As a server, my duties consist of nothing more than giving my customers what they want and making sure they’re satisfied. This is exactly why most people go out to eat. They don’t want to cook, clean or provide service. They’re willing to pay a significant markup to avoid such chores. Therefore, it angers and confuses me when people treat me as if I’m inconveniencing them with my presence.
Countless times, I’ve greeted a table with a smile on my face, told them my name and asked if they’re ready for something to drink, only to be met by dead silence and a look that says “what the fuck do you want?”
“Hey, guys! How’s it going?”
“My name’s Cullen, I’ll be taking care of you today. Can I get you started with something to drink?”
“Any kind in particular?”
“Draft beer. Cold.”
“Well, on draft, we have Bud, Bud Light, Miller Light, Amberbock, Shock Top, Yuengling, Sam Adams, Florida Avenue Ale, Stella and Landshark.”
“For bottled beer, we ha-”
“Stop. Just give me a Bud. Jesus.”
I’m always curious to know how these folks would prefer these interactions to play out. I really don’t think I’m being a pest. I’ve toyed around with the idea that they’re actually more advanced beings than myself, and are capable of telepathy. In this scenario, they’d prefer their server to take one brief look at them and instantly know their exact food and beverage order. Their bitterness would then be slightly more understandable, as I’m sure it’d be frustrating to possess a mind far more evolved than most, yet rarely be presented with the opportunity to utilize it.
Though it’d be nice to have such a cut-and-dry explanation for this behavior, I think the cold, hard truth is that some people are just assholes who look down on those in the service industry. For whatever reason, their disinterest in preparing their own food at home doesn’t outweigh the fact that they think they’re better than us. I often wonder if they’d still treat me like a voice-activated robot if they met me on the street, unaware of my line of work. I wonder if they ever think about the fact that I’m a person who’s lived a life and has stories to tell. A person who has goals. A person who could quite possibly teach them something interesting that they didn’t know before. A person with a blog.