“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).
Such is the consensus that it has become a common interview tactic. 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. Frederic Neuman of Psychology Today, how people treat waiters should be considered when choosing a future partner.
How people treat serves then can reveal a lot about one’s personality. There is no question about it. To fully understand the personality traits, one needs to look at two opposite ends of the spectrum, those that treat waiters well and those that don’t. From each behaviour certain personality traits can be infered. This is done this by looking at five categories.
Watch out for people who have a situational value system
“Watch out for people who have a situational value system, who can turn the charm on and off depending on the status of the person they are interacting with” – Raytheon, CEO, Bill Swanson
A persons value system is revealed through their behaviour. Values are something that ultimately determine behaviour and influence the choices people make. Many people have what is known as a situational value system. People with such a value system will treat a waiter badly simply because they perceive the waiter to be in a sub-ordinate role. Their character is constantly changing based on status. It is conditional.
On the other hand, those without a situational value system treat peope well on every possible occasion. Their behaviour is unconditional. Their behaviour is not constantly changing.
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 the situation, this type of person remains cognizant of the fact that all humans are equal.
Judging vs Understanding Nature
Those that treat waiters poorly the majority of the time have a judging personality. They see the waiter as inferior based on their job role. They speak to the waiter in a condescending manner. Perhaps even snapping their fingers to get the waiters attention.
Those that treat waiters well recognise that everyone has a story to share, not judging a book by it’s cover. They have an understanding nature.
People who are rude to waiters are not team players
Those people who are rude to waiters and speak in a condescending manner tend to not be collaborative. They are not team players.
Treating servers as equal and always being kind is a signal that they are a team player. Such people will not demand things of others. They show respect and receive this respect in turn.
People who are rude to waiters are not great leaders
Being rude to a waiter indicates that a person cannot earn respect easy. Rather such individuals demand it. This is not a characterstic that one would look for in a leader.
For those on the other end of the spectrum earning respect is easy. This places these people in an ideal position to lead. Indeed how you treat waiters at your local restaurant is something that is discussed in depth in the USA article, with specific reference to it being an indicator of your ability to lead people.
People who treat servers with kindness are compassionate and empathetic
Treating waiters poorly is a sign of a lack of compassion and empathy. On the flip side treating waiters with kindess reveals a persons unconditional compassion and empathy for people as a whole. Not subject to conditions.
Everyone is equal
The behaviors we engage in with waitresses and waiters, how we interact with them, and how we treat them can reveal a lot about a person’s personality. 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.