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No penis = no tip.

November 3, 2009

Welcome to this installment of customer service, the patriarchy, and you.  And, how two of the three just suck more and more every day.  AND…just for you, I will provide a real life example!

On Friday, I went to a local sports bar with a small group of people.  We travelled separately, so at first, it was me and two other guys.  Once seated at the table,  the waitress asks us our drink order.  Of course, she starts with the guys who ask what beers are on special, what beers are available, is the beer good quality, what is the beer made from, on and on, and 5 million questions later, their order is placed.  I, the last to order, know exactly what I want.  I ask for a shot of vodka, a shot of Bailey’s, and a shot of Kahlua.  With ice.  In a glass.  Pretty simple, I think.  She looks at me as if I have horns, and walks off.  She brings the drinks back, sits them down, then walks off.  She doesn’t ask if we’re going to order, if we’re going to wait until the others come, nothing.  The bar is moderately busy, but not enough to be rude. 

She finally makes her reappearance and asks if we’d like to order.  Now, before she appeared, Guy #1 and #2, had settled on ordering two appetizers.  When she asked if they would like to order, the suddenly became dumbfounded…should we order, should we wait, oh wait, what did we want to get?  Of course, I think, CHRIST.  So, she leaves with the order.  The next time she returns, she touches Guy #1’s back, and asks if everything is okay, then makes eye contact with Guy #2.  Maybe she said something to me in passing, I can’t remember.

Appetizers and the rest of the group arrive.  When everyone is settled, the waitress comes back to the get the food order.  She stands at the head of the table near Guy #3 and obtains the orders.  After everyone places their order, she says, oh, did you need the check to be split?  Guy #2 says, well, I have a $50 gift certificate, so it might be better to split it.  I agree with this, especially since I have no cash.  Guy #3, who inevitably has to flirt with anything that is thin with any kind of T/A, says, oh, whatever is easiest for you.  She says, well, I already took your order as a group, so it will be easier not to split the check.  At this moment, my hackles of anger begin to go up.  I mumble under my breath, sweetie, it’s not what is easiest for you, it’s what makes sense for your customers.  And, I’m definitely pissed at Guy #3, who I already don’t like, for using my check as an opportunity to hit on a girl. 

Guys #1, 2, and 3 are finished with their drinks and the waitress comes to see if they would like another drink.  In the process, she makes sure to touch each one in some manner and then take their old glass.  I have finished my drink and put the glass at the end of the table.  It remains at the end of the table, and I am not asked for another drink.  Strike 2.

It seems as if the food might be coming soon, so we begin to stack plates and try to clear the table.  The waitress comes to take care of refills and touch the menz, but can’t be bothered to clear the appetizers, the plates, or my glass.  Instead, the waitress bringing out our food has to do this.  Strike 3.  By now, I’m so irritated with the service, I’m willing to make a scene to have my check split so that I can tip the waitress poorly.  So, I write down everything I ordered on a napkin and call her over to my end of the table.  I explain that I have no cash and that I would like to have a separate check.  She gives me the spoiled brat look, then asks if I want it now or later.  I say that I will be ordering nothing else, so it’s up to her.  As she walks away, Guy #1 says, oh she must be saying bitch under breath at you right now.  I say, well, good, because bitch has been on my lips all night against her. 

The night continues with her great service to the menz and poor service to the females, particularly me.  But I think it’s safe to say at this point, she knows we’re not friends and never will be.  I leave a $2 tip on a $13.47 bill.  Night over, with my shooter glass STILL on the table.

So, let’s unpack the suitcase:

1) The waitress immediately gives preferential treatment to the guys at the table.  Maybe because I was outnumbered?  To say what her action plan would have been if there were two girls and one guy is questionable.  I believe she would have still given special treatment to the guy.  I also believe she assumes I am with Guy #1 or 2.  Stupid assumption on her part.

2) The waitress’ pattern of giving the guys special treatment, followed by the creepy touching, let me know that she thought if she treated the guys just right, she’d get a bigger tip.  Which, let’s be honest, probably works.   Then, she probably thought I was with one of the guys, so it didn’t matter how she treated me.  But, after I made it clear to her that I pay my own bills, and she was serving me and only me, she still couldn’t be bothered to give me good service.  (BTW: Maybe she should have waited until I said I was paying my own check before she started touching what could have been my boyfriend.  Angry girlfriends don’t go over well.) Stupid move on her part (Moves 1 and 2.)

And to wrap it up, 3) The above story clearly illustrates all the fatal falls of the customer service industry.  First, customer service is a joke these days.  It’s hard to find a serviceperson who knows how to do their job and understands that their first job is to make the customer happy.  I go to a restaurant for the experience, not just the food (which I do expect to be good.)  I expect to be treated well, have my order fulfilled correctly, and not  be rushed out the door.  2nd.  I expect to be treated just as well as my male counterparts.  A male should not be given more attention, or better service because he may pay the check (BTW: Guess ms. waitress forgets that in some relationships, the woman has an influence on the guy and the tip he leaves,) or that he may tip you more.  This is blatantly a dumb strategy.  Instead, give good service, equally, and make sure all needs are satisfied.   BUT, this would be too easy.  Because if you only serve half the table, hoping that a) no one will notice and still tip you well, or b) a poor tip left by those neglected will be negated by the better tippers, you can be a little lazy.  Talk with your friends.  Flirt with the bouncers and waiters.  Dance to the music.  Guess so, if that’s your MO.

But, as for me, I believe in good service.  I also believe in tipping well, especially for good service.  So, waitress Lauren, let me explain a few things to you.  When I was at  your bar on Friday night, I was serving as a DD, so no, I didn’t run up the tab.  But, I did order a meal and a drink.   I could have left you a nice tip if you had done a good job.   Hell, I went out to eat the other day and gave the guy a 30% tip just because he got my order right and didn’t charge me more for a slice of cheese.   But, guess my extra $2 isn’t worth it.  Or the fact that when I go back to your restaurant, I will request another waitress.  Or I will go directly to the bar to order my drinks and give the tips to the bartender. ORRRR…better yet, I may never come back to your establishment again, which will cost the owner money.  Kind of that trickle up philosophy.  So, see Lauren, your bitchy, I’ll-do-what-I-want attitude costs us all.  And sadly, the guys, who perpetrate this mentality via ‘the patriarchy’ don’t even have a clue what is going on.  Or, they do, and the use it to their advantage, which is even more disturbing.

So, maybe everyone thought I was a bitch Friday night.  But I’m so sick of the status quo and this system, that I just had to stand up for myself.  I just can’t deal with this attitude anymore.  Just because I don’t have a penis doesn’t mean I’m less than.  TAKE THAT LAUREN, and here’s a sexist insult back at you…suck my clit!

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