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Feeding People with Special Dietary Needs and Challenging Personalities


patti
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I don't think that these people are mentally ill.    Rather they have limited travel experience, possibly little exposure outside their circumscribed social and physical neighborhoods as well as high senses of entitlement.   I've encountered a few....
 

 

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13 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

I don't think that these people are mentally ill.    Rather they have limited travel experience, possibly little exposure outside their circumscribed social and physical neighborhoods as well as high senses of entitlement.   I've encountered a few....
 

 

It just baffles me how people like this (the woman in the chef's hat) can manage to function in the real world.  I mean, is there a meltdown every day?

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@Margaret PilgrimI’m going to respectfully disagree with your assessment. People who choose Road Scholar programs are people who’ve travelled extensively, both nationally and internationally. I was always the least travelled in any of my groups. That was one of the things I found funny. After telling me about a trip to Nepal, where they had to poop in a hole in the ground and seemed to appreciate the cultural difference, they might scream at me because the napkins at dinner were too small.* They were also well educated. It was rare to have someone in the program who did not have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many with higher degrees. Of course, there were exceptions to both of those.

 

While the woman in the chef’s hat may have had a mental illness, I think she may have been on the autism spectrum, which doesn’t preclude her from also having some type of mental illness. She was definitely the most extremely different person in any of the programs. I do have empathy for her.

 

I think most of the anecdotes are just about quirky people who’ve exhibited some bad behavior. 
 

*I forgot about the dinner napkin lady. One night at the hotel, instead of being served a plated dinner, there was a buffet. One of the servers mistakenly put out cocktail napkins instead of dinner napkins. While I thought it was an inconvenience, I didn’t think it was tragic, but one woman in the group went ballistic, and screamed ... no, really, SCREAMED at me because of the size of the napkins. First world problems, lady. Get a grip.  She was nice all the rest of the week. 
 

They did bring out the correct dinner napkins, later.  This was at a hotel that we only used for a year. There were other, bigger issues besides this one.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, lindag said:

It just baffles me how people like this (the woman in the chef's hat) can manage to function in the real world.  I mean, is there a meltdown every day?


She probably didn’t function very well in the real world. Might be the reason she still lived with a parent, required heavy sedative type meds, etc. Group travel was not for her.
 

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Yes Asperger's is Greta Thunberg's diagnosis. We don't do difference well. You did a great job. A friend was the coordinator for students with differences at a local community college. They had a culinary prgram. In other settings I had to take her lead whn dealing with "difficult" behavior.

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Given her age, and her relatively recent culinary training, it's quite possible her father was trying to find a viable niche where she could function once her parents passed. I know a family in Alberta who followed a similar course with their daughter, though from a younger age.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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On 5/22/2021 at 3:00 PM, patti said:

@blue_dolphinWhen you’re in it, you can’t always laugh, although occasionally I would remind myself that it was going to make a good story. The people in my department looked forward to my return from a program, so they could hear the latest. 

I'm sorry to be veering off the subject for a moment but I have to tell about my friend who rode the bus to work every day and always came back with a story about the weirdos on board.  My favorite story was this one:"

My friend was in her forties then and was really quite pretty.  One day her bus was quite full and she had a seat on the aisle.  Riders were pushed together.

The bus was bouncing along and folk were getting off here and there.  There was a man pressed up against her shoulder until she noticed that most of the standing passengers had gotten off or found seats.  The man continued to rub against her.  She was forced to get up and move to another seat. 

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On 5/21/2021 at 7:32 PM, patti said:

@heidihThe black-eyed peas questioners have been from the US and maybe one from Canada. 
 

@Kim ShookMost have not questioned hamburger steaks, but enough have to make me wonder about it. Again, US citizens.  The woman who asked how much was steak and how much of it was hamburger was from Connecticut.

 

You seemed to get only morons who were yankees. 

The view from up here is different   😉

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1 hour ago, patti said:

People who choose Road Scholar programs are people who’ve travelled extensively, both nationally and internationally. .... They were also well educated. It was rare to have someone in the program who did not have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many with higher degrees.

I totally understand but (and I hate people who say "Yes, but..." 😄) I have a handful of friends and relatives who have multiple degrees, have been all over the world

but have somehow remained untravelled and culturally tone-deaf.   Social obtuseness, if you will.   Their professional and business success has allowed them to swashbuckle through life without noticing their negative effects on people around them.    I don't think they qualify as mentally ill bur rather monumental PIAs.  

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2 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Social obtuseness, if you will.   Their professional and business success has allowed them to swashbuckle through life without noticing their negative effects on people around them.    I don't think they qualify as mentally ill bur rather monumental PIAs.  


Ohhh, I like that. Social obtuseness. Yes! Agree on all points. PIA fo’ sho’.🤣

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@Margaret Pilgrimmention entitled people.  Speaking of which...

 

There was a program that started in New Orleans (three nights), then on to Baton Rouge for two nights, and finally to Lafayette for four nights. This program was coordinated with the New Orleans Road Scholar and I didn’t meet the group until they arrived in Lafayette, when I took over.

 

Hotel staff knew me, as I’d been hosting groups there for five years, but they weren’t necessarily familiar with the New Orleans group leader, or their bus driver. 
 

We were having dinner, and dessert was being served. I was seated with the New Orleans group leader and the bus driver and our table was near the others. The server knew me, and also knew not to serve me dessert. He served the other two at the table and moved on. I overheard a woman at the next table asking him why we were served before she was.


He seemed puzzled. “Ma’am?”

 

Her, in a very ugly tone of voice: “I want to know what your thought process was to serve THEM before you served ME.”

 

Him: “Ma’am, I’m so sorry. I was just working my way around the room. Your table is next.”

 

Her: Exasperated sigh.

 

I know the other two people didn’t hear any of this as they were busy talking. I said nothing at the time, but the next day, I pulled her aside and explained that while our server knew who I was, and that I wasn’t taking dessert, he had no idea that the other two people weren’t just a part of the group. (I was giving her a chance to redeem herself, and hoping she’d be apologetic.)

 

”Oh, he had to know that was the bus driver! It was obvious! That’s ridiculous.”

 

I didn’t respond and I walked away, but oh, the thoughts going through my head! First of all, he wasn’t wearing a uniform of any kind that would indicate he was a bus driver. What he was, was Black, so of course the server should have known that he should be served last!  I was appalled. We’d call her a Karen these days.

 

She never redeemed herself. While she seemed pleasant within her circle of friends, she was an unsmiling grump in any of our interactions.

 

PS - I spoke to our server after the incident, concerned with the way he’d been spoken to. He was the nicest young man who was working his way through school. He told me he had developed a thick skin and wasn’t bothered by her tone at all.

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14 minutes ago, patti said:

He told me he had developed a thick skin and wasn’t bothered by her tone at all.

 

If I have learned anything in my 66 years of life on this planet, it's that the above is the key to getting along.

 

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26 minutes ago, kayb said:

 

If I have learned anything in my 66 years of life on this planet, it's that the above is the key to getting along.

 

I have a sticky notes on my dresser mirror which I use as a vision board kinda thing  The trio say "Drop the rocks, thick skin, and pause before speaking.

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So am I depressing y'all with these posts? My original intent was to be lighthearted. Also, there were many delightful people on these programs. I wouldn't have been able to deal with the few challenging personalities as easily if they weren't mostly really go with the flow personalities. In every single program there were people who were appreciative, supportive, fun, validating, and positive.

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3 minutes ago, patti said:

So am I depressing y'all with these posts? My original intent was to be lighthearted. Also, there were many delightful people on these programs. I wouldn't have been able to deal with the few challenging personalities as easily if they weren't mostly really go with the flow personalities. In every single program there were people who were appreciative, supportive, fun, validating, and positive.

Personally, I find the stories fascinating, so keep them coming!  I don't always like or emoji a post because I have mixed feelings - I'm happy about how you always seem to know how to handle these situations, but I don't know how to describe how I feel about some of the people's actions!

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45 minutes ago, patti said:

So am I depressing y'all with these posts? My original intent was to be lighthearted. Also, there were many delightful people on these programs. I wouldn't have been able to deal with the few challenging personalities as easily if they weren't mostly really go with the flow personalities. In every single program there were people who were appreciative, supportive, fun, validating, and positive.

Depressing?  Not at all.  I find it terribly interesting to read about other people's oddities.

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1 hour ago, patti said:

So am I depressing y'all with these posts? My original intent was to be lighthearted. Also, there were many delightful people on these programs. I wouldn't have been able to deal with the few challenging personalities as easily if they weren't mostly really go with the flow personalities. In every single program there were people who were appreciative, supportive, fun, validating, and positive.

Not at all!  Very much enjoying.  

 

 

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Oh, please do keep the stories coming, @patti.  I love hearing about the personalities and the the little glimpses of the tours are interesting as well.  My own experience with group travel is relatively limited and I know nothing about the host/guide/hospitality side of things.  

 

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1 hour ago, MokaPot said:

@patti, was it mostly Cajun foods that you all were serving?


Yes, although not every dish was strictly something one would consider Cajun, the seasonings and styles were done in the way that most locals are used to.
 

Unfortunately, Cajun meals are often carb heavy, and some of the little plate lunch places we went to didn’t have the kinds of salads that appealed to my group. One of my rules at the hotel for opening night dinner was absolutely no bread pudding, and no iceberg lettuce in the salads.  The bread pudding rule was simply because so many restaurants served bread pudding as dessert that it aggravated at least a couple of people in every group, while some were thrilled with it. The thing was, each bread pudding was completely different, and many in the group would have a fun time rating and comparing them all. 

Typically, there were about three opportunities to have gumbo during the week. The first lunch included a cup of chicken and sausage gumbo as a starter. The second opportunity was at a dinner with a choice of c&s gumbo or a salad as a starter. The third opportunity was a cup of seafood gumbo as a starter. There were two crawfish etouffee opportunities, once as a choice at lunch, and another as a choice at a dinner. If that sounds like too much gumbo for y’all, as a native, I always had it at least twice. I don’t get tired of good gumbo. Most in the group were happy with it, as well. Rice dressing (aka dirty rice) was on the menu once, as was red beans and rice with smoked sausage. 
 

During our final meeting, I provided samples of boudin for them. Actually, eating some boudin was their passport to earning their Honorary Cajun Certificates. 😉 Kind of corny, but most enjoyed the ceremony, if not the actual boudin.

 

Occasionally I would get an email from customer service telling me that someone had registered for a program and they didn’t like Cajun food. Was that going to be a problem? Um, well, yeah. And what do they mean when they say they don’t like Cajun food? They might be able to avoid specific Cajun dishes, but even if they choose meatloaf on a plate lunch, it will have been seasoned the way local people like things seasoned. 
 

Sorry for rambling.

 

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5 hours ago, gfweb said:

 

You seemed to get only morons who were yankees. 

The view from up here is different   😉


I never called anyone a moron or a Yankee! 😜 I try not to generalize to a group. But whaddaya mean about the view from up there? That southerners are morons?

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I found out the folk life village had smothered rabbit on the menu one day, so I requested that my group get that, instead of the usual.  So many times people commented on wanting authenticity, and smothered rabbit is beloved by many older Cajuns.  Boy, was I wrong! Suddenly, authenticity meant nothing, as people were confronted with eating the Easter bunny. 😳😂
 

Lesson learned, on my part.

 

Not sure they appreciated my little joke about the method of cooking smothered rabbit. “First you put the pillows over their little faces...”

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