Rude Waiters, Driving With Aloha
Wednesday - January 31, 2007
Needing to be heard ...A large group of friends and I were eating dinner at a fine-dining establishment recently. Because of the number of people at the table, there were several conversations going on at once.
It was difficult to hear anything over the din in the restaurant, even from the person seated two people away. So when the waiter came by to tell us the specials of the day, I didn’t notice him, as I was seated on the far side of the table.
Apparently he stood there staring at me for a good minute before the guy next to me noticed and elbowed me to look up. I smiled and said, “Oh, sorry.”
The waiter, Jeff, then proceeded to make a motion synonymous for “I am watching you,” with two fingers first pointed in the direction of his eyes, then a finger pointed forcefully at me.
I was confused, but remained attentive as the waiter continued to stare directly at me the entire length of his “today’s specials” spiel. When he was done, he gave me a smirk, turned and stomped away from the table. No joke.
“What was that?!” my friend Angie asked. “Was he mad at you or something?”
Our table of 15 laughed at the possibility.
“What did I do?” I asked. “You weren’t ready to pay attention to him and he had a whole speech prepared,” Simon, the guy who had elbowed me, said.
Now, I’ve been on the service side of a restaurant table. I know that restaurants can be hectic and loud, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed when you have a big party to tend to. But come on! It’s not like I was purposely trying to ignore Jeff. I really did want to hear the specials.
Anyway, I guess Jeff felt bad for his little hissy fit because he was exceptionally nice to me the rest of the meal, even giving me his personal opinion about every item on the menu.
He did, however, make very clear his desire for guests to give him their full and undivided attention. I later saw him shoot my friend Simon the stink eye when Simon said something to the person next to him during Jeff’s spiel about desserts.
Speaking of courtesies ... We all know that traffic on Oahu can be more than frustrating at times. It’s easy to get worked up and angry when you have to wait 25 minutes just to get from McCully Shopping Center to Ward Avenue.
But let’s not lose sight of that aloha spirit. Please.
In conducting my master’s thesis research, a participant noted that one of the things he found most extraordinary about Hawaii when he moved to the Islands five years ago was how often people would wave you into traffic - even if it meant parting a sea of cars to let one person cross three lanes.
He said he’d never seen that anyplace else in the world, and he had been to a good many places.
Lately, however, I’ve seen the complete opposite of that spirit on our roadways: People purposely tailing the car in front of them, making sure the guy in the middle lane with the blinker on can’t possibly edge in; people yelling at each other or making obscene gestures in the middle of the street; or gunning the gas pedal as an audible argument to let someone know they shouldn’t have cut in.
Not only can this type of aggressive driving lead to needless accidents, but it’s also ruining the generosity of spirit that makes Hawaii a special place in which to live.
And it doesn’t help you get where you’re going any faster.
Just when you think you know someone ... For years I thought that Mr. Pono the wiener dog’s favorite snack was broccoli. It seemed to be the food item he was most excited about on a regular basis. Until, that is, I introduced carrots to the mix. My friend Patrick swore carrots were the new No. 1. I begged to differ.
“It’s not possible. He loves broccoli,” I said.
So we devised a test: Put a broccoli tree and a carrot side by side and see which one Mr. P went for first. He sniffed the broccoli, put it in his mouth, then changed his mind, put it down and gobbled the carrot.
Humph. Go figure. Just when you think you know someone, he changes. Not a big deal as far as dogs are concerned, but with people it can get a bit more complicated.
People change - it’s a fact of life. You either grow with those changes and learn to live with what’s new and different, or you become mired in denial and what used to be.
E-mail this story | Print this page | Comments (0) | Archive | RSS Comments (0) |
Most Recent Comment(s):