Not enough tea in your Long Island?


Lately there has been a considerable amount of conversation debating the concept of tipping in the service industry. Some feel that servers should earn a wage, some think that they should stick with tips, and some believe there should be a combination of the two. One thing is not debatable, and that is that working in the service industry is a beast derived from a madness which the pits of hell shy away from. Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but sometimes it certainly does feel that way. Between corrupt bosses to sneaky coworkers to downright insulting customers, there's a lot that a server has to deal with...while keeping a smile on their face. Fairly recently, our writer Miles Jenson was working at an establishment where the General Manager mistreated him. He wrote a letter about it. It's for therapeutic reasons, really.

Dear GM of restaurant I hate,

It has been brought to my attention that you have been spreading rumors about me. I have been told that you said I changed, got mean and insinuated that I use drugs.  If by changed you mean that I did not allow your unproductive, petty micro-managing to derail my service to the customers then yes, I suppose I did change. I’m sure my “changing” is in the same vein of reason to why you lost a slew of employees, some your beloved “veterans”, who specifically cited your antics as one of the main reasons they were moving on to other jobs. You have berated, belittled and badgered almost all of your employees to the point of creating a completely negative work environment. Honestly, you do nothing but hinder the flow of the restaurant. Here’s a few tips:

1. Don’t approach tables immediately after a server has done so. It makes the situation awkward, tells the server that you don’t believe they are capable and frankly annoys the table.

2. If god forbid, a server makes a mistake ONCE, do not then assign that as the server’s over-all flaw in your head. i.e. just because I couldn’t pick up a napkin or two while pre-bussing with 8 to 10 dishes sprawled out on my arms, does not mean that I leave my tables dirty.

3. In conjunction with number 2, do not come up to servers while they are busy and complain about minute details such as a straw wrappers being left on the table because frankly they have bigger things to worry about.

4. Open up your eyes. You have servers coming in late, slacking off and drinking at work. Yet you choose to harp on the ones that do show up.  In what world does it make sense to yell at the employees that do show up and pick up the slack and let the entitled, self-righteous employees who decide when and if they want to come in continue their actions?

I won’t name names, which is a virtue I understand now that you lack, but there have been countless occasions where you decide to pick on a loyal employee shift after shift, while other servers so boldly toss their regards to scheduling, side work, customer service, rules, regulations and team work aside.

So yes, I suppose not putting up with the aforementioned details does constitute being “mean” in your book. Sorry that my smile slowly receded into a frown when you addressed me as I was rushing across the dining room about minute details of service that in their boldest context make absolutely no difference to the customer. Sorry that I became irritated that you would yell at your employees to stay busy when we were rolling silverware at that very moment.

I worked for you every day of the week, when no one else would because they got tired of the bullshit you slather on “restaurant I hate”.  At one point you said that I was “carrying the restaurant”. If I was such a bad server then why did I acquire the best shifts? If I was such a bad server then why did you ask me to train other employees?

I was not a bad a server. I did not sign an agreement stating that I would let you walk all over me, insinuate that I am not doing my fair share of work or mess up my rhythm when it came to my duties.

Furthermore, you have stated that “restaurant I hate” is a family, and if we were such a family, then you could’ve sat me down and expressed yourself instead of abruptly firing me with no apparent reason other than telling me that “it’s just not the same.”

As for the accusations that I am using drugs, I am disappointed. No, I am not, or was not using drugs. However, I wish I had, because if I was stoned or under the influence of any substance, I probably could’ve handled your bullshit more aptly.  In retrospect, if I had shown up to work intoxicated I probably would have never been fired because I would have been able to put up with your needless, unnecessary and frequent disruptions. That just goes to show how blind you are. However, there are people at “restaurant I hate” who use drugs quite frequently, and smile and shake their head at you because they have induced themselves to do so; not because they agree with the nonsense you so fervently spew.  Thanks for putting that out there, though. I’m really going to enjoy defending myself against accusations of drug use at my other job. That was sarcasm, by the way, and not me actually thanking you.  I don’t know if you think it’s alright to accuse people of things without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves or if you think it’s okay to speak about someone who has been loyal to their word, but in both instances it is completely inappropriate and void of integrity.

So with all of that out of the way, I’d like you to offer you a big ole’ whopping “FV3& YOU!”.

I hope you take all of this to heart.

Love - Miles Jenson