I like eating out but I don’t enjoy it when the service is poor.  Yesterday on Facebook I mentioned an experience eating at a local restaurant near where I live.  Most people replied it’s a good stop and clearly affordable and I had a mixed experience.  Today I ventured out to another restaurant for my lunch and again chose a spot with an all you can eat salad bar.  Customers can also make their own soft shelled tacos and I like the taste of black beans, tomatoes and onions with a spot of sour cream.  There were clean plates stacked on the edges of the salad bar and I quickly discovered the plates all had pools of water.

I don’t know about you but I don’t like soaked tacos and I explained this to a “server”.  “Server” is what they’re called by management despite me serving myself.  When I asked for some napkins to dry a plate she rolled her eyes and stepped into a backroom.  She emerged with a wad of napkins and after wiping my plates I began making a taco.  Suddenly there was a manager close enough to dance with me and he asked if I had a problem with the dishes.  When I mentioned they were wet he responded by explaining the dishes are kept frozen but if I really wanted a change I could get a hot plate.  Hot and cold wasn’t the issue.  I wanted a dry plate.  Why is that so difficult to understand and why did my “server” report me as a malcontent?  These are experiences we all have and have had but over the last couple of decades I seem to find more and more of these moments.

It’s like those calls to cable companies, FIOS or Direct TV I’ve made the last several years where the person on the other end of the telephone has a series of rote responses and if my trouble isn’t on the list I’m told I don’t have a problem.  One fellow even suggested I was making things up when I told him my NHL Network had vanished and instead I was getting a duplicate of the NFL Channel.  Gosh, you’re right!  I telephoned and waited 40 minutes for a live human being just to prank Verizon.  Two weeks later a guy called me back and explained due to a foul-up I was getting the NFL Channel in two places and the NHL Network had been accidentally supplanted.  When I explained I had said the same thing a couple of weeks prior I got no apology.  And I missed the network’s coverage during the last two weeks of the NHL playoffs.

I admit I’m not a perfect human being.  I need to lose weight.  It’s why I rarely eat dessert, although.  Last October I wanted cake for my birthday but had no use for an entire sheet.  The deli at a local grocery sells personal cakes and I stopped there only to find the mini-cakes were not only iced but had jelly spread over the icing.  Jelly is fine with peanut better but doesn’t belong on a cake.  When I asked if there were any other options a woman moaned about my request and then cut a wedge off a cake behind the counter.  She boxed it and sent me on my way.  When I got home and looked at my dessert I discovered it was a two layer cake and jelly was stuffed between the layers.  I nearly threw it at a wall.  Did she know?  Or did she half-ass the job?  Does she believe she deserves 15 dollars an hour for her work?

Finding a good meal at a good price is a challenge. Courtesy, Bill Colley
Finding a good meal at a good price is a challenge. Courtesy, Bill Colley

Maybe it’s age.  Maybe we get more cantankerous as we grow older.  Or most likely we aren’t worried about speaking out.  I have an idea.  Let me pay what I believe the service is worth.  We’ll clear this up mightily fast.

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