The Gal’s Pet Peeves, Vol. 1

Please allow me a few moments of whining via a list of pet peeves. I promise to get most of this out of my system right now, but I reserve the right to revisit the list every six months!

Peeve 1: Unseasonably cool weather. Another rainy monday. It feels more like early March than mid May. I resent this. My city has only three weeks of really great weather a year. I don’t like being shortchanged even one day during this limited window.

Peeve 2: Complaints about our restaurant’s stairs by able-bodied people who could stand to climb a few now and then. Two women moaned and groaned about this for a full minute at my podium this afternoon. I repeatedly pointed them toward the elevator. They complained about having to walk to the elevator. Then they walked toward the elevator, only to turn around and walk back to my podium to point at the stairs again. GET OVER IT. They are just stairs you don’t have to climb!

Peeve 3: Bringing in food from other restaurants. Everyday, more and more people walk through the front door and right up to my podium with the any combination of the following in their hands: Starbucks lattes and frozen concoctions, 7-11 Slurpees, anything off the McDonald’s Dollar Menu, bags of chips and bottles of soda bought from the corner vendor, carryout pizza in a box, carryout items from any of the other area restaurants. I always want to ask these people, “What did you come in here for–seconds?”

Peeve 4: Asking to bring food in from another restaurant. “I’d like to order soup from across the street and bring it in to eat with my meal. Is that okay?” asked a gentleman today. No, actually it’s not, I told him, adding with a smile that I was sure he could find a nice soup on our menu. Then he got angry about how we don’t carry his favorite soup that the other restaurant has. And I wanted to say, but didn’t, of course–Then go eat in the f—ing restaurant across the street! (But his girlfriend said as much to him when she looked at him with an “Are you that much of a moron?” expression that was priceless.)

Peeve 5: Using my podium as a second office. This includes dumping the contents of one’s briefcase on my podium, then getting on the cell phone to make a call before inquiring about a table or checking in for a reservation, followed by motioning for me to give up my one pen to take notes. Either do this before you come in or take your business to a table! And bring your own pen.

Peeve 6: Job applicants who come in during the lunch rush (note to would-be restaurant employees–come in between 2 and 4 p.m.). Job applicants who come in without a pen to fill out an application. I learned long ago that pens are priceless in our restaurant, and I am not lending mine to anyone! See Peeve 5.

Peeve 7: Pet peeve lists.

But I feel so much better!






8 responses to “The Gal’s Pet Peeves, Vol. 1”

  1. Wilson828 Avatar

    I really en;joy your blog – but to be honest with you – this posting is just whining. Tell me about tipping rules and etiquette in one of your future postings please. Thank you.

  2. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Wilson–I appreciate your honesty, and I actually agree with you! But if I didn’t whine today, I was going to go crazy tomorrow!

    In the meantime, stay tuned for a new weekly post titled “Ask The Gal” that will cover the types of questions and concerns you mentioned. In fact, send an email to me with some questions and I’ll likely use one or more in an upcoming post.

    The Gal

  3. Natalie Avatar

    You can add Wilson to your peeves! People who whine about whining. he he. Just kidding, Wilson.

    I have a question for Ask the Gal: What’s the break down on the tips we leave? Who does it all go to? And is there a good way to make sure that one specific employee gets that tip we want them to have?

  4. class-factotum Avatar

    It’s your blog and you can post what you want!!!

    When I was in college, I worked at the faculty club. I was always amazed at how many people brought their own lunch to the club, although I suppose it was a slightly different situation. They had paid a membership fee. But it was still tacky, I thought, to bring a bag lunch to what was essentially a restaurant.

  5. Sue Avatar

    Poor Wilson, having to run his eyes across words he did not wish to read. My heart bleeds. Go climb the stairs, Wilson.

    About Peeve 3 – we used to have chain smokers. Now we have chain eaters LOL. Must have food in hand AT ALL TIMES!

  6. Jessica Avatar

    Oh man. I would LOVE to be able to take stairs! I want to shake people who use the elevator when they can’t. Value what you can do now, because who knows? The next day you could slip on some ice, break both bones in your shin and be cast and crutch bound for four months. I am envious of anyone who can ascend and descend stairs with ease and without fear. Slap those two ladies for me next time, please?

  7. DavidNYC Avatar

    After reading a ton of Waiter Rant and a little bit of Restaurant Gal, I think I’ve finally figured it out. It may be obvious, but anyhow: In our normal personal lives, we get to associate with whom we want, when we want. In our job lives, our degree of freedom of association depends heavily on the job. Teachers, ya gotta deal with all the kids and all their parents. Op-ed columnist? Just your editor.

    Waiters, though, possibly have it the worst. They have to deal with everyone AND they don’t even know in advance who everyone is. At least teachers know who’s in their class and get to meet the parents on parents’ night. For waiters (and other front-house staff), it’s like a giant freakin’ roulette wheel every night.

    And so not only do you have to deal with crazies – ie, people you’d cut yourself off from immediately in your personal life. You have to deal with a different lineup of crazies every day. The teacher with one or two psychotic parents in her class has a whole year to develop strategies for dealing with `em. Waiters, on the other hand, have to constantly improvise.

    Man, that is tough work. I had no idea how fucked up restaurant customers could be. I feel for you.

  8. Anna Avatar

    I’m enjoying your blog (and waiterrant’s too) very much. Just curious… any pet peeves on people bringing a small child ?

    My son is 2-yrs old now. When out-of-town friends come to NY to visit, they like to see him, and for us to eat lunch or dinner with them. They pick very nice eating establishments (not child-friendly). I always feel bad because my son at various stages (walking, running etc) wouldn’t just sit, but to roam around the restaurant (meet and greet other patrons). I’d never get to eat really. I’d usually take him outside for a walk to distract him so not to run into waitstaff with food. Some of the places we’ve been to with friends, people who worked there… would give me that “look”… totally hated us being there with a child. Just my thoughts.