For over four years, I have been organizing dinners for my alma mater’s alumni entertainment group. And while I have (generally) delighted in my responsibilities, one aspect of the job never ceases to irritate me.
Whenever we decide to try a new restaurant, I will solicit suggestions, then start calling dining establishments in the area chosen for our next dinner. And while this is a service industry, the rudeness of many of restaurant’s staff never ceases to amaze me. It would seem that restaurant workers would want to be friendly as that would encourage business and larger tips. (I make sure not to call during the lunch or dinner hour when the staff are less harried.)
This is not to say that the staff of all LA restaurants are rude. At a number of places, we’ve had great service, even when our party is as large as 30, with many of the guests joining us after we have already eaten.
I sometimes wonder if the rude ones are those who are only working for a restaurant until they get their first big break in the biz, i.e, until they get discovered by Hollywood. They don’t think they need make any effort to welcome patrons because they don’t really belong there.
But, these people don’t always know whether or not someone eating at their place could help them fulfill their career goals. If they were more courteous, they might draw the attention of someone, who may not yet have clout, but be on his (or her) way up in the industry. Their rudeness could well be compromising their chances for professional success.
It’s a sad commentary on these Angelenos that they adopt such a cold attitude in an industry where kindness could increase their remuneration and perhaps even open doors.
That said, there are a number of places where the staff treats us well. And it’s to those places we return, often tipping very generously.