‘You can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she treats the waiter.’ As I have worked in the restaurant business since the age of 14, I know how true and important this life lesson is. The waiter rule states that ‘how others treat the waiter is like a magical window into the soul’. How can you be nice to one person and rude to the other? Bill Swanson puts it this way: ‘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. Be especially wary of those who are rude to people perceived to be in subordinate roles.’
I am blessed with my parents, as they taught me to be respectful to everyone, no matter what their background, color or status. My father started as a waiter himself, which made me even more conscious of my behavior towards restaurant staff and all other situations where people tend to be mistreated regularly. I even try to be extra polite to compensate for other people’s misbehavior. In some situations though, there is the danger of being seen as inpolite, even though your intentions are good. For me, this is the case when I receive application letters through mail, and I fail to reply within a reasonable amount of time. The reason is a lack of time rather than a lack of respect or interest. But I do look into the mirror: if I can find the time to respond to mails of guests, I can respond to application letters as well.
When your team is solid and steady, there is less sense of urgency to look for new staff. That makes it easier to postpone a response. But doing this feels unfair to me. From experience, I know how frustrating it can be to be left waiting. When I was a student looking for a side job, I used to send multiple open apllication letters at once. I put a lot of effort in them, researching the companies and explaining why I chose them. In general, the response I got was very disappointing. In most cases, it just stayed quiet. It got me thinking: I have made an effort, so why don’t they? And how do they expect me to stay or become their fan or customer?
I believe it’s better to not hold a situational value system. Make sure to treat your applicants the same way you treat your clients. And do the same for all other stakeholders. The way you treat people you think you don’t really need determines your true character.