Thursday, June 16, 2005

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Guests Deserve It...And So Do I

Far too many people walk into my restaurant and just plain ignore me (and the other hostesses) until I become useful to them! I wish I could just ignore them back and see how they like it, let’s see how far they get when the shoe’s on the other foot! I’m not asking for much, just a little response when I say “Hello”, or is that too much to ask?

The guest that has just walked in the door is my number one priority as a hostess. I would at least like a little head nod or something to let me know that they at least acknowledge my presence. It gets on my nerves so much! It's like they don't even have enough respect for me to acknowledge my existence or the fact that I said "hello" to them. It's right up there with people seating themselves, it's part of my job to be friendly and the first person the guest sees when they walk into the restaurant. It's my job to make them happy and comfortable, to make sure that they have a seat where they will enjoy themselves. And since it's my job, I would like to be acknowledged at least before you decide that you need me now.

So many people have just plain ignored me until they needed a seat in non-smoking or when they needed menus. They walk right by me and my cheerful "hello" and into the bar. They only come back once they realize that they don't have menus or even an open table over there. Then they need me, then they see that I exist. And only then. At that point, I don't even care where they sit 'cause I know they aren't going to talk to me willingly while I take them to a table. At that point, I just wanna hand them menus and tell them to sit wherever they frickin' want.

Cell phones too! I hate it when people can't finish their conversations before the come through the door. Because then, while they're still on the phone, I'm trying to talk to them, to see where they would like to sit, and they have this annoyed "can't you read my mind" look on their face because I'm inturrupting the conversation and they can't hear the person on the other end. This one really bugs me too! I mean, I don't answer the phone if people are walking through the door, why? Because the people in front of me take the priority. I wish people would have just enough respect for me to at least wait to keep talking until after I've put them in their table. I'm obviously making time to take care of them, is putting the phone down for two minutes too much to ask?

One of my hostesses told me a story about a patient at the denist she used to work for as an assistant. He was constantly on his cell phone, and told the dentist to wait until he had finished the call! He had scheduled his appointment and everything, but he just had to take that call. So the dentist told the secretary to make another appointment for the guy for "when he has time for me, because I've made time for him". I just can't stand to see people that self-absorbed. If the shoe were on the other foot, I'm sure that guy would've been far beyond ticked off. Why can't people realize when they're being ignorant, inconsiderate, and too self-absorbed to notice anyone else around them? Why aren't we allowed to bring this to their attention? Oh, yeah, because "The Customer Is Always Right", well I got news for ya: that statement isn't true, it's never been true, and the only reason the guy (because it was a guy, dumber than a bag of hammers guys can be) coined it to begin with was to get more customers. The customers love that phrase because it can get them practically whatever they want.

Anyway, before this turns into a rant...I give the guests that come into my restuarant at least the respect of making eye contact and talking with them. I don't call them names (well, unless they tick me off and can't hear me...), I don't ignore them, I don't seat them where they don't want to be seated, I give them everything that they want, the least they could do me is acknowledge my presence. The least they could do is say "hello" back or put the cell phone down for a second and let me do my job. I know it's just hostessing, but I still take pride in what I do and the fact that I can do it well, I still give my job (no matter what it is) everything I've got.

My fiance says I care too much (thus the reason I've been working so much these past two weeks, that and it gets my parents off my case about money and a second job), and maybe I do, but when I get into something, when I commit myself to something, I give it everything I can. I do work when I'm off the clock, I often times bring home some work with me, and I come in a lot on my days off and I work days I'm not scheduled when they need me. It's my job and I still take pride in it, even if it is "just hostessing", and I just wish people would respect that and respect me for it.

I make time to take care of them, can't they make time to say "Hi, I'm fine thanks, how are you?"