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June 27, 2006 3:44 PM   Subscribe

How to use a cellphone without looking like an asshole. Or maybe you need a primer on ordering wine instead. Once again, Waiter has you covered.
posted by kyleg (123 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Hallelujah, THANK YOU Waiter Rant man for this sane, intelligent piece of writing!!! Every one of those points makes excellent sense.

Waiter Rant is one of my very favorite blogs, it's thoughtful, articulate, funny, insightful and smart.

And thank you for posting this gem kyleg.
posted by nickyskye at 4:01 PM on June 27, 2006


Waiter needs an editor.
posted by herc at 4:01 PM on June 27, 2006


but, but, I'm more important than you.
posted by machaus at 4:06 PM on June 27, 2006


That was really enlightening. Thanks for the neat tips!
posted by unwordy at 4:06 PM on June 27, 2006


nickyskye,

you beat me to it!
posted by unwordy at 4:09 PM on June 27, 2006


I've actually used a cell phone in a life-threatening emergency (never mind the details--it was an accident, the details leading up to which I can't remember), and am so thankful that I had it with me. My bringing it with me that night also made it possible for ER nurses to call friends in a place where I'd only lived for about a year.

So, no, the part about cell phones being of benefit in emergencies is not necessarily sales bullshit.
posted by raysmj at 4:11 PM on June 27, 2006


So, no, the part about cell phones being of benefit in emergencies is not necessarily sales bullshit.

It's the only reason to own or use one, imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:13 PM on June 27, 2006


Americans being so wonderfully far behind in every mobile phone-related is so cute.
posted by bonaldi at 4:14 PM on June 27, 2006


mrgrimm writes "It's the only reason to own or use one, imo."

They're also good for making phone calls, fyi.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:15 PM on June 27, 2006


Hey, hey, quick, somebody post about how they just want a phone that makes calls and stores numbers.
posted by bonaldi at 4:15 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


Why is "stopping abruptly in the middle of the sidewalk to answer your cell phone" considered "moronic"? Doesn't make any sense... seems like a natural and acceptable thing to do when you've got a call you'd like to take. What are we supposed to do, ignore the call and later tell them: "Oh, sorry I couldn't answer your call--I was busy WALKING"???

Also, why does he care if we do or don't use the same ringtone all the time. As long as it's at a reasonable volume and isn't an annoying or grating song/sound what's the issue? I'd actually prefer people switch up their ring tones more--I get sick of the same little jingle playing day in and day out. Keep it fresh.

posted by jeremy b at 4:15 PM on June 27, 2006


My favorites are #3 and #23 (for cell phones; the other rant was 503).

3. When eating out do not use your cell phone at the table! (Unless you’re using the web browser to read Waiter Rant.) Go outside. I don’t care if it’s raining.

23. Having a cell phone does not mean you can change your plans nine times before actually meeting up with friends. Pick a time and place and stick to it.


I once saw two guys at a Manhattan restaurant talk to other people on their cell phones at the table for their entire meal. It seems rude to the workers and the establishment.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:18 PM on June 27, 2006


It's the only reason to own or use one, imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:13 PM EST on June 27 [+fave] [!]


Cheaper than a landline is another great reason.
posted by juiceCake at 4:19 PM on June 27, 2006


Why is "stopping abruptly in the middle of the sidewalk to answer your cell phone" considered "moronic"?

Because we all have the ability to answer our cell phones and keep walking. :)

If it's anywhere other than a crowded downtown street, it would be fine, but that's what he's talking about, I believe.

It is kind of moronic to stand in the middle of traffic to talk on your phone. Move to the curb or elsewhere out of the heavy flow.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:19 PM on June 27, 2006


Once?
posted by wfc123 at 4:21 PM on June 27, 2006


"Oh, sorry I couldn't answer your call--I was busy WALKING"???

Move to the side of the pavement so the dozen people behind you aren't all of a sudden stopped short and tripping over each other by a surprise roadblock. Maybe think of others who share the pavement too?
posted by nickyskye at 4:22 PM on June 27, 2006


So who's actually going to read this list and act on its recommendations?

Seems like preaching to the choir. The people who are reading the list are in agreement with it already, for the most part. The people who are not reading it won't give a shit. And they'll keep talking on their cell phones while driving, in restaurants, on buses ...

I'd agree with jeremy b that I'd rather hear several different annoying types of ringtones than the same teeth-grindingly obnoxious one over and over and over. Though the likelihood that any one ringtone is fresher than any other is close to nil.
posted by blucevalo at 4:24 PM on June 27, 2006


This is excellent. I agree with most of what he says. Except.

If you are a single mom, you ARE that important (at least to you kid), and they do need to get in touch with you wherever you happen to be. Does that mean you get to annoy everyone else? No. But I'm just saying.

My phone went off (really really loud) in class yesterday. I always put it on silent, but apparently I forgot. Oh god, was I mortified. And then I couldn't find the damn thing in my backpack, so I had to scuttle out of the room, going do-DO-dee-doodle-oodle-oo the whole way. I am going to hell for this.
posted by Methylviolet at 4:26 PM on June 27, 2006


Waiter Rant guy says: I am not, however, a total antediluvian. Cell phones are miracles of technology and I know they’re here to stay. One day I might even have to break down and get one.

He's talking about how annoying people are when they do not consider others around them, while using their cellphones.

He says: People using cell phones often think they’re creating a bubble of personal space within the public domain. Inside that bubble people think they can act like they’re at home – complete with yelling, inappropriate language and subject matter they’d normally whisper in private. Of course the bubble’s an illusion. There’s no private space - we can hear every word they’re saying! And if you ask someone talking on a cell to lower their voice or go outside what happens? They get all pissed off!
posted by nickyskye at 4:26 PM on June 27, 2006


Actually, snark aside, there's something really interesting here in how American society is dealing with mobile phones.

I read a Guardian comment piece this week (can't find link, sorry), opining that New Yorkers pay far more attention to politeness and courtesy than anyone in Britain ever does, despite the absolute reversal in stereotype.

A lot of Waiter's points fall into that category: the majority would pass completely unremarked in Britain. I'd like to see him stop a British kid texting with a stare: I doubt anyone present would realise the state meant "that's rude".
posted by bonaldi at 4:28 PM on June 27, 2006


I'd love to go to his resturaunt and order wine EXACTLY THE WRONG WAY.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:31 PM on June 27, 2006


Sure, but bark on a cellphone and you get a medal. Go figure.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:32 PM on June 27, 2006


People who won't get off the phone in order to interact with others around them. I was in line at the video rental place, and the guy in front of me was yapping on his cellphone. The next available cashier calls out "I can help the next person...* [sees that he's on the phone] ....who's not on a cellphone." The guy's wife nudges him, and he goes up to the cashier, still on the phone. The cashier ignores him and waves me up. I go up there and check out, and all the while, the guy is trying to shove his videos at the cashier without ever taking the phone away from his head or taking any notice of what's going on around him.

Sure enough, one of the commenters in the linked piece makes the same observation:
32. Walking up to a cashier while on a cell phone is rude behavior, unless it’s an emergency, have the courtesy to greet the people handling your money.
*This is Portland, cashiers are grammatical here. Saying "I can help who's next" will get you escorted to the border. The express lane at my supermarket even says "15 Items or Fewer". That's how cool we are.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:32 PM on June 27, 2006


I wish someone had a blog in which a waiter gave us glimpses into the trials and tribulations of a night at his bistro. That'd make for neat reading, I think.
posted by mendel at 4:33 PM on June 27, 2006


I did love waiter rant, but he was always a bit too humble for my taste. He keeps up the waiter act even on the blog. I mean, if you are going to blog about being a waiter, then HATE, man! That's the only damn perk you get! What Mr. Waiterrant is not telling you, for instance, is:

Smelling the cork = you don't know shit about food, bev, and dining = you'd be better off in a diner = you are now getting diner-level service. Good job, moron.

Asking for big glasses = yuppie scum who like to look like they are spending alot of money without actually spending alot of money = no tip = you're getting shitty service.

Ordering white zin = redneck = poor = no tip = shitty service.
posted by ChasFile at 4:33 PM on June 27, 2006


If you are a single mom, you ARE that important (at least to you kid), and they do need to get in touch with you wherever you happen to be. Does that mean you get to annoy everyone else? No. But I'm just saying.

Your mom didn't have a cell phone. But she managed to raise you to adulthood anyway. And to teach you that you and your offspring's needs come first.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:36 PM on June 27, 2006


poor = no tip = shitty service

Bah. Waiter decides customer is a non-tipper, provides shitty service, gets no tip. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Me and the misses have been misjudged in that respect many times, with a good bit of change to drop, just because we want water before deciding on drinks. Your loss, jerk.
posted by dreamsign at 4:37 PM on June 27, 2006


Oh, and I was going to say before I got sucked into criticizing the Me Generation:

I really like this guy's stuff. He's kind of a modern, waiter James Herriott.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:37 PM on June 27, 2006


ChasFile: Waiter has already said most of those things in earlier posts :)
posted by bonaldi at 4:39 PM on June 27, 2006


[How to do other things without looking like an asshole: Urban Etiquette]

28. Cell phones shouldn’t be allowed in schools.

This isn't just for kids, it's the parents and teachers as well. In my preschool there's a giant sign in the lobby that says "NO CELLPHONES BEYOND THIS POINT" and my überboss is an überbitch about enforcing the rule - she will actually confiscate the phones of parents and employees until they leave the building.

At first I thought this rule was completely annoying, especially as I work in an area of the building where the nearest phone is at the end of a very long hallway. If there's some kind of family emergency and someone needs to tell me something STAT, they're going to have to be on hold for a potentially very long time.

Then I noticed the way some parents behave with their cellphones and it all made sense. Most parents if their phone rings while they're picking up their (very small) child, will answer and simply say "I can't talk right now, can I call you back?" Some parents though... they just go on and on and on and on with no sense that this is not the time or place for that. Their kid could be lighting themselves on fire and the parents would keep going.

Not only is this incredibly rude to the teachers who are trying at the end of the day to impart some information about their child's progress, but what kind of message does this send to the kids? "Mommy loves me a lot, but sometimes, the phone is more important."

And yeah, when people are talking on the phone, they totally act like their kids can't hear what they're saying.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:40 PM on June 27, 2006


This is stupid. If you can't flow with technology and the new way of life then go back to your cave. Being rude is the norm these days. Why do you expect people to respect you and your space 24/7? Talk about selfish. Pot, kettle, black.

(I'm not serious. I hate cellphones.)
posted by tomplus2 at 4:42 PM on June 27, 2006


Also, why does he care if we do or don't use the same ringtone all the time. As long as it's at a reasonable volume and isn't an annoying or grating song/sound what's the issue? I'd actually prefer people switch up their ring tones more--I get sick of the same little jingle playing day in and day out. Keep it fresh.

I think what he's referring to is the phenomenon of people deciding that a public place is exactly where you should go through and listen to each and every ring tone on your phone five or six times in a row, spending twenty minutes deciding if "Tocatta and Fugue" or "The Habenera" better suits your personality.

(Teenage girls do this on the bus a lot, and it's one of those times when I wish I could make people spontaneously combust with the powers of my mind.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:43 PM on June 27, 2006


Hey, hey, quick, somebody post about how they just want a phone that makes calls and stores numbers.

I have one. It doesn't get any service unless I'm standing right next to a tower, unfortunately. I'm probably going to have to get one of those flip-phones where it's easier to get on the Web (with a tiny screen) than it is to, you know, make calls.
posted by oaf at 4:45 PM on June 27, 2006


You could do a lot worse than leave the ringer set to "vibrate, then ring" by default. If it's on your person, you can answer or silence it before it bothers anybody, but if it's on the other side of the room it will still ring audibly eventually so you won't miss that vitally-important call.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:47 PM on June 27, 2006


This list is obvious at best, and non-notable and full of whining at worst. NEXT
posted by cellphone at 4:48 PM on June 27, 2006


Oh sure, it's obvious to a cellphone.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:50 PM on June 27, 2006


8. When the waiter presents the bottle LOOK AT THE LABEL! Sometimes waiters make mistakes. My bistro has several wines of differing vintages from the same maker. Sometimes a ’97 is a shitload more expensive than an ‘01! You drink it you buy it. Caveat emptor pal.

Wow. Now I'm afraid to order wine for fear of accidentally going broke. Which lowers my bill, meaning less tip for you, pal.
posted by jrossi4r at 4:50 PM on June 27, 2006


I do many things on that cellphone list. Luckily I don't mind looking like an asshole.
posted by kcalder at 4:50 PM on June 27, 2006


I work as a waiter. When I come up to a greet a table and people can't be bothered to get off their cellies, I make my presence felt in the sense of an emergency until they recognize me. Then I introduce myself and give them the specials. Takes a dick move to usurp another. (And to answer the presumed follow-up question: do inconsiderate people even tip well to begin with?)
posted by Mach3avelli at 4:51 PM on June 27, 2006


We need a "tips for waiters" page as well.

1. Don't handle the customers. I don't need your hand on my arm or shoulder to strengthen the relationship. If you happen to brush me a bit that's fine, but actual physical pawing will cost you most of (my usually pretty generous) tip.
2. Breezing by and bleating "how we doin' over here?" when we're in conversation or our mouths are full is NOT a substitute for attentive service.
3. If I can't catch your eye when you walk by my table (and the only time I ever have your attention is when you do #2), you're not only not getting a decent tip, I'm probably thinking about taking it up with your manager.
4. If the credit card is prominently sitting on the table in plain sight, near the corner closest to you, that's a pretty good sign that I would like my check and probably would have liked it ten minutes ago.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:03 PM on June 27, 2006


Enough with the bitching about cell phones. It smacks me as a 21st century "get off my lawn, whippersnapers!" I agree with pretty much all of those points he said and I follow them (well, closely enough). But anti-cell neoluddites take great pride in not having a cell phone and go to great measures to boast how they "only have a land line at home". Great, I bet it's a rotary dial, too.

I read a Guardian comment piece this week (can't find link, sorry), opining that New Yorkers pay far more attention to politeness and courtesy than anyone in Britain ever does, despite the absolute reversal in stereotype.

In Japan, people are very conscientious about cell phone etiquette--talking on the train is a big no-no, but when people occasionally do, they cover their mouth (and the phone) and speak as quietly as possible. I went to Hong Kong recently and it was the opposite--everyone was talking on the train. They even have signals threaded through the subway lines so you can talk everywhere. I didn't think it was particularly rude, though. Talking with your friend (at a normal volume) and talking on a cell phone (at a normal volume) are essentially the same--why is a cell on the train somehow more rude?
posted by zardoz at 5:10 PM on June 27, 2006


I once saw two guys at a Manhattan restaurant talk to other people on their cell phones at the table for their entire meal. It seems rude to the workers and the establishment.

The funny part, of course, is that it's not rude at all. People in a restaurant are entitled to have a conversation. The waiter is not entitled to decide who they may converse with. The patron's responsibility is to converse at a volume level typical for the environment, not to limit that conversation to those present in the flesh.
posted by NortonDC at 5:10 PM on June 27, 2006


They way other people use X technology is not how I believe they should use it. OHNOES!!!
posted by signal at 5:14 PM on June 27, 2006


On the other side of things, no ringtone should ever be heard in public, at all. Now that is an unwarranted aural intrusion. No phone with vibration has any excuse to be heard in public at any time.
posted by NortonDC at 5:16 PM on June 27, 2006


"Hey, hey, quick, somebody post about how they just want a phone that makes calls and stores numbers."

Fuck that, if I can't just remember your number you're not important enough to call anyway.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:16 PM on June 27, 2006


That guy would go berserk in Hong Kong, where my fair city has passed 100% market saturation in mobile phones.

Remember the Bus Uncle?
posted by bwg at 5:17 PM on June 27, 2006


The problem isnt cell phones but the fact that you arent as important as you think you once were. The phone opens up a contact list of people other people would rather talk to. Once you realize this you'll be much happier with not only phones but with the world around you. In the meantime the luddite-like rants are amusing.
posted by skallas at 5:19 PM on June 27, 2006


So who's actually going to read this list and act on its recommendations?

Seems like preaching to the choir.


I don't agree. People pissed off with cell phone narcissism savor the validation. In having cell phone idiocy detailed, then collaborate in creating limits about what's acceptable and what isn't, either privately in one's personal social life or in a public place, advocate for limits in restaurants, waiting rooms etc. To hell with the Bus Uncles.

Cell phone users seem to be oblivious about the simplest aspects of their misuse of the phone. In every concert or performance I've been to in the last 5 years, in spite of being specifically told to turn off their cell phones, there is ALWAYS some idiot, who refuses to do that and smack dab in the middle of the play, song, gig, poem, symphony, recital, ballet, whatever, there is some damn ringtone.

I was in the hospital having my blood drawn and the phlebotomist, who couldn't find a vein, punctured me 16 painful times, while talking with a friend on her phone until I yelled and threw a fit. She had the gall to act like I was just being an irritable patient. No apology! I felt like hobbling out of bed and thwacking her with the bedpan.

People with cell phones seem to have entitlement issues, not considering others around them. Simple convenience is one thing, but people mull around on phones blathering inanities at the top of their lungs.

It's so bizarre to see 'friends' or 'family' walking down the street together, all on cellphones, incapable of being with each other non-electronically or only at an electronic distance, especially at events or so-called get-togethers. What together? They're all calling elsewhere. Or people all look like Linus with their blankies, unable to be in the moment, raw, real. Existential cowards.


posted by nickyskye at 5:28 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


2. Breezing by and bleating "how we doin' over here?" when we're in conversation or our mouths are full is NOT a substitute for attentive service.

Half the reason we do the annoying things waiters do is because we can get fired for not doing them. Restaurants recruit people to come into their establishments to make sure all service points are being met. I work at the Cheesecake Factory, and we're instructed to override the sentiment for no dessert with a sales pitch about our new cheesecakes (for which we can be fired for not doing). I can feel the vomit coming up through my throat as I watch the pained faces of those who just told me they don't want to hear it.

I've since creatively figured a way to go about pleasing both parties.

Point is: remember the waiters probably don't mean to be insufferable jackasses when they're delivering some kind of pitch. Natch for telecom folks.
posted by Mach3avelli at 5:29 PM on June 27, 2006


Ya know the part about being tipped 200 bucks for a $600 meal that included a $500 bottle of wine, kinda bugs me. The tip is a 'thanks' for service. While ppl normally punish the servers for bad food, a pricey wine shouldn't mean that you are entitled to a big ass tip. Of course that being said, I don't really like wine, and i certianly cant afford bottle that costs 500 bucks.
posted by MrLint at 5:41 PM on June 27, 2006


Metafilter: The people who are not reading it won't give a shit.

Your mom didn't have a cell phone. But she managed to raise you to adulthood anyway.


Thank. Fucking. You. People don't seem to get this. When I worked in a call-center for a cell phone company (first job out of college. Way to use that English degree...) one lady called freaking out because we'd lost service in part of the city (it happens.) And this was in the bad 'ol days, when a phone that weighed two pounds got you a rate plan of $49.99 a month with 30 whole free minutes (.50 a minute after that. Seriously. And that was our most popular plan.) Yet this woman couldn't understand how she was supposed to raise her kids if her cell phone went out for half an hour. My response of, "I dunno, how would your mom have done it?" went over poorly, but it also shut her up.

From the first link: Do not interrupt a conversation with a real live person to answer your cell phone.

I know so many people who need this tattooed backwards on their foreheads so that they have to read it in the mirror when they're brushing their teeth, it's unreal. C'mon... Do you really, Really, REALLY need to take that call? Right now? The worst manifestation of this? Those fucking Bluetooth earpieces. People walking around like Lobots never taking the things off, because, oh dearie me!, whatever should happen if that emergency call (rather than the mindless prattle you seem to be so interested in) does actually happen and you have to actually take one of the three phones you have clipped to your belt in your hand and lift it to your face. Those two seconds could be all that separates you from knowing what time you're going to the movies that night from knowing what time you're going to the movies two seconds later!!!

From the second link: Don’t smell the bottle cap either.

Tell that to Kermit the Frog.
posted by Cyrano at 5:44 PM on June 27, 2006


I'm guessing the people with all the tips for the waiters have never done it, think they're "great customers" and "good tippers" and are universally despised in the restaurants they frequent. i could be wrong though. it happens. interesting blog. nice link.
posted by puddles at 5:45 PM on June 27, 2006


When I was a server I had all sorts of rules and gripes about what certain things (that patrons did) meant and what giant assholes everyone was. Previous to being a server I was a Well Calculated Tip Giver. Post-well-calculated and serving both, I am a I Really Don't Care.

I don't care if your service isn't amazing, I will tip you well. I don't care if the people next to me are obnoxious, they don't owe me anything. I'm just a lot more laidback than my two previous incarnations because the first never got me better service and the second never got me better tips. So, all I can do is save myself the mental anguish (and the risk I run of being a giant pedantic manners-fetishist bore) and give up my vigilance in the matter.

Mostly by becoming a really good cook.
posted by birdie birdington at 5:46 PM on June 27, 2006


"Do not interrupt a conversation with a real live person to answer your cell phone."

I'll be honest. I don't get this one. If I'm having a conversation with someone at home, and the phone rings, I answer the phone. If I'm having a conversation at a restaurant, and someone comes over to talk to me (such as a waiter) I interrupt the conversation to deal with the intrusion. If I'm having a conversation in my office at work, and someone comes over and knocks on my door, I deal with the person at the door.

Why does the cell phone get different rules?
posted by kcalder at 5:55 PM on June 27, 2006


Why does the cell phone get different rules?

Because theyre new. The "loudmouth entitlement front" need a couple decades to get used to it.

See also: Novels, the waltz, rock n roll, movies, and videogames.
posted by skallas at 6:00 PM on June 27, 2006


The Telephone
"Does the telephone make men more active or more lazy? Does [it] break up home life and the old practice of visiting friends?"

- Survey conducted by the Knights of Columbus Adult Education Committee, San Francisco Bay Area, 1926
posted by skallas at 6:00 PM on June 27, 2006


"I don’t own a cell phone."... but I can give a lot of advice about it..

I sort of discounted this right away because of the opening statement, after reading it I determined that this was mr. waiter's pet peeves list about cell phones... even if they didn't make sense... to each his own....
posted by HuronBob at 6:03 PM on June 27, 2006


Your mom didn't have a cell phone. But she managed to raise you to adulthood anyway.

Thank. Fucking. You. People don't seem to get this.


Yeh, and her great grandmother raised her grandmother without electricity. But people adapt technology so tightly into their lives it becomes essential.

I don't doubt that your customer was crazily over-reacting. All the same, I can imagine her children being just as lost as I was aged 6 when I missed the school bus home and managed to phone home all by myself ... only for nobody to pick up.
posted by bonaldi at 6:08 PM on June 27, 2006


Why does the cell phone get different rules?

Because they're omnipresent. If you're in your own home and you answer your phone when a guest is there, the etiquette breach only affects your one guest. (And dude? Get an answering machine). If you're in a public place your cellphone answering annoys everyone around you, including the people you are with.
posted by Nelson at 6:09 PM on June 27, 2006


Great blog, by the way.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:12 PM on June 27, 2006


I'm guessing the people with all the tips for the waiters have never done it, think they're "great customers" and "good tippers" and are universally despised in the restaurants they frequent. i could be wrong though. it happens.

Amazingly, my "ex-waiter" ID wristband appears to generate no decent service when our waiter has decided ahead of time that we're poor tippers. I was a damned good waiter because I didn't expect tips; I was happy to get them.

As a result, I punish poor/rude service with extreme prejudice.

I think you'd be surprised how many ex-waiters feel the same way.
posted by dreamsign at 6:13 PM on June 27, 2006


Why the fuck would I take advice on etiquette from someone who doesn't even know where to place an apostrophe?
posted by ikkyu2 at 6:25 PM on June 27, 2006


I really don't talk on my cellphone except when I'm on the train. I feel badly about this, I do. But I generally do it because I have something urgent to say (like, "OMG I just put in an offer on a townhouse!" or "I suddenly understand why this project is about to fail!"). I realize that the fact that I'm relating ephipanies doesn't actually make it better, but I try not to speak loudly.

Lately I've been texting my ephiphanies rather than actually calling people. I prefer that, frankly.

I read once (somewhere or other) that there are two kinds of people in the world; the cellphone people and the ipod people. Both are making public space personal space, but one forces other people to endure his aural decisions, and the other builds his own soundscapes and refuses to share it with others. Except for that guy on the train who has his ipod turned up so loud that I can hear it 10 feet away.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:27 PM on June 27, 2006


What this seems to come down to is that the occassional flukey situation in which human life is legitimately saved by the existence of cell phones merits their continued existence in the face of the simple fact that they otherwise test and ultimately crush the human spirit in a large and ever-increasing number of ways.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:33 PM on June 27, 2006 [2 favorites]


I once saw this HILARIOUS comedian do a routine about people talking on their cellphones!

He also told me the difference between men and women, married people and single people, and blacks and whites.

Oh wait, sorry, I thought this was still 1995.
posted by papakwanz at 6:38 PM on June 27, 2006


I like waiterrant, a lot. But these two pieces are both dull and cliche. He's written vastly better stuff.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:41 PM on June 27, 2006


All the same, I can imagine her children being just as lost as I was aged 6 when I missed the school bus home and managed to phone home all by myself ... only for nobody to pick up.

Are you saying that you wouldn't need to kill hookers or jerk off six times a day or whatever you're insinuating if your mom had posessed a cell phone to come and save you from this horrible trauma that you're still keeping as an albatross?

Note to rudeness apologists: I'm not afraid of the technology. I have a cell phone. But it isn't an excuse for narcissism. So call me a luddite or whatever euphemism for "lame" you think has the most negative connotation. I just think that you're self-centered instead of important. If you insist on using your phone when you feel like it regardless of those around you, just get it done with and vote republican already. You've already decided that you're the most important person in the world. The alleged "social conscience" is just window dressing to get laid with.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:47 PM on June 27, 2006


Who's more of an asshole, the guy talking to somebody else, or the guy furiously scribbling down all the different ways people ANNOY HIM, OMG I can't believe she took the call, couldn't she tell I was just about to read her today's specials, and what about that guy with a wire hanging out of his ear, hellooooooo, it's 2006, get a clue, OMG????
posted by signal at 6:56 PM on June 27, 2006


Are you saying that you wouldn't need to kill hookers or jerk off six times a day or whatever you're insinuating if your mom had posessed a cell phone to come and save you from this horrible trauma that you're still keeping as an albatross?

No, you uncomprehending fool, I'm saying that as a little un I was taught how to phone home when the shit went down. And when it didn't work I was a bit lost. So if the crazy lady's children were trained to call her cell phone, she would understandably freak when it broke.

As for rudeness apologia, it's more that your definition of rudeness is like those people who think it's rude to answer the door when you already have guests.
posted by bonaldi at 6:58 PM on June 27, 2006


I remember when cell phones first became popular, it was soooo taboo to talk on call phone in a restaurant, and even near other people, generally. People used to step outside, or away from the people they were with to make their calls. I wonder why that stopped?
posted by Titania at 6:58 PM on June 27, 2006


Yeh, and her great grandmother raised her grandmother without electricity. But people adapt technology so tightly into their lives it becomes essential.

Oh, I'm not disputing that. I just wonder if it's a crutch.

Look, I don't have kids. I'm sure if I did, at least for a while, I'd be all in favor of mandatory RFD tracking chips in their teeth (But not the baby ones! Those fall out!!!)

I can imagine her children being just as lost as I was aged 6 when I missed the school bus home and managed to phone home all by myself.

I missed the bus more than a few times when I was a kid. It was scary as hell. Standing there. Living in a country where your pretty-much-had-to-stay-at-home mother wasn't allowed to drive a car (Saudi Arabia.) In a big-ass parking lot without no one to take you home... Yikes. (Surreal Saudi-livin' moment: One of the days that I missed the bus was back in 1980. The same day that the middle school held a mock debate in the gym between the three presidential candidates [remember when there were three?] I managed to borrow/scam enough change to call a taxi while sitting next to the guy [and the theater department went all-out with the makeup on all of the candidates] who was John Anderson.)

But most of the time, I knew the way, so I walked. And here I am 25 years later.

I actually kind of enjoyed it. It was an adventure. I'd take different routes when it happened just to find my way through places I had never been.

There's all kinds of neat nooks and crannies where I used to live that I would never have found otherwise (one alley was reputed to lead to the home of an [ethnicity deleted] who liked to touch little kids. Guess which alley everyone wanted the sprint through for all they were worth, just to prove they'd do it?)

Kids are dumb. A cell phone ain't going to fix that.
posted by Cyrano at 7:09 PM on June 27, 2006


I'm saying that as a little un I was taught how to phone home when the shit went down. And when it didn't work I was a bit lost.

On preview: I don't know where you grew up, bonaldi, but maybe the crux of our side-issue is whether you lived close enough to home to walk when the yellow buses fell through?
posted by Cyrano at 7:12 PM on June 27, 2006


Yeh, you're spot-on Cyrano: I too walked home, and it was great (though crossing the highway aged 6 is steep).

My point's not so much about the effect on the kids, though: it's about the parent. Until I arrived home my folks were a bit frantic. I can well imagine your caller being similar, if her oh-so-important lifeline-to-the-kids is down.

Parents panic. The cellphone's just a macguffin here.
posted by bonaldi at 7:17 PM on June 27, 2006


Enough with the bitching about cell phones. It smacks me as a 21st century "get off my lawn, whippersnapers!"...

So does that mean you're not going to get off my lawn?
I'd throw my two cans tied with string at you, but I'm expecting a call.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:25 PM on June 27, 2006


What nickyskye said.

And stinkycheese.

In weblog heaven, nickyskye will get a goldstar by her name for such a finely controlled rant. Plus it ended with a pic of Linus.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 7:49 PM on June 27, 2006


stinkycheese?

they otherwise test and ultimately crush the human spirit

That's one weak-ass spirit.
posted by dreamsign at 7:56 PM on June 27, 2006


Why the fuck would I take advice on etiquette from someone who doesn't even know where to place an apostrophe?

I'll do you one better. I am irrelevant as a person because I don't know how to use a semicolon properly.
posted by 517 at 8:09 PM on June 27, 2006


One of the joys of living in LA is never having to listen to some jerk on his cel on public transport. Ha, take that [insert any major metropolis]!
posted by johngumbo at 8:16 PM on June 27, 2006


I read once (somewhere or other) that there are two kinds of people in the world; the cellphone people and the ipod people.

*boggles*

*vanishes into non-personhood*
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:25 PM on June 27, 2006


Hey, Ishmael, wait for m . . . *BLINK*
posted by Absit Invidia at 8:30 PM on June 27, 2006


What is it about this waiter that defies man's urge to discover the unknown; why has no brave soul cast off his blouse of anonymity, revealing the shrivelled nipple of reality?

I demand answers!
posted by oxford blue at 8:57 PM on June 27, 2006


I read once (somewhere or other) that there are two kinds of people in the world; the cellphone people and the ipod people.

Hey, cool! I'm *both* kinds of people!

Aside from that, both the linked lists were trite, from beginning to end.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:01 PM on June 27, 2006


People are mostly assholes and always have been, I find. The only novelty is the means by which they express their asshole nature and the locations in which they choose to do so.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:02 PM on June 27, 2006


Hrm. I guess since I don't have an ipod, that makes me a cellphone person. Oh well! So, when is the massive war between the two? I wonder who will win. Never too late to start preparing.

Oh, and you people who have both an ipod and a cellphone have to choose sides! No fence-sitters (UbuRoivas, I'm looking at you)! Otherwise, you'll pretty much be guarenteed to die in the first wave...
posted by Stauf at 9:03 PM on June 27, 2006


People walking around like Lobots ...

Or the Borg.
posted by bwg at 9:19 PM on June 27, 2006


If I have to pick between my iPod and my cellphone, do I get to have a landline? Or am I just sans-phone?

If I get to have a landline, iPod all the way. I don't know how anyone survived an hour long commute on public transit without one.

If I have to live sans-phone entirely, then I'd have to pick the cellphone because I do talk an awful lot. The commute would really suck though because you can only play Bejeweled so many times before your brain shrivels up and dies.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:31 PM on June 27, 2006


Weird, I just found this blog a couple days ago via stumbleupon. It stuck out in my mind because it was so good.
posted by puke & cry at 9:31 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


First they came for the iPod people
and I did not speak out
because I was not an iPod person...
posted by papakwanz at 10:46 PM on June 27, 2006


i cant keep up with mefi anymore :(
posted by Satapher at 10:50 PM on June 27, 2006


26. Turn off your cell phone at the opera, ballet, movies, live theater, and concerts. Again, transplant surgeons are exempt.

No they aren't. They managed before cell phones and they can manage now.
posted by HTuttle at 11:01 PM on June 27, 2006


I don't know, I suppose I'll come across as an uncouth alien or something, but I generally find it easy to walk while I'm talking on the mobile. Saves time, keeps me on my toes (a lame pun, I know) and best of all, keeps my excess energy in check. Then again, I've grown up with cordless phones and mobiles, so you guys might not appreciate why I think sitting in one place while answering phones is such wasted potential.

As for answering calls when I'm speaking with someone, it really depends on the conversation. If the conversation is engaging (which is most of the time), I usually answer the phone, quickly say "I'll call you back" and put the phone down. Otoh, if my meat-space companion is being an obnoxious jerk, then this is the perfect excuse to take a quick breather.

Titania : It still is, just that folks have also realised that their calls aren't quite that state secrets they hoped they would be. Though, I still step into a quiet corner when I get my bat-call on my bat-mobile.
posted by the cydonian at 1:56 AM on June 28, 2006


Hildegarde : I listen to music on my phone, and answer calls using that headphone thingy. I therefore shut out the world with my music, and yet, trouble it with my tales of litanies.

Hmm. There's something sexy about being twice as bad as the person next to you.
posted by the cydonian at 2:00 AM on June 28, 2006


A couple of things, in no certain order:
You still get dropped calls in America? Haven't you had the technology for a while? Seriously, I remember that New Year's Eve three years ago my connection broke down while calling my family to wish them a happy new year, but that's the only time that happened to me personally. Granted, I don't use my mobile that much but still...

I agree with most points on the list, but some appear very strange to me. Why would it be considered "polite" to ignore a ringing cell phone and go on with a conversation you're having? I had a friend once who used to ignore calls on his (wired) phone and continued talking while the phone rang; drove me nuts. And cell phone ringtones are usually much more intrusive than mechanical bells.

20. Don’t use the phone’s video camera in inappropriate places.
What's that supposed to mean? Apart from the truism "don't do *something* where it's inappropriate to do *something*", where exactly is it does it not behoove one to use a phonecam (I'm not talking about illegal activities here - I know you shouldn't use them to peep into the next bathroom stall or things like that)? I tend to assume that everything I can look at with my own two eyes is free game for a snapshot or a small movie; as long as I don't follow people around, yelling "do that face again! C'mon!" I really cannot imagine what the waiter tried to tell us there.

13. Stick with one ring tone - you all know what I’m talking about.
And I completely fail to understand what he means by this one. I usually have three groups of people defined in my address book: "friends","family" and "work-related". I can hear from the associated ringtone what type this call will probably be and take appropriate measures ("work-related" will be answered during business hours, in a secluded area, away from noise sources and only after I apologized to any persons present, for instance). Why is this considered bad etiquette?

But I do agree with his point about suddenly stopping in the middle of a busy sidewalk; that falls into the same category as people meeting in the entrance of a supermarket or other busy space and immediately become rooted to the floor as if turned into salt pillars. There's traffic going on, people! Just because you met the world doesn't stop! Take two fricking steps to the side and let us pass!
posted by PontifexPrimus at 2:15 AM on June 28, 2006


Facinating Study: The Effects of Mobile Telephones on Social and Individual Life (PDF) - on bad behaviour and shagbiles...

Although few significant gender differences were observed in the course of this research, there were some differences in the ways people handled and reacted to public calls. In a claim disputed by many men, many Western women feel that they are much quieter and more considerate than their male counterparts when making mobile calls, and some
contributors also suggested that gender differences do arise in relation to the display of the mobile phone. rofessional women in Chicago said that their male peers were inclined to show off with their mobiles, using them as symbols of status or even virility, and much anecdotal evidence – and some earlier research – has suggested that the mobile is widely used for psychosexual purposes of performance and display.

posted by missbossy at 3:16 AM on June 28, 2006


The reason that answering your phone when you're having a conversation with someone is different from answering your landline or your front door when you have guests is that you have the power easily to stop cellphone interruptions ahead of time using the medium of the "off button". Apparently, by using this function you can turn your phone off. This will prevent unwanted calls disctracting you from your present company. You may then use the same functionality to turn your phone on later. And, here's the good bit, get messages from missed calls. Remind me agains why this even needs to be discussed?
posted by patricio at 3:29 AM on June 28, 2006


You still get dropped calls in America? Haven't you had the technology for a while?

Well, Mr. Europatronizer, there's a lot more area to cover. Also, we didn't have to suffer with a shoddy national phone service that made landlines worse than useless. So we're not as dependent on our cell phones. Because BT in 1995 was like American phone service in 1975. I would have bought a mobile phone as soon as I could to stop giving money to those fuckers.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:57 AM on June 28, 2006


Why would it be considered "polite" to ignore a ringing cell phone and go on with a conversation you're having?

My own rule is the person I'm physically present with takes precedent. My cell, office and home phones are all fully capable of taking messages.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:59 AM on June 28, 2006


Mobile phones are new?

I've been using them since '97. Then again, I grew up in the land of Nokia where we have been gagging to find an excuse to avoid talking to people face to face.

And the 'signal dropping out' thing? I always thought that was just a plot device used in X-files when they needed people to be unreachable... Hope you guys get that sorted out.

What annoys me is these 'mobile free zones' in trains where you're not allowed to talk on a phone. So I have to switch my phone off when I'm having a quiet conversation with a friend but the chavvy twats yelling at each other two rows ahead can keep at it, only because they don't have a piece of technology between them. My theory is that people are just fucking nosy and want to hear the other side of the conversation too...

22. If you’re running late the ability to call your boss from the road does not magically make your tardiness OK!
vs.
25. If you’re going to be late for a restaurant reservation please use your cell phone and tell us!

Surely one can see the correlation? I call my boss and let him know I'm going to be late out of courtesy, not to excuse my tardiness.

On the wine list:
19. If there’s cork in the wine that doesn’t mean the wine’s bad.

No it doesn't, but it also doesn't mean I am going to dig out the bits of cork with my fingers, much less drink it. Pour me another glass or get another bottle.

The other entries didn't piss me off as much.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:09 AM on June 28, 2006


Okay, just for the record, I very often start phrases with "there are two kinds of people in the word", even though I'm well aware that there are more kinds that that. I don't really mean it, sorry, I was being flip. Just a way to start a comparison between being prepared to bring your private bubble under under people's noses and being prepared to bring the bubble out, but only if no one can detect it.

I also have both a cell phone and an ipod, and I use both in public all the time. But if I had to choose between my cell and my ipod, it would be ipod all the way, for sure no question. An ipod might not save any lives in an emergency, but it's my best friend for public transit. I would miss the texting function of a cellphone, however. When my city goes public wifi this summer, I will text less, as I will just pull out my laptop and send an IM instead. Free, and comes with a full-sized keyboard!
posted by Hildegarde at 5:22 AM on June 28, 2006


The best solution to phone rudeness is passive blocking and maybe even active jamming. Restaurants and other businesses should be able to make calls impossible and just post a Phone Free Zone sign on the door. Let people vote with their feet.

What annoys me is these 'mobile free zones' in trains where you're not allowed to talk on a phone. So I have to switch my phone off when I'm having a quiet conversation with a friend but the chavvy twats yelling at each other two rows ahead can keep at it, only because they don't have a piece of technology between them.

You fix what you can, live with what you can't. The only way to get your chavvy twats to shut up is to ban talking, something that isn't going to be easy to do. With phones, you can physically block them.

What might work, though: in addition to a phone ban and blocking on quiet cars, try noise cancellation electronics. Also, charge more for a seat in a quiet car (make the price difference high enough that only people who really want a quiet ride will buy a ticket) and (I don't know how far this would go) instruct people that the car is meant for not talking, that they should be as quiet there as they would be sitting in a court room or place of worship: close your mouth, look out the window, read a book, emit no electronic noises, no leaking headphones, no clicking keyboards,
just close your eyes and get some rest. Call it the Chapel Car or Meditation Car or the STFU Car, but make it clear that you mean it and that talkers will be fined and ejected.
posted by pracowity at 5:40 AM on June 28, 2006


Just imagine for a second that a device were invented and made cheap enough for the average person to own. This device allows you to have sex with people remotely, that is to say that the feelings and sensations of sex are transfered eletronically via satellite to a feed the wearer can have on their person as they go about their day.

At first, these devices are controversial, and wearers (initially seen as perverts) make efforts to be subtle in their usage, retreating to relatively private spaces in which to indulge. Gradually however, the devices become more ubiquidous, and finally everyone seems to be using the devices.

Soon enough the public arena is fair game, the devices become chic (what kind of loser isn't having sex all the time?), and one can scarcely walk down the sidewalk without hearing the moans, gasps, and of course the omnipresent pillow talk that was heretofore kept strictly private.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:09 AM on June 28, 2006


The best parts of this thread are the eponysterical comments. I usually like waiterrant, which sounds and looks like waiter tyrant which is awesome but...

Hello? Yeah. No, put down the dog. Fuck. The fuck you say! No. Yeah. Jesus, you're kidding me. What did she say? Well, pull it out! ...sorry. Hang on a sec, I need to answer this. I'll just be a minute.
posted by loquacious at 6:16 AM on June 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Nelson writes "If you're in a public place your cellphone answering annoys everyone around you, including the people you are with."

More than just letting the thing ring?

3. When eating out do not use your cell phone at the table! (Unless you’re using the web browser to read Waiter Rant.) Go outside. I don’t care if it’s raining.
and
Titania writes "I remember when cell phones first became popular, it was soooo taboo to talk on call phone in a restaurant, and even near other people, generally. People used to step outside, or away from the people they were with to make their calls. I wonder why that stopped?"

I don't understand this at all. The only person who should be bothered is possibly the person I'm dining with. What the heck difference does it make to the table next to me or the waiter? I'm at a restaurant not a library.

"26. Turn off your cell phone at the opera, ballet, movies, live theater, and concerts. Again, transplant surgeons are exempt.

"No they aren't. They managed before cell phones and they can manage now.
"

People like doctors who were on life or death on call used to check in with their offices and let them know what land number they could be reached at. Since cellphones came out the infrastructure to do this has disappeared.

PontifexPrimus writes "You still get dropped calls in America? Haven't you had the technology for a while? Seriously, I remember that New Year's Eve three years ago my connection broke down while calling my family to wish them a happy new year, but that's the only time that happened to me personally. Granted, I don't use my mobile that much but still..."

I'm going to guess the land area of America is larger and the population density smaller than wherever you are comparing America to.

patricio writes "The reason that answering your phone when you're having a conversation with someone is different from answering your landline or your front door when you have guests is that you have the power easily to stop cellphone interruptions ahead of time using the medium of the 'off button'. Apparently, by using this function you can turn your phone off. This will prevent unwanted calls disctracting you from your present company. You may then use the same functionality to turn your phone on later."

I've never seen a landline phone on which you couldn't turn the ringer off. Are you saying people should turn their land line ringers off when they have guests?
posted by Mitheral at 7:51 AM on June 28, 2006


Someone lost an eye.
posted by 517 at 8:30 AM on June 28, 2006


More than just letting the thing ring?

I think part of the conflict has to do with the desire to have leisure spaces devoted to leisure, as opposed to a location to do work, or deal with family errands and chores. To be blunt, there are some contexts where the phone shouldn't ring at all.

I don't understand this at all. The only person who should be bothered is possibly the person I'm dining with. What the heck difference does it make to the table next to me or the waiter? I'm at a restaurant not a library.

The behavior of my fellow patrons of a restauraunt goes a long way towards influincing my dining experience. This doesn't just apply to the person on the cell phone (most of whom are unable to modulate their volume to a reasonable level), but also to couples engaged in fighting or obvious foreplay, and parents with misbehaving children.

Of course this depends a lot on the nature of the restauraunt.

People like doctors who were on life or death on call used to check in with their offices and let them know what land number they could be reached at. Since cellphones came out the infrastructure to do this has disappeared.

Given a consensus that cellphones should not be active in some locations, perhaps it is time to consider rebuilding that structure.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:50 AM on June 28, 2006


And lets take the wind out of one of the cell-phone arguments in advance. Just about single time I have attended a movie in the last year, there has been at least one audible cell-phone ring. I suppose it could be the case that I just have the dumb luck to pick same movie times as the doctors that handle the most critical emergencies. But if so, why is it that they rarely answer the phone choosing to let it ring out? Why do they never get up and leave the theatre?

Or is it the case that the once in a blue moon emergency call to a doctor in the audience of a hopefully silent theatre is the rare exception that proves the rule?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:07 AM on June 28, 2006


"Given a consensus that cellphones should not be active in some locations"

Clearly that consensus does not exist since people use them in all locations. Consensus may develop that others should never hear cell phones in certain locations, but even that is distinct from saying that should not function at all since the devices can silently alert their owners that someone wants to contact them, a valuble service that does not need to intrude into anyone else's consciousness.
posted by NortonDC at 9:24 AM on June 28, 2006


Aside from the cell phone and tipping rants, I enjoyed some of Waiter's other writing. Thanks for sharing.
posted by geeky at 9:58 AM on June 28, 2006


KirkJobSluder writes "But if so, why is it that they rarely answer the phone choosing to let it ring out? Why do they never get up and leave the theatre?"

I had a date let a cell ring in a movie theatre. When I found out later that is was her phone I asked why she didn't answer it and she explained she didn't want people to know that it was her phone which they would if she answered it.
posted by Mitheral at 10:21 AM on June 28, 2006


4. If the credit card is prominently sitting on the table in plain sight, near the corner closest to you, that's a pretty good sign that I would like my check and probably would have liked it ten minutes ago.

The problem with this is that many people get very pissed off if you bring them the bill without specifcally asking for it. They think the waiter is trying to 'rush them out the door' to make room for more tip-paying customers.
posted by triolus at 11:38 AM on June 28, 2006


"26. Turn off your cell phone at the opera, ballet, movies, live theater, and concerts. Again, transplant surgeons are exempt.

"No they aren't. They managed before cell phones and they can manage now."

As a child, my father had a pager type device. When someone would need to reach him in an emergency, they would call the service and he would be "paged" on his device. The paging consisted of a voice suddenly blaring out of a loudspeaker: "Dr. ____, please call [number]" at least three times. The family would scramble to note the number, because there was no way to replay the message short of calling the service back. There was also no way to cut the repeating message short, so it would play multiple times.

This was especially awkward in a movie, where the damn thing seemed to always go off. In a restaurant, every head would turn to locate the source of the squawking message.

Given my childhood experience, I find a ring or two from a cell phone much less invasive than the pre-cell option.
posted by Sheppagus at 12:17 PM on June 28, 2006


I do love how some people think that a tip is a "thank you" for good service. Bullshit. Waiters get paid less than half of minimum wage. A tip is their wage. Most of the time, you pay less than 20%, the waiter doesn't make any real money. Any body who "punishes" for less than excellent service ever walked away from a 8 hour shift of hard manual labor, people treating you like shit and stressful lists of things to remember? Okay, imagine then doing this for $30 for the whole 8 hours. It does happen, and the shitheads that "punish" are responsible.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 12:24 PM on June 28, 2006


Whoa, you're pissing on the entitlement class. They're entitled to GREAT service and dictate little punishments via the tip if they don't. They're entitlted to no cell phone distractions around there and they post their complaints on the web if someone ignores them for someone else on the phone.
posted by skallas at 12:30 PM on June 28, 2006


Sorry, skallas, but we are entitled to great service.

That means everyone, though. Get that, waitstaff? (And yes, I have been one). Everyone is entitled to great service.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:28 PM on June 28, 2006


32. Nextel. No. Even though it might impress the feather-haired ladies wearing wolf t-shirts at the dirt track, nobody in the civilized world wants to hear the foreman at the jobsite cursing away about the grading inspection, rough-in plumbing, or the arrival of a heaping stack of hardy board. Not to mention the chirping ...
posted by elmwood at 1:35 PM on June 28, 2006


triolus writes "The problem with this is that many people get very pissed off if you bring them the bill without specifcally asking for it. "

Putting your CC at the edge of the table is a not so subtle hint that you'd like you bill please.

nonreflectiveobject writes "I do love how some people think that a tip is a 'thank you' for good service. Bullshit. Waiters get paid less than half of minimum wage. A tip is their wage. Most of the time, you pay less than 20%, the waiter doesn't make any real money"

Not everyone lives in the minimum employment standard hellhole of the US. Around here wait staff get at least the minimum wage your local ditch digger gets plus tips.
posted by Mitheral at 1:56 PM on June 28, 2006


"...Most of the time, you pay less than 20%, the waiter doesn't make any real money...

How much of my blood do you want. You're already making more than you would at most hourly places.
posted by 517 at 3:40 PM on June 28, 2006


And the 'signal dropping out' thing? I always thought that was just a plot device used in X-files when they needed people to be unreachable... Hope you guys get that sorted out.

I just spent a week in a place where I had no cell service. Mostly I got no signal whatsoever. There was one spot where I could get "emergency calls only." So, yes, Virginia, there are places in the US where there is no or not much of a signal.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:57 PM on June 28, 2006


Why the fuck would I take advice on etiquette from someone who doesn't even know where to place an apostrophe?
posted by ikkyu2 at 6:25 PM PST on June 27


Right. Fucking. On.

Also, can I just say--and this is coming from someone in the restaurant industry as well--that I'm a little tired of all of these service industry people crawling out of the woodwork to tell me how to generally make their lives easier when I come to spend MY money in their establishment. your instructions as to ho
When you begin paying me to eat at your bistro I will begin listening to how you would like me to do so.
Thank you.
posted by kaiseki at 2:00 AM on June 29, 2006


How texting killed manners
posted by bonaldi at 6:44 AM on June 29, 2006


Wow. This guy has no idea he's in the service industry. What a shame.
posted by rush at 12:24 PM on June 30, 2006


Wow. You have no idea that it's absolutely permissable for you to stay home and cook something for yourself.

I go out, I'm entitled to a meal whose quality is in proportion to its price, as well as wait staff who don't mess up my order, and check in on me once or twice. That's it. Generally folks aren't getting paid enough to do more, so if I want more, I'd better pay the piper.

You are already getting the privilege of someone else preparing your food, bringing it to you, doing the dishes, and cleaning up the table and the kitchen.

Tips are weird. I will always tip at least 20%, regardless - unless the service was remarkably horrible or rude, which has rarely happened. Wait staff do need that money, but it still pisses me off. But I'm not pissed off at staff for expecting a tip - I'm pissed off at owners who've come to rely on customers to make up for the piss-poor wages they tend to dispense. Whereas tipping used to be a reward system, it's now a subsidy. That's rude.
posted by poweredbybeard at 11:18 AM on July 3, 2006


Wow. You have no idea that it's absolutely permissable for you to stay home and cook something for yourself.

What on earth does this mean? I know there's some false dilemma being set up here but I can't tell what it is.
posted by mendel at 10:46 AM on July 4, 2006


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