Friday, June 29, 2007

The Mean Waitress

Last night, I went to Lir with a group of friends. Although it was crowded and uncomfortably hot, we nabbed a big table in the front window so we decided to stay. Right from the start, our waitress was downright mean. Like, high school bitch mean. She acted like she was doing us a favor by taking our order, and did it in a really rude manner: rolling her eyes and saying "Tell me your drink order right now because it's a pain to get to this table."

Then, when our food came out, she brought the plates over to me and said: "You pass these out." and started handing me the plates one by one, and loudly said to another waiter "I'm really mean tonight." Yeah, no shit.

Having waitressed for many years, I am normally sympathetic to servers. All you have to do is smile and say something like "Sorry, it's really busy in here tonight." if you're not doing a good job. I am also normally a good tipper. 20% in general, 25% for very good service, and 15% if the service is lousy. Usually, bad service means they forget to bring your drink, or the food orders get messed up, or you have to wait a long time, and not open rudeness. We left her an 11% tip and I included a note:

"We're all former servers and would have given a great tip if you weren't openly hostile. I hope your night gets better."

I felt a little bit guilty about it later. And also a little bit like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when she pulls the whole "Big mistake! Huge!" thing on the snobby salespeople. What do you think? Too harsh, or deserved? Regardless, I'll never go to Lir again. They must pool their tips, otherwise that girl would never make any money.

14 comments:

danimal said...

GO Elena!!! You should have told her to suck a fat one!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Danimal! You did the right thing, though the right thing would have been to stiff her!

Angela said...

She actually said, "it's a pain to get to this table"?! I waitressed for years and no matter how busy I got, I always remained nice to the customers. Waitressing is half acting after all.

Eric Jay said...

As a former server, I think you did the right thing. I don't advocate for not leaving a tip at all, since that often costs the server money (tip-out to bar and bus staff, being taxed on an assumed tip percentage, etc). I'm normally a 20-25% tipper, but don't think 10-15% is too harsh for lousy service.

I also like the note you left - a low tip by itself doesn't really do the trick, since the server could decide to attribute that to "bad tippers."

As far as I'm concerned, there's no excuse for the "table is really hard to get to" remark, having you pass out the plates, or commenting openly that she knows she's being mean. That sorta thing goes beyond lousy service, and would make me consider talking to the manager.

Only in Boston, Kids! said...

You did the right thing. A 11% tip for passive-aggressive tantrum and lack of professionalism in serving you indicates your displeasure without saying a word.

Leaving the note was a nice touch, but on the way out, you should have found the manager. Telling him/her about the good food, but poor service (including her snide comments and making you pass out the food) is unacceptable, especially when waitress' said job is to serve. The manager then can go from there and perhaps relieve her of her job, as it seems serving others is beneath her.

Only in Boston, Kids! said...

whoops...finger gremlins got me...

Telling the manager about the good food, but the waitresses' poor service (including her snide comments and making you pass out the food), especially when waitresses' said job is to serve, is unacceptable.

J.R. said...

as a server, i'd say you did fine. i heard the whole story and she was AWFUL. but never ever ever stiff someone. remember waiters in this state make about $2.50/hr... basically nothing. Imagine having a really really bad day and then on top of that your boss walks in and says, "oh, and by the way, we decided to withhold your paycheck today also since you sucked today."

Jen Stewart said...

Speaking as someone who waited tables and tended bar for over 10 years ago, I would've left her a BIG FAT ZERO. With the note. And a chat with the manager.

Yes, I realize that waitstaff make less than minimum wage in some states (like MA). But there is NO reason for that kind of treatment of a guest. And no reason whatsoever to reward it with ANY kind of gratuity.

Amanda said...

I think the Eileeno table did the right thing, and perhaps you should have kicked her too.

danimal said...

Next time, spit in her face, Elena!!!

eileen said...

thanks for your comments, everyone! I did consider talking to the manager, but decided that it wasn't worth the trouble. Basically, I just wanted to let the girl know that she was being a bitch, but wasn't aiming to get her fired.

ryan said...

Who knew DCOE readers were such a vindictive bunch? Yikes!

Frances said...

I agree with Jen...a big. fat. nothin'. I think the $2.50 an hour because of tips things is to ENSURE good service. If YOU had to pass out the plates, and she was rude all the way around, she doesn't deserve a tip. That's like giving a kid candy for swearing.

Frances said...

I am such a bonehead sometimes. Forgive my spelling in the previous post...TIPS = To INSURE (not ensure) Proper Service. Sorry about that, I will proofread more carefully next time.