Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Attitude Extraordinaire

Wow! You are not going to believe this... I went clothes shopping and got such fantastic service at one store, I happily paid 20% MORE than the ticketed price on the clothing I walked out with.

The sales staff at the next store weren't as good, and I wasn't as happy with them so I only paid 10% more at that particular store.

What made the first store so exceptional Sparrow?, you might be asking. Well, Reader, it was that she greeted me enthusiastically when I walked in, she said "good choice" when I selected a couple of items to try on and then she brought me additional items when the first selections didn't fit. She kept checking back on me to see if I needed more clothing to try on and she drew a smiley face on my receipt! I was tickled pink!! 20% on top of the bill for you my dear!

At the second store, the sales associate showed me to a dressing room, brought me clothes and helped me, but I didn't think her heart was in it and I wasn't very happy she was standing in another part of the store, texting or visiting with her co-workers. So, I only paid her 10% above the ticketed price. I wasn't going to pay anything extra, but she probably works for minimum wage so I felt bad for her.

Does any of this make sense to you? Me neither!!

Yet, as I travel around the blogsphere, I read waiter blogs. And, without exception, they are all whiney diatribes against us, the customer. They poke fun in a superior manner at us, the customer or `cover`if you will, for not ordering appetizers, for ordering a kids meal for our kids. For not ordering inflated priced wines to go with our meals, for not wanting a dessert after a gargantuan portioned entree and for asking for a to-go container when we can`t finish our food. God help us if we over stay our welcome and linger over coffee when they are hopping from one foot to the other wanting to turn the table over to the next cover.

The most scorn on these blogs and in the comments is saved for the tip. If we tip less than 20% we are dirt in these waiters eyes. If we expect change from a large bill or gift card, we are cheap. If we ask for anything extra (like steak sauce for chicken)or any reasonable substitutions, we are demanding and ignorant. And they detail how they cash out at the end of the night with good tips or lousy tips to supplement their minimum wages. It is rarely less than $60 per night more than their wages.

Amongst the other blogs, I have been reading while Attitude Extraordinaire, erm I mean Waiter Extraordinaire gives a running commentray on his covers, their unrealistic demands (lemon for your water? You witch!!) and their paltry tips. A 37% tip made him happy...$5 on the table did not. He works in a corporate steakhouse, just below fine dining so I am guessing the Keg or its ilk. Not cheap by any means and not likely to attract the Great Unwashed. Yet his attitude clearly shows he feels we owe him. He gives advice to his fellow waitstaff on how to manipulate customers. The post that really sent me over the edge was the one that detailed all the things he and his waitress wife had purchased for their home and the lessons, activities and vacations his 2 kids had had in the past 12 months. Sure looks like a whole lot of disposable (cash) income in that household.

In contrast, the staff in the dress shop happily greets me when I come in, I am usually approached by a sales woman who cheerfully asks if she can help me once I have browsed a little. Then, she willingly brings me different clothing items to try onto my overweight and misshappen body. She doesn't look at me like I have committed the unforgiveable faux paus if I want to try on a flimy little number that is clearly too young for me. She gently steers me away from that selection. Sometimes, she will bring me accessories like a scarf or necklace to accentuate my apparel I have on. I know this is an upsell but I don't mind because she clearly wants to make sure I look good and am happy. She stays nearby, wanting to be helpful, not gossiping in the back room and she usually escorts me to the till. All for minimum wage. No tip, no attitude, no sense of entitlement that I owe her more than the listed price.

So, Mr Waiter Extraordinaire, I would like to come and have a meal out while respecting my budget and honoring my convictions not to drink and drive, even after just one. I would like to repeat the specials you just rattled off to my husband who is a little hard of hearing, especially in noisy restaurants and speak to you on our behalf since he is also shy as well as going deaf. Or does that make me a manhating old bag who is dominating my downtrodden husband? I would like to take some of the food I paid for home with me to enjoy the next day if I cannot finish it. And I would like to pay the price stated in the menu for my choice.

I would like you to do your job and bring me what I have ordered, refill my beverage and be somewhere in the vicinity when I try to catch your eye so we may have our bill. Is that too much to ask? Why do I need to pay you 20% extra to do your freaking job???? Waiting on us is what you signed on for, isn't it?

That rant now out of my system, the Nameless Man and I never tip less than 15%, usually 20% and only once in my life have I not left a tip. I get the custom and the culture. I embrace it.

I just don't get why every single waiter blog has to run down the people who ensure he has a job.

1 comment:

  1. This post addresses one of my biggest pet peeves. The original "tip" was just that - a small thank you bestowed upon someone for exceptional service. It has now become expected, regardless of the service you receive. While I fully understand that working in food service is a difficult job, I am old-fashioned enough to feel that a tip is something to be earned. If I don't get good service, why on earth should I be expected to leave a tip? Nobody tips ME in MY job!
    I will now go and check out all the links you provided and see if I can raise my blood pressure a few more points!