In response to Mr. Charles Victor
from Kevin Hilditch
Aug. 17, 1999
I am pleased that I am getting such impassionate responses such as the letter from Mr. Victor. My intention was just that.
The article was intended as controversial. My beliefs are not spelt out in this article, the information provided are the “truths” of the restaurant business from my own viewpoint. It was not intended to offend but to provoke opinion and perhaps action.
My experience is based upon 12 years as a bartender in a number of restaurants which were and are mainly family oriented or middle-of-the-road establishments. The information in the article is based upon stereotypes and prejudices that I have encountered as a server. I do not or, more aptly put, try not succumb to them.
I was hoping to make those of us who were not aware of the “backstage” of the service industry aware of the actions, intentions and judgements of a number of the restaurant employees I have encountered. I was also hoping to spur reactions and shared experiences of other servers such as Mr. Victor.
The uncomfortable truth is that the servers bring to the job their own prejudices as to race, sex, gender, etc. These prejudices can sometimes find shared beliefs with other employees and become stereotypes. Service that is a reflection of these beliefs is what I am trying to bring to light.
On a more noble note, perhaps the awareness stimulated by myself and servers such as Mr. Victor will act to dispell the myth of generalized traits of patrons due to their culture or sex or age.
- To servers – what you give out is what you get back!
- To patrons – Be aware. Be vocal. The customer is ALWAYS right! You pay the money , you should expect the service no matter who you are. (see Part II)
To other servers and patrons: I would love to read other letters whether good or bad about your experiences either working or dining at a restaurant.