Do you have a pressing problem, annoying anxiety or community conundrum? Jasminda Featherlight, our resident roving Agony Aunt, is here to help. Jasminda will be responding to questions from our News Of The Area papers on a rotating basis. Send your concerns to Jasminda care of firstname.lastname@example.org and include your title, initials and suburb.
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I work at a busy café and I can’t understand how rude some customers are. People try to change what’s on the menu, ask where their drinks are when I’m already balancing three plates and lots of other annoying things.
Miss GK, Soldiers Point
Dear Miss GK,
I think the problem is a lack of training. You know when you get a job in hospitality, they put you through training modules so you are a competent employee? Well this should be a two-way street. Before being allowed to step foot in a restaurant, café or pub, you should have to pass Responsible Food and Beverage Behaviour training. I can see a Competent/Not Yet Competent checklist with general behaviour modules followed by more specific training in things like: Slips, Trips and Falls: Knowing when it’s time to call a taxi; Cash Handling: Learn how to tip, you tight moron; Process Reservations: Don’t move ‘Reserved Signs’, you selfish twit; Maintain the quality of perishable items: Leave your baby at home, and so on.
Imagine all the money Registered Training Organisations would make running this new course for every member of the adult population. Our cafes would be full of well-behaved customers and hospitality would be seen as a desirable career pathway, not an opportunity to be harassed, abused and run off your feet by uncouth members of the public who should know better.
Only people with a special ‘I’m polite’ card, sort of like an Opal Card would be allowed access, there could be a demerit system for lapses in behaviour and exemplary customers could be issued with a rewards card offering free beverages.. Solved!
Carpe diem, Jasminda.