Thursday, January 6, 2011

Writers on Waitrons

Usually, I enjoy the mindless articles at SF Foodie from SF Gate. But sometimes, they write some seriously dated and retarded stuff. Here's one of my favorites. The comments show how dumb some people are.

They give four reasons Why Your Waiter Hates You and not a single one gives any insight. It's basically three reasons why anyone would hate you and the most pretentious clabber about corks I've seen. Here are there reasons:

1)You're more interested in your smartphone than dinner. Uhh, doesn't this anyone anyone? Insert just about any word for dinner and it's still annoying when people are paying more attention to their iPhone.

2) You stay all night. Called campers, these are people who waste your time by either sitting through an extra seating, costing money, or stay past closing time, forcing staff to stay late. Duh. Anyone like having to stay late at their job when you're not getting anything for the effort? And does anyone like to lose money because some re-united old birds want to review the last 20 years in pictures? Really? This is news?

3) Bad Tipping. If you don't know by now that failing to provide at least a fair tip is a way of pissing off wait staff or anyone who counts tips as even part of their wage let alone almost entirely their wage, then I expect that you will have fun at your prom. The author makes a good point about tipping on booze, which is a real hot button topic for some people, but if you don't tip on booze, your waiter will hate you regardless if you thinkg it's ok.

4) Sniffing the cork. Nobody should hate anyone for being a wine novice. We all started somewhere. Sure, a few snickers will come, but this is far from something that's going to get you the stink eye if you go back. And then the writer completely misses the point on the reason for cork presentation. The only reason anyone should look at a cork is to confirm the wine's authenticity. Even if wine has leaked through, it doesn't mean a wine has gone bad. You taste the wine to determine if there are any faults. This is pretentious jibber jabber from someone who thinks they know more than they do.

There are quite a few things you can do to annoy a waiter, just like anyone else. Here are a few of mine.

1) Wear too much perfume or cologne. Too much scented stuff interferes with the sense of smell. While you are welcome to destroy your meal or wine, doing it to others is unforgiveable. Save that stuff for afterwards.
2) Children. Not children per se, but taking children who are too young to behave or in generally poorly behaved to a fine dining place is a no no. Even worse is the couple who brings in their children and expects the staff to play nanny for an hour. But the worst is changing diapers at the table, something I've seen done far more than should ever happen, even at fine dining places.
3) Sending food back even though nothing is wrong with it. If you want your steak well done, ask for it well done. And if you have allergies or speciic tastes, let your waiter know before you order.
4) Talkers. On a busy night, nothing is worse than getting a table that requires ALL of your attention. It's fine to ask questions, recommendations, etc., but be concise and spare the discussion about your Rat's menstrual cylce (happened to me once).
5) Showing up drunk. I've worked at some places near marinas and by far, the most annoying people I've dealt with as a stereotype are boat people. They've been swilling wine all day in the sun on their boat and show up half bombed thinking that they are the funniest people in the world. They're not.
6) Being wrong. I can't tell you how many times I've had people try to give me an idiot lesson on a wine region. Look motherfucker, I know my wines. It's my job. If your dumbass insists that Syrah is from Burgundy one more time, I'm going jab my corkscrew in your eye. And if you send a wine back, it should be for a fault, not because it doesn't taste like you remember.
7) Drink coffee through dinner at a high end joint. Coffee destroys your sense of taste. While you are welcome to do this, you will be ridiculed behind your back.
8) Act the perv. Nobody likes a perv. I've had a few propositions while working that I've taken people up on, but you'll know real fast if I'm intersted. If I'm not, shut up. And don't ask me about my co-workers. They are probably repulsed by you.
9) Hit your neighbor or get belligerent in any way. Okay. Obvious. But it happens, more often than you think. I've seen several low level fracases break out, usually because someone is too noisy and a couple looking for a romantic meal is seated next to them and asks them to "get those monkeys (kids) under control."
10) Expect freebies. I'll comp what needs to be comped. If your meal takes too long, I'll get you a desert. If we sat you half an hour after your reservation, I'll get you an appetizer. But I'm not giving you a free desert because you think I like you. I'm building a rapport to get tips and the kind of jackass who thinks this entitles him to a freebie is the kind of jackass that's too cheap to tip well.

Next list, why your customer hates you.

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