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Monday, November 1, 2010

Can You Speak Sign Language?

A friend of mine told me of his night out last week when he came across a server who may out bitch even me. David ran the story by me to see if the waiter reacted appropriately or not. Usually, I side with the waiter but I heard him out before I passed judgment.

David was at a very expensive restaurant with a party of about ten or so. They had made a reservation and were there to celebrate a birthday. A cake had been brought to the restaurant before and plenty of money was being spent. According to my friend, the place was really loud because there was an overzealous deejay and it sounds like one of those places that can't decide if they are a restaurant or a club. It was also very crowded which was keeping the server from getting to all sides of the table. At one point my friend wanted some more water but was seated too far away from the waiter to ask him. Since he didn't want to yell across the table, he simply made eye contact and mouthed "more water please" while pointing to his empty glass. The waiter put on his "I'm a bitch" hat and yelled back to my friend, "I'm sorry sir, but I don't speak sign language." He then turned on a dime and swished off. Wait, what? David told me that the restaurant was kind of a hoity toity place so I am sure the waiter was one of those bitchy ass queens who thinks they are too good for their job. And I can say that because I might be one of those bitchy ass queens who thinks he is too good for his job. I know David and I know that he didn't mean this in a rude way. Plus he's British so everything he says sound perfectly polite. He can say, "Pardon me, but I just took a dump on your sofa and I feel just awful about it. My apologies." And with that accent you just kinda go, "Oh, okay. Thank you. Where are you from?" The table was stunned by the waiter's response so David called him back over and told him there was need to be so rude. The waiter laughed like he was just kidding and said he would go get the water. Yeah, I've tried the laughing thing to make what you said sound like it was a joke when in all actuality it was just plain bitchy. He didn't bring the water until they were leaving.

So my friend wanted to know if I would have been offended by the way he asked for water and I must say the answer is no. It's clear when someone is doing something if they are doing it to be dismissive or they are doing it in earnest. I think I would have known why David pointed at the water and wouldn't have given it a second thought. I feel that the waiter was over his night, knew that this table was having an auto-grat stamped to their bill and didn't give a shit. We've all done it. I confirmed to David that the waiter was just being a prick and encouraged him to let it go. The waiter got his 18% but David told the manager what he did. David felt better, the manager probably just told the waiter to chill out and someone else paid for the bill. All in all, everything worked out fine. But what a bitchy ass waiter. I like him. "I don't speak sign language." What a hoot. I've totally gotta remember that one.

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11 comments:

bruce said...

that is too funny...

i needed a good laugh!

The Empress said...

Perhaps your friend should have asked the snotty ass waiter if he understood sign language for 'eff you' or 'suck my cock'.

http://rantersbox.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I work in a bar where it is often too loud to hear what people want. I figured out a whole way to get orders without talking... wish they would turn the music down sometimes though.

Mustang Sally said...

Your friend is incredibly polite. Me, not so much. I would have immediately flipped him the bird while saying "Then THIS won't offend you" I'm no more likely to take shit from the receiving side of the table than I am from the serving side.

girlinadream said...

I have a deaf son AND I am a "server". I would probably have started signing to him to send over his manager ;-)

Bouncin' Barb said...

I guess there is a down side to the auto 18% gratuity isn't there? If this ass had to work for his tips he'd have brought water, bread, napkins, the kitchen sink or anything else he could. But if he knows he going to get paid regardless why give a shit. If I were on the receiving end of a waiters sarcasm look out. Temper gets the best of me.

Mrs. Hyde said...

I have mixed feelings about the auto-grat. It's fine if the waiter/tress is polite and helpful, but what if he/she does a piss poor job? Can I ask for my money back?

Sharlene T. said...

To me, the auto-grat is no different from paying salaried workers, except someone else is paying the restaurant's wages. I think the tip should be based on actual service and not just added to a bill regardless of service. Maybe the name should be changed from 'tip' to 'restaurant wages.'

This rude waiter got his tip in spite of not taking care of his customer's needs. If he didn't understand hand signals, he should be selling pencils on the curb... When you work in a noisy environment, you expect some form of physical communication, and he should have known better. So? They were busy. That's the job. You go into high adrenaline motion. You don't ignore people. It isn't like the customer could help himself to water...

Dustin said...

I agree with all of this post except for the "we've all done it" in reference to having whatever attitude to parties that are auto-grat. Some customers seem to think that since the server is getting a tip no matter what, that the service will be sub par.

However I, nor any of my coworkers, do this. At least not to my knowledge. My theory is, if I know my ass is getting a fat ass tip, you best believe I'm gonna be running around and fetching whatever your happy ass desires. I've never understood the reasoning behind that.

Anonymous said...

i really don't think that having a waiter say i don't speak sign language is even remotely funny. I have been taking sign language for almost 5 years now and am practically fluent. There is no excuse to treat people unfairly because they sign!! was the server seriously not going to get your friend a water if he was deaf? this is so upsetting. I am a waitress myself and if anyone needed something it is my JOB to help them and just courteous to do so… if you safe not the type to want to help someone why the hell are you in the hospitality business.. please get out.

Anonymous said...

i really don't think that having a waiter say i don't speak sign language is even remotely funny. I have been taking sign language for almost 5 years now and am practically fluent. There is no excuse to treat people unfairly because they sign!! was the server seriously not going to get your friend a water if he was deaf? this is so upsetting. I am a waitress myself and if anyone needed something it is my JOB to help them and just courteous to do so… if you are not the type to want to help someone why the hell are you in the hospitality business.. please get out.