I like relationships. I even have some. I like to make friends and its fun to talk to people. When strangers come to know each other and become friends, well that’s pretty amazing stuff.
But it’s not going to happen at my local Outback Steakhouse or the tons of other chains where somebody must have told the wait staff to “bond” with their customers. I’m getting not to like it a lot.
I enjoy good service. I like when people smile at me and are congenial. I know how hard it is to be a server in a restaurant and I hope to make their job as easy as I can. I say please and thank you. I smile. I rarely complain. I try to be a model customer. I think I’ve sent food back twice in my life and I felt terrible about it. But when the server sits down next to me to take my order, that’s just creepy. They’re in my space and the first thing that comes to mind is that I’d rather be someplace else.
When they sit down next to Steve he flinches. Noticeably.
Putting coats on the booth bench next to us doesn’t help. They slide them over! If they are totally blockaded (coats and shopping bags) then they kneel down, eyes level with the table.
Perhaps they think if our heads are at the same level while we order we’re friends. Maybe that equates into a bigger tip? What’s next, maintaining the friendship while the food is delivered? Will they be approaching the table, heavy plates in hand, on their knees?!
Personally I don’t have a problem with looking up to a waiter or waitress, after all they’re standing and I’m sitting. It’s OK. We are NOT on equal footing. All I have to do is tell them what I want and eat it. They’re doing the heavy lifting.
I’m also getting annoyed with that idiotic announcement, “I’ll be taking care of you.” Oh good. Now I don’t have to purchase that expensive long term care insurance; this nice young woman who just met me is going to take care of me. No she’s not. She’s going to be bringing me my food, not every day from here on out, just tonight. That’s probably about it. And, there’s a good chance she’s not going to remember the extra lemon.
I can’t even remember what people used to say before they started announcing that they would be having a long-term relationship with me as they handed out the menus.