Geo and I went to dinner tonight. He sold this Mr. Pizza place to me by comparing it to my favorite 'za establishment in Minneapolis, Pizza Luce. Well, it wasn't Luce, but it was good. And it was pretty fun, too. But during my third bite of my first piece of pizza, the waitress ran over (she was literally RUNNING) and begged "Anything else I can get you?" Before I finished chewing and while Geo was setting down his glass of wine, she goes "Okay, I'll get you the check."
I get crazy-annoyed by servers when I can tell the have an ulterior motive. We were clearly the last table in her section, though the place didn't close for another hour and a half, but sister had places to be. She wanted us OUT and I wanted to eat my damn Luce-like slice. We raced through the rest of the meal and got out of there out of panic and guilt. (Also, I think Geo wanted to get back home to play Battlefield.)
I would like to think myself an expert on servers. I know what is good and, more importantly, what is bad. I know this because I was the worst server on the planet. THE PLANET. I waitressed for like a year before the manager (who was also my bff) told me I had to git. It was harsh, but absolutely warranted and necessary.
As much as I love talking to people, I hate DOING things for people, which made me a HORRIBLE server. Oh, I forgot your diet Pepsi? Sorry, but I'm not sorry. I'll get it for you after I've scarfed down some queso in the kitchen. You are at my mercy, customer.
It's not that I didn't like being a server, I just didn't GET it. I didn't get how to balance conversation with service. I either checked in too much or not enough. I got defensive when I'd be informed of a mistake I'd made. Rather than just being all "Whoops, sorry. I'm on it," I'd try and blame it on the customer. "Oh, I forgot your guac? No, you just never asked for it. Not my fault. You're wrong. I'm right."
Yeah, I was bad. My tables hated me and my co-workers were often covering up my mistakes, so they probably hated me too. In fact, I remember vividly the ONLY TIME I got a 20 percent tip. I got a table of a guy and two girls. I charmed my way through delivering drinks and then forgot to bring the appetizer. When I brought them their cold quesadilla, I braced myself for the "Um, this is cold" lecture that I was all too used to.
Instead, one of the girls at the table asked me out on a date. I was so flattered that I brought them salsa even before they had to remind me I had forgotten it. Even after I explained that I prefer hairy-chested men who love video games, she forgave me and I finally got my first ever 20 percent tip. It had nothing to do with being a good server, but it was a legit tip.
All of this is proof that I am the queen of what NOT to do as a server, and giving out a check while people are basically taking their first bite of their food is one of those things that even I know to avoid. And I once served someone a Coke that I had taken a sip out of to make sure it wasn't diet. It was. And I still served it. Because I'm the worst. But at least I never pre-billed anyone.