Waiter, There is a Fly in My Soup- Dining with Rude Guests-Wendy Wortham on why I Can’t Dine With Pretentious Snobs…

I’m pretty picky regarding who I will break bread with in a public restaurant for numerous reasons but mainly because of embarrassing treatment towards the staff.

You see, to keep from starving 35 years ago, Cindy Daniel and myself lied about our ages in order to find jobs in the hospitality industry.

Since we’ve both been “on the other side of the table,” we are also keenly aware that treating servers with disrespect hurts not only the staff member but, also embarrasses everyone else in your group.

I’ve had to grind my teeth through many meals with “special requests” of dining partners who intentionally run the legs off of the unlucky soul serving us and, since I’m aware of who the worst offenders are- often come up with reasons NOT to go to lunch or dinner with them.

Normally these instigators are folks who have never worked in the hospitality industry and often are so rude that their tips are effectively the icing on the cake- less than 10%.

Wait persons are paid below minimum wage and count on tips in order to provide for their families and under tipping for no reason other than the fact you are “trying to save a buck” is perhaps one of the most selfish acts I’ve had to correct by over tipping that I’ve endured.

Oddly, since I’ve been on the other side of the table, over the past month my team and I have had the inconvenience of being the victims of “pocket tickets.” If you don’t recognize the term it means that the server forgot to turn in the ticket which is why an hour after everyone else has been served- you haven’t!

While I still tip the server twenty percent because I remember those days of struggling to make ends meet myself, it’s best to simply admit to me that you forgot rather than blame a “computer glitch” or, the kitchen. After all, I do appreciate honesty and while working at 3 restaurants 35 years ago, was the first one to “throw myself under the bus” by telling diners the truth rather than making up an outrageous explanation.

For those of you wondering if you’re on my “no dining” list, ask yourself why and then put yourself in the shoes of the person taking your order because I believe your attitude and your tip will do a 180!

Enjoying a meal with friends and family is something that I desire of a treat- please use good manners and make it a pleasant experience for everyone involved.

Remember, it’s relatively easy to treat others as you might wish to be treated yourself and, everyone makes mistakes!

Wendy M Wortham
The Pawning Planners