Saturday, August 21, 2010

Serve Me

I've been feeling distinctly under-served lately. This theme has been going on for several months and I'm struggling to think of any example lately where I've felt adequately tended. My biggest complaint is certainly with restaurants. I actually walked out of one on Tuesday when people who walked in after me were tended first -- despite my attempts to get the staff's attention.

That I live in a college town does mean that servers rotate quickly and probably are undertrained, but isn't something like eating out so ubiquitous at this point that most of us, even if we are only 20 and even if we aren't given much training, know what good service is? Of course, the ubiquity of eating out and purchasing services may have dulled our (societal) expectations. We just have our meal, maybe grumble a little that our water was never refilled or that the food took forever to come or that the bacon we asked for on a separate plate came in the pasta, and then move on, knowing that we'd be eating out again the next night or the night after that. Eating out is rarely the treat it was for my family when I was growing up, so I think we expect less.

Since my gig as a single parent has started, however, I'm finding that I crave a bit more out of my out-in-the-world experiences. My kids help with food planning, prep, and clean up only grudgingly. It is a chore to get them to do anything and, frankly, 95% of the work of a meal falls to me. I'm working to shift this dynamic a bit this summer, but for the time being, couldn't someone run and fetch for me? I'm happy to pay for the service. I'm just tired of feeling like I have to police the service.

And I could use a good long foot rub. But that is a whine for another day.

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