Servers dish about discourteous customers -- and how they take their revenge...
We set out to examine customer service in the restaurant business -- from the servers' perspective. It wasn't easy to find people willing to talk to a reporter on the record, because saying anything negative about customers could hurt their business. In the end, we were able to find three people willing to talk -- though two are no longer in the business.
What we learned was eye-opening. We had not known -- or considered -- for example, that waiters and waitresses are usually watching and evaluating the behavior of their customers as carefully as their customers are evaluating them. Keeping that in mind puts a whole new twist on the dining experience.
When you go out to dinner, leave the pretentious act at home. Don't snap your fingers to get your server's attention, talk down to him or yell. Waiters really hate that (wouldn't you?). And they have ways of getting back at you. Those stories about waiters spitting in people's food ... well, they're not just stories.
In July 2008, Steve Dublanica, a former waiter in suburban New York City, published "Waiter Rant," an insider's look at the restaurant world that grew out of his blog of the same name (http://www.waiterrant.net/
). The book was published anonymously, though Dublanica has since been 'outed.' But he will not reveal the names of the restaurants where he worked or any of the people who worked with him. (Dublanica stopped waiting tables a couple of months before the book was published.)
When Dublanica started working as a waiter it was supposed to be temporary -- something to do between careers. He began blogging to deal with his frustration, both with himself and the job.
In his experience, Dublanica says roughly 80 percent of diners are pleasant and treat servers respectfully. It's the other 20 percent who are the problem. "It's not so much what they do, it's their attitude," he says. "They look at anyone in a service position as a loser. It drives waiters insane."
That 20 percent, he continues, thinks they can say and do anything. "I've had people yell at me... say I sounded too gay [he's not]. That's when waiters spit in your food." Though he concedes, "I didn't work with a lot of spitters," nor was he one himself. Dublanica preferred much more "elegant revenge" -- like telling customers their credit cards had been declined or seating them near the restrooms.
92 Ranger Walkthrough
Team Shok Industries / Team NWSPL