Does this ever happen to you?
You go to a nice Restaurant with your partner or family, hoping to have a pleasant meal with interesting conversation. Other people in the restaurant are, like you, talking quietly and enjoying their meals. Or trying to. Because there is one party that is just SO LOUD.
We find this happens often. Like last week, when we went out for a meal in one of our regular haunts. We were sat facing each other at a nice little table for two – so close that our knees were touching under the table. But we still couldn’t hear ourselves speak because of one incredibly noisy, inconsiderate, selfish group of eight on a nearby table.
It’s not that they were swearing, or being offensive, or drunk. They looked perfectly reasonable people. But they were all speaking so loud that they completely drowned out the conversation of everyone else in the restaurant. And every few seconds an almighty shriek of laughter would ring out that could probably be heard at the end of the street.
My partner and I kept trying to talk to each other, but we couldn’t get further than half a sentence before being bombarded by screeches and guffaws. And the poor waitress was having a dreadful time trying to hear what people were ordering.
It always amazes me that these people don’t feel embarrassed by their behaviour. Don’t they realise that everyone can hear every word they say? And don’t they realise that they are spoiling the Evening for everyone else in the room? People go to a restaurant to chat and enjoy their meal. They are paying a not insignificant amount of money. It is not a pub or a night-club, and shouldn’t be treated as such. It’s just not fair!
I certainly wasn’t the only person who kept glaring in their direction. A couple of times I definitely made eye contact with members of the party, and it must have been obvious that I was extremely irritated. But it didn’t make a blind bit of difference. They just carried on, completely oblivious to everybody else’s discomfort and annoyance. So unbelievably selfish.
I remember once being in a restaurant in a huge hotel in Norway. The restaurant was nearly empty when we went in, and we were looking forward to a peaceful meal. But just before we started some coaches arrived carrying what appeared to be several large family parties. We assumed our peace had gone.
But no! Even though there were groups of around 20 people, throughout the evening there was a just a pleasant background murmer of conversation. Everyone was talking, but nobody was loud and nobody dominated. It was so pleasant. So civilized! How an evening in a restaurant should be.
I wish we could all be more Norwegian…..
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