Saturday, September 11, 2010
A Social Tip:
For those moments when you're really just not in the mood, or when your "irked and annoyed buttons" are being pressed all over and the situation renders you speechless.. Whether it's an exhausting story, an awful joke, an ugly outfit, a bad pick-up line - I've come across a great deflection and response. AND it's only one word.
About a month ago my friend and I were eating breakfast in Jackson Hole at a very busy outdoor cafe. We were watching the young hostess as she was seating the other customers; she was obviously flustered with the large rush and queue of waiting people. One bumbling couple, probably in their late fifties, seemed to be suffering from dementia as they were following her to a table. They were moving at an achingly slow pace and kept changing directions as if they couldn't decide if they wanted to be there or not. The poor waitress had to keep turning around to make sure they were keeping-up and following her to the table. I laughed to myself as I knew the hostess' pain. When the couple finally arrived at the table they both donned absent, bland smiles and the nearly toothless man said, "Do you normally let all these people take up all the tables?! Bahahaha!"
Ope, that was supposed to be a joke, I thought. When I've been really stressed-out serving tables myself and someone cracks a winner like that, I'm almost always at a loss for words. I was anticipating her response to the situation.
The hostess just looked at him with a slight, painfed smile and replied, "Nice."
Then briskly walked away.
It's the perfect response to a bothersome, uninteresting, or unpleasant person / situation. It allows you to be mildly honest, without being too rude, and end the conversation quickly. It's come in handy multiple times for me when serving at the restaurant and working my front desk job at the hotel.
Give it a try sometime, and experience the sublime simplicity of it for yourself.