The French Waiter!
An Excerpt from
Travel Tales Collection No. 11 June 2015
Travel Tales of Paris & France
I’m about to complete a new ebook and audiobook in my Travel Psychologist Travel Tales Series on the best of my collected travel stories so far on Paris and France. It’s interesting and funny as hell! I’m so proud of this ebook. Why not have a looksee or a listenhear? I even have a special offer for you this summer to help pave the way for you (see below).
The French Waiter:
Archetype? Urban Myth? Stereotype?
Is it an urban myth that waiters in France will ignore you, avoid you, and be rude to you and not serve you at almost any cost? No, make that at ALL costs! Sounds like a myth, huh?
Well, I assure you: IT’S TRUE! Such waiters do exist, have existed, and will likely ALWAYS exit in French culture (and other cultures as well, probably) but, of course, not all of the waiters!—some of them).
Does this mean they hate Americans or tourists, or do they just hate YOU? Who can say? Probably not. But take it from me, there are courses being taught this very day, as we speak, in France by the French Tourist Board to such people in order to try to make them more ‘tourist friendly!’ I kid you not. If you don’t believe me, please read on.
Shall I say that one ought to consider whether or not strategic temper tantrums cleverly placed ever result in success? By a ‘tantrum,’ I mean shouting, yelling, screaming, gesturing, dishing out rage, and the like. My guess is that sometimes they work; and sometimes they do not (see the sample story which follows).
In the case of the haughty, indifferent, inattentive, rude and totally uninterested French waiter, you can only imagine what sort of expression of personal disgust one might conceivably manifest in order to get such a waiter’s attention.
What would YOU dare do in such a situation? And, are there any limits as to how far you would actually go? There certainly is such a thing as ‘road rage,’ but is there also possibly a similar expression such as ‘restaurant rage?’
Here’s one person’s true travel account (which follows below) of ‘THE’ perennial French waiter. Decide for yourself.
“We got served immediately! My father did what every one of us would have always wanted to do ourselves but wouldn’t dare attempt.”
Was it an urban myth about such a waiter? Hell no! It was real, and this guy did it! Was this a case of some kind of a successfully well orchestrated tactical temper tantrum? I think so!
Here is a sample travel story from
Travel Tales Collection No. 11 June 2015:
One French Waiter!
(In Particular: Ours!)
It was during a trip that I (Annette) and my husband, Lance, took to visit my parents who were in France. They were living in Amiens, and my father was the director of the Goodyear Plant there.
We drove into Paris in my father’s Mercedes with the chauffeur and my father and went to lunch at a very famous Paris restaurant. It was my father who became very upset with the waiter who was treating us like typical American tourists, but I was there and witnessed this whole scene.
I remember first approaching the sidewalk cafe, and then we walked into the restaurant, itself, a narrow deep room smelling of tobacco, good coffee, and delicious food aromas. The waiters were all dressed spiffily in white shirts, black pants, and long white aprons. A Parisienne (obviously a local) had her little dog at the table next to us.
It was a busy lunch time in Paris. And on this particular day, which was not so different from any other day, I suppose, my father was especially disgusted with the apparent ‘typical’ seemingly pompous, haughty, rude, uninterested attitude of the French waiter who was assigned to our table but who appeared to be patently ignoring us.
My father on this day, apparently, got tired of being ignored and avoided, so, in this one particular instance he promptly and aggressively simply grabbed the waiter by the neck to get his attention, and he shouted, “Serve us now! Toute Suite!”
Of course others at neighboring tables stared in complete disbelief, because this sort of behavior was patently not a part of their (French) dining behavioral repertoires (and why should it be? —after all, they do not have these same sorts of problems with their own waiters!)
The waiter, apparently, totally and completely startled and taken aback by this stark gesture, as if his demeanor did not at all warrant my father’s action, immediately snapped out of some altered steady-state of unconsciousness, and immediately ‘snapped to’ with the terse response, ‘Bien sur, monsieur, mais certainment!” (“Why, but of course, Sir, certainly!)
From then on, the service was nothing less than impeccable, and our lunch proceeded happily as if nothing out of the ordinary had ever even happened.
Like this story?
Does Paris and France pique your interest ever so slightly?
Why not buy or even rent the whole issue? I promise you’ll more than reap a bunch of fun for the $1.99 or $2.99 expenditure!
Special offer for Summer 2015:
If you purchase the Issue of Travel Tales Collection No. 11 June 2015: Paris & France before September 30, 2015, I’ll gift you with a FREE eCopy of my best-selling travel guide to Paris by the Metro. Just email me a proof of purchase and I’ll get a copy right out to you.