12 November, 2006

Waiter, there's spit in my soup!

Okay this has been nagging at me since the past few weeks.

I don't get something - What is with people who are RUDE to waiters/waitresses/cabdriver/ generally anyone in the service industry, for no damn good reason?
Is it that hard to be nice? I don't think so. I'm pretty nice to these people and I've been known to be quite the grouch (only when I'm PMS-ing, people.)

Okay what sparked this rant off were a couple of events:

I met up with someone, let's call him X, for coffee.
Just a nice friendly, platonic coffee, as opposed to those sexually- loaded, electricity-crackling-in-the-air typa coffees.
Now we ordered crepes and as most people would know, crepes contain eggs. X is a vegetarian. No problem, right?


X is one of those vegetarians who doesn't eat egg.
Okay I'm not being judgemental or anything, but how do you guys survive? There's egg in pasta, innocent looking biscuits..them eggs are EVERYWHERE! Every meal must be a battle.
Moving on.

We got the crepes, he sniffed them, frowned at the waitress and asked (shrieked?) "Does this have EGG in it!?"
"Yes, sir!"
The waitress cheerfully replied.
"GOOD! GREAT! I'M VEGETARIAN YOU KNOW!" He threw his hands up in exasperation.
The waitress and I exchanged looks.
What? Was she supposed to be psychic? Was she supposed to be super smart to assume that eggs aren't vegetarian? You'd be surprised at the number of people here who are shocked to find out that fish is normally not considered vegetarian fare.
I said "....aaand..."
"I don't eat eggs! Eggs aren't vegetarian! Take this back."
He did this snappy finger thing, which completely, totally, utterly cheesed me off.

Needless to say, I was taken aback (not coz he doesn't eat eggs, but because of his shrieky outburst) and I said "It's okay..leave them here, I'll have it." and I smiled at the waitress who looked relieved.

Next up, he wanted a drink which contained A. Waitress apologetically said "I'm sorry, sir, we've run out of ingredient A."
"What NONSENSE is this? I AM NEVER coming here again. I'll have this other drink instead."
He did the snappy finger thing again and dismissed her. He actually threw a hissy fit!
I smiled and shrugged apologetically to her.
After she left, I turned to him and said "That was mean."
"No, you watch, the next time I come here they'll be fully stocked with ingredient A."

Uhhhuh. Right. How could I forget? You've got them quaking in their boots coz you're single-handedly responsible for their revenue because of your copious consumption of ingredient A.

He smiled and said "Anyway, you must try this other drink I ordered, its very nice!"
"I'm not trying anything she brings you now. Someone in the kitchen has probably spat in your stuff by now."
"No, no they won't do that."
Wanna bet, wiseass? I've got friends working in this eatery and I've heard what happens to bad, bad customers when they get too big for their booties.

But, of course I didn't tell him that :)

What gives? Is it that hard to be civil? Is it that hard to imagine that you're capable of making the same mistakes that they make? Is it that hard for you to remember that you've screwed up before?

It's pretty damn easy to be nice and smarmy and kiss-ass when you're dealing with people who are on your level or of a higher status (in any and every sense) but when you've got people who aren't quite as privileged as you, it becomes so convenient to become a dickhead.

I firmly believe in the fact that you can suss out a person's character by watching how he interacts with people on a lower level than him (that and the state of his bathroom too).
That and you can't trust someone who's mean to animals.

I know, I know I have too many beliefs. Hey, what can ya do?

I'm not nice coz I'm obligated to, or because I'm petrified that they'll spit in my food ("Moahaha, now you know what that secret ingredient was, you bitch!")
I'm nice coz why on earth would I want to be anything else? It takes a lot of hardwork and coldness to be mean to someone (unless you're mean to me first, then being mean to you is pretty enjoyable)

I know people who ignore cabbies when they talk to you. I know people who look like it would KILL them to say "Hi" back to the lady serving them their coffee.

All I'm gonna say is : Get your head out of your ass already. Be nice to people on your way up, coz you'll definitely meet them on your way down



Anonymous Anonymous did the happy dance and finally said..

I think he could be our man for the Gurkhese/Bhaikese feast

what say? (tie him up and funnel him some ugly looking food)

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Rajesh did the happy dance and finally said..

By any chance is he Sindhi with a surname starting with DH??...cos he sounds like a relative of mine, no wait...actually he sounds like all of my relatives!!...

As far as i can tell, the waitress DIDNT do any mistakes, unless being a psychic has become prerequisite in working in the service line....

Im jus glad im not working(or ever really intend to!) in the service line, not cos there is anything wrong in working as a waiter, its just that i do not hav the patience...I Imagine the boss will prob take exception to his customers leaving the rest with black eyes :)

"Be nice to people on your way up, coz you'll definitely meet them on your way down"

For the past 2yrs, My sig in my office emails have contained those exact words :)

PS: You will love my bathroom!!... ;P

6:37 PM  
Blogger sac did the happy dance and finally said..

tell me about it. there are dickheads everywhere, but being a paying customer brings out the worst of them. i worked at a McD's for four months when in uni, and i way prefered being behind the grill to waiting on tables. also, many indians are so incredibly rude to waiters and maids and service people. both a relative who worked in a five-star hotel in the maldives and a friend who was an air-hostess used to say how terribly-behaved indian customers used to be, finger-snapping et al. there are many nice rich folk too, but a rich dickhead in india feels he is above the law and can stamp on the poor with impunity, the latter having no protection wrt legal rights and minimum wage as in the industrialized countries..

7:26 PM  
Blogger Dreamcatcher did the happy dance and finally said..

WTF did he think waiters/waitresses are supposed to be his own personal genies supposed to be at his beck and call? people who cannot stop to say a thank you piss me off completely.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Dan did the happy dance and finally said..

Mahima, I'm with you on this one. I used to dine with a friend who was so rude to waiters that I stopped eating with him. After all, folks in the kitchen may lose track of whose food is whose when it comes to coughing it up! Yuck!

I even took him aside once and said "Dude, stop it! That waiter is along with your food! What are you doing?"

Once I got so angry at him I almost spit in his soup myself! I'm a vegan but I know where to draw the line. Finnicky vegans give us a bad name!

5:09 AM  
Blogger Mediocretes did the happy dance and finally said..

What's 'higher' and 'lower' level anyway? 'These' people? WTF? This is exactly the kind of ingrained absurdity that perpetuates the kind of discrimination and bad behavior you've blogged about.

Confucius say, tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are. What kind of losers do you have coffee with anyway?

5:53 AM  
Blogger the wannabe indian punkster did the happy dance and finally said..

He either got spit or piss in his drink. I'm glad you didnt try it. And he deserves it, the douche bag.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

abhi - lol NO ONE deserves the yucky food u talked about!

rajesh - im sure i will :P u wont believe how many of my relatives act like that too..its bloody annoying

sac - 'but a rich dickhead in india feels he is above the law and can stamp on the poor with impunity'
yes. ive lost count of the number of times ive seen it happening in india...here maybe not so much but in india the situation really stinks..do u think its the way we're bought up or something?

dreamcatcher - asking a waiter to bring u stuff..thats fine, but not having the basic decency to say at least a 'thank u' is just downright idiotic!

dan - welcome sir! believe me im so not meeting this dude for anything every again!
im vegetarian myself and i hate creating a big fuss about food which is why i discretely enquire before i order..it saves everyone a lot of grief later on!

mediocretes - i would love to tell u to read the post again WITHOUT any preconceived notions about what a jerk you think i am, but i wont.
fuck off mediocretes. you're an annoyance.
you can stick your truce up your ass.

megha - tell me about it.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Silvara did the happy dance and finally said..

Hmm...feel ya there girl. My guilt is being kinda nasty to telemarketers that call us from India - they won't STOP!!!! I start off nice and when they just DON'T GET IT that we don't WANT insurance/free trips/glam photos - you gotta be a tad firm. The majority of the guilt is because I used to be a telemarketer myself lol. But I know what you mean - a smile doesn't cost anything, a greeting won't kill you and these people are just doing their job just like everyone else. :D

11:23 AM  
Blogger chitgo did the happy dance and finally said..

in agreement with you, there's a line to be drawn between being firm with someone who is being paid to 'serve' you and blowing your lid to serve an over-inflated ego.

Best thing to do with people in such situations is "did that feel good? feeling macho now?":)

Somehow i havent seen women behave like this....are they just born with better manners or is the caveman instinct too much for us men to overcome?

11:51 AM  
Blogger Mediocretes did the happy dance and finally said..

Mahima, you're being mean to me just because I'm a waiter? :(

1:18 PM  
Blogger Nath did the happy dance and finally said..

That and you can't trust someone who's mean to animals.

Does eating animals count as being mean to them? I know I'd be somewhat annoyed if someone ate me.

Also, even though I'm pretty sure you didn't mean it that way, I think mediocretes has a point about dividing people into 'levels'. There are, in fact, a few people perfectly happy spending their lives as waiters etc.

Also, anybody who doesn't read Waiter Rant should.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Grafxgurl did the happy dance and finally said..

a friend of mine who works in an eatery here in thailand says he demands the job of adding"extra" ingredients when a customer acts snotty.....the latest i hear is nose booger.


4:13 PM  
Blogger Urban Bourbon Ninja did the happy dance and finally said..

did you ever see that show, ``When Chefs Attack''??

Man the stuff some chefs do... makes spit sound nutritional. And a lot of it is unprovoked, you know... though i like to believe that indian chefs don't do this stuff, out of the goodness of their indian hearts :)

4:59 PM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

silvara - lol this reminds me of what my dad does to telemarketers...hes all nice but he keeps going "no, no, no" in a sing-song voice..it totally pisses them off! exactly babes...a smile can totally make someones day when theyve been on their feet all day (i would know i went around collecting donations..a smile would totally brighten up my day!)

chitgo - :). women are definitely the fairer and gentler sex (unless of course mediocretes is in the vicinity :P) moahaha!
but seriously tho..i blame it on the testosterone :D

mediocretes - go awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy *screams*

nath - oh eating animals is definitely mean!
look i didnt say being a waiter was something to look down upon. hell, if i had my way i'd work in a cafe all my life.
infer, nath, INFER! the so-called 'levels' i was talking about were with respect to the IGNORANCE of some people when they assume that some jobs dont deserve any respect at all. thats what pisses me off. i would have to be mighty stupid to talk about how people should be nice to waiters and then turn around and say waitering isnt a decent job, right?
waiterrant is an awesome blog!

grafx - mmmmm nose booger *homer simpson style*

ninja - LOL speaking of indian chefs..my dad saw this samosa guy scratch his balls, dig his nose, wipe his sweaty forehead and then lovingly make a samosa.
needless to say, my dad passed on the samosa (THANK GOD!)
(talk about putting your blood, sweat and tears into your job :P)

5:24 PM  
Blogger vaidehi did the happy dance and finally said..

So that last bit of advice? Too true. I hate it when people are condescending and mean to service industry people for no valid reason. Sigh.

3:22 AM  
Blogger Zen Wizard did the happy dance and finally said..

For some people, it is just a game they play with the service people--like, I guess, "I am on top of the pecking order now; it is your turn to squirm!"

I had a friend in LA who could be BRUTAL to wait staff. He once lectured a waiter for calling a drink without alcohol in it, "virgin," like a "virgin pina colada."

Everybody calls it that.

It is a really stupid "head game" that accomplishes nothing.

7:57 AM  
Blogger DewdropDream did the happy dance and finally said..

Reminds you of that Sirius line in HP 4 I think... 'Judge a person by how he behaves towards his subordinates and not just his equals' ... or some such :) so so so right Mahi... tell me you're not going to go out with this bloke again

8:55 PM  
Blogger Miz BoheMia did the happy dance and finally said..

Eggs actually ARE veggie fare... there are four types of vegetarians... regular, lacto, lacto-ovo and vegan... tell that guy to F**k off... a message from Miz B!

And kudos to you for making it through such an ordeal! I think I would have punched him!

12:33 AM  
Blogger Raindrop did the happy dance and finally said..

I'm always really nice to waiters because I'm terrified they'll do something disgusting to my food. When my flatmate and I started having disagreements, I tried to avoid putting food in the fridge. I ate out a lot.

Mediocretes sucks at acting like a normal human being. He is trying these days though. Have you seen him make an ass of himself on my blog? It's senseless, pointless insanity at its worst.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Mediocretes did the happy dance and finally said..

Raindrop: Normal human beings are like... waiters. Ugh.

Mahima: How about coffee with me? I suggest we kiss and make out*.


5:49 PM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

vaidehi - it makes my blood boil i tell you! hows jolly old england treating u? met arpu yet??

zen wizard - what a jackass! why couldn't your friend just let bygones be bygones and enjoy his 'virgin' pina colada. its alll about the ego man

dewdropdream - i know!!! when i read that i was like "Oh this Sirius..he's SO on the same frequency as me" :D (hehe not really but yea its an amazing line)
about going out again? lets just say im good at cooking up excuses ;)

miz B - yup! im a lacto-ovo veg..oh believe me miz B you have no idea how hard i had to try to stop my eye balls from rolling all the way to the back of my head *shakes head*

raindrop - LOL i would've eaten out too..and checked under my pillow..and checked if my sugar and salt wasn't switched..:O oh my. so much damage to be done, so little time!

mediocretes - yea coffee is good. ill bring along my vial of poison.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous renegadefade did the happy dance and finally said..

theres a movie called Waiting that is kinda based around this subject.. and a funny one at that..
on a separate note, eggs are not vegetarian!

10:26 PM  
Blogger Nath did the happy dance and finally said..

Madame Mahima: mediocretes - yea coffee is good. ill bring along my vial of poison.

You don't need to bring your own -- those damn syrups are poison enough.

renegadefade: on a separate note, eggs are not vegetarian!

Of course they are. Have you ever seen an egg eat meat?

6:41 AM  
Blogger Webmiztris did the happy dance and finally said..

screw that guy! I wouldn't be seen in public with him because that's just embarassing to be out in public with someone that rude. I hope someone DID spit in his food! hell, I'm ready to take a flight over to you just to spit in his food! :D

7:49 AM  
Blogger Scritch did the happy dance and finally said..

I have to say, I am EXTRA nice just so that they dont end up spitting in my food. Its a constant paranoia when I go out.

vegetarians are idiots.
they really are.
aside from eggs [which are unfertilized anyway, idiots], film is made out of animal bones, then there's glue, leather shoes, belts, bags. Are they going to raise their own veggies and live in shack?

9:03 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

renegadefade - waiting eh? ill try and get my hands on that..thanks for the heads up!

nath - but the syrups are SO pretty to look at! :D teehee cornyyyyy!

dawn - OH DO COME DOWN! :D you've got so many people here in sunny singapore who would love to show u around!!
*Here she comes to save the daaay,
Mighty Dawn is on her wayyyyy*

scritch - youre new here arent you? welcome..and woah ease up there..i'm vegetarian too!
but yea the unferitilized eggs are an excellent point..i've been to an egg farm and they keep the hens and the cocks separated.
as for belts, shoes, etc etc..personally i make a conscious decision to not buy that stuff...but i think the biggest bone of contention is the food..i hate overly anal vegetarians..the ones who whine about every single thing..they should just live on air. it don't get more vegetarian than that eh!

10:40 AM  
Blogger Di did the happy dance and finally said..

seriously...i dont know y people find it so tuff to be nice...it is most natural thing to do.. and i so believe ur last statement.. :)

4:00 PM  

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