Working in the service industry, there is only one thing that you know on any given day when you go to work: you have no idea what’s going to happen. Could today be the day that you see a lesbian makeout session in the parking lot turn into six cop cars and eight police officers (like what happened to me)? Or is today going to be the day that a dude poops his pants and leaves his underwear in the trashcan? (Also a thing that has happened to a disturbing number of us).
Thankfully, that’s usually not the kind of day that you end up having, although those days do make for good stories that absolutely nobody believes. Point is, even though you don’t know what you’re going to run across, you do know that there are certain things that people do with regularity (only God knows why) that are deserving of your scorn. Such as:
Tearing apart coasters
I get that it’s a nervous tick, or something they do to keep their hands busy or whatever, but they have to realize the mess that they’re leaving right? I mean, they sit there talking to Bud Light and Jamo guy, slowly rotating and tearing small sections of their coaster off the entire twenty minutes they are waiting for their turn to talk. Like, they know that there is always a pile of hamster bedding in front of them every. time. they go drinking, right?
You can tell they know because they apologize for the mess…and never do anything about it. At least they know they’re doing something stupid and irritating, I guess? Not like those people that seem to like:
Closing their tab after every drink
If it’s cash, it’s whatever. I mean, it’s still annoying and it artificially lowers the per person ticket average, but it’s not a huge inconvenience. What is an inconvenience, is Coors Light and three Green Teas over here closing out with a card every round. I won’t pretend to understand the logic here. Maybe they thought they were staying for one round? Maybe they expected someone else to pay? Maybe they’re secretly a serial killer and get some sick pleasure off of torturing their victim before mercifully ending the whole experience.
I don’t know, but I do know that every bartender hates you, and the mustache Stacey rode in on. Regardless of how annoying these people are, they aren’t as bad as the person that comes in, sits their happy ass down, and turns out to be “one of those” that likes:
Asking what’s on tap, then ordering a Bud Light
Look, I understand that when you go to a new bar, you want to know if they have anything you might like. Your server or bartender should be able to help you out by trying to narrow it down to a style, or at least “do you like dark or not?” (If you are the bartender/server, I’ve got some tips to help you with this situation). Even if they don’t, YOU should know what YOU like and be able to narrow it down to “I’m feeling something fruity or hoppy.” Even if you can’t do that, just ask for a recommendation. The staff is there to help you. Literally, everything about the industry is designed so that YOU leave satisfied, they aren’t going to lead you astray…unless you’re the guy that refuses to try something new (they will probably be happy to give you a sample, just f**king try it!) and falls back on Bud Light.
But hey, at least there was a (failed) attempt at communication here. Really, it is better than:
Walking in, ignoring the friendly greeting, and placing an order
It’s like they think you’re a robot, right? Maybe they will get it if they see it in writing.
Staff: “Hi, welcome to _____ how are you doing?” *semi-genuine smile*
Customer: *Doesn’t even look you in the eye* “Lagunitas”
Nobody’s life is so bad that you can’t take literally two seconds to say, “I’m alright,” before you place your order. Yes, it’s a pleasantry, but it’s a “pleasantry” for a reason. When you skip the obligatory greeting all you are really saying is, “f*ck you, get me a beer.” Now the whole thing is unpleasant for everyone. You get treated like crap, which makes you want to treat the staff like crap, which makes them hate you more, which (ideally) makes you leave and never come back.
All of that, because of a lack of common courtesy. Nobody there has seen you before, so they couldn’t have done anything to piss you off, so why the attitude? I know that nobody has seen you before, because social etiquette demands that you not ignore the greeting of someone you know. The whole thing is dumb and it happens way too often, just like:
Ignoring open signs
If you think about it, it’s somewhat flattering that someone wants to be in your establishment before the doors open. That’s a sign of customer loyalty or good marketing. A sign that something is going right. All of that gets overshadowed, however, by the fact that there is literally a sign that tells you if the place is open or not. These signs are (usually) strategically placed next to or on the front door for a reason. Businesses do this because they don’t want you to miss the sign. They want you to know, from a distance, whether a trip to their door is going to be a waste of time or not.
What really gets me is that, when the sign fails, people will come to the locked door, pull on it, fail to open the door, then peer inside to see if anyone is there. I don’t know what we are trying to accomplish when we do this, but it is truly pointless. What are we going to do if someone is there? Ask when they open? I say “we” because we’ve all been to that one place that either doesn’t have an open sign or it looks like it could go either way. That being said, we service people also know that restaurants make damn sure people know when they are open and when they are closed.
Most of these situations boil down to a lack of awareness of other people. They could all easily be avoided if people took the time to recognize that they aren’t the only ones in the world. We’re all guilty of that in one way or another, though, so we can’t be too hard on these people. We need to reserve our hate and distrust for things that really matter, like people who order ranch with mozzarella sticks.
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