Tag Archives: service industry

Mean Girls

5 Oct

Tonight I got a signed credit card slip with a message on it. Usually the messages are something nice like, “Thanks So Much” or “We’ll be back,” or perhaps a “Call Me” with a phone number; but tonight I got a passive aggressive rant:

“HORRIBLE SERVICE! SO DISSAPOINTED!”

I’m a little embarrassed by how much this message, accompanied by a less than ten percent tip on a three hundred dollar bill, truly bothered me.  I felt like I had just been bullied.

The questions kept flaring:

What did I do? Why don’t the mean girls like me? Like me damn-it. Like me!

Why leave a message? Why do you have to justify your punk-ass cheapness? Just leave a tip you think is “appropriate,” and leave it at that. Why go for the obligatory “fuck you” at the end, and then smile when I pick up the check? 

And to top it off, it was written in the hand of a second grade teacher, perfect girly print, that insinuated stars, hearts, and smiley faces to follow. The two exclamation points, punctuating the end of two incomplete clauses, also really pissed me off (P.S. I hardly edit these posts, and I acknowledge that my complaining about punctuation right now is literal irony). 

People don’t realize that waiters can get fired over these middle-school notes (Correction: Women don’t realize… It’s always women leaving these silent slurs, these back-handed bitch slaps ((–yes, that’s right, I’m being sexist–, but you can still call me when he breaks up with you.)  The men don’t bother with it; they just don’t tip you.))

I once had a friend who was fired from an Elephant and Castle, when a woman wrote, “Check the attitude,” on a signed slip. Fortunately I showed the comment to my manager, and she just laughed.

“You have five seconds to get over this,” she said.

Well, it’s 1:04 AM and I’m still not over it. Maybe I should have passed the Girly Handwriting Lady a secret note of my own, just snuck it in the bill, or in the pocket of her windbreaker in coat-check, an innocent  ruse like, “Okay face! Awful shoes!” or “Fix your voice.”

Well, well… Look who’s being the mean girl now?

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What time are the fireworks?

28 Sep

Tonight table “4” came with a plan: agree to a 6:30 reservation, and then ride it out for five and a half hours, so that when the witching hour comes, and the glitterati arrive, they could be within gawking distance.

Smart girls? And I liked them a lot, they were eaters, drinkers, and bawdy business types. I just wish they had been honest about it and said, “Hi, what time are the fireworks, 11:30? We’ll wait.”

Instead, the girls played an embarrassingly long five hour game of Nurse-The-Miller-Light. Realizing that the only food item remaining to claim their campsite was a side of green beans, and that they had no intention of getting dessert, the girls decided to eat one bean at a time, for oh, two hours?  Every ten minutes the Maitre ‘d was coming up to me:

“The fuck is going on with The Baby Sitters Club on “4?” Pull their water. I need them out, out, out, NOW!

I had pulled their water. I had dropped their check –somewhere in hour two–, but each time I returned with the bill, seat three decided to take one for the team, and be the designated drinker, “She’ll take another beer.”

“Ladies, I’m sorry,” I said, “but the bill is closed. If you’d like another drink, please  join us in the bar.”

Well, the Designated Dessie wasn’t going down so easy. She took the bill and sat on it.  Now, usually this is a move that pisses me off but, in this case, the girls won me over –I don’t know, they reminded me of my pals from the Midwest, girls who drank beer– and I just decided not to care. Somehow, in the madness of five-hundred other people trying to get tables, the front-desk gave up on Table-4 too, and took them off the seating map, and just let enjoy the fireworks.

When the pretty people arrived, Designated Dessie had the crazed eyes of a five-year-old on Christmas morning, or perhaps a fifty-year-old at a strip high-end strip joint (Too tired for similes here). At the end of the night, my Midwestern ladies picked up the beer bottles, pulled the picnic blanket off the table, and tipped me accordingly.

“We’ll be back, what’s your name?,” asked Dessie.

I told them, but then failed to mention that if they ever wanted to come back, they’d have to do so under an alias, as Designated Dessie’s guest profile on Open-Table, now had a big red flag on it that said, “CAMPERS.”

DON’T WORRY; WE TIP WELL.

25 Sep

“Don’t worry; we tip well.”

How many times have I heard that line, right after a guest just acted like an ass? I can’t seem to follow the logic of it: you treat me poorly, but it’s okay, because you’re going to pay me for my suffering? Sounds like a beautiful agreement.

Excuse me, you might treat your wife that way, but I’d rather not be the victim of your neurotic worldview. (A lot of women use this line too, usually when they are out in groups, drunk, and being embarrassingly needy.) 

“Don’t worry; we tip well.”

 How insulting,  the implication is that I’m a whore –faking this smile– and that I’m just going to  have to endure the pounding for the next hour.  And that’s okay, because at the end of the night, there’s gonna be cash on the table.

And not too much cash, mind you, because we all know that anyone who has to announce their generosity,  clearly has anxiety about being percieved as a scum-bag.  “Don’t worry, I tip well, I tip well.” It’s a  lot like a racist saying, “Dont’ worry, I have black friends,” or a flaming closet-case saying, “Don’t worry, I like pussy.” And my responses respectively are, “Okay, NAME them,” and, “well EAT IT then.”

I’m worried, man, I am WORRIED about you, when you say that line. You know what wouldn’t make me worry so much? If you’d stop the oppressive barbs coming from your mouth, just started  talking to me a like person.