Thursday, March 20, 2008

Parenting- A Silent Witness

I was talking to some friends the other day about some children I had recently seen misbehaving in a restaurant. The following two excerpts came up during the conversation. The first is from a waiter from Colorado who shared his experience on The Stained Apron (, a discussion site for waitstaff. Except for "bleeping" out some profanity, I have quoted it verbatim. The second was a personal experience of one of the friends I was talking to.

As you read, if you have children, think about the way they behave themselves in public now, as well as the way you will want them to behave as adults.

"One night I'm managing my little Mexican restaurant and it's super slow, maybe three deuces in the whole place. I'm talking to the hostess and for some reason she asks who the worst customers are. Without hesitation I say, "Christians." Being a gigantic Christian she is shocked and asks why.

I tell her about another restaurant where I worked where on Saturday nights, after late night mass I would always get this table of Catholics that would run my *** of, want a dozen separate checks and would leave me this folded up piece of paper that looked like a twenty. On the inside of the paper it said "Why are you disappointed that this isn't money? All the riches of heaven await you if you take Jesus as your savior." As a lapsed Christian I have taken Jesus as my savior, but little pieces of paper that aren't actual money don't pay my **** rent.

I continue telling her similar stories about how stingy Christians are especially on Sundays. You couldn't pay me fifty dollars an hour to wait tables on Sunday morning right after church. Everyone is a complete ****. All those little kids who aren't allowed to run around screaming in church have carte blanche in my restaurant. Then they argue about the service. Then they argue about the prices. Then they leave a quarter on the table because they just gave 10% to God, so why should they give even a dollar to some guy that just brought them coffee and pancakes. After an hour of berating Christian customers the hostess is in tears and asks to go home early. So, I send her home.

Next time I work with this hostess she apologizes to me. After I sent her home she called her Pastor, then went to his house and told him all the horrible things I said. The Pastor was disturbed and in Bible Study the next week he initiated a discussion about restaurant etiquette. He found that his whole flock were **** in restaurants and bad tippers. He then quoted some scripture that went along the lines of "The law of the land is also my law and you shall obey it." Then said that tipping 10% or better was the law of the land. It's a small dent in the bad Christian customers, but hopefully it will spread."

"My brother-in-law used to work as a manager at a local fast food place and he always said that Sunday afternoons and evenings (after the morning and evening services ended) were the WORST times to be working. The after church crowds never failed to (1) be rude to the workers (2) trash the dining room and the salad bar (3) let their kids run from table to table (4) leave their messes.

Three years of this and he refused to set foot in a church for like another five years. He didn't want to be around those people."

Whether we're conscious of it or not, our actions as parents have an effect on those around us. Are we raising our kids so that their behavior, both now and when they reach adulthood, draws people towards Christ or pushes them away?

1 comment:

Kaye Dacus said...

I had a very similar conversation with some friends just this week about the time we all spent working in the restaurant industry in high school or college. For each of us, working on Sundays was the absolute worst---not just because it meant missing church for us, but because of everything mentioned here. What made it even worse was when it was people we knew from our own churches, who made a point of speaking to us by name in front of our coworkers they were then rude to or tipped poorly later. All of us admitted, that after a while, we stopped saying "Yes, I go to church with that family" and just "They've known my parents for several years."