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"Tell that table to shut up!"

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"Tell that table to shut up!"

lesommelier | Dec 1, 2005 11:20 AM

I work as a waiter. The other night I was at work and some customers (late 50s, table of four) called me over and said: "We want you to go over and tell that table to shut up!" There was another table - six people out to celebrate someone's 40th birthday,
having fun and a bit raucous perhaps - that had just arrived, and it was obvious that they were out to have a good time no matter what! I can understand that the loud table was a bit of a problem for the other people, but I would never tell anyone to "shut up" & I most certainly wouldn't tell customers such a thing. Herein lies the problem: what's a waiter to do? Or anyone for that matter. What would Miss Manners say?

I have to admit: I'm a bit of a people-pleaser, so it upsets me when a customer isn't happy. Yes, I know it's impossible to make everyone happy, but I can't help the way I am. Any feedback? I think it'd be interesting to hear from people not in the industry as well; perhaps you/they will have a different take on the matter.

What did *I* do about the loud(ish) table? Before I had the opportunity to say anything (it was a busy Saturday night & I had about ten things to do before I could even comtemplate dealing with the matter!) to the party of six the table in need of a *cone of silence* yelled - yes, they yelled out, across the room! - "You're not the only people in here you know!"
So, while I was at the table pouring the 6 more wine, I heard them talking about the comment that'd just been hurled at them from the other side of the room. "Ya," one woman said, "I'm sure that's what I heard." She turned to take a look at the silence-
seekers, but they conveniently avoided eye contact.
Then, to add insult to injury, the muffle mavens told the hostess that they wanted to speak to the manager.
The wanted something done about the carousing! There's a great deal more to this story, but perhaps I'll save it for post #2 on the subject.

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