Something I've Decided


I had this thought a while back, and forgot about it, until I stumbled upon Waiter Rant. It's a blog, written by an anonymous waiter, that talks about things ranging from the really good customers to the really bad, to the downright crazy. Plus some philosophizing. It's neat. I like it.

But it reminded me of when I worked at Bruegger's. It's a bagel / sandwich place, very popular on the East Coast, relatively unheard of out here (except for Orange County, which has 10 or so). I worked there over the summer, making bagel sandwiches (or just bagels with cream cheese). The owners were throwing a fit about labor costs being so high though, so they had all the college students cut, "because they'll be leaving in a month anyways." Thanks, assholes. The high labor costs couldn't possibly be from keeping the store open until 8:00 at night, leaving two-three workers and a manager in there, getting paid to do nothing (because who has bagels at 8:00 at night?).

I haven't paid to eat there since (the managers, who really liked me, and tried to keep me, gave me free food last time I dropped by). I actually haven't had a bagel since the free food incident. Though I do think I'll stop by when I go home for winter.

But it's just interesting to think back to those days. Five days in a row, 6 hour shifts, with a "late" shift starting around 8 or 9 in the morning. Crazy morning rushes. Bitchy people. Stingy people. Pain-in-the-ass people. I have some stories, that's for sure.

But after reading over the stuff on Waiter Rant, I've come to decide the following: every person who attends businesses in the service industry, specifically retail and dining, should be required to work in such a place first.

All those people who ask for obnoxious little changes to their orders would definitely think twice after working food. It's one thing to order a sandwich, but ask for no cheese, or a different kind of change. It's another to have the person make it, and then realize "oh, is that Swiss? I don't like Swiss." Screw you. It says that's what it is on the menu, and you didn't stop me.

Usually, things like that happen because the person isn't paying attention to what I'm doing. Get off your phone, I might need to ask you something. Or you might want to make a change on the fly. Not a problem if you catch me ("oh, no tomatoes please"), but another if you try to make changes once its done.

The one thing that drove me crazy above all else? When I worked register, and people would complain about the bill. Dude, the prices are on the board. If you were confused, you should've asked. I'm not going to change your order now.

And people with their bagels are absurd sometimes! "I want a garlic bagel, toasted," only to complain about the burnt garlic bits on top. What'd you think would happen if you put it into the heat of the toaster? And more importantly, did you even listen when I told you that would happen?

People are idiots. Only they treat you as though you're the fool, simply because you're behind the counter.

Fortunately, I don't have to deal with that any more. My new jobs are amazing. Not that I don't have idiots to deal with (life of an RA right there), but it's different. But that's a story for some other time.

Just be nice to the people behind the counters. And drop your change into the tips bucket... it'll make their day.

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