok?" Gently replacing her ear but I gave her a hearty pat on the shoulder (to piss her off? or because I wanted to slap her sour expression off her face? I'm not telling...)

I delivered the check for the table, now speaking to them in the very most hushed of whispers while looking in the other direction (passive aggression, anyone? with a side of fries?) I did not care because I know it was a lost cause and I figured if I wasn't going to make bank then I better have a laugh. Upon picking up the check I was genuinely shocked to fine a tip over 20%. Go figure!

To be continued...... Will I have more drama on the night of good service? Will I end up making any cash? Wait and see!


  1. Who tells someone that they just don't like their voice? Wow. Seems like the daughter got her rudeness from her mama

  2. I know, right? And she really meant it- it was a very personal insult not just an "I don't like your tone". It was like telling me that I'm ugly, just in the speaking area. I was most offended...