With my wife and son out of town for a couple of days I've finally been able to accomplish something great! I defeated all levels of sling fire!
Really though, I'm saddened by this and must eat myself back to feeling comfortable with my status as fat guy and not nerd guy. Anyway, the thing that spawned this post occured last night before my family left me.
So there we were, eatin' good in the neighborhood (because it was on my wife's way out of town) when our waitress comes up to the table and takes our drink order. Everything is going fine until she stops and says, "Do you mind if I get to know you a little better?" So I'm thinking that they're actually going to give us a survey before we even get our food, but it's much worse than that. "May I," she continues, "ask you your names?"
Ok, now every instinct in my body wants to scream at the girl "NO YOU MAY NOT. GET ME MY DAMNED DIET COKE!" but instead my wife and I look at each other and shrug. Usually I hate the fact that waitstaff are obligated to give me their name, but now they're asking for mine?! I told my wife that I was going to have business cards printed up to give to waiters and waitresses wherever we go that outline what I consider good service. I won't even speak to them, just hand them the card. They'll take it politely, thinking I'm deaf or something and thus fealing obligated to read it, and they won't know what hit them until after it was over. My wife said that would be rude, but I wonder how it would really impact our dining experiences. It would have the following rules written on it:
1) Do not ever sit down in the booth or at the table with me.
2) Do not tell me your name or ask me how I'm doing.
3) DO NOT ASK ME MY NAME
4) Be a silent server. I don't want to know you're there, I just want your job done.
5) Do not ask me if I need change when I pay with cash.
6) When you tell me the specials, quote prices. I'm not cheap, but I like to know how much I'm spending.
7) I cannot stress rule number 4 too much
It would be titled something like "7 ways to earn a better tip from me"
I know I'm leaving some things out, but the bottom line is I go out to eat to be served, not to make friends. This is what happens when you have people work for tips. Not only should this practice be outlawed, but eateries should realize that they can charge a bit more and pay their staff what they're worth, thus getting better staff who provide better service and attract repeat customers who don't mind spending a little more.
I know people who totally disagree with this, but they are wrong. No gray area here.