Thursday, July 21, 2011

Manners, Courtesy or Get Over Myself?

I tread ever so lightly on this subject.  However, I do want to hear your perspective, my dear readers.  What would you have done in this instance?

Do you remember the Sopranos episode where Tony asks a guy in a restaurant to take off his ball cap?  Let me jog your memory if don't.  

If only....

For my husband's upcoming birthday, I purchased a cooking lesson where we would learn all about preparing Spanish Tapas.  On a lovely Friday evening, we showed up ready to learn along with 18 other people, presumably all with the same motivation.  Our gracious instructor provided us Sangria to start the evening.

The instructor stood front and center at a u-shaped prep counter.  A majority of us sat at that u-shaped table where each of us were given a cutting board, ingredients and knives.  Behind us were two smaller tables with similar set ups.

At one of those back tables a group of five ladies took up residence.  They also decided it was their social hour.  Yackity yack yack yack.  These ladies were making it difficult to hear.  Then a cell phone rang in their group.  Yes, she answered.  The instructor politely asked everyone to mute their phones.  As she continued to give us our instructions it was clear she was about to lose her voice, struggling to be heard having just taught a summer camp class with teenagers. 

Several times the neighboring back table tried to ssh them.  It was even more difficult for them to hear.  Finally, I turned around to see what was going on.  To my dismay, one of the ladies sitting at her table had her back to the instructor.  No wonder the group wasn't focused on the instructor or what all the rest of us were trying to learn. 

I wish I could say it got better, but it never did.  Not until we broke into groups to actually start the cooking did I stop hearing their chatter.  Then it really didn't matter.

Everyone has their own definition of fun.  What happens when your fun starts to interfere with mine?  Does anyone have Tony's number handy?

Tell me, I'd really like to hear your thoughts.  How would you feel in this circumstance?  Is it enough of a problem to say something or would you live and let live?


  1. AnonymousJuly 21, 2011

    Oh this is so interesting. I love when the waiter thanks Tony in the video clip. In a usual instructor/student relationship the instructor should comment, and in this situation the instructor should have said they cannot speak above other speaking due to their poor, tired voice. This would please the students they would like to have return, and perhaps discourage the others from speaking or returning if insulted. The instructor should not expect the other students to handle the situation.

  2. I would have politely told them to leave the class if they are not interested. Notice I emphasize the world "politely". You were there to learn and they were there because they had nothing else better to do and thought this would be a great activity for the soccer moms. :)

  3. To be fair, the instructor did make multiple attempts to quiet the group. She appealed to them to appreciate her circumstance. They would quiet for a second or two, but then resume to their old ways.

  4. AnonymousJuly 21, 2011

    If it were me, I would have gone to their table and quietly asked them to respect the other people in the class and either keep their conversation down or take it outside. I would not have allowed their bad behavior to ruin my experience.


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