Clean up your act in public eateries


By Leah Spagnoli

It isn’t news that a popular “career” is waiting tables at restaurants. Someone has to do it, right? It doesn’t matter how old you are when working, respect is asked for from customers (unless you’re attending Ed Debevic’s, 640 N. Wells St. in Chicago).

I myself work at a bar and grill in Wrigleyville as a “food runner.” My job involves everything from managing the kitchen, to getting behind the grill, to doing dishes. I mostly work behind the scenes.

For those of you that do work in the industry, no matter what position, I commend you. You know as well as I do that it is the best and worst job.

After four years of working at this establishment, I’ve noticed quirks about the people I serve. I can’t always believe what I’m seeing. I’ve come to notice that a lot of people don’t have table manners.

I hope that I can speak for most people when saying that the bad side of the job is dealing with people that have never had to serve others: The people that want what they ordered two minutes after they ordered it. Those who don’t see the crowd of the other 290 people and want five star service. These people have never worked with food outside their own home.

Nod if you know what I mean. Thank you.

Attention to all people that fall into this description: Take notes on the following.

When you see that many people in a restaurant — when it is swamped — you are no longer the most important person in the room. You have, in fact, become one of the anchovies that visits the Krusty Krab in Spongebob Squarepants. Remember the episode where the Krusty Krab is flooded with those tall, dark and handsome fish? Service will be provided at the earliest convenience and will hopefully be the best possible.

We do not come into your place of work and throw popcorn, beer or napkins at one another or surrounding customers. We do ask that you respect the establishment and refrain from crying about being asked to leave.

We will get you more napkins, refill your beer and ice water, bring more moist towelettes and provide you with all of the takeout containers your heart desires.

When asked for politely, these things will arrive at your table even faster.

If a bouncer is asking for identification at the door, no one cares if you have gray hair and clearly look older. Show your ID and prove that you were born before 1991.

When the kitchen gets backed up and a waitress tells you there is a 45 minute to an hour wait for food, please don’t throw a temper tantrum when it takes 46 minutes. You were given a warning.

After being told about the wait, deciding to cancel your order as it is being brought out to you is wasteful. Let me wrap that up so you can drop it off with a homeless person on your way to the Cubs game, thanks.

Granted, all of these things don’t occur in all restaurants or bars, but I do see bad behavior often. It’s hard to believe that these people will change their attitudes until they reverse roles and walk in my slip-proof shoes.