My friend Anna came down from Tupelo to visit me for the weekend. I have mentioned Anna here previously. She is the only one of my college buddies who has entered the real world. And now she spends her time drinking whiskey and shopping on QVC.
Since we always pig out when Anna comes into town, we went to lunch at Chili's. We just got a Chilis in Columbus, and every time we've been there the service has been pretty slow. But the food is good, and it just gives us more time to talk.
When we walked into the restaurant, we overheard some customers complaining about the girl whose section we were ultimately placed in. The waitress was really, really nice. But the service was horrid. We didn't get waited on for five minutes, she couldn't remember to bring us straws, and she didn't bring out the appetizers out until 30 seconds before the meal. And a whole bunch of stuff that I don’t need to mention.
On the same token, the hostess kept sitting everyone in her section. There were a couple of other waitresses just sitting on their butts watching. Every once in a while her coworkers would approach her just to tell her a customer needed something. When they could have done it themselves in half the time it took to relay the message. I have never seen a restaurant where they didn't help each other out when needed.
People were constantly jumping down her throat, complaining, and calling for the manager. I understand why people were mad, but she was trying her hardest. She was running, literally, from table to table. She was the life size version of Flo from Diner Dash. She was taking it so stoically as she was being attacked. If I was in her shoes, I might have quit.
I remember working at Target a few years ago. And the first day I was learning, someone was really mean to me. And after I checked them out, I calmly proceeded to the bathroom stall and cried. Things got easier after a few days. I did learn the ropes, but I continue to meet really cruel people along the way. I even had one lady who barked at me. Literally barked at me like a dog. Several times.
There were also people who expected me to know anything and everything about the store, just because I worked there. Let’s forget the fact I was a check out girl and had never even went into the back of the store. Then there were the people that had to fight about an item being 5 cents higher than the advertised price (true story). But like I said, I got used to it.
After dealing with the ragers and the crazies, my whole perspective on cashiers and waitresses/waiters has completely changed. I'm less quick to get annoyed. When mistakes are made, I tell them I REALLY, really understand. And the only time I ever get mad at them is if they are first rude to me.
And in a way I think everyone should have to work those kinds of jobs at least once in their lifetime. Not only does it make you respect these people more, but it lets you see how completely and utterly foolish you look.
I'm not saying it’s not ok to complain. You are paying for a service and expect to get that service. But there are more constructive ways to complain.
We never complained to our waitress or the manager. That was the last thing she needed. I would have loved to give her a hug, and tell her manager how awesome she was. But we settled for each of given a really big tip. And maybe just maybe our tips made things just a little bit better.