In my continuing effort to advance the server-diner relationship, I took a moment and jotted down a few of the more annoying things you people do. (You know who you are). Because lately there seems to be quite a bit of starting out on the wrong foot. Perhaps this information will help some of you to get with the program. (All of you would be far too much to hope for).
I am required to greet you in a timely manner. This does not mean that the second your hind end hits the booth I should be racing toward your table, cocktail napkins in hand, breathlessly awaiting your request for a water with lemon. Give me at least sixty seconds before you commence with the hand-waving and the eye-rolling. Displays of impatience and anxiety never make for good first impressions.
If I greet you and indicate that I need a moment, please allow me the moment. I promise I will do my very best to be true to my word. If you force me to stand there while you and your fellow diners debate the benefits of the iPhone vs. the android, then expect my normally sunny disposition to turn sour.
If I tell you that I will return in a moment, trust that I will. I am a professional. Often, giving me the thirty seconds that I need to get another table situated (they probably just need olive oil for their baked potato, or some other, equally wacky, request), will allow me to give you the undivided attention that you will need to make your own wacky requests or to ask me a series of inane questions, probably pertaining to soup.
When I ask you if you would like something to drink, For the Love of God!, please stop vehemently shaking your head in the negative and looking at me like I’ve asked you to join me and my good friend, Satan, in a nice, refreshing cup of infant blood. “Something to drink” does not, necessarily, mean alcohol.
Speaking of which, I will not recite all sixty-eight varieties of bottled beer that we carry. I’m too old for party tricks. We’ve taken the time to print up that flashy menu which lists all of the beer that we offer. For your convenience, we have even alphabetized the list. Our expectation is that our customers of beer-drinking age are not only literate, but also able to grasp this manner of organization. If alphabetizing eludes you, might I suggest scaring up a second-grader for you next foray into the wonderful world of dining out?
When I tell you that we have flavored iced teas, please do not ask me to list the flavors only to reveal that you don’t drink iced tea anyway. This behavior makes me think that you are a ball-buster. If I feel that you don’t respect me at this very early juncture in our relationship, things are likely to go downhill from here.
Bear in mind that fruit is a garnish. I am happy to bring you an extra lemon, or two, for your beverage, upon request. Please refrain from asking me to bring you a sampling of all of our fruit. On the side, of course. I know what you’re up to. And it makes you look cheap. Do we really need to revisit the whole “downhill from here” thing?
When ordering a beverage for your child, please do not request that I put it in a plastic cup with a lid on it. Do I look like the type of person who would serve your three-year-old his chocolate milk in a martini glass?
To those of you who think you are pulling a fast one by sharing a soda, you are not fooling anyone. If you are going to do this, at least try to limit your free refills to a reasonable number. Don’t take advantage. If you want to “stick it to the man”, that’s fine. I can even applaud that attitude. Am I “the man”? I am not. I don’t even make minimum wage. When you soda-sharing Anarchists require eight refills, it makes me want to stick it to you.
I understand that dining out can be fraught with difficulty. I hope this helps. Bottoms up!