UnderCover Waitress: Cell Phones

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cell Phones

Whatever happened to paying attention to the people in one's presence? Cell phones are now deemed more worthy of our attention than life sustenance.

Four top of ladies dining together. After delivering their meals, one either made or more likely received a cell phone call. She was still chatting away when I went to check on the table. As a matter of fact, the bussers cleared three empty plates while this woman talked on the phone with a plate full of food in front of her.

Not seeing any point in making the three ladies who had been visiting with each other wait, I delivered dessert menus while the fourth started eating her entree. Her food was cold, she missed all of the lively conversation which is often the whole point of going out with other people, and for what? Because she chose to 1) answer the phone, and 2) not tell the person on the other end of the line that she would call back later.

I have no idea who she was talking to or what about. I guess it could have been life or death, but the rest of the table was relaxed and enjoying each other. I would think if their friend was talking somebody out of committing suicide, the energy at the table would have been a bit more tense. But I could be wrong.

Another thing that got me was that she chose to sit at the table for the duration of her long cell phone conversation. Sometimes when people take a call, they go outside and have a brief conversation. Perhaps the other person is a bully, and she was afraid of putting him off. Very sad, very strange.

Not as strange, however, as the late night party of three. Mom, Dad, and a grown daughter.

Dinner service is 5 to 9. It was 9 p.m. and we were empty. Three seemingly polite people wondered if we wouldn't mind accommodating them; of course we welcomed them in. At first, they seemed thankful for our offer of hospitality.

After approaching the table with a smile, I launch into the list of specials. Mom takes out a cell phone. Irritated, I decided to finish telling the specials to Dad and daughter. I guess this was disruptive, as Mom stayed glued in her seat but started yelling over me into the phone.

Bad move. Years of theatrical training have left me with the ability to project my voice over the best of them. I finished the specials and walked away.

Upon returning to take their order, Mom informed me that she had missed the specials because she had been on the phone. As if I hadn't noticed. Silly me, I thought she had been yelling into her coat sleeve.

I replied that her companions could fill her in regarding the specials. Yeah, not a good tip on that table, but it was worth it.
Cell Phone Manners in a Restaurant

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