Excuuuuuuse Me?

| June 3, 2010
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So, I just got home from work and was so irked by this woman tonight I had to vent, the dog wasn’t having any of it, so here you go!

I was in the middle of taking an order from one of my tables when I spy out of the corner of my eye, two ladies walking in to the restaurant. Like most restaurants, we have a host stand maybe three feet from the front door. Instead of waiting for the host to greet them, they ignored him all together and headed in my direction. One of the women came up to me, mid-order, to tell me they needed a table. I gave her the “one moment, please” look, and assumed she got the hint, I went back to helping my current table.

The ladies sat themselves, two people at a four top (server lingo for a table that seats 4 people), which is another HUGE pet peeve of mine. Donning a reluctant smile, I greeted these ladies in my usual jovial manner and asked if I could grab them some drinks.

“How should I know what I want to eat if I don’t have a menu?” barked the first woman.  First things first, I did not ask you what you wanted to eat, I asked you what you wanted to drink. Second, you sat yourself and the host hadn’t gotten a chance to bring you menus.

Okay, so it was going to be that kind of table. So I bring them menus, the whole time smiling and hoping that maybe, just maybe, I was wrong about them and the rest of their meal would go well. I approach them  a few minutes later and ask them again if I can get them something to drink.

“I don’t know what I want to eat, I need more time.” The other (nicer) lady asks for hot tea. With the hot tea delivered, I move on to greet the woman who was just seated at the table next to them. She is an acquaintance and we briefly catch up while I am helping her decide on a wine from the menu.

Mid-explanation of our fruity, crisp Chardonnay, I see a frantic wave and hear “Excuuuuuuuuuse me? Helllllloooo? I’m ready to order”. My current customer and I exchange looks and I politely turn to the lady and say, “Ma’am, I will be right with you.” I could not believe the nerve of this woman. So I once again approach their table and ask what they would like to order. After several questions and a deliberation time of approximately 3 minutes, she finally orders. I check regularly on them, everything seems to be fine.

Until it comes time for the bill and she tells me they need separate checks. Ugh, I hate splitting checks, especially during the dinner rush–but hey, I also understand. Checks delivered, cards swiped, I hand them both their receipts and thank them for dining with us.

They sign the credit card slips and  get up to leave at the same time a co-worker is taking a full tray of drinks outside to a patio table.  “Miss Manners” looks at my co-worker, barely acknowledges her and walks out the door letting it slam behind her. Honestly lady, how difficult is it to hold a door open for someone? Especially someone carrying a full tray of glasses and has very limited use of their hands? I run over, grab the door and proceed to bus the table while checking out the credit card slips–stiffed, shocker, not even a penny.

So, what am I to assume? Yes, I was irritated since she refused to acknowledge that there were other people on the earth besides her.  And while it does not matter,  is stiffing me on a tip her way of  saying I was discriminating against her, ignoring her and serving the white tables first–the woman happened to be black? I give all of my tables the same amount of time and respect they deserve even when they start out the night like this woman.  During their whole dining experience I treated them as I would any other table in my restaurant. Why is it okay for these women not to tip me? You know what? I will never forget what that woman looks like; and if she feels her service was bad before, she’s in for a big surprise next time. We always remember the bad tippers and if you consistently tip poorly, you’re never going to receive good service.

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Category: COLUMNS, LIFE IN THE AREA, Rant, The Bar Bitch

About the Author ()

I graduated with an Art degree from a small liberal arts college, did a bit of traveling and moved to Annapolis from Baltimore about seven years ago. I currently manage a well-known Annapolis restaurant, serve and bartend. I live downtown and I like sunsets and long walks on the beach :)
  • T. McArdle

    Imagine that. As for splitting checks I find myself in groups all the time where everyone is paying separate – it would be nice for a solution to this awkward moment during a meal. I rarely carry cash – and asking a server to split a 4-top 4 ways is difficult as well as we know too it’s a pain in the ass. Maybe if TBB came up with a fancy solution (like establishing it up front and having everyone pre-swipe something?) she’d become a bazillionaire and not have to wait tables no more! :)

  • Fred Shubbie®

    Fred Shubbie® knows there are two sides to this story. Fred was on the case that day, and will perhaps reveal what really transpired once I investigate the legality of using recordings from my secret pen camera/recorder.

    • http://www.eyeonannapolis.net EOA Staff

      Go get em Shubster! From my understanding video with audio is permissible in MD. It is just the audio that will get you in trouble–ask Linda Tripp.

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