If it's gotta be clean, it's gotta be wiped with a dingy dishrag.
Realizing that I had arrived more than 15 minutes early to an appointment, I decided to wait in an area that faced the dining room. A server and the manager were chatting about babysitter issues, the fabulous night out she had, and something about getting laundry done. The point here is that their conversation was loud enough to be heard down the hall. Considering the type of club and formality of it, the staff should have maintained a professional tone and refrained from openly chatting about their personal life.
The more disturbing sight that I witnessed was watching the server using the customary white dishtowel to wipe down each utensil from the pre-set place setting which was ready and waiting for the lunch crowd. I watched her wipe off knives, forks, and spoons from three tables that were in plain view. She picked up each knife, spoon, fork and even a dish now and then; perhaps wiping away any water spots that were visible. So what's my problem? With each wipe of a fork she used the same towel to wipe off fingerprint marks or stickiness from the wooden frame of the chairs. Oh, there's more; she was very thorough. She couldn't leave any leftover crumbs on the seat of the chairs, now could she?
Was her manager doing the same on the other side of the room that wasn't within my view? I'm glad that my meeting was being held in a different area and I was only having coffee. Hmm, now that I think about it. Had my cup been wiped with a dishtowel to remove the stubborn lipstick stain?
What would you do?
When you dine out, it is best not to look around. If you knew what went on behind "closed doors", you'd bring your own place setting.
Etiquette approach: I am still considering calling the club to relay my experience. But is it my place to do so? Should I instead inform the member that I met with? I am certain that using the same towel as the quicker-picker-upper for the entire dining room is against some health code. What will I do when I am invited to dine at this club again? Could it happen again?
_______________Etiquette is an attitude.
Rosalinda Randall is an Etiquette Consultant and Owner of Your Relationship Edge. She has been spreading civility throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond for over fourteen years. She provides interactive workshop on-site. The workshops are great for admins, sales team, new hires, grads, & restaurant staff. Private consultations to help you upgrade your professional presence are also available. 650.871.6200