Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pigs in the dining room

I am getting to the point where I am going to ask parents if they plan on cleaning up after their child.
"Can we get some crackers?"
"Are you going to clean up the hellacious mess after your obviously "brilliant" child gets only 10% of it in his mouth, 10% on his hair, 40% on the table and 40% on the floor? Sign this contract, I'll be back with the crackers..."

I have come to the conclusion that many parents are so over worked, over stretched, and stressed out that they have become oblivious to the disasters their children create. It's an issue of having to have new toys (boat, jetski, car, motorcycle etc.) or paying for existing ones. So the parents stretch themselves thin, leaving little time to teach their children proper social graces. Certainly there are those out there who are single moms working 3 jobs just to get by, but in my experience, they are not the ones with problem children (as much because they can't afford to eat out much). It's the middle income people where there is the problem. Often I suspect dual income families that don't spend enough time with their children.

I am beginning to think about patenting an idea of mine. It's a special disposable tarp that goes under high chairs and places children might sit. Kinda like those light paper "barriers" that some high traffic bathrooms use, in places like the airport or the mall. Except this would have to be more durable, and either water resistant or absorbent. And we would charge for them. And they would be required to dine in our restaurant.

I think having a service charge for children under the age of 5 might also be a good solution. There is nothing worse as a Red Lobster server than getting a table of 8 people, only to find out it is 2 or 3 adults and 6 kids under 5. That means you are now required by Red Lobster to split that table with another server (causing two people now to be miserable) and you will only be making a couple of dollars each to clean up every item of crap the children can manage to touch or throw. It's amazing how well mac & cheese glues itself to carpet after it cools there. Nothing like getting down on hands and knees to clean up after someone's demon spawn.

I know, I know, I shouldn't slander pigs this way.

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OldSchoolD15 said...

Amen! I'm sure you've been very appreciative of whoever made the executive decision to place snow crab legs on the kids' menu... Ever notice how the meat refuses to be wiped off the table? And how the shards of shell just don't want to be caught up by the sweeper? I also love people who order rice pilaf, don't like it, and give it to the terror in the highchair next to them. "Oh, *giggles* we're making such a mess, *giggles* I'm sorry"... HAHA yeah, and I just KNOW you'll be tipping me extra for the trouble, right?... right?...

Your RL makes you split parties of 8?! Wow, thats... unnecessary... We had a busy day (for a Monday) yesterday, plus we were shortstaffed, and one of our servers had a party of 13, a party of 9, and two deuces all at one time.

Cricket said...

Some of us single moms are too tired to cook (maybe I can't afford to eat out, but I hit the IHOP or the OB I work at at least once a week with the kid--well, then, the employee discount makes it easy to take him to OB), and sometimes, my 5-y-o is the problem child. Not that I don't clean up after him, or at least tip really well (like 30%) for the extra trouble, but sometimes it's a learning experience--he got loud and whiny and made another table move a couple months ago at IHOP, but I explained to him what had just happened, and he did settle down (and send our server with an apology to the other ladies).

lazyq said...

Great blog. Hah, I start training at RL tomorrow. e.e If you have any specific tricks of the trade, or anything that will help me and others do a better job etc, feel free to fly them my way. :)

Duckie said...

I never thought that kids could cause so much havoc for a waiter! Thanks for the insisde scoop.
Always Reading!

Psychobabble said...

"It's a learning experience!"
My ass. Teach him at home and then bring him out in public. Don't inflict your child on the general public just because *you* don't want to cook.
PS Ever heard of a sandwich?

stupescommaruth said...

hey, i read your blog all the time and think it rocks.
and as a relatively recent parent of 2 little kids, i can say
it isn't parenthood that changes the behavior of these
adults who leave their children's messes all over the place,
these people never bother to put themselves in the position of whoever the poor soul is who WILL have to clean up the mess or they don't care. When my son missed his mouth with some rice at Chipotle I used his baby wipes to clean up the mess. The people there have plenty to do, and i felt responsible for mopping up our area. However, this is not only a problem for parents, at the coffee shop where i work (in a posh-ish suburb) you wouldn't believe the crap that just gets strewn all over the place---by richies with only themselves to look after!! Gross.

Really Fat Chick said...

I'm sorry that people are animals and dont clean up after their children. Little ones are always going to make a gigantic mess, but it's the parents that are showing the truly shameful behavior by not picking it up. It is at that time in their childrens lives where they need to teach their children to respect the property of others. Children are never too young to learn. If you are out at an eating establishment with your kids and they drop food, show them how to pick it up and dispose of it. If you drop food, pick it up and dispose of it. Children follow the lead of their parents.
I worked as a server on three occasions in my life and yes, its true, people ARE pigs. Never in any other job that I've ever worked at did I see such absolute rudeness and disrespect towards others. I was never treated more rudely in my life as when I worked as a server. How can people actually BE like that? I came away from those jobs with a completely new outlook on the waitress/waiter and how much work and &#@!*# they actually have to put up with.
On more than one occasion I heard parents telling their children "Leave it, the waitress gets paid to clean it up!" etc. Unbelievable.
No wonder people are becoming less and less accountable as generations go by. They are taught as children not to be.

Kim S.(Alice) Anchorage Alaska

Really Fat Chick said...

ps...I forgot to point out the fact that I am the 39 year old mother of 6 of my own children, the oldest being 20 and the youngest being 11. My kids would never think of leaving an eating establishment with food and trash under their chairs and table.

kim s. (Alice) Anchorage, Ak

Evil Boy Genius said...

On the subject of sloppy-ass people...
When I used to work at KFC, people would either leave their trays, full of nasty fucking chicken bones, on the table or throw all that shit on the ground. Of course this would happen often during busy seasons where people would get pissed off because they had to wait so long. >:|