One of the plagues on my generation, and even more so ones younger than me, is the unwillingness of some people to act their age. We as wait staff regularly interact with people in the mid to late 20's and early 30's who it would be tough to argue that developmentally they are advanced beyond a 12 year old socially. What's worse is that certain sub-sections of our culture seem to almost encourage this. It ranges from the impoliteness, the interruptions, the foul language used in public (it's a restaurant dumb-ass, nobody else cares how F'ed up your ho was...) to the talking on cell phones and the list goes on.
I've been using the stare and the finger (no, not the middle one, though that is tempting...) to communicate to rude guests for years. I'm mulling over switching tactics and treating these adults like the children they behave like. Condescending voice and all. It would be more fun for me, and honestly it wouldn't hurt my tips any. When you are talking to a table, and the neighboring table begins to yell, wave, snap fingers or even walks over to you and it's not a life-threatening injury they are alerting you to, there is a 95% chance that you will be getting a tip in the suck to zilch range. So I might as well have fun I figure.
Restaurants need to have banned lists like places used to have for people who wrote bad checks. You'd stick their picture up on the wall next to the offense, kinda like a Miracle Network balloon. And when they would come in you would give them a warning, and if they didn't behave then they would be moved to the permanently banned list. We could institute a system of application for restatement after 3 years. After these people were banned from every restaurant in the region they might wake up what kind of social midgets they are. And if not, we could still all dine without having to hear some lady's phone ring 50 Cent over and over and over and over and over...
I'm stealing the following from Karen Ruby's blog:
Ever wish you could just tell that rude person on their cell phone to shut the hell up? You don't have to return rudeness with rudeness - you can simply hand them over one of these nifty little "Dear Cell Phone User" cards telling them exactly what you think.
Here's a sample:
SHHH, the Society for Handheld Hushing (link) has created these funny and unique cards that you can print out and give to those obnoxious (and oblivious to everyone else) cell phone users.
You can print out the cards found here (in pdf format) from Coudal Partners.
Make sure you have plenty on hand. I suggest cutting out several different versions and carrying them in your purse or wallet so that you'll be ready the next time you're forced to hear about the 'wild risque party' or 'annoying health problem' or 'dire financial condition' the person next to you is yabbering on about on their cell phone.
Just be careful that it's not you receiving one of the cards.
Related Tags: Red Lobster, Darden, GMRI, Bad Customers, Rude Customers, Guest Service, Customer Service, Food Service, Waiter, Waitress, Server, Cell Phone Usage, Social Skills, Act Your Age, Restaurant, Seafood, Rude, Seafood Restaurant, 50 Cent, Ringtones