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Sep 4, 2008 04:38 PM

Was I rude?

We went to dinner last night at a nice french bistro (tableclothes and everything!) with a moderately priced menu. Service was iffy throughout the meal but acceptable until . . . the waiter started to stack the dirty plates on top of my plate that was still in front of me. I said 'please don't do that' and he asked 'what' - 'stack the plates in front of me'. He seemed offended and ther person dining with me was embarrassed.

On a side note - ONE of my dining pet peeves is cleared dishes that get stacked on an arm. To me my dinner has just become garbage. I know it's weird but the better waiters don't do it.

Was I rude to my waiter last night? I still give him a better than average tip.

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  1. It would have bothered me too. I might not have said anything if I didn't plan on going back anyway but usually I tend to be kind of wimpy. I know exactly what you mean about dinner turning to garbage. I have this problem at home! One family member insists on getting up and starting to clean the table while I'm still eating. It bothers me for the same reason, dinner becomes garbage or leftovers. I'm pretty much doomed because when I get assertive and say something it interupts my enjoyment of my dinner too. When I went to his mother's house for dinner and she did the same thing I just kind of gave up. I do tend to eat somewhat slowly but not ridiculously so. Wow typing this has brought back a memory of the same mom trying to get up and leave an ice cream place that she had gone to with us for a treat. Never mind that I still had half a sundae left. She apologized and said airly "I guess when I'm done I think everyone else is." But I feel for you. Stacking them in your face like that is ridiculous. But people either get it or they don't. I'll be interested to see what others have to say.

    1. No, you weren't rude by any means. I would be disgusted to have someone else's congealing, picked over, cold food remains and utensils in my face also. You said "please", explained concisely when he asked why (which should have been obvious) and tipped him anyhow. In my opinion, well handled.

      1. He never, ever should have stacked all of the plates on your plate that remained in front of you. Either he picks up a single plate and puts other plates on top of that while he holds the original plate on the bottom or, even better, a service tray is brought to put the dirty dishes on that and they're removed that way.

        I think you handled it very well.

        1. I think you handled it very well. I would have spoken to management about this as well. They need to know their employees are acting like this. This goes along with "Are you still working on that?" which makes it sound like you are shoveling through a trough!

          1. It truly sounds like the waiter just wasn't in the know - not an excuse - just my opinion. I would definitely address this with mgmt via snailmail or email in a polite but concerned tone. I think you'd be doing the place a favor, especially if you like the place otherwise... You did also mention up front that service was iffy - I think good if not exceptional service is a requisite of certain cuisines like French. The focus and attention to details is part of the experience that I would think most do expect...