Someone recently sent me a photo of a note that was left by a customer on the back of their restaurant receipt. It reads:
I apologize because you are a very good server but the kitchen staff really fucked up and then to find that you didn’t so much as comp one drink is pretty fucking ridiculous. I live down the street and actually kind of like this joint but expect a scathing Yelp review and don’t expect to see us here ever again. Peace.
Let us dissect this stupid-ass note, shall we? First off, I commend the grammar. Most of the time when people leave notes like this, be it on a restaurant receipt or on a blog, the grammar is atrocious, the spelling is horrible and the syntax is worse. This is pretty good, I must admit. Other than that though, this is one fucked up piece of shit.
If he lives nearby and “actually kind of” likes this place, who is he hurting by vowing to never come back? He’s going to subject himself to visiting another joint that is further away that he does not like as much? What a dumb-ass. Does he think that threatening to never come back is going to upset the waiter? Why would the waiter want to ever see this guy again? And to threaten to write a “scathing Yelp review” sounds like something ten-year old would tell his brother when he won’t stop farting on him. (I don’t know what that sentence means.) Why does he expect free drinks because the kitchen fucked up? Granted, it would have been nice of the server to comp something, but it’s not a requirement, especially if the order was corrected. Why are people so freaking entitled when they come into a restaurant?
If you go to The Gap and try on a pair of jeans only to realize that the jeans say 28×30 but they are far too tight and they must be mislabeled because you know you are a size 28 and there is no other possible explanation of why the jeans don’t fit, do you expect to get a free pair of socks out of the deal? No, you don’t.
Say you go to a grocery and you pick up some Pillsbury biscuits in a can. Once you get to the register, you happen to notice that the biscuits expired the day before. Of course you decide you don’t want any tainted biscuits so you tell the check-out girl you’ll be right back and a minute later you return with biscuits that are good for two more weeks. Do you tell her you will never come back unless they give you a jar of free grape jelly? No, you don’t.
What about when you walk to the 7 train and you discover it’s not running because of necessary track work, a police investigation, train traffic ahead, a sick passenger or someone got pushed into the tracks? Do you expect the MTA to reimburse you for your trouble? Well, yes, we do expect that but it never happens so you suck it up and hope that your boss will accept “train troubles” as your excuse for the day because this time it is actually true.
The restaurant has become the place for customers to push back as hard as possible all for the sake of getting something for free. What people are forgetting is how fortunate they are to be able to even eat in a restaurant and that they should be grateful for the experience. How many people in this world, not to mention our own country, can’t afford to go out to eat? Plenty. If you are reading this on your computer, or smart phone or iPad or tablet, you’re fortunate too. We live in a world of privilege and too many of us are forgetting how lucky we are to have some of the things we have.
A few days ago, I bought Apple TV. It was supposed to be so simple to install and of course it wasn’t. In the three hours on the phone with tech support, they had me click so many things on my computer that by the time I hung up with them I no longer had wi-fi in my apartment and was without Internet or Apple TV. I was furious. I was almost late to work because I was on the phone up until the minute I had to leave and I got to the restaurant in a shitty mood. I couldn’t shake the frustration and it was affecting my whole night. Within a couple of hours, I realized how silly I was being.
“Wait,” I thought. “I am pissed off because I can’t stream Netflix to watch The Dick Van Dyke Show and I am unable to check my Facebook? This is what is putting me in a bad mood? Oh, my God, I am one of those people complaining about something that only very privileged people get to have in the first place. Chill the fuck out.”
And I did. The next day, my friend Randie walked me through how to get everything back up and running and I can’t believe how upset I had been over the whole thing. My point is that maybe we should just take a second to look around and be grateful for what we have instead of focusing on the things that are not perfect.
Going back to the note, the kitchen staff may have fucked up his order, but chances are he still left the restaurant with a full belly and he shared his meal with someone he cares about. Why not be grateful for that, asshole? So you didn’t get a free drink. You poor thing. All you got to do was spend your extra money on dinner out with friends where someone prepared your food, brought it to you and then cleaned up after you. How terrible for you.
In the comments, name one thing you are grateful for.