Last week I wrote to tell you about the birthday party
we had for my son at the XinJiang Ren restaraunt here
on Hainan Island in China.
Tis my favorite restaurant, not just because of the food,
but because the grand majority of people who wait on me
are intelligent, polite and helpful. They’ve been trained in
good manners – something severely lacking in many Chinese
I can’t tell you how many times I nearly erupt when the waiter
or waitress comes to my table and without asking, moves my
tea cup, my plate, my glass, my plate – anything they can
move just to feel like they’re doing something. Even worse is
when you’re not completely finished with your food. You’re only
99% done – and someone comes along, once again, without
asking and whisks your plate away.
The good news is that more and more restaurants are discovering
this is bad form – not just for Americans – but for their fellow Chinese.
I have a pretty good selection of places I go to for a good meal:
Everything from coffee bars to hole-in-the-wall joints to first-class
restaurants. Most of the time I’m treated pretty well – but quite often
you’ll run into staff that are complete idiots. They have zero
manners, zero personality and zero brains.
You place your order and they do as they please. The waitress will
decide that she thinks you’ll like a lot of salt on your food when you
say no salt. Or that you would really like sugar in your carrot juice
even when you say not to put in in.
One of the things I love most in China is that snapping your fingers
at a waitress is NOT considered bad form. It’s one of those bad habits
I can get away with over here. I do just as my friends and family do – I
snap my fingers three times and yell for the waitress. This would no
doubt get me whacked back home – so I’m sure to get at least six to
nine snaps in per day over here so that it’s out of my system before
I go back.
Yesterday, I took my wife, her sister and my brother-in-law to a
new Sichuan restaurant that is owned by the same company as
the XinJiang Ren. It is located directly behind the XinJiang Ren
and it is immaculate, with an entrance that should only exist
for movie stars.
The hosts greet me at the door, ask how many. I reply, “Si wei.”
“Table for four people.”
The host starts walking me to a table in an area of the restaurant
that I don’t want to sit. Been there before and the waitresses were
awful. So I point to a platform with plush couches and chairs and
say, “Nali.” There.
She frowns – then obliges. Not the way to get things rolling.
We take our seats. The waitress begins fiddling with my stuff,
I give her a look to leave my plates and such alone – she ignores
me. I place my hands on my stuff so she can’t move it. “Bu bang
mang wo,” I say. Don’t help me.
She hands the menu to my wife and sister-in-law. They begin
ordering their favorite dishes. The waitress plays a song-and-
dance, telling them what they can eat and what they can’t,
which is based upon whether or not she feels the cook should
have to make an extra effort. This has happened to me three
other times – but yesterday was not the day to use this tactic,
especially with my wife.
Por ejemplo, in most places I will order 3 eggs over easy. No
problem. But the waitresses at this place (all of whom are lousy)
will tell me the cook is busy and cannot make this for me – YET he
has time to make an egg flower soup – which takes 10-15
minutes. How long does it take to crack three eggs, flip ’em over
and put them on a plate? Charge me the same price. I don’t care –
but don’t tell me the cook is busy.
Every other place I go to, this request is a done deal – including the
owners OTHER place, XinJiang Ren.
But not in this new immaculate joint for some odd reason.
On the other occasions I chose to bend with the wind to avoid the hurricane.
Despite my displeasure, I would order something else.
But today, with my wife and family present, not a good idea to play
My wife ordered her favorite dish and unwisely the waitress gave her
the standard, “The cook is very busy” line.
She looked around at a mostly empty restaurant and a shouting
match began. Not just with her, but my brother-in-law as well.
He’s pounding the table and demanding to see the manager.
The manager arrives and my bro-in-law explains what rude little
snots he has for waitresses. I note the “nose in the air” position of the
waitress as he’s talking and I chime in, “Ta hen zhuai.” This means,
“She’s cocky and pompous.”
My brother-in-law gives the manager a chance to make things up,
but he won’t ask the waitress to apologize, nor will he make the
dishes we want – so we told him we’re leaving and going somewhere
else to eat.
The manager begs us to stay. Then there is intense discussion about
“face” – where bro-in-law is telling the manager he will save him face
by leaving and not making an ever bigger scene.
The manager keeps saying, “Xia yi zi guo lai,” – Next time come back.
I jump in, “Today is the last time we come here.”
We got in the car and drove to a restaurant called Gui Zhou Fandian.
It’s a little dirty. The waitresses don’t have gorgeous uniforms like the
place we left. The air conditiioning is so-so – but they make whatever
we ask for and they do it with a smile.
All this begs the question – what makes the difference between a good
waitress and a bad one?
Well – it’s the same difference between those who exercise the right
way and those who don’t. It’s all a matter of the proper TRAINING –
and who gave you the training.
If you do the right things you’ll get better results than if you do the
wrong things. If you’re polite, courteous and helpful – you were
trained to be that way.
And if you’ve got flexible, limber, strong and enduring muscles
that are free of aches and pains – it’s because you’re following
the right kind of exercise program.
Most waitresses and service personnel, worldwide, were never
properly trained. Hence, they’re lousy, at best.
The same is true in sports and in the world of fitness. Most people
never really learned how to train in a way that maximized results.
Most people don’t know what to do or how to do it – they just look
around and imitate what some idiot who wasn’t trained properly himself,
Sure, you can get some results training like a do-do – but I think
you’d like outrageous results, the kind you get when the program
you’re on delivers what you want.
Combat Conditioning is like the well-trained waitresses in Chinese
restaurants. You sit down and enjoy your meal in fine fashion –
without being bothered.
When you finish a plate of the exercises I teach, you feel good.
You feel satisfied, nourished and taken care of.
That’s how you should feel after you train. And if you’re not feeling
that way – you’ve got to make a change for the better – and there’s
no better time to do so than NOW.
Take charge of your life, my friend. Get on the right program that
gives you the results you want.
Kick Butt – Take Names,
Int’l best-selling author of Combat Conditioning, Combat Abs and a
plethora of powerhouse programs – http://ffadmin.wpengine.com/products.html