Thursday, May 27, 2010

Have you dined with us before?

“My name is Joe and I’ll be your server tonight. Have you dined with us before? (No pause.) We have several great specials. First, there’s………………………….. "

Three or four are rattled off, reminding me of me back in grade school when I had to recite memorized Bible passages and I could only do it fast. Stop me and I had to start again.

Two questions. If you don’t want to hear the specials since you have your stomach set on the veal parmesan, how do you politely cut Joe off. And, if you do want to hear what Joe is saying, how do you politely get him to slow down?


Posol'stvo the Medved said...

I think of Joe like I think of flight attendants. I only pay attention to them when I need them.

So, if Joe wants to waste some breath telling me about specials when I want to order from the menu, that's his deal. I don't cut him off. I let him roll. Generally, I have found that Mrs. P likes to order specials rather than from the menu, so I assume it's for her benefit anyway.

If a flight attendant is legally required to tell me how to buckle my seatbelt - something I have been successfully accomplishing by myself since I was about two years old - that his/her business. But I'm not looking up from my magazine for it.

My pet peeve with servers is when they are reciting froma script, but don't know how to alter it to the current situation. For example -- there is a server at a local PF Changs who likes to approach the table and ask, while staring at some vague space above my head somewhere, "Would anyone like anything more to drink?" Or "Would anyone like to see the dessert menu?" When it's just me dining with a colleague, and he's not talking TO us rather than NEAR us, it just plain feels weird.

Rick said...

It's like going to a bar and asking what kind of beers do they have. After the bartender recites a list of 50, you say I'll just have a Bud Lite.