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Obnoxious Restaurant Behavior: Not Just Kids


ingridsf
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I just came back from lunch out and am ever-more committed to renaming this thread, "Loud/Obnoxious in Restaurants."

It's gorgeous today, I'm off work, and my bud had a Hollandaise jones, so like the good friend I am, we hit a little place we love at 11:30. It's popular with the stroller set and there must have been three parked at tables when we got there. Also some toddlers. But none of the kiddos did a damn thing to bug us except -- oh horrors -- coo, chortle, chomp enthusiastically, and maybe wave their arms around.

What did bug us was the all-grown-up event planner across the room who was on her cell phone for 20 minutes negotiating rates with a hotel. I know this because she was so friggin' loud. It's a casual place; I don't care when people chat on their phones. (Though I laugh when I see people in groups and phones are in use.) But don't put it on me, or the staff, to teach adults basic manners.

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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I just came back from lunch out and am ever-more committed to renaming this thread, "Loud/Obnoxious in Restaurants."

It's gorgeous today, I'm off work, and my bud had a Hollandaise jones, so like the good friend I am, we hit a little place we love at 11:30.  It's popular with the stroller set and there must have been three parked at tables when we got there.  Also some toddlers.  But none of the kiddos did a damn thing to bug us except -- oh horrors -- coo, chortle, chomp enthusiastically, and maybe wave their arms around. 

What did bug us was the all-grown-up event planner across the room who was on her cell phone for 20 minutes negotiating rates with a hotel.  I know this because she was so friggin' loud.  It's a casual place; I don't care when people chat on their phones.  (Though I laugh when I see people in groups and phones are in use.) But don't put it on me, or the staff, to teach adults basic manners.

Try renaming a thread on me, will ya? :wink:

I think that the children and adult behavior issues are sufficiently different from one another that the grown-ups can have their own thread.

Let the griping begin!

Fun as a good rant is, workable strategies for un-obnoxiousizing our fellow diners (or customers) would be appreciated, as well.

Finally, restaurant cell phone usage has been discussed at length and has its own topic here , so let's use this space to discuss more exotic behaviors than the sadly commonplace cellphone addiction.

-- Charles

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Sunday my husband got po'd at the restaurant where we ate. We were seated next to a table that was paying their checks, separate checks. We sat we ate whatever, we left and they were still there AND they stiffed the waitress.

double grrr :angry:

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How about dining with your children in a nominally-family-friendly restaurant, and having to watch a young couple virtually do what comes naturally while they're waiting for their meal? Fortunately, my kids' backs were turn to the transgression, but it sure didn't help my or my wife's appetites.

Or while my wife and I were having an anniversary dinner at Stroud's Restaurant in Wichita, we were treated to the rather bawdy conversation between a woman of respectable age and her 3 male companions, 2 of which she was kissing in a rather friendly manner, while they debated if white zinfandel went with fried chicken. Evidently it must, because they downed 3 or 4 bottles while we were dining. It was equal parts amusing and disgusting.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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Or while my wife and I were having an anniversary dinner at Stroud's Restaurant in Wichita, we were treated to the rather bawdy conversation between a woman of respectable age and her 3 male companions, 2 of which she was kissing in a rather friendly manner, while they debated if white zinfandel went with fried chicken.

PDA and bawdy talk aside, may I say how envious I am that you have a serious fried chicken restaurant available to you. (If I'm correct about Strouds.)

The only wine I want with my fried chicken is iced tea. Or cream gravy.

Shamefully, I've been involved in some conversations myself that could be complained about here. I used to go out to lunch with the nurses I worked with. Gyn nurse practitioners in a free clinic. Oh boy. I hereby apologize because "bawdy" doesn't even begin to describe it.

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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How about dining with your children in a nominally-family-friendly restaurant, and having to watch a young couple virtually do what comes naturally while they're waiting for their meal? Fortunately, my kids' backs were turn to the transgression, but it sure didn't help my or my wife's appetites.

Or while my wife and I were having an anniversary dinner at Stroud's Restaurant in Wichita, we were treated to the rather bawdy conversation between a woman of respectable age and her 3 male companions, 2 of which she was kissing in a rather friendly manner, while they debated if white zinfandel went with fried chicken. Evidently it must, because they downed 3 or 4 bottles while we were dining. It was equal parts amusing and disgusting.

This makes me think of the warning I give friends when in adjacent hotel rooms, camping, etc. "If I can hear you, I reserve the right to comment."

Maybe the problem is we're TOO polite. We're worried about offending someone who *already has offended us*. I wonder what would happen if more of us turned around and said, "Your behavior is not acceptable in public," as these folks parents obviously never told them.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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How about dining with your children in a nominally-family-friendly restaurant, and having to watch a young couple virtually do what comes naturally while they're waiting for their meal? Fortunately, my kids' backs were turn to the transgression, but it sure didn't help my or my wife's appetites.

Or while my wife and I were having an anniversary dinner at Stroud's Restaurant in Wichita, we were treated to the rather bawdy conversation between a woman of respectable age and her 3 male companions, 2 of which she was kissing in a rather friendly manner, while they debated if white zinfandel went with fried chicken. Evidently it must, because they downed 3 or 4 bottles while we were dining. It was equal parts amusing and disgusting.

This makes me think of the warning I give friends when in adjacent hotel rooms, camping, etc. "If I can hear you, I reserve the right to comment."

Maybe the problem is we're TOO polite. We're worried about offending someone who *already has offended us*. I wonder what would happen if more of us turned around and said, "Your behavior is not acceptable in public," as these folks parents obviously never told them.

Well, these persons apparently worked for Big Dog Motorcycles, and had perhaps ridden one or more of these motorcycles to the restaurant. I didn't feel it was my place to ask them to behave themselves, and I believe the waitress was hoping that all those bottles of wine would inflate the coming gratuity. We just figured "Hey, you eat chicken in a converted barn, you might have to deal with some unruly animals!". The chicken WAS quite good.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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I saw a woman unpin, rearrange, and repin her hair during dinner at one of our city's top French restaurants last weekend. 

I particularly like this one. :smile: Wheee! A Paris Hilton glamour moment, no doubt. :biggrin:

ongoing shouted conversations filled with what we used to call "foul language"

And let me raise my little pinkie finger and drag this in, too. Even though it's sort of hip to talk this way, from some of the popular opinion I read and hear.

............................................................

As for bikers, I hate to admit to having wary feelings about them. Sorry, all you gentle, kind, nice bikers out there. Ever since (a long time ago) I saw a biker slit one of the nicest guys I knew's throat in a bar with a broken bottle then join his friends to move on out into the darkness of the almost-deserted street to stab, beat, and then murder another guy.

Yeah. Those were the days.

In retrospect, these kids aren't so bad.

And of course, one must expect certain things at certain places, right? Or not.

Whole lot of dissin' goin' on, in all sorts of spaces, that's all I can say. Can't say it's just the kids.

...............................................................

Oh. Was it solutions you'd be wanting, Busboy? Let me put on my thinking cap.

It sort of looks like the thing with feathers.

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My pet peeve.... Cell phones / Blackberries during a meal.

Thought about this @ a business lunch today... 5 of us - I muted my phone when we went to lunch and generally ignore the crackberry 'cos if my phone is not vibrating then nothing can be too urgent right?

Nope... the others were taking calls & checking email all through the lunch.... arrgh.... can't they stop for an hour? Take "urgent" calls away from the table?

I was embarrassed by this to be honest.

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I can't stand watching/overhearing another table treating a server poorly. Makes everyone in the vicinity of the table uncomfortable. I hate it even more when it's someone at my table (my stepfather is well known for this)

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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This makes me think of the warning I give friends when in adjacent hotel rooms, camping, etc. "If I can hear you, I reserve the right to comment."

Maybe the problem is we're TOO polite. We're worried about offending someone who *already has offended us*. I wonder what would happen if more of us turned around and said, "Your behavior is not acceptable in public," as these folks parents obviously never told them.

Depending on the environment, I ask either the diners or the manager, "Are you (they) planning to do this the entire meal? If you are, it's cool, but we can't sit near one another."

I'm with Kent D. "No PDA" should be the rule in restaurants -- that should cover the Crackberries and the groping. (Ugh, and the feeding of sushi by mouth to one another. Bleah!)

Edited by FabulousFoodBabe (log)
"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Fun as a good rant is, workable strategies for un-obnoxiousizing our fellow diners (or customers) would be appreciated, as well.

Here's a workable strategy: Service Suspended

Northwest Airlines canceled a flight set to leave from Las Vegas to Detroit after the captain cursed on a cell phone in a bathroom, then swore at one of the 180 passengers on the plane, officials said on Saturday.

Just stop all service till everybody is nice.

:rolleyes:

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There's been a number of situations lately that I've either witnessed, been told of, or have read about (such as here, of course!) where I believe a well-aimed water pistol could work wonders. Especially if the source of the spray cannot be ascertained. :cool:

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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about once a year I go out with a bunch from work for a really lovely dinner ..one of these women is just horrible to the servers and we tend to just whisper to them to please humor her and we will leave the best tip on the planet if they can hold it together ..this past week she began calling to tell us she is ready for our dinner..this lady is a great nurse and we respect her ...but not in a restaurant ..

one of the most miserable things she does is when she needs a warm up of her coffee she holds her cup up (one btw she has not touched because she can not shut up long enough to drink it while it is hot) tells the passing server "my coffee is cold please bring me a fresh cup and I mean fresh cup I do not want the one this cold coffee is sitting in!" she will do this 3-4 times in a row making them run for her after she lets the coffee get cold ...her voice is grating when she does this ..sometimes I want to dump the freaking coffee on her head!!!

I may be "sick" this dinner gathering :P

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Okay, I thought of another one. One night we went out to dinner, myself and the children (they were 11 and 12 then). We sat in a booth, my daughter and I on one side, son facing us.

A woman was seated in the next booth, facing myself and daughter. She was waiting for someone.

She took out her compact mirror and fixed her lipstick and hair (her hair was big, so it involved moving the mirror various ways with arms extended).

Then I guess with all the exercise involved with fixing her hair, something went wrong with her breasts. After putting the compact away, she wiggled her shoulders funny and started pulling on her bra straps. Apparently that did not help. They must have been itchy or something (goodness knows her top was low-cut, maybe some of her fluffed hair fell down there) so she took her right hand and scratched the left one.

That must not have accomplished what she wanted, for she then reached directly, all the way into her bra and shifted the thing inside. No, there was no attempt to do this without anyone seeing. She was oblivious. Too much hairspray in her lifetime, perhaps.

Then she took both her hands, cupped them under both breasts, and readjusted to suit. This involved sort of pushing them up and forward and laying them rather shelf-like upon the table in front of her (she was not a small woman).

She then went on to peruse the menu.

I must say my appetite was not what it was before her performance.

My daughter was stunned. Thank goodness, though, that it wasn't my son that had been facing her. He probably would have screamed "Eeeeeeewwwww" and made gross noises with his head turned sideways to express his disapproval and then we would have been "the bad guys".

Probably this is all my fault though, for dining in a chain restaurant. A family restaurant, you know. Goodness knows what can be found in families.

There's been a number of situations lately that I've either witnessed, been told of, or have read about (such as here, of course!) where I believe a well-aimed water pistol could work wonders.  Especially if the source of the spray cannot be ascertained.  :cool:

Nice. Very nice.

I'm wondering if they make paintball guns in small sizes, myself. :smile: Paintball pistols.

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We sat at a table one night in one of Tucson's more famous restaurants - I was doing a review - and a group of six tourists were seated next to us. We knew they were tourists because for some reason they had a "tour guide".

Now the visitors were cool, but this woman practically wrecked the experience because she gave a complete history of the city, the restaurant, every litle bit of flora and fauna found in the desert, the food, you name it.

I came this close ( ) to telling her to shut up! And she was almost included in my review, but I restrained myself.

It still pisses me off when I think about it.

And while the info could be helpful to tourists none of them and certainly not us needed to hear this obnoxious women prattle on and on in her grating voice.

She really thought she was interesting. Poor deluded soul.

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I have seen so much obnoxious behavior in restaurants, I hardly know where to begin.

My favorite is something that happened about 3 years ago where I work.

The place was packed and 2 deep at the bar when this guy from Vegas walks in with his wife clad in this huge ass fur coat.

After checking the wife's coat, they saunter over to the bar to wait to be taken to their table.

After not receiving service after 30 seconds, he decides to help himself to a bottle of Dom that is sitting in the ice well in front of him.

He uncorks it and instead of using a glass, takes a swig right out of the bottle in front of me and 2 absolutely shocked bartenders!

We, naturally, confronted the man and told him that if he really wanted a drink all he had to do was ask us and we would have gotten him one.

He replied, quite testily, "Well, you guys were taking too long so I helped myself."

I asked him that if he waited too long in a bank lineup, did he rob the place?

I also asked him how he would like to pay for the bottle ($350) and then he got really pissed off, claiming that if we hadn't taken so long to get his drink (which he never ordered from anyone) he would not have been forced to do what he did.

The guy sounded like a lawyer, always blaming someone else for his stupidity.

I didn't have time for this bullshit and we called the owner over and he started dealing with this candidate for retroactive birth control.

The guy was screaming that there was no way he was going to pay for the whole bottle when he just had "a little sip" as he put it.

The owner quietly responded that the man's wife had a nice fur coat and that we would look after it until this matter was resolved.

The guy finally did the right thing and paid the bill (to which we attached a whopping tip for all his bullshit) and left in a huff.

I have seen a lot of things in this business in 20 years but that one really sticks out.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Sick people dining out.

Having someone with a hacking cough at the next table.

They weren't sick. They were just phlegmy.

A few years ago I took my mom out to dinner for some Mexican food. We were seated at a table next to an older couple who were well into their meal. As we looked the menu over, we began to notice that just about every 30 seconds, one of them would "hawk" their throat or snort or clear their sinuses while they were eating.

At first my mom and I were very disgusted and quickly losing our appetites. Then we started to get the giggles because it was so digusting and the couple was completely and utterly oblivious to the fact that they were out in public and making these loud horrendous noises while eating.

My mom and I just about fell off our chairs with laughter by the time the couple left.

To this day I can still get my mom to start giggling when we're dining out by discreetly recreating one of those noises while looking at the menu.

At least we could laugh about it...

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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[ I wonder what would happen if more of us turned around and said, "Your behavior is not acceptable in public," as these folks parents obviously never told them.

That brings to mind an incident I witnessed about thirty years ago when I was waiting table. A gentleman (I use the term loosely) in the cafe section lit up a very smelly cigar to enjoy after his meal. A woman at the table directly across from him (it was a cramped space - whe was really close) leaned across and asked him politely "I'm just starting my meal - will you be kind enough to enjoy your cigar at the bar? The smoke will affect my appetitie and I'll really appreciate it if you'll do that."

He refused in a very blunt, gruff and disagreeable manner. Ever so politely.... she requested her check and then poured her entire glass of ice water over his head - extinguishing the stogie in the process.

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We just recently had a group of six with the host being a well known restaurant owner(actually a seafood shack) in for a dinner after the Boston food show. They were all drunk, some sketched out from other things, with the host being the loudest. Laugh/shouting, rude to the waitstaff, yelling out demands across the dining room, all all in the Qeens, NY accent. All I could think of was how this person deserved my foot up his ass, and a fork in his eye. After offending a table of regulars, as well as everyone else in the place, I shut them off(they spent 600$ on wine alone). Upon leaving, the host came back to say goodbye and said it wasgreat, would return, I directly told him he was no longer welcome in here and what an ass**** he and his group were. The look on his face was priceless, yet no apology. Restaurant killers I call them.

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I’m pretty good at tuning out the world when I have a nice plate of food in front of me. One notable exception springs to mind, a rare post-kids date with Mrs. C. About half-way through the meal, a group was seated at the next table. The restaurant was crowded, so switching tables was not an option.

Why would we want to switch tables? A gentleman in the group was wearing an unprecedented amount of aftershave. From the moment that he sat down, everything that we ate tasted like aftershave. Blech.

In a strange way, I’m glad that this happened. We will probably never forget the date, and the memory still makes us giggle. Overall, the amusement probably outweighs the loss of half a meal. I mostly felt bad for the gentleman – condemned to travel through life like Pepe le Peu, oblivious to his olfactory effects on others.

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Sick people dining out.

Having someone with a hacking cough at the next table.

So in your opinion, someone with cystic fibrosis should never dine out, for fear of offending delicate types who can't stand a hacking cough?

I think it's more than "delicate" types who may have trouble enjoying a meal while somebody hacks nearby. I doubt anybody would ever suggest that somebody with cystic fibrosis should not dine out.

I would request that people with infectious hacking coughs or infectious anything (that I could catch) please stay home.

Though you can't tell the difference and one cough sounds like the other...

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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