December 6th, 2013
12:45 PM ET
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Dr. David Solot is the Director of Client Services at Caliper, an international human resources consulting company. He has a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from Walden University, and a Masters in clinical psychology from UNCG. Solot has previously written for Eatocracy on the topics of food aversion and maximizing brain power.

A few days ago, Eatocracy reported on Elan Gale’s exchange with “Diane in 7A” – a woman who was supposedly being extremely rude to flight attendants on her flight to Phoenix. Even though Gale has since admitted that he made the entire incident up, the internet is still smoldering from conversations about who was right and who was wrong. Whatever your opinion, as the article stated, “It is never, ever, ever cool to be rude to someone working in a service position.”

But if that’s the case, then why does it happen so often? What causes people to treat service personnel as though they were subhuman, and casually dismiss their feelings?

One possible explanation is a quirk of the way we think about other people, called the fundamental attribution error. As human beings, we are constantly trying to understand why other people act the way they do – it’s just in our nature. As a rule, when we see somebody else behave, we make the assumption that their behavior is due to lasting, permanent parts of their personality. In other words, the way they act is because of who they are.

The fundamental attribution error occurs on the frequent occasions when we’re wrong, and someone’s actions are due to circumstances, not due to who they are.

Here’s an example. You’re out to eat with family, and you get stuck with what feels like the slowest waiter in the world. He vanishes from the table for long stretches at a time. It takes forever to get your drinks. Your entrees are cold and you send them back. Your sister wants sour cream for her potato, and the waiter is nowhere to be found.

While everyone is looking around for the waiter, your brother comments, “I can’t believe what a jerk this guy is! I bet he’s in the back right now, taking a break. Lazy bum!”

When the check finally comes, your brother insists that you stiff him on the tip. “Teach that jerk a lesson!”

Got that image in mind? Good. Now let me tell you the rest of the story. Your waiter isn’t a jerk, and he isn’t lazy. He’s actually a kind, hardworking man who takes pride in his job. He’d never dream of taking a break while customers were waiting.

But tonight, on the other side of the dining room, out of your sight, is a party of 16 rowdy people who are monopolizing his time. Every time he gets away from them, they call him back with more demands. He’s been trying to get back to all his other tables as much as he can, and feels terrible that his customers are suffering. But, he can’t ignore the large party either, or his manager will get upset.

How do you feel towards your “lazy” waiter now?

That’s the fundamental attribution error in action. Your brother assumed that the poor service was due to something about the waiter – he’s lazy or he just doesn’t care. But the truth is that the poor service was due to circumstances out of your waiter’s control.

This kind of thing happens all the time. That slow driver holding up traffic? Maybe he’s not a “thoughtless idiot who needs to learn how to drive.” Maybe he just got a call that his mother is dying, and he’s trying to keep it together long enough to get home.

Your coworker who was late for the big meeting? She’s not lazy. There’s new construction on her route to work. The customer service rep who won’t make an exception for you? She’s not rude. She just got told by her boss that if she authorizes more out-of-warranty returns she’ll be fired.

The problem is that if we believe that a service person is a jerk or is being disrespectful to us, we’re more likely to act like a jerk in return. We stiff the waiter on the tip. We flip the bird at the slow driver. We yell at the customer service rep. And in doing so, we’re often rude to people are just victims of circumstance – just like us.

Eatocracy suggested several good ways to deal with a family member who is rude to service people. But what if you’re the one who’s being rude? How can you resist the urge to blame the service person?

In this case, the old catch phrase from G.I. Joe is correct: knowing is half the battle. Just knowing that we’re hardwired to blame the person and not the circumstance gives you the opportunity to try something different. The next time you feel yourself about to make a judgment about service person, try asking yourself what else could explain their behavior. See what other explanations you can come up with.

A great question to ask yourself is: “What else could be going on?” Can you picture that this is a good person who’s just in a bad circumstance? If you can, you’re much more likely to be polite in response.

So if you’re the one who thinks the waiter is slow, lazy, or just doesn’t care, try this before you get angry with him. Say to yourself, “Well, he could be lazy, that’s one explanation. But what if he’s not? What else could be going on here?”

At the very least, you’ll be taking the time to think about the feelings of someone who may be just as frustrated as you are.

Previously:
Off the menu – being rude to service workers
'We are servers not servants!'
How waitstaff handles a stood-up customer
Eat This List: 5 reasons you shouldn't blame the waiter
5 ways to make a chef hate you

Posted by:
Filed under: Restaurants • Service


soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. NorCalMojo

    Every eatocracy article seems to be a string of excuses for bad service.

    December 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Ryan Texan

      Seems to be the case.
      This opinion piece seems to rule out incompetence or laziness.
      Despite what you might read here, incompetence and laziness do exist in some servers.

      December 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  2. Steven

    No, I am not rude to waiters. But I am irritated with CNN writers who get paid to use phrases like "Hardwired" in such a way as it's done here. I'm irritated with overused words and terms. I am surprised her didn't end the story with a "Just sayin'" and included a video. A "Viral" video of course.

    December 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  3. Red

    When waiters do things like sit down next to my wife or want to tell me their life story, I tend to be rude.

    December 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  4. Wes

    I'm never rude to waiters...it just take a small twist of fate and you could be waiting table..so just be nice to everyone...the real character of a person is when he is nice to a person where he doest have to be

    December 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  5. AzSenior

    Hardwired only if you are insecure and think deep down that you are not worthy of being waited on.

    December 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      I think that would apply more to people who put up with bad service.

      December 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  6. Tony

    There are rude customers, there are rude service people. My personal mantra is to be neither. However I'm 100% when offering service to the passengers in my charge on flights...I do expect the same treatment when it's me spending my hard earned money.

    The problem really comes down to the lack of teaching manners and civility in the last 30 or so years. We've been teaching kids that they are "special and important" and it has created a new human base of self-entitlement, and if you ask me..THAT's what's going on at most places where service is required. The personal ego of the customer and service worker clashes.

    I

    December 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  7. Been there done that

    My wife spent 30 years waiting tables at a couple of different restaurants. One local and one nationally known. She quit a very good paying job to work taking orders for your meals. Why? Because she made more than most professionals while wearing a uniform apron. Not in wages, but in tips.

    She will stiff a waiter or waitress faster than anyone I have ever heard of. “I Absolutely will NOT reward poor performance” is what she says. And a poor performer learns NOTHING by getting rewarded for substandard service. If you can’t see the difference between the kitchens fault and your waitresses fault, then you must be blind.

    So when you get cold food every time you go to a particular restaurant, or cant get a waitresses attention because she is talking to her boyfriend, then go ahead and keep rewarding him or her. But don’t expect things to get any better. Tell the manager you say? When is the last time you could even identify a manager let alone get one to talk to you. They usually avoid peak times.

    December 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  8. wrm

    "we"

    "hardwired"

    rolleyes

    December 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  9. NorCalMojo

    Bad service is bad service. It doesn't really matter if it's because the waiter is busy or lazy.

    You don't go to restaurants to hear excuses, you go to enjoy a meal. Feeling unimportant and forgotten is not enjoyable.

    December 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Matthew Grant

      That is quite strange to me that you go to a restaurant to feel important. I can see if the waiter is being lazy sure then there is a problem. But if the waiter is busy, you should not take it out on that person as he/she is not in control of the situation. If anything talk to the manager as he/she might be scheduling things poorly. As a general rule you should watch pissing people off who is handling your food. I know many people who work in this type of job and I know what they do to people who are rude to them for no reason.

      December 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  10. cruz

    I work for a major cable operator, and I wish I could show this article to the many people who think that screaming at me over the phone is the way to get what they want.

    December 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  11. Brooke

    Hardwired? No. I'm generally incredibly nice to waitstaff because I know they have a crap job.

    December 7, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Ryan Texan

      Then they can take another job. Wait, no education, no skills...so they are probably overpaid as waiters.
      This opinion piece seems to completely forget that sometimes the waiters are lazy or incompetent.
      Even their example is so poor. If they are serving 16 people, with tip they are making great money.
      Let's not forget that they are simply taking your order, bringing your food and taking care of simple requests like bring the sour cream (that you forgot in the first place server!) for the baked potato.
      The good thing is automation is coming. The ordering, and paying will be on table top tablets.
      Then the servers will be glorified bus boys. And we can stop tipping and let the restaurant pay their wages (non-tipped workers can get the full minimum wage).
      I'm nice to the servers, and find rudeness in poor taste – but certainly we recognize the work they are doing in no way rates such high pay.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • BRB

        Waiters are interested in one thing – how much they can make in tips. They are primarily food sales people trying to extract as much money as possible from the customer which raises their tip percentage. I get tired of giving everyone a handout i.e. waiters, elevator operators, hairdressers, taxi drivers, bellhops, valets, etc. Very few of these people report this cash income to the IRS.

        December 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
      • Mattie

        Using that same logic, we shouldn't feel bad when officers are shot. They can simply take another job if they don't want to risk their lives.

        December 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Ryan Texan

          That's true.
          According to US Gov't statistics, Police, Fire and Military are not even close to the top 10 most dangerous professions.
          So what do you do when a construction worker dies on the job?
          Ever told a roofer "Thanks for risking your life to keep my home and property safe from the elements?"
          Every job comes with pluses of minuses. If any job were all good, then nearly everyone would want to do it – resulting in the pay going to nothing – which would make the job bad again.
          If a waiter doesn't like being a waiter – do something else.
          It's not complicated.

          December 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • BOODY

        Never been a waiter have ya Ryan. Try it sometime. I have an education now but waited tables for years. It's very hard work. JERK

        December 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Ryan Texan

          No I waited tables for several years.
          So how many years of education is required to be a waiter? Zero.
          How long is the training period in months? Oh, it's less than a week.
          What is so hard about the job? They were the easiest jobs I held. You take an order, submit the order, bring the food and drinks, be pleasant, cater to their requests, and then give them the check. It's not hard.
          If I messed up, I didn't expect a big tip. If the kitchen messed up I didn't expect a big tip.
          BUT – if the kitchen made a great plate (promptly), I got a bigger tip – and I did nothing to deserve it.
          If you had ever been a waiter you would know the prep cooks and dishwasher have way harder jobs – given what they make an hour vs. the servers.
          I don't want people to be rude to the servers, but I've seen tons of incompetent and lazy servers.
          Sure, you can find those in retail stores too. But the difference is you the customer are not their employer. You don't pay them to work, the store does.
          At a restaurant, the customer actually pays directly for their labor.
          And not every boss is a nice one. Same goes for when the customer is the boss.
          If you do your job right, you minimize the chances of getting a rude customer.
          Don't like that arrangement, do something else. It's not the only job.

          December 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
      • JGN

        You are SO wrong to make assumptions about the education level of a person who waits tables!
        There are many many types of restaurants besides the ones you obviously frequent, with many many different types of people working in them. The only thing they all have in common is the need to make their living, which last time I checked was pretty much the case with the rest of us as well. To hold yourself ABOVE waitstaff is absurd and it's precisely why this article was written.

        December 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  12. jocdocnh

    My current peeve is a bit different. Seems like EVERY server in chain type larger restaurants thinks nothing of walking up while you are in the middle of conversation and interrupting to ask the usual "anything else for you?" Etc. they never pause there to give you a second to acknowledge them or apologize for interrupting. THAT does lower my usually generous tip a notch and occasionally calls for a note on the receipt.

    December 7, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Tom

      You sound like a really cool person. I hope you pull that crap where they recognize you. Enjoy the lung oysters on your food. Yum!

      December 7, 2013 at 11:32 am |
      • Always watching

        If I see this done to ANYBODY, that restaraunt will be closed inside an hour and the perp behind bars charged with a terrorist attack.

        December 7, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Brooke

      If you want an uninterrupted conversation, then stay home, Princess.

      December 7, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • jocdocnh

        Respectfully, see previous response. If you are a waiter I'd hate to have to live on your tips with that attitude.

        December 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Robert

      Have you eve considered that the server is busy and cannot waist time waiting for you to finish your story? You can easily stop, say yes or no, and then continue allowing the server to move on to other customers. Maybe you should do their job for a day to see their side of it. And who made you the centre of the Universe??

      December 7, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • Honest Citizen

        Not when I just watched them talking with Aunt Thelma for fifteen minutes while spmones food cooled on the pickup shelf

        December 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
      • jocdocnh

        Nobody suggested you stand around half an hour. Clearly there are ways to do this politely. I've been there and done it and my son works at it now. He is appalled at the poor service and rudeness in most restaurants. It's not a cafeteria. If you don't put the customers enjoyment of dining first you should perhaps work in one instead.

        December 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • rainbow cadet

      How about the waiter just ignores your table and wait on other until such time you and your party shuts up for two minutes.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • jocdocnh

        Respectfully, you are sounding like it is all about the waiter. It isn't. It is all about the customers and their conversation. Ignoring the table is a far worse sin...make eye contact and wait for a pause. I have asked my son about this, he is a waiter in a very fine five star kind of restaurant where they spent a month training him from back waiter to waiter. Their owner would be very upset if they were interrupting the customers. Manners are still required even when busy.

        December 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • kelly

      If you see a waiter approaching your table, you can assume he is going to say or ask something. So, perhaps pause your scintillating conversation and take a moment to listen. Won't kill ya.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
      • jocdocnh

        If I'm there talking to my wife or friend it isn't my job to constantly scan for approaching waiters. In the local restaurants they pounce like a dive bomber "everything OK?" And are gone again frequently before the answer. It really isn't supposed to be about the waiter. It's supposed to be about atmosphere and good service. Not customer's fault if they are being run ragged. Eat in a fine restaurant. They don't ambush you and break in every five seconds. Good service is innocuous.

        December 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Jessie rae

          Has it occurred to you that the server was trying to "serve you"? A lot of us want to make sure that your needs are being met and we aren't mind readers. Also it's expected that we check in with most people so how are we supposed to know who doesn't like that? At least that server is attentive and not being lazy in the back.

          December 8, 2013 at 2:57 am |
  13. Dave

    "This kind of thing happens all the time. That slow driver holding up traffic? Maybe he’s not a “thoughtless idiot who needs to learn how to drive.” Maybe he just got a call that his mother is dying, and he’s trying to keep it together long enough to get home."

    Sorry, pet peeve.. if you are that upset that you can't properly operate a car, driving slow and screwing up traffic isn't the answer, pull off the road, get it together, then go home.

    December 7, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  14. GetReal

    "Hard-wired"??? We may be hard-wired to kill, cheat, steal, and be selfish. Does that make it right? Absolutely NOT.

    We're supposed to be a "civilization", not a herd of animals that's slave to its instincts.

    December 7, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  15. lindseymori

    I'm only rude to people when they are deliberately rude to me first. But I usually don't consider things like being served late or getting bad food, the fault of the waiter. However, if the waiter seems much more attentive and friendly with another customer but really aloof with us, I do get offended and take it out of the tip. Also, if I see the waiter take the order of 2 or more tables who came in after us before he takes ours, I get upset. But that's only ever happened once or twice in my entire life. Otherwise, as long as they smile and are reasonably polite, I give them a decent tip and a smile back.

    December 7, 2013 at 10:04 am |
  16. Carrie

    Chances are the big table with 16 guest will have a mandatory gratuity at least where I live. Only smaller groups the tip is not automatically charged.

    Can't the waiter if he's overloaded speak to co-workers/his boss about rearranging the workload? Seems that if he is so booked he is neglecting his other duties, they need to reorganize things a bit better in their restaurant.

    December 7, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Mary

      This situation actually happened to me. A huge crowd first thing in AM, just after we got our menus. Our costly celebration 'brunch' took well over an hour. When I finally I told the waiter to cancel our dessert, the manager comped us. Rightly so.

      December 7, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • rainbow cadet

      That mandatory gratuity is pretty much standard for groups of 10 or more, with some establishments using the standard of group of 8 or more. However, I suppose is a waiter is really horrible and the food even worse, one could subtract out that 18% mandatory gratuity, pay with cash, pay what gratuity the waiter deserved (like 5-10%) and/or complain to management. By paying cash, the restaurant can't attempt to add on extras to your credit card.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  17. brad1001

    The author is in a position to be able to make observations of human behavior, I'll accept that. I would put to him that people treat others they believe to be of a lesser station poorly because they can. It's that simple. Always have and sadly, probably always will. I have never seen my parents to so, I don't and I've taught my children not to. That this is so does not make us better, just well mannered.

    December 7, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  18. Gladdensnoot

    Never piss off the people who handle your food.

    December 7, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  19. VladT

    I think in regards to tipping, attitude does it for me.

    If the server is busy or makes an error (wrong order, etc) and seems genuinely apologetic ( a smile and sorry, not groveling by any means ), or takes too long to drink refill but is noticeably busy and seems sincere, I still tip big. If I get eye rolls (waiter didn't know I could see his reflection when he turned away from me), attitude, etc, no tip and I speak to manager.

    I went to a very busy steakhouse on a Saturday, where the waitress felt the need to inform me that they were short a server. She needn't had to tell me, both my friend and I could tell she was trying her best, and we gave her a very generous tip.

    Its like anything else, you get what you give. Give me a genuine effort and good attitude, I reciprocate. Think of me as an annoyance while you wait to be discovered by a movie director, and you're lucky if you get fifty cents

    December 7, 2013 at 5:05 am |
    • BRB

      You fell for the oldest tip scam in the business.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • VladT

        If you say so....

        December 10, 2013 at 2:26 am |
  20. Jonathan

    I think this is a pretty stupid article honestly because for one, it's pointing out the obvious that there are always many possible explanations for various situations or behavior. Two, and most importantly, who cares? I don't care if my waiter is busy with too many tables - he's still not getting a good tip. Why should he? If you have 10 tables and you get a lousy 10% tip from each, that's actually still more than if you have only 5 tables and get even a healthy 18% tip from those 5. In other words, the excuse doesn't matter, so it's not worth thinking about. There's no need to be rude to the waiter if he hasn't been rude to you, but certainly there's no reason to tip him well for poor service, no matter what the excuse. I could find out the waiter's mom and daughter are both dying of a horrible rare disease and he has 27 tables to himself but if the service is bad, I'm still not going to tip well.

    December 7, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • Jenny

      You're just an asshole. You probably find any reason you can not to tip well.

      December 7, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • Carn E. Vore

        He sounded pretty reasonable. You? You just sound like an ignorant bee oytch.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Kaylee

      Each type of restaurant has a different tip pool policy. The tip you leave behind does not go fully to your server. It is distributed between server, bussers, food runners, hosts, and so on. Depending on the restaurant, such as sushi or teppanyaki where chefs have interaction with customers they will probably take atleast 10% of the tip you leave your server. So if you leave a 10% tip, guess what, the server who was just working their ass off was only serving you so the chef can make money. I work in a teppanyaki restaurant, and I have to tip out approximately 18% (9% to chefs, 1.5% to bussers, 1.5% to bartenders, and 4.5% to sushi chefs) of my sales end of the night. Some days I make the same amount of the chef, some days i make below of what I have to pay the chef probably because of assholes like you.

      February 17, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
  21. colinizer

    People have nor moral compass anymore. What kind of person gets off on denigrating someone whom they assume is below their station? We have turned into a nation of whiney, pretentious know-it-alls who assume eberything is owed to them. Also, anyone who feel like it's OK to treat people badly in the service industry are the ones who have never had to work a day in their shoes. I drive a taxi at night and will soon be graduating from nursing school while raising my family and paying my mortgage and bills. It is amazing how many pricks get in my cab and assume I am either a drug addict or an idiot because they assume I cannot do something else for work. And on top of it all, people regularly think I am trying to rip them off. Last week I saved a mans life after driving my car into a gang of people stabbing said man, threw him in my cab and drove through him immediately to the hospital just before he passed out from a loss of blood... but he lived. I help people out all the time and most are either too ignorant or too drunk to aknowledge me as being another human being with feelings. No moral compass. P.S. occasionally I meet a few decent people who make my day and actually tip me.

    December 7, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • GetReal

      Amen to that!

      December 7, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  22. lulany

    I agree that people often jump to conclusions about the circumstances in frustrating situations. However, when it comes to instances like the waiter's who's being monopolized by the large group there's a simple way of defusing the situation and that's by simply apologizing and explaining the situation to his other customers. Of course there will always be the random unsympathetic jerk who won't care and will still stiff the waiter regardless but I think most people are pretty understanding when they are at least told what is going on and feel that the person is genuinely sorry.

    December 7, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  23. endora

    Oh great, "I'm hardwired" – a new excuse people can use for being rude. Sorry, I don't buy it.

    December 7, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • CW

      People are just cheap and/or jerks by nature so maybe it is a hardwired thing.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  24. shamgar50

    Worked for a restaurant many moons ago, and I'm always polite to the staff when I eat out. If you're not, and you like to complain a lot, I shudder to think of how much spit and other bodily fluids, you've consumed in your food.

    December 7, 2013 at 12:01 am |
  25. Robert

    One of the best meal-memories we have is of "terrible" service. Flights got cancelled, passengers got sent to unsuspecting hotels that were caught short-handed. Our hotel's restaurant had exactly one cook and one waitress on staff. The dining room was more than she could handle, and one table was especially rude. Fortunately, we could see all this. We explained to our waitress that we had nowhere to go and not in a hurry. Once she caught up to us, we assured her she was doing a wonderful job under the circumstances and not to worry. In the end, we had a lovely meal, free desserts, and a grateful waitress. And yes, we tipped her well.

    December 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
  26. Bill

    Giving a waiter who is working alone on a party of 16 any other tables is the real problem.

    No, it's not the waiter's fault. But it sure as hell isn't the customer's fault either.

    December 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Dee

      So does the waiter take the brunt of the blame and "punishment" in the form of the lack of a tip, in that case, to "teach -someone- a lesson" (be it the waiter or the management of the restaurant...whatever) or the manager, or the owner of the restaurant? Working in customer service, the sales associates are the face of the company you shop and they typically take the flack from irritated customers. It's a double edged sword with a lot of passive aggressive people who THINK things should be changed (like company policy or hiring more help (can't always do that in a fluctuating economy where business could be booming one day and dead the next three)) but never bother to address the right people because they can't or won't be bothered do something about the things they only have the strength to complain about.

      It's a two-way road, people. You can't have it both ways without someone suffering from the consequences. But what I tend to see is manipulation of the system, people in service positions getting treated poorly because they are seen as "the help", skill-less and incapable of doing anything else other than pressing buttons and whatever else it is they do that's apparently not important. Of course, not everyone is like this. There are plenty of customers out there who are grateful for the help they get, and that's wonderful. But I see way too much disinterest in what could be going on behind the scenes.

      TL;DR: This is a me-me and only me world we live in, and if the customer doesn't get what they want, someone is going to get heck for it.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  27. Cynthia Avishegnath

    There are two fundamental characteristics hardwired into humans, that we are seldom aware of, that is due to the underlying reason why humans triumphed against all other animal species to be successful as dominant species ...
    – don't mess with us when we're hungry.
    – don't ask us for tips when I'm still hungry or had a bad meal

    December 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • erin

      The bad meal is the kitchen's fault, NOT the server's.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Eric

      When has a server ever asked you for tips?

      December 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  28. Joe Stubblebine

    Great article. There's a larger moral story here: "seek first to understand." Not everything is as it seems. And, it's not always about us.

    December 6, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Dee

      You're so right about this. The world we live in today is so self-absorbed, so selfish that we've lost–or never had, even–the ability to care for other people and what they're dealing with unless it becomes painfully obvious. Even then, we're reluctant to understand that not everything is about us, and that other people are going through things that make them seem like jerks when they really mean no harm to you personally.

      Working in retail, I have to keep this in mind every day I go to work. I have to keep telling myself that not every customer who ACTS rudely may in fact be a rude person. Perhaps they are going through something I am not aware of, but it seems out and I get a taste whilst ringing them up at the register. It's a difficult thing to do, but it's got to be done. You can't work customer service and attribute bad attitudes to some kind of flaw in your personality.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:28 am |
  29. Chris G

    As a general rule I try not to be rude to service staff be it if I'm flying or in a restaurant. I would characterize most of my experiences with staff to to be neutral if not outright positive. I try and not make an assumption of laziness unless I blatantly see it. I have on occasion caught a waiter actually blowing off work or deciding my table wasn't important enough to service but more often than not I will see how busy they are and remark on how busy everything seems. Once or twice I even had a few words to say to rowdy customers who were taking too much of a waiter's time. I usually feel it is more the responsibility of management to recognize such a situation and have a plan of attack to deal with it instead of throwing waiters at the frontline and hoping for the best.

    December 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  30. xibo

    More people need to see that music video by M&M where the waitress coughs up a big one and spits it into the customers Hamburger.

    December 6, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
  31. StormySyndrome

    There are only a few things that make me upset with servers. 1) bringing me an appetizer at the same time they bring my meal. This become part of the meal when they are deliverd at the same time, and there's nothing more unappealing than eating chips and salsa with a 16oz ribeye sitting right next to it. 2) Delivering food without any silverware on the table. This honestly is the bus boys/setters fault, but this is something any decent waiter worth their salt should notice immediate upon seating guests or taking their drink order. 3) Being curt and rude. You catch bee's and Tips with honey, not much to be gained by being rude before you even have a chance to gain a tip.

    Other than that, i really don;t have any reason to be upset with the waiter. I always start waiters with a $10 tip (or 20%) I deduct $1 for every miscue they make while waiting my table. Normally this comes out to roughly $6 or $7 in the end. It's kind of a game with me :)

    December 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • ocsurfer

      What a ridiculous article, and written by a "Dr." no less. Probably a "Dr." who has never worked an honest day in his life. One of those career academics who only knows what he studies inside of his ivory, book-laden tower.

      "But the truth is that the poor service was due to circumstances out of your waiter’s control."

      Sure, maybe sometimes that's the case, but what that statement ATTEMPTS to do is provide the standard pat Millennial excuse for everything. "It's not my fault. I'm the victim."

      And I disagree with the ENTIRE premise that most people enter into the relationship with the waiter with hostility. I think most customers enter with a neutral attitude, then assess as the service progresses. And what's this "Table of 16 on the other side of the restaurant. Since when do restaurants give servers a table of 16 on one side of the restaurant, then give them other smaller tables on the opposite side of the restaurant?!? It's a completely fabricated premise, a fabricated example to support that premise, then a fabricated conclusion based on the fabricated foundation of lies.

      Here's the truth. Servers can't control everything, but they CAN control the communication with the customers. They OWN that relationship. They are in a Sales position, NOT a service position. That's how they need to view their role.

      I'm getting really tired of all the liberal media's attempt to paint servers as victims. It's high time they own their job and own their responsibilities to provide stellar service despite the odds, despite the challenges, despite the elements out of their control.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
      • Eric

        Spoken like someone who has never worked in the service industry. I'm getting tired of clueless conservatives arrogantly declaring what is and what isn't the truth...based on evidence-less assumptions.

        December 6, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
      • Ted

        You talk about the author of this article not having a clue,you have obviously have never worked in a restaurant. Table of 16 on the other side of the restaurant? That happens every day in this business!! Here is a perfect example,and this happens all the time.Most restaurants are DEAD from 2-5 pm and when I say dead I mean 4 or 5 tables.People like you come in on a Monday at 3 pm with 30 people and wonder why you cant be sat immediately!!

        December 7, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Ted

      God I used to hate people like you when I was a server" I start with a tip and then deduct every time you screw up" People like you are looking for an excuse not to tip.I made 900 a week when I was a server,keep your 10 bucks and your condescending attitude!!

      December 7, 2013 at 12:30 am |
  32. Dave Barnes

    I realize this discussion is meant to be on rudeness and on that I do not believe in rudeness to anyone including
    servers. That being said,I would like to comment again on tipping in general. The policy of tipping on the amount
    of the bill is absolutely ridiculous. Example: Two people come in to eat, customer A. gets a $7 sandwich and water,
    customer B gets a $35 steak and 3 $10 martinis. One tab is $7,the other tab is$65, the server came to the table
    the same number of times for each person,3 refills on water,3 martinis,once each to deliver food..Now using the
    ridiculous 20% theory customer A leaves $1.40 and customer B leaves $13.00,please explain the rationale of that.

    December 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • ocsurfer

      It's a ridiculous rationale. But by the same token, if I go to Denny's and order a Value Slam and a Coffee, and my pre-tax bill is $7, I'd be a real shmuck to only leave $1.40 as a tip.

      But at the same token, like you said, if I order a $50 steak and $30 worth of wine, and the same caliber waiter came to me with the same caliber of service, tipping $16 would be similarly ridiculous.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
      • Dave Barnes

        Why do you feel you would be a schmuck by leaving a $1.40 tip on a $7.00? Tipping is an option,
        where is it written that you have to tip certain people and to go further where is it written to whom
        you tip and how much. Again tipping is an option not a requirement.

        December 6, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
        • erin

          Nope. Tipping is not an option, sorry.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
        • Dave Barnes

          I am not attempting to be argumentative about my position but it is my position. I have many disagreements
          with friends on my position on tipping and they cannot discuss it politely or with any logic. They simply say
          "you are cheap". I then ask them how many times have they picked up the tab for servicemen in uniform or
          elderly people. I have done this on numerous occasions and have told the server to not tell them who it is.
          I then watch as they simply shut up about cheapness and change the subject.

          December 6, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
        • Eric

          Dave, servicemen are paid by our taxes. I know, I used to be one. It was decent (not fantastic) living. Unless the elderly person is working for you, why would you just give them money?

          December 7, 2013 at 12:00 am |
      • Eric

        If you are getting the same caliber of server in a Denny's as in a place that sells $50 steaks then there is a problem with the management in the expensive place. The difference in the level of food and alcohol knowledge between a diner server and a fancy restaurant server is vast – or should be.

        December 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
        • Dave Barnes

          Yes Eric, servicemen are paid by our taxes and I was one also. Those servicemen take a chance on getting an arm blown off
          or worse. As for elderly people,their earning days are over and I can see how they order that they have very little resources
          to work with. I'm not saying everyone has to do this I'm just saying that I feel much more comfortable picking up an elderly
          person's tab or a serviceman's tab than tipping on some rigid schedule that someone dreamed up that has little or no logic.

          December 7, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • erin

      Which is why if you order water, you should always tip including at least an extra .50 or so. Also, taxes are imposed on servers based upon a percentage of the restaurant's revenue the night they work, so you may not want to tip them according to the bill's total, but they are paying taxes based on the fact that you're tipping that way whether you do or not.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
      • Dave Barnes

        Yes tipping is an option. The mere fact that you choose to tip and probably generously is certainly your
        option,but for you to attempt to set standards for me or others is simply arrogant and out of line. May I
        ask you Mr. Generosity how many times have you quietly picked up a serviceman in uniform's tab. I
        know the answer,zero!!! You may tip as you see fit but don't attempt to set rules for everyone.

        December 7, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • JustLiberty

      The rationale is that 'expected' tipping is stupid and we shouldn't expect it to make sense. Pay people a wage that make sense financially for them and the employer and leave direct financial transactions between the customer and employee out of it.

      December 7, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  33. Mike

    For the most part, when a server is late with the food, it's beyond his/her control. The restaurant is busy, etc. It's out of their control. And guests are often rude jerks who demand the world. However, this is not always the case: I once went to the Rainforest Café in Las Vegas with a small party on a slow night, and we never even got a server. The whole night. After about a half hour of waiting, we eventually hijacked a bus girl, who kindly took our order, and later tracked down a hostess, who eventually brought us our food. Since those two contacts were our only contacts with the staff, and we had no way of requesting additional assistance, I did not leave a tip when we were finally able to flag down someone (a server at an unrelated table) to give us the check. I politely explained why there was no tip by writing it right on the bill. I could understand if they had been slammed with customers, but they weren't that busy that night. Sometimes bad service is just bad service, and I do not tip when the service is truly lousy.

    December 6, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • SnafuBob

      I agree with you entirely; leaving a note to explain why a tip wasn't rendered is completely with sound reason and justification. Personally, I usually tip 5% above the minimum gratuity depending on services rendered. Polite and courteous conversations with your waitress or waiter usually is met with further rewards; such as coupons for free appetizers, discounts, etc. Regardless of the situation being courteous and polite no matter is best; a lesson in humility to be shared and cherished, something taught at a very young age.

      December 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • ocsurfer

      What about the times when the food comes late and the plate is the temperature of the Sun and the food is clearly dried out and the sliced tomatoes on your plate that should be cold are steaming?

      Is that also the kitchen's fault. Not EVERYTIME the food comes out late is the waiter innocent.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  34. Jenn

    As someone who waited tables through college, I have seen both sides of this argument. You know the rude people from the first time you step up to the table. But there are also people in the service industry who do lag behind others and give poor service. You see them hanging out by the cook line, or in the loading area on their cellphones. And they are usually the first ones to complain about their tips or lack thereof. Most good servers will let their tables know if they are in the weeds, in my restaurant we also looked out for each other if the place was slammed. It is easy to see when a table is waiting for something after their meal arrived.

    This article tries to use too broad a brush to describe a convoluted situation. And the worst offenders to the rudeness are people like me- former servers who 'know what it's like.'

    December 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  35. Dave Barnes

    The owner of the restaurant who has to pay heat,electric bills,taxes,either rent or mortgage payments,wages,etc,
    etc,etc is very fortunate if he can make 12% to 15% on his investment and you think that a man or woman who
    takes your order,brings your food to you and maybe if you are lucky comes back once to see if you need some more
    water or coffee deserves 20% to 25% of your tab. I give a tip only if the service is exceptional and quite bluntly and
    frankly it is no one's business what a person tips if at all. The rudest thing on earth is for a dining partner to peek over
    and check out what someone else tips. Tipping in the U.S. is getting way out of hand.

    December 6, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • J-Pap

      I agree but who in their right mind tips 20-25%?

      December 6, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
      • erin

        Standard tip percentage.

        December 6, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
        • Dee

          I must be late to get with it, but I still follow the 10-15% depending.

          December 7, 2013 at 12:43 am |
        • rainbow cadet

          Standard tipping for me is still 15% with it going up or down depending on service, with 20% being the max. Anyone who tips out at 25% is either very well off financially or is just plain nuts.

          December 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • tonto Hurvitz

      You, sir are a cheapskate!

      December 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • tip this

      different dice, different table, different stakes.

      The owner has equity, wins big or looses big. Hired staff confront the whim of the owner, the competence of fellow staff, and the customer's attitudes. At $2.13/hr they come and go; and usually have little control of a bad situation. To be rude to staff is poor form and reflects badly on oneself, a poor projection of power. If the their behaviour is egregious then management should be called and in a calm manner the problem explained. If is extremely bad leave immediately, why wait for the finale? As for tipping, it is all over the map, depending on country, county or culture. Who leaves tips at McDonalds? Once had a waiter write in a 30% on the check and the service was one of the worst. Tips are about generosity and performance evaluation; for the staff (assuming the owner's are not taking it) it is their lifeblood and rent money something that should not be abused by the customer.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • really?

      Really? you are pathetic, most places servers make $2.65 an hour , how do they pay bills with people like you out there. I hope you choose to eat in a lot.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  36. Guest

    I saw a statement that I cut out and put on my desk to remind to be nice. It said, "If your friend is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, your friend is not a nice person." Such a simple little thing, and I don't know who to attribute it to, but it has helped me to try to be a better person.

    December 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • ocsurfer

      It's a bullshit statement, written by a waiter.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
      • Eric

        And this is a bullshit reply, written by someone who has never work in the industry.

        December 6, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • WD

      This is spot on. When we interview candidates for management positions, we always take them to lunch and see how they interact with the waitstaff. We learn more from that than from anything a resume can provide.

      December 7, 2013 at 9:31 am |
      • DireLobo

        Brilliant – I am so doing that from now on.

        December 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Sapphire@Guest & WD

      This stems from an old saying, paraphrased: "you can judge a potential spouse based on how they treat their parents."

      There's also Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. While it doesn't always work out that way, it does help the applyee sleep at nite.

      December 7, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  37. cacique

    If clients are rude sometimes, servers spit in you soup and you do not even notice until you suddenly appear with an intestinal flu the size of the Ganges river.
    So let's not think food servers are little pink souls in perfectly pressed black uniforms. Sometimes they are just not all that good, to keep it in polite terms.
    Of course good ones do exist, and many of them.

    December 6, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • erin

      Nobody does that. You're seen to many movies.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Dee

      We shouldn't be looking at it from just one side, agreed. But it's a two-way road. Everyone is guilty of being rude, both staff and customers. And there are also very nice and honest staff and customers; those of us who work hard to do what we can and then some, and the customers who greatly appreciate it. This is just one side of the story, however, but it's up to everyone to make a difference.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  38. cacique

    Count me crazy but I think that waiters and waitresses are not used to deal with easy costumers. As soon as they detect a human trying to get something to eat, servers become the worse they can be. Only the promise of a tip coming keeps them from stabbing someone in the eye.

    December 6, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
  39. Joseph Brown

    People are dicks because they can get away with it.

    December 6, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • endora

      Exactly, Joseph.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:14 am |
  40. Edwin

    In other words, people are jerks because they're thoughtless jerks.

    December 6, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  41. DJ

    Yes, all people are hardwired to be rude. Rude is defined in the dictionary as, primitive; uneducation; uncivil. All people most by educated to over ride this natural tendency born of selfishness. That's where good parenting skills come in.

    December 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Daniel Morrissey

      Not everyone has to be mean throughout their lives.

      December 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  42. Ladd

    Rudeness... I see instant rudeness in any of these "comment" sections following any kind of news article. People just seem to be begging to be rude to others. How can people actually believe that an "anti-bullying" program can work?

    December 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • J-Pap

      Fully agree. People are very rude these days. I had a lady cut right in front of my friends and I who hailed down our cab. She said, sorry boys, I'm taking this one and shoved her way right past us. I yelled at the cabi to kick her out but he took off while I kicked the door closed on that old wind bag. We were dumbfounded.

      December 6, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
      • rhonda

        I had a woman at my job pound on our glass door before we open to let her in, I thought she was going to break the glass. Once staff got in I unlocked 5 minutes early so to get the day started. She screamed and yelled for a while how dare we make her wait....... She sat down and explained to all the people in the waiting room how " I love being older, I can do and say what I want and get away with it."

        December 7, 2013 at 8:47 am |
  43. Lisa Thornton

    This is a nice article. It's too bad people need to be reminded to consider other people's feelings and give them the benefit of the doubt.

    December 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • ocsurfer

      It's a completely crap article, full of made-up examples to support a made-up point about an invented premise, written by a man who has never worked an honest day in his life.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
      • JustLiberty

        Nicely put.

        December 7, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  44. George

    I don't mean to be rude to waiters, but I also don't think that the waiter should try to become part of your dinner party either, which most of them seem to do these days. A waiter should be all business and polite at the same time. When they inturrupt your conversations repeatedly by asking how your food is, they are the ones who are being rude. When they do that, I'm tempted to say that the food is great but I was hoping to have a nice quiet conversation with my friend and it keeps getting interrupted by the annoying waiter. And when it gets to that point, I'm sure my annoyance would be preceived as rude.

    December 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • John

      When I waited tables while in college, I was REQUIRED to ask tables through the meal how their meal was. If the manager dropped by the table and learned I did not ask at least several times, I would potentially be in trouble. If the problem persisted, I would lose my job (or so I was told – didn't lose my job as I always tried my best to follow instructions at the few restaurants I worked).

      Sorry it annoys you, but I and other waiters ask you that question for a reason – we are almost always instructed to ask how your meal is.

      If it really bother you, at the start of the meal, ask for the manager and explain what you want, and that you will be perfectly happy to not have your waiter ask you that question. It will actually work out for everyone – you will be happy, the waiter will be happy as it will free up time for them, thus, other customers will be happy as the waiter will have more time to serve them. Win win.

      Enjoy your next meal!

      December 6, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
      • J-Pap

        Find a reason to come back to the table, ie fill some more water glasses and sneak in the questions. Once is enough. Seriously.

        December 6, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
      • Guest1

        It is mind-boggling that managers would purposely want to do something that they know would annoy the guests. It only goes to show that no business actually cares about their customers; they (businesses) only care about profit and what they think it's good for their profit. I am seriously tempted that every time in the future, after receiving my meal, say to the waiter (just like you suggested): "Thank you, I am sure the meal will be great and I would like not to be disturbed during my meal. If I need anything I will look for you." Doesn't it sound as if I am coming across a little bit rude?

        December 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
      • jocdocnh

        But there are ways to ask the question without being rude...walk up, pause and make eye contact. Most people will pause their conversations. Apologize for interrupting and ask. Takes an extra five seconds and is so much more polite.

        December 7, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • DireLobo

        I ate at a restaurant recently where every waiter and busboy would appear at my table every 3 minutes to refill my water glass, from a carafe which was already on the table! After the 4th time, I started to place my hand over the carafe when I saw the waiter reach for it, and gently shook my head, side to side, to indicate, no thanks. Finally, after 40 minutes of this, one guy snuck in and took the carafe before I had a chance to cover it with my hand. So as he was about to pour I said "Please, don't do that.". He apologized, told us he was the owner, so I took the opportunity to advise him that he should stop instructing his crew to constantly fill my cup. Why the heck do they leave the carafe on your table if they plan to come over every 3 seconds to fill your cup? I think the issue here is that they had too many staff in this place, and no 1 waiter assigned to our table, so each time it was someone new coming over. I think perhaps this is meant to cater to certain people who desire an over-abundance of subservience from waitstaff, which I do not require and frankly fund obsequious and annoying. Anyway, if any managers and owners are reading this, cut it out! Stop bothering your customers and learn to take a hint! But I certainly did not punish "the" waiter, and I sure hope they pool tips in a place like that.

        December 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Guest1

      Completely agree!

      December 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • webwench1

      I understand your point, however the staff is required by management to make sure everything is ok! I, like you would prefer after dinner and drinks have been served that the server just keep an eye out if drinks are getting low to keep interruptions at a minimum but still serve. Management in many restaurants need to get a clue on customer service! They have the pagers for when your table is available, why not have a pager for the server when you actually need them. Technology is changing a lot might get rid of the annoyances now required.

      December 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
      • lulany

        Excellent idea. One thing that's really annoying is when the waiter comes by to ask how things are about 3 minutes after they brought your meal and then never comes back until you're long done. This happened to me recently and it was so frustrating. It gave the impression that they were just doing what had to be done not to get in trouble but didn't actually care at all about whether we actually enjoyed our meal. We weren't even able to enjoy the free refills on drinks and condiments. It actually made me wonder if that wasn't part of the reason they did that. Essentially, make it look good by coming back to ask how things are and then only come back when everyone's done so the restaurant doesn't actually have to honor it's promise to refill anything.

        December 7, 2013 at 1:12 am |
  45. LeonardNelson

    My parents always treated service workers in all jobs with kindness and respect and that is one big way you learn how to deal with others. Children learn from adults how to behave with class.

    December 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  46. Taco Muncher

    Rudeness is respected in our society. It is falsely viewed as being "confident" or "powerful."

    December 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  47. joemurphydpo

    In other words, people may be black.

    December 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  48. Fred

    Now wait a minute here. The purpose of the tip is for good service. If it was bad service, regardless of the reason, why would you tip? It makes no difference the reason. Would you pay your hair person a tip for a lousy haircut because he/she was busy and there were too many customers? Are we supposed to pay a tip for bad service?

    December 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • emintey

      If the waiter is doing his best to serve his patrons but has a hard time due to excessive workload as you suggest then yes, you should leave a good tip.

      December 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • LeonardNelson

      There are variables here. Did the hairdresser schedule too many customers or did someone do it to her? I've seen both situations. Did the hairdresser have a particular hard time with another customer who was very picky or a child that was not cooperative? Was the hairdresser feeling well? Phone calls from home about a sick child? If I would see the person gossiping with another worker too long, or reading a magazine or being similarly not concerned about me then they might get a small or no tip. I might ask why things were taking so long and see if I had a right to be miffed. I really believe in benefit of the doubt in most situations unless I am pretty certain the service worker is being lax. I do give a tip if the reason for the "bad service" is not the fault of the worker.

      December 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • erin

      You cannot evaluate service as "bad" based upon factors outside of the server's control.

      December 6, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • TobyK

      If you are not getting the service you expect, find the manager and tell him/her rather than take it on the server. If the problem is the server being overworked, the manager is then in a position to mitigate that. A normal tip would be justified. If the problem is the server being disorganized or just not very good, the manager can take care of that as well and a small tip (or none) would be justified. I think the type of restaurant plays into this as well. My expectations of service are way higher at McCormick and Schmick than at Olive Garden.

      December 7, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  49. TobyK

    I disagree. People are rude to service people because:
    1. They have no manners.
    2. They were raised in a barn or by wolves.
    3. They are insecure and feel they have to prove they're better than someone.
    4. They are just damn ignorant.

    My mother owned a restaurant for many years and most of the customers were polite and civil. They ones that were idiots were in the minority.

    December 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Prince Phlip III

      5. They were raised to believe they are better than everyone else. As a regal person should. Everyone around you is there to serve.

      December 6, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Mike

      No. Wolves would have better manners.

      December 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • DF

      I'm with you, TobyK, nobody is hardwired to be antisocial - unless, of course, they actually are diagnosable, for example, as an Asocial Personality, etc.

      Add to that, those who are under the influence of alcohol/drugs. Apparently that's a stunningly large percent.

      Your point 3 was about insecure people, but you lumped "proving their are better" in with that, whereas there are very commonly people in a group who are asserting their authority, not particularly with the waiter, but with their table guests.

      December 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • sami

      I'm also in agreement with TobyK. Civility and class are learned. Rudeness and crudeness are also learned. I encounter both types of people all the time as we all do. Mostly I am able to ignore the rude unkind people out there. Who has time to let them enter our day? I'd much rather be feeling happy and relaxed at the end of the day thinking about the positive encounters I've had with people. The ugly hearted people, keep it to your selves please.

      December 7, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • NorCalMojo

      None of which is any of the waiter's business. A waiter's job is to make whoever walks through the door happy, regardless of their psychological profiles.

      If you can't do the job, speak to your management about staffing levels or find something you're better suited to.

      December 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
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