Cruising For An Epic Meltdown

by admin on November 14, 2012

I recently had the privilege of traveling trans-Atlantic aboard the Queen Mary 2. The ship is beautiful, the service excellent, and certain standards maintained (you were expected to dress nicely for dinner in the dining room, for instance). You might think (hope?) that this might encourage people to be on their best behaviour, but alas, that’s not always the case.

For dinner, I was seated at a large table with five fellow passengers: four men and one very elegant lady I’ll call A. For the most part, everyone was very warm and friendly, but one of the men, let’s call him M, was a little odd. It was little things, mostly: the first night on board, when I arrived at the table, he refused to introduce himself, as the others had. In fact, he never said one word to me the entire seven-day trip. He also didn’t wait for everyone at the table to be served before starting to eat, which I’d always been taught was rather rude. But whatever, I shrugged it off and chatted with the others, who were all lovely people.

A few nights into the voyage, we had a formal dinner. The men wore suits, and the ladies were all in beautiful evening wear. The meal was also quite elaborate and served with much ceremony. When the main courses came out, a waiter placed M’s dish in front of him, and M immediately asked the waiter for more bread. The waiter hurried off to go fetch the bread basket, as another waiter stepped forward to offer M sauce for his meat. M curtly refused it and once again demanded bread. That waiter, who knew someone else had gone to get it, nodded and moved on to the next person. A third waiter offered M freshly cracked pepper for his meal (none of this was unusual–the waiters tended to swarm the table to get everyone their meals and accompaniments quickly and efficiently).

At this point, M completely lost it.

“No, I don’t want horseradish, I don’t want pepper, I want bread!” he screamed at the hapless pepper-waiter. “Bread! BREAD! BREADBREADBREADBREADBREAD!” And he hammered his fist against the table like a three-year-old, sending everyone’s plates and cutlery clattering.

We were all in shock. Other tables turned to glare at this cretin, who’d disturbed the peace of the restaurant. The other gentlemen at our table looked down at their plates in embarrassment. My jaw dropped (and I’m not the jaw-dropping sort) and A and I exchanged aghast “can you believe this?” looks. The bread arrived — and mind, he’d had to wait maybe 30 seconds for this bread, no more — and M was appeased. He went on with his meal as if nothing had happened. After the meal was over and M had strolled out, A apologized to one of our waiters for his behavior. M certainly wasn’t going to say he was sorry — he didn’t even seem to realize he’d behaved badly.

After that, the rest of us kept our distance from him, though I couldn’t help but notice (and be amused) that the waiters were constantly coming over and offering his bread for the rest of the voyage. 1101-12

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Lilya November 14, 2012 at 5:00 am

Is there anything more embarassing than adults behaving like toddlers? *sigh*

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coralreef November 14, 2012 at 6:23 am

Wow… I didn’t know waiters had some kind of portal in their pockets that would allow them to swish bread right on demand. It seems someone’s parents didn’t do such a good job if the world ends up with an adult toddler.

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Lara November 14, 2012 at 7:12 am

I was always told that you start eating regardless of whether everyone has their meals or not and that the only exception is when you are dining with royalty

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hakayama November 14, 2012 at 7:38 am

Mental/emotional imbalance comes in many forms. In this case, your initial “take” was right on target, and you should be glad about not developing a closer acquaintance with the odd individual. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

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Spuck November 14, 2012 at 7:52 am

This is why all restaurants should have a policy in place to remove disrupting guests no matter what the situation. I can understand dropping the occasional swear because your anger, or yelling at someone to move out of the way if they are in danger. Beyond that if you want to have a tantrum do it in the privacy of your own home or in the presence professional that you are paying to help you through your problems.

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La November 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

Wasn’t there a separate table for the toddlers?

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Chicalola November 14, 2012 at 7:58 am

It is sad to me that the baby got his way. I hate giving in to someone who screams like a child to get what he wants!

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Dominic November 14, 2012 at 8:08 am

We go on a cruise every year, on average, and during the year, for planning and information purposes, rely heavily on an online discussion board. I’m surprised I haven’t seen this story on there–it’s very much like the kind of story people share, and sadly, quite often. I’m not sure what it is about cruising that brings out the entitlement in people. On that website, such folks are often referred to as “special snowflakes,” or even “super special snowflakes.” I think this “gentleman” qualifies. It was nice of A to apologize on behalf of this guy. We have enjoyed dining at larger tables on our cruises and often have had wonderful tablemates, but there are horror stories in abundance about tablemates or neighboring tables causing disturbances. Thankfully none are ours. The worst we had was one awkward evening with a couple from a rather conservative background who were polite enough, but never returned to the table after that first night, presumably not wanting to spend their cruise dining with a nontraditional couple.

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The Elf November 14, 2012 at 8:19 am

People like that aren’t satisfied with anything. Somehow, waiters/barristas/customer service representatives/sales clerks must read their minds and divine their desires, so that they are instantly available the second he wants them.

I’m betting he didn’t tip, or tipped stingly too. In many cases, cruises have a system of tipping everyone at the end of the voyage. It can be a bit of a shock to tip that much money, but you have to remember it is for multiple days (and multiple meals per day). I’m betting he’s the type to tip bare minimum or even nothing at all (if the cruise allows for that).

I have to ask….. Usually cruises have multiple dining areas. I’ve never been on that particular ship, but given its size I have to imagine that the formal dining area isn’t the only place to eat dinner! Often, the food prepared at the other areas is just as good as what is in the formal dining room. If he doesn’t want company at dinner, if he doesn’t enjoy the whole formal dining experience (and it sounds like he doesn’t), then why doesn’t he just eat elsewhere?

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Bint November 14, 2012 at 8:43 am

I’ve lectured on a cruise ship and seen this loads. There always are some incredibly rude people with loads of money and no shame. Fortunately, most of the passengers are cracking.

I don’t see why A apologised though. It’s not her fault. Technically it’s not her place either.

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sv November 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

Sounds like his issues were more serious than just a lack of bread.

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Audra November 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

WOW. My family is planning on a cruise early next year and this makes me hesitant. I would be unhappy to have to eat dinner with someone like this every night.

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Daisy November 14, 2012 at 9:45 am

Unfortunately, the poor waiters weren’t in any position to treat this man as he should have been treated: as though he were invisible. The rest of you should have dragged The Cut Direct out of its Victorian closet, dusted it off, and used it for the rest of the voyage. Although whether anyone this boorish would recognize why he was being shunned is another question entirely!

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Cat November 14, 2012 at 10:04 am

I had an older brother who acted just like this. When I graduated from university, I refused to drive up to the ceremony with my family. I drove up by myself. I never knew if they came or not.
Mother wanted to celebrate by going out to dinner with the family, but I knew he would be invited and I was not going to have such a happy day ruined by his tantrums. We had take-out fried chicken and it lives in my memory as a glorious day.
In short, be glad you are not related to this man and do not have to spend holidays like Christmas with him.

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Saucy November 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

Who are these people? Ugh, the fist slam. The ultimate in childish entitlement. It’s a really aggressive and threatening gesture and when it’s been done to me it actually scares me.

I was 17 and working at a video rental store and a man wanted a gift voucher – we were really quite an old fashioned place so we didn’t carry them and couldn’t legally open an account in another person’s name as a gift because it’s a legal document requiring a signature. I tried to help him with other options (coupons) and when he wasn’t happy he responded by smashing his fist on the counter and calling me incompetent. Newsflash: just because someone can’t pull something out of thin air at the slightest demand doesn’t mean they’re incompetent and just because you’re a customer doesn’t mean you’re entitled to it.

If this had happened to me today (I’m now 21) I would have told him not to talk to me like that, but back then I was much more easily intimidated.

OP I hope M didn’t ruin your holiday for you and you could still have a good time. I sort of wish someone had called M out on his behavior as it’s often silence from the people around them that enables them to continue it, thinking it’s normal.

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Kovi November 14, 2012 at 10:20 am

Wow. I can hardly believe it. I’ve been on two cruises myself, and while I couldn’t think about anything to complain about if I tried, the wait staff would be the absolutely LAST thing I’d complain about! I could share a hundred stories of how people working on a cruiseline were helpful, wonderful people. We had a waiter insist on bringing me a new appetizer, even though I said I wanted to try lobster bisque and was completely fine when I didn’t really care for it. The same waiter brought my family an extra dessert when no one ended up choosing the one he recommended (it sounded good – we just all picked something else). No one asked him, and everyone was shocked and thrilled when he just brought it over.

I could go on, but the point is that the staff, from room service to food staff, are amazing, polite people. I’m horrified that anyone, much less a full-grown man, managed to find something to scream at them over.

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Kovi November 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

Audra: I suppose it depends on what cruiseline you’re traveling with. But I’ve been on Royal Caribbean, and you are able to request a private table for your party. My family did that on both cruises we’ve been on, and not only got our own table each evening, but had the same exact same, with the same exact waitstaff. It was nice getting to know these kind people over the course of the trip. And while we were thrilled with meeting new people all day, our dinners were usually a family-only experience.

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--Lia November 14, 2012 at 10:35 am

I can’t add to what others have said about the big baby, so I’ll address waiting until all are served before beginning to eat. At a smallish table of 4-6, everyone waits until all are served which ought to be within seconds of one another. At larger tables as at a long banquet table, 1 & 2 are served and wait until 3 &4 have food in front of them. 3 &4 wait until 5 &6 have food, and so on down the line. Since bread or some other light appetizer is usually on the table when the entree arrives, those without entrees say “oh, you go ahead” and have a bite of bread so the ones with food don’t feel like they’re eating in front of others while their dinner companions are drooling.

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Shannon November 14, 2012 at 10:38 am

Lara, I was brought up (and I think this is typical in the US) that you do not start eating until everyone has their food. And if you are dining in someone’s home, or being treated to a meal, you do not begin to eat until the host/ess picks up a fork. That is usually the signal for everyone to dig in. (It’s a useful rule if you don’t know whether your hosts say grace or not, because it is downright embarassing to be tucking into your dinner when everyone else starts to pray. I had that happen to me once when I was a tween and while my hosts were kind about it, I felt like a sacrilegious jerk.)

Now if one person’s meal is significantly delayed, then that person usually tells the table to start without them so their food doesn’t get cold. And if you are hosting in your home, you should sit down at the table as soon as possible so your guests aren’t languishing while you noodle about in the kitchen, fussing over every detail.

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Jewel November 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

Lara — you’ve been told incorrectly. It’s polite and considerate to wait to begin eating until everyone at your table has been served.

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Rmmuir November 14, 2012 at 11:02 am

@Lara

I have heard that the etiquette is you start a hot meal as soon as it arrives, because it’s insulting to the chef to let it go cold. A cold meal, however, one is able to wait for everyone to be served without the food “spoiling”. That’s why in top class service, everyone gets the meal at the same time so that no has to wait. I believe that the exception is, as you say, royalty. I’d expect that they’re not meant to keep guests waiting unreasonably at a dinner function though! It’s unlikely that this is an issue I’ll ever come across though!

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peony November 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

Lara – This is an honest question, not meant to be snarky – Where were you raised? I enjoy learning about different cultures and I’ve honestly never heard of one where it is commonly accepted to start eating as soon as one is served in a social setting. Casual setting, of course. Semi-formal, not so much.

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Ashley November 14, 2012 at 11:30 am

The waiters were just doing their job, my goodness…And M should have seen that someone went off to get more bread. All he needed to do was say “No thank you” to the other waiters offering pepper and whatever sauce they were offering. I can’t stand it when adults can’t seem to grasp even the most basic of manners.

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Library Diva November 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

About a year and a half ago, many stories like this made the local news, all regarding the same man. Why are tantrums at the dry cleaner, fits at restaurants or angry rants to the cable company newsworthy, you may ask? Because the man in question was on trial for beheading his wife.

The judge allowed him to present a battered spouse defense. He went through two sets of lawyers before the case even came to trial. When the trial commenced, the judge spoke to him numerous times because he kept shouting out questions for witnesses and comments on their testimony. Days into the trial, he fired his third set of lawyers so he could represent himself. The newspaper in the area live-blogged the trial, and I admit to having been absolutely hooked. It soon emerged that the “emotional abuse” he was allegedly subject to was pretty normal arguing among spouses. I remember tensions over how often they would return to their country of origin for visits being one large point of contention (he reacted to this argument by taking the passports of his wife and children and driving about 20 miles to throw them in the river). His own adult children testified for the prosecution and he was found guilty pretty swiftly and slapped with the maximum sentence.

I’m not saying that everyone who gets out of line in a restaurant is a potential killer, but I do believe that if it goes completely unchecked, this mentality can lead one to kill someone who’s not complying with their every demand.

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Stacey Frith-Smith November 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

How about speaking up? At the very least, ask to be reseated so that you don’t have to dine with him. Or, play along with his grievance. “Oh, dear. No bread. And here we are looking at another failure of manners in the modern era.:! Talk of nothing but bread and its tardiness when you speak to him. Daily. Twice or four times in the meal. “How is your dinner? Did you get enough BREAD today? I was so worried you wouldn’t have been served your bread today…” Wide eyes and sympathetic face. Extra points if your table mates catch on and assist.

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Silverlily November 14, 2012 at 11:41 am

I would have become quite shaken and upset, as this idiot’s behaviour would have been reminiscent of that of my violent father. I would have asked to be moved to another table, or, if that were not possible, I would have left the dining room. I’d rather sit outside and look at the sky and sea, anyway, than sit with a bunch of people I don’t know. That sounds like my idea of hell.

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josie November 14, 2012 at 11:49 am

I wonder if he had a totally lousy time on the cruise or if he just didn’t enjoy dinnertime.

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Julia November 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

@Lara: I have never heard that it was polite to eat whenever you are served. I think the tradition is generally that since meals are social occasions, one should wait until everyone has a plate before beginning to eat, otherwise it can look as though you’re only there for the food.

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gramma dishes November 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Why would you always be dining with the same people? Don’t most cruise lines have “open seating” where you choose where you will sit, or have rotating assigned seating where you’re seated with different people each night?

I would think it would be embarrassing, but only nominally so, to be seated with such a boorish person once, but to think there was going to be a repeat performance every single evening of the trip would be horrifying and do much to ruin the dining part of the cruise experience!

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Jane November 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I could be way off, but I think I would’ve asked to be moved. No way would I want to interact or have dinner with someone like that on my vacation.

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Cat Whisperer November 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Bread Guy was pretty clearly a few standard deviations from normal. Just because someone has enough money to go on a cruise doesn’t mean he’s emotionally and mentally well-balanced and “all there.”

@Audra, you don’t need to worry about getting stuck with someone like Bread Guy at your table if you go on a cruise. If you should happen to get stuck at a table with a person or people you aren’t compatible with, you can request that your seating be changed and the cruise director will accomodate your request. Husband and I have gone on a cruise vacation, and we have friends who have gone on cruises for years; and the staff will do everything they possibly can to make the cruise experience as pleasant as possible for you. Cruise companies are very conscious that there is a lot of competition for people’s vacation dollars, and there are many cruise companies to choose from. They are also very, very aware that “word of mouth” about the cruise experience is their best friend and worst enemy.

The reason that Bread Guy had waiters falling all over themselves to give him bread after the incident OP related was to avoid creating an unpleasant experience for other diners. They do what they can, when they identify problem patrons, to minimize the unpleasantness that people like Bread Guy can cause for others.

Most cruises also offer other dining options– you can have room service in your room, there are other dining options if you want to avoid the formal dining scene; the cruise staff will do everything they can to make sure you’re happy.

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Shalamar November 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I normally never pull out the “could it be he has Asperger’s?” card, but that’s the first thing that leapt to mind after reading this story.

Of course, it’s also possible that he’s just a jackass.

When my husband and I had our honeymoon cruise, we sat at a table for eight as well, and everyone at the table with the exception of Miss Thing was an absolute delight. Miss Thing had allergies. A lot of them. And what she wasn’t allergic to, she just plain didn’t like. She aparently thought that her food issues were common knowledge, because she kept snapping at the poor servers when they tried to offer her something that she couldn’t or wouldn’t eat. Then she’d complain bitterly to the rest of us about how terrible the service was (um, it seemed great to us) while we were trying to enjoy our meals.

She stopped coming down for dinner after the second day, saying that it just wasn’t worth it because she wouldn’t get anything she could eat. Our meals were much more enjoyable after that.

You might be forgiven for thinking that Miss Thing had never been on a cruise before and therefore didn’t know what to expect. Not at all. She’d tell anyone who’d listen that she’d been on TONS of cruises, and this one was the WORST YET!

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Stepmomster November 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I was married to a man like this. It was possibly the worst 2 years of my life, topping even the stress of having a child born with spina-bifida. I finally handed him back to his mother and filed for divorce. He had 2 ex wives, and after him, they never dated again, and now I find myself in the same predicament. I have such a bad case of PTSD that relationships are extremely difficult. There was a good reason that man was traveling alone!

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Goodness November 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Long ago a lovely lady taught me how to deal with such people: You draw back, look horrified, and say “I *beg* your pardon?” If nothing else, it confuses them. They tend to shut up. If they respond verbally, you follow up with “Whatever is the matter with you?”

Another effective if inelegant response is to laugh at them. Such people usually have an inflated sense of their own importance, and laughter is such a great leveler…

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Floweramon November 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

First of all, I’m sorry that you encountered such a boorish person. I’m glad that he didn’t ruin the entire cruise for you and it was mostly isolated to that one dinner. You’d think people would learn not to behave this way early in childhood, but as living in a daycare has taught me, even the best guidance can’t help stubborn personalities.

As a side note, I never heard of waiting for everyone to get their meal before eating. It’s a nice thought I suppose, but if the meals are slowly coming out (like for a big party or for a busy restaurant), then you have a plate of food going cold and the person who ordered it not able to eat the food right in front of them as the smell makes them even hungrier. I don’t know, I guess it’s just a matter of opinion and upbringing.

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michellep November 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm

The sad part is that adults like this are everywhere. I don’t want to see a bunch of comments saying maybe he had asperger’s or any other mental illness either. He was just a jerk.

@Bint, do you ever leave a comment that doesn’t attack someone’s perfectly fine behavior? I have apologized for plenty of behavior/circumstances that weren’t my fault.

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Angel November 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I have a 4 year old who throws tantrums when she doesn’t get her way. If it’s done in public, I take her out of there and tell her she can’t go back until she calms down. At home, I remove her from the situation and have a time out step. She needs to go on there until she calms down. Apparently, no one ever did this when M was young.

I’m not sure what else you could have done. I wouldn’t have apologized for him but that’s just me. It can’t be the first time those servers had to deal with behavior like that. More than likely they do not take it personally. It’s a shame though that you had to deal with behavior like that. It’s one of the many things I don’t like about cruises. Sitting with strangers is not my thing. I know it’s possible to have a great experience, but it’s also possible to have one like the OP’s. Reading experiences like this makes me glad that my husband doesn’t like boats, so going on a cruise is not in our future :)

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PM November 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm

For some reason, I tend to “experience” these people while I’m out at the movies. I think it’s a combination of snacks, a dark room and fandoms. People are just SO convince that they’re the only ones who TRULY want to see the movie, therefore have special rights over the rest of the audience. Tantrums I’ve seen have included:

- People who arrive late pitching an unholy fit because the good seats are taken and the only seats left are in the front row. Sample quote: “I don’t want to have to crane my neck to see the movie!” So I guess it’s OK for someone else, who arrived before you, to crane their necks?

- People who arrive late (in pairs or groups) pitching an unholy fit because they can’t find seats together. Singles who refuse to move out of their good seats to make room for the late-arrivals are a particular target of their ire because (Sample quote) “You’re ALONE. Why do you care where you sit?”

- People who are super-surprised when they get tossed out of a movie for texting/talking on their phones. Sample quote: “You’re making a big deal out of nothing. Ask the people here whether they want me tossed out. Nobody cares that I’m talking on my phone!” (Uh, yes, we do. That’s why we went to the front desk to complain.)

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June First November 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm

@Lara– My family must be royalty, because we wait until everyone has their food before we start eating.

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PM November 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm

@Cat Every time I hear stories about your brother, I further admire your steely spine and fortitude.

My husband also has an older sibling known for her public antics. But rather than pitch a tantrum, my SIL would fake a fainting episode when she didn’t get her way. A big, dramatic swoon that often prompted restaurant and store managers to call ambulances.

And somehow, no one in the family understood that I didn’t want to be her best buddy and take her on movie outings and shopping trips.

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Cat November 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I was taught that one waits until everyone is served if one is dining without a host or hostess. If there is a host/hostess, everyone waits until he/she takes the first bite. I suppose it came from the tradition where the host was expected to prove that he did not intend to poison his guests by eating from the food first.
I also understand that, in the early Catholic Church, a deacon was required to taste the wine before the consecration in case someone was trying to poison the priest. St. Benedict is famous for detecting poison in the wine when his monks tried to poison him.

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LS November 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I’ve known hypoglycemic people who’ve gone into fits when their food doesn’t arrive fast enough and later act as if nothing happened. Not that it’s an excuse, but perhaps there are medical reasons.

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A November 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm

For some reason, I just can’t help but imagine the waitstaff offering him bread every thirty seconds for the rest of the voyage and leaving a small mountain of it next to his plate when the tables are set.

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Ev November 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Audra,
Don’t hesitate to go on a cruise because you might get a clunker at your dining room table. You have the option of asking to be moved to another table. Also, on most cruises there are two seatings. If you are uncomfortable with asking to be moved away from another passenger, you can use wanting the other seating as an excuse.
I’ve been on 4 cruises, always seated with other passengers, and there was only one who was “odd”, but he was more unaware, rather than outright belligerent. He did little things, such as rushing to the table so he always got the seat next to the window. Most of the people were great and added to our enjoyment of the cruise.

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Lauren November 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm

For the record, this is one of those things that waiters hate. When a customer asks for something, then immediately asks for it again from another server. It gives us no opportunity to actually go get the thing, and causes confusion.
People who do this don’t seem to understand that that waiter may have 10 or 15 other tables to take care of, and catering to every whim for a straw, refill or silly question about the food eats up time and patience. Going to get those things one at a time is incredibly annoying, slowing down service for everyone else and costing us tips.
If a table asks for a charge item that has to be made of opened, like a beer or milkshake, then asks for it again, please don’t be surprised if you get charged twice.

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Allie November 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I can’t help but wonder if M had some sort of mental illness/social disorder. He may have been working incredibly hard to maintain himself at the level he was functioning at during the cruise and then simply snapped when he kept being offered things he did not want. I’m not trying to excuse his behaviour, just understand it.

I used to work as a cashier and we had a regular customer who had Turrets. In between the assorted expletives and racial slurs, which I understood to be completely involuntary, he made a concerted effort to be polite. He always greeted you, answered questions appropriately and thanked you after the transaction. I always tried to convey that I understood he was trying his best and to be pleasant in return. I hope others did the same. Except for the effects of his illness, he was a very pleasant man.

On the subject of waiting until others are served before beginning to eat, I think it would be considered polite in this situation, but not required. I usually do wait for others to be served until someone inevitably speaks up and asks the others not to wait. If I am still waiting to be served, I will speak up and ask the others not to wait.

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Elsewhere November 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Did you consider asking the maître d’ about changing tables? It’s a request that all maître d’s receive and it might be a learning experience for M to find himself at a table for six or eight — alone.

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waitress wonderwoman November 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I’ve been in the food service industry for over 20 years and I can tell you, from personal experience, grown ups acting this way is far from uncommon. I’ve seen a grown man pout like a three year old because his well done steak is taking longer than five minutes to get to him. I’m sorry sir, but I cannot defy the laws of physics, not even for a “special snowflake” like you!!!Anyone who has worked in the food industry learns pretty quickly not to let such people get to them. And here’s a little secret: we usually have a good laugh over people like this after our shift is over (that’s really all we can do!). Also we never forget and word get around quickly to other staff members. So if you walk into your favorite restaurant and notice, upon seeing you, all of the servers are rushing to the hostess stand, they are probably begging the host not to have you seated in their section (or course, if you are always kind and respectful and tip generously, we might be up there begging for you to be sat in on section). Kudos for someone speaking up and apologizing for this man’s behavior. It’s always great to know that “the help” isn’t the only one that sees how childishly and self-entitled this person is behaving. Anyone that thinks waiting tables isn’t a “real job”, I challenge you to do it for one week. I could write a book (actually, many have) about people just like the one you described. Also, I am going to have to agree that it is, in fact, good manners to wait until everyone has been served their meals until one starts eating.

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Barbarian November 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Changing tables is the best solution. Cruise lines probably want to avoid a table of mismatched diners who do not all get along. M would have been better off with room service for this trip. M sounds like he enjoyed food, hated company, and was too cheap to tip to get the same dining room food in private.

This summer my husband and I took a short cruise on a popular cruise line. Some of the amenities and dining room food were not of the same caliber we enjoyed on a previous trip.My husband never acted like M, but he did not hesitate to point out the difference to other guests in the dining room during meals.

As a wife, I took to bean dipping or shooting him the Look of Death at the table. Sometimes it worked. Other times it did not.

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Nancy November 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I’m leaning away from mental illness and more towards jackass. I work with mentally ill folks, and they are generally on their best behavior when out in public.

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