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Author Topic: Another restaurant meal ruined  (Read 4671 times)

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Offline minismom

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Re: Another restaurant meal ruined
« Reply #50 on: June 25, 2009, 07:49:33 AM »
Another mum speaking up.  I have 6 children ranging in age from 12 (as of last week) to 5.  In that group, we have 3 autistic children 1 of whom also has a comorbid diagnosis of MR.  When we are out in public, they are absolutely expected to behave themselves. I don't care if we are in McDonald's or Fish Bones. And, believe me, they know where the line is and what the consequences are for crossing it.  There were times when Hubby or I ended up eating dinner in the car while one of our children had a "meltdown".  But, most times, we are complimented about our children's behavior.  We do have 1 daughter who eats sitting under the table.  But, she's quiet and doesn't bother anyone.  She doesn't particularly like eating in front of people.

As for complaining, I don't usually have to.  I use it as a teaching opportunity for our own children.  After hearing a family using your family as an example of how NOT to behave, we find it doesn't take long for the parents to get the kiddies under control.

Of course, on that very rare occasion when Hubby and I go to dinner by ourselves, we tell the hostess to put us far away from children and offer an extra tip if no kids are seated with-in 4 tables of us.

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Offline Cliff

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Re: Another restaurant meal ruined
« Reply #51 on: June 25, 2009, 07:50:40 AM »
Children are such a rare sight for me that I don't mind seeing them act up in public.  I generally only see them on the tube (going to the zoo or some overpriced London attraction).  It's funny seeing some random business man trying to discreetly move a child's dirty shoe off his £2,500 suit.  The child, picking his nose while asking his mom how many more stops they have, is completely oblivious to the insult.

I've been known to let my nieces and nephew act up in public.  I rarely get to see them, so on the two times a year I do see them, I don't discipline them.  Bad uncle.  Probably. But hey ho life's short and all.  Plus they'll grow out of it.  I did (mostly).

Complain to the manager/staff but I wouldn't address the family directly.  Kinda puts them on the defensive and begs an unnecessary confrontation.  Plus they actually may be great parents.  Just tired that night.  Or they could be bad uncles and aunts.  In which case, let it slide, please.

Offline David_CA

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Re: Another restaurant meal ruined
« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2009, 09:07:19 AM »
When did it become acceptable to accost other patrons at a restaurant and criticize the behaviour of their family members?

Swimming against the tide here, yes, you were wrong to speak up in the manner that you dd.  There is a time and a place for face to face confrontation and an upscale restaurant is not it.   (Duelling, when fashionable was customarily reserved to isolated glades and the banks of the Hudson. :))

I realize that all here are offering opinions only, but this one is way out there.  You did absolutely nothing wrong.  From the OP:
Quote
Within a few minutes the children at the table nearby began running around the restaurant yelling and carrying on.  They climbed up on the banquet seating bench, running back on forth.  Their parents were watching but said nothing.  This continued for an extended period of time with the parents watching but saying nothing.

Finally, not willing to have our dinner interupted any longer I asked the parents in a calm polite tone "could you please get your children under control their behaviour is very disruptive".

These weren't children giggling a bit too loudly or arguing like kids do.  These were children that were running around the restaurant.  That is not OK.  Their parents were aware of what they were doing and did nothing.  Yes, the kids were acting like kids, but there are places where children have to behave.  Theaters and restaurants come to my mind.  If this had been in a store or other public place were you could have easily stepped away from them, that would be one thing.  You did nothing more than ask the parents to do their 'job'.  Those parents showing you the menu where it says 'family night' just proves their ignorance.  They misunderstood 'family night' to mean that the restaurant was providing a table-side playground.

When I was very  young, I didn't dare misbehave in public.  I remember one time my mom threatened me with "Do you want me to pull down your pants right here in front of everybody and spank your bottom?"  I stopped.  Immediately.  It wasn't the fear of the spanking that bothered me, it was the fear of having everybody see my butt that go to me! (Imagine that  ;) )

Some, if not many Americans, do try and be polite.  I was taught to hold the door for people - men or women, to offer my seat on a bus, etc to the elderly or needy (pregnant, sick, whatever), to assist older folks when they drop things, you know, general courtesy.  I don't necessarily think that one generation is always worse than others, but having manners is something that seems so 'old fashioned' to a lot of younger kids.  

If I had been in the OP's situation, I would have either asked the parents to control their children or asked the waitperson to be moved due to the disruption of those children.  I also would have let the parents hear me ask to be moved.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 02:56:10 PM by David_NC »
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Offline bmancanfly

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Re: Another restaurant meal ruined
« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2009, 01:13:43 PM »
This has been an interesting discussion, thanks for the support from most.

I've decided to send an email to the mgmt/owners of the restaurant to inform them of the situation, and get their feedback.  I'll post their reply if I get one.

When did it become acceptable to accost other patrons at a restaurant and criticize the behaviour of their family members?

Swimming against the tide here, yes, you were wrong to speak up in the manner that you dd.  There is a time and a place for face to face confrontation and an upscale restaurant is not it.   (Duelling, when fashionable was customarily reserved to isolated glades and the banks of the Hudson. :))

No matter how calm you think you were (although you mention you simmered for a while), the remark you made was inflammatory on its face and the reaction unsurprising. 

As others have pointed out, your real "beef" (as it were) is with the restaurant management which did not provide the anticipated atmosphere of calm.  The appropriate technique at an upscale restaurant is to summon the waiter and discreetly state the reason that you demand a new table and a refund.  Starting quarrels with the other diners is considered déclassé.

Yrs
A Dvted reader of Mrs. Post

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I couldn't disagree more.  I hardly think that the parents were "accosted" by my remark.  I did not criticize their children, only informed the oblivious parents that their children's behaviour was very disruptive.  I think we were the ones who were "acosted" by the out of control children.

Remember the behaviour was so beyond what any reasonable person would  consider acceptable for virtually any public area, other than a playground.

And while I do conceed that speaking with the mgmt opition exists, in the real world of short staffed restaurants it sounds better on paper then in practice.  There was only one water on duty, if I had asked him to intervene, the parents would have been pissed off at him, and probably stiffed him.  No dispute that mgmt has a responsiblity here, but so do the parents.  And in my opinion the parents responsibilty is far, far greater.   Putting a waiter in a position where he might have to sacrifice 1/2 or a 1/3 of that nights income seems unfair too.

Some people are consious of how their actions affect others, some are indifferent.  I belong to the first group because I was taught, and I believe, that it is simply polite, and respectful to do so.

My partner and I have had this discussion with others here in town, and we have been overwhelmed with how many people have similar stories.  I don't know whether crime rates are up or down.  But civility cetainly has taken a turn for the worse.
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Offline fearless

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Re: Another restaurant meal ruined
« Reply #54 on: June 25, 2009, 06:39:56 PM »
We say "please" and "thank you" in Philadelphia, so I'm tempted to accuse all Australians for being hateful, nasty, impolite malcontents :)

I will say this, from my experience Americans in general are very good at please and thank you and service generally. We could learn a thing or two from you in this regard. Shop assistants in Sydney are notoriously rude and unhelpful. Service in the rest of the country is generally better.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Another restaurant meal ruined
« Reply #55 on: June 26, 2009, 09:05:34 PM »
I will say this, from my experience Americans in general are very good at please and thank you and service generally. We could learn a thing or two from you in this regard. Shop assistants in Sydney are notoriously rude and unhelpful. Service in the rest of the country is generally better.

With 11.1% unemployment in North Carolina I've noticed a marked improvement in customer service. Everyone at restaurants and stores is being extra friendly and attentive, almost as if their lives depend on it.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 09:07:12 PM by GSOgymrat »

Offline BlueMoon

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  • Calling from the Fun House
Re: Another restaurant meal ruined
« Reply #56 on: June 26, 2009, 09:59:01 PM »
No matter what the price, you should be able to enjoy a meal without a  pack of wild apes running loose.  I agree with Assurbanipal that the real problem was a failure of restaurant management.  I probably would not even involve the waiter, but get up and go find the manager (much more effective than waiting for him to come to you).

It's unfortunate that you were put in that position in the first place.  One thing I've learned is that you can't educate louts, and they resent attempts to do so.  If it really bothers you then maybe you could write a letter to the restaurant ownership and tell them what you think of spending $75-100 for a McDonalds dining experience.       
...................VL.....CD4.....%
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08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
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03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
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12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
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