Author Topic: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27  (Read 120477 times)

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earthgirl

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #645 on: January 28, 2014, 03:52:56 PM »
I've only read about halfway through this thread so far but a lot of these stories are sounding similar to several of mine. 

One of the worst examples of PA behavior I have seen came from my mother in December 2012.  It was going to be the first Christmas that I wasn't going to travel the three hours home to my parents' house because I was pregnant, full-term, due two days before Christmas.  My mother had come down to visit me in November, and since she was planning to come when the baby was born, I did not expect her to make another visit. 

Then, the first week of December she told me that she wanted to come down and visit again one more time before the baby was born, and the following ridiculousness ensued:

  • She told me on a Sunday that she wanted to visit the following weekend.  I told her I was already committed to a family holiday gathering on Sunday night (which DH's aunt had been planning for a month and was very excited about) and if she was there at that time then she was more than welcome to attend with us (DH's family is always cool with this) but I wasn't going to be able to cancel those plans.
  • She called me the next day to say that she wouldn't be coming because I didn't sound excited enough when she first brought it up.  So I told her that was fine.
  • She called me the day after that to say that fine, she was going to come visit after all, but she would come Friday night and leave Saturday so there was no interference with my original plans. I told her okay.
  • DH confirmed with her on Wednesday that she would be coming on Friday and she confirmed.  She then called me on Thursday and said that she had decided to come on Sunday instead.  I reiterated that I already had plans on Sunday night.  I also repeated the fact that she could come with us.  She said she would have to think about it and maybe she wouldn't come after all.  I told her that was fine.
  • She called back later and said that fine, she would come on Friday, but it was really inconvenient and it would really be more convenient for her to come on Sunday.  Fairly sure she was waiting for me to tell her to come on Sunday.  I told her that was great and I would see her on Friday.
  • She came on Friday and spent much of her time asking questions about the holiday gathering I was going to on Sunday.  When she learned that it was just a casual celebration instead of a traditional observation of the holiday, she made multiple comments about not understanding why it was so important that I attend, and how inconvenient it was for her to have changed her schedule. 

I think that we have actually probably had a lot of similar interactions, only in the past I would have felt guilty and given into her.  However, the fact that I was super pregnant made me give myself permission to be "selfish" (in reality just keeping my spine, but I had been conditioned, mainly by her, to be more of a doormat).  Since the world didn't end that time, I've gotten a lot better at standing up to her and not allowing her P/A statements to make me feel guilty and give in to something I don't want.

cass2591

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #646 on: January 28, 2014, 09:03:53 PM »
  Will I take it out of the tip, yeah probably.  Is that fair to the waitstaff? Maybe not, but I can't take it out of the managers check, and this is a way for me to show displeasure.
Taking out displeasure on someone who lacks the power to remedy that displeasure? I don't think that should be E-Hell approved.

Sometimes it's necessary, though.  Large companies are very good at setting up the complaint system so you have to be firm with someone relatively innocent of the problem before you actually get your complaint listened to - I would put "arguing with the front-line customer service rep" and "complaining to the waitstaff" both as part of this.  Usually there's a way to be assertive but not aggressive, but not always - sometimes it takes raising your voice and not backing down to be allowed to direct your complaint to someone who could actually do something about it.  It's all well and good to say "it's not the server's fault," but in the long run (the very long run), if enough people reduce their tips by a quarter for having to pay for sauce, the good servers will make a corresponding amount less in tips and will be more likely to work somewhere else.  It does hurt the restaurant, just a little tiny bit and spread out way down the line.

I disagree with the bolded for one reason. The CSR's are not getting tipped. I admit that I've been less than polite with some CSR's (always on the phone) but apologize because it's not their fault if they can't help me. As for servers, there is a manager on duty if you have an issue. Corporate doesn't care and your idea of reducing tips does nothing but lower the server's wages. How does that help the server?
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Joeschmo

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #647 on: January 29, 2014, 12:58:07 AM »
  Will I take it out of the tip, yeah probably.  Is that fair to the waitstaff? Maybe not, but I can't take it out of the managers check, and this is a way for me to show displeasure.
Taking out displeasure on someone who lacks the power to remedy that displeasure? I don't think that should be E-Hell approved.

Sometimes it's necessary, though.  Large companies are very good at setting up the complaint system so you have to be firm with someone relatively innocent of the problem before you actually get your complaint listened to - I would put "arguing with the front-line customer service rep" and "complaining to the waitstaff" both as part of this.  Usually there's a way to be assertive but not aggressive, but not always - sometimes it takes raising your voice and not backing down to be allowed to direct your complaint to someone who could actually do something about it.  It's all well and good to say "it's not the server's fault," but in the long run (the very long run), if enough people reduce their tips by a quarter for having to pay for sauce, the good servers will make a corresponding amount less in tips and will be more likely to work somewhere else.  It does hurt the restaurant, just a little tiny bit and spread out way down the line.
Decreasing the tip by $0.25 will at the least go unnoticed and at the most make you look like a mediocre/poor tipper.  Why wouldn't you choose to do something effective such as email corporate, post on a social networking/review site, or provide feedback to someone who can actually do something.  Punishing someone who makes $2.13 an hour to make a point to a million dollar business makes you look pretty bad as a human being.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #648 on: January 29, 2014, 03:00:07 AM »
  Will I take it out of the tip, yeah probably.  Is that fair to the waitstaff? Maybe not, but I can't take it out of the managers check, and this is a way for me to show displeasure.
Taking out displeasure on someone who lacks the power to remedy that displeasure? I don't think that should be E-Hell approved.

Sometimes it's necessary, though.  Large companies are very good at setting up the complaint system so you have to be firm with someone relatively innocent of the problem before you actually get your complaint listened to - I would put "arguing with the front-line customer service rep" and "complaining to the waitstaff" both as part of this.  Usually there's a way to be assertive but not aggressive, but not always - sometimes it takes raising your voice and not backing down to be allowed to direct your complaint to someone who could actually do something about it.  It's all well and good to say "it's not the server's fault," but in the long run (the very long run), if enough people reduce their tips by a quarter for having to pay for sauce, the good servers will make a corresponding amount less in tips and will be more likely to work somewhere else.  It does hurt the restaurant, just a little tiny bit and spread out way down the line.
Decreasing the tip by $0.25 will at the least go unnoticed and at the most make you look like a mediocre/poor tipper.  Why wouldn't you choose to do something effective such as email corporate, post on a social networking/review site, or provide feedback to someone who can actually do something.  Punishing someone who makes $2.13 an hour to make a point to a million dollar business makes you look pretty bad as a human being.

I don't disagree that it's a not-terribly-effective and not-terribly-kind way to make a point, but the theory is sound.  If everyone tipped slightly less, the waitstaff would make a correspondingly smaller amount of money.  A corresponding percentage of them will choose to seek out jobs at other restaurants (or a corresponding percentage of potential servers will choose not to take jobs there), which means the restaurant will be forced to hire slightly less skilled servers.  The dip in the service will create a similarly-sized dip in sales, and a hit to the million dollar business.  Now, one missing quarter isn't going to do much, of course, but the effect doesn't round down to zero just because the monetary amount is small - not when you're talking about a transaction (tipping) which every customer participates in every time they go to the restaurant.  A small change repeated over a large number of transactions adds up.

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #649 on: January 29, 2014, 03:35:52 AM »
  Will I take it out of the tip, yeah probably.  Is that fair to the waitstaff? Maybe not, but I can't take it out of the managers check, and this is a way for me to show displeasure.
Taking out displeasure on someone who lacks the power to remedy that displeasure? I don't think that should be E-Hell approved.

Sometimes it's necessary, though.  Large companies are very good at setting up the complaint system so you have to be firm with someone relatively innocent of the problem before you actually get your complaint listened to - I would put "arguing with the front-line customer service rep" and "complaining to the waitstaff" both as part of this.  Usually there's a way to be assertive but not aggressive, but not always - sometimes it takes raising your voice and not backing down to be allowed to direct your complaint to someone who could actually do something about it.  It's all well and good to say "it's not the server's fault," but in the long run (the very long run), if enough people reduce their tips by a quarter for having to pay for sauce, the good servers will make a corresponding amount less in tips and will be more likely to work somewhere else.  It does hurt the restaurant, just a little tiny bit and spread out way down the line.
Decreasing the tip by $0.25 will at the least go unnoticed and at the most make you look like a mediocre/poor tipper.  Why wouldn't you choose to do something effective such as email corporate, post on a social networking/review site, or provide feedback to someone who can actually do something.  Punishing someone who makes $2.13 an hour to make a point to a million dollar business makes you look pretty bad as a human being.

I don't disagree that it's a not-terribly-effective and not-terribly-kind way to make a point, but the theory is sound.  If everyone tipped slightly less, the waitstaff would make a correspondingly smaller amount of money.  A corresponding percentage of them will choose to seek out jobs at other restaurants (or a corresponding percentage of potential servers will choose not to take jobs there), which means the restaurant will be forced to hire slightly less skilled servers.  The dip in the service will create a similarly-sized dip in sales, and a hit to the million dollar business.  Now, one missing quarter isn't going to do much, of course, but the effect doesn't round down to zero just because the monetary amount is small - not when you're talking about a transaction (tipping) which every customer participates in every time they go to the restaurant.  A small change repeated over a large number of transactions adds up.

Except that for this theory to work in real life, it requires waitstaff to:
- recognise that their tips are consistently lower
- realise why
- somehow canvass the other restaurants in the area to find out which ones aren't affected by this mass customer response to a minor annoying policy (and frankly creating a mass consumer response to something like this, strong enough to be a significant motivating force rather than a mild annoyance, is the most unlikely part of this theory IMO)
- actually manage to get a job there.

And then the managers/owners have to:
- understand where this hypothetical higher turnover of staff is coming from (can you imagine the exit interviews? "Yeah, your policy of charging for wing sauce is making people short me about $8 in tips a night." ;D)
- care. :P

I apologise if I'm sounding snarky here, I just think that this works much better in a pure mathematical model than in real life.  ;)
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #650 on: January 29, 2014, 03:48:44 AM »
Except that for this theory to work in real life, it requires waitstaff to:
- recognise that their tips are consistently lower
- realise why
- somehow canvass the other restaurants in the area to find out which ones aren't affected by this mass customer response to a minor annoying policy (and frankly creating a mass consumer response to something like this, strong enough to be a significant motivating force rather than a mild annoyance, is the most unlikely part of this theory IMO)
- actually manage to get a job there.

And then the managers/owners have to:
- understand where this hypothetical higher turnover of staff is coming from (can you imagine the exit interviews? "Yeah, your policy of charging for wing sauce is making people short me about $8 in tips a night." ;D)
- care. :P

I apologise if I'm sounding snarky here, I just think that this works much better in a pure mathematical model than in real life.  ;)

They don't, though - that's the thing about it.  None of this is necessarily a conscious decision, it's just all based on the assumptions that a) servers would prefer to make more rather than less money, b) customers prefer to dine at places with better service rather than places with worse service,  and c) companies are motivated to make as much money as possible.  It doesn't matter whether any given server recognizes the problem or not - they'll naturally seek out the highest-paying places they can get based on their abilities, and everything goes from there.  There's a huge amount of variation from person to person (and restaurant to restaurant), but the effect persists because of the huge number of customers who eat a restaurants.  It may be a quirk of psychology which makes us balk at a $0.25 cup of sauce on top of a $200 meal, but it's predictable and consistent and any good million-dollar corporation will be on the lookout for triggers like this.

ladyknight1

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #651 on: January 29, 2014, 08:18:59 AM »
I request we get back to PA stories. The tipping threads in the past have been locked.

Cherry91

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #652 on: January 29, 2014, 11:29:42 AM »
I request we get back to PA stories. The tipping threads in the past have been locked.

Seconded

gollymolly2

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #653 on: January 29, 2014, 11:35:41 AM »
Except that for this theory to work in real life, it requires waitstaff to:
- recognise that their tips are consistently lower
- realise why
- somehow canvass the other restaurants in the area to find out which ones aren't affected by this mass customer response to a minor annoying policy (and frankly creating a mass consumer response to something like this, strong enough to be a significant motivating force rather than a mild annoyance, is the most unlikely part of this theory IMO)
- actually manage to get a job there.

And then the managers/owners have to:
- understand where this hypothetical higher turnover of staff is coming from (can you imagine the exit interviews? "Yeah, your policy of charging for wing sauce is making people short me about $8 in tips a night." ;D)
- care. :P

I apologise if I'm sounding snarky here, I just think that this works much better in a pure mathematical model than in real life.  ;)

They don't, though - that's the thing about it.  None of this is necessarily a conscious decision, it's just all based on the assumptions that a) servers would prefer to make more rather than less money, b) customers prefer to dine at places with better service rather than places with worse service,  and c) companies are motivated to make as much money as possible.  It doesn't matter whether any given server recognizes the problem or not - they'll naturally seek out the highest-paying places they can get based on their abilities, and everything goes from there.  There's a huge amount of variation from person to person (and restaurant to restaurant), but the effect persists because of the huge number of customers who eat a restaurants.  It may be a quirk of psychology which makes us balk at a $0.25 cup of sauce on top of a $200 meal, but it's predictable and consistent and any good million-dollar corporation will be on the lookout for triggers like this.

Your theory is only sound if you assume that people in iobs that pay $2.13/hr have meaningful mobility. Not to say that no servers (or customer service reps) can change jobs. But many people will have limited options. Sure, they can leave Applebee's and go work at the Olive Garden, but the treatment will probably be the same and they may very well be owned by the same corporation and have the same policies.

If you want to effect change in a company, talk to the manager, write to the owner, leave bad reviews, and stop spending money there. Taking some change from a server accomplishes nothing.

I understand that some aren't interested in this specific conversation but it seems directly related to the topic to me. 

Joeschmo

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #654 on: January 29, 2014, 11:35:55 AM »
Except that for this theory to work in real life, it requires waitstaff to:
- recognise that their tips are consistently lower
- realise why
- somehow canvass the other restaurants in the area to find out which ones aren't affected by this mass customer response to a minor annoying policy (and frankly creating a mass consumer response to something like this, strong enough to be a significant motivating force rather than a mild annoyance, is the most unlikely part of this theory IMO)
- actually manage to get a job there.

And then the managers/owners have to:
- understand where this hypothetical higher turnover of staff is coming from (can you imagine the exit interviews? "Yeah, your policy of charging for wing sauce is making people short me about $8 in tips a night." ;D)
- care. :P

I apologise if I'm sounding snarky here, I just think that this works much better in a pure mathematical model than in real life.  ;)

They don't, though - that's the thing about it.  None of this is necessarily a conscious decision, it's just all based on the assumptions that a) servers would prefer to make more rather than less money, b) customers prefer to dine at places with better service rather than places with worse service,  and c) companies are motivated to make as much money as possible.  It doesn't matter whether any given server recognizes the problem or not - they'll naturally seek out the highest-paying places they can get based on their abilities, and everything goes from there.  There's a huge amount of variation from person to person (and restaurant to restaurant), but the effect persists because of the huge number of customers who eat a restaurants.  It may be a quirk of psychology which makes us balk at a $0.25 cup of sauce on top of a $200 meal, but it's predictable and consistent and any good million-dollar corporation will be on the lookout for triggers like this.
But you're making a conscious decision to stick it to the person who has the least power in the business to do something.  It's small and petty to take it out on the server because for whatever reason you don't want to actually say something to someone at the business who can do something and likely makes a living wage.  By your theory wouldn't it make more sense not to patronize the business that has a policy you don't agree with and then the employees would seek out an employer that was busier? 

twiggy

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #655 on: January 29, 2014, 11:42:59 AM »
I request we get back to PA stories. The tipping threads in the past have been locked.

Seconded

Thirded. Pretty please, with a cherry on top?
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VorFemme

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #656 on: January 29, 2014, 11:51:42 AM »
Is it PA for someone to keep complaining about going to a certain restaurant once a month for a group event because "they don't like the food" but never come up with an alternate location with (#1) the capacity to host the group of twenty to twenty-five who show up most months and (#2) food that everyone else likes and (the biggest - #3) has a reasonable cost for the group members on a fixed income (retired)?  Well, #4 would be a central location that is easy to find, preferably just off a major traffic artery (lots of those in the Houston area, at least) on the southwest side of town.

Just complaining does nothing except annoy the rest of us.  And being annoying isn't always the same as being PA.
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Tabby Uprising

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #657 on: January 29, 2014, 11:55:43 AM »
Is it PA for someone to keep complaining about going to a certain restaurant once a month for a group event because "they don't like the food" but never come up with an alternate location with (#1) the capacity to host the group of twenty to twenty-five who show up most months and (#2) food that everyone else likes and (the biggest - #3) has a reasonable cost for the group members on a fixed income (retired)?  Well, #4 would be a central location that is easy to find, preferably just off a major traffic artery (lots of those in the Houston area, at least) on the southwest side of town.

Just complaining does nothing except annoy the rest of us.  And being annoying isn't always the same as being PA.

Yeah, I don't like complaints that aren't backed up with possible solutions/suggestions.

Cherry91

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #658 on: January 29, 2014, 11:56:53 AM »
Is it PA for someone to keep complaining about going to a certain restaurant once a month for a group event because "they don't like the food" but never come up with an alternate location with (#1) the capacity to host the group of twenty to twenty-five who show up most months and (#2) food that everyone else likes and (the biggest - #3) has a reasonable cost for the group members on a fixed income (retired)?  Well, #4 would be a central location that is easy to find, preferably just off a major traffic artery (lots of those in the Houston area, at least) on the southwest side of town.

Just complaining does nothing except annoy the rest of us.  And being annoying isn't always the same as being PA.

Not sure if it could be called PA, but I can understand the frustration. I suppose it could be considered PA to expect the plans to be changed because one persona complained, but also to expect to do none of the work in finding a new place.

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27
« Reply #659 on: January 29, 2014, 01:23:31 PM »
We have changed locations twice - ownership changed and so did a LOT of the good things about location #1, location #2 worked for a year or so - until they got bought by another company, and location #1 had reopened under new ownership (so company #3 just in same building).  We're still meeting at location #3...which tries very hard to keep the rest of the group happy...but apparently this lady still wants "something else" because she gripes while eating her selections from the buffet. 

It's not gourmet (for $5 USA for senior pricing, she's getting salad, spaghetti, tacos, pizza, macaroni & cheese, and a short selection of desserts - brownies, pudding, and marshmallow & rice bars.  Sometimes there is peach cobbler...

She seems to want more selection, better quality, and the same price (if not cheaper).  Well, unless she's fixing lunch for 25 at her own house, she's not likely to beat $125 for all we can eat...and drink....and someone else to clean up before we get there & after we leave.  It doesn't stop her from grumbling....

How do I put this, she has one of those faces and voices that always look & sound just a little bit dissatisfied - it's probably her natural expression & tone of voice.  But it makes her hard to be around.  I've seen her happy and sound glad - but she'd just won a Bingo & was able to pick her own prize & there was something that she liked/collected on the prize table.  It seemed to take a LOT of effort to animate her facial muscles to change her expression away from the default. 

Or maybe I'm just so used to seeing her look like a female "Grumpy" (from Disney's Snow White and the Dwarves)....
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