Monday, August 17, 2009

At what point does FRIENDLY turn to ANNOYING?

Not too long ago, I was at dinner enjoying my meal and a good book and the friendly service. I was on a mission to complete the book – I only had 5 pages left! I looked at the restaurant menu, and then read. I ordered, and then read. I ate, and then read. Yep, had dessert, and then read. I was well on my way to accomplishing my goal. In addition, I was having a really nice time.

Then, my server asked me “So, whatcha reading?” For just a second, I was flattered that she even cared. So, I told her and shared with her a REALLY brief overview of the book thinking that would complete our conversation and I could get back to reading. Then, she asks “So, whatcha do?” I thought about ignoring her, but then that’s not in my character. Plus, I never pass up an opportunity to tell someone about The Chef’s Academy! (Yes, that was a shameless plug.)

Then, she brings over the restaurant’s management trainee for me to share with him everything I just told her! Needless to say, I never got a chance to finish the LAST 5 pages of the LAST chapter of my book! As I left the tip and headed out the door, I realized that I was ANNOYED!

As I got into my car, I posed the following question to my Facebook & Twitter Friends: “At what point does FRIENDLY turn to ANNOYING?” I needed some input . . . was I being too sensitive or had my server truly crossed the threshold from friendliness to annoyance? I received quite a few responses, most of which I cannot share! But, here's a couple that eased my concern:

1. “When you've used the word NO more than once...”
2. “When every time you turn around they’re in your face.”

I guess the second response hit home for me . . . my server was indeed friendly. She took care of me during my dining experience – refilled my drink when appropriate, brought extra napkins, etc. But, why did she have to ask me about my book, my work, and then bring over an audience? Every time I put my nose back to the page, she was there.

The role of a server is to lead the diner through their dining experience. Be efficient, personable, and friendly – STOP! Anymore and the restaurant diner just might be annoyed.

Management Program Coordinator
Faculty Advisor, Travel & Tour Club

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