Author Topic: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?  (Read 2343 times)

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weeblewobble

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Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« on: December 09, 2012, 09:05:17 AM »
Last night, DH and I went to dinner at a small restaurant.  The food is good but it was not crowded. The dining room was very quiet.  Our waitress was friendly and helpful, but we. could. not. hear. her.  She didn't seem shy.  She wasn't whispering.  Her voice didn't have a raspy, "I have laryngitis" quality.  It was as if someone had taken a remote control and turned her volume down to the lowest setting. 

Neither DH nor I couldn't hear anything she said, even in the quiet dining room, and kept having to say, "Beg pardon?" or "Could you say that again?"  Even when we tried to pick up on non-verbal cues (gesturing with a water carafe to refill drinks, etc.) she had to repeat everything she said at least twice.  The food was good.  She was very friendly.  But it was a really frustrating dining experience.

We were talking later about how awkward and rude we felt, asking her to repeat herself over and over.  But there was no other way to understand her. We wondered, would it have been rude to say, "I'm having a hard time hearing you.  Could you please speak up?" or similar.  Thoughts?

NyaChan

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 09:13:02 AM »
I don't think  that is rude.  I'd probably say it after the second request for a repeat - any more and I know I'd start sounding irritated.

rose red

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 09:44:35 AM »
I don't think it's rude to say "Can you please speak louder?  We couldn't hear."

But I wonder if the waitress has the same problem as me?  I feel I speak in a normal tone, but people keep asking me to speak louder.  I do until I think I'm yelling but sometimes they still think I'm speaking too soft.  Nobody has a problem hearing me on the phone  ???.  It's like my voice doesn't throw sideways and can only be heard if looking or listening straight forward (that is, talking right in their face or talking in their ear).  Weird.

Specky

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 10:31:12 AM »
I am frequently asked to "speak up".  To myself, I sound a bit loud at my normal volume, and when I "speak up" to a volume that seems to satisfy, I sound like I am rudely loud to myself.  I sound like a bad case of cell yell to myself.

Thipu1

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 10:34:08 AM »
I would have no problem asking a server to speak louder.  You can always pointe to your own ear and say something like, 'I'm a little hard of hearing. Could you please speak a bit louder'.  If I were the server, I wouldn't consider that rude at all.

Also, even though a place is quiet, there can be acoustical anomalies that cause problems. 

KenveeB

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 10:53:37 AM »
I think it's more polite to ask someone to speak up than to repeatedly ask them to repeat themselves. Better a one-time solution to the problem, IMO.

cheyne

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 12:43:29 PM »
I have hearing loss.  When anyone speaks too softly, I ask them to please speak up "as I have some hearing loss".  I also cup my hand to my right ear and lean into them a bit so I can hear better.  I don't believe this is rude.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 05:39:26 PM »
I think it's more polite to ask someone to speak up than to repeatedly ask them to repeat themselves. Better a one-time solution to the problem, IMO.

I think it can be also be rude to not begin to speak up if someone has to ask more than once for you to repeat yourself.
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jaxsue

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 08:39:32 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFRoXoh6aks

This topic reminds me of this Seinfeld episode.  :)

Redsoil

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 08:56:27 AM »
"Sorry, I'm having trouble hearing you.  Could you speak more loudly for me?  Thaks."
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CakeBeret

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 12:22:22 PM »
After asking her to speak up a few times, I would have said "I'm sorry, but I really can't hear you. Please speak louder." I don't have any diagnosed hearing loss but I do have trouble hearing people in loud environments.
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Mikayla

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Re: Is It Rude To Ask a Waitress To Speak Up?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 02:45:31 PM »
I think it's more polite to ask someone to speak up than to repeatedly ask them to repeat themselves. Better a one-time solution to the problem, IMO.

This (although I don't fault OP).  I just think there's nothing wrong with being upfront.

I had a waitress once where I had to ask her to slow down.  She was reciting the daily specials and I wasn't even sure it was in English.