Greg's Unfair and Cynical Description of Pensacola Residents (or at least the ones you notice)

  • The Pensacola "Service" Employee: Restaurant/Bar Hosts and Hostesses, Store Clerks, etc.--Though the following generalizations have been my experience in any number of Pensacola establishments, I would like to say that NONE of these gripes have ever been true (at least for me) at McGuire's Irish Pub, The New Yorker Deli, Flounders, or Madison's. They're always nice, helpful, and apparently sincere. Any other place in Greg's Guide has been guilty of the following for different numbers of times and in different degrees.
    • Young, inexperienced, and in a different world
      • Restaurants: Typically, this is a given when the waitress has a name that ends in an "i" where you might expect a "y", and her first comment is "I'm new at this, so you'll have to be patient. Like, okay?". Likewise, for male employees, they are typically beady-eyed, possibly with facial piercings (sometimes including the gums), and appear too grungy to be allowed in the food preparation area (hence their appearance in the serving section); their opening words are usually "Do you need a menu?".  Expect orders to be incorrect, the waitperson to be absent from the area only when actually delivering the incorrect order, and any special requests (i.e. for hot sauce, other condiments, silverware, fumigation) to be forgotten at least twice (even after you remind them). They will always be bewildered at your paltry tip, and should you ever return and they are miraculously still there, the service will deteriorate.
      • Bartenders: Same as above, but with more possibilities. Order a mixed drink that requires more than one liquor and mixer and they might say "This is my first one, so if you don't like it, it's free." It's a gamble, but not improbable. You should, of course, say something like "Well, it's close, but a little too much arugula." They are usually never to be found at your end of the bar when needed.
      • Store clerks: Marked by a complete ignorance of any price that doesn't show up on the display when the item is scanned (should they use UPC scanners), they are often to your benefit, since they usually have an incredible line waiting impatiently and no other employee wants to get near them. Typical question: "Do you remember how much this Samuel Adams was?", which should be answered with "$1.99. It's on special." Usually not very personable, but if one should somehow slip up and make small talk, it's usually punctuated with other questions. E.g., in a grocery store, expect them to be ignorant of the identity of any fruit or vegetable other than iceberg lettuce, apples, and possibly broccoli (though they may confuse this with cauliflower). Again, ignorance of identity can often work in your favor. When asked of an expensive and out-of-season mango "what is this?", the correct reply is "Joe Smith apple. Same price as the red delicious." If they don't know what the hell a mango is, they certainly don't know a Joe Smith apple is something you made up. In book and music stores, rest assured that this type of employee will have no idea WHAT you're asking for, even if there is a display of the item just over your shoulder and easily in their view. However, if you should find a book/music store with a mango aisle, by all means try the subterfuges above.
    • Young, surly, and doing you a favor by just being there--a common Pensacola employee type
      • With some experience, all of the groups above become this group with few exceptions. There are still some helpful, polite, and personable employees around, even here in Pensacola. But, if you're like me, these are the ones that you'll remember and bemoan as being indicative of the norm. These can also exhibit any of the signs listed earlier, even if the employee has been in that job for years. Usually, though, the inexperience metamorphoses into insolence and disdain of customers. Some warning signs are (1) a heavy sigh after any request for assistance; (2) visible and audible signals that their phone call is the TRUE reason the establishment pays them; and (3) conversation (at least with you) consisting only of a spoken price and a return to the phone call after giving you change or credit card receipt (neither of which you have any reason to trust once you identify this type). More subtle indications are rolled eyes when you enter their area of responsibility, no response at all to any conversational offering you might offer (even if you say "Your arm is on fire"), and direct eye contact with the salesperson when you are standing at the register and they STILL continue whatever they were doing before the eye contact.
    • Young and just really dumb, but talkative
      • Absent the surly and inexperienced traits above, these are the employees who screw up every step of your transaction, but usually try to be personable and/or nice, and often talk even more than you would like. They deserve pity, large tips, and a response. These are the few who, when asked for help, usually respond with "I'm not sure" but do their damnedest to help.
      • Actually, these are rare and are to be cherished.
    • Young and just really intelligent and talkative
      • They usually work at whatever establishment you DIDN'T go in for your particular need. You know they're there.