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How You Treat Servers Reveals Your Personality

How You Treat Servers Reveals Your Personality

“How others treat the CEO says nothing, they say. But how others treat the waiter is like a magical window into the soul.” – Del Jones, USA Today

The Waiter Rule” suggests that how we treat waiters and waitresses can reveal a lot about our personality. The majority of CEO’s are in agreement with this (and let’s be honest, they don’t agree on much).

Au Bon Pain co-founder Ron Shaich, now CEO of Panera Bread, mentions that when candidates are being interviewed for executive positions he will ask his assistant how they treated her. Being rude and demanding in these instances is often an indicator that such individuals are not team players.

Furthermore, according to Dr. Fredric Neuman of Psychology Today, how people treat waiters should be considered when choosing a future partner.

In light of the above, what does a person’s behavior towards a server reveal about their personality? To determine this, let’s analyze some common behaviors.

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The friendly person who always says thank you

We have all been with these people. They are always friendly. They greet the server and get to know them by name. And they say thank you – sometimes too much. These are the type of people who see everyone as equal.

They recognize that having a high paying job does not make you superior and does not give you the right to treat people badly. They treat all people (loved ones or not) with compassion and empathy.

They accept that every person has a story. The waiter or waitress might be the sole breadwinner, or perhaps they are working two jobs. Maybe they are paying for their studies. Whatever their situation, this type of person remains cognizant of the fact that all humans are equal. They remain kind.

Such an interaction signals their ability to work well in a team. They are not judgmental. They like seeing people happy. They are genuinely nice people.

The rude person

Have you ever been to a restaurant and seen someone being rude to a waiter? You know that man or women in the corner who talks to the waitress in a condescending manner? Now it just might be that they are having a bad day. (Of course, that does not give them the right to treat others badly.) Perhaps this is just a one-time incident.

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However, for some people this is a regular occurrence. Often they do not even realize they are being rude. They speak to the waiter in a condescending manner. They snap their fingers to get the waitress’s attention. To them the waiters and waitresses are invisible. Whether this is intentional or unintentional, they perceive the server as inferior based on their job.

These individuals are paying customers so they feel that the serving staff should fulfill their needs, regardless as to whether their demands are reasonable.

Individuals who demonstrate such behavior have a demanding personality. They may think they are better than other people. They may feel superior. They may be self-centered. They crave control and power. They may be status conscious.

They may have what is known as a situational value system – where they change their behavior depending on the perceived status of the person they are interacting with.

Aside from people who are friendly to servers and those who are rude, there are also those that prefer minimal interaction and those who are outright people’s people.

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The person who engages in minimal interaction

Some people prefer not to engage in much conversation with the waitress or waiter. This does not mean they are rude. It may just mean that they are having a day where they don’t feel like talking to people. Everyone has days like these where they want to be in their own space.

Or, it could mean that they are introverts. They prefer that everyone just focuses on their own role. They may employ the same strategy in their workplace. As an individual, they may be goal orientated and intensely focused on efficiency and getting things done.

While some prefer to be quiet, others prefer to engage in conversation, and very often a lot of it.

The person who engages in a lot of interaction

There are always those friends that enjoy asking a lot of questions. They enjoy interacting with the waitress or waiter.

This may be due to a number of reasons. There is the outside chance that the individual enjoys annoying the waiter or waitress, but there is also the distinct possibility that the person is genuinely curious and enjoys finding out as much information as possible when they are a paying customer.

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The person may also be an extrovert and genuinely enjoys meeting new people and learning more about that person.

These individuals are confident, know exactly what they want and are not afraid to voice their opinion. They are not afraid to ask questions to ensure they get exactly what they want.

Moral of the story

The behaviors we engage in with waitresses and waiters, how we interact with them, and how we treat them can reveal a lot about our personality. While certain traits that are revealed (such as being an introvert and extrovert) are rather harmless, there are others which may make the waiter feel inferior. It is important to be cognizant of one’s behavior. Everyone is human. Everyone is equal, no matter the perceived status of their job or role.

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Nick Darlington

Nick is a Multipotentialite, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a traveler.

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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