But How?

Here we go with another dining disaster story.  Let’s reiterate something.  I eat out almost all the time.  The percentage of times that a normal family eats out is the same percentage of times that I make something at home to eat.  For me, eating at home is the exception.  So I know what restaurant food is like, how it should be, and how service should be.  Because I am specifically mentioning service, that doesn’t make me a snob.  Because I eat out so much, I understand small mistakes and misunderstandings.  I don’t hold it against the server or the restaurant.  But this time was different.  This time I felt it was necessary to be mean to the waitress.  That is saying a lot.

So let’s set up here.  It’s a little late on a Sunday and the place is pretty empty.  We wait a little bit for the hostess, but the bartender acknowledged us quickly, so we’re fine.  We get seated and wait for a while for service.  A waitress finally comes over and says she thought someone else was helping us.  The waitress playing the blame game at this point doesn’t mean much right now, but it’s in memory, waiting to see if a pattern emerges… which it does.

Drinks and appetizer ordered.  One drink arrives without the requested lemon.  Oh well, not going to make a big deal out of that.  Appetizer arrives without Ranch dressing and without serving plates.  Annoyance is starting to settle in, but we’re going to bear with it.  Flag the waitress down and request the missing dressing.  By the time the Ranch arrives, there’s only two pieces of the appetizer left.  Keep in mind there’s only a couple other tables seated in the place.

Entrees arrive and I can immediately see that my steak is underdone.  Blood on the top means not well-done.  So I alert the waitress and she takes it back.  So now I have to watch my partner eat her meal alone.  It would have been ok if I had my soup that I ordered.  Yes, for you dining-aware persons, I ordered soup and it did not come before the entrée, nor did it come with the entrée.  Where is it??  At this point, annoyance is turning to anger.

After a while, my steak is returned to me cooked properly and with it comes the soup.  Now we have a new dilemma.  She did not bring a steak knife with my plate.  So, I fight through cutting the steak with my table knife.  Then I turn to the soup.  There’s no spoon.  There’s no fucking spoon.  This is the point where my anger boils over.  I push the soup bowl out to the end of the table as a hint that something is wrong.  Surprisingly, the waitress makes another stop at the table to take my partner’s plate and asks nothing of the soup or if everything is ok.  She disappears.

Now I am fuming.  After I finish my steak, the waitress returns again and asks if we saved room for dessert.  I say “no, we’re more than well done” in a sarcastic tone that gets her attention.  She asks to take my plate and I say sure.  Then I say, “…and the soup… I never got to try it.”  She asks why and I say I just couldn’t try it.  She gives me a puzzled look and pushes the bowl towards me, saying, “try it.”  I lose my cool and yell at her, “How?!”

It takes a few seconds and I thought I was going to have to educate her on her fuckup.  Finally she looks around the table and says, “ohhhhhh… the spoon.”  And I sarcastically agree with her, “yeah.  The spoon.”  The meal is over.  She wants us gone and we want to be gone.  She brings us the check, takes my credit card and returns, quietly offering “have a nice evening.”  She gets a $2 tip on a $36 tab.

While she took the brunt of the anger, I know it wasn’t all her.  She messed up on timing, observance, and supplying plates and silverware, which is more than enough reason, but the cook messed up on cooking the steak and who knows who screwed up the soup.  But a huge blame also falls on the manager.  Whoever was managing that night had no idea this was going on.  And if a customer yells at a waitress and the manager doesn’t get involved ASAFP, there’s something wrong at a much greater level.


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