Faeline Raines (faeline) wrote in bad_service,
Faeline Raines

WTF service?

I visited Providence last October, and on my first night in US, my friend brought me to a place he used to work at, Dave-and-Something. This is actually my first foray into the tip-based service industry I've read so much about, because from where I came from, the waiters and waitresses are actually paid decently, and everyone gets a fixed 10% whether they do a good job or not.

I also tend to speak really fast, and I have a very Asian accent, with a lot of intonations and emphasis on the vowels. My friend told me that I really have to slow down because it's hard for him to catch what I am saying sometimes as well.

When we arrived the dining area, one of the waitresses came up to us, and greeted us happily :D Brought us to a table, and we settled down. I was quite distracted, between talking to my friend that we haven't met in so long, and the environment, and the Red Sox game that was going on.

So while my friend was explaining to me the rules of baseball, our server of the day arrived and asked us for our orders.

Me: Sorry, I haven't really read yet, please come back in 5 minutes?
Waitress: *stares at me*
Me (I must be speaking too fast, speaks slower): Sorry, could you come back again in 5 minutes please?
Waitress: *stares*
Friend: We haven't read the menu yet, come back again in 5 minutes.
Waitress: Ok. *walks off*

So, we all read the menu and decide on something first before she comes around again, then we continue our baseball conversation, but somehow she didn't seem to come to our table for a long while. I try to catch her attention, but she appears to be busy, so when I finally make eye contact with her, I wave my hand and smile at her. She glares at me, and looks away. O_o

My friend call out her name, since they do wear nametags and they introduce themselves when they arrive at the table. She comes to us and takes our orders. But, why or why, does she have the same blank look when I tell her my order. In desperation, I point my order to her on the menu. Again, she glares at me, and writes down the order, and surprisingly, walks away without repeating our orders.

So, we kept the menus ourselves, and I asked my friend again if I was speaking too fast or accented for her to catch what I was saying. He told me that it was understandable actually, especially since I spoke much slower than what I usually say.

The food arrives quite late, around 20 minutes of wait or so, but I wasn't extremely hungry, so I didn't want to kick a fuss. The weird thing was how the server nearly slammed the utensils basket into the middle of the table. The food was great :D

So when it came to getting the bill, I let my friend talk to the server this time round, except that I put my credit card up for the bill. And then, she MUST glare at me again. WHY???

In the end my friend told me to leave a 10% tip only, because she was seriously weird, and neglected to tell us about any of the stuff, like promotions etc, that the servers usually have to tell (he'd know, since he had worked there before), but I felt bad for the cooks since the food was really great. I struggled and left a 15% tip, because she's almost doing the same kind of service I get at home in quite a few places (lol).

Of course, after a few more dinners, I realised that the service of some others were really pristine, and then I wonder if I should have given less.

(Sorry about the length!)
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