I eat out a lot. Sometimes I have great service, sometimes I have so-so service, sometimes I have bad service. But rarely do I have truly heinous, “I can’t believe you’ve kept this job more than ten minutes”, service.
That is, until this weekend.
Stop one was a new, upscale sushi place that a friend had tried and enjoyed. Five of us were dining, but two were running a few minutes behind, so the rest of us ordered an appetizer and a round of cocktails. I ordered a simple vodka and tonic, but then noticed that one of my table mates was choosing from a menu of unique martinis.
“Oh, wait a minute…” I said, reaching for the cocktail menu. But it was too late. Off she went, returning a few moments later with two martinis and something pretending to be my vodka tonic. I’d tried a sip of a friend’s Lemon Drop martini, so I first thought my taste buds were just “off”. But, a second taste told me that wasn’t it. It was vodka alright. But not until the other two friends arrived (several minutes, and several failed attempts at flagging down our waitress, later) did a more sophisticated pallet determine that my vodka had been mixed with club soda.
When she brought back the corrected drink we were ready to order. Two of us don’t like roe on our sushi. A few of the rolls mentioned that as an ingredient, and we both asked that it be left off of those rolls. When the food arrived, you guessed it–the other rolls were covered in orange fish eggs. Now, a smart server would realize that if we asked for the ones that mention it as an ingredient to be made sans-eggs, it stands to reason that we wouldn’t want it on the ones that don’t mention it. Or maybe she thought we were fine with eggs as long as it was a surprise.
Both of us sucked it up and just ate the shit. Then it came time for the bills to be split. Two couples and one single indicated who’s order should be placed on which bill. First try, she comes out with a bill for a threesome and two singles.
We sent her back to the adding machine, and she came out with bills for two couples and a single. When I saw my check, I knew something was off, I’d done a rough tally on my bejeweled abacus (with thanks to The Real Estalker) and knew what to expect, and was shocked to see a bill well over $100 dollars. In addition to what was expected, the bill had been topped off with EVERYONE’S cocktails and appetizers. Not willing to wait any longer, we settled the affair among ourselves.
The next day, a more casual dinner was had at a local place that serves up good pizza, sandwiches, and pasta. You order at the counter, give your name, and they call out for you when it’s ready. Again, five of us ordered up some grub. I should note that one in our group (ok, it was me) had made us eat dinner later than anticipated, a faux pas at any time–but even worse when a pregnant lady is in your party. If I’ve learned anything over the past few years of pregnant friends–when a lady with child is hungry or needs to pee, it means NOW. So we get there later than we planned, and are faced with a larger than usual crowd. We started ordering. My friend Laura’s order was taken by a cross eyed guy with a permanent smile.
“How you spell that?” he asked when she gave her name.
“Its Laura…” she said, thinking he had just misheard her.
“Yeah, how you spell that?” One of his coworkers even laughed at him. Stunned, Laura spelled it for him.
A few minutes later, the salad that came with my people was brought out. One of my friends had ordered the same thing, and was actually ahead of me in the line, but no salad came for him. I had almost finished mine when the cross eyed guy came back to deliver some more food. Thinking that perhaps, with his eye condition and all, he had SEEN two salads when he only brought one, I spoke up about the missing salad, but he was distracted and ran off before giving me an answer.
More food arrives without incident, the missing salad is finally accounted for…all is good. Except…
the pregnant lady’s food has NOT arrived. ( I might normally insert a photo of a pregnant woman here, but what I found when I did an image search shocked even me…so just picture an angry pregnant lady if you will). She’d been the last of us to order at the counter, so we gave a few moments benefit of the doubt. She had ordered a BLT, so prep time should not have been a concern. Laura, who had already established rapport with the counter staff, went to check on missing BLT.
“It will be right out” she reported. But ten more minutes passed. We wondered aloud what could possibly be holding up the BLT. My pregnant friend stormed off to the counter without any word to the rest of us. We watched as one hand hit the hip, and the other went up with a little index finger wagging. Some head movement followed and a petrified counter employee starting hitting buttons on the register. She came back to the table with her returned money in her hand, a waitress following a few seconds behind with the long lost BLT.
Is it any wonder I’ve eaten at home the past two nights?