PJ SNS's Profile

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Etiquette for Picking up Call-Ahead

It's truly amazing to witness behavior that some people think is ok. I believe in these situations more people need to speak up like Cecilia did rather than let these people get away with skirting the rules of common courtesy that most people live by. I find that a lot of confrontation adverse people would rather stew with the tension and anxiety of allowing someone to cut the line rather than say something. I'm not advocating vigilanteism in an extreme form, but I do believe that people shouldn't feel badly about calling people out on their rude bahavior. I also believe that when someone does speak up everyone else needs to rally and support them. If the perpetrators realize that they are in a minority because the "herd of eyes" (thanks jfood) and the chorus of voices tells them so, maybe they'll start to get the point that they're not above the rules of common decency wherever they go.

http://www.servernotservant.com/

Dec 05, 2009
PJ SNS in Not About Food

"... stand up against turkey tyranny, folks."

Sam Allis wrote a funny piece in today's Boston Globe disparaging the holiday bird in a mockingly playful way. The white meat of the turkey gets hit the hardest in his lampooning of the traditional feast.

A few vignettes:

"Today, I rise to address a subject that has tortured me for years: the tyranny of the turkey. Turkey has held us hostage on holidays for long enough..."

"For the record, turkey is dry, insufferably boring stuff."

"... at the end of the day, turkey still remains a dreary eating experience."

"My challenge today is for you to walk on the wild side for once in your pathetic holiday eating life." (My favorite line.)

He suggests some tremendous alternatives, including rib of beef with all the trimmings, a crown roast of pork , lobster and Italian.

Even funnier than Sam's 'turkey tyranny' piece, are the comments that follow calling him clueless, jaded, uneducated, curmudgen and the grinch.

Here's the full article:

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2009/11/24/turkey_is_a_tradition_thats_run_its_course/

As Garrison Keillor wrote, it's a peasant holiday where all you have to do is sit down and eat.

What are you having on Thursday? Enjoy the holiday.

http://www.servernotservant.com/

Nov 24, 2009
PJ SNS in Food Media & News

I'm a foodie and I'm proud

I get the discussion, but why does anyone need to refer to themselves as one or the other, or both? Why is there a need to call yourself anything other than someone who loves food and loves to share information with other people who love food? I'm sorry, but I think both of the labels are just plain silly, therefore I don't refer to myself as either one. That's just one guy's preference and opinion. To each his/her own, but is it really worth re-hashing this over and over when it's already been beaten into submission? Maybe we should all go volunteer at a soup kitchen instead of chasing our collective tails...

Nov 18, 2009
PJ SNS in Not About Food

I'm a foodie and I'm proud

Is it really necessary to call yourself a chowhound or a foodie?

Perspective: That's coming from a jaded guy who loves all kinds of food but hates cutesy nicknames. I just don't see the need for the labels.

http://www.servernotservant.com/

Nov 17, 2009
PJ SNS in Not About Food

"One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 2)"

"it basically just says everything wrong is the customers fault."

No, it doesn't. It says that the customer is responsible for treating the staff like they would want to be treated, with respect and civility. For the record, I stated above my list that I agreed with almost all of Mr. Buschel"s list.

FYI- I'm advocating for professional servers, not shoddy servers. My suggestions were based on the assumption that a server needs to do a great job.

"Doing a great job means showing up on time, prepared for work, trained and dressed properly, knowing your job, being pleasant and attentive, and hustling your ass off to provide exceptional service. Great customer service workers are resourceful, resilient and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done right. Ideally, employees should be invested in what they are doing and act as ambassadors for the company that they work for. Sometimes you need to suck it up, put your game face on, and do a great job even though you don’t want to be there. Even when you’re at the tail end of a double and ‘the dogs are barking’ you need to persevere and accomodate customers as much as possible. I realize that if you’ve been a server for a long time, and you’ve been beaten down shift after shift, year after year, that it’s hard to be pleasant and on top of your game all of the time. However, the job is still a choice (in most cases), and you have to keep trying, or get out." -PM

http://www.servernotservant.com/

Nov 17, 2009
PJ SNS in Food Media & News

"One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 2)"

taos- I agree that most of the items could be wrapped up into one as you suggest. However, responding to a list of 100 items (Buschel's) by suggesting one, would not have been as effective. A healthy debate and dialogue have ensued all over the Internet, in part due to my lengthy list.

As far as your suggestion for me, I'm not dictating anything. I published 64 suggestions. I'm sorry I antagonized you. (I'm assuming you're in the 81% club, despite the fact that your tone suggests otherwise.)

Have a nice weekend. -PM

http://www.servernotservant.com/

Nov 13, 2009
PJ SNS in Food Media & News

"One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 2)"

Not going to take the bait and engage you, but I will correct one point. My list is titled, "64 Suggestions for Restaurant Customers."

http://www.servernorservant.com/

Nov 09, 2009
PJ SNS in Food Media & News

"One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 2)"

No, that's not the case at all anonymous small h. I worked in the bar and restaurant industry off and on for 12 years. During my tenure I was always intrigued by how and why people behaved the way that they did in public, and how they treated folks in my profession. I've done some extensive research over the last 3 years to find out what other people who have been in the industry thought. My research is on-going, thus the reason for launching my blog.

I don't currently work in a restaurant, and haven't for years. I have become friendly with many servers because I dine out often. It's appalling to witness what some people feel is acceptable behavior, not just in restaurants, but everywhere. I'm trying to create a dialogue and an awareness for unacceptable customer behavior towards service industry professionals. The scope of my project is a lot more broad than Steve Dublanica's. Human-to-Human Service is the heart and soul of the book.

I'm sorry for the intrusion on your privacey. I'm not aware of a better way to engage in a dialogue about these issues than social networking sites like Chowhound. I'd love to see what you think of that.

Respectfully yours, Patrick Maguire

http://www.servernotservant.com/

Nov 08, 2009
PJ SNS in Food Media & News

NYT: "One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1)"

I agree that a server who is trying to be funny, entertaining or overly friendly can be annoying. Obviously a server needs to take his/her cues from each set of guests. I'm just saying that I believe that more people need to be open to the fact that dining out is a fluid, dynamic interaction, and that the world is not perfect. There are a lot of uptight people who are rigid, inflexible and unforgiving. Even in the most formal dining rooms a personal connection with a server can make an evening more enjoyable.

http://www.servernotservant.com/

Nov 04, 2009
PJ SNS in Food Media & News

NYT: "One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1)"

Ruth- I hear you. I paused when I used 'intimate' in my post, but then proceeded to use it hoping that readers would get my intended meaning. The server-diner relationship is a personal one because it involves communication, interaction and hospitality. I'm with you on the boundaries, but I also believe diners need to be flexible and open to some spontaneity and fun.

Oct 31, 2009
PJ SNS in Food Media & News

NYT: "One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1)"

I agree with most of the list. Buschel does sound a bit rigid. I think his list would be a little different if he had some restaurant experience under his belt. In fact, I believe that all diners would be better customers if they had a little service experience. Until you've walked a mile in my shoes...

#3- Never refuse to seat 3 guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.
(His prerogative, but he'll learn after the masses run roughshod.)

#7- No jokes? (Come on.)

#42- Do not compliment a guest's attire or hairdo or makeup. You are insulting someone else. (Ridiculous)

I agree with all of the posters who like to know who's serving them. I always quietly ask a server their name. It personalizes an intimate, human-to-human transaction, and it allows me to respectfully address the server when I need to talk with them. I don't use it to curry favor, or to yell their name across the bar or diningroom.

I'm working on a list of 100 things that restaurant customers should never say or do. I wonder if the NYT will post it...

http://www.servernotservant.com/

Oct 30, 2009
PJ SNS in Food Media & News