They know they get paid according to how they treat us, right?

The Hubby and I ate at two completely different places this weekend, and our experiences really proved the point that good service is not based on the personality of the waiter or waitress, no matter how much I like them. No, good service is based on whether or not I am experiencing good service.

But before I get to that, on Friday night a small group of us (Hubby, Sabs, and the ever wonderful Mary) went to the Portland Museum of Art for it’s free Friday night session, which just happened to coincide with the opening of a Rock ‘N Roll Photo exhibit, which just happened to coincide with the First Friday Art Walk. Well that combination of those factors resulted in an at-capacity crowd of unwashed youth crowded into the Museum with us.

Are you ready to capture the exact moment that I get old? Get your camera’s ready! Here goes! There were alot of early college years kids there, and what’s with kids these days? They all had dirty hair and unwashed clothes and they smelled not so fresh. They were rude to us old fogeys when they bumped into us. They looked at us with the distrust that only the young can reserve for the not-so-young. Eh. That’s what I say. “Eh.” Well, that and “Keep off my lawn, you hooligans!”. Oh! And “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddlesome kids”.

After the museum we went to a South Portland BBQ place. They always have great food, so this isn’t about that. What I have noticed is that the last couple of times that I have been there, the wait staff couldn’t have cared less that we were there to eat. They were kinda ignory. Which I could forgive if they were better at their jobs. But the guy that we had (he never gave us his name) was more interested in watching the game that was playing on the TV in the bar than in helping us. FAIL!

On Saturday afternoon Hubby and I went to Imperial China, by the mall, for a quick lunch special in the middle of a shopping trip. I guess the one similarity between our waiters would be that neither cared about us at all, or tried to fake that they cared. The difference would be that they provided exceptional service at IC. It was quick (ten minutes from order to eat). Our water was continually topped off. As soon as I sipped the last of my soda, our waiter appeared and asked if I wanted another. When my dish was empty, another waiter walked by and whisked it away. Our check was on the table without me having to ask for it, and it was back to me in seconds. The brevity was amazing, but the service was perfect. PS – The food is pretty good, too.

In short, I like a chatty nice waiter/waitress, I like to forge bonds and chuckle and have a good time. But I love great service, and that trumps personality every time.

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4 Responses to Waiting

  1. Sadie's Mama says:

    Yes, his ignoring us as we were leaving made me wish I’d left a smaller tip.

  2. Tara says:

    I’m am SO with you on this one. My husband and I are big on service, of course he is more vocal than I and he will flat out not leave a dime of a tip if he feels that the wait was not doing the job they were there to do. I on the other hand always slip something on the table without him seeing. 😉 I feel bad.. Yes I am sucker.

  3. Something I have always believed (and observed) is that a restaurant with mediocre food and fantastic service will be more successful than a place with fantastic food and mediocre service. Service trumps all. That having been said, my job as a waiter is to “read” my customer and, hopefully provide the most complete dining experience possible. I’ve gotten pretty good at it and have provided for my family for 40 + years as a waiter. That also having been said, a customer who treats me with an attitude will reap what they sow.
    Wishing you the best from Indiana, USA,

  4. and one more thing… remember, the law puts waiters and waitresses in the same labor category as migrant workers, thereby allowing restaurant owners to pay well below minimum wage. Therefore, the labor pool available is filled with more from the bottom of the barrel than it is with nuclear scientists!

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