Okay, I’m going to edit this, now that another day has passed and I’ve gotten over my old grouchy self. It was just an epic bad day at a poorly managed corporate dining spot in a chain hotel. I wish I could be funny about it. Maybe another time or another SNAFU. What follows has been edited from the original rant.
It’s just as well I wasn’t very hungry Thursday at lunchtime. My lunchtime companions were fun, and I’m glad I joined them to honor Pete on his upcoming retirement.
But the restaurant? Epic FAIL.
Eight of us originally ordered, and two showed up a little later. Orders were right off the menu, nothing persnickety requested. The orders were delivered not all at once but in a definite straggle, and one of us who was sitting with a view of the kitchen saw his plate sitting under the hot lights for awhile before finally being brought to him. Eventually everyone had plates in front of them.
Except me. Our waiter approached me and said, she was so sorry but she hadn’t “entered” my order (the Embassy Suites is of course all computerized) and she needed to know what it was. A couple of minutes later she was back at my shoulder to say they were preparing my order now, and when I asked how long, she said “three minutes.” My friends offered to share their food with me, but I declined. After all, mine was due in three minutes, right? I got involved in the conversations, then finally looked at my watch again. Nearly 15 minutes had passed since the “three minutes” statement. No food. No wait person.
I looked over at the kitchen and saw, sitting under the hot lights on the pickup counter for completed orders, a burger plate. Our wait person was engrossed in some business at another table. Another restaurant employee who’d helped serve us walked back and forth in front of that burger plate as I watched. But didn’t touch it.
So, dear reader, I got up, walked over to the kitchen, picked up the burger plate and brought it back to the table myself.
It had sat on that counter under the warming lights so long that the slice of cheese on one side of the open faced burger? Was drying out at the edges.
I wish this was the end of the saga. You should be so lucky. Hell, we all should have been so lucky. There was another saga of confusion and delay about giving us our checks. Separate checks, which our server had offered us. It took maybe 20 minutes and as with the food there was an erratic distribution of checks to some of us, then a long wait for the rest.
During the check situation I told a manager who was working the computer with our server (ours wasn’t the only table with a check issue), about all the problems with my order. All he said was sorry, not even pausing in his work on the computer.
Yes: I was eventually handed a bill, in full, of $15.47 for my burger and iced tea. No comps, no discounts, just the damned bill.
Which I stood in another line to pay up at the register. I handed our waiter my bill and a twenty. She gave me back four ones.
Yes, dear reader, I even got shorted on the change. But by then I was so late getting out of there to get back downtown for meetings, I said not a word and just left.
I’m so glad I got to get together with that group – even if most of them were camera-shy – that in another day or two I will be laughing at the debacle that was my actual lunch.
It probably was the universe’s way of telling me I should have ordered a chicken caesar salad instead of a burger.
But if you’re ever in Denver? Remember that name. Diazza.
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