Reflecting on this absurdly annoying Stan Fish article

Breaking my long posting silence to write about an NYT article that has annoyed me so many reasons that I think I could create an entire blog centered around why I dislike it.

Just to start off with, large portions of the comment section to this article is devoted to people bitching about their waiters.

What is with this weird hostility and tension between customers and service staff. I mean, hasn’t America evolved to the point where everybody is someone else’s service staff? Like, sure someone is your waiter, but you’re someone else’s lawyer. We all have clients and we all are someone’s client. Like, in this one particular moment I might be paying you money for something…but in a little while, someone will be paying me money for something.

And I don’t really see that there’s any major necessity for either of us to be servile / condescending / or unnatural towards each other. Like, there’s no particular reason for me to be nice to you, or for me to demand that you be nice to me. I’m sure that I’m unconscionably rude to service staff all the time. People are rude to me as well. And sure, whatever, that sucks…but you know. I’m sure some of you have heard me complaining about it at some point. But I don’t think it’s _wrong_ for people to be rude to me.

Because you know what? I’ve always gotten my hamburger, and I’ve always paid for it. And as long as that happens, who cares about the little verbal signifiers we use to try to place each other into a pecking order based on who, temporarily, is holding the money.

Comments (



  1. Liz

    You should probably read this brilliant article from The Awl:

    The author renames Fish’s article, appropriately: “100 Fucking Things You’d Better Not Be Doing If You Want To Work At My Restaurant.”

    A choice excerpt:
    “To me hearing ‘no problem’ from a server means that I am most likely dining at a fine family-style chain restaurant within a half mile radius of a state school, and will likely hear the inhabitants of my table addressed as ‘guys,’ regardless of our gender(s), on multiple occasions following that. Will I be offended? No. Not for long, at least. Why? Because I am there to eat the living fuck out of some fajitas, not to lay the groundwork for my linguistics dissertation.”

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