Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse — the service at a particular establishment that shall remain nameless, I mean. ‘Cuz it’s already non-existent at times and we’re used to that.
Usually it’s nothing too serious, just stuff like wait to be seated. And wait. And wait some more. Give up waiting and go find ourselves a booth or two to sit in.
Or, actually be shown to a booth and wait for someone to take our order. And wait. And wait some more. Give up waiting and go find someone to take our order.
Or, wait for someone to come to the till so we can pay and slope off home to bed. And wait. And wait some more. And consider doing a runner, but decide we’re too honest. And besides, we’ll want to eat here next Thursday so it wouldn’t exactly be prudent coz they all, like, know what we look like. Give up waiting and go search for someone to open the till.
Then there’s the more serious stuff (coz this is the food they’re mucking up!) like walking up and down the place looking for someone to ask why half an order is missing. Or walking up and down looking for someone to take the banana split sans banana back and deliver one with an actual banana — that was before my time, but I’m told it’s true! And I WAS there for the whole banana-shake-with-a-real-banana order, which duly arrived with a whole banana floating in the glass…and had to be taken back to be blended so the intrepid orderer could actually drink the darn thing with a straw. So I tend to believe the missing banana in the banana split story.
Anyway, last Thursday I thought we’d reached a whole new level of ‘service….not!’ when our orders arrived and there was no cutlery in sight. We did ask for some. And were told it’d be coming. It didn’t. We had to find our own….in a hurry….like, before the meals went cold. And considering there were only four of us that night, ilo of the usual 8-10-12, was it too much to ask that the only shake ordered at our table actually arrived? Well, duh! Of course it was. All of which led me to believe that since there were more wait-staff on that particular night than we’d ever seen before, and the service was kinda the worst ever, that we’d reached the nadir: it couldn’t get much rock-bottom worse than this, could it?
Oh how terribly wrong it was of me to make that assumption.
I mean, I still haven’t quite gotten over the order entree (or main!) and dessert and have your dessert come out first thing. What the heck? Is it because the desserts are all pre-made so they whip ’em out immediately and cross it off the order and go, “Phew, one down!” Quite distressing to have to eat your choccie cake before your chicken satay, or worse, watch the icecream melting while you wait for your entree and main coz eating dessert first is just like, sooooo wrong!
But to last night’s debacle. Coz I know you’re all eagerly waiting to read about it….right?
I was a bit late getting there but the duty manager waved me on through with a “They’re sitting down the back”. Oh goodie. Timed it right coz there’ll be no waiting and it’ll be straight to ordering – yay! Wrong. Instead it was “Hi, Maree. Can you go find us a waitress to take our order?” I tried. They saw me coming and vanished into thin air.
So I had a brainwave. Which was pretty impressive since I’d been dancing since 7pm and it was 11pm and I reeeeeally needed food coz the old blood sugar level was tanking and I wasn’t exactly at my best. “Hey, how ’bout we take our own order and I’ll go give it to the duty manager dude?” H played waitress coz she had the pad. She took our orders very professionally….even if she did write “Med. Rear steak” ilo of rare. But hey, that was just fodder for much hilarity later on, so it was all good. So I toddled up and gave our list to the duty manager, coz the wait-staff were still playing the now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t game. He went through our order and was mucho impressed with our in-house knowlege of their ordering ‘system’. He was very apologetic – he always is coz he’s a nice, conscientious guy trying to work with frankly, some real turkeys! And he took it upon himself to deliver our drinks and our cutlery, too. Things were looking up!
Okay, so what’s the big flaming deal? I can hear you whinging. You took your own orders. So freaking what? The food came, didn’t it? Big freaking deal!
Ummmm. Yeah. The food came. Many, many plates of it, in fact. And only made it to the servery. Where we could see it sitting there in a forlorn little row, getting colder and colder. And colder. We knew it was ours coz we’d counted up the plates with steaks and there were plainly two plates of satays and one fajita. Our food! Woe is us! (Mass whimpers of starvation ensue….)
Why did it sit there instead of being brought to our tables? We figured it was coz no wait-staff had actually been to our tables all night, so no wait-staff were allocated to bring us our food. And of course, it was far too much to expect one of them to use their brains or do something exciting like serve us our damn food even if we’re not one of their allocated tables! My theory is the only decent waitress had left for the night — we said goodbye as she left, actually — so the head honcho waitress was punishing us for sitting down the back. She doesn’t like it when we sit down back coz she has further to walk to take our orders and clean up after us. This, I know to be true because she’s told us so before. And she glares at us when we sit there. And she’s featured in a post before — the one where the falling light nearly took one of us out. (Refer The Twilight Zone post….)
Anyway, since it had been my not-so-freaking-brilliant idea to take our own orders, I sought out the poor overworked duty manager and pointed out all our food was still sitting at the servery. Getting colder by the minute. He was most unhappy and set about stacking our meals on trays to bring to us immediately. I offered to help him but evidently this would have been a low point even for this restaurant, having a patron actually bring the food to the table. Go figure.
So we got our meals. And they were lukewarm and kinda okay. Most of us were so freaking grateful to actually be fed we were beyond caring. Except for G, who was unaffected by the whole drama coz he’d ordered dessert and been given it twenty minutes ago. And anyway, it was supposed to be cold!
And the grand finale? Our favourite glaring waitress at the till to take our payments. She didn’t even respond to a cheery greeting from one of our more intrepid crew. Bah humbug!
Can’t wait to come back from holiday and see if there’s been any improvements to the service/food at this particular establishment. Mmmmm. Don’t know if even Santa could work that miracle.