By Marie Beachdale
Sunday, May 6, 2012, Surfside Beach - With the boom in social networking, it seems like everyone in the universe has a Facebook page, but what’s a server to do when customers they hardly know send them friend requests?
In the last couple months, I’ve been having major customer Facebook problems. For example, I recently accepted a friend request from someone who I thought was a friend of a friend. He looked familiar, and I assumed I met him while my friend and I were out.
A few days later, the same guy came into the restaurant.
“Thanks for accepting my friend request! I didn’t think I would find you, I just got your name off of the receipt, I’m glad you didn’t think it was too creepy,” he said, sounding almost proud of his detective work. “I see we have a lot of the same interests! We should catch a show at the House of Blues sometime.”
“Oh! That was you,” I said, taken back by this information. “Yeah, well, I hardly update that thing,” was all I said in response, hoping he didn’t see my “Ugh, work” status update from that morning. As soon as he left, I removed him from my friend’s list, and then realized only my first name and last initial is printed on customer receipts. I don’t list the restaurant where I work under my employment info on Facebook...
So, how in the world did this guy find me?
My question was answered when a middle-age couple who are regulars came in to eat one night. The woman called me over to their table with a look on her face that could only mean she was about to ask me something totally off the wall.
“So I know this is random,” she started, “but we ‘liked’ the restaurant’s Facebook page and found you through that. Would you mind if we had our son friend request you? You two might hit it off.”
Holy. Crap. I had totally forgotten that a former manager had made a Facebook page for the restaurant a couple of years ago and, in an attempt to start discussion about the restaurant, I had posted all over it.
“Um, sure, but I don’t really check it,” I lied again. Later that night, I denied a friend request from a random guy who I could only assume was the couple’s son.
A few years ago, guys would slip me their numbers when they were done eating. Now, they’re telling me to keep an eye out for their friend request. How is this appropriate?
I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again-- just because I’m paid to be nice to you and doesn’t mean I want to be your friend, give you my number, or give you access to tons of personal information and questionable photos on Facebook!
Does this happen everywhere, or is it just a server thing? I know I’m not the only waitress with Facebook problems. A server friend of mine is also dealing with a married couple who are regulars in her restaurant, and constantly try to get in touch with her on Facebook after she has repeatedly denied their requests.
I’m pretty sure if I worked in a different job where my livelihood wasn’t dependent upon how much I can pretend to be your long lost BFF, I wouldn’t have strangers requesting access to all of my “private” information.
Before Facebook was an internet sensation like it is now, I accepted a request from a lady who came in to eat by herself for lunch. She was from out of town, but told me she wanted to keep up with goings on at the beach, so asked to find me on Facebook. This happened during the first month that I was a server, five years ago.
To this day, I constantly receive messages from this woman. She tells me how much she misses the food at my restaurant, and that she browsed my mom’s Facebook and that I look just like her. Maybe I should be freaked out by this, but I just don’t have the heart to unfriend her.
I guess what I’m getting at is, am I really supposed to exchange messages and information with every person I serve who asks “Are you on Facebook?”
I think not.
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