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US waiters' worst conduct

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by kennethpollock, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    I see a definite Raymond Carver influence in that waiter blog.
     
  2. Bouji

    Bouji Well-Known Member

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    I would like to make it known; I am in the Fabienne, Label King, and Kennethpollock camp, on this one.
    Living in London, I can honestly say that what Mr. Pollock claims about the standard of service in European establishments, on a broad level I agree, but times are changing here too, gone are the days when you can get truly proper service even in the mediocre places. It's not to the extent to this sickly sweet, brain hammering annoying level of service that I experience Stateside, but in a different way. In a way that the Champagne-Socialists (Gauche caviar" "Limousine liberal" or "latte liberal") of this thread are likely to be with me on, they are in a more technical sense, bad servers, they don't clear plates on time, have to be called to take my order, get orders wrong. Luckily we have not got into the culture of first name greetings, lest I articulate TGIF, but that is as good as being in America anyway.
    I’d also like to remind you that dining in a restaurant is not a technical experience, it is supposed to be enjoyed (by those who know how; this is why being comfortable does not come into the picture). So, with regard to the marketing argument, false.
    You may take objection to the Champagne-Socialist label, which I put towards members on this thread, whom I choose not to mention, however, for this there is ample prudence. A restaurant is traditionally (and don't get on high-horses with me; I'm in my late 20s, although, of course a hard-line Tory supporter) an establishment, into which a group of people go, to enjoy fine food, and one and other's company, for the upper and middle classes, and the role of the wait staff, is to provide discreet, efficient service. I think this has been mentioned, but you are not there to make friends with the wait staff. If that was an individual's aim, perhaps an escort service is better suited to that sort of individual.
    I would also like to make a disclaimer, that in 'real-life' I would not involve myself in such an argument, I would distance myself from individuals with such liberal, socialist, or champagne socialist views. However, this is the internet, and I feel that we Conservatives are in the minority, and a voice of reason has to be heard out.
    I would, most of all like to make clear that I do not have objection to such service when I am in TGIF, or such and establishment. Also, when I travel to America, it can be novel at times. Perhaps such behavior suits America, and in this I am speaking out of turn, because cultural differences need to be accounted for, after all, America is a liberal land compared to Europe. Such behavior by wait staff does irritate me, but as with everything, I’m willing to put up with it when I am in America, or an American style place here.
    I just hope it does not come here in a big way!
     
  3. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    I was unaware that TGI-Fridays was a french restaraunt... [​IMG]
    I was unaware too. Oddly, I've never been to that restaurant, which I suppose is a blessing in a very patched disguise.
     
  4. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    Bouji, we know Oscar Wilde said it best: 'America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.'
     
  5. Bouji

    Bouji Well-Known Member

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    Bouji, we know Oscar Wilde said it best:

    'America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.'


    Indeed.
     
  6. whoopee

    whoopee Well-Known Member

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    "Only" is no longer accurate.

    Americans seem to want to be friends to all classses and all people. I recall a bathroom attendant at a restaurant/hotel trying to chat with me while I was standing in front of a urinal. It seems it would've been snobbish not to respond .
     
  7. Bouji

    Bouji Well-Known Member

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    "Only" is no longer accurate.

    Americans seem to want to be friends to all classses and all people. I recall a bathroom attendant at a restaurant/hotel trying to chat with me while I was standing in front of a urinal. It seems it would've been snobbish not to respond .


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    "Only" is no longer accurate.

    Americans seem to want to be friends to all classses and all people. I recall a bathroom attendant at a restaurant/hotel trying to chat with me while I was standing in front of a urinal. It seems it would've been snobbish not to respond .

    The idea is nice but the realization is usually tragic.
     
  9. VMan

    VMan Well-Known Member

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    Whether I'm getting a $4 burger at a grill-type restaurant, or a $7 Chinese buffet, or a $75 dinner at an upscale restaurant, I'd want the same treatment - a genuine smile, not being too forward or pushy, and respectable service. I'm sure they'd love the same out of me, and I always give them that respect. How they clear the plates, drop off the bill, read the specials (how much work is it to ask them to repeat a certain part?), state their name, or recommend menu items is up to them, so long as they follow some sort of broad 'norms'.

    I'm not trying to impress anyone, or prove myself better. I'm just out for the food, drinks, and to have a good time. It would relax me a lot more as well to see the waiters at least in a happy state of mind than walking like pretentious zombies.
     
  10. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  12. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. kennethpollock

    kennethpollock Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  14. Violinist

    Violinist Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  15. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Well-Known Member

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    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!
    Laughing stock of the world? Exaggerated. Either that or a lack of experience [​IMG] 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.
     
  16. Violinist

    Violinist Well-Known Member

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    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 [​IMG] 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.
     
  17. shellshock

    shellshock Well-Known Member

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    Dear Mr. Kennethpollock,
    please open your own restaurant, train your servers the way you want them, and then eat there. Alone. [​IMG]
     
  18. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] mr. P still stirring up trouble i see. ah, the classics never get old.
     
  19. mbc

    mbc Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  20. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    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 [​IMG] 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
     

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