Sweet Tweets

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tray Etiquette

I'm not sure if it is a cultural divide or if it is a North/South issue or just plain, keep-your-distance-from-me-and-my-stuff-itis, but I believe there are certain rules that need to be maintained and followed diligently when in the cafeteria line. More specifically, "cafeteria tray etiquette."

I had the pleasure of dining at Sweet Tomatoes the other day for lunch. Actually, this preceded a trip to Costco....but that deserves an entry all to itself. Back to buffet heaven.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with this treasure trove of salad, soup and everything-else-goodness, let me help you picture it. You walk in and are immediately presented with a large salad bar the likes of which you have never seen. Every kind of salad, vegetable topping and what-not are provided for the salad-making frenzy that you are about to experience. You grab a tray and chose to go left or right. It doesn't really matter, but that does have me wondering if there are innate differences in the people that chose to go left or opt for the right...hmmm...I digress.

As I pick left and am happily topping my ever-growing mound of salad, I am joined by a fellow diner to my right. He, evidently, is new to cafeteria-style dining. He is close enough that I can smell his cologne and fetid breath. (Okay, I admit is wasn't fetid, but it painted a more colorful picture...and how many times do you get to use the word fetid in your lifetime? I've probably used mine up by writing it three times in the paragraph alone.) Anyway, his tray is continually bumping mine and he reaches for the tongs/spoon/fork so quickly after I have released the instrument that our hands bump several times. Not pleasant in this time of cold and flu and right before I have to use that hand to eat. I mean really. What is the hurry? This is not a hole on the golf course. I am not going to let you "play through." You do not get to scoop up the broccoli in a hysterical fit of glee, bypass the beets and carrots and pass me to the dressings. Not the way it works bud. You also need to manage your tray. Just as in automotive world, it is rude and disturbing to be bumped from behind. And f.y.i., the law would hold you as the responsible party for the bumping...not the person that you feel is going too slow in front of you. Something to think about.

This gentleman had no qualms about reaching around me to grab his silverware before I even had the chance to bring my tray to a stop. Maybe this is the way it's done elsewhere, but I'm think that if you try to pull that at some place less civilized than a Sweet Tomatoes...say a Ryan's or a Picadilly, you might just come away with one less hand.

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