This week’s Spin Cycle topic is Pet Peeves.
Whoopi Goldberg summed it up well, y’all. She said, “I don’t have pet peeves, I have whole kennels of irritation.”
There are a lot of things that people get peeved about. Getannoyed.com has a list too long to read. I read through about half of the list, found out that I agree with most of it, and that I am probably guilty of being somebody’s pet peeve, myself.
But I didn’t read the one thing that gets to me most of all; intrusive servers.
Maybe it’s just me, but when I go out to a restaurant, I’m there for two things, and two things only. To eat (obviously) and to enjoy the company of whoever I am with.
So, waitresses and waiters all over the world: Please try to understand this simple, obvious idea. I am not there to be entertained by you, become your new best friend, listen to your life story, share you with my husband, give you advise, help you do your job, be interviewed by you, be in awe of your cleavage, or your cute little behind or your too-tight, ultra short shorty pants or be astounded your vast wine knowledge.
When did all the rules change? Remember the good old days, when waiters were tall, silent men in white gloves and tuxedos? When serving you unobtrusively and silently was almost an art form? Nowadays, all we get are a bunch of half dressed, chatty twits.
So here are my ideas of what makes a good dining experience:
Don’t stoop down next to me to look over my shoulder and talk into my ear while I’m reading the menu. Not only does this invade my personal space, but it creeps me out.
Don’t lean over towards my husband suggestively, giving him a free peek at your practically falling-out-of-your-bra boobs. It you want a good tip, honey, quit acting like a slut and just take the damn order.
Don’t tell me your name, what you like on the menu, your favorite special, which wine you prefer, how long you’ve been working here, or how much I remind you of your mother because I DON’T CARE. I’m there to eat, not to get acquainted with you, no matter how nice a person you might be. Get it?
If we order an appetizer, don’t, for The Love of God, bring it with, or worse, after the entree. You forgot about it. I understand. Just deduct it from the bill and apologize. Thirty minutes after we’ve finished our meal and are ready to go is not the time to be presented with the long-forgotten bowl of French Onion Soup, OK?
Don’t interrupt us nine hundred times during our dinner conversation with stupid, annoying questions. It’s alright to cruise by, make eye contact, smile and murmur, “Everything OK?”
It is NOT OK to ask me, “Would you like more coffee?” ( Um, my cup is still untouched.)
“How is everything this evening?” (It would be just fine if you’d stop interrupting us.)
“Are you ready for your salad?” (Yes, just bring the damn food and quit asking so many questions.)
“How is everyone enjoying their meal?” (LEAVE US ALONE!)
“Are you having a good time?” (After being pestered to death? You’re kidding, right?)
“Can I get you more bread/wine/french fries/another napkin/anything else?” (If I needed something I would have told you the first five times you rudely interrupted my first chance all month to visit my mother.)
“How are you doing with that entree? Isn’t it wonderful?” (It would be wonderful if you’d march your little fanny back into the kitchen.)
The ONE time you need to ask a question (and usually don’t) is before you try and take my plate away, when I’ve still got food left on it. You’re really lucky I didn’t stab you with my fork, instead of shouting, “Hey! I’m not finished with that salad!”
But the question I hate most of all, is the dreaded, “So? How does it taste?” I hate this question so much that my husband has gotten into the habit of bribing telling the servers not to ask it, if they want to avoid witnessing a menopausal meltdown want to get a good tip. To me, “how does it taste?” is so…intimate, so personal.
It’s just rude, y’all. My hairdresser doesn’t ask me “How does it feel?” while she’s shampooing my hair. My bank teller doesn’t ask me “How does it smell?” when she hands me a crisp stack of new bills. It’s none of their business how my body is responding to stimuli and I’m not going to tell them either, if they ask. Which they won’t because, unlike dingbat servers like you, they know and respect the boundaries of human decency.
Why do you want to know anyway? What is the point of the question? Are you going to bring me another dinner if I say it tastes awful? I doubt it. Everyone knows that everyone has different ideas about what tastes good. What might be too salty, or spicy, to me, might taste great to my husband.
I think the reason you ask me “so how does it taste” is to appear to seem interested, and at the same time, avoid asking something helpful, such as, “can I bring you anything else?” I know this because of all the times I’ve had to finish chewing, swallow, smile through gritted teeth, say as politely as possible, “it tastes just fine, thanks” and then have to shout at your retreating backside, “BUT COULD I PLEASE HAVE SOME KETCHUP?”
And if you ask me, “How does it taste?” before I’ve even actually had a chance to taste it…well, you ain’t seen rude, sweetie, until you see the measly tip you’ll get from this emotionally over-wrought menopausal southern lady, and I ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie!
I know, I know. There are whole blogs out there devoted to the Pet Peeves of hard working servers. And I’m sure I’ve made the top of somebody’s list.
Want to find out what peeves somebody besides me? Check out the Spin Cycle at Spite’s Keeper.