What I find most often when talking with teens and young adults serving meals to residents is that they are just coping with how to address uncomfortable situations with residents. Most try to be polite, many admit to not having enough patience, and some are plain honest about their own rudeness to discourage uncomfortable conversations.
It is very important that during initial hiring orientation, and on a recurring basis managers explain basic courtesies and company policy and expectations if and when residents share personal information with servers. As we discuss throughout Kind Dining training, residents often interact more with staff members than friends and family and boundaries can get blurred. In this example, a resident was sharing in detail about how worried they were over their financial situation. The key here is for the server to listen courteously, validate the residents feelings as best they can, and offer encouragement. “I see you are worried about this situation, but I think there is a good chance it will work out just fine.” It is important servers know they should not burden residents with their own money worries or personal situations, when to share this conversation with their supervisor or resident care manager, and that it should not be shared with other employees.