August 13, 2012
I wish it were 1986....
Okay so this is what I don't understand. How is it better to have to think when you go out to eat, to press buttons, and make decisions, to stare yet again at a computer screen, instead of the joy of being served, of talking with, a real live smiling person? Isn't the fun of eating out the chance to be pampered? For someone to appear to care what you want to eat? Don't we press enough buttons, look at enough screens, all day long? I guess not. I feel old fashioned.
It's like going to the grocery store and ringing up (is that term even used anymore) your own purchases, weighing the apples, searching for bar codes, bagging all the stuff. How is that progress? Have they lowered the food prices because you are not requiring the help of a cashier? No! I always go to the cashier and enjoy standing there watching him or her work.
I had to laugh, as I'm sure anyone who has worked as a server, at the Presto Tablet press release which said that people will be so satisfied with control over their ordering they will even leave the server a bigger tip. The person who wrote this is clueless. Why would you leave a bigger trip when the computer, with your help, has done most the work? All the server does is drop your food at the table and then clean it when you leave. If people do leave a bigger tips, then they are clueless, too.
Sometimes I just wish it was 1986 again.
When I was growing up, we had a knife sharpener who would push his little cart down the street. The bells on his cart alerted housewives to take off their aprons and put down the baby to come to the street with their knives. Chatting with the knife man as he sharpened a favorite chopping knife, and talking with the other housewives waiting for their turn, must have been a beautiful way to stay connected. Here in Phoenix, in the land of tile roofs and brick walls, about all you get is a quick wave. I sighted my neighbor yesterday for the first time in six months. We chatted for two seconds. I was thrilled to know he still existed. He lost weight. Or maybe that wasn't my neighbor.
No matter what happens I hope this is one restaurant position that has remained unchanged, the handsome bartender job. What a loss if he is replaced by The Presto Tablet! If that happens, I truly will toss in my apron. But I'm not sure I can give up my answering machine.