Invasion of the Plate Snatchers

I’m usually not too paranoid, but I must warn unsuspecting diners of a very real danger. Oh yes, be afraid, be very afraid. For THEY are around, lurking just out of sight, ready to pounce without warning. And you may become their next victim. (gasp!)

THEY are………… the Plate Snatchers!   Bwahaha!

THEY will swoop in and snatch your plate away.

THEY don’t care if they invade your personal space.

THEY don’t care if others are still eating, your plate is theirs.

THEY only care that any empty (or almost empty) plates have vanished.

THEY must not ruin our dining adventures. Hold tight to your plate with both hands.

Defend your Plate!

(So now you know what my pet peeve is when dining out. What’s yours?)

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10 Responses to “Invasion of the Plate Snatchers”

  1. Rick Says:

    One of my dining pet peeves is essentially the opposite; inattentive waitstaff.

    THEY are slow to bring you a menu.

    THEY are glacially slow get water or other drink , and even more so when refills are needed.

    THEY usually fail to recognize that a party has finished with a course and await the table to be cleared.

    THEY usually require frantic hand-waiving to get their attention to get the check (Murphy’s Law demands this type of waitstaff is guaranteed when one needs to be someplace on-time.)

    • servicerox Says:

      Hey Rick – that totally annoys me too – especially when (as you say), you have somewhere to go and the check takes FOREVER to arrive.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. AriH Says:

    One of my pet peeves in this country is how oftentimes servers will ask (as they swoop in for the big Plate-snatching move): “Are you still WORKING on that?”.
    I like to think that I _eat_ (and hopefully enjoy) food in a restaurant – although I guess if I were a restaurant critic it might be considered working.
    Interestingly it seems to be an American thing (can’t remember having heard that in Canada, and definitely not in Great Britain or Australia).
    It is just fine for me if they ensure to wait until all at the table have finished eating (but not long thereafter), and then, when in doubt, ask “Can I take these away for you?” or something like that.

    Also, it is apparently hard for some servers to find the right way to address women diners together; all too often we get addressed as “you guys”. “Ladies” will do just fine, thank you.

    Another peeve is the server who wants to be my friend. I do not want to know his/her name (I can read a name tag if they have one, as is often the case at chains). And clearly sitting down at the table with me to take my order is totally out of the question, and usually a way to get me to not return to that place ever again (with one notable exception, and that is the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse, NY, where this behavior is part of the ambiance. The waitstaff there has just the right amount of “lip” and we like it that way.)

    • servicerox Says:

      Hey Ari – you have a whole flock of pet peeves! 🙂 The “Are you still WORKING on that?” peeve is probably #2 on my list.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • riel Says:

      I thought I was ALONE in this!

      Seems like servers picked up the habit of WORKING=EATING during the late 1990s and it’s been growing since then. I don’t remember it before that. And, I don’t know how to stop it!

      I wish I could tell the server this before I sit down:

      “Bring me something delicious and healthy you think I’ll like under $20 and if you ask me if I’m working on it I won’t tip you, otherwise I’ll tip you very well. Oh, and don’t take any food away no matter how minuscule it is unless I ask.”

      I make decisions all day so it’s nice to not have to do it at a restaurant. Also, I’ve eaten out so much that it’s nice to get a surprise.

      I would never hold it against the server if I didn’t like the dish because I let them choose it, unless it’s not delicious or healthy (by very generous standards).

      Oh, I’ve learned socially acceptable ways to deal with these peeves:

      I always sit with the utensil in my hand pressed onto the dish I think might be taken too early.

      I hold my hand over my water glass which I don’t want refilled early.

      I accept that “working” is the new word and live with it.

      I don’t order dishes over $30 unless it’s a special occasion.

      In general I remember to be grateful I have food.

  3. Katie Says:

    Mine is waitstaff that calls me sweetie or honey – I don’t know you and I’m not your sweetie or your honey.

  4. Ollo Says:

    Mine is definitely the Portland theme of “this isn’t my real job” and “I’m way too hipster” to offer good service. After years of being a wait/bar-staff hustler in an environment that offers a whopping 2.13 and hr Portland’s blessed server community seems to lack the ability to consistently strive to provide a great experience.. so sad given all the great places and food. Just my 2cents and there are always exceptions.

    • servicerox Says:

      I’ve run into that sometimes too – I agree, whatever job it is that you are doing, you should leave attitude at home! (esp when your job is customer-facing).

      Jray – Thanks for stopping by & commenting 🙂

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