Friday, June 30, 2006

Life Lessons, Part 3

So the other day we were out at a restaurant. It was fairly early on a weekday evening, the atmosphere was relaxed. Our waitress comes over and announces the specials in a rather (I thought) brusque manner and takes our drink orders. I whispered to Hubba-hubba, "Well, she certainly is never going to win Miss Congeniality with that attitude."

I whispered it because I am unfailingly polite to wait staff, and if I have something bad to say about them, which I do on occasion, I crane my neck around to see if any employees are near and deliver my criticism sotto voce.

I have never understood people who are rude to waiters and other employees of an eating establishment. I mean, these people are dealing with what you are putting in your mouth! Don't piss them off!

I have never worked in a restaurant, but I know people who have, and my stomach churns at their heartily related tales of spitting in people's food and "accidentally" dropping it on the floor, only to be placed right back on the plate.

People who work in restaurants are not automatons, if you treat them rudely, why should they do you any favors? Which may or may not include urinating in your drink.

Hubba-hubba and I will always remember the instance when one of his cousins was kind enough to take us to the airport for one of our many sojourns across the country. We begged her to go through a drive-thru, as we had limited time before we needed to board, and we were flying an airline that we knew would not feed us anything substantial on our five hour flight. Hindsight says why didn't we just bring our own food, and I can't really remember. But I must have had a good reason.

We pull up and the cousin, being the driver, places our order. The person on the other end of the intercom has a hard time with the order, and her annoyance is palpable. She repeats it a couple times, and then turns to Hubba-hubba and says in a very loud voice, "God! What a bunch of complete idiots! They can't even get the damn order right. Stupid!"

Hubba-hubba and I looked at each other in horror. There was no way the person taking the order hadn't heard that. Cousin pulls up to the window, where a not-very-nice girl takes the money and hands her the food. We saw a group of employees huddled around a counter. It didn't look promising.

So we examine the food, probably a bit paranoid at this point. My chicken sandwich looked a little de-constructed, if you will, and Hubba-hubba felt his mayo looked a bit too viscous for his taste. We both took one bite of our sandwiches. It will never be known if the employees did, ah, alter our food, but the idea of it was too much for us and with a sigh, we wrapped them up and put them back in the bag. On the way to the airport, many longing looks were directed at the bag, but we just couldn't bring ourselves to do it. Ravenous was an undersatement for how we felt when we landed in Chicago.

So, a good rule in life is: always be nice to people who are dealing with your food! Even if you have to fake it!


Uncivil said...

Oh...yes I agree with you whole heartedly. I eat out quite frequently, and I try to eat at the same places where the staff gets to know me, and tip generously.

I will usually leave before the food gets there, if I go into a strange place and aquire a shitty waitress.

Trish said...

I'm always failingly nice to wait staff too for the same reason. But my sister......she doesn't know how to be..... diplomatic, shall we say. She says what she thinks and I try to never go out with her. Why don't more people get this?