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US waiters' worst conduct - Page 11

post #151 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
I must be jinxed: Dinner at a local, authentic Japanese restaurant last night.
Ordered small sushi assortment, specified it would be my appetizer, and a donburi bowl. My husband ordered a more substantial sushi and sashimi platter.

My donburi bowl arrived first, and one minute later came the sushi appetizer.
My husband's platter made it to the table 20 minutes after I was served.
I'll pass you the details about water glasses not refilled, dishes not cleared before dessert, dessert expectations misunderstood, etc.

But the dishes were beautifully executed. Next time, we might do take out instead.


Fabienne, that sounds pretty bad. At least Japanese people don't STARE at you while you are eating, amazed at your "whimsical yet powerful chopstick technique". It was my family and all, but it still kind of creeped me out.
post #152 of 538
In China, waitstaff are also traditionally to be seen as what children were supposed to be: seen but not heard. It's still very evident where in large restaurants--for larger parties--they have three or four people wait on you, standing slightly apart from the table, not moving.
post #153 of 538
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
I may be inexperienced in what you would like to call "fine dining throughout the world", but I've worked in exactly 3 restaraunts more than you, Ken. And I've eaten out three or four times a week for the last, oh I don't know, seven years? That makes me somewhat of an expert compared to you on the way service is viewed and executed by the industry. You are allowed to have your viewpoints, and I am allowed to have mine, but unfortunately for you, only a small amount of people feel as you do. It's not going to get any better for you when dining out, only worse. Because of the way restaraunts are run and what the majority of the customers visiting typically want, the particular type of "service" you desire will be harder and harder for you to find. You can complain about it, but for gods sake, stop blaming the people who are trying to do their jobs. Blame the other customers who eat out and through their patronage, comments, and tipping tell people in the industry that they desire a more friendly and intimate style of service. Blame the restaraunts who train the waiters to do this. Blame America for being a more liberal and less socially structured society than Europe.

Ironically, in Japan, you would pay MORE to get my kind of service than you would yours. Having a waiter or waitress (they are usually women) to sit with you, talk to you, and fill your food and drinks, make conversation, and give the customer a complete dining EXPERIENCE is a luxury. So as far as I know, only in Europe (according to you) do they treat service people as background noise, one half-step above indentured slavery.

Modern restaraunteurs realize that people can go anywhere to eat, and what seperates one restaraunt from another is the experience. This includes the atmosphere, the service, the overall presentation, and the food. Most people realize that when someone asks "how are you guys are doing" it is not an insult to the female members of your party, nor is it intended to insinuate that you are of any particular lower social status, it is merely a query as to if you are ENJOYING YOURSELF. Which is the entire point of going to a restaraunt in the first place. This is a positive thing, and anyone who nitpicks this and gets offended has far too few REAL problems in their life.

Some people are just too damn uptight to enjoy themselves I think.

Let's see now.
Your experience is largely or entirely limited to this rather peculiar country [gastonomically], you have worked in exactly 3 USA restaurants which taught you that waiters becoming programmed robots is the wave of the future, and you have eaten out about 1/7 as often as I have, so that makes you "somewhat of an expert" compared to me.
You think that the type of service I like will be harder and harder for me to find, even though it makes the USA the laughing-stock of the rest of the world, and I find myself fleeing abroad more and more often seeking to escape it. I am supposed to blame the other customers. I am supposed to think that this "hick treatment" you advocate is genuinely friendly (and not just a phony high-pressure sales pitch mandated by giant chains) and is really intimate (even though the exact same "service," word for word, and act for act, is fostered upon tens of millions). I am supposed to think America is a more liberal and less socially structured society than Europe, because most USA restaurants make all of their waiters act exactly alike.
I am really learning lots from your expertise.
post #154 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
Let's see now.
Your experience is largely or entirely limited to this rather peculiar country [gastonomically], you have worked in exactly 3 USA restaurants which taught you that waiters becoming programmed robots is the wave of the future, and you have eaten out about 1/7 as often as I have, so that makes you "somewhat of an expert" compared to me.
You think that the type of service I like will be harder and harder for me to find, even though it makes the USA the laughing-stock of the rest of the world, and I find myself fleeing abroad more and more often seeking to escape it. I am supposed to blame the other customers. I am supposed to think that this "hick treatment" you advocate is genuinely friendly (and not just a phony high-pressure sales pitch mandated by giant chains) and is really intimate (even though the exact same "service," word for word, and act for act, is fostered upon tens of millions). I am supposed to think America is a more liberal and less socially structured society than Europe, because most USA restaurants make all of their waiters act exactly alike.
I am really learning lots from your expertise.

At the end of the day, the corporatized restaurants that serve to bring redicule on the USA make fantastical amounts of money when compared to the Michelin troup. Again, what people are also trying to say is that most restaurants aren't aiming at creating a certain type of experience that one would find at a restaurant with a star or two (or three). So this really begs the question, as the dining aristocrat that you apparently are, why are you dining in places where you get such service? I've never experienced this at any place worth mentioning. Since you're such a foodie, what are you doing at Outback steakhouse?
post #155 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
Let's see now. Your experience is largely or entirely limited to this rather peculiar country [gastonomically], you have worked in exactly 3 USA restaurants which taught you that waiters becoming programmed robots is the wave of the future, and you have eaten out about 1/7 as often as I have, so that makes you "somewhat of an expert" compared to me. You think that the type of service I like will be harder and harder for me to find, even though it makes the USA the laughing-stock of the rest of the world, and I find myself fleeing abroad more and more often seeking to escape it. I am supposed to blame the other customers. I am supposed to think that this "hick treatment" you advocate is genuinely friendly (and not just a phony high-pressure sales pitch mandated by giant chains) and is really intimate (even though the exact same "service," word for word, and act for act, is fostered upon tens of millions). I am supposed to think America is a more liberal and less socially structured society than Europe, because most USA restaurants make all of their waiters act exactly alike. I am really learning lots from your expertise.
Your holier than thou, belittling attitudes twords people you THINK are inferior to you (I.E. myself) are becoming rather obnoxious. You admitted that you HAD NEVER WORKED IN A RESTAURANT. So yes, that puts me several experience points up on you when it comes to matters of WORKING IN A RESTAURANT AND KNOWING HOW THEY OPERATE. I'm sure you are a nice enough guy, perhaps you even have some nice qualities, but logic isn't one of them. Go back and read the above post. You were trying to be an obnoxious jerk and piss me off, but then you actually turned around and ended up agreeing with me. Go figure!
Quote:
You think that the type of service I like will be harder and harder for me to find, even though it makes the USA the laughing-stock of the rest of the world, and I find myself fleeing abroad more and more often seeking to escape it.
Laughing stock of the world? Exaggerated. Either that or a lack of experience The laughing stock of certain places in Europe? Maybe.Certain places in Europe who share your overinflated sense of propriety and take preposterous offense at every slight of antiquated rules perhaps. No wonder you feel so at home there. You have cultivated this image that you are somehow better than everyone else around you because you are older, or have travelled more, or eaten at nicer restaraunts. Its not like I haven't travelled around the world a bit, eaten at my share of nice restaraunts, and I am able to read and write and understand simple concepts. I already gave you a very specific example of a country outside the US where your preferred style of service is not so preferred. At least you could be gentlemanly enough to put it forth as YOUR BELIEF that America is the lauging stock of the world. (Since it is obviously an opinion, and not a fact.) Europe hardly constitutes the "rest of the world". And yes. America is a more socially liberal and less structured society than Europe. Not because of the restaurants as you so flippantly propose that I said. Which in fact is not what I said at all. I assume you are taking the idiotic tone you are to be facetious, not because you have difficulty comprehending words or ideas running counter to those that have come out of your own mouth. Just in case.The fact is this; most of Europe is based on a social model of aristocracy and America is not. We do not have formally structured noble social classes where the rank of your birthright alone allows you to treat everyone else like shit. (outside of Paris Hilton and her ilk, unfortunately, but I don't count them, cause I would probably be shot if I punched Queen Elizabeth, but I would be most likely be lauded for punching Paris Hilton) Therefore, the United States, if you follow, being generally less comfortable with the strict formalities of social class, do not generally see an informal general greeting as an insult to their noble sensibilities. I generally find it uncommonly rude and distateful to treat people like servants or slaves. Just so you know. If the "phony sales pitch" is what you take so much offense to, and only mandated by giant chains, why are you encountering it so often at the high-class establishments you frequent? Perhaps you should try some different restaurants. I don't generally eat, nor have I ever been a server at a "giant chain restaurant" such as Friday's. I eat at a variety of different types of restaurants, and I find friendly, genuine, talkative people everywhere. And I appreciate that. You must be insinuating that I am a retarded, penniless, inbred child for not being able to see that friendly waitstaff are NEVER GENUINE. That seems to be your main point. I disagree. I think that if "tens of millions of people" can't tell when someone is genuinely being friendly and when they are being sold a rote sales pitch, perhaps you are just too damn sensitive about imagined slights to your OBVIOUS SUPERIORITY over the "commoners" in the service industry. I'm not disputing the fact that it happens, but reading the friggin specials is HARDLY a robotic, rote sales pitch. Especially since the specials at the places I tend to frequent differ from one visit to the next and many times they are not on the menu. I'd LIKE to hear them, and so would the majority of the people you ask. Also, on a personal note, typing (and one could reasonably assume speaking) to other people in a tone that conveys that they could perhaps be an equal instead of assuming that everyone who doesn't share your point of view is a bumpkin, idiot, or redneck isn't your strong suit. Maybe you should stop typing things like that when you notice that you are making others visibly upset. It makes you sound like a complete a-hole when you continue to blather on telling everyone who disagrees with you that they must be stupid children with no life experience. Just in case you were unaware that is what you sounded like, I'm doing you the favor of telling you.
post #156 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
Your holier than thou, belittling attitudes twords people you THINK are inferior to you (I.E. myself) are becoming rather obnoxious. You admitted that you HAD NEVER WORKED IN A RESTARAUNT. So yes, that puts me several experience points up on you when it comes to matters of WORKING IN A RESTARAUNT AND KNOWING HOW THEY OPERATE.

I'm sure you are a nice enough guy, perhaps you even have some nice qualities, but logic isn't one of them. Go back and read the above post. You were trying to be an obnoxious jerk and piss me off, but then you actually turned around and agreed with me.


Laughing stock of the world?

Exaggerated. Either that or a lack of experience The laughing stock of certain places in Europe? Maybe.Certain places in Europe who share your overinflated sense of propriety and take preposterous offense at every slight of antiquated rules perhaps. No wonder you feel so at home there. You have cultivated this image that you are somehow better than everyone else around you because you are older, or have travelled more, or eaten at nicer restaraunts. Its not like I haven't travelled around the world a bit, eaten at my share of nice restaraunts, and I am able to read and write and understand simple concepts. I already gave you a very specific example of a country outside the US where your preferred style of service is not so preferred. At least you could be gentlemanly enough to put it forth as YOUR BELIEF that America is the lauging stock of the world. (Since it is obviously an opinion, and not a fact.) Europe hardly constitutes the "rest of the world".

And yes. America is a more socially liberal and less structured society than Europe. Not because of the restaraunts as you so flippantly propose that I said. Which in fact is not what I said at all. I assume you are taking the idiotic tone you are to be facetious, not because you have difficulty comprehending words or ideas running counter to those that have come out of your own mouth. Just in case.The fact is this; most of Europe is based on a social model of aristocracy and America is not. We do not have formally structured noble social classes where the rank of your birthright alone allows you to treat everyone else like shit. (outside of Paris Hilton and her ilk, unfortunately, but I don't count them, cause I would probably be shot if I punched Queen Elizabeth, but I would be most likely be lauded for punching Paris Hilton) Therefore, the United States, if you follow, being generally less comfortable with the strict formalities of social class, do not generally see an informal general greeting as an insult to their noble sensibilities. I generally find it uncommonly rude and distateful to treat people like servants or slaves. Just so you know.

If the "phony sales pitch" is what you take so much offense to, and only mandated by giant chains, why are you encountering it so often at the high-class establishments you frequent? Perhaps you should try some different restaraunts. I don't generally eat, nor have I ever been a server at a "giant chain restaraunt" such as Friday's. I eat at a variety of different types of restaraunts, and I find friendly, genuine, talkative people everywhere. And I appreciate that. You must be insinuating that I am a retarded, penniless, inbred child for not being able to see that friendly waitstaff are NEVER GENUINE. That seems to be your main point. I disagree. I think that if "tens of millions of people" can't tell when someone is genuinely being friendly and when they are being sold a rote sales pitch, perhaps you are just too damn sensitive about imagined slights to your OBVIOUS SUPERIORITY over the "commoners" in the service industry. I'm not disputing the fact that it happens, but reading the friggin specials is HARDLY a robotic, rote sales pitch. Especially since the specials at the places I tend to frequent differ from one visit to the next and many times they are not on the menu. I'd LIKE to hear them, and so would the majority of the people you ask.

Also, on a personal note, typing (and one could reasonably assume speaking) to other people in a tone that conveys that they could perhaps be an equal instead of assuming that everyone who doesn't share your point of view is a bumpkin, idiot, or redneck isn't your strong suit. Maybe you should stop typing things like that when you notice that you are making others visibly upset.

It makes you sound like a complete a-hole when you continue to blather on telling the people you are trying to converse with that they must be stupid children with no life experience. Just in case you were unaware that is what you sounded like, I'm doing you the favor of telling you.

Slim, I think this is the same dude who tries to speak French in restaurants... so obviously sounding a bit daft is no foreign concept.
post #157 of 538
Dear Mr. Kennethpollock,
please open your own restaurant, train your servers the way you want them, and then eat there. Alone.
post #158 of 538
mr. P still stirring up trouble i see. ah, the classics never get old.
post #159 of 538
The only things I find objectionable about Mr. Pollock's position are:

-The notion that there is a right way to serve people and a wrong way, as one's enjoyment of a particular form of service is quite obviously subjective, not objective
-The insinuation that those who don't share his hatred of "American" service and love of "European" service are somehow mentally inferior, or at the very least far less sophisticated than he

One is a logical fallacy, the other a terribly ugly personality trait.
post #160 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
Your holier than thou, belittling attitudes twords people you THINK are inferior to you (I.E. myself) are becoming rather obnoxious. You admitted that you HAD NEVER WORKED IN A RESTAURANT. So yes, that puts me several experience points up on you when it comes to matters of WORKING IN A RESTAURANT AND KNOWING HOW THEY OPERATE.

I'm sure you are a nice enough guy, perhaps you even have some nice qualities, but logic isn't one of them. Go back and read the above post. You were trying to be an obnoxious jerk and piss me off, but then you actually turned around and ended up agreeing with me. Go figure!


Laughing stock of the world?

Exaggerated. Either that or a lack of experience The laughing stock of certain places in Europe? Maybe.Certain places in Europe who share your overinflated sense of propriety and take preposterous offense at every slight of antiquated rules perhaps. No wonder you feel so at home there. You have cultivated this image that you are somehow better than everyone else around you because you are older, or have travelled more, or eaten at nicer restaraunts. Its not like I haven't travelled around the world a bit, eaten at my share of nice restaraunts, and I am able to read and write and understand simple concepts. I already gave you a very specific example of a country outside the US where your preferred style of service is not so preferred. At least you could be gentlemanly enough to put it forth as YOUR BELIEF that America is the lauging stock of the world. (Since it is obviously an opinion, and not a fact.) Europe hardly constitutes the "rest of the world".

And yes. America is a more socially liberal and less structured society than Europe. Not because of the restaurants as you so flippantly propose that I said. Which in fact is not what I said at all. I assume you are taking the idiotic tone you are to be facetious, not because you have difficulty comprehending words or ideas running counter to those that have come out of your own mouth. Just in case.The fact is this; most of Europe is based on a social model of aristocracy and America is not. We do not have formally structured noble social classes where the rank of your birthright alone allows you to treat everyone else like shit. (outside of Paris Hilton and her ilk, unfortunately, but I don't count them, cause I would probably be shot if I punched Queen Elizabeth, but I would be most likely be lauded for punching Paris Hilton) Therefore, the United States, if you follow, being generally less comfortable with the strict formalities of social class, do not generally see an informal general greeting as an insult to their noble sensibilities. I generally find it uncommonly rude and distateful to treat people like servants or slaves. Just so you know.

If the "phony sales pitch" is what you take so much offense to, and only mandated by giant chains, why are you encountering it so often at the high-class establishments you frequent? Perhaps you should try some different restaurants. I don't generally eat, nor have I ever been a server at a "giant chain restaurant" such as Friday's. I eat at a variety of different types of restaurants, and I find friendly, genuine, talkative people everywhere. And I appreciate that. You must be insinuating that I am a retarded, penniless, inbred child for not being able to see that friendly waitstaff are NEVER GENUINE. That seems to be your main point. I disagree. I think that if "tens of millions of people" can't tell when someone is genuinely being friendly and when they are being sold a rote sales pitch, perhaps you are just too damn sensitive about imagined slights to your OBVIOUS SUPERIORITY over the "commoners" in the service industry. I'm not disputing the fact that it happens, but reading the friggin specials is HARDLY a robotic, rote sales pitch. Especially since the specials at the places I tend to frequent differ from one visit to the next and many times they are not on the menu. I'd LIKE to hear them, and so would the majority of the people you ask.

Also, on a personal note, typing (and one could reasonably assume speaking) to other people in a tone that conveys that they could perhaps be an equal instead of assuming that everyone who doesn't share your point of view is a bumpkin, idiot, or redneck isn't your strong suit. Maybe you should stop typing things like that when you notice that you are making others visibly upset.

It makes you sound like a complete a-hole when you continue to blather on telling everyone who disagrees with you that they must be stupid children with no life experience. Just in case you were unaware that is what you sounded like, I'm doing you the favor of telling you.

you are on a roll today
post #161 of 538
KP seems to suffer from the idea that what comes from "over there" is always better, a form of inferiority complex. and while I agree with him that some of the points he mentions are annoying, I don't let it ruin my evening. nor would I assume that everybody would agree with me.

I think that the main thing that I am finding offensive, and TS and others have summed it up well, is the idea that there is a right way and a wrong way. for what ever reason, the corporations that came up with the standard operating procedures that KP hates have taken huge market share, some people like that way of doing business. and since we live in a capitalistic democracy, we are free to do business with them, or not, as we see fit.

as good as european service is - I have some funny memories of friench waiters that were just as annoying as their american counternparts, but in a totally different way. the one that comes to mind first is the waiter explaining to me, 4 times, that steak tartare is raw, and that I will not like it, and that he will not take it back if it comes to the table and I do not like it and want to send it back. annoying? yes. vastly ammusing? also yes.

once one lightens up a little, life gets to be easier on all of us.
post #162 of 538
Thread Starter 
Under attack from all sides, battered and bruised, I turned to my friend, the [banned] E*****t in the old Europe, for advice. Known locally as M. McParis, he has become more and more impressed by American culture and sophistication, ever since he learned about the USA tradition of lap dancing, which apparently remains unknown in France. His advice; to hide my being a non-conformist in a conformist nation, to stop wearing ties to restaurants and don a baseball cap instead, to dispense with carrying my own balloon stemwear and wine basket with me, to abandon the BOR, to stop complaining to management, to stop ordering Ricard to drink. In other words, join the USA party.
Am I up to the task? Maybe not. Am I doomed to join he, Horace, the Shooman and Grayson in eternal damnation because of my non-conformity? Perhaps. It is still under consideration, but I do not know whether the next time my wife and I am approached by someone who says: "Hi folks, my name is Bruce and I will be taking care of you guys tonight," I will be able to muster up a smile and parrot back: "Hi, Bruce, I am Ken and this is Sue and we will loving the speil we know that you will be bestowing on us all evening."
post #163 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
KP seems to suffer from the idea that what comes from "over there" is always better, a form of inferiority complex. and while I agree with him that some of the points he mentions are annoying, I don't let it ruin my evening. nor would I assume that everybody would agree with me.

I think that the main thing that I am finding offensive, and TS and others have summed it up well, is the idea that there is a right way and a wrong way. for what ever reason, the corporations that came up with the standard operating procedures that KP hates have taken huge market share, some people like that way of doing business. and since we live in a capitalistic democracy, we are free to do business with them, or not, as we see fit.

as good as european service is - I have some funny memories of friench waiters that were just as annoying as their american counternparts, but in a totally different way. the one that comes to mind first is the waiter explaining to me, 4 times, that steak tartare is raw, and that I will not like it, and that he will not take it back if it comes to the table and I do not like it and want to send it back. annoying? yes. vastly ammusing? also yes.

once one lightens up a little, life gets to be easier on all of us.

I'll agree you can definitely sometimes get a grumpy waiter in France, especially in Paris, but sometimes it's a role they play. I usually have fun with them. The last time we were surprised by service in France was recently in St Tropez on a lazy warm afternoon. The wait staff were so busy having fun with each other, looking at pictures and laughing with another customer, that it took them quite a while to react to our presence. But once they noticed, they jumped to their feet and performed as expected.

Yes, lighten up. Still, if I know the vast majority of my experiences in US restaurants will be relatively unpleasant, I end up staying at home or carefully selecting the restaurant (obviously didn't do such a good job on Wednesday night). I'm far from a snob, I just like my water refilled, minimal interruptions from the waiter, and to get what I asked for. More easily said than done.
post #164 of 538
Thread Starter 
Who is being the snob here and who believes in equal treatment for everyone? I submit that those of you who are saying that neither of the two types of service are wrong are snobs.
You are saying that the type of service that Jean-Georges and Le Bernardin provide to their customers is right for them, while the very different type of service that the patrons of the Olive Garden in Times Square, only a few blocks away, have to submit to, is also right. How can this be? There is only one type of restaurant service, the right kind, IMO, in both grand and more modest places in London, Paris and Rome, although you may get a few more waiters and somewhat more attentive service in the former.
So why is it in America, alone, that two types of service are both right? I submit that what you are saying is that the rich and priviledged Park Avenue types that frequent Jean-Georges, etc., are entitled to one style of behavior and the hick tourists from Des Moines and Atlanta that go to the Olive Garden deserve the other type of service.
I think that this is snobbism. I think that everyone who dines out deserves the same treatment, regardless of their wealth and social class. Therefore, one type of service is right for everyone. The other type must be wrong, even for the peons.
post #165 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
Who is being the snob here and who believes in equal treatment for everyone? I submit that those of you who are saying that neither of the two types of service are wrong are snobs. You are saying that the type of service that Jean-Georges and Le Bernardin provide to their customers is right for them, while the very different type of service that the patrons of the Olive Garden in Times Square, only a few blocks away, have to submit to, is also right. How can this be? There is only one type of restaurant service, the right kind, IMO, in both grand and more modest places in London, Paris and Rome, although you may get a few more waiters and somewhat more attentive service in the former. So why is it in America, alone, that two types of service are both right? I submit that what you are saying is that the rich and priviledged Park Avenue types that frequent Jean-Georges, etc., are entitled to one style of behavior and the hick tourists from Des Moines and Atlanta that go to the Olive Garden deserve the other type of service. I think that this is snobbism. I think that everyone who dines out deserves the same treatment, regardless of their wealth and social class. Therefore, one type of service is right for everyone. The other type must be wrong, even for the peons.
I've enjoyed reading this thread but it is clear to me that KP is pulling everyones leg. It would be impossible for anyone write his last post......with a straight face (or straight fingers in this case). To subcribe to that logic you would also have to believe that there is only one brand of jeans....for everybody. One religion.....for everybody, etc, etc, etc. Thanks for the entertainment value KP.......Unfortunately, you have ruined all the fun by slipping over the line into recognizable comedy. It is so much better when there is the chance you are being serious.
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