1-30-11

Treatment

My film, which is yet untitled, will look take a look at customer service. My persuasion about the world, is that common courtesy in customer service does not exist anymore.  Just because customers do not work in a certain business, they assume that they know everything there is to know about the service they should get….when they don’t. But, like we all know, they are the customer, they are always right. There are way too many times that customers in a restaurant do not think before they speak. My statement that will emerge from this film will teach people a little bit more about the human personality and how just a little bit of kindness can really go a long way. The servers want the customers to learn how to be more polite and respectful. As the the writer of this film, I want the viewers/customers to step outside of their dining experience, almost step outside of themselves as a customer and understand what it is the servers are trying to get at and explain. Going out to eat and being polite is fairly easy to do, without really even thinking about it. For some people it is fairly easy to go out to eat and be rude without thinking about it. Ultimately, I want the audience to feel an understanding about how they, as customers might act when they are going out to eat. I also want the audience to come out of this short fictional documentary knowing you can’t just walk into a restaurant and expect to get whatever you want. I want people to believe that if we could all just try, I mean really try, to be a little bit nicer to one another when we are out and about, a restaurant experience will be guaranteed enjoyable every time.  This goes for the server as well. So next time you are out to eat and your food isn’t cooked the way you ordered, or it doesn’t taste the way you thought it should, or even if the kitchen took too long to make it, instead of getting mad at the person waiting on you, realize that everything is not the server’s fault. Until you have worked in the restaurant business you will never be able to grasp the degree of difficulty.

There are a ton of servers all over the world who are making minimum wage or slightly above and still are expected to put up with all the crap that is hurled at them daily by customers who feels they owe them the world just because they graced that business with their presence. I never really thought that people could be so high strung and stuck up until I worked in the restaurant business. My film will explore all of these actions by recreating situations that have happened in the restaurant business as a server and viewers will have the chance to watch them play out. Not only will viewers be able to witness this from a customer stand point, (because they have all been there), but my hope is to help them be able to witness it from a server stand point as well. I will begin with a group of servers sitting down to eat after a long night of work. We will listen to the conversations that they have and the stories that they tell, not only about those annoying customers, but also about each other. I want to focus on the customers that come in to eat and are extremely rude, as well as the customers who come in and ask the most ridiculous questions with the most obvious answers. These situations will be reenacted as the server is telling the story. Within the reenactments, there will be interviews set up in a documentary style to be able to get first hand reactions from the servers after they leave their tables. There may also be some narration from the story teller as the reenactment is playing out. The main conflict is between the restaurant server and the customer, as well as the ability of both to cope with the struggle of customer service expectations. The servers can easily get off work at night and complain about those annoying customers and vent their frustrations in hopes that someday their ignorance will change. However, while it is not okay for customers to come in and pass judgements about the restaurant, we will hear at the table, that servers do it to their co-workers without even knowing it.

The environment of my film is going to be set in a restaurant. The atmosphere will be a little high energy after a group of servers get off work after a long night of serving. The subject is going to be focusing on the way some customers act at tables and how it can affect the attitude of the waiter who is serving them. Some of the characters/servers may portray the attitude that they can do no wrong when serving and all of these complaints and annoyances arise strictly customer fault. The necessary background information that the audience will have to understand is simply the basic experience of going out to eat. It is important to be able to relate to being out at a restaurant and being put through the whole dining experience. I want my viewers to be able to immerse themselves into the story as if they were the customers at the tables being shown in my documentary.

Once the servers all sit down, small talk begins about the situation that happened with Jack at his table tonight. It was the talk of the restaurant ever since it happened and everyone is dying to really know what happened. This event motivates the servers to think back to their own experiences that they have had with tables, and those certain ones that always stick out above the rest. As one person starts out with their story, their voice fades into the reenactment of the situation taking place and we are now with the server and the customer at the table. After the even occurs, we see the server go to the computer to ring in the tables order and talk with the other servers that are standing there. Back at these computers is where the interviews will be conducted. Here we will see the servers reactions after the experience they just had, and what they really wish they could have said to the table. These interviews will be conducted very loosely and the dialogue will feel very unscripted. The main elements that my interviews will seek to establish is to capture the customer service interaction with customers during a dining experience and to see and feel the servers emotions first hand. I am talking not only about their emotions at the table, but also their real emotions after they walk away from the table and find another server to vent to about it. I also want to establish the boundaries between server and customer and help the viewers to understand things from the restaurant point of view. I am looking to draw my inspiration from television shows such as, “The Office”, and “Party Down”. After the interviews have been conducted, the reenactment will somehow end and we will be brought back to the relaxed atmosphere of the servers sitting around the table eating. After roughly 3 or 4 different stories, we notice that there has been an empty chair at the table all along that no one is sitting at. After some whispers here and there, Jack comes back into the restaurant and sits down at the table to join his co-workers, or ex co-workers for that matter. As he sits down, the four other people at the table are wanting to ask so many questions but are nervous and unsure about what exactly to say, and how to say it. Soon Jack begins to divulge the details about what happened earlier that night. This is where the viewers will finally see one force meet with the other. We see the confrontation of customer against server when Jack gets into it with a table and quits. This confrontation will be the extreme of two opposing views colliding and this could cause viewers to completely believe it or use their suspension of disbelief, and realize that they never want this to happen to them with a table. It would make them think hard about their actions and demeanor when interacting with a restaurant server. As the servers are listening to his story, the host, Bill will get up and go to the bathroom. While he is gone, someone tells a story about Bill that ends up making fun of him. This is where we get our hint that servers are treating their co-workers they way they are complaining about servers treating them. Servers are not perfect either and if we want customers to be more courteous, than so should we. The film will end with the servers getting up and leaving the table telling everyone they will see them tomorrow.

I want to take a look at the experience of going out to eat from a server’s point of view, rather than the customer. I want to change some of their views on how they believe a restaurant operates and to instill feelings of practicing common courtesy. In life I believe that everyone should work in some sort of customer service industry at least one time in their lives. I have worked in the restaurant business for 7 years and have learned so much about people and their ignorance when going out to eat. I truly believe that once you have worked in the restaurant business, or even hear about it on a consistent basis from someone who does, it will help people gain perspective instead of always judging the server and the restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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