Inattentiveness

As someone who has experience in the restaurant business both as a server/waiter/waitress and a host/hostess, there are a few things that I want to bring to light. My experiences today at Applebees were the worst I have ever had at any restaurant I can remember. The waiting time, I can understand, that is out of their hands and I am the one who chose to wait. It was busy. However, what happen next is just inexcusable. First the hostess led us to our table and told us the soups of the day in the most monotonous, I-don’t-want-to-work-here-I-just-want-to-go-home voice I have ever heard, and then it took a good five to ten minutes for our server to even get to our table. I don’t know how long we waited, but when you already know what you’re ordering, simply waiting feels like an eternity. And just so you know that I am not exaggerating, I watched a table get cleaned, another table get their check and leave, and another table get their food in the first few seconds of eternity while waiting for this nonexistent waitress. I thought for a good few seconds that we had been forgotten.

I am not being heartless. I understand how the restaurant business is when it’s busy, but inattentiveness to the customers is not going to score the big bucks. Nor was I surrounded with a bunch of young adults either. I was with my parents and we waited like adults. Forever. Finally, the lady came, took our order and then took a good eon bringing my dad his beer and my mother and I our water. Actually, my dad got his beer first. And then she left and brought our waters. I thought that was a little strange. And then we got our appetizers. So far so good, not too much wait time there. And then we finished our appetizers and waited for the main course. And waited. And waited some more. We watched the table who was seated after us get their meal before us. We watched another table get their appetizers. The server for these tables went to each of these tables at least twice while we were waiting. I hadn’t seen our waitress since she dropped off our appetizers ten minutes ago. Finally, when we got our food, it was another server who dropped it off. And then our waitress appeared and asked the customary “How is everything? Good? Good.” and walked away, never to be seen again. Such events continued the rest of the meal. I will not detail how much tip I left, but I will say that working in the restaurant business has let me understand the hardships of working there and that I like to help out my fellow workers who know what they’re doing. Emphasis on that last part.

This brings me to my main point. Inattentiveness is the name of this segment. It is a disease that is slowly permeating the American society. We eat at chain restaurants that don’t care who these customers are, as long as they pay. They weed out small business owners and replace them with giant name stores. I work in a small restaurant and I am proud to say that my bosses know 95% of the faces and names of the people who walk into our restaurant. But that is beside the point. People just don’t care enough. The hostess who felt she had something better to do that lead people to their tables. I’m sure she does. Hell, I know I do, but when I’m at work, I focus all my attention on what I am doing at the task at hand. That is the only thing I care about. I deal with the other stuff later. Everyone is too focused on their little Blackberry’s and iPhones, communicating with people who aren’t working or people who are working. It doesn’t matter. They’re not doing their jobs because they don’t care. Perhaps “inattentiveness” isn’t the right word to use. “Carelessness” is probably a good word to use. But in the sense in which people don’t care enough, don’t put their hearts into their work and therefore carelessness as we know it is born.

How does this happen? When people don’t do what they like, inattentiveness is born. Unfortunately, what people like cannot be translated directly into the adult world. That doesn’t give them an excuse to not do their job. People [and I suppose I am mostly just pointing this to people in my generation, the ones around my age and younger] need to grow up.

That’s the end of my rant for today. Again, if my thoughts don’t really make sense and just repeat themselves, I direct you to my about me page, where it states this is for me, and for you to read if you’d like. It doesn’t have to make sense to you, just has to make sense to me.

Happy reading!

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1 Response to “Inattentiveness”


  1. 1 Margi August 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    O man, in terms of restaurant service, Asian countries are the best!!!

    Actually I had a similar experience. My friends and I went to cheesecake factory, and we were told that we had to wait 30 minutes. And so we waited but the beeper that they gave us didn’t beep at all, so we went back after 40 minutes to ask them if they called for us. The hostess said that “the beeper didn’t work”. But she said it in a tone of voice that seemed to deny the fault of the hostess, and also there was no apology given. She did say “We’ll try to seat you as soon as a table is available”. We waited for 30 more minutes, and then we had to ask the hostess again. Then she proceeded to seat us near the entrance, which obviously is an insult to us. Two of my friends got angry and demanded a different table, so we ended up getting a good table. We really wanted to talk to the manager as he was walking around the tables asking the customers. Unfortunately the manager did not stop by our table and by the end of the late dinner, we didn’t care anymore.

    I’m still going to visit Cheesecake Factory because I like one of their dishes a lot, but I better not see the same kind of service again.


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