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Saturday, July 31, 2010

...and I Will Be Your Server Today

Sometime during the late 80's it became the fashion for servers to come up to a table and introduce themselves. I blame it on the explosion of chains like Bennigan's and Chili's that wanted to give customers that down home welcoming feeling. Well, I think it's a stupid load of crap. "Hello, my name is Sheila and I will be serving you today." "Oh really, Sheila, because I was pretty sure that you were going to be giving me a pap smear. Thank God you told me that you were here to be my waitress or it would have been really embarrassing when I took my panties off and laid my cervix on the table." What the fuck else is Sheila there for? Another thing that happens a lot (I'm looking at you, Pizzeria Uno in Springfield, Massachusetts next to the Basketball Hall of Fame) is that they write their name on the table with a crayon as if we don't have the mental capacity to recall the word Mary Lou for more than the thirty minutes we will be eating there. And they always have to write it upside down so that it is right side up for us at the table. How many shifts did Mary Lou need to finally master the art of signing her name upside down. Some customers probably encourage this behavior by complimenting Mary Lou on her handwriting after she does it.

I propose that we no longer introduce ourselves to tables. (Not like I ever do...). I think by telling a table my name, it just gives them the opportunity to use it too often. And I certainly have no need or desire to know the name of every person who sits in my station. Occasionally I will look at the name on a credit card so I can say "thank you, Mr. So And So, I appreciate you coming in today" but I only do that so that maybe he will tip me more because I was so damn fucking personable. I learn names on a need to know basis. I am a big fan of sweetie, honey, babe, dude, man, brother, buddy, sir, ma'am, asshole and beeotch. And I expect that most people are the same way I am. So from now on, don't waste syllables and breath by tellingh your tables your name. They don't care. I don't care. Let's all not care together.

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lolamouse said...

How about the ones who say,"If you need anything, my name is Gertrude,"? Brings to mind Dimitri Martin's joke about "conditional names." "And what is your name if I don't need anything?"

Anonymous said...

Guests don't have the attention span to remember it anyway. I'm in total agreement. If a server has a name tag on already why bother. Certainly they can read.
I do know servers who make sure guests know their names so that the compliment all go to the right person. you know the type their LIFERS.

Anonymous said...

I was dining out with a large group and one guy decided he needed to introduce the entire table to the waiter, Well the waiter had just given us his "Hi My name is Obieone and I will be your server tonight but its my break in 20 minutes so Luke will take over for me then... but if you need anything and don't see us ask for Jaba."

TheDisgruntledUsher said...

I said something similar on my blog, except at my place of employment, I'm forced to wear a name tag as part of my 'uniform' so I don't even have the option of introducing myself generically and they feel free to use my name like we're grade school chums. It's ridiculous, and very annoying. I should get paid extra for the effort it takes to maintain my pleasant demeanor when faced with people who use my name like a catchphrase, too. 'Thanks NAME, you're really helpful, NAME, and it's always nice to see you NAME' or something like that, and they do it is that tone of voice that you know is formulated just to mock the fact that you're wearing a name tag. Assholes.

Anonymous said...

Sad for all you who spend much of your time amongst the very people you usually denigrate - Life is too short for such negativity. I don't feel like putting my name to my comment in case it wears ill.

Wendy said...

Maybe it's just me, but i HATE it when a STRANGER calls me 'sweetie' 'babe' or 'Hon'! (REALLY hate that one!!)
"You don't know me well enough to be callin' me Sweetie, Asshole!!!"

Maybe calling me Bitch WOULD be better.

... but maybe that's just me.

...and, yeah, if i know your name, i'ma be buggin' the hell out of you.

Ruth D~ said...

Now the servers all say, "Hi I'm XX, and I'll be taking care of you today."

Taking care of me?! I only want to eat a meal.

Jacky Maille said...

I'm down with that.

Alexa O said...

The worst is when you introduce yourself and then the people at the table feel the need to reciprocate.

What's with the pretention that we're all friends here?


Anonymous said...

I think "chief" is my favorite. My dad used it all the time and it cracks me up every time I hear it (which isn't that often any more!)

notmyrealname said...

I agree, I don't want to know the server's name, and when I was serving I didn't want the customers to know MY name. It's too familiar and we are not friends. Call me waitress, call me miss, call me honey, I don't care! Just don't call me at home!

Anonymous said...

Haha I currently work at an Unos and we have to write our names on bev napkins. I hate giving my name out because I don't want to be called by name by my table. I can't pretend not to hear someone when they call me by name.

Dave said...

I stopped doing this because after hearing it 10,000 times I will punch the next jackass who says, "Hi David, my name is John and I will be your guest today." This particular breed of jackass says it to every server and thinks that he is so unique and original. Now that I don't say it, sometimes the jackass will ask my name to set himself up for the joke. I just once want to respond with the equally irrelevant, "Well if this is gonna be that kind of party, I am gonna stick my di@k in the mashed potatoes." While both of these statements may be true, neither really needs to be stated aloud. Some times it is best that we not know such things.

And while I am ranting, what is up with the whole process of clearing empty plates that just begs for someone to say, "yeah, tell the chef I hated it." Really? Does anyone think they are the first to make this joke? None of these people have ever met an actual line cook. The last guy who complained about his food to a line cook is just now able to eat solid food. Literally 80% of all tables make the same tired ass joke.

tl;dr Guests aren't funny.

tastyskull said...

*groan* I have an unusual name, so of course whenever a customer finds out my name they have to ask me all sorts of questions about it and tell me how lovely it is and how different it is. Oh just shutup. I don't effing care what you think, if I had it my way, my pseudo-work-name would be Sally.

Brings me back to when I worked at a restuarant where we didn't have name tags - everyone would make up their own names for the night. It was amusing trying to remember them when you're talking to each other in front of customers. 'Thanks Adolphina' >cue confused customer look< 'I thought your name was Henrietta?'

(said in a soothing, hushed voice) 'oooh, it is, he just doesn't know it...'

Meghan Lynn Allen said...

Not only is it annoying when they write their name on your beverage napkin, but most of the time the way their names are spelled is super annoying like Aimee, Jessaca, and Britnee.

Keda said...

they say that if you know the name of a demon, you can use it to do your bidding. Maybe that's why you don't feel comfortable giving out your name willy nilly, because then people would have power over you. Or maybe because your a demon. Either way. More power to ya!

Toni said...

I had a server recently who told us her name about 10 times. Every time she would leave the table, she'd say, "And my name's Sarah if you need anything." Ironically, we did need refills, checks, and silverware. But she was nowhere to be found. Doesn't really help to know her name when she disappears.

denesteak said...

I hate telling customers my name because they think it's then ok to yell it across the restaurant. Yes I see you trying to get my attention; no you are not the only table i have and you will just have to wait for my turn; and yes, if you yell out my name, I will come to you, agree to get that much-needed ketchup for you and then promptly will myself to forget it because I already hate you.

Once, a table asked me for my name, and I told them, and then I said, "But please don't yell it across the restaurant." They said ok, but then later asked me why not. They thought I had given them a fake name, like a waitress stage name or some bullshit. I jsut looked at them and said, "No it's my real name. It's just rude when people do that." It was like a fucking revelation to these people.

btw, your blog is great. I love it.

jes said...

Someone finally said it! I usually just wait for the waiter to stop blathering on about useless crap so he/she can ask me the appropriate and important questions ("To drink? To eat?").

This is ALL I want from waiters/waitresses:

1. Initially show up to the table within like 10 minutes, if the place isn't busy.

2. Don't totally destroy the order (I don't even care if you fuck it up a little bit- just don't fuck it up a LOT).

3. Show up one more time for drinks after the food comes out (actually, this blog has taught me I should totally be ordering my drinks all at once- thanks, bitchy waiter!).

4. SHUT UP! I will not remember your name, dude. I know you HAVE to tell me, but I'm not going to remember it and I'm sure you'd rather I didn't know it, so you're wasting both of our time. I want to punch your manager, I guess.

sarah said...

you know what I can't stand, when a customer uses someone's name at the table, like I am aware of what their friends name is. If I am asking about separate checks and they say something like "bob and sue are on one check and blah blah blah" like I know who the F bob and sue are. It kills me every time.

Anonymous said...

You guys are all so negative.. Im sure you are all mediocre servers and make 10%- 15% tips max..
I'll keep telling my guests my name, and treating them with the upmost respect and I'll keep banking why all you mediocres sit here and complain...
who complains about being complemented on their pretty name??? c'mon people lol!