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Don’t Grill Them Over The Chicken

, , , , , , | Working | September 27, 2021

While living in the DC Metro area, we have out-of-town visitors in to see the sights. We spend one day shopping and gawking in the Georgetown area. When lunchtime arrives, we find an out-of-the-way bistro that doesn’t have an excessive wait time and where the prices (as compared to many upscale Georgetown eateries) are not outrageous.

We all order drinks, appetizers, and full-sized meals. I select a grilled chicken breast. As anyone who has ever grilled chicken knows, the thickness of a chicken breast varies, so it is hard to get the main part fully cooked without the thin outer edge becoming overcooked.

I clean my plate but leave a small amount of the charred edge of the chicken.

Waitress: “Was the chicken not cooked to your liking?”

Me: “No, it was fine. I’d rather have the main part well cooked, even if the edge was overdone.”

Waitress: “I’m terribly sorry for that, sir. I’ll speak to the chef to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Me: “Please don’t. Everything was delicious, and I wouldn’t have expected anything different. It really wasn’t a problem.”

Less than two minutes later:

Manager: “I’m the restaurant manager, and I’d like to apologize for your meal not being served perfectly.”

Me: “Think nothing of it! Everything was excellent and all of us were completely satisfied with everything that we had. We have no complaints or concerns about anything.”

Manager: “You’re being too kind, sir. We strive to meet very high standards here, and we won’t accept anything less for any customer’s experience. I’ve removed your lunch charge from the bill, and I’d like to provide your entire party with dessert as a way to make amends for this problem.”

Me: “Honestly, that really isn’t necessary. Everything was wonderful and we’re all really happy that we found this place. There is no need for you to make adjustments for something that we didn’t see as a problem.”

Manager: “Thank you for your kindness. I hope that you’ll come back again sometime so we can prove that we can do things properly.”

When the check came, ALL of my charges — drinks, appetizer, and main meal — had been removed from the bill. That restaurant became our go-to location for visitors, special occasions, and even for business meals. I recommended it to my sales team for their use with customers. By the time I was transferred to a new location, I’m sure that their $100 fix to a non-existent problem had netted them over $10,000 from my business alone.

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Platinum Or Plat-dumb?

, , , , | Right | September 24, 2021

I have spent the last two years working in the kitchen of a local casino. I have been either cooking for the employees or doing the majority of the prep work for the casino buffet. I don’t deal with the general public.

Today, I clock in to find they want me to run the dessert counter on the buffet. Most of our cakes are premade and presliced, so aside from keeping the options for guests full, my other job is to plate the cakes. As I’m doing this, a blissfully clueless woman comes up to look at the desserts.

Guest: “Excuse me, what’s in the chocolate cake?”

I simply think she is looking for allergens and she also seems polite.

Me: “Flour, eggs, gluten, sugar, cocoa, milk…”

Guest: “No! No, no, what is in the chocolate cake?”

I reach over to grab the ingredient list and start to recite the list for her and politely as possible.

Guest: “No, no, no! How can you not know what is in your chocolate cake?!”

We stare at each other for a moment.

Guest: “So, what is in the chocolate cake?”

Me: *As emotionless as I can* “Chocolate and cake.”

Guest: “Manager, now!”

I leave the dessert table to find a manager; thankfully, one is close. I explain the situation. He is less than pleased with my last response but doesn’t say anything and goes straight to deal with the lady.

I get back to work but stay out of sight, and they have the same conversation, minus the last part. Then, she delivers this gem.

Guest: “I have Platinum on my card! I will not have anything less. Now, last chance, WHAT. IS. IN. THE. CHOCOLATE. CAKE?!”

There was a long moment of silence and curiosity got the better of me. I peeked around the corner to see my manager standing as though his brain had died. The customer finally gave up and walked away.

I never did find out what she wanted to find inside her cake. I’ve never seen Platinum as an edible.

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Serving Up Nothing But Smiles

, , , , | Right | September 20, 2021

I’m sitting in a small restaurant I frequent when a family of four walks in and sits down at a table. It’s a father, mother, and two girls between seven and ten years old. The younger of the girls looks rather grumpy.

After a moment, the waiter comes and asks for their drink order. When he asks the younger girl what she would like to drink, she just makes a face and sticks her tongue out at him. Her mother is just about to scold her, while her father apologizes and tries to explain that she has been grumpy all day, although they don’t really know why.

The waiter, however, pretty much ignores them, and without missing a beat…

Waiter: “I’m sorry, but we currently don’t have any bllll.” *Sticks out his tongue* “We also don’t have any gnnnn.” *Makes a pouting face* “And our brrrrr is out, too.” *Makes a cross-eyed face*

By then, the girl was actually giggling and her mood had completely turned around.

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What Isn’t On The Menu Tonight Is Tolerance For Your BS

, , , | Right | September 16, 2021

I work at a restaurant that, while not exclusively vegan, offers vegan versions of many of our dishes. We offer the vegan menu separately. A group of four comes in consisting of an older and a younger couple. I go to seat them and ask if they want vegan menus in addition to the standard ones.

Older Man: *Scoffs* “Of course not!”

Younger Woman: *Looking slightly annoyed* “I’d like one, please.”

The older man looks at her like she has three heads.

Older Man: “Why?”

Younger Woman: “Honestly, because you always make a big production at the very idea of a meal without any meat, and it’s getting really irritating. Plus, it’s my dinner; no one’s forcing you to eat it!”

The older man went quiet, the other members of the group didn’t seem to have any strong opinions, and they were happily seated with their respective menus.

When I passed by the table later, the younger woman was enjoying her clearly vegan meal. People order from our vegan menu for a lot of reasons, but it was the first time I’d seen spite as one of them.

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Use… Less… Words

, , , | Right | September 15, 2021

One summer, I work at a restaurant about thirty minutes outside of Atlantic City, a touristy city on the Jersey coast known for its casinos. I am the cashier and part of my job is answering the phone.

Me: “Hello, [Restaurant]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, I’m calling to see if you take reservations?”

Me: “We do, but only for parties of six or more.”

Caller: “Only six or more?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Caller: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Only parties of six or more.”

Caller: *Sighing* “Well, okay. Um… I’m in Atlantic City and I need directions to where you are.”

Me: “Sure! No problem. You’re going to want to get on the Atlantic City Expressway and go to Exit Sev—”

Caller: “Hold on, hold on, I’m writing this down…” *Softer* “You’re going to want to get on the Atlantic City Expressway and go to… where again?”

Me: “Exit seventeen. Then take a left off the exit and go—”

Caller: “Hold on. I said I was writing this down.” *Softer* “Then take a left off the exit and go… where?”

The directions continue and it’s painfully obvious she’s writing down every word I say instead of short directions like, “Exit seventeen, turn left, go five miles, etc.” A five-minute conversation stretches into ten minutes and then…

Caller: “Okay, I got it. Do you take reservations?”

Me: *Deadpan* “Only for parties of six or more.”

Caller: “Oh… oh… Okay, bye.”

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