The Weekly Rant with Gary Patella

Thoughts and ideas on various grievances that are relevant to everyday life.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Waiting For The Check

Life comes in a wide variety of forms. There are enormous trees, fungi, and animals on this planet. There are also microscopic life forms which are ubiquitous. Regardless of the actual taxonomic classifications, all life requires energy in order to survive. Most of these life forms have developed metabolic functions. Others, such as viruses, must parasitize other organisms and use metabolic functions already in place.

As humans, we obtain our energy through food consumption. Our intake of oxygen is required for the breakdown of nutrients. In this day and age, our choice of food is great. There are a wide variety of flavours and styles associated with food. Although eating at home is common, most people have the desire to eat at a restaurant from time to time.

There can be various problems associated with the dining experience, and I will not discuss all of these problems at this time. I wish to discuss a problem that I have experienced even when I thought the service to be very good overall. There have been times where I would go to a restaurant, be seated promptly, have an attentive waiter or waitress, and get a terrific meal. However, the dining experience is not finished at this point.

After eating, drinking, and being completely satisfied with everything, I am ready to leave. But suddenly I am held captive. The waiter that was extremely attentive the entire time is suddenly nowhere in sight. My plate is cleaned and my drink is empty. But in order to leave without committing a criminal offense, I must wait for the check.

This annoys me to no end. When the service is terrible the entire way through, I can at least see the pattern. But this inconsistency baffles me. Why would everything be taken care of in such a swift and efficient manner initially only to have the same service disappear at the end? Does the server feel that the job has been completed? It hasn't! Our technology has come a long way, but we have yet to develop a check that will come to my table of its own volition.

I understand that a server does not want customers to feel rushed. But does that mean that a complete disappearing act is the only alternative? The server should be able to socialize after serving. But he or she should still take a quick walk around the tables every ten minutes or so. At least then, the customer can flag that person down. But there are times where everyone is MIA for twenty minutes or more. It is absolutely ridiculous!

So if you are a waiter or waitress, don't consider your checklist complete once your final customer has been served. Remember, we don't live there. Every now and then you have to give people a chance to pay and get out of there.

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