My students, like my own kids before them, and my poor dear wife long before that, have from time to time maybe occasionally sometimes perhaps accused me of ruining dining out for them. My students tell me, because of what they have learned in my class, that they can no longer enjoy themselves when they eat out. My family can take that a step further because they have had the ‘joy’ of actually dining out with me.
I suppose I am willing to take some responsibility for my family, they have had to put up with it for years, but I tell my students they can’t blame me. I simply want everyone to enjoy their experiences out by appreciating the beauty of that show known as ‘restaurant’. If I happen to point out a few things to beware of when eating out, so be it. I may have ruined a few dining experiences, but it has given me a lot of cred when I meet with consulting clients. At least I think it has.
It’s not my fault
I feel that by making my students a bit more observant, I am giving them a chance to be pro-active when eating out. If you walk into a place, and it is obviously busy, that is a clue. Hmm, maybe it would help your cause if you are ready when the server gets to your table. I have watched many times, customers who are completely oblivious to what is going on around them, and then get upset when they don’t get their food immediately. The server finally gets to their table, and they just–at that moment–start to think about what they want to drink and eat.
There have been many occasions, when out with my family, that I have said, “They are busy, so figure out what you want.” “We are going to get the server’s attention once, and just for a brief time, so be ready.” I know I drive my kids crazy when we go out, but they have no idea how many dining experiences I have saved thanks to my observation skills acquired in college (and mostly after college). The busy place is just one example.
Sure, I am guilty of pointing out many other shortcomings that they had managed to ignore in the past: Hostess ignoring customers and texting. Waiter talking to co-worker about his golf game when his table is looking around wanting to order another drink. Cook putting product order together for tomorrow instead of actually cooking the one in front of him for the customer who is there now. Bartender flirting with the cute ladies at the bar and ignoring the rest of the world.
Guilty as charged
Wow, after writing this thing, I kind of see what my students are saying. Any suggestions out there on how to turn that switch off, and go back to being just another customer trying to enjoy his dinner?