>> Tuesday, May 1, 2007
I love Fred's idea that people are demanding because in business money is involved and money is seen now as inherently eeeebil.
I was a waitress for 4 years, and honestly, it's the hardest job i ever had, harder i think than even tech support. Not only do the customers try to buy a product, but #1 it's food (people are really snippy when their blood sugar is low let me tell you), #2 they can see me (see if i am punching in their order, if i am checking on it, bringing it out yet, 'why is she talking to that other table when my food is probably ready!')(and i HAVE to see them, so if there's a problem, it's literally, in my face), and #3 they know that part of my livelyhood is in their hands (i used to have a friend who would put $5 on the table and remove $1 every time the waitress did something he didn't like).
I've had kids throw their drinks in my face, color on the walls with pens, and pour melted butter in my hair several times(we served crab legs). The only thing worse than dealing with the kids, was dealing with the parents. They're the ones who became the deamons, demanding that their kid's food be brought out right away so they can have some relief from parenting, who laugh as their hellians smeared ketchup all over the table (aww, he's so cute!).
Then there's the pre-purchase questions:
What's in this burger?
Can i have coleslaw instead?
How long is it going to take, i have to leave soon?
If i get this dish, can he share and just get a side?
Why are these prices different if it's like the SAME thing?
And the techie questions:
My burger is rare, i wanted it well done, can you fix it?
This tastes funny, can you fix it?
This isn't what i wanted, can you fix it?
I'm not going to pay for that, can you take the bill and fix it?
My kid just threw up here, can you fix it?
I am generally unhappy with my life right now and want to take it out on someone but can't on my kids or spouse because it isn't appropriate so can i yell at you till you fix it?
I remember my managers always spouting "The customer is always right" at every staff meeting, yet i never was willing to swallow that tripe. After years of service, i've decided that "The customer is always human." is a more fitting phrase. Humans make mistakes, we think we're right when we may not be, we get angry, we expect, we retaliate, we deal. However, some people deal and reason better than others, and the sad fact is that most people don't understand their emotions enough TO deal. That's why i got out of that biz, sure i made $400 bucks in tips on a good night, but aside from the aches of running around for 8 hours straight, i was starting to see people as grubby whining little Paris Hiltons, waving fists of money at others in order to get them to do what they want. When you say jump, i say fuck you.
For things to remember about people service, check out fred's blog. He's got some good tips on how not to be an asshole. (This is the SUPPORT LINE is it not!? I'm not getting ANY SUPPORT!!!)