Thursday, September 08, 2011

Oh, so calling yourself "Friendly's" is supposed to be ironic?

The FunnyGal KAT family has been on vacation, which has been a test of our parenting skills as we take FunnyKid out for adventures and sometimes push his good nature to the limits. We've had our share of having to get up from the table in a restaurant to walk around and give the people at the next table a break from the yelling. And I have admittedly thrown some extra snacks his way at times to keep him happy or quiet.

But this morning was a new one for me. The Pretend Husband and I took FunnyKid to Friendly's for breakfast. The PH and FunnyKid got inside before I did and were greeted by a waitress who not only didn't crack a smile, but kind of snarled, "I'll be right with you." "OK," the PH replied cheerily (because, heck, we're on vacation and he was in a good mood). "OK," she mimicked? Really, could she have been making fun of the PH? No, that's not possible.

But the rest of our experience made me suspect she really may have been mocking my husband. And what a bizarre experience it was. For one thing, I didn't see the woman crack a smile the entire time we were there. Which, everyone has bad days so that's almost excusable. But some of the other stuff wasn't.

When an order for the table next to us arrived, it turned out one of the kids was given the wrong kind of pancakes. When the mom pointed it out to the waitress, she insisted she had brought the ones the grandmother had pointed to on the menu. She went so far as to bring the menu over to show the grandmother which ones she had pointed to. When the grandmother politely said those weren't the ones she thought she ordered, the waitress snapped, "Well, what do you want me to do?" Then, as the mom was asking the little boy if he would eat the pancakes in front of him, Waitress Friendly McSunshine stood there with a hand on her hip. When the boy said he wanted a different type of pancakes, she picked up his plate and stomped off without another word.

But the bizarre part was how quickly she switched back and forth between being a complete grump and being a nice person. She dropped off our food, saying, "Here you go, my friends," then started muttering about customers at another table! I even overheard her telling one older lady that she had too much perfume on, then complimenting her jewelry in the next breath. So weird. And not at all how to earn tips.

I will say that we left her a decent tip. I worked as a waitress for awhile and know how difficult a job it is-- so I have a standing rule never to stiff a server. But I will also say that woman-- if she truly is as grumpy as she came off today-- probably shouldn't be working at a family restaurant if she can't handle some of the silliness that accompanies children.


Kelli said...

I've never been a waitress (a 'sandwich artist' at a sub shop, yes, but a waitress, no). I did do a seven year stretch in retail and that was enough for me. I watched a two year old squat by the register and pee while the mom laughed. I was not laughing when I cleaned it up. But I never flipped out the way your waitress did. How strange.

Kimberly said...

That is so weird! Hopefully she was just having an off day. Otherwise, you're right, she needs a new job. Away from children. Seriously, though, didn't anyone ever teach this woman that the customer is always right?!

I've never worked as a server/bus girl (I do have a higher-end catering job at a nice restaurant that I do whenever I have free time, to make some extra "fun money, but that's paid hourly). So I can't say I've ever been in the position of receiving crappy tips. Still, I make it a point to never tip less than 15%, and 20%+ is my usual go-to tip if the service was good. I hate cleaning up after my toddlers after meals at home, and somehow they always manage to be a hundred times messier when we go out to eat. I also try to pick up any large messes off the floor before we depart. Common courtesy.