We have a new restaurant in town. I won’t name names, but it is a well know chain that serves breakfast and the name is suggestive of the idea of what you would be doing if you picked up one leg and moved about a room and then you told someone that you did it, but spoke the sentence in the present tense. Ok, just think what a rabbit does.
We live in a small town. So a new restaurant is big news - and mobbed – whether it is good or not – for weeks – simply because it is new and pickings are slim in the world of food around here.
Today, finally my husband and I decided to try it for lunch (11:15 a.m.). We got right in, no waiting. One crisis averted (at least to my husband). As the hostess was taking us to our table a server was following us like a gnat. I mean I seriously felt like turning to her and shooing her away or least yelling – GIVE ME SOME SPACE WEIRDO! But I refrained, after all what if she was our server? As we sat down she moved away, so I kind of wish I HAD shooed her like I was doing in my mind since she wasn’t going to be serving us food, but I live by the rule that decorum must be maintained at all cost. So I was just kidding myself – I never would have done it - but it is fun to think about.
But then SHE (the gnat) sachets over to our table and asks what we would like to drink. Diet whatever and unsweet tea is what we tell her. “Do you want some juice,” she asks? No, diet whatever and unsweet tea please. “Well, 22% of my sales need to be juice, so do you want some juice?” NO.Thank.You. What the hell?
She goes off to get our drinks and returns a good 5-7 minutes later and states, “Sorry I took a day and half to get back to you, but I had a rude customer I had to deal with. Sheesh, there are a lot of those.” She did bring me a diet drink, but she brought my husband SWEET tea, which we found out after she left our table – to go to the bathroom. We caught her eye on her exit (don’t you just love being seated next to the bathroom while you eat?) and told her of the error. She proceeded to bring my husband another glass of tea and states she is sorry, but that this indeed is unsweet. He tastes it AND IT WAS SOURED! We call her back again to the table and inform her of the undrinkable drink and she says – “Thank you for telling us we would never know if customers didn’t tell us – AND – would you like some juice?” Now I am to the WTF stage and starting to understand why she may have those ‘rude’ customers.
She takes our order, goes to the visible cash register and rings it up – I assume. Then she goes into the bathroom.
We wait & wait & wait & wait & wait. While we were waiting she took someone else’s order and then went to the bathroom AGAIN. Either she is phobically clean or something is going on. Another server brought our food – minus my husband’s sausages and pancakes. We call her over again and she notices the missing flapjacks and goes to the kitchen to get them. She then exits the kitchen with his piping hot stack AND TAKES THEM TO ANOTHER TABLE. (Oh, did I tell you we were sitting right next to the kitchen entrance/exit as well as the bathroom? So very appetizing!) Now, she was going to the kitchen to get our table missing pancakes only moments before and upon her exit with those pancakes had to walk right behind my husband to take these pancakes to a different table. She looks positively shocked when they tell her that were not theirs! They inform her they are OURS - and point to us - and she finally brings them back to us. We informed her of the still missing sausages, so she went back to the kitchen, came out – with no sausage – and went – you guessed it – to the bathroom.
Finally the manager comes to our table and asks how things are. I tell him we are missing sausages! Our server overhears and yells from several tables away, “I TOLD THEM TWICE IN THE KITCHEN! IT ISN’T MY FAULT!” I am now back to WTF land.
We receive sausages pronto.
Our server then starts to talk to another server and goes BACK TO THE BATHROOM! I just can’t even make this stuff up.
This time however, when she came out, she has something clenched in her fist. She walked up to the other server and in sleight of hand tried to hand it to her without anyone seeing. BUT I SAW. It wasn’t creamer, it wasn’t Sweet N Low, it was a small plastic baggy. The kind of baggies I only know about because my husband watches so many cop shows! The kind of baggies drug dealers and drug users claim are not theirs when the cops find them in their pocket. As I watch, the other server surreptitiously took the item and clenched it in her hand as well and then sneekily (is that a word?) clasped her palm as she walked through the dining room. When she walked into the kitchen area – she slipped it in her pocket. Drug deal. I witnessed a drug deal – AT BREAKFAST – IN A RESTAURANT!
After our server dropped some silverware on the floor and still put it back in the basket of clean ones, talked over us to another server about how to cheat and get a break sooner and then talked to yet another one about what she was going to eat on break WHILE she was handing us the bill – it was time to get the hell out of there. Never to return.
I probably should have said something to the manager – but he was MIA.
Experiences like this are why I prefer to eat at home.