Hi Jeff. Agreed. I went out to dinner on Sunday night with a sister who is
blind and our parents. We went to one of our favorite hot spots, because the
power had gone out at my folks' house. The wait staff at this chain are
always very attentive, and the waitress we had over the weekend was no exception.
When she brought out our drinks and my soup, she told us when and where she
was setting them down. She also warned me that my soup was very hot, which
they frequently do. I've never asked a wait person to cut my food for me,
but I've heard that they'll be happy to do it. I guess the reason for me
never asking is that I've always been with someone who was willing to cut my
food if need be and butter my roll, or put the crackers in my soup. Also,
all the wait staff I've ever experienced are always so busy preparing
customers' orders, and I would kind of feel bad if my wait person had to do
extra work. This isn't to say that I will never avoid asking a wait person to
cut my meat, etc. Last night I ordered an entree that didn't need to be cut
up, but not because I wasn't willing to ask someone to cut it for me. I
could cut my dessert because it was a soft cake. When inquiring about the
placement of food and drinks, I like to use the clock system. This has
caught on very quickly with everyone in my apartment building. One thing I
absolutely dislike is when wait staff talk very loudly to us because they
think we can't hear them. This has happened to me a couple times. I also don't like it when someone sitting with me is asked, "What does he want?" or "Is he ready to order?" Fortunately this hasn't happened to me that much. I can understand the occasional slip, such as when my father told our waitress over the weekend what I wanted.
----- Original Message ----- From: "jeff" <j1armstrong@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "blind cool tech mail list" <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, 31 October, 2005 3:02 PM
Subject: [bct] stuff.
When it comes to restaurant etiquette, I think it is only fair that a blind person be able to use his/her fingers to locate items on a plate. I do so sparingly but it is fast and so far, no one has commented on it. Also, I try to find a part of the meat where it has a part sticking out, like a corner, I stab it with my fork and cut it off small enough to fit in my mouth. I do this instead of trying to cut it all at once because that usually just makes a mess. Someone on a podcast or something I was listening to stated that he always tells the wait person or server as they sometimes want to be called, that he is blind and could they check in on him from time to time since he won't be able to see them when they are around. They always seem to be all to happy to do this too. Another thing I've noticed is that if you don't identify that you are blind, the person will sometimes replace your drink or sit a new glass of your drink in front of you and you won't even hear them. They are trained to do these types of things without interrupting your conversations and it's better to let them know right up front. If your meat selection is covered in a sauce or something equally messy needs to be cut up, please let someone else at the table do it. You'll seem so much smarter than if you walk out of the restaurant covered with bar-b-q sauce or something like that. I even let my sighted companion at the table, slap a little catsup or mustard on my burger if I need it, although you could also ask the wait person to do this if the meal is a business lunch or something more formal like that. I must admit, I will have food that is "safer" to handle when on a business lunch or dinner. I guess that is a bit of impression management but I am guilty as charged. When I am out with only other blind folks, I do everything for myself and realize that we are all in the same boat. Everyone has things that they'd rather not do and that others can help with. I help my wife with computer stuff and don't even think anything about it. I just know how to do it faster. I help my daughter with lids on jars and things like that. She is small and, again, I never give it a second thought, except sometimes when I feel lucky to be able to be a help to someone. My sighted friends probably feel the same when helping me sometimes. I'll ask them and see what they say.