Now That’s Service…

The karma for tonight’s events is sure to bite me in the ass eventually, but still. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Tonight we decided to go to Black-Eyed Pea for dinner. We walked in and waited for the hostess to finally show up. Once she walked up, she asked if we wanted a table for two, and when we said yes she said, “I’m sorry, we’re full, you’ll have to go away.”

Uh, yeah. There were maybe 10 tables with guests in the otherwise empty restaurant. We gave her a blank stare in response.

So she said it again. “We’re full, you’ll have to leave. Just go home.”

Is this chick for real? Seriously?

Finally she starts to lead us to a table. I had asked for a booth in the middle of the restaurant (I hate the ones that are right by the door – whoever thought it was wise to put tables in the entryway was crazy.) We walk up to the table, and she asks the standard question, “Is this ok?” I say yes. She responds with, “Too bad, it’s reserved for someone else.”

As if the comments at the door weren’t bad enough, she just went over the edge at that moment.

I sit down and say, “Yes, it’s reserved for me.” She responds with some lame comment about how she doesn’t live her life to make herself happy, but to make others happy – so she never leaves a table until she hears a chuckle.

Right. Yeah, I’m laughing. Uh huh. Get out. Now.

I have worked in restaurants in the past, so I am generally a really understanding customer. I very rarely complain. Food comes out slowly? Fine. Problem with the order? No big deal. But when it comes to service, I expect quality. Especially from a hostess, which is generally a low-key job (unless you’re on a wait, then you have to have the patience of a saint to deal with crabby customers that want a table now; otherwise, no-brainer job most of the time.)

As we ate, Mike finally said something about how we should talk to the manager about what the hostess said. I had thought the same thing, but thought I was overreacting, so I hadn’t brought it up. However, when he said it – I jumped on the chance. As we paid our bill, we asked the waitress to send the manager to our table.

As we told him what had happened, the poor guy was stunned. I told him that I just wanted to tell him so that she would be informed not to do it again – and he said she wouldn’t have a chance to do it again, because she would be gone tomorrow. Poor thing, I didn’t want to get her fired. I even told him that. However, really – if the job description is “hostess” it implies that you host guests, and that you treat them well. You don’t tell them to go home. He needed to know about her behavior, so I don’t regret telling him at all. I just know the karma will come back to get me.

He came back to our table before we left and gave us free dinner giftcards, apologizing again. We told him that it was ok and we understood – we will return there again. Hopefully, the new hostess won’t tell us to go home.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

16 replies on “Now That’s Service…”

Wow. That is staggeringly bad service. “Go home” ??

I mean, really. Despite the fact that you didn’t want to “get her fired,” um. You didn’t. She chose her words. She had every opportunity to do her job well… and we know what happens when you don’t do your job well. I’ve had it happen. I know other people have had it happen. You get the boot. Only, I’ve never had it happen because I told someone to go home.

Now she gets to be the recipient of those very words. And she actually has to heed them.

THAT’S the karma in this story.

So, was she trying to be funny? Or did she really mean for you to go home? Either way, she’s obviously lacking in basic social skills. That’s just bizarre.

As an aside, I haven’t eaten in a Black Eyed Pea in forever! Is there one near you?

i think that comment would’ve been fine if she knew who you guys were… like if you were going to a restaurant where you knew the waitstaff (like you were regulars)… but she was totally out of place because she didn’t know who you guys were. i think you handled her comment fine because i would’ve been stunned enough to think of a come back… but i’m sure if she did that to anyone else, the door would’ve slapped her on the ass on the way out.

see what happens when i don’t come to your house even after Mike bribed us with food? shame on me. 😉

Yeah! Kathy got her fired! We tried to bribe her with food … if she had come over, we would have stayed home … yeah, that’s it! 😉 (Just kidding – I wouldn’t want to pass the karma on!)

Natalie, there are two on 1960 actually. I never think of “steller service” when it comes to the Pea (our waitress tonight was really good though!) but this chick … she took the cake!

I don’t think she should have been a hostess if that’s the kind of stuff she said. That was pretty rude. You had to tell the manager otherwise they could have lost lots of other customers. Go you!

Sounds like something that would happy to hubby and I! *LOL*

Even if she knew you that would be unacceptable. I’m glad you spoke to the manager and told him about it. My oldest is a server at a steakhouse and she is nice to everyone. I know that they wouldn’t tolerate someone saying that to anyone, even if they knew them in her restaurant!

Cool that you have a free meal there, nice bonus! 🙂

Speaking as a 10+ year veteran of the restaurant biz: DO NOT FEEL THE SLIGHTEST BIT GUILTY FOR GETTING HER FIRED. She’s probably pissed off 10 other couples who didn’t speak up, but who decided never to darken the doors of the restaurant ever again. She’s not good for business, and she’s not doing HERSELF any favors by being an ass.

I get flack from my non-waitress friends for refusing to tip servers who give attitude, and for reporting them to management. I’m very forgiving, like you, of a screwed up food order or a long wait. But I WILL NOT tolerate an unpleasant attitude. There are plenty of decent, hard-working, PLEASANT people who would love to have that job to pay their bills, so I don’t cut any slack for the mouthy asshats. At. All.

I had to pick my jaw up off the floor reading that. I have never had service that bad. Now, there are some restaurants here where you just KNOW you have to make a reservation in advance because otherwise you won’t get in. But we know that, so we act accordingly. Some places really are constantly full up here. But that hostess was just way out of line. Don’t feel badly about talking to the manager. As a previous commenter said, it is better to speak up with a legitimate concern. In the retail industry it is said that one dissatisfied customer will tell 10 other people. And that will have a snowball effect, leading to much loss of business.

OK I’ll shut up now.

Karma works on the principle that your actions have reactions and you choose what you project outward. If you had projected nastiness, I’d say yeah maybe karma would bite you in the butt later, but you absolutely did not. Frankly you were much more patient then I would’ve been, despite her outright rudeness.

Frankly if she was that rude I would guess she hates her job and it was good karma to inadvertently get her fired.

I can’t believe a hostess would behave that way. I would say that countless people have left before ever being seated, I know I probably would have. You probably saved the jobs of wait and kitchen staff because you said something and allowed the management to take action.

Do you guys have a Dick’s Last Resort? She’d make a great hostess there as it is about the only restaurant where people pay to be treated like crap.

Reminds me of the time we went to the Olive Garden, and after waiting 45 minutes for a table (in a restaraunt that was nearly empty), I was told by the hostess that “You should really only be ordering from the salad menu, because you certainly don’t need to be eating any thing here…and can you FIT in that booth?”

After complaining to the on duty assistant manager, and having nothing done, we left, and I called the corporate office the next day – mentioning that I may just call the news paper about the treatment that we had at the restaraunt.

I got a call the next day, from the store manager, informing me that the Assistant Manager, and the entire host staff was now looking for work elsewhere.

Christine, don’t feel bad about doing what you had to do – you pay for the service, and if it’s not what you want, you have the right to voice an opinion.

I can only assume this woman thought she was being dryly humorous by saying the place was full when it wasn’t … kinda like all those smartasses with plates scraped clean who, when asked, “How was your meal?” enjoy saying, “It was terrible. I’d like to send it back.”

Obviously she needs to punctuate such comments with a smile or something to indicate she’s kidding. Otherwise, it’s just unexpected, alienating and rude. Good for you for saying something.

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