Wherein everyone is the worst
By popular demand, The Fork is bringing back another chapter of Guilt Tip, the informal series wherein our friends who work in the service industry recount their worst experiences with customers.
The Fork worked in restaurants for a loooooong time (which you may know because we remind you all the time as a way to deflect criticism), and we've seen a whole lot of bad behavior from people—but it never ceases to amaze us the depths to which restaurant and bar customers will sink.
Anyway, we're not including names so as to protect the innocent (and because we're Dragnet fans), but if you're in our hometown of Santa Fe and reading this, note that most of the following folk do, in fact, live and work here. So be polite.
Don't ever do that
"There's this foodservice urban legend about diners who put out, like, five singles on the table or bar, and then, depending on what your service is like, they either pull a buck out or put it back in. This is dehumanizing, and I decided right away I didn't care about the tip—let's just say it was a slow-motion kind of night."
The lesson: What kind of monster are you?
"We have a lot of regulars, so I have kind of casual relationships with these people from serving them over the years, but if there's one thing I wish people would stop, it's that "I know so-and-so who works here," thing. As if that means I won't charge them for their drinks or something? I just work there."
The lesson: C'mon, now.
"I've worked in lots of kinds of bars, from mixology places to beer and wine-only, and it's not really a major complaint, but the people who drink wine who feel like I'll enjoy it when they point out they got a glass someplace cheaper or they've been to France or whatever; I just wish they'd stop. I don't care."
The lesson: Dude. Don't.
Where everybody knows your name
"Does it have to be a customer complaint? No? OK. I just … I really love Cheers, and I always wanted to work in a bar because I thought it meant we'd all get wrapped up in each other's lives and have zany adventures, but this has never happened. Everyone just goes home at the end of the night."
The lesson: Makin' your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
The flask of Amontillado
"I know you have a flask. We all know you have a flask. We don't care that you have the flask as long as you don't parade around like an asshole with it."
The lesson: It's the beating of the hideous heart!
I'm at work, man!
"Me and some other women bartenders I know just want the people out there who hit on bartenders to know that it really sucks. We're at work, we can't get away–we smile at everyone! Please just be polite and we will be, too."
The lesson: We're willing to bet it's mostly dudes who do this.
And since we always like to turn it over to the readers, we're curious if anyone out there is in foodservice and has messed up stories or complaints. We're here to listen!
-We all know the Santa Fe Farmers Market turned 50 recently, but what you might not know is that they've put together a photo exhibit in the pavilion spanning the last half-century of the market. Everyone (and we mean Gary Oldman levels of EV-ER-EEEEEEE-ONNNE-UH!) likes photos of places they know from the past lookin' all different and stuff. It's fun. Jeeze.
-We also know that we usually reserve this space for Santa Fe stuff, but are you aware of the upcoming Rail Yards Taco Tournament in Albuquerque? It's going down On Sunday Aug. 12, is just $5 and is literally a taco feast. Your'e welcome.
-Speaking of beer, we hear tell that Chili Line Brewing (the only local brewery to offer smoked beers, which is totally a thing) has a new brewer onboard by the name of Andrew Paulson who—get this—is also a trained opera singer. All we can say to that is faniculi fanicul-ooh-la-la. But furrel, though—congrats to all involved.
-In response to our befuddlement over meat candles last week, we've since been told that the Dr. Field Goods butcher has beef tallow candles. So, if you're looking for meat candles, there you go.
-Over at oola.com, discover the health benefits (and spitting contest deficits) of eating those watermelon seeds. Turns out they’re good for you or something.
-Do you know about yummly.com? It’s this website that looks kind of like Instagram except that when you click on the photos you get recipes instead of a million tedious hashtags like #food #goodfood #blessedfood #eating #foodpics #foodphotos #foodofinstagram #foodofig #goodblessedfoodandeatingandfoodpicsandphotosofinstagram. It’s solid.
-We’ve also been into the site Food Republic, where we recently re-learned that Japanese food is amazing and maybe even crucial. “But, The Fork,” you just said out loud to nobody, “fresh fish and grains and well-crafted food being amazing isn’t anything new!” And you’d be right, but shut up and click this link.
-Elsewhere, if you’re a fan of those recipe/food delivery services like Blue Apron, but have a snooty reputation to uphold (or are a real Mrs. Doubtfire in the kitchen—a topical joke, indeed), be aware of Impromptu Gourmet. It’s a food/recipe service and the photos are fancy.
-And lastly in around-the-internet news, if you have literally nothing else going on whatsoever and possibly hate yourself and are sinking down, down, deeper into the pits of last-ditch wasting time effort, check out this absolutely pointless quiz thing that Buzzfeed made about seven-layer dip and middle names. We’re more Kurt Vonnegut, Daffodil, lonesome no more kinda people when it comes to middle names, but whatevs. Anyway, someone spent time making this, and we know The Fork isn’t exactly groundbreaking journalism, but c’mon.
A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence
Number of Letters Receieved
Most Helpful Tip of the Week (not edited for content)
“I’ve tried the trucks. I’ve tried all the trucks.”
Actually Helpful Tip
That thing about the Taco Tournament.
This week in the regular edition of SFR get the goods on Tha Smoke Shack, a new-ish barbecue joint right at the corner of Cerrillos Road and St. Michael’s Drive. Just pop by sfreporter.com/food for more information and be super-psyched on the mounting number of BBQ options in our tiny town.
If you fall we will catch you tine after tine,
PS: We love you, Gary Oldman!