Top 5 restaurant annoyances to this restaurant customer

It is skill-sharpening time as we wait to hear any recent news about the “Big S.” I speak of Sequestration, a.k.a. the “Big Stupidity.” It seems Web sites are continually looking for “Top 10” or “Top 5” of something or other. Good ones: “Top 10 hamburger joints in your city.” Bad ones: “The Top 5 Worst Stomach Ailments.” So, here I go on a Friday afternoon, sharpening my Web writing skills, just flinging off a Top 5 at whatever comes to mind. Hmm. Let’s see. How about

Top 5 Annoyances By Restaurant Workers

Most people like to just “eat” in a restaurant. Certain restaurants are made for activities other than merely eating such as Chuck E. Cheese for kids and Hooters for, well, big kids. Fast food places are for fast food and one expects a little discomfort at such establishments. Customers can ruin a good meal in just about any dining spot with rude behavior such as incessant talking on the cell phone or those who let their children run wild. But the biggest annoyances I often encounter come from some of the restaurant workers themselves. So here are a few things which will certainly make me consider leaving a less-than-stellar tip:

1. Employee yells out someone else’s order just as you prepare to order your own food. I am a rather soft-spoken person and sometimes people will ask me to repeat what I’ve said because they can’t hear me. I’m not particularly fond of that either. But yesterday at Jason’s Deli, one of my favorite places, this very sin came from a worker who stood next to the cashier yelling out food orders that could be heard 30 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. Now I cut them some slack because it is always somewhat noisy on the prep line at Jason’s. Still, I shouldn’t have to compete with a yell leader in placing my order.

2. Employee tells you “No Problem” when you thank him or her for doing their job. Now it isn’t so bad when an employee such as a waiter or order-taker goes out of their way to help you. But just in the normal course of their job, you say: “Thanks” and they say: “No problem.” That makes it sound as if what I asked for was really a problem. Don’t like that at all.

3. An employee gets indignant if you complain about your order. Your server comes back with a big plate of french fries and you wanted a salad. “But, you are getting a big bunch of fries,” explains the haughty 17-year-old server, as if you had stomped on and destroyed the teen’s cell phone. Jeez Louise.

4. An employee shows up after taking your order only to present you with your check. Uh, a little more iced tea would have been nice. About 45 minutes ago!

5. An employee asks you how you are doing every five minutes. That is, of course, the inverse of No. 4.

Well, as you can see I seem to be a difficult customer. But I really am not. That is, not as long as you take my order correctly, serve it to me in a reasonable time period, check back once or twice to see how I am doing and are not yammering loudly anywhere in my immediate vicinity. If you have that down, we will  get along fine and you will get your 20 percent or more. And believe me when I say that it is, no problem.

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