Following two weeks of readers' additions to Kathryn Robinson's "Are you being served? Ten things I wish every waiter would stop doing" [Dining issue, 4/20], we now bring you some choice words from our readers on the other side of the dining experience. While the replies were fewer, they were in some cases quite venomous (several complaints about Robinson's "plantation mentality"; one implication that making lists of things you wish waiters would stop doing may end you up with "saliva or urine" in your food). These, however, are the ones we felt y'all might do well to abide by. Show some respect: "Don't treat us like substandard human beings. It is our job to take care of you, but that doesn't mean you should forgo certain basic common courtesies, like 'please' and 'thank you.' This is my favorite: Me: 'How are you doing tonight?' You: 'I'll have a glass of Merlot.' Me, thinking: 'And how are you doing tonight?' Your mothers must have taught you better." —Bay Baxter Ready or not: "If the waiter asks if you are ready to order, and you are not, do not say that you are ready and then sit there like you are learning to read."—"Spaz Node" Read the menu: "If you ask the waiter what the potato skins appetizer is like, do not be surprised if he says, 'Well, they're kind of like potato skins, with some cheese melted on them.'" —"Spaz Node" X-ray vision! "I would rather just get change for cash payment with nothing said, but often diners do not think to communicate that they are ready to pay by placing the form of payment with the check. They simply expect me to view the card/cash through the folder ᠬa Superman. I have to say something, usually, 'Are you ready for me to take care of this?' (which can potentially provoke the sentiment I'm trying to rush them along). The only other option available is to wait until they are angrily waving it around, which does not signify a satisfied, happy customer."—Ruth Davidson Speak up! "Do you know how many times I have asked a customer how everything is? In most cases, the response is 'Fine,' only to have them complain about their meal upon payment! This is most frustrating! If you don't like it, please tell me when I ask and I will attempt to correct the situation. If I don't ask, the customer is just as angry, if not more, upon payment. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. In response to your 'just walk by and be available' notion, I do have other tables to attend to and would rather not appear as if I don't. You are not the Queen of Sheeba and I am not your attendant."—Heather Carlson Don't be cheap: "We will talk about you behind your back. The tipping standard is 15 to 20 percent, and there is nothing worse than a bad tip for good service. Believe me, we know who you are, and we remember you."—Bay Baxter
FOOD FIGHT! Read what diners had to say in Patron Peeves and Patron Peeves, the sequel.