Saturday, January 27, 2007

Being a regular .. or too much of a regular ?

I like going out, trying new places, having hot steamy drinks and chocolate rich cookies in winter time. And sometimes, when I get so comfortable with a place, I rank it as a favorite, and I become a regular customer there . It feels good to be a regular at some place, because you make sure that, the staff will welcome you, take care of you , finds you a table , and pamper you with their service , and it also feels good to feel familiar with the place and the other regular customers around . But, when does regular get to be too much?

This evening, I was out with a good friend of mine. It's been a while sine we met, just the two of us, and exchanged latest news on all levels. I just love my meetings with her, because no matter how long it was since our last meeting, no ice ever builds up, and we easily go into conversation. So, today we hit one of our favorite coffee bars, asked for our coffees, and then had a seat and started chatting.

The staff has been joyful and helpful , and we usually smile back , and act nice , yet , the idea of joking and exchanging conversation does not appeal to me very much , I like to keep things semi-formal ,not too stiff , and not too friendly, just friendly and nice but in a formal way.

Anyway, so we decided to change our table into another more comfy table that others were occupying and just left, so we moved and waited for someone to come and pick up the latter group mugs, but no one came, I guess because no one noticed the table exchange. So I thought, I'd go and ask someone to come and pick them up (it's not very pleasant to be sitting with others leftovers, even if it was coffee mugs!). So I went and asked for some of the staff's help, and there were they all standing, grinning, and trying to be "overly cute" joking with me saying "Why don't you pick it up?" . At that moment, I was not sure how should I react, to frown or smile yellowish-ly , but I was not very comfortable with that remark . I simply turned on my heels and headed back to my table with no more words. After a minute, one of the staff came to our table to pick up the mugs, apologizing and saying they were just kidding, and they always joke with their regular customers. I couldn't help it to let him know that this kind of joking was neither pleasant nor funny. He apologized again, and after a short while , we were sent complimentary coffee ,on the house.

That coffee bar is still one of my favorites, for many reasons, regardless this tiny situation. But, was I right in showing my annoyance? Is it okay when people of the staff cut that line and start acting like old friends? Well, the only thing I know, their apology gesture was kind, I would still go there, but maybe I should shift towards more formal way in conversing!

15 comments:

nido said...

OMG! If I were you, I'd never step back into their place! ever!! you might find this a stupid reaction, but the way you narrated the scene made me put myself in your shoes, and I got maaaad! I think you're wiser and calmer than me, hence you reacted the way you did:)

el tapatio said...

I understand that you were to be served and the staff, no matter how nice you're to them, should have kept the customer-supplier relation in sight. however, if it was only a couple of coffee mugs, was it worth getting up and walking to those baristas and asking them to remove them when you could have gotten them off of your table into the other table you had just vacated? I do not think that it was worth getting upset . also, I do not know if you have worked in cafes/restarants before, but table hoppers are frowned upon.

please no punches

(Tealover) said...

Well Nido :) I thought about that for a moment , but the thing is , I knew that they did not act this way out of disrespect , they acted that way because they thought its ok , since I am one of their regulars .. but I made my point clear , and no harm caused.. I hope !
El tapatio , if they were my mugs , I wont mind moving them . however, they were not. besides , its their job, whom the staff do pleasantly . as for table hoppers , I'd agree with you on that , if the place was crowded . but when the place has a number of empty tables , no one will frown for the hopping action :D ..
Thanks for coming by !

Tamara said...

Danah

Well I usually inform the staff that I will be moving from my table to another one, so A) I don't anger them, B) they clean up before we move.

On the other hand I agree with you, I hate it when people get from my friendliness with them that I want to best friends with them, in my opinion they got out of line with the joke! I would keep it at showing them that I don't appreciate the joking and keep my friendly attitude.

Sorry for the long comment!

Ala'a Ibrahim said...

Well, I see nobody had acted in an inappropriate way.
Some people like to feel that the staff knows them well, or that they are friends to them, so the staff should try to take some step like this with regular customers, and you just made a point that you are not one of those people.
This would happen to you like almost everywhere, so know that you have made your point, and the understood it, i don't see why you should change the place, given that you like it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Danah,
i'm a new comer for the blogging system & I didnt remember how I reach here,whatever I find it very intersting thing,
1st thing,I think U forget that U R in Jordan!!! wherver U go from star to 5 stars to super star place U'll find like these guys,
-for couple of seconds- they forget the prestige of the place that they work in & return back to their orgins & shows his stupid behaviours!!!! I faced alot,
the 2nd thing, I think that Vergos are too sensetive & take things in serious way & expect the perfection action from the others, hope I'm right in this point,
good luck
Anas Q.

(Tealover) said...

Tamara
I usually do that too , however , when is not a cafe nor a restaurant ,only a simple coffee bar- similar to "Starbucks" concept- add to that have several empty tables .. people change where they sit all the time !
Well , I am a friendly person by nature , I'll keep my friendly attitude , and I think I made my point clear to them by showing them I was annoyed .
:) your comments are always welcomed , no matter how long or short .

Ala'a
I am not changing that place :) , I enjoy it , I like its atmosphere , and as you said, I made my point clear , and they were kind to serve a complimentary order to make sure their customer is not upset , and I do appreciate that .. so as far as I am concerned , I'll still go there and I'll act friendly according to my own definition .

Anas Q
Welcome to my spot ,, I don't really see it this way and it has nothing to do with being in "Jordan" .. its simply that , sometimes , some people think that they can be your "best friends" simply because you act friendly , not only in restaurants , but in different places , even at work!.. and acting friendly and polite does not mean to cross certain limits.

as for the 2nd part of your comment , Virgo's might have these aspects and they always seek perfection :) .. however , I can't see this apply to that situation.

Sharifo said...

nasee7a..always keep it formal..exept places where they serve shisha...it's good to have friends there << BEZAB6OOK >>
hehehehehehehe!!

a7la Masa :)

(Tealover) said...

:) lol ya Sharifo .. elossa o ma feeha inni mesh men zawi elsheesheh .. ma bat3ata-ha .. bs behemni lama arou7 ma7al ba7ebo ala2i 6awleh eli o lali ma3i .. so bekol ela7wal a7san she elwa7ad ykoon mo2addab o friendly be nafs elwa2et bs ma yzeedha .. aw 3ala el2a2al ana ka benet bafaddel heak ..

Tamara said...

So Danah when will post again ? we miss your posts : )

Summer said...

Wainek ya Danah??

(Tealover) said...

Tamara :) & Summer:) I miss you too wallahe , God.. I feel guilt now .. big deal of it . not blogging for a while feels like stop committing to something that you enjoy and hate to loose !I will be back soon inshallah , thank you both for your lovely words ..

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