Today is my birthday (relax; I don’t want anything..)
We planned to visit the local Sea-Life centre but by the time I’d managed to mobilise the cubs, it was too late. I decided that we should go for a bite to eat instead.
‘McUsual dad?’ my daughter asked. ‘Nope’ I replied, wondering if I go there more often than I think. I decided to try an american diner that I drive past every day on my way home from work.
My son was asleep almost as soon as I’d shut the car door; I guess he’s growing again.
In and seated by a very gregarious waiter who then spent an enormous amount of time and energy attempting to de-wobble our table. Fail.
‘DAD; IS HE A SERVANT?’
Her voice was still set to outdoor but I think he was out of earshot.
The place wasn’t overly busy but there seemed to be more managers than waiters. We eventually got served but when the food arrived, my daughter’s order was wrong. I politely refused and asked for our original request.
After a few minutes he came back ‘It’ll be about 5 minutes i’m afraid’
‘That’s fine; thank you’
After another few minutes he came back again;
‘You did say beefburger right?’
‘No; cheeseburger; please’
I hadn’t managed to convince my son of the correct etiquette of the 50% rule of waiting; he had shifted the figures to 33% and was already pushing hotdog into his face hole.
Her food arrived and we all tucked in. It was absolutely average. The cubs were already planning dessert. Then came the wait.
We waited; and waited; and waited but still the table remained uncleared, let alone a dessert enquiry. The two managers were now having some food at the bar, talking to a 3rd member of staff.
The cubs decided that we’d had enough and that they’d rather just go home now. As the smiling waiter came over I asked for the bill.
Then we waited; and waited…
I eventually got up and put my coat on; the cubs duly followed. The waiter took the hint and rang everything up. He handed me the card machine at the gratuity screen. I hit the no button and entered my PIN. He looked disappointed when I handed the terminal back to him.
Before we walked out, he let the cubs take a balloon each from the static display.
We walked back to the car and drove home; I was already planning a tripadvisor roasting. As I did so, I must have muttered my discontent aloud. My daughter asked what was wrong, so I regaled everything that wasn’t right about our meal. She thought carefully and replied:
Well he was a very smiley person and seemed like he was the only one doing any work. He also apologised for messing up my food and was very nice to give us a colouring sheet and balloons; you probably shouldn’t be too hard on him because he looked like he was trying.
That 10% now sits heavily in my pocket.