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USA Today: Smart CEOs watch how you treat the staff

USATODAY.com - CEOs say how you treat a waiter can predict a lot about character

I was a busboy in junior high and high school and a waiter in college, and I heartily concur that the behavior of a restaurant patron can unintentionally reveal loads about their character.

They acknowledge that CEOs live in a Lake Wobegon world where every dinner or lunch partner is above average in their deference. How others treat the CEO says nothing, they say. But how others treat the waiter is like a magical window into the soul.

And beware of anyone who pulls out the power card to say something like, "I could buy this place and fire you," or "I know the owner and I could have you fired." Those who say such things have revealed more about their character than about their wealth and power.

Obviously, the real message of this article (at least from a CEO's standpoint) is that unguarded behavior says more about you than those moments when you think you're "on," but it's still a great way to get a bead on how someone sees their status and treats people whom they regard as their "lessers."

Although, I'm against a military draft, it might not hurt to conscript every teenager to work in a kitchen or dining room for three months; the education you get on human nature and the nitty-gritty of American culture is priceless and lasts a lifetime.

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