Following my many blogs about service and what I hate about customers, these are some things that customers do that make my job worthwhile, or at least make me laugh a lot (with disbelief sometimes).
These are my top 10:
- That little moment when you’re paying can, if you don’t talk right away, be filled with a deadly, awkward silence. In some situations, I imagine that the man paying is desperately hoping that his card won’t get rejected. Once, I had a couple in and the man’s card got rejected so the girl had to pay. It was their first date, needless to say it just got progressively more awkward.
- Make a silly joke – I really appreciate people making jokes, it lightens up my day. But most of them are so terrible I pretend to find them funny. Or just laugh at how bad they are.
- Wandering into a fully booked restaurant and plonking themselves in a prime seat. ‘But it’s half-empty’! – it won’t be in twenty minutes you goon, they’re all booked! Having said that, it is sometimes difficult to discern what you should do in a restaurant when wandering in. if so, it’s probably better to wait a minute.
- Credit card machines – the amount of people who get confused by them is brilliant. Mostly you just have to follow instructions but it confuses some people no end – mostly charming old men.
- I used to see this one a lot: A visually-impaired couple goes to a restaurant with one pair of reading glasses and so one has to borrow the other’s glasses or one of them reading the entire menu out. That’s love, right?
- Endless substitutions: “hi, you know the plaice dish? Well, could I get a tuna steak with salad and dressing on the side…? Oh, and I don’t like the dressing you do. Can you make me another one?” taking the term ‘a la carte’ to the next extreme. And fyi, tuna wasn’t even on the menu. They still insisted I checked though.
- People with kids. Some of them will try and colour in literally everything. Menus, napkins the table, anything! The worst bit is when they don’t know what they want and the mum gets angry at them.
- Tell me how to do my job. I was struggling (whilst the table watched my every move) with an obstinate wine bottle once and the table were shouting ‘just push the cork down!” – er, I don’t think that’s how you remove a cork. When that, surprisingly, didn’t happen, they tried to take the bottle off me and do it themselves! Inexperienced at opening wine as I was then, I gratefully accepted my managers help and ran off to safety.
- I try to keep an eye on all tables so if I catch someone’s eye whilst a whole table is watching me intently, it comes as a surprise when they look affronted that I’ve come over. Sometimes I think they’re just bored of their dining companion.
- Asking for weird condiments. I think I’ve heard it all but people always come out with really weird food combinations, like asking for ketchup with a roast (common enough in some places but I always find it BIZZARE), or mint sauce with chicken. If any waiters or waitresses have any stories, comment or tweet @melissafoodie as I never get tired of them!