It’s impossible to not learn the word “FuWuYuan” (服务员, waiter/waitress) when you are in China. Yelling for “fuwuyuan” may not be common anywhere else but in China, it is almost like the only way to get their attention. When I first arrived in Beijing, I was still trying to deal with this culture shock as I am too shy (yes I can actually be shy! haha) to call out to them like others – so obviously I am always being ignored in a restaurant with my hand raising up while the next table finishes their meal (ok, that’s exaggerated of course). I feel so bad yelling at them but as time goes by, and after being ignored every single time like an abandoned child, I figured that’s the only way to get them to serve my table because they have grown accustomed to that.
With me camping in cafes to finish up my thesis, I started to feel for the poor fuwuyuan(s) who are always receiving the brunt of the customers’ wrath. ”Fuwuyuan! Where is my table?”, ”Fuwuyuan! Where is my beer?”, ”Fuwuyuan! I want my food now!” and the demands go on and on. Sometimes the customers are just really unreasonable and I even feel like they are taking it out on the poor fuwuyuans after a bad day at work. I have no idea how they suck it up and live with such foul attitude. If you’re unhappy about the service at a place, just leave. There’s no need to scream your lungs off at the poor fella and spoil the atmosphere for other diners too.
Yes, there are times where fuwuyuan(s) have terrible serivce or deliberately taking their own sweet time. But so far I have made friends with most of the fuwuyuan(s) at the regular places I visit and I have no troubles with their service at all. In fact, we became friends as they are usually youngsters who are curious about foreigners. It’s not their fault that they are stuck with this job, everyone has their own interesting stories and I don’t think being fuwuyuan means that they are any “lower” than some of the “so called educated people” out there.
It puzzles me a lot to see how these chinese, or sometimes the expats, treat these fuwuyuan(s). Think about it, the worse you are to the people serving you, the more likely for you to end up with some extra unknown ingredients in your food. So why take the risk?! Hur.