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A Bad Server Can Ruin Your Day

Have you ever noticed that lousy restaurant service can really ruin your day? I don’t think people see the big picture sometimes. People dining at noon on weekdays are often on their lunch breaks. They have a finite amount of time to devote toward their mid-day meal.

My mom’s birthday is this weekend. I took her out to lunch today in honor of her birthday. Yes, she was on her lunch break, which is one hour. We chose an Italian restaurant that’s usually not too busy and isn’t far from her place of employment. We were seated right away and our server brought our bread and took our drink orders in a timely fashion. After that, the experience nose-dived.

We placed our orders from the lunch menu. Lunch menu. You would think that items on the lunch menu are quick, so people can have lunch and get back to work. I ordered an appetizer of stuffed mushrooms because I wanted our lunch to be special.

The appetizer arrived as one would expect. Unfortunately, Mom didn’t like the mushrooms very much. She ate two of them because she was really hungry, but planned to enjoy her baked cheese tortellini with gusto. I ate three mushrooms because I only ordered half a sandwich.

Time passed. Our server didn’t offer us more bread, refill our drinks, or bring me my salad. After a while, my mom got this panicked look on her face. She said, “I wonder where our food is. My lunch is over.”

I looked at my watch, and we had been at the restaurant for nearly an hour. Her lunch break was, indeed, over. I flagged our server down and told her we need our food to go if it was nearly ready and to forget it if it would be a while longer. She apologized and walked back to the kitchen. She emerged roughly two minutes later with our food all boxed up and a bill for $35.47.

I paid our bill, and Mom was becoming more livid by the moment. I grabbed our food and rushed her back to work. She was late and still hungry. I don’t know when she finally got to eat her cheese tortellini, but I’m sure it wasn’t as soon as she got back.

Our food had obviously been in the kitchen waiting for our server to bring it to us, or she wouldn’t have been able to box it up so quickly. While my mom was angry, I was irked. However, the more I thought about the situation, the quicker I left irked territory and headed toward furious town.

Our negligent server ruined my mom’s birthday lunch, hurt her feelings, and managed to lose my business. Mom was forced to return to work hungry and grab a bite here and there when she could find the time. To add insult to injury, when I finally got back home and sat down to eat my lunch, I discovered my sandwich only had turkey on it. It was supposed to be a chicken club.

I try not to let other people get to me. Today, one bad server in a fancy Italian restaurant ruined my mom’s birthday lunch. I’m open-minded and normally magnanimous. That being said, I will never eat in that restaurant again.

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