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When Servers Spit in Your Food


palo
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Disgusting topic, so forewarned and possibly suggesting an exit if squeamish.

Lots of rumours/fears abound regarding food being adulterated before being served to diners if staff feel offended. This does happen, not often, but often enough to raise the issue. Yes, this is a disgusting and illegal act.

The question is, would this bother you if you weren't aware of it?

I am assuming you have no health concerns that would be impacted by this event and the perpetrator had no health issues that would affect you.

If the above qualifiers are applied, is then is this any different/worse than the staff commenting to a colleague that the diner is an idiot?

You were not harmed physically nor psychologically.

p

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Disgusting topic, so forewarned and possibly suggesting an exit if squeamish.

Lots of rumours/fears abound regarding food being adulterated before being served to diners if staff feel offended. This does happen, not often, but often enough to raise the issue. Yes, this is a disgusting and illegal act.

The question is, would this bother you if you weren't aware of it?

I am assuming you have no health concerns that would be impacted by this event and the perpetrator had no health issues that would affect you.

If the above qualifiers are applied, is then is this any different/worse than the staff commenting to a colleague that the diner is an idiot?

You were not harmed physically nor psychologically.

p

How is it possible to be bothered by something one is not aware of?

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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How is it possible to be bothered by something one is not aware of?

Exactly. And I think the frequency of this sort of thing happening is being greatly overstated, even with the "not often" disclaimer. I've worked a fairly large number of years in restaurant kitchens and never seen this happen or even seen it suggested with any degree of seriousness.

 

 

I am assuming you have no health concerns that would be impacted by this event and the perpetrator had no health issues that would affect you.

If the above qualifiers are applied, is then is this any different/worse than the staff commenting to a colleague that the diner is an idiot?

You were not harmed physically nor psychologically.

 

Someone spitting in my food is nothing remotely similar to someone calling me an idiot. Whether or not there is potential for physical or psychological harm, even outside of your qualifiers, would greatly depend on one's definition of "harmed". I can tell you with full confidence that a person telling me at the end of my meal that they'd spit in my food would put that person at great risk of physical or psychological harm. But none of that matters in the context of your "What if you didn't know?" scenario. My not knowing renders it irrelevant... but still doesn't support your supposition that it's fine as long as nobody tells me.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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We hear and joke about this kind of thing, but when restaurant people chime in, they say it really doesn't happen and it's not something that they would ever allow-very serious offense.

 

Because they constantly watch anything and everything that every single employee does in the restaurant...right?

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/burger-king-employee-steps-in-lettuce-busted-4chan_n_1679793.html

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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"If a tree falls in a forest and no one there to hear it---------------------"

 

1. If a customer is so insulting to a serving staff to cause him/her to spit in his/her food, it would not be the first time he/she is eating spit. 

 

2. If a serving staff is so crazy to spit in a customer's food, he/she would be a regular recipient of unemployment benefits.

 

 

dcarch

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Outside of Waiting I've never known this to really happen. Maybe it does, but I'm more concerned with the staff that don't wash their hands after cleaning or going to the toliet, then touching my food. And I could care less what they call me as long as I have a better job and life than they do. Which I do.

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Because they constantly watch anything and everything that every single employee does in the restaurant...right?

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/burger-king-employee-steps-in-lettuce-busted-4chan_n_1679793.html

Nope, you can't watch an employee constantly and I wouldn't want to feel I needed to. Anybody who left me feeling I couldn't take my eyes off of them for a single moment wouldn't be around long. That doesn't eliminate the possibility of it happening but really knowing your staff eliminates a significant percentage of the worry. But all that aside, I've worked with everything from the highly dedicated to the "I'm just here for the paycheck" type and seen them at their best and worst and I've never seen anybody do anything improper to a customer's food or even suggest they might. I've heard the joking or exasperated "What a jerk, I should have (done whatever to) their food." after the fact when dealing with a particularly difficult customer. I've probably muttered something like that to myself at some point in my cooking career when it was super busy and somebody sent something back because they got a pickle that wasn't their favorite shade of green but I've never once considered it as an actual option or said something like that where anyone else could hear it. Maybe I'm fooling myself and I've eaten a lot of spit in my lifetime but I like to think that it really is a very rare occurrence if it happens.

 

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Nope, you can't watch an employee constantly and I wouldn't want to feel I needed to. Anybody who left me feeling I couldn't take my eyes off of them for a single moment wouldn't be around long. That doesn't eliminate the possibility of it happening but really knowing your staff eliminates a significant percentage of the worry. But all that aside, I've worked with everything from the highly dedicated to the "I'm just here for the paycheck" type and seen them at their best and worst and I've never seen anybody do anything improper to a customer's food or even suggest they might. I've heard the joking or exasperated "What a jerk, I should have (done whatever to) their food." after the fact when dealing with a particularly difficult customer. I've probably muttered something like that to myself at some point in my cooking career when it was super busy and somebody sent something back because they got a pickle that wasn't their favorite shade of green but I've never once considered it as an actual option or said something like that where anyone else could hear it. Maybe I'm fooling myself and I've eaten a lot of spit in my lifetime but I like to think that it really is a very rare occurrence if it happens.

 

 

 

Who knows for sure how rampant it is? Nobody!

 

One need not be a jerk to become a target...just being different or whatever invites the wrath of some.

 

And management shouldn't be considered immune to participating.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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This is such an odd topic to me. Are we really that paranoid? I don't treat staff poorly and it never crosses my mind that they are intentionally trying to screw with my food. I think some folks might need to go to trust building workshops.

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well then I revert to my old degrees and ask, what are folks bringing to the table that might have this in their past? Any kitchen person who asked me this would make me avoid their restaurant like the plague. Just saying, to me this not normal thought processes - it dances with clinical deviant behavior whether on the side of performing the deed or fretting about it.

 

EDITED TO ADD: Before this drifts OT let me put it this way - if its never happened to you the there's no need for you to think about it. If its happened to you once and you see no reason for it, then there's no need for you to think about it. If its happened to you repeatedly, you might want to look at what you might be doing that is leading to someone reacting in such an abnormal manner.

Edited by gfron1 (log)
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dcarch thanks for posting all of those YouTube links,

 

Unfortunately, I cannot watch them because I might never be able to enjoy a meal I didn't cook myself again.

 

BUT you are right, this stuff does happen!

 

http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2014/10/chef_at_budd_lake_restaurant_spit_into_patrons_food_police_say.html

 

http://www.dailyrecord.com/story/news/local/2014/10/21/cook-accused-spitting-food-kennedys-pub-fired/17682523/

 

http://www.dailyrecord.com/story/news/local/2015/02/19/ex-mount-olive-chef-indicted-spitting-food/23679805/

 

http://7online.com/food/nj-pub-cook-in-court-to-face-allegations-he-spit-in-patrons-food/359396/

 

I used to eat lunch with a work colleague. She was so picky, demanding and condescending that I could never get any service myself including drink refills or anything. I despised eating out with her, and always had to make up her scrimpy tip.

 

I'm the kind of person who sits back stuffing it all down, says nothing forever, and then one day, I just boil over and erupt. We severed before this happened, but it was coming to the surface in a hurry before that came about.

 

She was a definite candidate for this kind of mistreatment from wait staff, and or/cooks. I just hope I wasn't collateral damage. I'm still here and fairly healthy for my age.

 

I worked as wait staff in the late 70's in Bad Bob's Nightclub in Memphis. I made good money, but not a penny from management, all tips. It was quite illegal. They had live entertainment and drew a huge crowd into the two story structure. We had Willie Nelson and Jerry Lee Lewis as well as lesser local bands for entertainment, so the cash flowed.

 

There was food served, but I hated doing it. I definitely smelled marijauna in the kitchen one night when I went to pick up an order of ribs when Willie Nelson was there. Weird, but true, because he had a small dressing room under the stairs to the second floor?

 

The food platters were very heavy compared to the light and more profitable mixed drinks. I hated draft beer too. Heavy and not as lucrative.

 

I had some very bad customers. I was the crazy waitress who followed a customer out to the parking lot screaming after no tip (pay, remember management pays 0) at all after the sot sat there using my services for free and drinking for six hours.

 

But I cannot conceive of a customer/thief that I would spit into their food or drink.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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My opinion? I mean, I guess it happens, but honestly - my entire career I've never done it, nor seen it happen, so I wouldn't be too worried about it. I think posting a few videos from youtube about it is the equivalent of telling someone that if they step outside they'll have to worry about getting hit by lightning, then showing a few videos off of youtube about it - sure, it's happened, but chances?

 

Also, it just seems to me that in most cases it's fast food places that seems to be doing this - I think a lot of us around here are more professional kitchen oriented? I think for those of us who consider this a career, or who take things seriously, would never actually do it, despite whatever joking around there may be. Bored Mcpatty flipper? Who knows?

 

I really wouldn't worry about it, and unless you eat all the time at burger king or a subway, most probably shouldn't either. 

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