Monday, August 27, 2012

Rude Diners

A couple of weeks ago, I arranged to meet friends at a well-known restaurant.  I arrived about 30 minutes early, escorted to a table, and served an appetizer and iced tea.  This gave me time to sit and observe other diners.  I was amazed at the way diners treated their servers.  I watched as the servers greeted the diners cheerfully and saw the diners totally ignore them or look away and mumble a greeting.  When the server returned to take the order, the diners failed to make eye contact and barked their orders.  I thought What must it be like to spend night after night being treated like a second class citizen? 
Two of my three children worked as servers when they were in school.  I am sure this has given me a different view of the job.  Also I remember when I was worked in a toy store during Christmas vacation.  It didn't take long for me to figure out that men were always kinder to me than women.  If possible, I would address the man to avoid the 'put-you-in-your-place' look from the woman. 
One time my husband and I went out to dinner and I noticed that when the waitress spoke to me, she literally shook with nerves.  My experience at the toy store allowed me to understand her fear.  She walked up to the table during our meal and asked, "Do you need anything?"  I intentionally made eye contact and smiled at her before answering that we had everything we needed.  The smile that lit up her face just about knocked me out of my seat.  I thought, How must she be treated my other diners?
Here are a few tips on how to treat your server:
Read the menu. Instead of naming lots of meals and then asking the waitress if they have those meals, actually read it and see what the restaurant has.

Clean up after yourself. Eating out at a restaurant is partly fun because the diner doesn't have to take care of the clean up. And that's true, to a point. You will not have to wash the dishes, throw away napkins or clean the floor. That does not mean, however, that you should go out of your way to make the biggest mess that you can.
Ask for the different things you need at the same time. Being a waitress is very hard on the feet.
Be polite in your speech. Barking orders is no way to treat a waitress. Remember that she is a real person with feelings. Ask for what you need politely and be forgiving if she should forget some small item, particularly if she apologizes and retrieves it.

Leave a decent tip. Leaving very little money for a large meal is not the way to treat a waitress unless the service was indescribably bad.

Read more: How to Treat a Waitress |
I would like to add:  Make eye contact when speaking to him or her. 
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