I shan't bother you with the full details of our selections since I reported on Ruby Tuesday just a month or so ago (read about it here), and just suffice to say that the salad bar is simply wonderful. My wife's salad is on the left, mine is on the right. Can you tell which one of us was really starving? Oh, and those really dark croutons? They are awesome. Do not let your salad go without tossing on a handful or so.
Ruby Tuesday is not what I would consider to be upscale per se, I mean, a jacket and tie is not required but people do seem to be at least wearing their duds from the office. There is no valet parking (and if someone does attempt to park your car for you, they are probably a thief), and our waitress didn't come equipped with one of those fancy towels draped over her arm as she poured wine. Though that may have been possible, had we ordered wine. My point is, it isn't Morton's, but it isn't McDonald's either.
There was a time when men would not enter a building wearing a hat; men would remove hats in the presence of a lady and certainly, no man of any culture would wear his hat into a restaurant. And this was a custom that two diners at different tables near us had failed to appreciate during our dining experience this evening.
Just so you don't think this is an assault on the younger generation, I should tell you that both of these gentlemen were in there mid to late 50's. Now in my grandfather's day, someone might have walked up to one of these fellows and asked them politely to respect the women folk and remove their cap. I suspect though that before it got to that, a manager may have intervened.
But times and certainly styles have changed. Men these days have to be cajoled by stadium announcers to please remove their hats for the playing of the National Anthem. But as the types of hat styles have changed over the years, as it has become common-place for people to wear jeans or sweatpants instead of slacks, so too has our acceptance of more casual wear in the work place.
Remember when only sailors and criminals had tattoos? Remember when a man wearing an earring meant he was either a pirate or gay? Have you been to the airport lately and watched middle-aged woman after middle-aged woman have to be wanded by the TSA employee to verify that the metal detected is a belly-button piercing and not a gun?
I hate to discuss work here, but I was actually involved in a conversation today about an employee who was alleged to appear unprofessional. The complaint? No it wasn't about how well the person did their job - in fact the customer had nothing but praise for the employee's courtesy, kindness and professionalism. Instead, it was thought that the piercing on the employees lip was so outrageous that something had to be said to management. It was suggested that the employee be moved out of sight. Oh, you mean where they keep the Blacks and the Mexicans?
The explanation given was that the employee was in a customer facing position - that is, seen by the public - and that just as this customer had been offended by the sight of such a thing - a piercing of the lip, other customers would also be offended. And of course, a piercing doesn't give the appearance of a professional organization.
So said the man wearing jeans and a cap in the professional office.
So I sat with my wife and enjoyed the great service and wonderful meal at Ruby Tuesday's this evening, in spite of the fact that other diners chose to wear their caps indoors. Was the site of someone else's appearance, in spite of my particular views on the appropriateness of it going to ruin my meal? Not in this lifetime.
Times change. Attitudes change. Get over it.