To date my overall impression of people in new york has been quite grim. The people I deal with directly (at work and friends of friends etc) have been wonderful and friendly and kind etc... But the people I deal with on a casual basis (waiters, hostesses, people on the subway) have been rude and horrible and mean. Saturday I met two exceptions.
The first one was a girl in the TD Bank. I went in to inquire about getting an account in order to transfer my credit history. The line up was long with no end in sight. The woman coordinating those waiting offered to help me herself since the people meant to be helping all seemed to be taking a break at the exact same time. When she didn't have an answer about the credit history- she actually called the credit office herself to make the inquiry on my behalf. This might seem like normal customer service, but rest assured that in nyc, this was way above and beyond the call of duty. In my experience the person would either not help or b) say "oh we don't do that" (no matter what the request is- generally the response is- oh we can't/won't/don't care to help you).
The second incident of kindness was at Schiller's restaurant in the West Village. I was meeting a good friend of mine there- who was in from out of town (TO) and some of her friends.
The place was loud, crazy and super busy (but fun) - and as a result our waitress was 'abrupt'. I ordered a wine for me and another friend who was on her way (in order to make it look like she was already there- another thing in ny is they won't sit you until your entire party is present) and she brought out a half carafe. As we neared the end of dinner she brought out another half carafe, filled my glass and threw it on the table -leaving the bill and not saying anything.
I though this odd, as I had not ordered anymore wine and in fact my friend wasn't even drinking the wine- and I didn't know if I NEEDED another 3 glasses to myself (it turns out I really did).
I thought this was just another example of new york presumption and a waitress's efforts to get a bigger bill... and therefore a bigger tip. So I called her back and said "I don't think I ordered this wine and I don't know if it's the same as before and I'm not sure I want it" (I'd already drank half of it btw). She said "It's the same and you're drinking it... but I didn't charge you for it."
Sure enough, upon inspection of the bill, there was clearly no charge for this extra half bottle.
I felt like a jerk. But I wasn't expecting something so nice, generous and thoughtful. And yes she did get a good tip. And I got a good lesson. (just kidding- I really only got a good hangover)
Net net- Maybe I've given ny a harsh judgement. Maybe I need to relax and give ny another chance. Maybe ny is not so mean, rude and horrible afterall.