If You’re A Douchebag To The Waiter, I’m Deleting Your Number

After several weeks of flirty texts, we’re ready to take things to the next level with a romantic dinner date at that cute little Italian bistro that just opened. I already have the perfect seductive outfit picked out and I’m looking forward to an evening of scintillating conversation with you over a bottle of Cabernet. Just one thing — please don’t be a jerk to the waiter. If you are, I’m deleting your number and never talking to you again.

  1. I used to be a waitress. Back before I started kicking ass in my career, I was busting my ass waiting tables at a chain restaurant to put myself through college and I’m not ashamed of it. It was hard work, I learned a lot, and I was good at it. The only real drawback was dealing with at least one entitled jerk every Saturday night who felt like he needed to treat me like an indentured servant to try and impress the woman he was out with. Those guys were jerks, and I have a long memory. Don’t be one of those guys.
  2. Being a jerk to the waiter just highlights how insecure you are. If you think sending your truffle fries back to the kitchen three times and snapping your fingers at the waiter when you want another drink is going to turn me on, then you’re sorely mistaken. Watching you demean someone who is working hard to serve you a nice meal just shows me that you have to bring other people down to feel good about yourself. Sadistic bullying doesn’t really get me in the mood, so just be nice to the waiter, okay?
  3. If you’re a jerk to the waiter, it’s a window into your personality. If you’re rude to the waiter in front of me on our first date, what will you be like six months from now if we get into a relationship? First dates are a golden opportunity to be your best self and make a great impression, so if you don’t even care enough to be nice to our hard working waiter, you’ll probably start treating me with contempt before long as well.
  4. If you’re a jerk to the waiter, I’ll have to assume you’re bad in bed. Great sex involves compromise, communication, and a willingness to give as well as to receive. So if you scream at the waiter and want to leave him a bad tip just because he poured us still water instead of sparkling, I can only imagine that your behavior in the bedroom is just as boorish and offensive. If you want to have sex with me, then don’t be a jerk to the waiter.
  5. If you’re a jerk to the waiter, you’re just embarrassing yourself (and me). Do you want to know why everyone in the restaurant is staring at us? It’s not just because I look earth-shatteringly stunning. It’s because everyone is wondering why I’m willing to be seen in a public with a man who throws a temper tantrum when the waiter doesn’t bring him ketchup to eat with his well-done steak. Don’t be the guy that makes everyone else whisper, “Why is he being such a jerk to the waiter?” Also, don’t order your steak well done with ketchup because that’s gross.
  6. Being a jerk to the waiter reveals your lack of empathy. If you can’t behave like a decent human being to someone working on their feet 12 hours a day to bring you a hot plate of food, then how will you act towards my grandmother, or a homeless person outside the restaurant, or an abused puppy at the animal shelter? The ability to show caring and compassion towards other living beings is one of the hallmarks of humanity, so if you display sociopathic tendencies on our first date, it will be our last.
  7. Being a jerk to the waiter is cliche. Think of any stereotypical entitled douchebag, and one of the first things that springs to mind is a demanding, obnoxious jerk in the middle of a nice restaurant screaming at the waiter and ruining the atmosphere for everyone else. Being a jerk to the waiter is not only morally indefensible, it’s lame and boring. Instead of terrorizing the person being paid in tips to bring us our food, how about engaging me with your sense or humor or travel stories instead?
  8. If you don’t tip at least 20 percent, you’re being a jerk to the waiter. Barring any outright rudeness or abject incompetence on the part of the waiter, tipping should be at least 20 percent. When it comes time for us to split the bill and you want to skimp on the tip just because they were thirty seconds late bringing you a fourth gin and tonic, then I’m going to give you major side eye before deleting your number forever.
  9. Being a jerk to the waiter is just so unnecessary. Look, I get that first dates can be nerve-wracking. I’m a strong, take charge woman and even I get the jitters on a night out with a guy I really like. There’s no reason to revert to treating our waiter like a serf just because you’re nervous about us hitting us off. Be confident, be respectful, and be yourself, and everything will be just fine. I already think you’re really sexy, so as long as you’re not a jerk to the waiter, I have a good feeling about us.
Stephanie Seabrooke is a freelance writer based in Baltimore, MD. She enjoys wine, felt tip pens, and staring out of windows in a melancholy stupor. Tweet her at @StephSeabrooke