It was a warm summer evening on July 1st, 2016. My Instagram-inspired full eyebrows and long chocolate brown hair were done up spotlessly for my hosting shift, my first job. As I stepped in that afternoon, the host before me informed me of the 4 reservations of 2-3 people we had. He then proceeded to tell me we were not allowed to hold tables for them, on the basis that reservations were only for 8 or more people. Assuming a slow night was on its way, I was not too shaken up.
As the night progressed smoothly, a couple walked in at the peak of our dinner rush that thankfully only filled the patio to the brim of a 10 minute wait. When they informed me they had a reservation for 3 people at 7, I realized my lucky streak ended after the first 3 reservations passed through mysteriously without a single complaint. I informed them of the logistical issues with reservations, but ensured them if they were unable to wait the 5-10 minutes for a table outside, any table inside would be a-okay (even if it threw off my rotation and a *rightfully* angry swarm of servers came after me for explanations). To my surprise, the finger wagging, tasteless lecture, and stream of lies about my "attitude" to my manager did not end there. About a month later, my Italian-American family giggled with me as I discovered my first Yelp review. Dated July 1st, 2016 at 7pm, a delightful older couple decided to let future attendees of my work know the "Middle Easter hostess" refused to help them, though they were seated as soon as their final complaint dripped off their dried tongues.
This was the day I learned the golden rule of customer service—the customer can be completely wrong, but at the end of the day, they will always be right. Even though we all go home swearing over a bottle of wine, telling the tales of 6% tips and vicious interactions, they will always be in the right. But, what if we let them know that behind the cheesy smiles, scripted upgrade questions, "of course"'s and "thank you"'s, they were wrong. Imagine Carol's surprise when you tell her that fruit cup she ordered is not "free" because you ordered it from a restaurant. Where you pay for things. Picture Bob's jaw dropping when he finds out 20% is for exceptional service, not his pocket change. What if the rude regulars knew we were giving them straws, though they are supposed to be on request, not to be kind, but because we don't want them to deduct our tip for every second they are without one, even though 8 other tables are waiting on us?
There should be no reason I come home from every shift and plop a post-it with another negative interaction on it into a smiley face mug so I don't go on a rampage to my roommates who are just trying to watch the new Ted Bundy Netflix series. I've grown tired of baby boomers speaking to me as though I am lesser or stupid, just to leave me a 7% tip even though I refilled their diet coke 8 times. Restaurant culture in America has become ridiculous, and customer service in general is sacrificing the wellbeing of their employees to satiate a crowd of insatiable, greedy customers. In the end, it will never be enough. The beers will always be too small of a pour for their price. The lighting and music will never be at a perfect balance to please everyone. A dining experience will never just be consuming food and beverages. So to you restaurant goers who complain about the smallest things, expect full attention in a full house, and could not be bothered to tip because you're "already paying for the bill", PostMates is a great option.