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We've all seen it..

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
We've all seen it..
July 18, 2005

(and before you say "We've covered this", I did do a search of all articles and turned up very little).

You're out having a nice meal in a place expensive enough that people should know better than to bring kids, especially kids they can't control. You're about halfway through your bottle of wine, when here they come, behind the hostess and the waiter with the high chair in hand. You sigh and groan "Oh, no.. Here we go again.". Yet another meal trounced by Bratley, Snotleigh and their utterly inconsiderate parents.

You try to bite your tongue, hoping beyond hope that this family will be different - that they'll be the family who actually repsects others and will keep their kids under control or leave the restaurant if things go downhill. You hope.

Your entrees arrive and right about the time you reach to pour that second glass of wine, you find out just how wrong you are. Bratley plays his latest percussion rendition on the china, while snotleigh proceeds to try and attract her mother's attention by shouting "Mama! Mama! Mama!" over and over until the mother sighs, puts down her drink and asks "Yes, dear?". The wait staff will do nothing; they are "kid friendly", so you're on your own and the Kiddersons know that. They depend on everyone within earshot being too nice to confront them. You realize that if you don't confront these people, you will have to eat and flee, just to get away from the noise.

So, what do you do? Confront, risk a verbal altercation and ruin the evening? Eat and flee the scene? Complain to the manager?

I'd like to see some coping strategies, other than "suffer in silence". I'm just way too sick of doing that.

Thanks -- mike
Re: We've all seen it..
July 18, 2005
Are you by chance Mike from Ohio, who used to post on BRATS?

The answer is quite simple. I don't "cope" any more. If someone is disturbing my meal, I bitch. I asked my server to move me. Sometimes I confront the fambilee and tell them they are disturbing others, especially if their kids are physically touching me or throwing shit at me. (It's happened.) I believe if their kid is disturbing me, I can address the behavior directly.

But because there are a lot of fucknuts out there, this is sometimes dangerous. If it looks like a volatile situation, I complain to the waitstaff and the manager and tell them my meal is being disrupted. If I haven't ordered yet, I simply leave and let them know why and that I won't be returning. If I have ordered, I will ask for boxes. I'd rather eat at home in peace. If my waitstaff blows off my concerns, his/her tip will suffer. Having been a waitress myself, I would never leave nothing, but I would probably leave around 10%.

I write letters after the fact.

I don't buy it when managers wring their hands and proclaim they don't have control over others. If people would hit back in the purse, we'd see some changes.
Anonymous User
Re: We've all seen it..
July 19, 2005
bell_flower Wrote:
> Are you by chance Mike from Ohio, who used to post
> on BRATS?

Sorry, different Mike - I'm from Atlanta. Same problems here, apparently. smiling smiley

-- mike

Re: We've all seen it..
July 19, 2005
I would love to be a complainer, because you should be able to without fear of reprocussions. DH doesn't want to rock the boat though.

Once we were at a steak house that had a bar in the restaurant, on a Saturday night. It was jam packed and we had about an hour wait. SO we went up to the bar and it was standing room only, but there was a fambily group there of two couples and about four or five kids ranging in age from 3or 4ish, to about 6. They were running laps around the bar! I mentioned it was standing room only, and I am not kidding. we were packed in there with maybe about 9-12 inches of personal space between people, so the kids were PUSHING people around. They were even going UNDER the bar in between people's legs! I have never in my life witnessed such poor behaviour.

Anyway, the inevitable happened. I REFUSED to look out for them and was standing somewhat in the middle of the aisle. I was aware of them being close to comming around and instead of limiting my movements, I spoke with hand and arm gestures like I normally do. Well, my elbow met a kid in the head (not hard) which he bounced off of from shock, and he banged his head (harder) on the wooden sub-bar. Dh saw this and that was the LAST straw. He actually yelled, WHO'S FUCKING KIDS ARE THESE?! There is a CHuck E cheese down the road! This was the first time we were able to figure out who the parents were as they gathered their children around and finally told them to stop. The woman made eye contact with me but showed no hostility, no embarrassment, no emotion what so ever. She took it all in stride and continued speaking to her friends, laughing it up as if it never happened.

I think dh is becomming less tolerant of bad behaviour when we go out, but he doesn't want to put out the server by complaining. I will work on him though.
Re: We've all seen it..
July 21, 2005
its different in the uk, we dont regularly give a tip, a tip is something to give if that person is good, helpful, cheerful. we rarely tip at all, unless they give above and beyond service..

but i will go to people and say would you mind, please, thing is they cant get angry at me or they can but they wouldnt do owt about it, i am 6 foot tall, 23 stone, and big.. and i have a presence.

i have gone to the manager and the parents saying would you mind keeping control of your kids, they are disturbing mine and everyone elses meal, a few times they have looked as if i dare say it, but then they get a better look at me.. and they go pale.. and sometimes control their kids at least for a bit.

if that doesnt stop i go to the manager saying health and safety, what happens if the kids knock over a waiter, with hot soup and it scalds the little monsters (i say tough) but it would make the manager more concerned. perhaps its how i sya things do things.

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