What a day!  

outdoorsman3174 43M
94 posts
3/4/2006 10:19 pm

Last Read:
3/7/2006 7:18 am

What a day!

Holy crap what a day....

Started out having to reintall the OS on my desktop system.... Microsoft is getting better with their operating systems. I used to kill a PC with 95 or 98 about once every year. I Finally just killed my Windows 2000 box, and It took 4 years! I actually managed to save it the day before my new OS arrived, but I figured that since I had already ordered XP and backed up all my important stuff, I might as well upgrade.

I also have some In-laws visiting this weekend, so I spend the day running around with them and seeing the sights.

Tonight we went out to a little greek restaurant here in town for dinner. The wife and I had lunch there a few weeks back, and thought her mom and sister might like it.

Well, it turned out to be the worst dining experience any of us have ever had. First of all, we were there with our toddler. The place was not at all crowded. There were plenty of open tables, but we had to wait 10 minutes just to be seated. Toddlers don't like to wait, but ours was behaving, so she did. Once we were seated, the hostess took our drink orders and we started looking at our menu's.

A few minutes later the hostess showed up with our drinks, and we were still trying to figure out what we wanted. She said our waitress would be with us shortly and left. We spent a few more minutes looking at the menues and decided what we would have, and then settled in to conversation. We're all pretty chatty, so we started talkingand after a few minutes we were wondering who are waitress was.

We wanted to get appetizer to feed the munchkin because we know she was hungry, and didn't want her to throw a fit. We finally managed to flag down a waitress and asked if she was our waitress. She wasn't, but we had a 1 in 3 chance. She pointed our waitress out to us and was on her way. Now keep in mind, there were only 7 or 8 tables seated in the whole restaurant. There was 1 hostess, 3 waiting tables, and 1 bartender. Not a busy night, even if it was a Saturday night. Our waitress managed to walk by 2 or 3 times while we were trying to get her attention without even noticing us. Finally we managed to get her attention. She didn't introduce herself, she just asked "Whatcha want?"

We ordered a app, another round of drinks and our entrees. By this time the little one was getting a little fed up, and so we all spent some time trying to entertain her. We gave her a pen to write on the placemat, A very tastefull paper map of Greece, and just spent the next twenty minutes or so chatting and keeping her entertained. By this time, we're starting to wonder where the waitress is. We know she only has 1 other table, and haven't seen anyone else seated anywhere near us. Finally our waitress walks by again without even looking at us and we flag her down.

We ask about our food, and reminder her of our second round of drinks. Well, needless to say, she forgot the next round of drinks, and says she'll go get them. A few more minutes go by and we end up flagging down the hostess to get our drinks for us. She comes back a little while later with the 2 waters we ordered, but not the other drinks.

By this time, our conversation has turned to how poor the service is, and our toddler entertainment is now a competition to see who is the Master of "Paper Placemat oragami". For the most part the place is still empty, and our comments are still in a low voice and only moderatly sarcastic. We are at a crossroads. We've come this far, do we hold out for some food, or do we get out of here and try to find another place to eat?

Low and behold, our waitresses only other table is leaving, and she now has the capacity to pay some attention to us. She shows up with the appetizer (Still forgot the drinks) and at least we can feed the little one something. I excuse myself from the table to use the restroom, and when I get up front, there is a line of people going out the door waiting to be seated!

What do I do? Do I warn them of their impending starvation, or do I go back to the table and inform my companions of the line and at least give us something to talk about.

I decide to head back to the table, and at least get some of the appetizer before it's gone. Well, I was able to have a small morstle, and let everyone know that the place might fill up soon. We decided sit back and watch what happened. The waitress finally showed up with the rest of the drinks (After a third reminder), and the hostess started seating people. Pretty soon, there were several tables seated all around us with menues and at least a couple of glasses of water. We had finished the appetizer, but at least we had our drinks. The munchkin was in good spirits, and we were back to the question... Do we stick this out, or do we go get a couple of bottles of wine and head home to cook ourselves a proper dinner. It's a difficult decision. We have already decided not to order the bottle of wine we were planning on. We look at the clock, and...

Holy sh*t, we've been here almost 2 hours!

We see our waitress walking back from the front of the restaurant, and ask here where our food is. Now, mind you she's coming from the front, and the kitchen is in the back.

"Oh, 2 of the plates are up, I'm just waiting on the other 2. It should only be a couple more minutes."

My first thought "How long have they been up?" second "What kind of waitress tells the customer that?"

At this point we notice that the Chef (Possibly the owner too, because he doesn't look happy) is starting to take notice of how poor the service is. Our waitress shows up with our entrees and we are happy as hell that we finally got fed! We reminder her that we also ordered soup and salad, and she shows up seconds later with those.

In the space of 2 minutes we went from no food on our table to more food than we can fit on our table. She has yet to clear a single empty plate. Before she can leave, we stack all of the empty plates in her hands and send her on her way.

As we are eating, I start to look around at the people who are sitting around us. I notice there are a lot less of them. There are a lot of tables who just got up and left.

I also notice that the Chef is paying much closer attention to the dining room, and is having a few words with the wait staff. He is dressed in a traditional Chef's jacket, and has a thick accent. He even goes so far as to personally deliver some food to his waiting patrons. At least there is somebody here who takes pride in their work!

We finish our meal. The food is excellent!, and for the first time ever, leave without tipping our waitress.

Now, I've worked in several restaurants over the years. I usually tip in the neighborhood of 20% to 25% for good service, and never lower than 15%

I've seen patrons spend in excess of $20,000 on a single meal. (New year eve, lots of really good wine)

I know exactly how difficult the restaurant business is. I kinda feel guilty about not tipping, but then again, our waitress was not cut out for the business.

With that said,

Have you ever not tipped a waiter or waitress? Walked out of a restaurant? What's your worst restaurnt experience?

Since I'm still looking for work, I might stop by and drop a resume off with the Chef tomorrow. I figure in the time I was there, I could have made at least $100 on tips if I were serving instead of eating.

2TimesFirst 59M
117 posts
3/4/2006 11:16 pm

I think you should always tip somthing. If the service was bad, tip low. You can never really know whats going on behind the scenes.

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