On The Unusual Behavior Of Waiters

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Waiter With A Red Face by Hernán Kirsten 
There's a fine place for food lovers here that has an unusual way of greeting us as we step into the eatery.

Instead of having a host saying 'welcome' to your face with a warm gentle voice, about two to three and sometimes the whole team of waiters and waitresses would parrot the word 'welcome' in a way that will and should cause temporary disorientation and secondhand embarrassment. If you're sensitive, that is.

Most often, people would just barge in and the repetition of welcome, welcome, welcome... to the tenth times would just be ignored.

What makes it mind-boggling is that these waiters who are echoers (let's just call them, that) would be involved in some other duties like cleaning tables and taking and rechecking orders at other tables where paying customers are already seated. Talk about being completely insensitive.

The first time we were greeted upon this way, shock would be an understatement. Just imagine walking into a lovely restaurant and a balloon has to explode by way of a unique customer-welcoming strategy and do kindly tell me how would you react?

Staying true to stereotypical Asian politeness, we'd be looking up and down, side to side or at each other trying our best to appear most warmly welcomed and least of all disturbed. The price we pay for when delicious food is promised...ha ha ha

However, this peculiar waiter-gone-nuts behavior doesn't stop there unfortunately.

Once you've done filling up your collective tummies with delicious South East Asian spicy aromatic cuisine and about to propel your weight up, the table boys, gals and cashier will begin their enthusiastic choir of thank yous in the loudest least courteous way possible that would trigger a sudden lull in the conversations of other customers.

Seriously, do they have cameras hidden somewhere that capture customers' reactions as they bark out welcomes and thank yous? Are we, the customers, a source of their twisted amusement? Or are we unknowingly, being used as blind test subjects of a research that focuses on understanding the full extent of Asian politeness or the level of stupidity that Asians will stomach when good food is concerned?

I hope it's the latter.

I thought this off-putting customer-greeting style was limited to the occasional FOS branch of two, but I'm mistaken.

Maybe, the owner of this eatery is related to the person who came out with this so original idea. And who knows perhaps they're the same person!

Let me ask you:

Would you prefer to be welcomed in a gentle voice of a person who looks you in the eye and a smile on his/her face or would you prefer to be greeted by a loud voice of some waiter/waitress who is not even looking at you and then have the word 'welcome' repeated loudly by some ten voices as you enter the eatery? Do they think we're mentally-compromised?

Would you prefer the cashier or the random waiter to personally thank you in a gentle voice and a smile while looking at you after that exquisite gobble or would you prefer an out-of-the-box style of loud thunderous voices barking thank yous as you make your exit?

Do we really have to make a survey out of these questions that have the most obvious answers?

Has anyone experienced this? I'd thought of barking my thank you in the same loud tone if not louder just to see how a sane waiter/waitress would react, but I'm just disgustingly too polite. Can someone please slap me?

PS: I found that if you eyeball the waiters as you make your entrance or exit, and smile extra sweet, they will utter their welcomes and thank yous in a much respectful tone. Wow, didn't know they were capable of basic human courtesy! Great discovery, I tell you.

If you're not feeling extra sunshiny and can't say no to good food, just imagine you're in the company of colorful parrots. That'll put a smile on your face, I hope.

© All images are copyrighted by their respective authors.

shanaz@RS | 12:34 AM | Labels:

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