Service and a smile?

“Thank you, please come again” in my mind is what servers might say to a table when they bring the check at a restaurant.  It seems that what he or she might utter under their breath is “Why the *** would you come out to dinner if you are going to be rude and leave a BAD tip??!!  Stay home jerk!” 

A friend of ours is in the bar and restaurant business and shared a terrible story on Friday night; that a big group of patrons at one table was rude, demanding, and difficult, and proceeded to leave a ONE DOLLAR $ tip on a $230 bill.  This saddened me in such a big way…here at the Jersey shore, while it is true MANY contractors and service workers and “essential” people have had one of the best seasons in years, service workers in bars and restaurants were out of work for a long time, and I had hoped, truly deeply believed, that after pretty much a year of self-reflection, and watching so much sickness and death and ruin play out in towns and states and countries around our planet, humans would come out better on the other side…That people would think, how lucky that I did not get Covid or how lucky that I did not lose my job or how lucky that my town had so little virus spread…or something, something good, better than before…it was perhaps just a silly wish…

We went out to dinner on Saturday night and our server was not very good, at all.  She might have been new, the restaurant is new, so perhaps she did not know the menu well, however it was a VERY small menu, literally one side of one piece of paper (that kind of restaurant, where the chef knows what he wants to make and here are your five choices…it was one page that included appetizer, salad, and entrée, and she did have one special to tell us about) but anyway, she was not a very good server in that she did not bring us water, did not offer to open our wine (but we have not had alcohol in 103 days so it was twist off Welch’s sparkling grape) she did not take our used utensils away after our salad, she did not seem to know the menu at all, and was slow…BUT we were kind to her, and friendly, and when the bill came we left a $30 tip on an $89 bill because WE ARE FINALLY OUT OF THE WOE OF A PANDEMIC SITUATION WHERE MANY PEOPLE WERE SCARED TO GO OUT AND IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, TO BE KIND TO PEOPLE, EVEN IF IT WAS NOT JUST A YEAR OF NEAR LOCK-DOWN AND my PSA is this, DO NOT GO OUT TO DINNER IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A JERK.

If you and those at your table wish to be cruel and difficult to a server doing his job, or obnoxious and demanding to a bartender trying to keep her station organized and all of her customers served, don’t go out, stay home and be miserable in your own house!!  Don’t bring your meanness out into the world! The world is hard enough for some people, why add to it by being an awful human?? I guess my point, if there is one, which honestly there often isn’t one that is clear, is that one should elevate people, rather than deflate them. The server we had could have said to herself, they were so nice to me, even though I know I should have done ___ blank…or wow, I am glad I was so friendly, they left a nice tip…if she went home that night feeling good and happy then her confidence might improve for the next night she works and she will get better and better…if like those jerks at my friend’s business, we left a rude and hurtful $1 tip, she might have gone home feeling so low and blue and that NEVER MAKES ANYONE BETTER!

Our “jobs” when we are out in public should be to bring goodness and light and kindness into the world…if people want to be awful under their own roof, so be it, but when you are OUT in the space occupied by others, be nice, just be nice. How is that hard to do??