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Monday, January 14, 2013

Be Grateful Instead of Writing Asshole Notes, Asshole

Someone recently sent me a photo of a note that was left by a customer on the back of their restaurant receipt.  It reads:
I apologize because you are a very good server but the kitchen staff really fucked up and then to find that you didn't so much as comp one drink is pretty fucking ridiculous. I live down the street and actually kind of like this joint but expect a scathing Yelp review and don't expect to see us here ever again. Peace.
Let us dissect this stupid-ass note, shall we? First off, I commend the grammar. Most of the time when people leave notes like this, be it on a restaurant receipt or on a blog, the grammar is atrocious, the spelling is horrible and the syntax is worse. This is pretty good, I must admit. Other than that though, this is one fucked up piece of shit.

If he lives nearby and "actually kind of" likes this place, who is he hurting by vowing to never come back? He's going to subject himself to visiting another joint that is further away that he does not like as much? What a dumb-ass. Does he think that threatening to never come back is going to upset the waiter? Why would the waiter want to ever see this guy again? And to threaten to write a "scathing Yelp review" sounds like something ten-year old would tell his brother when he won't stop farting on him. (I don't know what that sentence means.) Why does he expect free drinks because the kitchen fucked up? Granted, it would have been nice of the server to comp something, but it's not a requirement, especially if the order was corrected. Why are people so freaking entitled when they come into a restaurant?

If you go to The Gap and try on a pair of jeans only to realize that the jeans say 28x30 but they are far too tight and they must be mislabeled because you know you are a size 28 and there is no other possible explanation of why the jeans don't fit, do you expect to get a free pair of socks out of the deal? No, you don't.

Say you go to a grocery and you pick up some Pillsbury biscuits in a can. Once you get to the register, you happen to notice that the biscuits expired the day before. Of course you decide you don't want any tainted biscuits so you tell the check-out girl you'll be right back and a minute later you return with biscuits that are good for two more weeks. Do you tell her you will never come back unless they give you a jar of free grape jelly? No, you don't.

What about when you walk to the 7 train and you discover it's not running because of necessary track work, a police investigation, train traffic ahead, a sick passenger or someone got pushed into the tracks? Do you expect the MTA to reimburse you for your trouble? Well, yes, we do expect that but it never happens so you suck it up and hope that your boss will accept "train troubles" as your excuse for the day because this time it is actually true.

The restaurant has become the place for customers to push back as hard as possible all for the sake of getting something for free. What people are forgetting is how fortunate they are to be able to even eat in a restaurant and that they should be grateful for the experience. How many people in this world, not to mention our own country, can't afford to go out to eat? Plenty. If you are reading this on your computer, or smart phone or iPad or tablet, you're fortunate too. We live in a world of privilege and too many of us are forgetting how lucky we are to have some of the things we have.

A few days ago, I bought Apple TV. It was supposed to be so simple to install and of course it wasn't. In the three hours on the phone with tech support, they had me click so many things on my computer that by the time I hung up with them I no longer had wi-fi in my apartment and was without Internet or Apple TV. I was furious. I was almost late to work because I was on the phone up until the minute I had to leave and I got to the restaurant in a shitty mood. I couldn't shake the frustration and it was affecting my whole night. Within a couple of hours, I realized how silly I was being.

"Wait," I thought. "I am pissed off because I can't stream Netflix to watch The Dick Van Dyke Show and I am unable to check my Facebook? This is what is putting me in a bad mood? Oh, my God, I am one of those people complaining about something that only very privileged people get to have in the first place. Chill the fuck out."

And I did. The next day, my friend Randie walked me through how to get everything back up and running and I can't believe how upset I had been over the whole thing. My point is that maybe we should just take a second to look around and be grateful for what we have instead of focusing on the things that are not perfect.

Going back to the note, the kitchen staff may have fucked up his order, but chances are he still left the restaurant with a full belly and he shared his meal with someone he cares about. Why not be grateful for that, asshole? So you didn't get a free drink. You poor thing. All you got to do was spend your extra money on dinner out with friends where someone prepared your food, brought it to you and then cleaned up after you. How terrible for you.

Peace.

In the comments, name one thing you are grateful for.



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46 comments:

Anonymous said...

YOU!

It seems as if whenever someone complains these days they do so with this look of anticipation. They are greedily awaiting the offer of something free.

Anonymous said...

What bothers me even more is he thinks the server can just do whatever he wants with his bill. I work in a small family owned restaurant/pub. More often than not, the manager or owner is out and I can't just take someone's drink off their bill without asking (unless you would like me to lose my job so you can feel like a big guy getting a free drink).

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this Bitchy - you are absolutely spot on. We all need a reminder every now and again, and since I am having THAT kind of day this very day, your words have lowered my blood pressure. Thanks again for just being you.

Anonymous said...

Why do people assume the server has any power to take anything off of a bill? We have no authority over those things--that's the Mgr's job, not ours.

Sisi said...

I'm grateful that I get to read your blog instead of sitting on some ant hill in africa wondering if my one meal for the week will be covered in dung.
I just don't understand some people.

Symph said...

Thank you for reminding me that sometimes when i complain about entitled asshats that I'm sometimes the entitled asshat.

And I do NOT want to be someone that makes other people crazy. :)

Thanks for my reality check. I do appreciate it. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you put this positive spin on it. I manage a restaurant and was just discussing how guests expect company for the smallest things and how it doesn't happen in any other areas, such as retail. I appreciate you putting the positive spin on it. I am grateful to work in a fun industry where I get to meet and socialize with awesome people every day. The good definitely outweighs the bad.

Peace said...

It's called E.D.S.- Entitlement Disorder Syndrome. It's a panademic, but the powers-that-be refuse to officially recognize it.
And I am grateful that I only have limited access to all those that suffer with undiagnosed E.D.S.

mary v said...

Liquor

blog_gurl87 said...

As usual, I love your article. I just about always love everything you write. Just so you know, Yelp is a review website that people go on to write complaints... or praises (yeah right!)... about establishments they have visited. I don't know how effective it really is, but basically the guy was threatening to write a nasty review on the place all because the kitchen messed up a meal and it was fixed and the server was amazing...doesn't make much sense to me.

Anonymous said...

I am grateful for the server who shared this picture in the first place. I used to work with her, and she made me smile every shift we worked together! She absolutely does NOT deserve this kind of treatment from someone who I am sure received stellar service from her despite the kitchen's mistakes. None of us do! These are the assholes that make me want to get out of the restaurant biz forever.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand yes that's a pretty stupid note to leave and it reeks of entitlement. On the other hand, it sounds like the LW does have some cause to be upset. And your comparison examples are flawed.
- Regarding the LW and the order, it's hard to make a decision without knowing exactly how the kitchen "fucked up" and what the consequences were. Did they receive the wrong side dish, no condiments, totally wrong order? Was it quickly resolved? Did it mean that the dining companion either had to eat before the other meal came or wait while theirs got cold? Depending on how bad badly it was screwed up, being given a free drink to make up for the trouble is not all that out of line. Leaving that kind of note is though.
- As for the comparisons provided: If I'm looking at a pair of jeans and the I'm looking at are mislabled, I can put them back and walk out and not have to pay for having tried them on. If the can of dough is expired and I notice it before purchasing, I can put it back and get another one. This is not the case in a restaurant. If your comparisons were accurate then you'd be able to go to a restaurant, order something, and if it didn't look appetizing or like you expected when you received it you'd be able to just say "no, changed my mind I don't want it" and walk out without having to pay for it. Go ahead and try that sometime, see how well that goes over. The social contract is that when you order a meal, you're obligated to pay for it. However part of the contract *should* be that you receive what you ordered, and in a timely fashion.

ChiTown Girl said...

I'm grateful for The Bitchy Waiter, who always makes me laugh.

xoxox

Rogue Wino said...

What kind of passive aggressive crap is this? Why wouldn't the guy ask to speak with a manager instead of expecting something to be magically comped?

phatchef1 said...

Novocaine!!!

Anonymous said...

Greatful for my job at a library seeing I use to be a server! Come to the library where EVERYTHING is free!!

Jenn42 said...

I'm thankful to haves a job and have your blog to read on my breaks.

Jenn42 said...

...HAVE a job!!! Damn swype!

Confessions from the Hairdresser said...

I am grateful that I don't have to take the 7 train! The 7 is the inner circle of HELL! Of HELL, I tell you. Ugh.

Wendy said...

I'm *still* grateful for Bitchy.

=-)

Ang Lee said...

I am grateful for free drinks after work and my daily hangovers. Totally agree. what makes me MAD is that the ass hole probably never actually complained TO THE SERVER. Just mopes (probably tells the server everything was "ok") then writes an ANONYMOUS note and then goes and writes an ANONYMOUS review on yelp. Have some balls. Tell your waiter, and give them a chance to fix it. Surprise surprise, but we actually want our customers to be HAPPY.

ThatDarnKat said...

I'm grateful for you, BW, so I can get a look at how servers have it.

As for the note, I'm one of those people who generally have orders with small changes (like no mayo on my BLT), so I've definitely been on the wrong end of a kitchen mixup. What I do is ask the server to correct the mistake if it's something I just can't stomach eating, and that's that. Every once in a while, someone will take my meal off the ticket, but I have NEVER expected anything to come off.

(Oh, and whenever they do comp my meal or the app or whatever, I always tip on the full amount, not the discounted total.)

... said...

Why write such a mean note only to sign it with "peace"? WTH does that mean? And why did he leave it for YOU? Mr. Tough Guy should've walked it back to the kitchen staff and gotten macho with them about his "scathing Yelp review". :/

Carinae Letoile said...

I used to wait tables and I know how hard it is. I know how awful it can be, but it seems like every time someone complains they expect something to be comped.

I know I'm notorious for letting my server know if something is wrong, but in no way do I ever expect anything to be comped. I just like letting my server know that the kitchen messed up/isn't doing something right...because it's usually the kitchen's fault.

I do, however, find that if I really like your service and attitude, I tip 20% in cash. If I think you're ok, you will get 10%-15% on the card....and on the very rare occasion where I've had some seriously shitty service, I might tip tax if you're lucky.

I'm also a Yelper, but I have never threatened to write a bad Yelp review. That's lame. Really lame.

Anonymous said...

ThatDarnKat, you are a model customer! Bitchy, I saw this posted on your FB page, too, and the person who got the note said that the meals were comped. Which makes it even more entitled and rude. WHY would you get free drinks when the food was the problem and the food was free? Asshats. Anyway, I am thankful I haven't gotten the flu so far this year! I'm surrounded by sick people..

Anonymous said...

I'm grateful that I work for a small restaurant with a Boss who gives us free rein to assess what we need to do to make a customer happy. Most of our peeps are regulars so if they complain about something, I listen. (they are generally doing us a favor by speaking up) Then I make it 'right' on the spot.

I am grateful that our customers RARELY complain.

~The Damn Yankee

Anonymous said...

I somewhat agree and somewhat disagree. The guy didn't say whether or not he complained. I have sent a meal back if it's not cooked properly - but I certainly don't hold the server responsible, nor does it affect my tip for said server. I think sending the meal back with the reason why it's not right is a sufficient message to the person cooking the meal - which is the person who messed up.

I do think that when I eat in a restaurant I expect things a certain way.. I want my food hot, cooked properly and relatively similar to what the menu suggests it will be.

The fact that the douchebag left a note and didn't take his balls out of his purse and say something - says something about the kind of person he is. I hope he gets maggot sandwiches at the next 'joint' he decides to frequent.

California Girl said...

I like this post. Thank you.

I'm grateful for the good job I have allowing me to support my family.

steffey said...

well said..I am grateful for health insurance ..having been without for several years I am so happy that I can afford to be sick

Anonymous said...

Amen BW:) You rock!! I fly in and out of Mexico on a weekly basis, it has changed the way I look at the world.

Wildcat49 said...

I am grateful that our favorite restaurant/sports bar is only about 5 minutes away. It is almost like the CHEERS bar where "everybody knows your name"! And waiters/waitresses/bartenders/ and even the owner is allowed to have a bad day and that doesn't mean I will get a free drink! Just saying!!!

Practical Parsimony said...

Lack of gratitude for what we have is called white whine. There is a blog by that name.

Anonymous said...

Grateful for BW, and grateful for living in a country where crimes against women are actually frowned upon. Unlike in India (http://madhatters.me.uk/2013/01/08/asaram-bapu-on-delhi-rape-victim/)
~PolishSpring

Anonymous said...

I am very grateful for having a fun job that pays enough so I can go enjoy a restaurant meal whenever I want. So many people don't have that. I really enjoy your blog and read other waiter's blogs regularly too. I know I could never do your job! Thanks for posting all the interesting (both good and bad) stuff that happens to you at work!

Anonymous said...

I'm grateful for a job where someone being an outrageous dick to me involves a trip to HR and watching the asshole get reprimanded/fined/fired, rather than getting free things from idiot managers.

Anonymous said...

Grateful for this blog. Waited tables in college, and am also grateful for the customers who were tolerant of a klutzy inexperienced waiter. Keep writing, it's good.

jesinalbuquerque

JoeinVegas said...

I feel sorry for the poor guy, not being able to eat at his (almost) favorite place (that he kinda liked) ever again.
I'm grateful that I get to eat out once in a while, and I enjoy being served.

Workingdan said...

I am grateful that we all have something to bitch about, whether it is our jobs, money, the government, the sevice industry or what have you. Without all this bitching we wouldn't have anything to blog about.

So go on, Bitchy Waiter and keep on bitching!

Signed: A bitchy, broke-ass, blue collar American known only as Workingdan

Mrs P said...

I work days in a bar in Metro Detroit, we are very "blue collar, working man".
Yesterday, I had a broad order a 32oz Budweiser draft. I went to pour it, realized Bud keg was blown and stupidly, TOLD HER (instead of just giving her Bud Light which is usually just what I do)....

So she has Bud Light, and alls well. Then they decide to eat. She says something about a cheeseburger, so I ask, "Do you want a burger?" She of course, says no, I'll have sliders....WHICH WE ARE OUT OF.
So then she goes on a rant....."WELL WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE ME FOR FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE THEN?????" I smiled and said, "I'll make you the best burger you'll ever have in this bar, and give you outstanding service. That's what I'll give you for FREEEEEEEEEEEEE (I so sang the word freeeee too)....
Later in the visit, she decides to tell me how she used to bartend.... I couldn't help but wonder if her Budweiser was actually delivered by horse drawn carriages....
Anywho... I hate people who think that I am going to give them ANYTHING FOR FREE!!!!!!!! A $5 drink is not worth my job. Your $2 tip isn't worth it either. Don't worry, if you make a scene, the regulars will set you straight, and then they will over-compensate for your idiocy. Have a nice day, bitch!

Mrs P said...

ps.... $22.12 bill, 2 hours sitting in my seats, annoying the F&&K out of me, and a $3.88 tip.
AND, she asked me if she could "fill in" for me when I "needed a day off".......
I love this job. Seriously. I do.

Myyna said...

I've been travel around Africa and now I really appreciate that I have DRINKING water (wow!) right in my three-room flat (wow!) and I have electricity at home (wow!) and I don't have to share hole in the ground instead of private toilet with my neighbours, which would be very uncomfortable, we don't even know each other pretty much. Well, but I'm not that kind of I-love-everyone-and-everything person and sometimes not working wifi or late tram can really piss me of. But I'm trying to do my best not to be constantly dissatisfied girl.
Sorry for my English, I'm Czech native.
Btw. I like your blog, good job!

Fool Critic said...

Oooh, a "scathing Yelp review". We have a badass in the building. I wonder if this person would be so tough mouthing off to the chefs in the kitchen?

Customer flounces are the best flounces. Do they think businesses are going to cry themselves to sleep because some rude bastard that wants whatever they can get for free is never coming back? Stay out and save us the trouble of barring you.

And Anonymous: BW's comparisons stand as far as people not paying for a product that they are unsatisfied with. In this case, the "fucked up" meal was comped. You're right that being given a free drink is not "out of line", but secretly EXPECTING it after you've already been compensated, and throwing a shit-fit when it doesn't happen IS. Going on to boycott the business and further hurt them by writing bad reviews on Yelp just cements what petty, unreasonable, spiteful little coward this person is.

(BW, it's not mentioned in your post that the meal was comped, maybe add a note so people will stop defending this douche?)

Anonymous said...

You're dumb.

Anonymous said...

I am grateful for the beautiful guests who, as they look in horror at the scorched plate of possible steak-like product that my food-runner has placed in front of them, turn to me and say "Don't worry, this won't effect your tip, I know it's not your fault, but can you have this remade, please?" And then, keep their word.

I am grateful for the parents who actually take their screaming toddler outside out of respect for the rest of the guests dining.

And I am grateful for the guests who gave my trainee the nice note on her ticket last night "Good Job, you are going to make a great server!"

And finally, to my table of regs, thanks for the shout out when you were leaving yesterday afternoon. "Take care of this girl, she is awesome!" Because they did!

Anonymous said...

My girlfriend. No matter where I am in life, or how crummy my day is, she has always been there for me. There is no person in this universe or any other that I care even the slightest fraction about in comparison to her.

If you're reading this, I love you Prudence. <3

Lauren Cohen said...

I don't know if I ever replied to this, and seeing that it's old old news by now, I don't even know if it's worth it, but this was my note submitted to you by my former colleague in the industry. It came up in my "on this day" in Facebook and I felt compelled to mention, if I haven't already, that we comped FOOD from this tab because he error was the kitchen's. Why would we also comp booze too?!

Anyway, keep up the hilarious work TBW - going on thirteen years in the industry now and your blog is still never a dull moment because guests are still never not totally worthy of our ridicule.