How do you treat your waiter? My mom taught me to always say thank you to the people who wait on me at restaurants. When they refill my water, I say 'thank you'. When they hand me the salt, pepper, Splenda or spoon I asked for, I say 'thank you'. But I realized I hardly ever look up at them. My eyes are glued to the menu when I order (I might as well hand them a card with my order written on it like in the photo). Or glued to my glass, my food or the person I'm eating with when I thank the waiter for refilling my water.
So a couple of years ago, when my friend B told me about this book she was reading about how waiters are always overlooked, I felt really bad. B talked about how people never look waiters in the eye, how people tend to look past them - like they were invisible. I found this really sad. Especially since I was guilty of it. I realized then that the thank-you's I was so proud of were empty if I didn't so much as looked at the person I was thanking!
Since then, I've made an effort to look waiters in the eye. When I thank them, I make it a point to also make eye contact and smile at them. I am determined to make them feel they're people and not machines, to give them some human contact in the course of their workday. I am hoping that by doing this, waiters will no longer feel invisible and overlooked because no one deserves to feel that way.
So please, look your waiter in the eye. Smile at them. We can do this. One waiter at a time.
Photo from garancedore.
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