So, How Does It Taste?

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.

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13 thoughts on “So, How Does It Taste?

  1. Whooo! There is a whole lot of passion in this Spin! I never made a good waitress, but I do tend to roll my eyes at the servers who would interrupt us when we obviously looked busy with something else or waited until my mouth was full to ask how everything was. I understand asking how everything is, but ALWAYS when my mouth is full???? I have to smile around the bite and pantomime that I’m not keeling over from the poisoning.
    You’re linked!

    • There was a time in history when it was considered bad form, “cheeky” even, for a waiter in a formal dining room to even speak unless he was spoken to. They were supposed to hover in the background, being as unnoticeable as possible and attend to your needs without intruding on your enjoyment of the meal.

      There used to be a restaurant here in Wilmington that actually had waiters like that and it was heavenly. Unfortunately they closed down.

      So what I am saying (in my in my usual round about way) is that I disagree with you. I don’t understand why they need to ask if everything is OK. If they are doing their job correctly, and the food is prepared correctly, then they should assume everything is fine, unless you show signs of being in distress.

  2. Oh, would Beloved join you in this rant. As for me, my biggest kennel of irritation (that just made me laugh right out loud) is with female servers who assume Beloved is paying the check and laugh and flirt and often fawn all over him and basically ignore me. The minute that happens, this gleam comes in my eye and Beloved knows exactly what’s going to happen. At the end of the meal when the biotch comes over and places the check in front of him, he hands it to me and I and say, “Sorry, honey – looks like you’ve been schmoozing the wrong person all evening.”

    She’s lucky if she gets 10%.

    • HA! What a fun plan! I am going to explain this one to Jeff so we can try it the next time. In fairness though, the female servers usually do as much fawning over me as they do him, for some reason. Maybe they’ve already waited on the two of you?

  3. Yep… just take my order and bring it to the table as ordered. If I want anything else I’ll just snap my fingers in the air at you… LMAO (now there’s a pet peeve!!)

    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

    • Hmmm, snapping fingers. Another throw back to the past. When waiters knew their place! Restaurants should consider having a small bell on the table that you could ring if you needed anything. Wouldn’t that be nicer than constantly being interrupted?

  4. I really dislike it when they ask my how my food tastes, too. It’s usually right when I have a big mouthful of food and have to just nod like a big gluttonous dope or else half of my hamburger would fall out of my mouth.

    • That is a really amusing mental image there, Bano! But you’re right. It’s only when you have a huge mouthful of food, or right in mid-sentence!

  5. Well, I agree with you on this mostly, but then again it’s probably inherited. And to be fair it’s not just the menopause. You’ve been griping about this since I was a kid, and it still hasn’t changed. Maybe you should start emailing this out to restaurants that you frequent for reference. On second thought, that would probably be a bad idea, unless you like saliva in your food.

    The bringing of something they forgot is probably the one thing I hate the most. Which is why we won’t eat at our local Red Robin anymore. Since apparently it takes 30 minutes more to make two burgers and fries than a milkshake.

    A great blog, but with the title and picture I guess you’re probably fishing for more blog hits.

    For reference if you do go back to WW, do not order the boneless wings. They fry them and the breading is so salty that by the time they add sauce to it they’re inedible. We had the pleasure of that meal last Saturday.

  6. Kyle, have I really been griping about this that long? Funny I thought it was a recent peeve. But I do find that the older I get, the more things get on my nerves.

    You probably already know this, but the forgotten French Onion soup was at Red Robin. And they are the worst for trying so hard to “befriend” us.

    I’ve never ordered anything from WW except the garlic-garlic wings. They are good enough to put up with the crap we have to go through to get them!

  7. This one really had me LMAO!!!! My niece actually waitressed at a marina and the “boss” had her lave and come back in short shorts to attract customers and increase her tips. I’m with you on the more coverage the better. I don’t go out to eat to ogle; I go out to actually eat!

  8. I agree with you! But unfortunately, my husband totally encourages this behavior. He’s one of those customers who “befriends” everybody in the restaurant. He asks the BUSBOY his name, then calls him over to the table repeatedly. We’ll end up having to listen to the waiters entire life history because my husband ASKS him for it. Incredibly annoying.

  9. You’re so funny. I can appreciate your peeves, even if I don’t share them; I’m pretty laid back on this stuff, I guess. I think you should print out this post and hand it to the host/hostess when you go to a restaurant!hahaha

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