Talking back to customers is a serious crime in the service industry. Even in the face of the most meaningless complaints, we are trained to show respect. We are taught to “kill them kindly” no matter how powerful their actions are or how ungrateful they are to our accommodation. But no one has explained why the victim needs to “die” under our magnified worry, or why this bloodless psychological warfare always causes more damage to the server than the server. Our silence always hides pain.
This is arguably the hardest part of the job: you have to be kind to people who are not worthy. As we all know, kitchen staff hate waiters to make more money, but most chefs still relish that they don’t have to face-to-face communication with sloppy customers. By definition, the front desk is a pacifist. “It comes with the territory,” they would say-the imperialist territory settled there long ago, and the working class cannot protect themselves from the privileged class.
These social structures rooted in colonialism, misogyny and racism have always plagued service industry work, making it unacceptable for waiters to challenge the authority of paying customers. One thing that never changes in restaurant work is this: If you can’t maintain patience in the face of disrespectful guests, then your job in the service industry won’t hold water. This is just a fact.
I’ve written all these messy things before-including a story After they didn’t tip me, I followed a businessman at a table outside the restaurant. Over the course of two hours, I guided them through the menu and provided knowledgeable suggestions; the service was seamless. When I lost the check, they asked me to call the beautiful young hostess at the door (their words) and let them play credit card roulette. Everyone stacked the credit cards into a pile and randomly chose one to pay the check. “I’m talking about people who bring food and drinks, not beautiful girls,” I joked awkwardly. They continued to emphasize this issue, and I refused to be an accomplice. They were unhappy when they left and felt spurned because I didn’t want to play with their stupid games, and unanimously decided not to give me a check for $800, evenly divided among the four company cards.
I decided to speak for myself, this is my training no Do it. When I met them on the street, I asked them if they were disappointed with my service. They said yes. I asked if it was because I didn’t call a beautiful hostess for them. Yes. I told them that they think that attracting women’s attention is part of my job, and I find it very offensive. They grumbled and climbed into their Uber black car. I was standing on the street and still did not receive a tip, but I felt that at least I regained some dignity.
As usual, my manager is most concerned about how the boss will respond to the staff member’s offending guests by questioning the tip, not the fact that his staff is disrespected. Difficult guests are always treated as collateral damage, just like statistical outliers, regardless of the degree of damage they cause, they must be tolerated. People are bastards, and sometimes bastards sit in your area.
What I learned from these confrontations—most of which I left peacefully—is that some guests like to use the incompetence of the reported workers to question authority.I clearly remember the other Protracted controversy A customer insisted that his fillet steak should be juicy. After publishing a passionate paper on how to cook steak properly, he asked me to call the chef to discuss the matter further, as if there is no better meat temperature master class than watching this guy improvise during the service.
When the situation is out of control, the server will ask the manager to intervene. Regarding the resolution of restaurant conflicts, I have never resolved this issue. Why does the waiter run to tell mom and dad every time a guest abuses them? The target of the bully is the person who cannot fight back. They have absolutely no respect for the short story. The waiter is trained, and once you lose your composure, you let the guest win. But what if we do not consider it from the perspective of winning or losing, but as dignity rather than depravity? There is no honor to allow people to disrespect you.
The hospitality dogma of high-end restaurants is rooted in unicorn ideology, such as the “enlightened” brand peddled by the public Danny Meyer The school and its disciples laid the foundation Unconditional obedienceHowever, today’s restaurants are in a different world. It is not only unrealistic to continue to insist on letting each guest experience “soigné”, but it will also affect the mental health of our employees. Too many restaurants allow themselves to be held hostage by their piety.
After the pandemic, we need to shift to a more comprehensive paradigm that defines quality services. This paradigm emphasizes both the well-being of the service provider and the customer experience. This requires a more authoritative method to monitor the behavior of guests, such as enforcing masking or vaccination requirements. The industry should allow employees to speak for themselves calmly and constructively, even when guest interactions become turbulent. Killing these guests kindly will only encourage bad behavior.
Every restaurant has a small number of difficult customers, a series of pranksters, and they are generally scolded by the staff; they send the food back, complain about the music, make ridiculous demands on the kitchen, and condescend to the staff. Even if these people encounter things that go wrong again and again, the management still thinks that it is worth accommodating them, because employees feel painful every time they visit.
If management refuses to receive dismissive or abusive guests, this will send a strong message to employees that it does not have to be a punching bag for careless customers. Sadly, employees are often treated as children by management, just as some parents never let their children speak for themselves. Restaurant owners have always regarded employee welfare as a secondary issue. If an employee speaks for himself and offends someone, management is more likely to punish the employee instead of auditing the guest’s behavior.
The past year was full of epiphanies, but my recent epiphany is that we need to start empowering restaurant employees to resolve their conflicts with guests, management and even owners. Working in a restaurant shouldn’t be impotent. Employees should not criticize owners, even if they have formulated unfair policies or treated employees inhumanely. We can never conflict with our guests, even if we are provoked. Silence is part of the job. But this may at least partly explain why the industry is having difficulty recruiting employees. One year of autonomy has caused many people to reconsider whether working conditions in restaurants are satisfactory. Many of us have decided that we would rather work in an industry where our voices can be heard, where we can easily speak for ourselves, and kindness does not have to involve killing anyone.
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