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Miss Manners: Mismatched entrée timing

Miss Manners: Mismatched entrée timing

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Dear Miss Manners: This has happened to me a few times at various restaurants, and I never know what to do. It’s about entrees arriving at different times.

For example, I was dining with three friends. Two of us ordered regular entrees, while the others ordered entree salads. The salads arrived first, but it took another 15 minutes for the other two entrees to arrive.

Should the people served first go ahead and start eating? Should they wait for all to be served? Should the people who are still waiting tell the others to go ahead?

Does it make a difference if the first people to be served have a hot meal rather than a cold one? I know the restaurant should serve the entire table at once, but what must one do when that does not happen?

Gentle Reader: You do need to take matters into your own hands, as Miss Manners believes that waiting for the restaurant to solve the problem will only result in everyone’s meal being room temperature.

It is up to the people who did not receive food to tell the others to go ahead. This should be done after a brief pause to see if the wait staff is going to catch up — regardless of the temperature of the food, the room, the diners or the staff.

Dear Miss Manners: I have been looking for a decent job for quite a while now, with negative results. In my last two interviews, the interviewers commented that I was quiet — even too quiet, which was puzzling.

First, I answered their questions and followed up with my own. Second, when did “quiet” people become incapable of performing well? My experience is that the talkative loudmouths spend more time talking and less time working, but American business owners don’t seem to see through the smoke.

Currently, I work retail and handle the general public just fine — that is, the customers leave happy. I’ve never had a customer complain that I was too quiet.

Please enlighten interviewers that just because someone is reserved and thoughtful in their responses don’t mean that they are unsuccessful.

Gentle Reader: Any person with experience in the job market would have to agree with you that too many bosses, even if they know what they are looking for, do not recognize it when it is right in front of them.

This can be tragic for job-seekers. Miss Manners is not naive enough to think that that fact alone will convince bosses to do better. But perhaps they will benefit from a reminder that the consequences to themselves of picking the wrong person can be unfortunate. This, of course, assumes that what bosses think they are looking for is not, itself, misguided.

Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email,; or to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.



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