Bad Service

We are fortunate enough to live in a locale where we can imbibe on many occasions ocean side. A nice little restaurant, a frosty adult beverage, and the ocean flowing out far and wide. Another good thing about places like this is the staff. They are usually awesome.

I did say usually, huh? I guess that means I have a story.

It was a nice day and, I’d have to assume because it was a little windy, the deck was empty. The wind didn’t diminish the heat from the sun, as a matter of fact, it made it easier to take.

We sit and, as I’ve stated, we’d be easy to find being the only people out there. Making it even easier is the fact the waiter was standing not twenty feet away leaning back on the railing facing where we are not seated.

But, for whatever reason, we were wearing out invisibility cloaks or he had hysterical blindness, he didn’t seem to be making a connection between us and the desire for service.

Finally, something roused him (okay, it was the bartender walking over and pointing us out) and he came to get our drink orders. Two drinks, nothing fancy or overly memory taxing. He seems to accept this information but lingers for a couple beats too long. I don’t know if we need to call the bartender over to command him to his next action but, finally, he turns and exits to, in practice, retrieve our drinks.

He then does something astounding.

He walks over to a waitress and begins a conversation. At first I assume (I say I because, by this time, my girlfriend was closing in on a homicidal rage) he has to impart some urgent information or needs some information on something but, no, he’s just chatting.

Finally something (I think it was my girlfriends murderous gaze) prompted him to action. He enters the building and disappears. We can’t see him for a good three minutes. We don’t even see him get the bartenders attention. We know that because, for these three minutes, she’s been leaning on the bar talking to someone.

I’m being told we are about to leave when another waitress comes over to our table and asks the greatest question of all time,

“Ah, what did you order?” I think she sees from my expression that I’d like some illumination. “He, ah, forgot what you ordered.”

To be honest, I’m surprised we didn’t leave right then. We can see another bar across the ocean. Hell, if we want to sit inside, there’s a bar across the street. We have options. But, for whatever reason, my girlfriend decided to give it one last shot.

And I’m sort of glad she did.

After a nominal amount of time he comes back with our drinks. He’s not full of apologies or even complimentary snacks, he puts down the drinks with a sort of a stammer and asks if we’d like the umbrella up. We decline his offer for two reasons.

1) I’m afraid a task of that dexterity would end in death.

2) It’s a little windy to even consider that option.

He wanders off and, here’s a shocker, beats feet directly to two women who enter the deck. I mean, he’s giving them the fancy French restaurant treatment. He’s wiped off the chairs, he’s wiped down the table, he’s all but guided there asses into the seats.

We allow ourselves to put the past behind us and enjoy our beverages, a beautiful day, and lovely vista. Oh, and I happened to catch how quickly he came back with their beverages. Have you ever turned on an electric light? Yeah, that quick.

He’s now hovering over them, their drinks AND a bowl of snacks residing on the table, when he decides to give them a little extra service and opens the umbrella. I know I don’t HAVE to tell you what happened next but I just can’t help myself.

The table went aloft like Dorothy’s Kansas farmhouse depositing beverages, snacks, condiments and other accouterments of dining establishments hither and yon. The women, luckily, avoid spillage and the bounding table. A couple employees race over to put a cap on the situation.

He comes toward us to retrieve a glass and looks up at me to which I state,

“Are you working here to get experience in the hopes of getting hired at McDonalds? Scale back your dreams, buddy, you’re not bringing the skills for that.”


6 responses to “Bad Service

  1. Where you at Chili’s in Long Beach CA? We had the same experience: the nicest day for the beginning of summer, we’re the ONLY ones on the patio and don’t get service for a good 15 min–bad service at that. Then when we had to walk in to pay our bill, the register’s computer says: “Remember tips for good service, customer must be acknowledged within 2 min of arriving,” Nope. “The waiter must bring out the food, not the CP (?),” Nope. “Always make sure drinks are attended to.” Well, considering we had to ask everytime we wanted a refill; Nope. Enjoyed your post.

  2. i love good customer service stories….

  3. At McDonalds you have to get your own drinks. This sounds like a member of a road crew or a city employee in training.

    • This is Common in the US apparently, when I was living in Canada (I’m Canadian) Taco Bell was the ONLY place–other than 7-11– that you got your own drink. That was cool! My husband (from Dallas) thinks it’s weird if you can’t get your own drink.

  4. You could go back this weekend. Help that ass waiter blow out to sea. He needs to join Dave Jones and work on the Titanic tables. He’d be faster and not have to serve water.

  5. and they wonder what’s killing retail….!

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