Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Another Run-in With Manners

Have you ever had a trip to a restaurant and had everything go wrong? I experienced that last night but in the process a discussion much like an event last year saw.

Anyway, the "fun" began when I ordered a Cherry Coke. Most places don't have straight up Cherry Coke and they mix some sort of thing in it. I don't know the name of this even though I've heard it 1,000 times and each time when they ask me if it is okay I always say yes not knowing what I am saying yes to. So, when the drink came, I was given a glass, a glass bottle of Coke, and a small glass of that thing I don't know the name of. All of a sudden I became a drink mixer and had no idea what amount to pour so I just poured it all out and hoped for the best.

The menu was vast and I was not about to fall into a trap of processing what I wanted like I was earlier in the day at a Subway; seriously, I locked up twice. First was when I was asked, "What type of bread?" and secondly, "Chips or a cookie?" Each question saw me think about it was over 10 seconds with a look of despair on my face and in the end I answered with the thing I didn't want; I mean, a Meatball Mariana on flatbread? Yeah, I made a mistake. Wait, where was I?

Oh yes, the menu. The menu was vast and I decided to go with the pizza. I asked for pepperoni and mushroom, but the waitress was unsure if last night was the type of night they carried pepperoni so she had to leave to ask and she was gone for a minute when she finally came back and said no, not a pepperoni type of night. With that being so I went with sausage and mushroom and then I waited.

When the food came out the three of us with pizzas remained in a state of wait as they weren't done yet. Then one pizza came out, then another, but mine remained someone within the depths of the kitchen. So, six out of seven of us had food and I thought of the blog post I linked to earlier in this post. I thought if I should play the manners game and mention that it was okay if everyone started to eat, but then I remembered I am in a bitter struggle to end that odd and outdated rule.

The rule I'm talking about is the one where no one can eat until all food is served. As I said last year, this makes no sense. The laws of averages says that over the course of your lifetime you will get your food first sometimes, and last sometimes, but it will average out. That being the case why is it rude to eat when others haven't been served yet?

A couple more minutes passed and still no pizza for me. Others started to eat, without my consent I might add, and eventually this was talked about and I made my point perfectly clear. I was asked, "If you were on a date and your food came out first would you eat?" And to that I responded, "Most certainly. Why would I wait?"

As I have learned at my presentations when I talk about this I once again realized that most people don't see my logic and no amount of passionate debate will change other's minds on this topic. Another few minutes passed and still no pizza and then, finally, it came. However, it just wasn't my night so it wasn't sausage mushroom but rather sausage and some sort of weird looking onion like thingy that was probably onions but if there's one thing that doesn't belong on a pizza it is onions. I don't mind onions in ring form, but other than that onions can stay in the ground, or wherever they come from.

Many minutes later the right pizza came out and because of the delays and error a free dessert was given. I was given three options and I chose one and five or so minutes later the waiter came back and informed me that they were sold out of that option. Yeah, it wasn't my type of night. The food was wrong, and no one shared my view points on being able to eat as soon as food comes out. Oh well, it just gives me more passion the next time I get into a debate regarding this slippery slope that is manners.


  1. Today I asked on Twitter what they would do if a part of their company didn't get their dinner. If they would start eating, or wait 'till the other part gets their dinner too.
    I didn't tell them what I was counting in this poll.

    It turned out that all the people with Autism said they would either start eating, or ask the others at the dinner table what they want them to do. All the people without Autism said they would wait and sometimes even pointed out that that is normal mannerism.

    I find this very interesting actually. Now I want to run such a poll on a bigger scale... Don't know how yet though (since I'd also need to know if the person answering is Autistic or not)...

  2. Ooohh nice. One of my friends, who's an IT student (and autistic) promised to help me with the poll. :) We're going to talk about it this evening. If I got a link for the poll, I'll send it to you. :)

  3. I found a good website to make the survey on. It's got 2 questions and is anonymous. If anyone wants to fill it in, here it is: http://www.makesurvey.net/cgi-bin/survey.dll/9AEC993306D548118872C64458031810

  4. I got the results to the survey! The link is on here: http://justpaste.it/sic

    It seems like a long text, but it's in 2 languages, so you just have to read half of it. It's very important you read the text first.

  5. I have not been diagnosed w/Autism, but my son has & I have alot of the same quirks he does. Here are my thoughts on this topic...

    If it's a group over 4 or so, I'd say eat when you get your food. But if there is only a few people at the meal, I'd probably wait until everyone was served, unless there is a problem w/their meal & it will take awhile.

    The people who say you should wait until everyone is served, what are their opinions on salads, which are served ahead of the entree, but not everyone gets salad?

    When all else fails, watch what everone else is doing ;)

  6. This is where you got to be mentally flexible. If I were in this situation, I will give people permission to eat their stuff first. Why? Think about the food for a second. Is it as good if it's eaten cold comparing to when it's freshly off the oven? For pizzas, the answer is no. Moreover, you are in the position of power here where you can have people eat while you wait or you want to have everybody else wait. With these factors in mind, you should have let the folks eat the pizza.

    In manners, each situation is separate. You have to think of what's best when the situation presents itself.