Question for Restaurant Servers ...
... and other people who work face-to-face with the general public, such as cashiers, supermarket clerks, toll takers, etc.
I was brought up to always say "thank you" when someone provides a service to me. So I pretty much always thank my server when he/she brings me anything (my order, the check, drink refills, etc.) Others I routinely thank include hosts/hostesses who seat me and give me a menu, all kinds of retail clerks, etc.
So, here's the question -- do you get tired of hearing people say "thank you"? Do you feel obligated to respond (or are you required to by your employer?) I sometimes think it must get tiresome to hear "thank you" over and over all day, especially multiple times from the same customer (e.g., at a restaurant where there are often frequent interactions.) Your thoughts?
|by Anonymous||reply 96||01/07/2013|
I was a server for years. Of course I never got tired of politeness. It's always appreciated.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||01/04/2013|
When I was younger I worked a few jobs dealing with the Public.
I don't think I'd ever complain if someone said, "Thank you," especially repeatedly... because you'd be surprised how few people ever even say it.
When someone actually says it, sometimes you're just surprised and have to remember that not all people act like entitled assholes.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||01/04/2013|
I worked in restaurants and food service in college. I did appreciate it when someone said thank you. It certainly made interacting with customers less a chore.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||01/04/2013|
As a consumer I'm tired of hearing "No Problem" in response to "thank you" from servers and people who work in retail.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||01/04/2013|
There are cultural differences to note. A few years ago, I was travelling in France with a group of gay American men. At one dinner, every time a certain waiter was thanked for putting something down or taking it away, he snarled and cursed under his breath in French. He wasn't being homophobic, but he was being incredibly rude, albeit quietly. I spoke to the manageress about it, and she gave him a stern reprimand. Well, apparently he felt that his dignity and competence as a professional server were under attack every time he was acknowledged. After all, how can one serve discreetly if those being served are constantly drawing attention to his efforts?
|by Anonymous||reply 6||01/04/2013|
that's interesting, r6. I can understand his point of view and in a way, I agree with him. I am one of those, however, who always says thank you when someone fills my glass with water even though theoretically I agree that service should be discreet.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||01/04/2013|
I never get tired of hearing it, because frankly, it's really quite rare to hear it." Since DL is actually letting me post right now, I'll throw in one of my pet peeves.... people who say "I want...." rather than "I'll have..." or "I'd like....".
Petty perhaps, but they are usually the types that don't bother saying please or thank you.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||01/04/2013|
Yes, but then again, there's a difference in how we as Americans look at wait staff, etc. and how they do in Europe.
Serving is an actual career and knowing how to properly serve is something that people pride themselves on and are trained to do. Patrons actually respect it.
In America? Not so much.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||01/04/2013|
I say thank you for bringing the food, refills, extra ketchup, etc. but not for bringing the check, nor generally for being seated. Retail clerks? You mean when all they do is ring up a sale? No. I'm a decent tipper, but as a repeat customer at a few places I like to feel that the staff are friendly because they know I'm not an assholian jerk, rather than tip anticipation.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||01/04/2013|
My pet peeve is say "I have (a certain wine, etc.)" Unless you're the freaking owner of the joint, it's "WE have ..."
|by Anonymous||reply 11||01/04/2013|
One thing I cannot stand and something I am seeing more frequently are waiters who actually sit down at the table with you. My jaw nearly hit the floor the first time a waiter did this and it has happened a couple of times since. I find this behavior incomprehensible and cannot imagine how the owner of a restaurant would allow it.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||01/04/2013|
Never, OP! Having people greet me, acknowledge my presence, and say thank you is always wonderful. Too bad more people don't have charm and manners. They are after all, free.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||01/04/2013|
Ive seen this done at places like The Outback... but never an actual Fine Dining place. I mean, I think it's gross too but at the same time, again, it's not fine dining.
My pet peeve is when the Server doesn't write down your order and thinks they can just memorize it. I don't care how good of a server you are..
WRITE IT DOWN
Each and every time I've experienced this, the Server has gotten my order wrong.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||01/04/2013|
I think I have seen a server or two park their ass, but more common is kneeling down to converse at the same level. I've rarely had an order wrong from memory, but as a solo diner I usually sit at the bar where the bartender inputs it immediately.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||01/04/2013|
I waited tables for 14 years. A genuine "thank you" was always appreciated. Sometimes, if I thought it was sincere, it could make up for a less than terrific gratuity.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||01/04/2013|
r15, your profanity-laced post pretty much says it all. 'no problem' is not a 'fine, polite response'. It is an ignorant response. The correct response to 'thank you' is 'you're welcome.'
|by Anonymous||reply 18||01/04/2013|
r15/19, clearly the only 'asshole' on this thread is you.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||01/04/2013|
R20, I'm not the one getting bent out of shape by good intentions, because the specific words don't meet my misguided and ignorant "standards".
Pointing out the asshole in this thread (R4) does not make ME the asshole.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||01/04/2013|
I'm Canadian, and I've noticed that whenever I say "thank you", whether at a restaurant or retail store, the most common response I hear is "uh-huh". I still find that odd...
|by Anonymous||reply 23||01/04/2013|
I bet R6's friends were staring at the waiters crotch while liking their lips
|by Anonymous||reply 24||01/04/2013|
Wait now... We're getting a lecture on politeness from the person who wrote R15 & R19? Okay......
|by Anonymous||reply 25||01/04/2013|
We've covered restaurants, but thanking retail clerks solely for ringing up an order? I don't get it.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||01/04/2013|
What to you is the difference between a server bringing you your food and a retail clerk ringing up your order?
|by Anonymous||reply 27||01/04/2013|
I have no problem with people who respond "no problem" to a thank you.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||01/04/2013|
r23 here: I meant to say that whenever I say "thank you" in the U.S. the common response is "uh-huh". In Canada, it's usually, "you're welcome", or "no problem" (which I don't have a problem with, it at least acknowledges your gratitude.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||01/04/2013|
I always thank my servers and notice it makes a difference in the service. Service is not an easy job and showing appreciation for what servers do feels natural.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||01/04/2013|
thank people who bring you food/booze or get you where you need to go!
|by Anonymous||reply 31||01/04/2013|
I thank everyone who assists me with something, whether it's a host/hostess, waiter, bartender, valet, ticket-taker, usher, cashier, car wash employee, person who holds a door open as I walk in or out behind them... It's common courtesy.
People who sneer through life without thanking people they interact with are miserable jerks.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||01/04/2013|
Some people act like saying "thank you," is a huge expense they can't afford to hand out. It's a thank you, how hard is it to just say thank you to anyone that assists you?
|by Anonymous||reply 34||01/04/2013|
"Manageress," R6? Cripes. How old are you?
|by Anonymous||reply 36||01/04/2013|
[quote]Some people act like saying "thank you," is a huge expense they can't afford to hand out.
To some, other people are just background in their myopic world. It's not about withholding anything, it's just that it doesn't even occur to them.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||01/04/2013|
Anne Burrell just tweeted that she got engaged during New Years vacation. GF is former James Beard winner Koren Grieveson of Avec/Chicago. GF moved to NYC in September to be with Anne.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||01/04/2013|
Obviously, you're unfamiliar with the TV show "Are You Being Served" R34? One of the characters is the nasty-tempered canteen manageress.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||01/04/2013|
[quote]'no problem' is not a 'fine, polite response'. It is an ignorant response. The correct response to 'thank you' is 'you're welcome.'
It's fine with me. I can't imagine getting worked up over a perfectly fine response like 'no problem,' or just limiting people to 'you're welcome.'
A waitress recently responded 'of course!' in response to me thanking her for taking my jacket and finding a place to hang it up. I found her delightful and she was great at her job.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||01/04/2013|
I also have no problem with `no problem`. In French the standard is "De rien" (It's nothing) or "Il n'y a pas de quoi" (again, it's nothing). 'No problem' is a clear and sincere sentiment.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||01/04/2013|
Eye contact makes a big difference, I find. I'm more polite than warm and chatty, and have always been a please and thank you sort, but learned that the simple act of making direct eye contact when speaking to a waiter or cashier has a very positive effect.
Since making that discovery, I notice that many customers never bother to look directly at the person with whom they're having an exchange. Those that do seem routinely to get a better response.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||01/04/2013|
[quote]Since DL is actually letting me post right now, I'll throw in one of my pet peeves.... people who say "I want...." rather than "I'll have..." or "I'd like....".
And then there are the ones who place their order using "Give me..." or "Bring me..."
|by Anonymous||reply 43||01/04/2013|
Who gives a shit. They are paying your salary R43.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||01/04/2013|
[quote]So, here's the question -- do you get tired of hearing people say "thank you"?
It seems they do in China. When I was working in Beijing, often the response to my "thank you" in shops, restaurants, etc. was laughter. I asked a Chinese colleague about this... maybe it was my pronunciation? "No" my colleague said, "they're laughing because nobody says thank you to someone for doing their job. They think it's strange." This same colleague later chastised me for it "Stop saying thank you every time I do something for you!" I said that I'm being polite and expressing my gratitude to you. She said "It makes me uncomfortable. I do these things because it's my job to do them, because I must!"
|by Anonymous||reply 45||01/04/2013|
I may be a total kissass, but I always say "thank you" to servers, as well as bussers who refill water, coffee, etc. ... particularly in banquet hall situations, because I've noticed that no one thanks the workers at a rubber-chicken-and-speeches dinner.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||01/04/2013|
R11, I LOVE you! This has bugged me for years. And years. And years (yes, I'm old) (Even when I worked for 2 hideous months at a Montgomery Ward (this dates me!), and the high-pressure washing machine salesmen would say to potential customers, "...I have this, blah-blah-blah; I have..." - and even at a young age, I thought, no, asshole - YOU don't "have" it, the STORE does!
(It even bugs me when game show hosts say (or said; I watch old shows on GSN - yes, pathetic!), in relation to prizes, "I" - again, NO, it's not YOU, idiot, it's the SHOW!
|by Anonymous||reply 47||01/04/2013|
You're not a kiss ass. You just have manners.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||01/04/2013|
Glad you feel the same way R47. "I have ..." has caused me to bite my tongue from saying, "Who taught you to be so DAMNED pretentious!"
My first job was during the Ford Administration, as a dishwasher at a seasonal cafe which was anything BUT snooty!
|by Anonymous||reply 49||01/04/2013|
This is an interesting topic. I've often wondered if waiters or waitresses get tired of hearing "thank you."
Only because I usually say it quite often when they bring me extra napkins, etc. But it's just a natural response on my part to say thank you. So it's good to know from reading some of the posts here, that most don't get tired of hearing it.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||01/04/2013|
I suppose if I'm involved in a conversation, I might miss saying thanks for water or delivery of food, but not usually. If I'm dining alone, and am brought the extra napkins I ask for, what am I SUPPOSED to do - look the other way on purpose? In stores I always thank staff who answer questions, or help me find something. Not to do so would be very jerk-like behavior.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||01/04/2013|
I worked for years at a retail pharmacy. Never got tired or bothered by a simple "thank you"; on the contrary, I appreciated it.
I would smile and greet every customer, and you wouldn't believe how many would ignore my greeting and just say their name (since they were picking up prescriptions). It is definitely not the majority, but it's still too many. These are the same types of assholes that throw their credit card on the counter rather than handing it to you like a human being. People can be incredibly rude to servers and service-industry workers.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||01/05/2013|
You were basically ringing up filled prescriptions? Then no, a "thank you" is not required. On the other hand, a brusque "Danforth!" followed by a slapped card is INCREDIBLY cold!
|by Anonymous||reply 53||01/05/2013|
I was the victim of a revenge pizza last night. I invited a few friends over and these friends wanted all this different stuff on their pizza. The girl was getting very flustered with my order because they were kind of yelling it at me and I was trying to get it right.
Anyway, when I went to pick up the pizza, the pizza guy ridiculed the girl in front of me for getting my order wrong and then told her to put my pizza in a box.
When I got home with it, there was a long brunette hair wound around the anchovies and my guests couldn't eat it.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||01/05/2013|
I never asked if a thank you was required, dear, nor did I imply that it was. You are answering a question that wasn't asked. For many folks, "thank you" merely serves the same function as "goodbye" or "have a nice day."
|by Anonymous||reply 55||01/05/2013|
I pluck fresh pubes along with anal pubes for my favorite guests sometimes I j/o on their plates
|by Anonymous||reply 56||01/05/2013|
[quote]you wouldn't believe how many would ignore my greeting and just say their name (since they were picking up prescriptions).
This doesn't surprise me much at a pharmacy, which are usually corporate owned and send out an "Arbeit Macht Frei!" vibe with their lines, rules, and insistence on seeing your papers.
Treat customers like cattle, they'll behave as such.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||01/05/2013|
R52, R53 is absolutely right... a thank you isn't required for that kind of service. It sounds like R53 is exactly the kind of customer you're talking about... the kind that will just bark their name and drop their credit card, etc. So next time you get a customer like that, throw their order at them, bark out the amount due, and throw their credit card back at them so it falls on the floor and they have to pick it up.
I mean, you're only there to ring up filled prescriptions, right? You don't have to extend yourself any further than that.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||01/05/2013|
No, fucktard R44 they aren't. But thanks for playing.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||01/05/2013|
Only on the DL have I ever heard anyone complain over "no problem" in response to thank you. Said with the right tone, it can actually be more heartfelt than "you're welcome".
|by Anonymous||reply 60||01/05/2013|
I am going to make "revenge pizza" happen. I love it!
|by Anonymous||reply 61||01/05/2013|
The worst thing is a begrudging 'thank you' from a customer after they've been a complete cunt. Like if they've fought and bitched to get a refund on something, finally get their way, and say "Thank you!"- they're really just thanking themselves for being a bulldozer who always wins an argument. It's a "celebrating ME!" type of thank you.
And "No problem" is fine- you're welcome feels too formal. I don't work retail anymore but by the 300th interaction with someone you just go into auto-pilot anyway.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||01/05/2013|
No, OP. You're seriously overthinking.
When I was a supermarket cashier/bag boy I only got annoyed when no one thanked me. Hearing it "over and over" was rarely an issue.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||01/05/2013|
[quote]I spoke to the manageress
|by Anonymous||reply 64||01/05/2013|
I find the "no problem" response really annoying. It just sounds to me like "I did that because it wasn't a problem for me. Otherwise I wouldn't have."
It has a ring to it about on the same level as a waiter approaching a table with a "hey, how's it going?" greeting. Not the worst thing in the world but it's oafish.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||01/05/2013|
R41, have you come across the Swiss response to Merci? It's "Sevice." Not said all the time but sometimes...
|by Anonymous||reply 66||01/05/2013|
Agree with the others - never tired of "thank you" or manners, it's the lack that is noticed.
Also: Really nice customers are noticed and liked.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||01/05/2013|
Good manners don't cost anything.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||01/05/2013|
No one cares what the response to "Thank You" is in France and Spain. In the United States, UK, and Canada the proper reply is "You're Welcome."
|by Anonymous||reply 69||01/05/2013|
I don't have a problem with "No problem," in response to "Thank you," although a lot depends on the tone of voice in which the acknowledgement is delivered.
But I really, really hate "Uh huh," and I definitely hear that more than enough in NYC. It's a particular specialty in Duane Reade. I don't think I've ever heard it delivered without heavy overtones of insolence.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||01/05/2013|
Insolence? A wild guess: you run across a lot of "uppity" people, don't you?
I love your "oafish", R65!
|by Anonymous||reply 71||01/05/2013|
Well smell you, R69, dictating what is proper, and getting pissed off if your imaginary rules aren't followed to the letter. I bet you'll just smack the next bitch who doesn't show proper gratitude for your graciously given "thank you", won't you?
|by Anonymous||reply 72||01/05/2013|
r32 and r35, get over yourselves. Although I'm Canadian, I hold no animosity whatsoever towards the U.S. and Americans. It was simply an observation. If I was anti-American, as you suggest, I certainly would not be spending my money vacationing there at least twice a year.
And, the regions where I hear "uh huh" is mostly Washington State, Idaho, Montana and even as far down as California, Hawaii, Arizona and Nevada.
Sounds to me like you feel you have to attack others' observations to compensate for some sort of inferiority complex, no?
|by Anonymous||reply 73||01/05/2013|
i look a server in the eye when speaking with them and say thank you when they bring the check....i don't say thank you for every drink, napkin or water refill - unless it is done by another person.
much depends upon the tone of the establishment....in a swankier place the service is usually seamless/invisible...so no mulitple thank you's - usually just the head waiter.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||01/05/2013|
[quote] I'll throw in one of my pet peeves.... people who say "I want...." rather than "I'll have..." or "I'd like....".
I always say, "May I have..."
|by Anonymous||reply 75||01/05/2013|
'No problem' is lame and trashy.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||01/05/2013|
In your ill-informed opinion, R76.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||01/05/2013|
"No problem " is not the same as "de nada" or "de rien".
"It's my pleasure" "Thank You" "You're Welcome"
Said repeatedly "No Problem" sounds lame and trashy and lazy.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||01/05/2013|
R73 -- that's part of the hypocrisy. Canadians routinely bash the States, yet come here for vacations; the two are not mutually exclusive. Upon returning home, they crow about "it's a nice place to visit for a short period, but I'd NEVER want to live there! (yadda, yadda, yadda)" I'm from the western U. S. -- you know, LIVING here, yet I don't run across what you say is "typical" of America.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||01/05/2013|
R79, "de nada" and "de rien" literally translate as "it's nothing." How is that any different from "no problem?" It's not. You're insane.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||01/06/2013|
This all depends on the setting. In a sports bar where the waitstaff are all wearing Pittsburgh Steelers jerseys and the waiter delivers my hot dog and fries and says "No Problem" I just ignore it.
But the correct response, even in that kind of restaurant should be "No problem, can I get you guys anything else? Would you like another beer?" That is appropriate for the setting.
In any other restaurant even slightly more formal than that, "No Problem" will mark you as unprofessional.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||01/06/2013|
r80, no hypocrisy here. I love visiting the U.S. and would love to live/work there, but immigration policies do not make that very easy from Canada.
I can only tell you what my observations are, and YES, I have heard that very, very frequently. It is unusual to the point that a group of us comment on its oddity every time we visit. So, slam me if you must and make a bunch of assumptions about me, but my comments about hearing service staff saying "uh-huh" instead of "you're welcome" are my personal observations, period. Not an anti-American slam, period.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||01/06/2013|
What R81 said.
Anyone upset by someone responding "No Problem" is an asshole who is just looking to be upset by something, and going out of their way to do it.
If the tone of voice is sarcastic or mean, sure. But even there it's not the words, it's the attitude that's the problem.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||01/06/2013|
I'm happy to drop this and assume you are a nice person, but I have never heard this, ever. If I did, it would seem rude, or at least cold.
Often, staff will call out "thank you!" as I'm leaving, to which I usually respond with a cheery "Good Bye!"
|by Anonymous||reply 85||01/06/2013|
Fair enough, r85. I've never really felt that the "uh huh" was said in a rude tone; in some cases, it was almost in an affirmative like "yup". Something to say to basically move on, I guess.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||01/06/2013|
I have lived in Washington for 61 years, and I have never, ever, heard a service worker reply "uh huh." By the way, I live in the State of Washington. Washington State is a university in Pullman with an excellent veterinarian college and wonderful cheese, Cougar Gold.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||01/06/2013|
The only time and place I hear people complaining about "no problem" -- the only, anywhere on earth -- is on Datalounge. No one IRL ever complains about it, and I've never seen such complaints written about or posted anywhere else.
It's a handful of eldergay shut-ins at best.
Most people accept it as modern variant of "you're welcome". All it expresses is that the speaker did not mind performing the request, the same as "you're welcome" or "my pleasure", etc. The people going ballistic over it here have a few screws lose.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||01/07/2013|
OK. "No Problem" is probably OK but it's taken me a while to get used to it. I realize that it sounds acceptable to younger ears and I've decided to live with it as a change in the way people speak.
I realize that the intention is fine, but to older ears it just sounds "off", (I'm 50). I don't remember getting "no problem" as a response to my "thank you" until the last 3-5 years.
De nada and de rien sound much more polite to me. They are literally saying "what I did was nothing" and not to be mentioned. In other words, "Yes, I did do something and thank you for acknowledging it, but it is to me as nothing." "No problem" sounds like "Yes, it was inconvenient for me - a problem even, but I will be polite and say it wasn't." To be honest as I'm writing this I'd actually prefer "No Sweat"!
Anyway, since it's all about me, I thought I would let you know that it will always sound a little odd to my ears, but I get it.
I wish it were like this: "Thank you" "You're welcome, and thank you!" "Have a nice day" "You, too. Hope to see you again soon."
I think 50 is the Andy Rooney birthday.
|by Anonymous||reply 90||01/07/2013|
I don't have an issue with "No problem," but I'd probably find it a little off-putting in a very formal setting.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||01/07/2013|
If I ran across "no problem" infrequently, and it were said cheerfully along the lines of "my pleasure" that'd be fine. If I came to hear it delivered robotically, then it might get tired fast.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||01/07/2013|
Growing up in Chicago, I always said "no problem". When I moved to NYC and heard "you're welcome", it sounded odd and stilted. I'm talking about casual situations, not fancy restaurants. Co-worker hands me a document, I say, "Thanks", he says, "You're welcome." It just seemed overly formal and weird at first.
Now I've been in NYC for over 30 years and I'm used to "you're welcome" - but I still don't mind "no problem" and I don't know anybody else who does except for some Datalounge posters.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||01/07/2013|
[quote]but I'd probably find it a little off-putting in a very formal setting.
Like any other informal speech.
Do you all spend the majority of your time at formal events?
|by Anonymous||reply 94||01/07/2013|
]quote]Insolence? A wild guess: you run across a lot of "uppity" people, don't you?
R71, why are you assuming that "insolence" implies "black"? I didn't say anything remotely like that, and neither the dictionary definition nor common usage of the word includes any such association. Sounds like you're the one with the problem, not me.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||01/07/2013|
I wasn't equating "uppity" with black, dewd! It was a comment on your elitism in general.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||01/07/2013|