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US waiters' worst conduct - Page 28

post #406 of 538
Ok I admit I don't have much work to do today but I just read this entire thread and I feel less enthusiastic about our future as a species than when I began it, 28 pages of banter about service at restaurants? Although I must say, JBZ' champange pee post deserves to be memorialized.
post #407 of 538
I almost never tell people where I'm actually from to avoid inane conversations... I'm a white African so most people have 2000 questions to ask.
post #408 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
Random tangent:

When I call a "customer service" number and they answer the phone over in India, they make up some non-Indian sounding name like Darius, Ashe, Sunny, or Charlie. I know that this probably (90% sure) isn't their real name, but I don't know why they do this. Is it to prevent Americans from becoming pissed off at the outsourcing of our jobs? Or just to make us feel more comfortable?

Ashe and Sunny are both common Indian names.
post #409 of 538
And they're picked because they also work for talking to Americans. It is very unlikely that you ever get the CSR's real name.
post #410 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucemaster
He also said that he objected to being referred to as "a commoner", and suggested that anyone who did not like waitstaff to serve them in the manner that he likes to be served were "hicks" and "rednecks". Among many other things.

He may not have used the word "aristocrat", but let's not pretend this is coming out of the blue.

I would also object to being referred to as a commoner. Fortunately, I have never been addressed as "folks" at a restaurant, or at least not at any restaurant where I would not expect to be addressed as such.

Not that I ever imagined I'd be defending KP, but I believe his complaint was with the level of restaurant service in general sinking to a lowest common denominator. I don't believe he ever claimed that anyone who did not prefer a superior level of service was by definition a "hick" or "redneck." What I believe he objected to is being talked down to by the waitstaff as if he had never eaten in a restaurant before and needed to be guided like the children in Fabienne's translation exercise.

Finally, let me say that I'm baffled by the use of "aristocrat" as a term of derision. While this might once have connoted the oppression of others by a hereditary class, in this age of egalitarianism doesn't it rather represent an ideal we can all attain? Why drag everything down to a lower level when we can raise it to a higher one?
post #411 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
I would also object to being referred to as a commoner. Fortunately, I have never been addressed as "folks" at a restaurant, or at least not at any restaurant where I would not expect to be addressed as such.

Not that I ever imagined I'd be defending KP, but I believe his complaint was with the level of restaurant service in general sinking to a lowest common denominator. I don't believe he ever claimed that anyone who did not prefer a superior level of service was by definition a "hick" or "redneck." What I believe he objected to is being talked down to by the waitstaff as if he had never eaten in a restaurant before and needed to be guided like the children in Fabienne's translation exercise.

Finally, let me say that I'm baffled by the use of "aristocrat" as a term of derision. While this might once have connoted the oppression of others by a hereditary class, in this age of egalitarianism doesn't it rather represent an ideal we can all attain? Why drag everything down to a lower level when we can raise it to a higher one?

Honestly, I need to stop reading this thread, because I don't even care that much about it. I have no wish to argue any of these points. For the record, to explain myself:

1) "Folks" is not considered to be in any way demeaning by the vast majority of people that I have met, and I would be willing to stake money that the majority of Americans feel the same way.

Further, being referred to as "a commoner" would be offensive not because it is horrible to be lumped in with all the rubes and commoners of the world. It would be offensive because of what it says about the attitudes of the person using it as an "insult"--in other words, it would speak volumes about the snobbishness of the person who felt that being a "common" person was somehow an insulting state of affairs.

2) KP has consistently stated that the sort of treatment he decries is "hick service" and service "for rednecks". If a person prefers "hick" or "redneck" service, what does that make him? KP simply believes, against all evidence, that most people in America actually do *not* want familiar and friendly service, which is the only way he avoids the obvious conclusion, based on his premise, that most Americans are in fact hicks and rednecks. I think GT has sufficiently demonstrated that he's wrong about what people in America do and do not want from their servers.

3) What is so baffling about the use of "aristocrat" as a term of derision? The entire notion of aristocracy *necessitates* that the "aristocrat" be considered superior to the "commoners". The folks, even! If we raise all the "commoners" to a higher level, they're still commoners. In fact, that new level of excellence becomes, by definition... common. On the other hand, if everyone's an "aristocrat", they're really all just "commoners" after all, aren't they?

"Aristocrat" is a term of assumed superiority. Anyone who assumes themselves truly superior to the "masses" or the "commoners" has earned my derision tenfold.

If other people want to reappropriate the word and use it positively, though, then that's fine, but then I don't see how class enters into the discussion at all.

Look, some of KP's pet peeves bug me, too. If someone else, in a different tone, without KP's obsession with class and status wrote what KP had written, I would probably have chuckled. It's the kind of thing I might have written as a self-mocking but pseudo-serious joke. But if it's not--and I'm still not convinced the whole thread wasn't just a well-executed prank on the whole forum--then surely you must understand why KP's post has more than a few of us a bit riled up.

I think I'm with whnay in the end, though. I have got to leave this thread alone, it's not worth it.
post #412 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
Random tangent:

When I call a "customer service" number and they answer the phone over in India, they make up some non-Indian sounding name like Darius, Ashe, Sunny, or Charlie. I know that this probably (90% sure) isn't their real name, but I don't know why they do this. Is it to prevent Americans from becoming pissed off at the outsourcing of our jobs? Or just to make us feel more comfortable?

From my experience working in a call centre which also has agents overseas:

a) They do usually get given an alias to make them sound less foreign. Considering many of them sound much more American than I do (Bradford can attest to that ), it can help (I am not joking regarding their speech).

b) The average American/english-speaker has trouble pronouncing longer words/names as well as names that involve unfamiliar phonetic structures.

c) The whole outsourcing thing is true. I have heard numerous complaints where this is an issue. Does not matter if the caller is from the depths of Appallachia where to me he is completely unintelligible and the agent who happens to be located in India technically speaks better english.

See, now I am going to rant!
My favourite was when some "lady", after a lengthy argument with me on why the software I supported did not have a certain functionality that she wanted it to have, decided to tell me that she wanted to speak to some one that had english as their first language. Well, that did piss me off. Sorry but my grandmother is from Torquay Devon, I am bilingual. Normally I do not care about such jabs from cretins, I would get those periodically.
However, she did this for two reasons: 1) she decided that the fact that I kept telling her that the functionality in question did not exist meant that I did not understand what she meant 2) she knew that she could play the "he is not American!" card to get what she wanted out of me or possibly speak to someone else she could force in to admitting some great secret that she thought I was withholding from her.
Anyone who has worked in that environment for a bit will be able to tell that I am not making this stuff up
post #413 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arethusa
This is slightly tangential, but I am curious; regardless of your financial situation, doesn't wasting perfectly edible (and, indeed, excellent) food bother you? Not so much you specifically (as you said, this rarely happens to you), but the idea that it is somehow more "gentlemanly" or "proper" to waste food in brazen, classist indifference strikes me as both pervese and offensive. Not exactly a shocking departure from normal conduct for KP, but, well, there you go.
story to go off on a tangent from your tangent (thats what SF is all about, right)

so we go to book an event for a client at Sheraton Saigon for a client, and we needed a relatively large room to set up product displays.

Catering was $14 per head, we were expecting 50 guests, in the larger room that meant that we had to pay a $300 room rental fee, but if we had 60 guests, room rental is included in the catering bill.

I said to them "hold on, if we pay $140 more (ie 10 more guests @ $14 pp), we get the room free and a bunch of wasted food, and if we dont, it costs us $300 for the room"

"Yes sir"

"Thats ridiculous, why not just give us $100 room fee, and save your ingredients, everyone happy"

"No sir, room fee $300"

"Can we cater for 10 extra people and take the food away, donate it to charity"

"No sir, you may not take the food out of the hotel"

"So the best option is for you guys to make a ton more food, and then we will just scrape it all into the trash after the event"

Blank look. Shrug. Matt leaves. Event hosted elsewhere, but was amazed that wasting food is cheaper than room rent in a poor country.
post #414 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by m@T
story to go off on a tangent from your tangent (thats what SF is all about, right)

so we go to book an event for a client at Sheraton Saigon for a client, and we needed a relatively large room to set up product displays.

Catering was $14 per head, we were expecting 50 guests, in the larger room that meant that we had to pay a $300 room rental fee, but if we had 60 guests, room rental is included in the catering bill.

I said to them "hold on, if we pay $140 more (ie 10 more guests @ $14 pp), we get the room free and a bunch of wasted food, and if we dont, it costs us $300 for the room"

"Yes sir"

"Thats ridiculous, why not just give us $100 room fee, and save your ingredients, everyone happy"

"No sir, room fee $300"

"Can we cater for 10 extra people and take the food away, donate it to charity"

"No sir, you may not take the food out of the hotel"

"So the best option is for you guys to make a ton more food, and then we will just scrape it all into the trash after the event"

Blank look. Shrug. Matt leaves. Event hosted elsewhere, but was amazed that wasting food is cheaper than room rent in a poor country.


well, as long as the waiter didn't tell you his name, then eveything is ok.
post #415 of 538
A few years ago, the Savoy Grill Room in London was "Ramsayfied", meaning that its olde worlde, roast beef on the trolley cuisine and interior were removed, and a celebrity chef was installed, together with ironic furnishings in the classic space.

I could go on and on about the indignities inflicted on the place, but one of the interesting things was that before the makeover the entire staff had been Italian, but afterwards everyone was French. This resulted in a definite change in tone with the service.

The old Italian service was always proper, respectful, but playful. It could sense what kind of dinner you were having, how "relaxed" the diners were at any particular time and how the patrons' evening could be improved. Invariably, the evening would begin rather formally, but by the end, when the cheese trolley was wheeled out and later when the humidor was brought (o tempores, o mores!), small jokes were being exchanged and the diners were prompted to indulge themselves like naughty children with sweets and after-dinner drinks. Of course, noone exchanged personal information, but it was small talk at its most pleasant.

Fast forward to now. Leaving aside the menu and the preparation changes, the French service is extremely professional, but also very mechanical. There is no understanding of (or attempt to understand) the diners' mood. All of the back and forth is gone, although some of the younger waiters are able to rise to it if pushed. Certainly, the idea of indulgence has been eliminated from the experience. It was impossible to replicate the relaxed formality of our prior dinners there.
post #416 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
I think that this started in japan, and I like it, myself

When I am at home I go to this same bank a couple times a week and the manager asks me everytime if he can help me. I am there only to make a deposit or withdraw money which by this time I already know how to do. I liked it better when the people would say hello and make small talk because they wanted to.
post #417 of 538
I just saw this, on a chicago food forum, and thought that it would fit in nicely with this thread.


Romano's Macaroni Grill

Fellow Foodie Friends,

I just wanted to share our super din-din experience tonight at Macaroni Grill. Our waiter, Tad, was just super, friendly, well groomed and very bubbly personality, he told us he's an aspiring actor, how cool. Not only was Tad a super cool guy, but the restaurant itself was so inviting we ended up staying almost one full hour, just for dinner, can you imagine?

Macaroni, don't you just love the name, had pictures of real Italians on the wall and, not just Italians, but cool old Italians like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Macaroni also had pictures of Italy, no Eiffel Tower though, and played real Italian music, I recognized two songs from the Godfather movie and the theme song from the Sopranos.

The food you ask, how was the food, just yummy, I mean really yummy, to die for. The pasta (means spaghetti, but in Italian) was just loaded with sauce, the meat balls were as big as soft balls and the portion was so huge that four of us could have shared. We also had pizza, which was just so delish, so loaded with cheese that it reminded me of a grilled cheese sandwich.

We had vino (wine in Italian) and it was really really good, but it was white, not like my usual pinkish color that I like to order. I think it was a grigio, sort of like that cool movie with Ben and J-Low. As an aside, why do you think they call zinfandel white if it's really pink?

Here's the coolest part, Macaroni (doesn't the name just sing Italian) just opened up near my house, my tummy is so very happy.

Hope all my Fabulous Foodie Friends had a very yummy evening, I know I sure did.

Enjoy,
post #418 of 538
LOL!

Honestly, I like the Macaroni Grill, for what it is. Great for birthday dinners in college.
post #419 of 538
This place really exists? I thought it was a send up.
post #420 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoopee
This place really exists? I thought it was a send up.

They make the waiters and waitresses write their names backwards on your (paper) tablecloth in crayon (i.e. backwards to them, forwards to you). It's Mr. Pollack's kind of place...
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