Monday, July 04, 2005

Table manners...

Witnessed a very interesting incident over the weekend.

Had dinner at Friday's in One Utama on Sunday. I like Friday's. Like the casual atmosphere, good fajitas and friendly waiting staff. Great place for a hearty meal (not so good for the heart!!) and to chill out. Also a nice place to bring you family for a meal and they are currently having a free kids meal promotion for kids under 12yrs.

So there I was, seated at the non smoking section. It was a busy night. Place was full, and the other tables we're mainly filled with families having a nice Sunday dinner out. If you want a quiet place to eat and chat, this is not it. Most tables had young children (probably due to the promotion), so its a little noisier than usual.

However, there was this particular bunch of kids running around the restaurant, having a good time. I mean, they were REALLY having a good time. Running up and down the ENTIRE non smoking section, knocking into the waiting staff, kicking chairs and tables along the way, laughing loudly, screeching and screaming in excitement. These kids were WILD. It got to a point where other patrons were getting pretty annoyed. I was getting annoyed.

Usually, when kids start getting wild, the parents will do something about it. I mean, if I were to do what this kids did when I was at their age, I'd probably get a good smacking right on the spot. The parents at the other tables seem the have their kids well controlled and well behaved. So, there we all were, waiting for the parent to do something.

Nada, ziltch, nothing happened.

I looked around the restaurant looking to spot the parents, and found them seated on the other side of the section. Looked like they were having a big family gathering. The grand parents were there with 2 adult couples. Upper class type, from the way there were dressed. The table seems to be having a good time themselves. The maid was there as well, but she wasn't much help.

By this time, the kids just brought their already high noise level up one notch. They started popping the balloons that they had. They thought is was funny. Nobody else did.

Still... nothing from the parents.

One table, a family with 3 teenage kids, got pretty annoyed and I don't blame them. The balloon popping fest was just next to their table. The man complained to the maid and asks her to herd the kids elsewhere. You can see that he is very annoyed, but still politely got his request across to the maid.

However, the poor maid couldn't do a thing. You can tell that the rugrats are spoilt and probably bullies the poor maid around the house. So, the man complained to one of the waiters. The waiter apologised and offered to relocate them to another table.

By this time, rugrats' mom got wind of the complaint. Typically, you would expect the parents, at this stage, to go "Oh shit. Kids are misbehaving. Better get them in line". But no, mom got into a bitchy fit. With here upper class air, she barked,

"Go home lar... if they don't like it here, go home lar... its a public restaurant"

Followed by a remark to her tablemates,

"What's THEIR problem?!?!?"

Doesn't it makes you wanna stand up, walk over and b*tch slap the woman? So I did.

Ok, I didn't lar... didn't wanna make a scene and spend some jail time. But, her remark kinda left a bad taste in my mouth. And, she kinda purposely and pompously raised her voice when making the remarks so that it can be heard by the table that complained (and by the whole section of the restaurant too!). Some people have a wrong concept on what one can do in a public restaurant, or a public place. Being a public place doesn't mean you or your kids can do whatever they want.

But, being a public place, apparently you can:

1. show what a shitty parent you are
2. show that money doesn't buy you good manners and attitude

Don't even get me started on where the father was in all this. Suffice to say, he was more interested in his meal than his kids.

Also, if I do recall my law classes from uni, a restaurant is actually deemed a private establishment (any lawyers out there that want to clarify?). If the restaurant manager had any balls, he would have gone up to the offending parent, and would politely asked them to keep their kids in control as they are disturbing his other patrons.

He didn't, and I found out why. Apparently, the restaurant manager is friends with the other couple on the table. At least the other couple had the decency to apologise to the manager for the trouble when he came over to their table.

After a while, the party left and I enjoyed the rest of my dinner in peace.

The "problem" is YOU, lady.... for being an irresponsible parent and a stupid inconsiderate human being.


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