What can you infer from a table that just will not speak to you no matter how friendly and accessible you try to be? At best, you can infer that they’re assholes, or maybe just socially inept. But chances are that . . .
IF YOU HAVE TO DRAG EVERY MONOSYLLABIC GRUNT OUT OF YOUR TABLE . . . then you won’t be going out for brandy and fine Cuban cigars with their tip. More like room temperature PBR tallboys and some Pall Malls.
Like all the other helpful guidelines in the How You Know series, this one for the most part boils down to the psychology of self-esteem. People who don’t believe in themselves don’t ‘believe’ in what they’re saying, so they tend to mumble and speak softly or meekly. And if there is a recurring theme in the How You Know series it’s People Who Don’t Like Themselves Won’t Like You And You Won’t Get A Good Tip.
An addendum to this is sometimes you’ll see a not-so-loving couple where the woman is apparently not allowed to speak before or without the permission of the ‘man’. This particular situation bothers me on a personal level. I’ve gone up to so very many tables, asked them what they wanted to drink, looked directly at the lady for her answer, and had the guy blurt out ‘I wunt uh Bud Liught and uh Co-Coluhh!’. The lady will look down, no doubt contemplating some kind of genital-mutilating, bed-burning murder/suicide as her only way out of her miserable existence with the dipshit she paired up with, then she’ll look up at her man. Once he gives his silent approval for her to speak she’ll order the only thing she won’t get bruises for later, which is a water. I’ve seen this happen so many times it almost feels like my job is a crappy video game and the game designers got tired of inventing new characters for me to wait on so they just slapped new faces on the same bitter, dysfunctional couple I’ve been waiting on for years. The sad thing is that the same thing happens when it comes time to order their mains. He will order the steak and lobster and she gets the chicken . . . seizure sallitt.
If the silence isn’t caused by poor self-image or an uncomfortable relationship then it can be attributed to people building emotional walls around themselves. Some people don’t speak to you because they don’t want to make a connection to you as a person, so that they won’t feel bad when they leave you 2 on an $80 check (and trust me they won’t). Maybe they’re just assholes who don’t tip. Who really knows. But it’s a fact that some customers will go as far as not even making eye contact with you in order to avoid making any sort of personal connection with you, no matter how minute it might be.
It’s possible that maybe I’M the asshole in this equation. Maybe some people just don’t like me, and that’s why they don’t talk to me. I’m sure that’s been true on a couple of occasions. But I’ve observed plenty of empirical evidence to suggest that silence is a bad thing.
Dignity and Respect
Me, The JerBear