Henry Reacroft: Take care of Summit County waitstaff
I live in the union of two worlds. Summit County is one great community of the pleasure seekers that have money and the pleasure seekers that do not. During the winter season we are all here to indulge on the snowy bounty with our skis and snowboards as utensils. But what happens when we indulge off the mountain? I can say that I have met plenteous common courtesy on the slopes – from the man who hunts down that missing glove for a stranger, to the teen who lets someone cut her in line to meet up with friends. I can’t say the same for our dining experiences. Since moving to Summit County I have had the immense pleasure of working hard in the food industry. While my restaurant may not garner the respect of the upper class locals and visitors to the area, it certainly retains their business.Yet, since the economic recession of our time, something has been lost in the way our working class is treated. My restaurant is often visited by the well-to-do’s of Summit County, and we who serve their food welcome them. We ask them about their days, and we honestly care to find out. That doesn’t change no matter how many times we have received a dismissive response. Sadly, most of the responses are dismissive. I love my guests, especially the ones who will ask how I am doing in return. But every now and then, a fur-wearing customer will lazily drawl their order without so much as a acknowledgement that I exist.I remember going out to restaurants as a child. My father used to tell the waiters hilariously lame jokes, and by the end of the meal, we all knew what the servers favorite vacation was. Now that I am on the other side of that scenario, I can promise the dining class that we love being asked questions. To have guests be friendly to us, it’s like Christmas come early. We don’t necessarily need a good tip to brighten our day. We love our guests who can’t afford to show their appreciation in that way; but instead, show it to us by kindness through conversation.Yet, it is clear that the majority of our dining-class has forgotten that we who serve, serve to eat. Yes, we are here for the same reasons as everyone else. A day on the slopes is good for the soul. But we pay our bills, and buy our food with the money we get from providing our guests excellent service. As much as I would love for my restaurant to pay us according to how well we did that day, the truth is our guests are the ones that decide if we worked hard enough to earn that lunchtime PB&J. And we are working hard. We want our guests to leave happy and ready for the slopes. We will take care of you, but please, make sure someone takes care of us.
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