Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Quiet Diner Out...

MJ called me last evening and told me she would be getting off a little early and did I want to meet her at that little Italian restaurant that we'd found while Christmas shopping. I recall writing about it and how clean and reasonable it was for a Scottsdale location. The food was great for a lunch and we were interested in having dinner there last night. I jumped at the invitation and we agreed to meet there at 7 PM. I pulled up and was delighted to find a parking place right adjacent to the front door and closed my car door and went inside. There waiting in the vestibule was a gorgeous woman in a pin striped suit and conveniently it was MJ. She's been there about 10 minutes and had already given our name for the waiting list. She indicated we'd only have to wait a few more minutes.
We settled in for some serious people watching and MJ mentioned how she is revolted by the number of men that wear their baseball caps to a restaurant. MJ is from North Carolina and evidently the etiquette standards there are a lot more rigid than here.. I was more deterred by an 11 year old boy that insisted on jumping on the sofa next to me, causing me to levitate a little with each jump. Finally, in disgust, I started standing up and bouncing down on the vinyl sofa causing the kid to go airborne a couple of times, giving Mom the idea that her son was causing a disturbance. She apologized to me and we laughed it all off.
MJ was straining at the bit for a glass of wine, but I convinced her to wait until we were seated. Reluctantly she agreed. I got up and asked the hostess how much longer we'd have to wait for a table and the 18 year old girl assured me that some people had already paid and they were just waiting for them to drag their dead asses off, although she chose different words. Ten more minutes went by, when the mother of the rambunctious boy asked how long and she was given the exact same answer as me. Hmm....
Ten MORE minutes passed and finally our hostess invited us to be seated. We walked to the very end of the restaurant and were given our table and menus. Our waiter appeared immediately and asked if we were ready to order. We said no, we had just been seated, but we would like a diet Coke and a glass of water. He promptly brought it while MJ searched the wine list. HE NEVER CAME BACK. Two older gentlemen were seated next to us and MJ and I read our menus and made our selections. Now the waiter approached our area again and took the order from the 2 gentlemen, turned and started walking away. He brought them their drinks and then turned and exited again, while MJ and I looked on. He came back for a third time and serviced the two gentlemen again... It seemed like it all happened in slow motion, as the waiter, a youthful man, slight in stature turned once again and began his exit. I looked over at MJ who had commented now more then once at how poor the service was. That's when I watched the transformation take place. It started with her nostrils flaring and steam came rushing from them. Her face kind of contorted and two tiny horns erupted from her scalp and the whites of her eyes turned a deep yellow and her pupils turned cherry red. The squeal that came emitting from her mouth was not human-like at all, yet you could distinctly hear her say, "Excuse me, sir"........... Nothing, he ignored her. A little louder this time, "EXCUSE ME, SIR", again he ignored her and continued walking away. Slowly but certainly the transformation undid itself and MJ just sat there looking and feeling dejected. Very matter-of-factly she said to me, "Honey, would you mind waiting here while I go make a scene and complain to someone?" I replied, you may complain to whoever you want, but you may NOT make a scene. (I was already married to a woman that did that sort of thing and I was never going to be party to that again) She agreed to complain properly and left me. About 5 minutes later she returned and explained that the only person who was the least bit in charge was the other waitress and she didn't seem like she cared.
Evidently this woman passed along the word because promptly we were given bread and our drink order was taken by the woman. We ordered our entrees and were eating them when our missing waiter, approached me with a fresh diet Coke and dropped it rudely on the table and was gone before I could even look up and thank him. No one ever came back, except the lady to ask if everything were okay. We said it was and thanked her.
Now I was getting a little short on patience, because why should I have to go out for a nice meal and have to struggle to just get through it? Numb-nuts shows up and asks if we want dessert and I look him in the eye and asked if we've offended him in some fashion? He says, "I don't like being yelled at when I'm busy trying to serve people." I explained that we were new customers there and as a result of his poor attitude and service, we would never return and I'm pretty sure that's NOT what his employer had in mind when he hired him and some times, when you're in the service business, people just might raise their voices when you ignore them. He walked away as if he's won the disagreement, then turned around and said your meal is on me. I told him that we've already complained about his poor work and he said he knew, his mom told him..... MJ and I literally cracked up laughing when we realized the only person we'd found in a semi-management position to complain to was his Mommy!
The food sucked, there were no management on the premises. I had the chicken parmigiana and MJ had the pasta pomodora and the noodles were over-cooked. We won't be going back to Uncle Sal's again

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