Hi, my name is ____, and I’ll be helping you guys out this evening….

DEAR ABBY: My fiance insists upon asking our server’s name if it is not offered when she approaches our table. I am insulted that he even cares. Personally, I do not want him asking for another woman’s name in my presence. I find it rude.

He, on the other hand, thinks it’s rude if the server does not introduce herself. Who is right? — NAMELESS IN GRAND PRAIRIE, TEXAS

I’ve heard of people (mostly older folks) who object to the overly friendly server rapport you get in some restaurants. They’d like the server to be professional and efficient, focusing on doing his or her job well, not on being the best bud of the customers at every table.

But I’ve never heard of someone declare, “I do not want him asking for another woman’s name in my presence. I find it rude.” Whaaaaaaa? What if the server is a man? Or a teenager?

DEAR NAMELESS: In most of the better dining establishments it is a matter of policy that the server introduce him- or herself when a party is seated. If that doesn’t happen, then it is perfectly acceptable — and, indeed, advisable — for the guest to ask the server’s name. Doing so ensures that if something is needed at the table, the diner does not have to say “Hey, you” to get the server’s attention.

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3 responses to “Hi, my name is ____, and I’ll be helping you guys out this evening….

  1. 1.) People really expose their insecurities when they take the time to WRITE a letter about "issues" like this. ("I find it rude!")2.) It can be helpful (although, never necessary…) to know the server's name, as Abby points out, in case you need to track him/her down later on. Some people have much worse quirks, like teasing/belittling the waitress. Which would be a real problem.

  2. Yeah, I agree it's helpful to know the server's name. But I also don't really like when they say "I'll be helping you out" or "taking care of you." It's like they're trying to soften or disguise the fact that we are paying them to bring us food on trays, when I don't think there's anything wrong with the fact that we're paying them to bring us food on trays. You're not "helping" us…you're being paid to provide a service. Which makes you a server. I don't know…warmth and friendliness is nice, but I'm fine with competent professionalism.I know the servers are told what to say by their respective restaurants and don't have much choice…but like…I'm not looking for a new friend. I'm looking for dinner.That being said, it is easier to be respectful to the server and quiet and polite in the restaurant if you do know the server's name.

  3. Interesting… I guess I've never thought of it that way (as far as the "helping" vs. serving distinction). This will probably bother me the next time we go out to eat.I do agree that servers who try too hard to be your friend can be obnoxious. I think Adam would disagree, but he's more of a fan of chit-chat-banter than I am. "Whatcha guys want?" is too casual for me. I guess a really good server would need to read the people at the table to see what level of interaction they're comfortable with, which clearly would be difficult for Adam and I, since we're apparently on different wavelengths when it comes to this.

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