I know I've ranted here before about the pet peeves I've developed as a waitress.
I've said I hate it when I'm interrupted. When I'm treated like a faceless, nameless "it". When I'm run off my feet by a table too stingy to part with more than $2 (which is NEVER an acceptable tip, no matter what you ordered).
But honestly, all of my pet peeves come down to one simple thing: I detest being treated with disrespect.
Last night I had one of the rudest guests I've EVER had (and that is saying something). Another woman might have cried when he got through with her. I just got spitting mad.
This man complained incessantly about the size of everything served to him (even when he actually was given a larger portion than usual)and raised his voice at me when I tried to placate him. He demanded and demanded (never asked) and nothing I did was good enough. He snapped out incredibly rude answers to innocent questions (like me asking, "Do you want one check or separate checks?" and him saying, "Do I look like someone who wants separate checks? No? Well then I guess you'd better just give us one, hadn't you miss?") He was so awful to me, the manager and the other waiters still on the floor told me not to go back to the table...they would handle him instead.
He was dining with a friend. The friend was polite. When they got up to leave, Mr. I-Developed-My-Social-Skills-In-An-Outhouse walked out first and his friend turned to me and said, "I hope I left you enough to make up for how badly he treated you."
I counted up the tip and it was $9, a generous amount for two people.
But no, that doesn't make up for it. Not one bit. You want to make nice with me and be a gentleman? Speak up and stop your friend from yelling at me, from being unspeakably rude every time I'm in a ten foot radius of your table.
Being a gentleman doesn't mean you toss money at me after the fact and hope I'm so hungry for a dollar that everything else gets washed away. I'd rather be treated with dignity and respect and get $3 any day.
Is it really that difficult to offer others the basic courtesy of respect and good manners?