Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

From Sit-Ins to Put Downs: Know Your Role March 4, 2010

Filed under: Single Sisters On... — inkognegro @ 12:06 am
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Of all the lessons that I have learned as a server for the past 20 years, easily the most poignant has always been the necessity of respecting those whom you serve and understanding the role you are supposed to play in their experience. When you evaluate the relationship between a server and his customer it should be clear where the hierarchy lies.What greatly complicates this relationship is when the individual doing the serving, for reasons of white privilege or reasons of class or reasons of just general snobbishness view themselves as being incapable of subordinating themselves to their guests.

As someone who frequently trains servers for service, I always like to make a point of bringing these kinds of issues up to my trainees in order forthemto  understand the unique challenges they are they are going to face in dealing with an African-American clientele.

When I first started trying to get peace messages across a was met with a lot of pushback.

“People are people”

“I don’t understand what the difference is”

“I don’t see color”

“why are they so sensitive?”

Customarily when I hear responses like this my initial impulse is to just throw up my hands and let them or succeed to a lesser extent than they could on their own, or just fail outright

I wish it wasn’t this way. As much as I’d even love to say that the situation never happened to me, alas I cannot. At the end of the day, there are certain truisms that cannot be escaped.

  1. Some people are bound to be offended
  2. some people have every right to be offended based upon the customer profiling and constant experiences they have
  3. the ability to treat each and every guest as independent people without prejudging is the most valuable skill you can acquire
  4. acquiring skill #3 will serve you in value in every facet of your life

Before you comment on this post I want to go back and think about your service experiences in the past. What exactly happened the last time you received a poor dining experience?

How did you respond?

Did you speak to management if so what was their response?

Do you feel like your issues were properly received?

What I would do in next week’s post, I will take a selection of your comments and address them individually giving insight as to how it is things could have been done differently on the part of both parties.

Thank you for your time. See you in two weeks

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4 Responses to “From Sit-Ins to Put Downs: Know Your Role”

  1. Sunny Says:

    My last worst experience occured for my friend’s birthday. I was having dinner with a big group of 2520s, and me and this other girl being the only black. Now I say this because I’ve gotten poor service once from the time I sat down and I know it was my skin color- I think some people prejudge black folks and think we are all gonna do anything to get our meal free or to not leave a tip.

    So anyway, the server was harsh from the get go. Her and my friend (2520) got into a HUGE argument.. .I mean the server was yelling back at her, about a meal that was incorrect.

    My friend even stood up (threat stance) and we all coaxed her back down and the waitress (who was a young kid) to go away from the table to diffuse the situation…

    A manager did come and after explaining the situation, my friend’s meal was comp’d.

  2. Peyso Says:

    I went to Applebee’s yesterday and had a great waiter, just wanted to let that be known.

    I dont like talking about bad service. I love brazilian steakhouses because they have by far THE BEST SERVICE I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED IN MY LIFE.

  3. Sunny Says:

    The best customer service hands down, in FAST FOOD is Chick-Fil-A. Everyone is always so happy and it’s great!

  4. lapreghiera Says:

    I’ve never been put off in a restaurant, though I couple of drive thrus I’m gonna have to avoid for questionable food handling at the window.
    I’m gonna flip it and talk about being in the party with a person/persons who just can not seem to be pacified, and they are black as am I. They showed out every place we went except maybe the buffet (Caesars/Golden Corral) or the one Logans where somehow a waitress became their friend. They are so ornery I made a mental note not to go anywhere with them again.
    But I forgot and one weekend when visiting home got corralled out to eat, in the booth, waitress comes and immediately I know she is hearing impaired by her speech. I turn to look sure enough I see her hearing aid. My mother works with hearing impaired and there are some things I know, like the hearing aid really just lets her hear sounds she focuses in on, and in restaurants the background noise can be a problem. The other diners are a couple of girlfriends, and one gf mother and aunt who are twins, and its really the aunt that gets everyone going – she is the ring leader. If she starts complaining, she gets her sister to cosign then other people at the table, and I’ve come to find she is very mean and nasty. I mean growing up you thought it was just adult abruptness, and I was a kid and listened to elders, but I got in my 20s and being around them I realized they are some nasty unhappy people.
    So her fries are cold, her steak ain’t done, her salad is wilted the tea is sweet and she diabetic on and on, and then her sister needs heinz instead of A-1, and they are talking at the same time and voices blend, so then the waitress says ‘wait I’m confused…’ Now I’m scared for her, so I’m trying to mediate “can we talk one at a time?” Then I want try and place the orders/requests cause they have low raspy voices and I have a higher clear tone, but they still yapping ‘why she confused? we right here telling her…’, so I think I turn to her and mouth ‘I’m sorry’ then.
    And I don’t go out with them any more.


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