Pet Peeves

I’m sure there have been a number of threads on pet peeves. Todd Feinburg was discussing things that people don’t like about restaurants in the first half of his radio broadcast today.

One thing that comes to mind is when the waitress comes over to my table to ask me if I would like a “warm-up” on my coffee. Sometimes my cup will be about three-quarters full and the waitress will lower the coffee pot a little too low so that the spout touches the coffee in the cup that I have already been drinking from and then she goes over to the next table and pours someone else a cup of coffee. I don’t think that this is a particularly sanitary practice. Do you think I’m being too fussy or do other people notice this as well?

Another pet peeve is when the waitress has long fingernails. I don’t think that a waitress or anyone that works in the food service industry should have long nails. I think their nails should be kept short. It’s also a turnoff when their nails are painted a deep purple, black or some other gaudy color.

I don’t usually eat at a lot of expensive restaurants but it annoys me when a waitress/waiter washes off a table with a moldy smelling, bacteria-ridden dishrag and then expects the customer to sit down at the table without wiping the table dry.

And then there’s the waitress that brings your bill and when she comes to retrieve it she says, “Do you need any change?” Of course I want change. I feel like saying, “Well, yes.” I don’t like the waitress assuming that I’m going to leave a tip even though I always do. I just think it’s tacky for the waitress to do it this way.

Aside from the restaurant scene, it annoys me when people lick their fingers when thumbing through papers, catalogs and books that other people have to handle. Keep your spitooned fingers to yourself.

It also bothers me when people lick their fingers while eating. I ate at a restaurant with a co-worker recently and she put her whole thumb in her mouth while she was eating a chicken wing. I didn’t think thumbs were that long and I wondered if her thumb would emerge as it seemed that she was pushing it to the limit and I thought it had disappeared altogether somewhere in her throat or esophagus or thereabouts.

I think that’s being overly sensitive for the most part. Plus, you talk as if your Norman-Rockwell-esque idea of table manners is universal: I can assure you it’s not.

Nail color: This doesn’t bother me much. I’m amused by teen boys with black nails, but once we decide polish is socially acceptable, then why limit it to certain colors but not others? That strikes me as mildly absurd.

It’s a bit unusual to have you whole thumb in your mouth, but not really alarming. I wouldn’t have her tossed out on her ass or anything.

I will agree that the spout of the coffee pot shouldn’t be immersed in your drink. That’s a bit gross and certainly unsanitary.

Certainly a stinky rag shouldn’t be used to wipe down your table. Although in nearly every restaurant I know of that rag is kept in a solution of quat iodine and is actually far more sanitary than, say, your mouth or hands. One would hope that the basic sanitization principles are being practiced.

One shouldn’t realistically expect food service workers to be any better at their jobs than cops, cabbies or office workers. It seems to me that the average worker in most industries is fairly lazy and unmotivated by anything that they can’t directly see benefitting them personally. The Monday night graveyard shift at Perkins is probably not being staffed by a crack crew, either. The best servers work the busiest shifts, and the marginal servers work breakfasts, lunches and overnights.

I don’t know about Norman Rockwell but I think we could all benefit by boning up on Emily Post.

I just think it looks tacky. A more neutral shade is easier on the eyes.

The woman’s bad manners extends to other areas. She talks with her mouth full on the telephone and also when dining out. I don’t think basic table manners have changed all that much. She also “pees” while talking on her cell phone. She’s a nice person otherwise but I have no idea where her manners came from.

We don’t tip cops and office workers. I don’t use a cab very often but I guess they do tip cabbies although I don’t think I would tip them. I feel that I tip waitresses generously. I usually leave two dollars even when the bill is less than $10. If it’s over $10, I’ll leave three dollars. If the bill is $25, $30, $35 or more, I usually leave $4 to $6. When I have my hair washed, cut and blow-dried, the bill is $25 and I give my hairdresser a six-dollar tip.