It was just an evening of shoddy service all around.
She came to our table quickly enough, but she must have assumed we wouldn’t be big spenders and therefore not worth her while.
She gave us our waters, but without straws. She ignored us when we tried to catch her eye to ask for Tabasco sauce and other condiments.
And she kept us waiting for more than 25 minutes for our orders, even though it wasn’t a busy night.
Finally she dropped the bill on our table and left us for the night.
I saw my husband grow more and more angry throughout the evening. This was his favorite restaurant to dine in – emphasis on the “was.”
My husband doesn’t usually display his emotions publicly, but if you know him well, you catch on. He grows more tight-lipped, and his voice drops several tones. He doesn’t speak very much, but when he does, the words are premeditated and forceful.
When we went to the counter to pay, he said to me, “I’ll get this.” He then approached the man behind the counter.
The man said politely, “Everything fine with your meal?”
“No,” my husband said.
The man looked crestfallen. “I’m sorry to hear that.” He still handed us the bill, though.
My husband took the receipt, scribbled the tip and signed. My eyes widened a little when I saw the tip amount. It had the same numerical value, dollar for dollar, as our meal.
The man must have noticed, too, because his attitude became even more respectful (if that were possible).
“Could you please tell our waiter,” my husband said, as he returned the receipt, “that we were not happy. Could she be more respectful when serving customers?”
The man nodded. “I’ll make sure to pass on the message.”
I felt a thrill of pride that evening with the way my husband handled the situation. He was polite, he was kind … and he made his point. I hope the waiter got a manners makeover that night.