Uncle Sam And Auntie Sam Don’t Want The Same Thing

, , , | Working | April 20, 2018

(I’m female.)

Employee #1: “Name?”

Me: “Sam.”

(I see him write exactly “Sam” on my order ticket. After a while, “Samantha” is called. I ignore it. “Sam” is called a bit later. I walk up.)

Me: “Collecting my order for Sam, please.”

Employee #2: “Okay, here’s your [not my order].”

Me: “Oh, I ordered [my order].”

Male Customer: “[Not my order] is mine.”

Me: “Same name, sorry.”

(I start to walk away.)

Employee #2: “Wait, [my order] is under Samantha.”

(I noticed that on the order ticket, “antha,” was added, in different handwriting. I think they tried to prevent same-name confusion by assuming the female Sam would just respond to Samantha. I have never gone by that, nor is that my legal name.)

The Family That Eats Together Isn’t Seated Together

, , , , , | Working | April 17, 2018

(My kids and I are going out to eat with family friends. I have my two kids, and my friend and her husband have their two kids. We enter a restaurant and wait for someone to seat us.)

Host: “Have you been helped yet?” *he’s been there, talking to the only other host and hostess since before we walked in*

Me: “Not yet. There are seven of us: three adults, four kids.”

Host: *looking at his chart* “Um… Okay… Do you all have to sit together?”

Me: *thinking I didn’t hear him right* “Sorry, what?”

Host: “Do you all want to sit together?”

Me: “Uh, yeah.”

(The host says he’ll be back and will check. He comes back, doesn’t pick up any menus, and seats us at a table. When the server arrives she has to go get us menus, silverware, and everything.)

My Friend: *turns to me* “Next time we should say, ‘Yeah, great! We didn’t know you offered childcare here, too! Go ahead and put the four kids together; we adults will sit in the bar.’”

Pay It Forward Meets The Never-Ending Story

, , , , , , | Hopeless | April 13, 2018

It was a few days before Christmas and I was dining at a popular barbecue restaurant with my family. We are not rich or even well-to-do, but not struggling, and I remember when, not so long ago, eating out was an oddity because we could barely afford even basic necessities. In my wallet, I had leftover spending money from a trip, and on a whim (and because it makes me feel good to be able to share) I gave $100 to the cashier and told her to use it to pay for others’ meals as they came through the line and to use her discretion about who she helped.

A few days ago, I had occasion to eat again at that restaurant and, as I was about to leave, the same cashier arrived for her shift and recognized me as the person who had left the money. She asked my name and put it on a note to the staff for a free meal, even after I protested that I had no expectations of any recognition. She said it wasn’t so much because of the original deed but because the money had lasted almost two days; nearly everyone she offered to pay for ended up paying it forward to the next person, so it snowballed, and I was the catalyst that got it all rolling!

I am humbled, as I’d not even thought of the possibility of that happening. I guess there are quite a few people who just need a little nudge to remember to share. Thank you to all the good-hearted people who participated! I’ve paid for a meal or two on occasion, paid the difference when someone was short for their groceries, etc. All I desire is to help a few people have a good day, but it seems I helped a whole lot more than I expected!

Gluten-Free And Thought-Free

, , , , , | Working | April 9, 2018

(I’m a chef at a fairly nice restaurant that is known for offering many gluten-free options of bread, pasta, and flour. However, our lentil soup is made with flour that is not gluten-free, which we make clear to our servers. One server, who has been reminded of this multiple times, still doesn’t get it. All our entrees come with a side of soup or salad. So, an order comes back to the kitchen: gluten-free lobster pasta dish with a side cup of lentil soup.)

Me: “Hey, you know this soup isn’t gluten-free, right?”

Server: “Oh, yeah! Because of the lentils, right? I keep forgetting that lentils aren’t gluten-free.”

Me: “Uh, no. We use flour to thicken the soup. We’ve told you this multiple times.”

Server: “Wait. What’s gluten, again?”

Me: “Just go ask your table if they’re okay with soup that’s not gluten-free, or if they just want something else. We can do a lesson on gluten later.”

Server: “Okay, but I totally got this! Don’t worry; I’ll remember that lentils aren’t gluten-free in the future.”

(The customer ended up getting a different soup, which was actually gluten-free.)

No Shrimping Violet

, , , , , | Right | April 6, 2018

(A server returns a dish sent back by a customer, who says she knows the shrimp isn’t cooked because it is pink. I return the shrimp to a pan to sauté it until there is a slightly golden-brown edge to the already-cooked shrimp. I take it out to the customer myself.)

Me: “Here you are, ma’am. Sorry it wasn’t to your liking. I cooked it longer for you. But so you know, that shrimp was completely cooked through and will come out like that in the future.”

Customer: “Are you sure? I mean, when I cook shrimp it turns white.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m absolutely sure. I can make you something else if you prefer, but I can’t cook the shrimp any more than it is.”

Customer: “It’s just that I’ve never had cooked shrimp that was pink before.”

Me: “Oh, I’ve never had cooked shrimp that wasn’t pink.”

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