Sunday, July 25, 2010

Beyond the Tipping Point

Dealing with the same silly questions or the same comments day after day can wear anyone down. When I worked for Sears, I remember hearing one of the gals from the catalog sales department say over and over again, "What is your telephone number so I can look up your order. . . Yes, your telephone number. . . . Because if all the customers were listed under the same telephone number you'd be waiting all day." She was a woman on the verge.

I have my own pet peeves. I get awfully tired of the people who, when they find out my name is Guy, say, "Like Guy Smiley!" or "Hi Guy! hahahaha" and when I was waiting tables, it bugged me to have people ask, "So what's your real job?" Some things I found ways to work around, like the Super Salad issue. "Would you like soup or salad?" became "Would you like salad or soup?" but I admit I lost my cool over some other stuff. At the pancake house, we served coffee in thermal pots and one night when the eleventy-millionth customer of the night asked me "Do you have restrooms?" I said, "No. That's why we put the pots on the table." Kinda smart-ass, but I smiled, so I got away with it.

The most dramatic thing I ever did, though - my biggest tantrum - happened at one of those turn and burn chain restaurants. I was swamped and tearing through the restaurant with a shoulder tray of hot food when one of the customers in a booth reached out and grabbed me. "We are ready to order NOW!" I pulled my arm away and used it to completely wipe all of the condiments and place settings off the empty table next to them and set down the tray of hot food in its place, and then turned to them and said in the sweetest voice, "Sure. What can I get you?" They were shocked and asked me if I didn't need to serve that other food first. I said, "Oh, you're right! I'll be right back" and I picked up the tray, served the food, and acted like nothing had happened. I felt insane, but I think they were scared not to be nice to me after that.


  1. For me, it's probably when I have to list the sides since for some reason my restaurant refuses to. I know I can talk fast, so I try to slow it down when I list them, but they always end up asking me to repeat myself either once or twice more. I don't know if it's because of how fast I talk or out of either sheer stupidity or not paying attention, but it drives me up the wall.

  2. I had a table this morning that asked me to tell them what soups we had. Each of the four people asked me because they weren't paying attention. Then they all asked what kind of dressing we had. Yeah, each person.
    By the end of their orders I wanted to bash their faces in.

  3. Yeah, the fact that each person asks what sides we have just about does me in. Especially when it's a party of rednecks who all order steaks. I might have to repeat the sides 8+ times.

  4. That is AWESOME. I would love to have seen their faces when you cleared that table!