Ok, I know I shouldn't be complaining- if I were to really talk about getting my "fair" share in life, I would have exceeded my portion of "fair" by the time I reached 1 month. Born in the states to upper middle class parents, I got to marry my high school sweetheart, I went to a private college, I got the first job I interviewed for, I live in San Francisco. So I have no right to complain about what is fair and what is not.
But I will anyway...
Click on if you want to hear about it.
Felix and I happened to be at a new restaurant in the financial district that will remain unnamed. This place has probably been open for 2-3 months, so I was going to go review it- I thought they had adequate time to get all their duck livers in a row. Yet from the second we walked in the door, you just got a sense that this restaurant was having a really hard time that night. Maybe it was that a waiter or chef called in sick or maybe they ran out of an ingredient- but they were all acting like Charlie Trotter and Thomas Keller came in to review the joint.
We were sat down without menus and the staff seemed really apologetic when they learned of the fact. Then it took about 15 minutes for them to come back and take our order. A couple dishes came to the table that we didn't order, and the waiter left our table with a quizzical look on his face, and we waited 30 minutes in between our starters and main courses. The service was bad, and we felt bad about it because it seemed like everyone was trying so hard.
Now, the table (a four top) next to us was getting the same kind of service- but they decided to be extremely rude to the entire staff about their experience. What do I mean by rude? At one point a man from the table called "hey, water woman!" to the woman with the water who was about five feet away. All the surrounding tables heard him. I was embarrassed for him, but he seemed to be totally fine to act in this tacky manner. (I will note that all of the water glasses at this restaurant were really small and made a huge job for the woman with the water because our glasses were nearly always empty- if you ever start a restaurant- go for the big water glasses even though they are not cute). The table next to us continued on in this rude manner, sighing, frowning, moping as they had to wait for their food. And the wait staff picked up on this, so after the main courses their waiter talked about how a special complimentary dessert was coming out for them! They seemed mildly appeased. Out came some hot house-made donuts with different creme and jelly fillings. Wow- I could smell them from my table.
Now, we were getting the same awful, slow, panicky service (and so were the other tables around us), but instead of being total jerks about it, we tried to roll with the punches and ( you know where I'm going with this) we did not get these donuts. In fact, when I asked about the dessert choices, I wasn't even given these donuts as a menu choice. Not only would I not get them for free, I was so lowly
since I was being a nice customer that I couldn't even purchase them.
That is what I call unfair.
So children, what did we learn today?
We learned that being difficult and pout-y and rude will get you attention and special treatment, and being kind and understanding will get you nothing.
If I even start a restaurant (which I will never do because it's one of the hardest, biggest-probability-of-failing jobs ever) I think I'm going to start a tipping system for the customers. I mean tipping the customers not the staff. I know, it's revolutionary. Depending on how kind and courteous you were to the wait-staff, you would get either free courses, treatment, or money taken off your bill. How does that sound?