This is my latest comment on my last post at KQED where there are almost 20 comments about the Mandatory Service Industry Draft.
"Goodness Me Oh My.
You know what? We all have a story. We all get horrible and exceptional service, we all work hard to make money, we all want to be treated with respect, we all have manners,
And sometimes we are awful customers, awful workers, awful cooks, awful managers.
This piece was meant to say, in an ironic way, that it seems that if more of us tried to walk in the other person's shoes, we might be able to extend a broader, less petulant, more well-thought out argument/ benefit of the doubt, etc.
I guess not.
Perhaps those of us who have done it before are worse customers, because we know how it COULD be done better, how it SHOULD be done better.
The state of the industry today, or how I see it in my myopic world is this: it feels hard to find people who have my work ethic. (When I was 14 and working in a factory I was proud of the work I did-- it's who I am-- I like to learn and hold my head up.)
But not everyone is me.
I didn't read the Diners Bill of Rights. I will on my next day off.
It's dreadful getting treated poorly, no matter whose shoes you're wearing. It's dreadful being kept in the dark or given the silent treatment by those unable to take responsibility for their actions/ inactions and the actions of others who they are working alongside with.
I wish I could say that my workplace is perfect and that all that I have done and do every day to inform and teach and inspire and communicate and problem solve etc etc etc but I can lead them to water but I can't make them swim.
"I'm confused at how calling the non-performers on the carpet somehow denigrates the entire restaurant-serving population."
Yes, I'm confused about how suggesting that more people take a look at the possibility of wearing someone else's shoes is seen as an attack on everyone I've ever served/ known.
If I am to take responsibility for being thin-skinned and bratty, then so must you.
We all feel like we deserve. We all feel like we're worth something.
And depending on our delivery of such feelings, we will get various responses in return.
I am a harder customer, but also more grateful customer in return, t please in a restaurant. It's just that these days I feel like throwing up my hands in exasperations because I see the whole picture of the whole industry and anyone who comes to me with a story (it happens to me all the time, everywhere!) either will hear the story, as I see it, or they will hear my frustration (because I am now the boss of some of these people) or maybe I'll just be in a bad mood and I'll say something like the condensed version of this post,
"Have you ever cleaned toilets for a living? Have you ever thanked your garbage collector, bus driver? Have you ever sent a letter to the management of a restaurant when your service was stellar?
Have you ever stood behind a counter for minimum wage because you had to eat/ pay your own way?"
This is because sometimes I am patent, and sometimes I am not. Just like the rest of the humans in the world, wearing a uniform or not."
I seem to have struck a cord. With those middle class, above and below. With those who have served in this peculiar army and not. With those itching to start a fight or enter a heated discussion. With those who can afford to eat out and not. With friends and anonymous strangers. With brats and gratefuls. With cooks and waiters. With authors and readers. With those both shy and bold. With Libras and Scorpios.
Wanna get in on the fight/ discussion/ theoretical arms taking/ silly game? Check it out-- infinite number of comment givers welcome!