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Author Topic: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"  (Read 5908 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #60 on: January 26, 2018, 09:21:58 AM »
Quite apart from the question of creepiness, I just doubt whether this does actually improve the experience for guests. If anybody could pick up from googling (which I hope and trust they can't) how often DH and I visit southwestern France, presumably that would lead to us being plied with suggestions of Pecharmant and confit de canard. It's a closed loop, just as the fact that I once searched for "cheap cowboy hat" for a fancy-dress party (not my choice: the invitation said "Western-themed") left me plagued for ages by pop-up ads for every kind of cowboy gear. What I go to a high-end restaurant that is new to me - and presumably only restaurants that consider themselves high-end go in for this malarkey - I want to know what they can do, not be presented with the closest they can get to something I have had before.

This. When I'm on holiday, I'm often trying new things (food, wine, beer, etc) for the first time. And I may or may not like them. I wouldn't be too impressed if a restaurant was trying to push the ABC dish onto me, simply based on the fact that an online photo exists of me eating ABC dish. And I'd be annoyed if ABC dish was one that I didn't particularly care for.

I highly doubt that the restaurants who have the time and staff to use this type of customer engagement would do it so clumsily as to assume that if they saw you with a plate of lasagna that they are going to assume you only eat lasagna and "push" it on you.

The intent is to try and identify something that seems unique about the diner. Maybe they can see you spent a few weeks in Basque region and the waiter mentions that the restaurant has recently added a Txakoli to their wine list. Now if you loved the wine when there, you'll be excited to have it again since it's hard to find on most US wine lists. But if it's not one of your favorites, then a simple "oh how nice, but I was really thinking of something from the Rioja region for tonight. What would you recommend?"

The diner would probably never know that the reason eh Txakoli was offered was because they were googled so there would be no reason to be annoyed by being offered something that wasn't something you liked.

Raintree

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #61 on: January 26, 2018, 11:56:04 PM »
ETA:  For the bolded.  They don't need to know your name.  They know you name because  you were wearing a nametag for the sole purpose of letting your customers know your name.  Again, not to make you feel special or abused by customers, but to communicate that you are a real person in customer service (emphasis on person) and not a robot whose sole purpose is to serve others.  Using names are how we treat each other like fellow humans and not just the roles we happen to be serving un at the time (cashier, waiter, customer, client, etc). It equalizes us at least somewhat not the other way around.

Have you ever worked in a store? If you had, you'd probably see that the only customers who ever used your name were strange men hitting on younger females. I really found that an unequal power dynamic. I didn't know who THEY were, yet they got to call me by my first name?

As for cashiers reading your name off a credit car and using it to address you. I guess some people like it. You seem to. And that's OK. I find it very fake.

shadowfox79

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2018, 03:55:16 AM »
ETA:  For the bolded.  They don't need to know your name.  They know you name because  you were wearing a nametag for the sole purpose of letting your customers know your name.  Again, not to make you feel special or abused by customers, but to communicate that you are a real person in customer service (emphasis on person) and not a robot whose sole purpose is to serve others.  Using names are how we treat each other like fellow humans and not just the roles we happen to be serving un at the time (cashier, waiter, customer, client, etc). It equalizes us at least somewhat not the other way around.

Have you ever worked in a store? If you had, you'd probably see that the only customers who ever used your name were strange men hitting on younger females. I really found that an unequal power dynamic. I didn't know who THEY were, yet they got to call me by my first name?

As for cashiers reading your name off a credit car and using it to address you. I guess some people like it. You seem to. And that's OK. I find it very fake.

My experience has always been that obnoxious people would pick up my name tag and deliberately read it out just to show they had the power. "Well... Shadow, perhaps you'd like to explain why my son is still queuing for his graduation gown after twenty minutes?" And yet if I had replied "Well, Rick, it's because he showed up twenty minutes late," they'd have been up in arms.

I have to address people by their first name when I call them from work, but at least they're already clients so I'm not cold-calling them. I detest it when cold callers use my first name as though they know me.

Lula

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2018, 08:49:28 AM »
Doubly obnoxious when the stranger uses a version of your name you never, ever, ever use.

zhaleh

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #64 on: January 27, 2018, 12:15:26 PM »
In terms of the name question.  I am one of those people who dislike my name being used without an introduction.
I donít openly get frustrated (I hope) but it makes me very uncomfortable and to be completely honest, I immediately trust a person less who does this.  I would have to get to know them before Iíll beleive that they havenít used my name to create a false sense of security.

I wouldnít think too much about it if you are not the kind of person who sees it this way.  I beleive it is either ingrained through learned behaviour or experience or itís not.

Some people have been tricked more than once by someone being familiar, using someoneís name, depending on the others confusion, maybe I know this person, but Iím not sure, did we have a conversation before? Do I know them from somewhere else...whatever the case may be, only to be met with a sales pitch that had they just started with right away, you could have shut down immediately and said thanks and left, or had someone then hitting on you, or trying to get you to participate in a survey or whatever.

It's like telemarketers calling and asking "Can I speak with Mary" instead of "This is John from ABC company. May I speak with Mary Jones?"

Some people can't think fast and that tactic may startle people into thinking the caller know Mary and put Mary on the phone. And now *they* know Mary lives there and it's indeed her telephone number.

People who want to be deceitful or want to abuse knowledge will do it.  It's an unfortunate thing and even more unfortunate, no amount of withdrawing from the world can prevent it.  That said, telemarketers and manipulators are not the same as wearing a nametag and someone reading it.  The only reason why someone would wear a nametag is to communicate their name.  So, another person reading it and using it when communicating with you is not being deceitful or overly familiar.  And it shouldn't jar or surprise anyone in that situation.  The same with using your name when you literally just handed them your name. I understand that this board is comprised of people who have had to deal with some pretty extreme things in their lives that shape how they navigate and view the world.  And there's nothing wrong with it.  But, IMO, trying to convince the world that first names should be privately protected information only meant for those we know personally and using those that will try to manipulate familiarity for the purpose of tricking or hurting you as an example of why it's so wrong, is like killing a gnat with a hammer.

Snip

Iím not sure if the bolded is meant to describe posters here or people in the world at large. I can only speak for myself, of course, but I certainly am not trying to convince the world or even one person that first names should be privately protected information.  I see, once again, I havenít explained myself well. I said ďI wouldnít think too much about itĒ but what I meant was, strangers calling me by my first name, without an introduction, makes me feel uncomfortable and gives me a sense that I must be on my guardĒ and if you donít feel this way, not to worry! You are not responsible for my feelings.

I only thought I would add my thoughts and feelings to the topic, not once did I aim to convince anyone that my feelings should be considered a standard.  I didnít get that impression from other posters either.

But maybe bah just hears similar arguments all the time and is tired of it. I understand that, but this is one of those things that you will never get anyone to agree on, so there you have it.

I also would like to mention re what I bolded in bahís post, I wrote my more personal feeling is that first names are intimate, not just that people sometimes get tricked. I find that more so the reason I donít like strangers using my first name.  But I donít wish to put a prohibition on people using strangers first names. I, in no way, want to control others speech.

Hmmmmm

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2018, 08:45:14 AM »
ETA:  For the bolded.  They don't need to know your name.  They know you name because  you were wearing a nametag for the sole purpose of letting your customers know your name.  Again, not to make you feel special or abused by customers, but to communicate that you are a real person in customer service (emphasis on person) and not a robot whose sole purpose is to serve others.  Using names are how we treat each other like fellow humans and not just the roles we happen to be serving un at the time (cashier, waiter, customer, client, etc). It equalizes us at least somewhat not the other way around.

Have you ever worked in a store? If you had, you'd probably see that the only customers who ever used your name were strange men hitting on younger females. I really found that an unequal power dynamic. I didn't know who THEY were, yet they got to call me by my first name?

As for cashiers reading your name off a credit car and using it to address you. I guess some people like it. You seem to. And that's OK. I find it very fake.

I have worked retail. I did so when I was in highschool and college. What you described is not my experience at all. Was there the occasional older man who seemed to be a little too chummy or flirtatious, yes. But I also had very courteous men use my name and I had courteous women who addressed me by name.

lowspark

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2018, 09:42:17 AM »
If you work in retail and don't want people looking at your nametag to know and use your first name, why not just put Ms. Smith (or whatever your name is) instead?

Slightly different situation but I always make sure I know my server's name in a restaurant so that I don't have to call out "Hey you!" or some other generic attention grabber to call them over should I need something, or to ask another server to send them over. Just seems a lot nicer.

Similarly in a retail situation, I'd much rather say thank you and use the clerk's name if they've helped me more than just ringing me up, as I feel it's just a bit nicer. Otherwise, I'm not clear on what the purpose is of the nametag. If it's just to identify one as an employee, why have a name on there at all?
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Harriet Jones

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #67 on: January 29, 2018, 09:58:54 AM »
If you work in retail and don't want people looking at your nametag to know and use your first name, why not just put Ms. Smith (or whatever your name is) instead?

The worker may not have a choice due to company policy.

Quote

Slightly different situation but I always make sure I know my server's name in a restaurant so that I don't have to call out "Hey you!" or some other generic attention grabber to call them over should I need something, or to ask another server to send them over. Just seems a lot nicer.

Similarly in a retail situation, I'd much rather say thank you and use the clerk's name if they've helped me more than just ringing me up, as I feel it's just a bit nicer. Otherwise, I'm not clear on what the purpose is of the nametag. If it's just to identify one as an employee, why have a name on there at all?


I don't think there's anything wrong with what you're doing, but there *are* people who can get overly familiar and creepy with the cashier.

bah12

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #68 on: January 29, 2018, 10:54:49 AM »
ETA:  For the bolded.  They don't need to know your name.  They know you name because  you were wearing a nametag for the sole purpose of letting your customers know your name.  Again, not to make you feel special or abused by customers, but to communicate that you are a real person in customer service (emphasis on person) and not a robot whose sole purpose is to serve others.  Using names are how we treat each other like fellow humans and not just the roles we happen to be serving un at the time (cashier, waiter, customer, client, etc). It equalizes us at least somewhat not the other way around.

Have you ever worked in a store? If you had, you'd probably see that the only customers who ever used your name were strange men hitting on younger females. I really found that an unequal power dynamic. I didn't know who THEY were, yet they got to call me by my first name?

As for cashiers reading your name off a credit car and using it to address you. I guess some people like it. You seem to. And that's OK. I find it very fake.

Yes I have.  And I worked in store when I was younger and often had strangers flirting with/hitting on me.  First, that behavior is not exclusive to working in a store and knowing/not knowing your first name doesn't stop  or change the behavior.

I've had obnoxious people use my first name and I've had genuine and friendly people use my name.   Those dots are not connected.

As for liking customer service people using my name...I neither like nor dislike it.  I've never even thought about it before reading some comments on this thread. I don't look for reasons to prove that people are trying to one-up me, change/abuse a power dynamic, or hurt me in some covert way, so I don't look for clues like whether or not we were formally introduced before they used my name.  I tend to make my decisions on actual behavior and not innocuous rules that people would innocently violate on a daily basis. 

lowspark

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2018, 02:36:16 PM »
If you work in retail and don't want people looking at your nametag to know and use your first name, why not just put Ms. Smith (or whatever your name is) instead?

The worker may not have a choice due to company policy.

Quote

Slightly different situation but I always make sure I know my server's name in a restaurant so that I don't have to call out "Hey you!" or some other generic attention grabber to call them over should I need something, or to ask another server to send them over. Just seems a lot nicer.

Similarly in a retail situation, I'd much rather say thank you and use the clerk's name if they've helped me more than just ringing me up, as I feel it's just a bit nicer. Otherwise, I'm not clear on what the purpose is of the nametag. If it's just to identify one as an employee, why have a name on there at all?


I don't think there's anything wrong with what you're doing, but there *are* people who can get overly familiar and creepy with the cashier.

If that is company policy, then that means the company wants customers to be able to address their employees by their first names. There are reasons for those name tags. Firstly, to identify people as being employees, but secondly to give the customers access to those employees' names.

So, if that is something that the employee isn't comfortable with, maybe retail isn't the right job for them.

Yes, there are people who cross the line in all kinds of situations, including getting overly familiar with others. But of course that doesn't automatically make someone who is not doing that wrong, simply for using the same information.

Just because one person misuses something, doesn't mean that others who use it correctly are somehow in the wrong.
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TeamBhakta

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2018, 09:44:07 AM »
Quote

Have you ever worked in a store? If you had, you'd probably see that the only customers who ever used your name were strange men hitting on younger females. I really found that an unequal power dynamic. I didn't know who THEY were, yet they got to call me by my first name?

This is so true. The only time female customers use my first name is when they're obvious mystery shoppers. It's always older male customers who make a point of checking my name tag & acting like Tim Allen's Denny's scene from The Santa Clause  ::)

https://youtu.be/0Yq0N1Mf1_4?t=58s

diesel_darlin

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2018, 03:26:42 PM »
I don't recommend this because I was breaking the rules, and I knew that I was breaking the rules when I did it. I worked in a gas station and never wore my name tag. For all of the reasons already mentioned in this thread.

I also had a gentleman call my home store to find me after I had subbed at another store. At that point I flat told management that my name was not need to know information.

I was flat out scared. We were single staffed so I had no one to watch the register so I could go in the cooler and hide from this guy. I eventually was able to get him to go away.

baglady

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Re: "Welcome to our restaurant. I Googled your name"
« Reply #72 on: February 14, 2018, 09:24:14 PM »
ETA:  For the bolded.  They don't need to know your name.  They know you name because  you were wearing a nametag for the sole purpose of letting your customers know your name.  Again, not to make you feel special or abused by customers, but to communicate that you are a real person in customer service (emphasis on person) and not a robot whose sole purpose is to serve others.  Using names are how we treat each other like fellow humans and not just the roles we happen to be serving un at the time (cashier, waiter, customer, client, etc). It equalizes us at least somewhat not the other way around.

Have you ever worked in a store? If you had, you'd probably see that the only customers who ever used your name were strange men hitting on younger females. I really found that an unequal power dynamic. I didn't know who THEY were, yet they got to call me by my first name?

As for cashiers reading your name off a credit car and using it to address you. I guess some people like it. You seem to. And that's OK. I find it very fake.

When I worked retail (convenience store), the one person who addressed me by name, solely from knowing it from my nametag, was female (as am I). There was definitely a condescending vibe coming from her -- "OK, Baglady, I need this, this and this." So it's not necessarily all a case of "guys hitting on the employee."

Years ago I read a story in the paper about a hotel chain that encouraged/required workers to read the guest's name off their credit card and use it. One employee was careless and picked up the company name but not the individual name off the card:

Employee: "Enjoy your stay, Mr. Bell."
Guest: "Oh, please call me Taco!"

In the 1980s, pre-Internet and social media, a friend took me out to lunch. The restaurant host greeted him enthusiastically by name: "Hello, Mr. B! So good to see you again!" Mr. B was quite miffed and explained to me that this was something restaurant staff should never do. What if I had been his wife, and they only recognized him from bringing his mistress there ... or vice versa? (For the record, he had neither wife nor mistress, so it was moot. But he was still miffed.)

There is a time and place for Googling and/or checking the social media of a person before entering into a relationship with them, and that's when the relationship is potentially long-term -- would-be employee, employer, romantic partner. The restaurant/patron relationship doesn't qualify.

A restaurant can't possibly know how to serve me better by knowing what's out there on the internet about me. And yes, it would creep me out to discover they know those things.
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