Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Turning off and tuning out!

The latest subject to hit the bookshelves deals with etiquette.  Yes, that old-fashioned word and old-fashioned set of morals and standards.   Somewhere over the years these became lost or thrown aside in favour of "if it feels good then do it - never mind who you offend or hurt in the process".

Well, what goes round comes round again and again, and etiquette as it applies to dining out particularly was highlighted in a number of newspapers during this past week.  So how should today's diner fit in with the new Restaurant Etiquette that restaurant proprietors as well as leading chefs are saying should become part of the dining experience?

Well, this is a summary of what the Weekend Australian magazine said on Saturday 23rd April:

1.  If you must take a call on your mobile ask to leave the table and take it outside the restaurant and well out of earshot of diners near windows - even better, switch off your phone before you enter the restaurant.

2.  Ask the chef, waiter or maitre d' if it's OK to photograph the dishes (your meal), and state your intention.  Even newspapers and magazines usually seek permission to shoot a restaurant and its food.

3.  Don't take an iPad, kaptop of DVD player to a restaurant.

4.  Don't check your emails, tweets or Facebook correspondence during a meal, either within view of your fellow diners or on your lap with your apparatus hidden by the tablecloth.

5.  Don't take or make a call in the restaurant bathroom or toilet outside, or any private or public bathroom.

There are obviously many other points (for the simple reason that our very own Ita Buttrose has just written a book on the subject), but when it comes to mobile phones, why do people - mainly women - scream and screech loudly so that everyone knows their business, while at the same time their voices drown out what you might be saying quietly to another person.  Is it that people haven't experimented with their phones to learn how easy it is to almost whisper into a mobile phone and the person you're speaking to will actually hear you!  You don't have to shout!


  1. Absolutely great stuff! Too many people are hooked to their mobile devices. I'm afraid even I've been guilty of some of these things. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I agree, some people drive me mad with the way they are always on them. My girls are at it, can't for a minute not check their emails, facebook etc. I am in the big smoke and was driving with hubby the other day when some bloke flew past us, and we looked and saw that he was texting on his mobile, while travelling at 100kms an hour. It sure scared me.

  3. Hi girls - it's nice to know that someone else feels the same as I do about the inappropriate behaviour of many - it's not merely thoughtlessness at times - what makes me cross is that it's sometimes intentional.

    I agree too about drivers talking into or using their mobiles- it's supposed to be illegal but who seems to take notice? And overtaking or even going through round-abouts or tunnels while there are other drivers trying to do the right thing scares the living daylights out of so many people. Road courtesy? What happened to it?