Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Good show!

It was one of those moments in time that will be burned into the permanent part of my memory.

Last night was busier than most Tuesdays. No particular reason that we could come up with, it just was. Somewhere in the middle of the evening I got a two top in a booth. They were about 50, married, and fairly unremarkable through the course of much of their meal. About half way through their eating of their entrees, the booth next to them was sat with a young family of 4. Mom, Dad, a 6ish year old girl and a 3ish year old boy (in another server's section). As I brought the check to my table and asked if there was anything else I could get them, the man at my table looked at me with a perturbed look and said, "Can you do something about that!" I wasn't quite sure what he ment. "What is that sir?" thump thump thud "That!" The young boy in the adjacent booth was kicking the base of the booth intermittently. "Let me check sir, but my guess is probably not much." He knew this answer was coming. "No, you don't have to do anything, I'll take care of it." He promptly stood up (while his wife put on her coat) and stepped over to the neighboring table. "Excuse me. I would just like to politely inform you that your unruly child has ruined our meal this evening. I normally wouldn't say anything, but it appears you are oblivious to the impact your child is having. You have likely ruined the meals for these other tables (gesturing) as well, and I suggest you apologize to them." He turned, handed me a wad of cash, and said, "thanks for making part of our meal enjoyable." And then they walked out without another word from them, me, or the now enormously embarrassed parents. I thought I saw a neighboring table contemplating clapping. The tip was fat, especially considering they were a bit miffed and were a no hassle table.

I honestly don't know if I could've scripted it any better. I didn't hear another peep from the neighboring table the rest of their stay.


Anonymous said...

obvious ---> oblivious?

I really don't understand why the "service" industry is so reluctant to make people aware of rules and expected behaviors. I work in a hospital and we have signs on the wall explaining our obligations to customers and what we expect from customers and their guests, and we don't hesitate to enforce it.

Lobster Boy said...

I would gladly enforce it if I thought for a second I would be supported. But somewhere along the line a corporate moron had the bright idea that customers never leave unhappy (never mind if they make others unhappy) and the customer is always right. Red Lobster bends over for customers like you wouldn't believe. But the problem is that we (the service staff) are the ones who end up taking it.

Lobster Boy

Control Your Kids said...

After having a recent dinner ruined by some unruly kids, I announced to the apparent father upon our departure from the restaurant, “Thanks for ruining our dinner. If you can’t control your kids, you belong at Chuck E Cheese until you can.” (Where a kid can be kid and a parent can too.)

Anonymous said...

God smiled on you today.

I will keep my fingers crossed that some day that will somehow happen to me....the ghetto trash we get would throw a hissy fit.

Anonymous said...

I was at a Red Robin last weekend and this guy was letting his little girl run all over the restaurant, pestering other tables with kids. This idiot just sat there talking to his friends while she ran around the lobby, the restroom, and the floor totally unsupervised. She could have gotten hurt or some freak could have snatched her and her dad wouldn't have even noticed until she was long gone - then he'd be crying on T.V. about "How could this have happened?". Of course I said nothing. Kudos to your customer for having the nads to tell them off (I assume the kid was doing more than just kicking the booth).

Anonymous said...

"God smiled" and "ghetto trash" in the same post. What a typically loving non-judgemental Christian attitude. No wonder there are so many atheists.

Lobster Boy said...

I don't know if either statement is a definining indication that either of those posters has faith, and if they do, then whether they define God as that of Christianity.

Lobster Boy

Nicole said...

For some people an evening out to dinner is still a special occasion, one which they enjoy taking their children with them. I assume all of you complaining about kids don't have any of your own. Just.wait. You will regret every snide remark and dirty look you shoot parents of a 2 year old throwing a tamtrum. Wait, I hear your "MY kids will NEVER do that." response...let me tell you, YES THEY WILL.

There is a difference between a kid running wild and a kid just being a kid, btw. I'm not saying children shouldn't be expected to behave a certain way out in public, but WRECKING a meal just from kicking the seat? Why didn't that old man turn around and ASK the parents to make the kid stop kicking his seat? That would've been a little better than just insulting them and storming off.

Just for the record, I hope my toddler leaves a HUGE mess next time we go to the Lob. I'll make sure to order pasta and rice, and make sure he gets it everywhere. If that would've been me the old man decided to open his mouth to he would've gotten a mouthful right back. HOW RUDE.

Anonymous said...

Well I for one sure am glad your shit doesnt stink lady. Keep your little rugrat kids under control in public. And yes, having one of your dipshit kids kicking my seat over the course of a meal WOULD ruin my evening.

And YES, we all know our kids will/do act like that. The difference, however, is that those of us who have seen what unruly children can do to the dining experience of others will have the brains to keep our kids under control.

This guy said what every waiter is thinking, we just can't say it. Go ahead, order the pasta and what not, hell you can even have all the cheese biscuits you want (because we both know you'll be pestering me for those goddamn things) and I still wont give a shit - because youre white trash lady, and I'm pretty damn well sure from the attitude you took from your post that I could sense it from the moment I walk up to your table, and nothing you could do would surprise me. Fuck off.


Unknown said...

That was awesome of that guy to say something to that parent. I don't think I would have the balls to do that. And Nicole, I DO have kids. About the same age, actually. My kids KNOW BETTER than to act like that--if they did, we would either be taking a special trip to the bathroom or going home.

Annie =)

Anonymous said...

Well, Nicole, this comment you made was quite mature:

Just for the record, I hope my toddler leaves a HUGE mess next time we go to the Lob. I'll make sure to order pasta and rice, and make sure he gets it everywhere. If that would've been me the old man decided to open his mouth to he would've gotten a mouthful right back. HOW RUDE.

In addition, Nicole --

50 is "old"???? You haven't heard that "50 is the new 30"?

My niece has a 2 year old and a 4 year old (boy and girl respectively) and she would NEVER take the attitude you did, nor would she tolerate her children annoying other diners.

Do you pick up after your dog? I would bet you don't.

DeeDee - Waiter, keep the faith for those of us who like a peaceful dining adventure

Control Your Kids said...

Nicole, it your responsibility to control your children in a public place or don’t bring them. An adult wouldn’t be allowed to scream, kick someone’s seat or somehow destroy their dining experience. Many considerate parents leave their children with the sitter if they are too young or unruly to control or eat a kid spots. Remember, someday when you are older and have grown children you will want to enjoy a quiet meal with your hubby and someone else's kids won't seem so cute to you anymore.

Anonymous said...

In response to the lack of support from the corporate morons... I will agree. Nobody is to leave unhappy. If a manager tells them to be quiet, they get pissed and take it out on the server when it comes time to tip. Then they call guest relations to complain about the manager and get some gift certificates so they can come back next time, be a pain in the ass, and eat for free. It is a neverending cycle with our guests who cannot grasp what social norms are. RL does not want to confront any of the problem guests in fear that they will lose business. But if other guests are bothered by the screaming children they are less likely to come back, and if we allow the unruly children to continue without confronting the parents, we lose business.

Anonymous said...

Kid haters, I hate then to!!
They can never keep quiet and they are rude and disgusting. Keep your brats at home or take them to McDonalds until they can behave properly.

Disgruntled goddess said...

My kids, my job to parent them. And I work damn hard to make sure I am raising them right.

Going out to dinner as a family is fine. Go to age appropriate places, when sure nobody has the crankies and make sure the kids can behave.

I have every right to take my kids to dinner. But I have no right to ruin anyone else's meal in doing so.

My kids have learned early on that if they want to go out to dinner instead of staying home with the sitter, they need to behave.

There are two kinds of people who have kids. Parents and breeders.

Parents take the time to teach their kids right and wrong, enforce rules, expect good behavior.

Breeders expect everyone to make allowences for their kids simply because they are kids instead of teaching them how to behave.

Anonymous said...

For some families, eating out isn't so much an "occasion" as a daily event. All meals cannot be eaten at McD's. Just because I have a toddler does not mean I should be destined to years of fast-food for dinner. Children learn to behave by being allowed to practice their skills in real situations. Don't be rude to mine or any child...she's not being a brat, she's being a toddler. That being this Nicole chic out of her mind? If you think that intentionally allowing your child to make a mess is appropriate, you not only deserve to be "told off" by another customer, but management should strongly suggest you cut your meal short. My daughter is only 16-months old...she is a good baby, but by no means perfect. Many of the behaviors she may attempt to engage in are because she has not yet learned that they are inappropriate. We use these as teachable moments, but not at the expense of other patrons. It is my responsibility to keep by daughter under control while in public. Being a child does not give her carte blanche to impede on other people's rights. any inapproriate behavior that cannot be gotten under control within 1-2 minutes results in her being removed from the situation until it can be. We have also learned that when other patrons can tell that you are actively attempting to control your child's behavior and if you are genuinely apologetic for disturbing their meal they are extremely forgiving and tolerant of behavior that is truly just a matter of "kids being kids".

C. Crockett
Tampa, FL