Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Color Me: Respect

Everyone deserves Respect-
whether they be ordinary, disabled, elderly, or even the unique ones. 

I was inspired to write this post upon what happened last night at work.
[I have been quite busy with life and therefore could not catch up on writing for the blog].

I work at a restaurant [reaching my 5 years as a server] and things always happen, sometimes entertaining and others horrifying.

Yesterday was supposed to be one of my two days off during the week; I usually take those days to catch up on my readings and assignments for school which I attend full time. Due to recent events, two people have been fired and so I have been filling in way more hours than I could afford. Attending school full time [4 days a week] plus work 30+ hours a week is super time-consuming.

Anyways, there was this customer who came in with her son last night. She notified me that she has no specific allergies but due to her new naturopathic doctor she has been seeing, she is limited to eating certain food products that make things a bit difficult.

She said she was not allowed to consume: noodles, soy products, mushrooms and a couple other items like yeast. Well coming to the restaurant I work at, most things are basically swimming in soy sauce and noodles [it's a pho restaurant]. I pride myself in the customer service I give to all my customers at every single restaurant I have worked at- trust me I have been at many different restaurants in my short life-time.

I carefully went through the menu with her to give her alternative options and eventually came up with a plan where she can order a meal safely following all of her restrictions. That wasn't so bad right? I mean I was showing my 'Respect' to her as well as she was 'respecting' the extent to how far I can assist her.

Here comes along my boss who is also the cook behind the scenes, he struts up to the lady and tells her "we can make whatever she needs to be accommodated". Afterwards, I head towards the POS and input the order, then I go to the kitchen to confirm with him how the meal is to be prepared. He starts to throw a tantrum about how picky she is and that "IF" it was busy, we wouldn't be able to accommodate her needs, AND that I was doing my job all wrong (not assisting other customers and only spending time with her).

Woah, let's step back a few and reassess this situation.
[google images]

Other days, my boss would be telling me "customers are very important and treat them well" and here he is, telling me "I" am not doing my job right. Uh, excuse you?

*I apologize if this is sort of a rant but honestly, I thought this was the perfect situation for 'Respect' to come into play.

First of all, I would like to clarify that I had another co-worker with me at the time assisting the other customers. 

Secondly, it was not busy at all, maybe 3-4 tables at most. If it were truly busy, I would have to apologize to the lady and tell her I am unable to make accommodations to her meal due to the busyness. 

Anyways, after the boss threw his tantrum at me [which I felt was unfair due to the circumstances that this was my day 'off' after all, yet here I was being yelled at... for something I did not do wrong] I checked on the lady and her son [who actually had accommodations of his own regarding no shellfish  and no pork on his meal].

She kept complimenting how she enjoyed her meal and that everything was great! She kept insisting to me to let the cook know how great everything tasted. Of course, I wasn't going to keep this comment to myself and ended up telling my boss that she enjoyed every bit of her meal.

On the flip side, I am actually glad that I ended up having to work last night because I truly believe that if I were not there, the others would not have been able to be so attentive towards her restrictions and dietary planning. The funny twist about this [which I shared with her as well] was the fact that I am considering a future career in Naturopathic Medicine and she happen to recently start seeing the ND doctor. We had similar interests and I was able to communicate with her on a level people who are not interested in nutrition to a certain extent would not understand.

In the end, I was happy that I was able to put a smile on her face [and her son] because they were freely able to enjoy their meal. I personally know how it feels to be restricted on certain foods because I try to limit myself from the abundance of unhealthy food that bombards our every day lives.
[google images]

Now where does 'Respect' fit into this whole experience? Working as a server [and other jobs], I get quite little respect from those around me whether it be the customers or the management I work for.

Most like to think lowly of my position [doesn't just have to be the server status, even retail] and treat me disrespectfully at most times. We are all human regardless of our status in the working environment because respect is respect.

I am ashamed to say this of my own kind but Koreans in particular are the worst offenders I have experienced. I even told myself after the previous restaurant I worked at that, I would not work for a Korean management again but somehow I ended up back in a business with Koreans.

It's not the worst experience on Earth but they should really learn to respect everyone regardless of age or position in a job environment. I am sure other environments and ethnicities have their own issues but I also want to clearly state that this blog is based on my own experiences and how I have perceived such situations.

Respect, it isn't that hard people, just do it.

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