Random Thoughts From A Server 49

restaurant server humor

Pavlov trained his dogs to salivate anytime a bell rang.  The way he did it was to ring a bell and then feed the dogs.  Eventually, they salivated at the sound of the bell even when food was not provided.  This is now called a Pavlovian response.

A bonus piece of kibble should be provided to anyone who currently has this song stuck in their head.

As humans in this modern society, we have Pavlovian responses as well.  After I finish ordering at a drive thru, whatever they try to sell me afterwards if met with, “no thank you.”  They could literally ask me, “Would you like to add the right to be the deity of a tribe in South Pacific with Alyssa Milano as your bride for only a dollar?”  I would respond, “no thank you” and pull around.

Unfortunately, restaurant guests do the same thing when you drop their food and ask, “Is there anything else I can get for you?”  It is a Pavlovian response to send the server away without even a thought about the question.  Afterwards they will often look down and see they have no silverware, their drink is empty, and the steak they ordered looks suspiciously like a lobster.  This is inevitably followed by flagging down the first person they see that looks like they might work at the restaurant and asking for their server.

I have written about this before on other blogs.  I even talk about it in my book.  Each time I edited the chapter in the book I even got this song (which yes, I am listening to right now for the second time) stuck in my head.  I know it is a Pavlovian response.  In spite of all of this, I still find myself doing the same thing when I am a guest.  Then I flag someone down, ask them for a fork, and hope that at some point I will get that damn song out of my head.

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