In the fun book "Concierge Confidential," superstar Manhattan concierge Michael Fazio explains how to pry what you want out of the service world.
In the process, he provides some intriguing insight into the inner human brat that service people often face. For that, you'll have to buy the book. But here are a handful of his tips for navigating this rusty old world in more princely fashion:
*No reservation at the restaurant? No problem. Check in with the host, be engaging (not smarmy) and acknowledge that you're an idiot. Say, "Look, I know I'm a loser. I didn't make a reservation. I'm going to go hang out at the bar. I'd love to come here. It looks so great. ... I'm in your hands." Fazio swears by it.
*Waiters have more clout than you know and can reward good customers. Tip no less than 20 percent.
*Hotels track your complaints. If you are a nice guest, that will go on your digital record. You may be rewarded even at other hotels. And if you're a jerk, you may be rewarded for that, too.
*If you have a legitimate reason to send food back, be very gracious no matter how you feel. You might be surprised at how well you'll be treated.
*"Don't make plans when you're drunk. Trust me."
*"You're not going to get good service from somebody who's afraid of you. It's the same reason people don't keep porcupines as pets."
*When trolling for celebrities at restaurants, sit up front, not in the back. In front, you'll see the "whole parade."
*In selecting a service person, do you want to see a cute face or get help? "I always look for the oldest, least glamorous person. They might not be nice, but they rule the roost -- and they don't usually get any validation, so you'll get a lot more mileage."
*Forget Starbucks if you want a place to camp with friends. Plant yourself in the lobby of a nice hotel instead.
"The seats are much better than at a Starbucks, the ambience more appealing, and there won't be people hovering over you to finish your coffee so they can take your chair."
Above all, treat service people as if you're on their team, and they will deliver.