In Dating, How They Treat The Waiter Is Your Future

Pay Attention

TW: Domestic Violence

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels
A man needs to be polite, not just to me but to everyone. I watch that. How does he treat the waiter? How does he treat the coat-check girl? How does he treat the driver? —Adriana Lima

On Friday, August 27th, Nina Celie Angelo witnessed Gabby Petito and Bryan Laundrie at a Jackson Hole, WY restaurant where she was eating lunch at. Later, Nina told news reports about what she witnessed:

“I have chills right now,” Nina Celie Angelo told Fox News Digital Wednesday. “It’s crazy because it wasn’t just like we passed them on the street — it was a full blown incident.”
Angelo, a photographer, said she couldn’t overhear the conversation but that she believed Laundrie was arguing with staff over the bill or about money. She described his body language as “aggressive” and said he left and returned about four times.
Angelo said it did not appear that Laundrie was on drugs, and he was “not screaming.” But he was behaving aggressively with the restaurant staff, a waitress, a hostess and the manager — all women.
At one point, Petito came inside and apologized for Laundrie’s behavior…

In the same article, Nina’s boyfriend, Matthew England, says that he reported to the FBI after they saw footage about Gabby being missing and realizing that she and Laundrie were the couple he’d watched back in August in that Jackson Hole restaurant. He says Gabby appeared to be appeared “visibly upset” with Laundrie as he hounded staff at the Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant.

For a victim of domestic violence to be ‘visibly upset’, the behavior was likely to have been escalating right before her eyes.

How frightening this must have been for Gabby Petito — to be on this cross-country trip with a man whose behavior was becoming more and more volatile and frightening. I can well imagine how trapped and alone she was likely feeling. To hear about Laundrie acting out in public like that against strangers makes me wonder what was she experiencing in private with him?….

The Waiter Rule

Have you heard about the Waiter Rule?

According to Wikipedia, it goes like this:

The Waiter Rule refers to a common belief that one’s true character can be gleaned from how one treats staff or service workers, such as a “waiter”.[1] The rule was one of William H Swanson’s 33 Unwritten Rules of Management, copied from Dave Barry’s version “If someone is nice to you but rude to the waiter, they are not a nice person.[2]

My takeaway?

How someone treats others is a reflection of their value system.

“Watch out for people who have a situational value system, who can turn the charm on and off depending on the status of the person they are interacting with” — Raytheon, CEO, Bill Swanson

Or, as blogger Nick Darlington explains, “A persons value system is revealed through their behaviour. Values are something that ultimately determine behaviour and influence the choices people make. Many people have what is known as a situational value system. People with such a value system will treat a waiter badly simply because they perceive the waiter to be in a sub-ordinate role. Their character is constantly changing based on status. It is conditional”

Wanna know if that person you’re out on a date with is an actual fact nice human being?

Pay attention to how they treat servers and believe what that behavior tells you. Think of how they treat servers as their poker tells as it relates to how they’ll likely treat you down the road — when the sheen is worn off and the truth comes out about who they are. Because how they treat servers is the truth of how they will treat you if/when they are not looking at you through the rose colored glasses of a new romance.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to put my heart in the hands of somehow whose character is conditionally based on what they think they can gain by being nice to me. Someone who treats those who they feel are beneath or sub-serviant to them poorly is someone who believes that there are times and circumstances when it is acceptable to mistreat, demean, and even to harm people.

In 2017, Jessie Stephens wrote an Opinion piece titled You can tell an awful lot about a person by how they treat a waitress in which she shared:

How someone treats waitstaff is the clearest indication of how they value people.
Is a waitress a waitress? Or is a waitress a human being — capable of making mistakes — and eager to fix them when they do?
As the age-old adage goes, if you want to know if someone is kind, watch what they do when they have power.
And that doesn’t necessarily mean being the CEO of a multinational business.
Sometimes it’s as simple as watching how they behave when you go out to a restaurant.

“His sense of entitlement was like none other”

Another example of why the way wait staff is treated indicates how you as the dinner/lunch guest might be about to be treated?

Chloe Melas, on CNN, published Harvey Weinstein’s New York haunt: Former servers describe tantrums and revolving door of women and shared the following about Harvey Weinstein:

“He would get angry over little details like if the wrong drink was brought over,” said a former server who left Tribeca Grill in 2016 after two years of employment. “In fact, if things didn’t go the way he wanted he wasn’t above taking the lemons out of his drink and throwing it at the servers. We would put a lemon or lime on a glass of water or a drink and he would take it off the drink and chuck it at the servers to get their attention and make sure he hit them.”
Another former employee said, “His sense of entitlement was like none other, the entire staff would cringe when he would come in. One specific time he came into the kitchen and began yelling at a girlfriend of mine who was a server and began calling her ‘stupid’ because she wasn’t getting his food quick enough.”

Even the Bible speaks to the fact that how someone treats those without power are, in truth, treating even God in the same way:

‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me — you did it to me.’ — Matthew 25:40


Because all are sacred, not just those that can do something for you.

In a Psychology Today article title The Anatomy of Dating, Dr. Fredric Neuman writes:

“I think this is what is important in choosing a husband or wife. In order of importance:
It is critically important that the prospective partner is a nice person. I think most people are nice, but certainly not all. I had a patient who broke up with her fiancé because he was rude to a waiter. That made sense to me. Waiters cannot answer back. I think people who are rude to waiters are bullies. Someone rude to a waiter is likely, sooner or later, to be rude to a spouse.”

If you are in a relationship where you feel unsafe, you can contact The National Domestic Violence Helpline by or calling 800.799.SAFE (7233).

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