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Way back in my waiter days, I discovered a wonderful, single-question test of character.

Do you treat the people who work for you the same as you treat the people you work for?

Try it out. It always works.

I first noticed it when I was a waiter. Business people would bring clients, customers, or prospects to our restaurant to entertain them. The really good, honest, hard-working, intelligent ones (the ones with long-term solid reputations) were very polite to their guests; but surprisingly, they were equally polite to their waiter…and their bus boy! But the ones who were known around town to be sort of shady would be overly polite, downright solicitous to their guests, be totally patronizing and sarcastic to the waiter, and totally dismissive (and sometimes cruel) to the bus boy.

Or, Mr. BMOC would bring a date into the restaurant. He would be all sucking up to the date, while being a jerk to the servers…as if he were trying to establish a pecking order or something. But other guys, guys who had confidence and balance, would be courteous to the date (as interested in her good time as in his)…and would be professional and polite to the wait staff as well.

Or you’d get two couples out together. A boss and spouse, and an employee and spouse. The employee would be all smoochy on the boss and his wife…while treating his own wife like something the cat dragged in. And don’t even ask about how he treated the wait staff.

Then you’d get the two couples who really seemed to enjoy being together. The ladies had rapport. The guys had rapport. Ladies participated with the guys in a four-way conversation. Everyone talked to the wait staff…asked questions…ordered things…made comments…asked for reccos…. And here’s the coolest part: sometimes you couldn’t tell which one was the boss and which was the employee. You really couldn’t tell.

Try the test in your neighborhood…office…relationships. It always works. Very informative.

P.S. Here’s some free advice. When you’re out on a date, be nice to the server. He/She has the power to ruin your date…or to make it really wonderful. Did you think the rolls were hard by accident? Just sayin’.

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