Saturday, April 05, 2008
As a waiter, it is rare that I get a chance to go out for dinner with friends and/or family. My schedule is the opposite of most of the rest of the world, and often when I have a day off the last thing I want to do is to impose myself upon my fellow service staffs. After hours bar times not withstanding.
So I recently had a day off and took the rare trek into a nearby restaurant. Not one I would consider competition of any sort - a classic pizza joint. As blue collar as they come. Everyone drinking beer, nearly everyone smokes, and the cars in the lot are more likely to have body putty than a BMW badge.
The pizza was good, the service horrible, but overall a tolerable experience. It amazes me how attuned I am to things that other non-service people are oblivious to. I can see that our waitress while old and haggard is nonetheless inefficient and incompetent. And this is before she serves us. The people with me marvel at my observations, especially after my prophetic prediction of her inability to keep up with her section. The fact that her getting a smoke break was more important than us getting our pie did nothing to add to her tip.
My wife watches me when we do go out. She knows I can't turn the server off. It is part of who I am after this many years. It's hard to not be critical.
We finish up, box up our left overs, and I strategically pile the used dishes and utensils so the bus boys can quickly turn the table. I leave 15%, but she could've had so much more, a little effort goes a long way.