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sunset

Daily Prompt: Are you being served?

What’s the most dreadful (or wonderful) experience you’ve ever had as a customer?

Instead of talking about the worst experience I’ve ever had as a customer, because either I’m just a really laid-back customer or I can’t think of anything too bad to write about, I am going to write about what I hated to deal with as a waitress. Let’s put a flip on this post. Instead of bitching about the service, I’m going to bitch about the people who receive it. 8 times out of 10, it’s the customer who is out of line…at least here in my small town by the beach.

I am a born and bred one of the four thousand locals that buzz around this modest city. You can find us at the bottom of North Carolina, nestled right along the Atlantic Coast. The picture above, is a picture of the beach where during the summer my footprints decorated the sand since I was a child running naked in diapers. That is one of the eight beaches within a short drive surrounding my home. Growing up in a beach town I grew weary of the summers, because even though summer would bring many a wonderful things (school breaks, watermelon, sprinklers, jobs, days at the beach/pool, tans, etc), it also brought along “tourons”. If you live in a tourist attraction area, I’m sure you can relate. While working as a waitress, I realized I had to be thankful for their whiny Yankee accents, questions about what Sundrop is, and entitled attitude because I depended and survived on their money. I don’t now, so I dread summer and resent the people who clog up my beach, try to run me off the road, throw hissyfits at hardworking people who I share this home with, and steal all our groceries at Wal-Mart!!

I get it, you want to get away from your lives and escape in the white sand, and peace and quiet of my home. I’ve been a tourist before so I know it’s difficult when you’re in a new place to find your way around and such, but my God people where are your manners? It’s like the national, and international, tourist attitude (no matter where you are from…I’m not just hatin’ on Yankees) is “we are better than you, and we are privileging you with our money”. Well, I can do without your money given with a sneer, thank you very much.

These were things that a waitress in my home town deals with on a regular basis:

1. “This food is horrible. I want it taken off my check”, or “I want to talk to your manager”. I’ve even personally dealt with a customer who ordered a steak, and received a steak just the way he ordered it who proceeded to tell me and the owner/head chef that he wouldn’t feed that to his dog. My boss, aka the owner/head chef, told him he could leave then, because he sure as hell didn’t need his money that bad.

2. Arriving at the door 15-20 minutes before opening and just standing outside, staring in as we prep for the night.

3. “What’s a Sundrop?” Seriously..that’s a real question. For a southerner, that’s like asking what sweet tea is. My favorite answer to them was that Sundrop is like Mountain Dew on crack.

4. Talking very loudly-obnoxiously.

5. Complaining because their drink is below the half line.

6. Interrupting my obviously busy night with questions about where is the best place to go? Um, excuse me…you’re in it.

7. Splitting a house salad or appetizer with a side of a water, then sitting at my table for hours. This happens…often.

8. Coming in as we are closing asking to be sat and fed. I mean…we literally look at you as we are putting up chairs in the dining room and feel the flesh falling off our feet and wonder why you didn’t get off your ass a couple of hours ago and come in.

9. I know there also has to be “the last table” but why is it that the last table always, ALWAYS takes as long as possible. Ordering more drinks, and dessert…oh, and don’t forget the coffee! People will watch as you start cleaning up the rest of the restaurant, shut down the kitchen, clear off their plates, and give them their check…and they still sit there and chit-chat. Take it outside.

10. Whining about how long it is taking for your food to come out, there is always a basket of garlic bread in front of your face and the restaurant is obviously bursting with other customers besides you. This is one that drove me insane. Does it look like the waitresses/waiters cook your food? No…didn’t think so. They bring it to you. Don’t bite their head off if it takes a little bit more time than you expected to come out, or if it doesn’t taste good. That’s not their fault either. People don’t seem to put that connection together. Subtracting from a waitresses/waiter’s tip because the food isn’t what you expected is unfair, cheap, and mean.

11. Ordering a nice meal and then skimping out on the tip-or ordering a cheap meal and hardly tipping at all. PEOPLE…if you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out. Those people LIVE off of the money you leave them.

12. Something is out of stock? That MUST be the waitresses fault. Burn her!!

Go ask a waitress or waiter after a long night of work how their night went. You’ll be surprised at what customers do EVERY night to make their job difficult. Sure, there are times where a server is out of line for no reason. Before you go and automatically assume you’re getting “bad service” take another look at yourself. No…you don’t look good with socks and sandals, or with that tacky Hawaiian button down on. Learn to say please and thank you, and it doesn’t hurt to smile. Your experience might just get a little bit better.

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