Is there anyone here that have pet peeves when you eat at a restaurant? While going out use to be an enjoyable experience, lately for us the experience has been anything but enjoyable. It begins as you enter the establishment. Generally, there is a hostess who greets you and asks how many are in your party. This however isn't always the case. Many times the hostess is A.W.O.L., from her work station. You wonder to yourself is she on break or shooting the breeze with a customer or a fellow worker. Finally she saunters up to you and says, "Sorry about the wait." This statement seems to be a requirement for anybody that works in a restaurant. If you can utter these famous four words, you get the job. Jan and I usually look at each other as if to say "Here we go again." The hostess takes our name even though we can see that only about half of the tables are occupied. Of course the restaurant is understaffed tonight. Three of the waitresses have called off sick. You just assume that's what the problem is anyway. You notice that the one waitress that did show up is running around like a chicken with her head cut-off. Once we do get a seat, the waitress passes us and says, "I'll be right with you." After we both memorize the menu, we still wait for the waitress to show up. She staggers up to our table as if she just ran a marathon race and says, "Sorry about the wait." Unbelievable! It's 7:30 pm for crying out loud. We order our food in hopes that it arrives before we fall asleep or our butts become numb. While we're waiting for our food we notice a young couple trying to reason with a crying/screaming toddler sitting in a high chair. How can you reason with a toddler? Our children always knew what the consequences were when they became unruly in a public place. A quick trip to the restroom always resulted in an instant attitude change for the youngster.
Yippee! Our food just arrived. It looks like we ordered, great. The waitress says, "Is there anything else I can get for you?" I respond, "I could use a refill on my water." The waitress nods and leaves us. Moments later she comes back to the table and says, "How's the food tasting tonight?" We reply in unison, "Great". I then remind her that she forgot my water. She leaves us and promptly returns to our table with a pitcher of water. Finally. I'm the type of person that cannot eat without a drink. Maybe the next time I should bring a canteen or my own bottled water.
Half way through the meal the waitress stops at our table and says, "I'll leave the check here for your convenience, but I will stop back to see how you are doing." Believe me, this is the last time you'll see your waitress. She is overworked, underpaid, and tired. Even though the service stunk you become compassionate for the waitress. You now have a full stomach and are finally contented. You feel like leaving less than a 15% tip or even nothing. Oh Hell--15% is okay with me. Maybe the next time we eat out it will be a more pleasant experience, but I won't count on it.