A friend told me recently how dismayed he was with his daughter, who thought it was okay to send text messages on her cell phone during a funeral ceremony. It wasn't an isolated incident, he explained. She often types away on her phone during inappropriate situations. My friend's teenage daughter is hardly alone.
Texting (Twittering, emailing) has become such a normal part of life, particularly for younger generations, that laws are being passed around the country to prevent drivers from texting on their cell phones. Thousands of traffic accidents, many of them fatal, led to these new laws. You'd think it would be a matter of common sense that there are times when you simply don't use your phone for frivolous matters. You'd think.
I bring the subject up because a bunch of us from the magazine were recently at lunch in a restaurant where the service was exceptionally slow. The restaurant was busy and maybe the kitchen was in the weeds, but we couldn't help notice that our server used every opportunity she could to send text messages from her phone at a waiter station. I don't normally pay much attention to what my server is doing unless somebody at the table wants something. And people at my table wanted water glasses refilled and to ask about the bread that the server said she'd bring to the table. But the server seldom looked up from her phone.
It didn't take long before my mind went from bread to toast. If I was in charge, that server would be toast, I thought. Isolated incident? I thought so. Not so, others at my table said. They've spotted servers elsewhere playing with their phones when they should have been paying attention to customers. So, I ask you: Is this a problem you're seeing with your servers? And, if so, how have you dealt with it?
Several years back, we wrote stories about how many restaurants around the country were implementing no-cell phone policies for customers. Everybody pretty much agreed it was simply rude and disruptive for customers to be talking (often loudly) on their cell phones in a restaurant dining room. Servers with cell phones may be the latest wrinkle.
Really, Burger King? Fox NFL Sunday, as part of its pre-game coverage last month, ran a cartoon featuring the Dallas Cowboys. It was produced and created by Fox, but Burger King's logo was displayed before it ran. In essence, the coach and some players are making fun of quarterback Tony Romo and his former girlfriend, Jessica Simpson, who gained some weight a while back. So, the animated skit involves fat jokes about a women who, at her heaviest, is still several sizes below the average woman. This is no time to get stupid, Burger King, not while this industry gets unfairly blamed for the obesity crisis. The Whopper, by the way, has 670 calories, 351 of them from fat. Wake up, BK!