Patron peeves

Everybody's got a pet peeve, and Kathryn Robinson's "Are you being served? Ten things I wish every waiter would stop doing" [Dining issue, 4/20] prompted a firestorm of reader mail (and even received a mention from Baba Wawa and her coterie on ABC's The View) about what makes you want to scream in restaurant service. The letters range from the reasoned (see most of the below) to one guy who felt that tables were bussed so noisily all over town that earmuffs should be issued and must we be made to feel we're dining in a crockery factory? Earmuffs aside, here is Part One of the additions to the list from you, our dear readers. Next week, Part Two: more patron peeves! The week after: The servers strike back! Doggy bag: "I loathe, with the heat of a 1,000 fiery suns, the trend of bringing the take-out box or bag to the table and making me box up my own food. Usually, entr饳 are served on large plates—plates that do not lend themselves to easy maneuvering. I am not in the position (sitting down) nor do I have the utensils (a spatula or large spoon) to transfer the remains of my dinner to this often tiny take-away receptacle. Since when is it customer-service-friendly to make the patron do this?"—Cat Caelte My mouf if fulf! "My pet hate is the 'is everything all right with your dinner' enquiry—which inevitably gets issued a few seconds after you've filled your mouth with food."—Fergus Sticker shock! "Don't announce this evening's specials without telling me how much they cost! The breast of guinea hen under glass may be out of this world, but I don't want to be surprised when the bill tells me it was $35.95!"—Vincent C. Brann The Lonely Eater: "Don't remove any plates until everyone at the table is finished. Servers and buspersons are vigilant to make sure that plates are removed the instant that a diner is finished. Aside from making the other diners feel rushed, this practice is extremely labor-intensive. Why not wait until everyone at the table is finished?"—Fritz Newmeyer and Marilyn Goebel The Xenophobe: "Don't greet me in French, Spanish, Italian, or Mandarin. Such airs and pretensions put me off. I eat in America, I pay in US dollars, and you can cut the crap. I am not d飬ass頢ecause I speak English."—Nadia S. Edwards

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