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US waiters' worst conduct - Page 6

post #76 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
In order: (a) My name is Bruce and I'll be taking care of you tonight (who cares what his name is and his purpose is obvious) (b) you guys (when some of the guests are ladies) (c) folks (i.e., commoners) (d) Do you have any questions about the menu? (an insult; I can read English and am an experienced diner) (e) Let me get this out of your way (as he snatches away a plate that really was not in my way) (f) my favorite dishes are ----- (who cares?) (g) tonight's specials are --- (as he reels off 8-10 dishes; mind-boggling; why can't they print it, as the specials are the same nearly every night) (h) plopping down the bill before it is requested (i) placing the cork on the table, or even worse, holding it near my nose (j) tying a napkin around the neck of the wine bottle (k) what "temperature" do you want your steak? (I usually say "hot")
i used to manage a restaurant, and i agree with a couple of things in kp's post. i'm assuming we're discussing real restaurants, not denny's. (a) you should call your waiter, "waiter." it is a professional relationship and he is there to serve you. (b) why do people say 'guys' when there are women in the group? i find this annoying and not just from waiters. i know it's common, but that doesn't make it right. (h) this is just plain bad service. many corporate places do this to get you to leave sooner than you otherwise would. on a related note: a previous poster claims that saying 'you guys' is okay because it's the same as saying 'you all'. well, isn't 'you all' slang and incorrect? i believe that in english, the plural form of 'you' is still 'you'. it doesn't matter whether you're speaking to one person or a thousand. of course, in the south people say, "y'all come back now ya hear," but that's not correct english is it?
post #77 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concordia
I've not yet got into olive oil in a big way, but I wouldn't mind hearing a little about it from someone who knows.

Of course, knowing when to zip it is a valuable trait in any service person. I don't mean that in a hostile way, but there is a time and a place for conversation.

FYI: the dipping bread in olive oil thing is not done in Italy, unless perhaps you're at a place where they make oil, to let you taste it. I have an Italian friend who teaches culture and language classes in the US, and this is part of her list of misconceptions about Italians and Italy.

It may be an American take on the rustic Italian bruschetta (roast slice of bread, rub garlic clove over it, dispense olive oil by holding the piece of bread straight up and letting olive oil drizzle on the bread, sprinkle with a little salt and eat still warm.
post #78 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
I just e-mailed this topic to E*****t (banned) and got this response:
"when someone invits you to dinner in PAris it is for sex"

"that's why me and Katia came in your room the first time but we were desappointed to see you only showed us old ties and moth-eated vest !"

I suppose we all miss Ernest's humor.
post #79 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concordia
.

Thinking on that theme, there is a restaurant in Boston so good and expensive that it tends to be something of a destination for big dates, bonus celebrations, and the like. There must be regulars who eat there, but there are a lot of diners for whom this is a big step up from the usual. So the staff often go overboard with the chatter, to loosen things up and make people feel a little less excluded. "This is [names what's on the plate.] It is an amuse bouche [umm.. OK]. It means 'to amuse the mouth' and is our offering between courses to cleanse the palate [SHUT UP NOW!]." This is clearly a case of management policy, however, and not rude or inattentive service.


Before they start educating the public on what an "Amuse-bouche" might be, they ought to do a little research on this euphemism's actual purpose. I think it's all mixed up in their heads with a trou normand in there somewhere, somehow.
post #80 of 538
i dont like when waiters come to my table, and, unsure if i have any beer left, pick it up and swish it around a little, determine there is still an inch or so left and put it down. its like "it used to be 'i only have a little beer left' but now its 'i only have a little beer left and its a little flatter too'" other than that, meh, im pretty easy.
post #81 of 538
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
FYI: the dipping bread in olive oil thing is not done in Italy, unless perhaps you're at a place where they make oil, to let you taste it. I have an Italian friend who teaches culture and language classes in the US, and this is part of her list of misconceptions about Italians and Italy.

I have been to Italy 6-7 times and I never saw this either. We were always served butter with our bread. I think this "authentic Italian" custom comes from California. However, a friend once told me that it may be done in very, very modest restaurants in the South of Italy.
post #82 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta

on a related note: a previous poster claims that saying 'you guys' is okay because it's the same as saying 'you all'. well, isn't 'you all' slang and incorrect? i believe that in english, the plural form of 'you' is still 'you'. it doesn't matter whether you're speaking to one person or a thousand. of course, in the south people say, "y'all come back now ya hear," but that's not correct english is it?

It's informal, like not bothering to capitalize.
post #83 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
I have been to Italy 6-7 times and I never saw this either. We were always served butter with our bread. I think this "authentic Italian" custom comes from California. However, a friend once told me that it may be done in very, very modest restaurants in the South of Italy.
I was in Florence 3 years ago and dined at some pretty nice restaurants. I certainly wouldn't consider them "modest" considering the the cost. If memory serves me right, 2-3 of them did the olive oil dish with bread. It may not be an "authenic Italian" dining custom, but I can assure you that it is done in Italy. Maybe they stole it from the Olive Garden?
post #84 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
I suppose we all miss Ernest's humor.

You find it funny to make fun of the insane?

Jon.
post #85 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay allen
I was in Florence 3 years ago and dined at some pretty nice restaurants. I certainly wouldn't consider them "modest" considering the the cost. If memory serves me right, 2-3 of them did the olive oil dish with bread. It may not be an "authenic Italian" dining custom, but I can assure you that it is done in Italy. Maybe they stole it from the Olive Garden?

How odd. A few years ago, I asked one of my Italian friends about this custom. She's a woman in her fifties, a great cook, and travels all over Italy for work, resides half the year in Florence and the other half in Sicily, and she looked at me like I was mad.

My two other Italian friends, from Rome and northern Italy, are younger (twenties and thirties) and even though they now reside here in the US, they are university professors and spend all their summers in Italy, and they've never seen anything like it.

My experience doesn't count compared to theirs, but in my several trips, I've never seen this done.

Curiouser and curiouser! Cried Fabienne.
post #86 of 538
Going back to Mr. Pollock's observations there are a few pieces of information that need to be added. I will preface my comments by saying that this is not in reference to dining at the highest level but rather at the majority of mid scale, some independent, some chain restaurants. My opinion is that when you are paying over $100 for your meal your server should be the gastronomic equivalent of Jeeves from Jeeves and Wooster.

Before one complains about the WAY in which a server attends you, not the quality of service, but the practices that are used (such as outlined by Mr. Pollock), one needs to realize that these are not up to the waiter's discretion, there are specific practices that need to be attended to as a waiter. I worked as a waiter for 2 years in a mid to upper scale chain. At least once each quarter of the year we as servers would be shopped, ie. the anonymous diner comes in and has a 3 page marking sheet with which they record every thing you do and say, over 60 different check marks. As servers if you forgot to ask if they wanted seasonal berries with their cheesecake, listed only 1 special at the beginning, forgot to use your name and specifically welcome them, etc. etc. and wound up with less than 80 points out of 100 you would find yourself fired.

This is standard practice in the restaurant industry, especially for anything that is a chain. Does this lead to formulaic delivery of service and unnecessary hounding of specials and unnecessary talking by the waiter sometimes, yes. BUT, it's not the server's fault. When I was working I was always scared shitless that I was going to get one of the shoppers, fuck up on what is essentially some small insignificant detail and find myself out of a job. So I did all the pedantic things that were required of me. If you really have that much of an issue with items like this take it up with the restaurant, not the staff. I had no choice as to whether or not I would tell you my name, tell you the specials or ask how you wanted your steak done, or any of the other trivial matters that were required of us in the 80 page serving manual we had to memorize from cover to cover.

If you were to complain about bad service, slow/cold/wrong food, rude waiters etc. I would fully endorse you in that and be right alongside with my own stories. However, this bitching about waiters for what is ENTIRELY OUT OF THEIR CONTROL is really rather prickish. I know that people's feelings towards dining out and the experiences they have can lead to strong feelings. Everyone has had horrible service at some point. Should you be able to complain about that? Absolutely, I see it as being a disservice to the server, the restaurant and your fellow diners not to complain because that means that that waiter is out there ruining other people's meals as well. But for all of you to nit pick about practices that the restaurant implements while failing to acknowledge the fact that these are out of the server's control makes you look really petty and arrogant and shows a real lack of understanding for what they have to go through. They don't want to be saying these things anymore than you want to hear them.

I have had just about any kind of job you could possibly imagine including manual labour. Bar none serving was the hardest. I once wore a pedometer during a shift to see how far I had to walk. Over the course of four hours I walked over 10 kilometers (6.5 miles) while balancing 10-15 pounds on a tray, not to mention the lifting of racks of glasses and stacks of plates that can be 30-40 pounds, often doing this for 10 hours straight without a single 5 minute break because the restaurant industry is the one which is not required to give its employees breaks. Some people that that's just what their job entails, and it is. But I'll say it again, these people work their asses off and next time you want to bitch think twice before lambasting them for trying to keep their jobs.

I want to apologize if I have offended anyone here, but this is always a topic that tends to irk me.
post #87 of 538
All the more reason to avoid chains.
post #88 of 538
Here's another peeve, which is almost certainly imposed by management:

You place your order, and the waiter says "Good choice!"

Does he say that for everything ["I'll have the dogshit with anchovy sauce." "Good choice!"], or is there a part of the menu that he didn't bother to warn you off before you started?
post #89 of 538
Quote:
It's informal, like not bothering to capitalize.

lol

English is a living language, constantly changing and evolving. Middle-American dialect is therefore no more incorrect or correct than Southern, NY/NJ, or even the mutitude of dialects spoken in the UK and around the world. If someone is going to get all worked up and offended because someone else uses the words "you all" or "yall", that someone needs to get a life. Besides, having a plural form of 'you' is a good thing imo, the language would obviously be lacking without it, as far as clarity goes.
post #90 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn
Besides, having a plural form of 'you' is a good thing imo, the language would obviously be lacking without it, as far as clarity goes.
What's wrong with "youse?"
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