Wise answers to perplexing questions
Dear Answer Lady
I’m enjoying the new Customer Service column in Exit Zero (though The Answer Lady is still my favorite). Do you want to add to the discussion? – Out to Dinner
A few thoughts off the top of the Answer Lady’s head: dining out is one of the pleasures of a civilized society, and the rules of engagement apply to both diner and server alike. Diners: While “the customer is always right,” please do not forget that you are also a guest, and should behave accordingly. If you have a negative experience, discuss the situation with a manager or owner. Do NOT confuse this advice with the suggestion that you fume silently, stiff your server, leave unsatisfied, and immediately post an anonymous rant on your favorite website. Certainly the Answer Lady wants to encourage the writer in all of us, but trust her when she says that the world isn’t waiting with bated breath for you to expound upon your latest gastronomical adventure. Do not take it out on your server if you are angry with your dining companion, your boss, your spouse, or the idiot who stole your parking spot. Or with the chef, for that matter – bad meals happen to good people, and the simple law of averages dictates that we will not be rapturous about every single meal we eat for as long as we live. Servers: Never ask a solitary diner “Just one?” It implies that there’s something pathetic about dining alone, when in reality, people dine alone for any number of reasons, including that they like it. If you don’t know something, don’t fake it – find someone who does know. Never, ever forget who pays your bills, and adjust your attitude accordingly. Some customers will present a challenge, and others will be a piece of cake. This is a metaphor for life.
Dear Answer Lady,
I’ve got a peeve with an otherwise wonderful husband. We speak a couple of times a day on the phone while working. It seems like every time he calls me, he’s eating. He says no big deal, I say it’s rude. Please tell him I’m right. – Earful
You’re right. We’ve probably all answered a call on the fly while eating, but to pick up the phone and dial out while one has got a mouthful is thoughtless at best. Next time, ask him to call back after lunch. And if he’s really otherwise wonderful, count your blessings, dear.