Time and time again, we have it drilled into our heads that we servers are there to satisfy every whim and need that our customers may come up with. Yes, we are there to serve and it is our aim to please. After all, we like to believe that the better the service, the better the tip, but we all know that isn’t necessarily the truth. How many times have we made sure our service was spot on only to see a measly 10% tip scrawled onto the tip line? We always want to give our customers the impression that we care about them even though, more often than not, we don’t. After all these years of wearing an apron at my job, I have learned that there are a few times it truly does not matter if we care or not. When these instances come up, slap on your phoniest smile and think to yourself, “Yeah. I don’t give a damn.”
When the same customer complains about the same thing every time they come in. We all know these people. I have a woman who comes in every two or three weeks and always orders the hamburger. And every single time, she tells me, “I guess I’ll try the burger again even though they always over-cook it. I dunno why I I keep trying because it’s never good.” You know what, lady? I dunno why either. If the burger consistently disappoints you, maybe you should order something else. Or better yet, take your ass to Burger King where they say “we will hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us.” If the food is always a problem for you and never a problem for anyone else, maybe you’re the problem. Yeah, I don’t give a damn.
When someone is complaining about the sun being too bright. These are people who just need a reason to complain. If they are sitting next to a window and can’t handle the inconvenience of sun, maybe they should pop a couple of extra Vitamin D and crawl back into their coffin until the sun sets. We can adjust the blinds for them if the sun is shining directly into their face, but let’s not forget that the sun is the very thing that keeps us alive and if it comes down to me having to decide between a life-giving ball of energy or a dried up twat who wears her sunglasses 24 hours a day, I vote for the sun. Yeah, I don’t give a damn.
When a customer is in a very big hurry. Time management is an issue for a lot of people and just because you have something to do that starts in twenty minutes doesn’t mean I am going to ask the kitchen to cook your food before anyone else’s. When I worked in Times Square, every night someone would run in and show me their tickets to the Broadway musical they were about to see and ask me to rush their food. The thing was though, almost everyone in the restaurant had tickets to see a Broadway show. The only difference was that other people made better use of their time. I will certainly do my best to get your food as quickly as possible (believe me, I can’t wait for you to get your ass out of my sight), but I’m not going to do it at the expense of someone who knows how time works. Yeah, I don’t give a damn.
If someone is upset by the behavior of another customer. This one is tricky, because more often than not, I am going to agree. If Table 9 complains to me about the screaming brat at Table 11, I will concur that the child is being a nuisance and should have a dirty sanit towel stuffed into its mouth. However, if I were to take the dirty sanit towel and stuff it into the mouth of the child, there is a pretty good chance my tip will suffer for that. Is it my responsibility to tell a person that someone else wants them to change their behavior? While it is my job to make the dining experience as pleasant as possible for my customers, it is not my job to dispense parental advice. Maybe I will agree with Table 9 and encourage them to go address the issue themselves. Or better yet, maybe I will tell my manager to deal with it because that’s why he gets paid the “big bucks.” Basically, yeah, I don’t give a damn.
And please remember it is completely alright to not give a damn as long as your face gives the impression that you do give a damn. The wonderful thing about our brains is that we can think whatever we want and no one has to know the truth. As long as we smile at our customer, express empathy and offer assistance, they will never know that inside our head all we are hearing is the sound of a big booming voice yelling though a megaphone proudly exclaiming, “Yeah, I don’t give a damn!”