Please Be Kind to Waitstaff. They are Doing the Best They Can Right Now.

“One restaurant in Massachusetts even closed for a ‘Day of Kindness’ after angry customers drove servers to tears.”~NPR
image source: NPR’s article Low Pay, No Benefits, Rude Customers: Restaurant Workers Quit At Record Rate.
I read every word of this article. It reminded me of a recent incident we witnessed while dining out.
A man berated the owner (who was pregnant by the way) for several minutes because they had waited too long at a table for service. The owner patiently and kindly listened to him go on and on about her “unacceptable” management and repeatedly said he would never come there again. She patiently listened until he was done.
The man also said more than once, that he worked at Churchill Downs as if that had anything to do with anything. I assume this was a flex of whatever perceived power or notoriety he thinks he might have. He embarrassed himself only. We stayed, waited patiently, and had a lovely dinner.
What if we all pulled into a drive-through or entered a restaurant with the belief that the staff is doing the absolute best they can. If they appear aloof, don’t take that personally. Visualize the barrier they may have had to put between you and them because of experiences like the ones detailed in this article.
Go out to dine with the belief that everyone wants to see you get your dinner, or your donuts and coffee with the right amount of creamer in the drive-through.
If you feel neglected during service, simply ask someone for help, instead of turning on your stopwatch and placing bets with others at the table about how long it takes a server to get to you. All the while, your blood pressure boiling.
You will have a more enjoyable experience, you will get a good meal, you will not have your own night ruined, and you will be able to sleep restfully that night knowing you were not responsible for degrading another human all over a plate of food- which is nothing but a blessing.
If you berate another human being over an order of food you really have to look at yourself and what it is you need. Because, I promise you, that the perceived “problem” is not at all what you think it is. It’s not about the quality of their service, it’s about your ability to act with empathy and understand that everyone is doing the best they can in this tumultuous time.
If you berate another human being over an order of food, or the amount of cream in your coffee, the service is missing on your end, not on theirs.

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 15 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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