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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Comment on Comments

I have not felt the need to write a "Comment on Comments" post in a while because in my old age, I have learned to accept that people have differing opinions and it's what makes our world such a wonderful place to live in. However, that being said, someone wrote something that I could not let pass by. I wrote a post called Neat vs. Straight Up way back in October of 2009. Someone who is way tardy for the party wrote this comment the other day, edited because she might be a bag full of hot air and belchy smells:

Kelly said: Ahhh, you've got to love people in the "service" industry who act like life would be great if it weren't for all these f*&king customers. You wait tables or bartend for a living. Most people don't drink for a living and therefore might not get their orders perfect. When customers act like a$$holes, then I agree they deserve a good trashing. No one deserves to be disrespected.

It would be great if servers, yes servers, would find a decent way to help people make corrections without making them feel like jerks.

How about:
Customer: I'll take a Maker's Mark up
Waiter: (Kindly) In our bar, up means chilled. Would you rather have that neat, which would be room temperature?
Customer: Yes, that would be great. Thanks!

Your method of bringing me what I didn't really want and getting into a pissing match about it means I'm going to a different bar next time.
Okay, so I already explained that the customer was the one trying to make me feel like an idiot. He was rude, condescending and I didn't like his outfit. I didn't disrespect him. I corrected him which is the right thing to do or he will spend his entire life ordering his Maker's Mark the wrong way and thinking that every waiter he ever has is stupid. He ordered his Maker's Mark "up" so that is what I brought him. It's rare that someone would want that liquor up, but some people like it on the rocks so how am I to know? A Manhattan is made with Maker's Mark and it comes up and in a martini glass, so it wasn't like the most unusual request I have ever had. I don't judge (okay, I totally judge) when someone orders White Zinfandel with ice or an Irish coffee without any liquor, so if he wanted his Maker's up, so be it. And thank you, Kelly, for your suggestion of how it should be played out the next time this situation arises. Your little script will be very helpful. Rest assured that I printed it out in fancy font, shrunk it down, had it laminated and it is now in my wallet for the next time I don't know what to say to a customer. Can you do me a favor? Can you please write out some other scenarios for potentially awkward situations? I would like laminated directions for these moments:
  • when someone asks me to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for their two year old when it is not on the menu.
  • when someone wants to know why we have Pepsi and not Coca-Cola.
  • what do I say when a customer wants to know why their well-done burger is still not ready three minutes after they ordered it?
  • how do I respond to the customer who wants me to turn the music to another channel because they don't like that song?
  • or what about when a customer asks me to turn the music off because her baby is taking a nap?
Thanks, Kelly. I can't wait to have these good-to-go scripts ready for my next confusing moment. Your help is invaluable. And also, your comment "most people don't drink for a living" is the saddest thing I have ever heard. You just brought down my entire day.

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Anonymous said...

or when one table is cold and the one next to them is hot? or when people complain about having to wait longer than expected for a table because the guests that are there are 'camping' and then once they are seated they stay an hour past being paid out (which of course makes the next guest wait)....or if they have to wait longer than quoted they get mad at the host- we can't MAKE guests get up.

Mary A. said...

I dont know if I can do as good as Kelly, but how is this:

PBJ: "I'd love to do that for you maam, but then you'd probably come here more often and I really don't want to see your brat again for at least 18 years."

Pepsi: We carry the finest Pepsi products because we l;ove to piss off Coke drinkers.

Burger: It's done -- lemme get that for ya. Then give him the scrapings from the grill. He'll never know the diff.

Music: I know -- I hate this song too! Damn muzak tapes! Here -- lemme sing ya something else.

Baby: What? I;m sorry, I can't quite hear you? WHAT??? WHAT????

I'm sure Kelly would do better, but whatthehell.

Anonymous said...

kelly, have you ever served anyone? If not, shut up and die.

Pancake Grrrl said...

I'm more than happy to help people with their order when they are young and clearly not accustomed to dining out. It's not unusual for me to wait on young adults who aren't sure exactly what you call the way they like their eggs. If you're 60 and you order your steak "cooked" or your eggs "fried," what the fuck do you expect me to do? Are you funny? I don't think so. Pretty sure I'm the funny one.

Stephanie said...

LOL!! Great scripts Mary!!!

Eden said...

Kelly didn't say what industry she did work in, so she might have advice for OTHER people outside of servers.....

I have a situation for which she may be able to provide an approprite response... when you answer phones for someone else and have given messages to "the boss" multiple times but the boss has yet to return said calls - what do you tell the annoying caller when they say "why haven't they called me back?"

I am guessing "How the hell should I know!" Would be considered rude in Kelly's mind.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Shouldn't the mother be supplying refreshments for the baby, or don't you allow breastfeeding in your gaffe?

LordSomber said...

Music: Our invisible jukebox is broken so any song request will cost a buck.

Noelle said...

uhh Makers Mark is a pretty grown up drink. We are not talking about the 4 ways to make a 'Jolly Rancher'.
Up and Neat are standard for the industry. This guest would be served wrong everywhere including here.

The temp of the room comes up a lot around here. I think it's rude we just pretend to adjust it. I don't even feel guilty about that lie any more.

It's kind of like the vegetarian who comes to a steak house. We don't have a special dish for you whole damn menu is ala carte trust me you can get full. Sometimes they still whine "wish you had more for a vegetarian"
No disrespect dude IT'S A STEAK HOUSE. Happens about three times a year.

Maria said...

@Eden, I'd also like to know how Kelly thinks the situation should be handled when you know damn well the boss is avoiding the person on the phone, and the caller is yelling at you for neglecting to relay the messages.

I think we've found a new career path for Kelly: The Ann Landers of the working world.

ChiTown Girl said...

Kelly should get a life. Mary A. should shadow you at work every night and feed you lines. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oh Kelly, if Bitchy Waiter could have a vocation, it'd be 'drinking all day'.

I'm with you Bitchy. I constantly get customers who ask me for beefburgers. I always think 'no shit sherlock, this is a burger shop', but I'd never say it out loud (maybe when I finally quit), or I get people who ask for a meal and when we try to upgrade to a larger meal just repeat their burger choice in a loud voice, like I didn't hear the first time.

Sometimes Kelly, customers are a pain in the ass. Sometimes, they don't know what they want. Like the people who come into my mcdonald's and order KFC. Sometimes, it's hard not to call a customer a dipshit to their face.

Anonymous said...

Something to make you all laugh at the customers expense too - we have a headphone system for our drive thru orders. We can hear everything in the cars, but you only hear us when we press a button.

One of my friends had said they would be with a customer in a second, they were making change for someone else. And they heard the passenger say 'since it's your birthday and we've got a second, want a quick blowjob?'

Pissed myself when I got told!

Anonymous said...

heh, were you trolled by Springs?

eire said...

SPRINGS!! Oh, the memories...

Christine said...

I really appreciate you not questioning every order that your customers make. I'd hate to eat out if the wait staff took Kelly's advice and assumed I didn't know what I was asking for.

sally said...

Poor Kelly, clearly she is a moron and has been humiliated in public more times than she can count. My guess is that her last embarassing moment was at a restaurant when a waiter corrected her.
Kelly, maybe you SHOULD drink for a living, it might an activity with which you could actually become competent.

Anonymous said...

Poor Kelly, she does not deserve such approbation (look it up) as some jerks have said. Her suggestion is a good one for helping stupid-ass customers.

But, having defended Kelly's sincere attempt to assist insensitive waitrons (yes, they do exist), I have to say I love Mary's comments.

For the phone call situation, might I suggest the following? "I have passed on all of your inquiries to my boss. As soon as he gets off his mistress, he will call you back." said...

Oh, come on, the customer has to take SOME responsibility for their order. Of course, you said chips, but you MEANT fries, and I should have asked "Are you certain you don't mean fries/potatoes/salad" etc. every time a customer orders. Right.

Clearly, someone who's never had to deal with their own inadequacies.

Anthony Kimber said...

Awesome retort, Bitchy > I wunder if Jaff kin reed good two, huh? Keep up the acid pen responses, I love 'em!

The Mini - Maker said...

I posted this on the original post... not realizing that probably no one would see it.

As a layman, I always thought "straight up" meant right out of the bottle. I'm not a drinker, nor do I work in the FS industry. I think that I would be embarrassed by the waiter correcting me, but I don't feel as if it's SOLELY my fault for not knowing the difference in vocabulary. I think that BW was right in bringing the drink that was ORDERED... the customer shouldn't have been such a jerk.

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