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How to behave in society? :(

Is there any online resource about how to behave in society, at a restaurant, how to introduce people to each other, etc?

For example, in a restaurant or bar, I have no idea how to call the waiter in order to perform the payment.

I suppose I have to raise my hand somehow, so that he sees it. Or is there another signal?

Is there a comprehensive online resource where I can learn all this stuff?

Thank you!

Enesco
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I dont know about online resources.

One word, however, when calling the attention of others, be it waiters and bartenders or other people. Dont wave or shout or something.

Seeking eye-contact works wonders. Most people have enough situational awareness to be able to tell they are being looked at.

Patrik
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Kuro5hin.org occasionally has articles written by bartenders or waiters etc about proper etiquette in those situations.  The discussion that follows usually has some value as well.

And of course you can always purchase a book on etiquette such as one by Peggy Post.  50% of the material will be useless but if you're having difficulty with certain fundamentals this should get you up to speed.

Lou
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I've found this book to be very helpful for such questions. 

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1558535969

Scot
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

> Seeking eye-contact works wonders. Most
> people have enough situational awareness
> to be able to tell they are being looked at.

Very true for some places.

Unfortunately, around here, no waiter is going to come to you just because you look at him. They are generally busy.

Enesco
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Where is "around here"?

Kyralessa
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

>They are generally busy.

There are busy around here too; it still works here.

Where are you located if you don't mind me asking?

Patrik
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Philo's Guide on "How to behave in society":
1. Treat everyone as you would wish to be treated.

Do that, and you will go far in life.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

> Treat everyone as you would wish to be treated.

Philo, this is just a standard cliche.

It's also false.

It works for some people - you behave nice with them, they behive nice with you.

But there are people where the absolute opposite is true - you behive nice to them, they behive badly to you. You behive badly to them - they behive nice to you.

So, you really have to be adaptable and see how each person behaves, and to have a separate strategy for each person.

Enesco
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Were you possibly raised by wolves? You don't know how to call a waiter or behave in society? Just go ask your mom!

Gordo
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I use the international symbol for writing a cheque, which resembles scattering salt over the upturned palm with the other hand.

It helps to be actually looking at the waiter person at the time.

Another alternative is to get up and make for the door, if you make it out the door and down the street you may just have won a valued customer award and the bill is on the house, or possibly not.

As for how to act at a bar to get served this is generally modified by the kind of bar and how crowded it is.  If it is a hotel bar and you are sitting at it then a nod as if you were nonchalantly bidding for a Rembrandt at an auction will generally work.

If however its a pub in a northern industrial city of Britain then a fixed stare at the main barman, or barmaid whilst holding a folded 20 pound note may work unless they know you.  If they do know you then an uplifted nod of the chin will likely get you your regular beverage.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

++++ Were you possibly raised by wolves?
++++ You don't know how to call a waiter or
++++ behave in society? Just go ask your
++++ mom!

Ah, the normals strike again! :-(

Bleoah!

Jack "Destruction" Ken
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I'm with Simon: if all else fails, make for the door. You'll be amazed at how quickly the waiter will react. :)

More seriously, you generally should try simple eye contact first, and if that is ignored, combine eye contact with a raised hand. (A raised hand alone will just leave you looking silly.)

For more general advice, try one of the standard etiquette books.

Martha
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The question is not 'how'.
The question is 'whether'.
ie..
Whether to behave in society or not..
And you will find the answer by intuition.

Easy
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

>But there are people where the absolute opposite
>is true - you behive nice to them, they behive badly
>to you.

Have you considered that they may be treating you they way they wish to be treated?

Ken Dyck
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"""Have you considered that they may be treating you they way they wish to be treated?"""

Bwahahahahahaha....  good thing I wasn't drinking anything, it would've come out my nose.  That makes *so* much sense.  Thanks!  :)

Phillip J. Eby
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

It's probably not obvious how to act with people until you know what their jobs are like.  Does everyone know how to deal with the different ranges of programmers?

I know little about what's online... I suppose you can look for a waiter's blog.  Finding something like the Kuro5hin articles or the Mixerman chronicles is hit and miss.  If you're willing to loosen your constraints to used books, _Emily Post's Etiquette_ seems good  from the Amazon excerpts.

Reading a good book like Rutherford's _Hotel Management and Operations_ gives me a good appreciation for hotels.  (You don't have to buy it, the gist is sufficient...)  Then I can tell what's good service relative to price range and know how they ideally want me to enjoy myself.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Proper behavior is somewhat contextual. A very good way to figure it out is to pay careful attention to what others are doing in that situation. When I was a business consultant (ugly business, don't recommend it), it was kind of funny watching everyone at the dinner table when a new guy was there.  Everybody was watching everybody else, looking for contextual clues.  It made everyone very careful about what they did.

Clay Dowling
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"Treat everyone as you would wish to be treated."

That only works up to a point. If it were followed to the letter, sadists would have no opportunities to nice to masochists, for example.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, October 01, 2003

As the old joke goes:

The masochist says to the sadist, "Hit me, hit me!"

and the sadist says, "No!"

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, October 01, 2003

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