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What would Emily Post do? [moved from New Orleans]

The set-up:

Eating out tonite at a place that on a typical Saturday night has a noise-scale score of about 5, on a 1 to 10 scale. Add in being Jazzfest, let's allow for a decibel point or two more. Fine. But when this 6-top of drunks is at an 11 all night, and not just volume-obnoxious but "You shoulda seen this b**ches (chest), effin uneffin believable rack" comments...Well, I couldn't take it any longer and said loudly, Will you idiots just shut the hell UP!!?? Dirty looks, I'm gonna kick your butt glares ensued. The owners had been trying to quiet them all night but didn't want to reach the point of asking them to either pipe down or leave, obviously. Hence the escalation.

What would you 'Hownders have done? I understand people trying to have fun, and being sauced, but should I have just taking a "grin and bear it" tact? My date thought so--yeah, forgot that part, it led to ME fighting with my girlfriend! Sheez...

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  1. I bet everyone else who could hear these douches were secretly applauding you. I think that their rudeness is what's rude, not your response. Where were you? We were at Root tonight, had a nice time, and thankfully no jerks there. Driving home afterward, on the other hand...

    Soon, soon, things will settle down!

    1 Reply
    1. re: noradeirdre

      We need to coordinate a meal together missy! Come to think of it, you'd have been my tag-team partner in shaming these louts! I'll refrain from naming the place as they are nice folks trying to establish themselves. And Root was...?

    2. I applaud you. Their behavior was that of teenage boys. After confronting them I would have told management and left to find a better place. If enough people were leaving, management would have shown them the door. Management shouldn't be cowards. If they don't confront them then they are giving them permission to act like they do. Alcohol doesn't help these situations either. Your date should have seen your actions as those of a man that wanted to have a pleasant evening. I would have been highly offended by their crude remarks about women. I am a woman and if no man stepped up to them, I wouldn't have had a problem in doing so.

      1 Reply
      1. re: texasredtop

        Thanks Tex! You may not see my reply here as the thread got moved to the "Not About Food" section from the New Orleans Board. Anyway, it felt like the right thing to do, thanks for your post!

      2. Good for you - at some point you have to draw the line between not causing trouble and letting them intrude on your evening.

        Since management didn't have the backbone -- kudos to you for doing so. At some point they need to realize that the income from that one six-top isn't going to come anywhere close to making up for the income lost because people won't be back (and may leave without dessert/coffee/etc because they just want to get away from these bozos.)

        1. I would not have made a fuss before talking it over with my dining partner. Also, on a Saturday night during Jazzfest, I think I would stay home...but that's just me.

          12 Replies
          1. re: escondido123

            true, but since they did decide to go out -- the fact that it's Jazzfest doesn't mean that there should be excuses made for assholery, either. OP did mention that they were willing to overlook it being a little noisier than usual.

            1. re: sunshine842

              I didn't mean it was an excuse, just to be expected. And I still would have asked my companion before confronting drunk guys.

              1. re: escondido123

                I probably shouldn't have used the word "fight". She just wanted us to suffer in silence, and I reached a point where I wasn't willing to remain quiet any longer. We agreed to disagree, all good.

            2. re: escondido123

              I agree with you, escondido. There's no excuse for people acting the way they do, but they do...
              it is what it is.
              There are occasions that, unless I'm in the mood to be around that type of behavior which exists inevitably on those occasions, I'll decide to stay home.
              New Orleans, Jazzfest, Saturday night....let's be realistic here.

              1. re: latindancer

                Not sure what you mean about being realistic. Because it was Saturday and one of the 7 days of Jazzfest? This was way off the beaten path, not a place Jazzfesters would've gone, which is why I chose it. You're giving them a pass they don't deserve.

                1. re: sanglier

                  I think people today are far far less civil than they were 30-40 years ago. I think it's because we assume they know better and give them a pass. When they are given the pass, they think their behavior is acceptable. I don't think such people should be tolerated in public. Just as the restaurants that have dozens of screaming children running all over the place, even toddlers. They are a hazard to other customers. I saw an elderly lady get tripped by one that ran in front of her, she was taken away in an ambulance. The child was too young to know better but the parents weren't. The way people behave in public today makes you wonder if they've ever been told "no" in their lives.

                    1. re: texasredtop

                      Ah, that golden age when everyone was respectful. Bwahahahahahaha.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          Yes, that golden age is *always* just a few decades ago, isn't it :)

                          1. re: DGresh

                            Yes. These will be referred to as "the good old days," at some point in the future.

                            When I was in school, I studied "History." Upon reflection, I now realize that I lived part of "history."


                      1. re: sanglier

                        Please. I'm not giving anyone a pass, never have, never will in cases like this. I simply pick my battles. "What would you Hounders have done?" was your question. Do you expect everyone to agree with what you did? I don't. People who are drinking and causing commotion are unpredictable. I live in a city where it's a good idea to think before you leap when something like this happens.
                        Did these people direct their drunken slurs toward your date? If they did then my feelings about it are much different.

                  1. I would have talked to my dining companion, then to management. If management continued to be ineffective, I would have talked to the offending party. However (and I suspect Emily Post would agree), I would not have used profanities. Doing that starts the descent towards the obvnoxiousness of the offending table.

                    1. Did they quiet down after you chastised them?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: kengk

                        Chat, I don't think inserting the word "hell" was profane, I could've used a more hot-button word or two! Kengk, most did. One got even louder, to "show me" I suppose.

                        1. re: sanglier

                          I get the impression sometimes that people like this are "performing" for the room. In my experience it is not exclusive to groups of young drunk guys either.

                          Annoys the crap out of me. Supposedly restauranteurs like loud and raucous rooms. I don't get it, or like it, myself.

                          1. re: sanglier

                            You're right, sorry. In my mind you'd used the F word.

                        2. Well, people who behave like children should be treated as children. Very preferably by the hosts - the owners of the establishment. The owner's failure give you the option of taking the risk of acting in loco parentis, but it does involve risk. You are lucky none of them had a weapon (or chose to use it).

                          Personally, I would have told the owners: we leave (and only pay for what we've eaten) or they leave - you have one minute to decide. And followed through. (Never threaten, only promise, and deliver.)

                          1. I would have spoken to management ...if that didnt work I would have gotten up and went over and spoke to them....but yelling out at them ...not speaking to them...is very passive aggressive.Really it put yall on about the same level...you both made a scene.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: LaLa

                              Not so, LaLa. "Yelled" as in, raising my voice enough for THEM to hear me, not "screamed". Also, do you really think my getting up and standing right next to them would've been more advisable?! I think such an action would have more likely led to a confrontation, don't you? Since you weren't there, you shouldn't say that I made a scene. If anything, I got looks of approval from the other diners.

                              1. re: sanglier

                                If you "got looks of approval from the other diners," then I would have to assume those other folks heard you, no?

                                1. re: escondido123

                                  Sure they did, I didn't mean to suggest that others couldn't. Those tables closest to me did, sure. But since we were all making eye contact, I could easily see that they were unhappy with the situation and that nothing was being done about it. I didn't fear blowback from them, nor did I receive any.

                              2. re: LaLa

                                I'm not clear how yelling or raising one's voice to make a request constitutes passive aggression. Aggression perhaps, but passive plays no role in this.

                                1. re: Lizard

                                  Indeed. Passive aggression would look and feel much different.

                              3. Your beef is w/ management, not with the neighboring table. You deal with management and insist that they do something about the situation. Their refusal to do something at that point will lose thjem your business. Force them to make a choice. But never confront a beligerent drunk...too dangerous.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: HDinCentralME

                                  To HD, I suppose that is the answer to what Emily Post would recommend. We can dream of her pistol whipping the cretins though.

                                  1. re: HDinCentralME

                                    Exactly. And, I would have told management, if they felt they couldn't deal with it, they could comp your meal, because you were leaving because of the abuse. I know it wasn't directed at you, but it is still harassment.

                                  2. I, as a woman, thank you for *not* allowing loud, lewd, demeaning remarks to stand as acceptable public speech, especially in a public area. I am sorry your dining partner, still feels that women must be silent and demurely accept such behavior and speech in her presence.

                                    It made you uncomfortable and it was loutish, you indicate that you observed others being taken aback, if not also offended, including the management. You had the self confidence of honor and manners to request them to tone it down. For that I applaud you. You could have one upped them by choosing better language, but it is what it is. Yes, Management should have stepped in. Heck, I think Public intoxication could have even been noticed by the authorities if they had been called.

                                    It is wrong and crude to behave in the manner they did. The only thing worst, IMHO, is suffering it in silence, thereby rewarding the "behavior show" with a silent "approving" audience.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Quine

                                      Thanks. Others have posted that my response, if it was to have happened at all, would've been better with a less-loud voice and something more like "please keep it down" vs. "shut the hell up!". True, guilty as charged. The moment got the better of me. But I'm glad I at least spoke up.

                                      1. re: sanglier

                                        I agree with what quine said. Bravo for not just sitting there and taking it. Its a shame that the management wouldn't do more.

                                        1. re: Quine

                                          Dittos to quine.
                                          And I agree with sanglier about how you have regrets later about how you could pick your words more carefully - but haven't we all been there, when your heart is pounding and you know you have to do..something! It's always remarkable to me how it might only be one in ten people or one in 50 or sometimes none at all who will actually step in and act.
                                          We certainly did that this weekend when 3 screaming kids, banging on impromptu drums and throwing things were making the whole room frantic with misery and absolutely no one did anything. We all just grumbled to each other and rolled our eyes and the parents ignored the hellraiser kids. The most I said was "Why doesn't someone take those kids for a walk?" to no one in particular. Why didn't I go over there and say "please keep it down?" or why didn't I talk to the manager? It's bizarre. We're all held hostage by boors.

                                          1. re: khh1138

                                            I am not one to suffer screaming children in public places with silent (and oblivious) parents, very well. I figure these types of parents, go by the "It takes a village..." approach of child-rearing. So, if they are in my "village" I have no problems telling the child to behave.
                                            I also have been known to tell the parents that since I had to listen to their child, they will be presented with my tab, due to the conditions they enforced upon me.

                                            Both usually get me dirty looks, but amazingly, the parents suddenly become attentive and protective of their precious one to keep them away from the mean lady. Goal achieved. Ah bliss.

                                            1. re: Quine

                                              Quine, I don't know where you are, but if it isn't too far, may I presumptuously say, I'd love to dine with you!

                                              1. re: sanglier

                                                Well, if you are ever in NJ...
                                                Honestly, as "mean weird lady" as I sound, I actually make so many good connections with strangers while dining out. Being an extroverted food nerd works well for me.

                                        2. Next time, forget it and move on (unless you carry a concealed weapon).

                                          1. I'm pretty sure Emily Post would not have done what you did, and neither would I. However, if I'd been another patron in that place, I would have appreciated your action and possibly given you a thumbs up.

                                            My general rule is not to get confrontational with drunks. They're unpredictable and I am afraid of them. I would have asked to be moved to another table if it was really that bad. If the management couldn't accommodate me, then I would have left. There's no way to "win" in this situation.

                                            1. Am I the only one who thinks you must have been channeling Boon from "Animal House"?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                Hah! I think you're right, ricepad!

                                              2. I applaud your courage sanglier.

                                                But me being a long-time denizen of dive bars with out-of-control drinking, I can confidently say, this could have turned out tragically bad for you. And I'm glad it didn't.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: RedTop

                                                  Yep, I too have seen such things have less than happy endings - for pretty much everyone involved. A basic rule of thumb is if you're going to speak up, you better be willing to stand up. If an escalation does result, it's most likely to be ultimately "sorted out" in a police station. Usually, that means the "hero" gets handcuffed too.

                                                  1. re: RedTop

                                                    I was unfortunately thinking the same thing. Other than glaring and leaving, you're literally taking your life in your hand to confront ANYONE anymore.

                                                  2. Well, there is no accounting for the ill-breeding of some folk's children, so I would probably have just passed, assuming that the "street sweepers" would suck them up later.

                                                    OTOH, I have a voice, that can wake the dead. I can project it to the "cheap seats," and sometimes feel that I need to do just that.

                                                    We were at a local Italian restaurant, treating a client. A local TV station's crew was just beyond a little wall, and screaming at the top of their lungs. I was trying to hear my clients, and just could not, due to the noise around us. I spoke up, and commanded the restaurant to be quite for a moment... there was dead silence, and I was finally able to speak to the clients. In a bit, some TV "personality" came around the wall, and to my table, asking what the problem was. I explained that they were way over the top, and not requiting themselves as ladies and gentlemen, and that they should not drink so much, and be so loud. That settled that. Not sure if I made the 10:00PM News, but do not care.

                                                    Good luck,


                                                    1. I don't think it's the patron's place to engage another patron like that if the resto won't. The resto gets to decide what kind of loud, obnoxious behaviour is acceptable in their establishment. Once you're brought it their attention and asked them to intervene. The owners intervened to the extent they felt comfortable and warranted (i.e. did not ask them loud table to leave). It was then your choice to accept that level of intervention, or not...and if not, to leave. What if you'd been offended by the clothing another patron wore? If the establishment deems it appropriate, then it's up to you to deal with it or go elsewhere.

                                                      That said, if I had been there, I probably would have told the owners that the table was making us uncomfortable and the dinner unpleasant and that we'd be leaving unless they could get the table to quiet down. If they didn't or couldn't, I would have left.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: akq

                                                        sorry, but extending not liking someone's clothing to loudly making misogynistic foulmouth commentary at the top of their lungs is a fallacy.

                                                        One makes you raise your eyebrows and snicker to your fellow diners -- one interrupts your dinner and insults 50% of the clientele.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            Even if the clothing interrupts your dinner and insults 50% of the clientele? :) What if the clothing was graphic? Or revealing? Or not suitable for family viewing? Anyway, by focusing on an analogy you're missing the forest for the trees...

                                                            Imo, the restaurant is somewhat like someone's house - if I am having dinner in a person's home and another guest's behavior upsets me (and 50% of the other guests), I might speak to the host and express my discomfort. But if the host is unwilling to intervene, it's not my place to do so as the host (or owner at the restaurant) has made a choice as to what behavior she or he deems acceptable in his or her domain. It is then my choice to deal with the hosts/owner's choice or leave.

                                                            1. re: akq

                                                              How does clothing "interrupt your dinner" and/or "insult 50% of the clientele" (what about the other half who aren't 'insulted')? What is "graphic clothing" (cartoons? graphic novel print?), and how do you define what kind of clothing is "suitable for family viewing"?

                                                              I'm having a really hard time figuring this out. Please, elaborate.

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                I had a guy sitting kitty corner from me at an outdoor restaurant and his T-shirt was printed with the words (I'm paraphrasing) "If you're reading this, you're a fucking asshole." I myself would call that "graphic" and not "suitable for family viewing."

                                                                1. re: escondido123

                                                                  I think it would make a wonderful teaching moment for that family. Pointing out that particular person's moral ineptitude or -- to quote Mr. Hunt -- "general" attitude.

                                                                  The world is not populated by Disney characters, nor by people dressed in its merchandise. Not ever being offended by anything is not a birth right. Thank fucking god :-)

                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    I agree. I am offended by something, almost every day. However, I just 'suck it up," and get on with my life.

                                                                    In very general terms, I feel entitled to nothing. I worked hard, and earned many things. However, beyond that, I am entitled to nothing, and life might not always be to my liking.

                                                                    Now, when it comes to either hotel, or airline loyalty, things do get very different, but those are subjects for another venue, beyond CH. I will not go there.



                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                  Personally, I feel that one's choice of graphics on clothing, is highly reflective of their general attitude. The latter might be more of an issue, than the actual graphics, though Escondido does make a point with one graphic...


                                                          2. It's a fine line, because causing your own scene to quell what you consider a scene can be equally (or more) disruptive to other restaurant patrons.

                                                            1. Not to take up for the 6 top of drunks but there are, after all, certain maxims when it comes to dining out, to wit: don't expect the best service/fish on a Monday night; NEVER dine out on Valentine's Day or New Years Eve; things are gonna get loud/rude in New Orleans during Jazz Fest. (You even allowed for a volume increase). But, no matter, you can be rude right back during Jazz Fest! I, too, lament the general decline in manners but it is what it is. Would I have grinned and borne it? Depends on my mood and if I had been drinking at Jazz Fest all day. Either option is fine in the circumstance you found yourself in.

                                                              1. Perhaps I'm on the old fashioned side (besides being raised by my Southern family) but I am so tired of inappropriate behavior. Be it in a restaurant, on the street, in a retail store, etc. we have become a country of NO manners. I find it inexcusable to allow such drunken idiots to dictate the pleasure of an evening. Kudos to you for speaking up and shame on the proprietor for not taking care of this situation when it first started. Even during Carnivale and Mardi Gras, I have always been able to have a nice dinner at a reasonable decibel level and without the foul language of inebriated imbeciles. Those six were old enough to know better!