Whatever image a person manages to maintain, he goes to a restaurant, loses his temper and adopts a line of behavior that in Bulgaria can be described in one word – rural.
In the West, the result is called “cancel”, i.e. not only a ban on visiting the particular establishment may follow, but also a public wave of rejection of the particular person.
That’s where comedian and host of The Late Late Show on CBS, James Corden, went. For a week now, the Briton has been under fire – both from traditional media and social media – because of an ugly, classically arrogant scandal he caused at the Balthazar restaurant in New York.
Corden’s wife, Julia Carey, ordered an omelet made of egg yolks, but it turned out that some egg white got into the dish. James returned the portion, and the new one came with fries instead of salad.
Then he started yelling at the waiter for not doing his job. “I must go to the kitchen to make myself an omelette!” shouted the actor.
He calmed down when the manager sent a bottle of champagne to Corden’s table as an apology, but continued to be rude to the staff.
A few months before that, James announced that there was a hair on his plate, but only after he had eaten the portion. He asked for free drinks and threatened to write a bad review of the restaurant if he didn’t get them.
The stories came to light after the restaurant’s owner, Keith McNally, got fed up and told them on Instagram.
“James Corden is a very talented comedian, but as a person he is a jerk and the most abusive customer since Balthazar opened 25 years ago,” wrote McNally, who is also a former actor, and announced that he would no longer allow Corden in the restaurant because of his “extremely nasty” behavior.
James Corden has been banned from the library pic.twitter.com/yyGwWi9u8B
— cheeky chlo 🎃 (@_cosmicangst) October 19, 2022
The story is ugly so far, but the two did not stop. After McNally’s post started gaining momentum and the first Corden memes appeared on Twitter, the host called the restaurateur and apologized, and McNally announced in a new post that the actor was welcome back.
However, James then gave an interview to the New York Times in which he announced that he had done nothing wrong and was feeling Zen about the whole situation. It is not difficult to imagine what happened next.
“If the supremely talented actor wants to regain the respect he had from all his fans (of all 4) before the incident, he should at least admit that he was wrong. If he takes the next step and apologizes to the two waiters who insults, I’ll let him eat free at Balthazar for the next 10 years,” McNally’s response reads.
Another episode of the dispute came on the air of The Late Late Show on October 24. Corden apologized for his behavior and said he made a “rude” and “unnecessary” comment to an employee of the restaurant. He explained that his reaction was a first signal and provoked by the fact that a dish was accidentally served on the table to which his wife would have an allergic reaction.
“I didn’t yell or scream. I didn’t get out of my chair. I didn’t call anyone names or use derogatory language. I thought I didn’t do anything wrong, did I? But the truth is, I did. I made a rude comment and I was wrong,” he adds.
Whether one is a host of a major television ratings show or a humble bachelor, being rude, arrogant and bossy with waiters is among the biggest mistakes one can make.
It has happened to everyone to go to a restaurant and come across such a type, and if he is at the same table, his inappropriate behavior overwhelms the whole atmosphere and spoils the mood of everyone.
There’s even a term for judging called the “Waiter Rule,” and it’s based on the common belief that the way a person treats a waiter is highly indicative of their character.
Moreover, according to the popular management rules of the former CEO of the Raytheon aircraft company Bill Swanson, “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter or to others, is not good.” Swanson has a pamphlet with a total of 33 rules, and claims that the waiter’s is the only one that has never been disproved.
“Watch out for people who have a situational value system, who can turn their charm on and off depending on the status of the person they’re interacting with. Be especially wary of those who are rude to people in a subordinate role,” says the manager.
Brenda Barnes, who was the CEO of food giant Sara Lee and also of PepsiCo, has a similar philosophy.
“The way bosses treat waiters is probably indicative of how they treat their real subordinates,” she says. “Being in the CEO’s chair doesn’t make me a better person than someone who works in our factory. If you treat a waiter or a subordinate like trash, guess what – are they going to do their best? I don’t think .”
People who mistreat waiters are considered not to be team players, have a habit of judging others, and cannot be good leaders. Also classic is the recommendation not to go on a second date if the other person misbehaved with the waiter on the first.
“About 4% of people in our surveys say being rude is fun. Maybe there’s an element of narcissism – it’s almost like a sport. Having power makes them feel bigger when someone else is smaller Professor Christine Porat, a psychologist at Georgetown University, told the Guardian.
Her team’s research shows that those around them get upset at scandals in restaurants, as they believe that people’s dignity should not be trampled on, even if they have made a mistake.
And from the side of the waiters, the answer is expected – such humiliation and falling into a stressful situation in front of many people brings out the worst in a person. And since they have to stay polite, they can retaliate quietly, with slow service at best.
What’s more – harsh treatment affects cognitive abilities – people cannot think adequately, explains Prof. Amir Erez from the University of Florida.
His studies among doctors who have been roughed up show that in such cases they make more mistakes – in diagnoses, procedures, prescriptions.
Although the end result is not as dangerous with waiters, the effect is the same – the worse you behave, the greater the chance that they will mess up your order.
“That’s the worst strategy – if you think that by shouting at them you’re going to get what you want – no, it’s just the opposite,” says Prof Erez.
It’s not out of the question that James Corden has yet to get many more servings of hair. In the best case.