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While seated at table, customers fight. They have sex. They sign contracts. And, sometimes, customers die.
At the busy restaurant where I work, we've had at least three customers suffer fatal heart attacks after their meals. That's not the restaurant's fault, of course, but it's always a strange situation for the server, who's stuck with a section full of traumatized diners and the knowledge that she served the victim his last-ever plate of lobster risotto. Still, servers whose customers succumb to cardiovascular disease don't have any reason to feel guilty -- even if they did provide extra pats of butter. But that exemption surely doesn't apply when restaurant goers choke.
I once witnessed a very serious choking incident: A man at my co-worker's table got a hunk of steak stuck in his gullet. A server who'd trained as an EMT saved him, earning "employee of the month" honors for his heroics.
Oddly, none of the restaurants where I've worked have required their servers to master the Heimlich maneuver. The only official recognition in most eateries that dining can be deadly is a poster outlining what to do when someone chokes. Since the poster's usually tacked to a dish room wall, I'm guessing it doesn't avert too many tragedies.
As a server, I can reel off a long list of training sessions restaurants should offer, but don't, for reasons having to do with money and time. Restaurants could do a far better job of teaching their servers about wine, food and customer service. Servers without the proper education in those categories might mispronounce "gnocchi" or recommend a fruity sauvignon blanc to a customer who's asked for a dry white. The risks of not knowing basic first aid are scarier still.