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A modest proposal about St. Patrick’s Day

There’s been a lot of talk in the press about St. Patrick’s Day. Some people are mad about having the parade on the 14th instead of the 17th. Some people are perennially upset about the rowdyism associated with the parade. It should be a family festival—right?

Some people want to charge for permits to see the parade. In years past there have been regulations about legal sizes of containers, the time for “last call” and other particulars, but he scofflaws seem determined to ignore every decent decision!

My contention is that deep down Savannah hates St. Patrick’s Day. Or at least dislikes it enough to be continuously trying to change it. So, why not just call it off?

This year the parade committee decided to dump on the New York City Fire Department--an apt scapegoat. I wonder if it’s too late to get an item on the upcoming Super Tuesday ballot?

Both Democrats and Republicans could decide who is more popular in Savannah, the parade committee or the NYC Firemen. The results of such an election might prove to be both enlightening and entertaining.

This hullabaloo is reminiscent of the fight between the committee and the Shriners a few years ago. The committee wanted to streamline the parade by restricting the number of Shriner participants. The Shriners decided it was all or nothing then proceeded to send units to every parade in America but Savannah’s. A year or two later the committee reversed their decision.

Yep. The only recourse I can see is just don’t have the parade. Feelings are always going to be hurt, morals will be compromised by excessive alcohol consumption, people will go blind at the sight of nubile young flashers and of course the jails will be filled will public urinaters. The fact that not a single car will be burned or a store looted will go unnoticed and unappreciated.

Shelving the parade won’t be any great loss. It’s not really a parade in any sophisticated sense of the word. Anyone who has ever been to Mardi Gras, or watched the Rose Bowl or Macy’s Thanksgiving parades on TV will attest to that.

So—let’s say goodbye to all the headaches and inconvenience. Only then will brotherhood and civility be revived in Savannah.

Jake Zobrell

Think of the servers!


I am taking the time out of my work day to write this letter to all of the restaurants and bars in Savannah. It is my hope that they will share this with their wait/bar staff in an effort to improve customer service.

I have lived in different parts of the country, but I have to say overall Savannah has most places beat for mediocre to poor service when dining or drinking out. I will not embarrass the places I have had problems with by mentioning their names, but I will mention the places that I have had exceptional service at.

I am sad to report that my experience has been that most of the fast food places on Abercorn have friendlier, more genuine employees that some of the full service places. Particularly Arby’s, KFC, and the best service I have received in the city is at Chick-fil-a. The employees at Chick-fil-a are always smiling when I have given them my business, and the energy in that location makes me want to stay a while.

The mostly younger crowd working at the KFC on Abercorn also smile and joke around with the customers.

At Arby’s the employees are focused on making the orders right the first time, something that is not easy to do with their complicated menu.

Lastly, the Olive Garden on Abercorn has a friendly staff, who are fast on their feet and courteous with large groups. I have visiting the “OG” several times with large groups from work, and the service was perfect.

Since the point of this letter is to educate managers and their staff about poor service, I am including some examples of what I have experienced here in Savannah. One location I became accustomed to visiting, which I will call the Bar, has a great happy hour special, 2 for 1 drinks. The food is incredible, some of the best I have had in town.

On one occasion I overheard the servers gossiping with the bartender about who was trashed the night before, who would not make it into work, and which manager was a jerk. I am leaving some of the conversation out. Needless to say, classy place, but trashy staff.

I had an encounter with another server at the same location who basically lied to me about something and the manager believed the employee. Now I am not about to say managers should not back up their staff, but not in front of the customer.

My favorite experience at this location was when the bartender was so annoyed with working right up until 10pm that she rolled her eyes when I ordered and huffed at the customers’ request sitting next to me. Four experiences in a 30 day period was enough for me. I have not been back there since.

One more example is of a similar place, good happy hour, but food that is ok. This location I will call Bar 2. Bar 2 has one great bartender. He is genuine, on top of the orders, and keeps up with the volume in this busy location.

This sounds sexist, but only because the rest of the staff behind the bar are women, but all of the women working at the bar are fake, slow, and cannot complete special orders. If I wanted a bartender to come on to me in the most fake way possible and call me “hon” “sugar” or “baby” I would go to such a place.

I am all about equality in the work place, but if they need help they need to ask, or not be scheduled during peak times. At this location I once asked for a little more of a food item which was skimped on, and I was told the manager said that people leave a lot of the food on their plates. He did not even have the courtesy to come out to the bar and tell me that himself, he sent one of the bar staff members.

One last thing, I eat fast food, and casual dining mostly. I am sure downtown there are plenty of examples of primo dining experiences. I do not currently have the income to go down their all of the time. I anticipate sharing those experiences in the future.

For now I will say Vinnie Van Go-Go’s is great for a casual, fun place to meet up with friends. The pizza tastes really fresh too.

To all of the hard working servers, dishwashers, hosts, managers, cooks, chefs, and bussers...I raise a glass to you. Have a healthy, happy day at work, and thanks for your hard work.

To those of you in need of some training, guidance or help, ask the guy or girl getting the 30-40 percent tips what they do and they will tell you to be honest, sincere, and genuine.

Harvie Dent