As someone whose career revolves around teaching proper etiquette, I can admittedly be very scrutinizing in my interactions with others. We all have pet peeves about the service we receive—waiters with an attitude, nosy deliverymen, manicurists who treat you like Public Enemy #1 for having bad cuticles, etc. Well, here are two of mine:
The waiter first approached us and asked us what we wanted to drink. That was fine. However, he was back every minute (I’m not exaggerating) asking us if we had decided what we wanted to order. We told him each time that we had not looked at the menu yet. Finally, by the sixth time, I said, “Why don’t you let us tell you when we are ready?” He got really ticked off and went away. After that, it was almost impossible getting him back although I was wearing my million-dollar smile! Don’t male waiters realize that you’re not to interrupt women when they’re catching up after not seeing each other for months???
When we finally finished our meal, we could not find him to get the check. He had disappeared! Thank God I enjoyed my friend’s company or this would have been a bad experience and I would have left the restaurant with indigestion.
Another thing I hate is when I go to the hairdresser or get a mani/pedi and have the person talk, talk, talk about things in which I’m not interested. When I get my hair done, I want to relax. When I have the color on my head, I want to either chill or read a book. Leave me alone! When I get my manicures and pedicures, I go there to relax, not to listen to people complaining about their personal lives. You would think that when someone has her nose buried in a book or her iPhone, she doesn’t want to conduct a long conversation. I’ll be friendly and polite, but then I’d like to tune out.
I also once visited a new hairstylist who was very chatty. I was finally able to get back to the article I was reading when her boyfriend turned up at the salon. While she worked on my hair, the two of them stood hovering over my head as they talked about domestic issues. I couldn’t believe it!
However, no matter how crazy this behavior makes you, the best thing you can do is keep your cool. If your buttons are being pushed, speak up, but stay calm. Just say, “I’m sorry—I’m dying to finish this article. Do you mind if I’m boring and just zone out?” You can always say that you’re on a deadline for work, or a book club. Hopefully they’ll give you some space. And if they don’t, go somewhere else next time!