Thursday, November 04, 2010

Two part blog! It's like you're getting the range of human experience only in a limited way!

Part One: Where I Lament the Common Man

There was an election Tuesday, and, as usual, it didn’t matter that I voted, or that I cared, or that I hoped people would come to their ever-loving moderate senses for once in their lives (they won’t.) I’ve never missed an election, even when it was me holding a toddler, a baby, and facing down 3 elderly folks.

Another 2-6 years represented by people who won’t represent me, and, in fact, do their best to embarrass me at every possible moment. At least this wasn’t the 2004 election, when I cried for days and couldn’t get out of bed. Not a joke, although we can turn it into one: what do you get the girl who got another 4 years of a man she found the antithesis of all her values? An E.U. passport!

And this also wasn’t the election of 2008, when I wrote this post and half of my readers unsubscribed. You won’t unsubscribe, will you? I need you, even though most of you statistically voted differently than I did. I’ll still be civil, I just need to sniffle a little (you understand, right? Of course you understand! Barack Obama is still your President and statistically you’re sniffly about it!)

Part Two: Where I Turn on the Common Man

But all that misanthropic sorrow was yet to befall me when I left to meet Susie for her birthday dinner that night at a restaurant to which I’ve never been. I’d heard good things, so I was looking forward to the experience. The food was fine (my entree fine, the creme brulee curdled,) but the service was unbelievably bad.

I arrived late (VOTING) and snugged in next to Tiffany. She’d ordered two cheese plates for the table which had been consumed before I arrived. She flashed me a look and told me that she’d asked some questions about the Camembert that the menu advertised before ordering. The server said, “The what?”
“The Camembert. What can you tell me about it?”
“You mean the Brie?”
“No, it said the Camembert.”
“We don’t have that.”
“But, it says right here...”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Tiffany pointed at the menu.
That was when some smart girl at the table spoke up and said, “She’s talking about the Camem-BERT”
“Oh! The Camem-BERT!”

It didn’t get much better. Like when Tiffany tried to pay for herself and Susie because she had to leave early. 20 minutes after she gave the server her card, he returned with ALL the bills and hers still not run.

The bills were all mixed up, people charged for things others had ordered, people charged for things they never ordered--and everyone charged 1/8th and 1/8th for the two cheese plates that Tiffany ordered. This is in an empty restaurant, by the way.

“Well,” he said, “Sorry. You all moved around so much I don’t know who had what. I can’t run them again after I’ve already run them. So, if you could just mark on your bill what’s right and wrong and then I’ll run them through.” And then he left.

Yes. I had to break out a pen to cross out the 1/8th and 1/8th of cheese plates I was charged for, cheese plates I had not even arrived early enough to consume.

When one friend brought up that she was charged for a dessert that another had ordered, the server suggested that the original dessert-orderer simply pay my friend in cash later.

Tiffany appeared to be on the verge of homicide. I flagged down the server and explained (AND WROTE on the bill) that Tiffany should be charged for both cheese plates, Susie’s meal, and that he needed to close out her bill immediately. He started to explain something and I cut him off--”Please run it now. Thank you.”

He scurried off to run Tiffany’s card (a short 40 minutes after she first gave him the card.) Here’s a shot of her new and improved bill, in case you’re interested:

As a former server, I was embarrassed for him! And also annoyed by him!

Just like you are with President Obama!

Now, let's all hug.


the emily said...

Ah, nobody is represented anymore. Unless you're a lobbyist, that is.

Angie said...

People that defiantly refuse to do their job always annoy me. Some days I really wish there could be a thing as a negative tip, although living in Utah county, he probably has infrequent experience with a decent tip (assuming things haven't changed much since I last lived there 11 years ago).

Politics in Utah make me crazy and I don't even live there any more. Some of my relatives have soaked up the craziest of the crazy and we have fewer things that can safely be discussed at family gatherings. I wish you great temperance with which to deal with them all!

A Few Tacos Shy... said...

My heart hurts because crazy-head Mike Lee is now my representative.

noelle said...

This is exactly how I felt when I lived in San Francisco. I'll admit though that I didn't even bother voting there, because what was the point? Just another reason to admire you because you vote anyway.

Megling said...

People are often horrified when I don't leave a tip for abysmal service. "But but they don't make a working wage! They NEED those tips!" to which I respond: "They sure do and if I did my job as crappy as they just did I wouldn't get paid EITHER." And I was a server for 8 years. Ugh. No excuse.

Ah politics. As someone who apparently shares yours I too sighed heavily the other day. Because that's all that's left to do anymore about the whole mess. Sigh. Heavily.

jennie w. said...

I can't quit you.

La Yen said...

Once, in Utah, I had this exchange:
Me: "What do you recommend?"
Server: "The pay-la."
Me:" Where is that on the menu?"
Server: Right here. It's a Spanish rice and seafood dish."

And I feel you with the politics,
I really do. You are way lefter than I, and I would not be represented by your available candidates. And for the people who still moan and cry over President Obama, can you IMAGINE Bristol's mommy as #2 right now? Really?

~j. said...

Remind me to tell you about the time my brother was at a bookstore and asked a question about a book about the war in Vietnam.

acte gratuit said...

Really? People really unsubscribed? 'Cause I cried opposite of you, but it never would have occurred to me to unsubscribe. I disagree with almost everything Newsweek says, but I still love it's well written articulateness!

I'm just crying this election (all the way in Japan) because somehow Barbara Boxer managed to stay in office the one time in three decades she had a chance to get booted! Stinkin' Fiorina! What good is it being a billionaire if you can't even buy an election?!?!?!

Candice said...

I, too, am flabbergasted that people unsubscribed. That butt-hurt about Obama winning?

I posted a post similar to yours that day and got backlashes, not on my blog, but through my extended family. I mean, who could believe that someone would be happy that McCain wasn't elected that a "Muslim" was now in office?!

Politics drive me crazy and I hate the polarity of it all. Hence why I am glad for Stewart and Colbert's call to action. Hopefully it has helped things! (I wouldn't exactly know for sure, I've been out of the states for a few months.)

I'm proud of you for always voting. Hopefully things in the future won't be such a deadlock. Blah.

cat said...

Restaurants will split up appetizer bills like that? Even EIGHT ways? Wow... Oh the possibilities that have just been opened up to me! ;) ;) ;)

I cried while reading Utah's election results yesterday morning. Not one single person for whom I voted was elected. Not that I should have really been surprised, as my husband pointed out to me, but still... I somehow, naively, had hope that Utahns might actually research the candidates and issues for once, rather than just looking for that little (R) after each name...

Jenny said...

You have to tell me where you ate!

Also, I think if more people under they age of 60 voted in would help the cause. When I was in like I was surrounded by senior citizens who, by their speed at using a computer, voted straight party.

Sean and Steph said...

I heart you, and your politics, and your honesty.

TopHat said...

Thanks for reminding me to unfollow you, Carina! Gosh I'm so busy I forgot to do that a year ago. ;)

two hippos said...

I'm also disappointed with the election results, in my midwestern state and its neighbors. The one that kills me is that Wisconsonites voted Russ Feingold out of office. The one truly honest and decent senator. I didn't agree with every vote he cast, but he really strove to be a good guy looking out for the people of his state. A real loss.

Marianne & Clayton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marianne & Clayton said...

Sorry- I deleted my comment. Carina can still read it, but it was kind of smug, and I hate smug. I don't care enough about it all to offend anyone.

the emily has it right.

Anne-Marie said...

Oh my. If I "unsubscribed" from all of the people I love in my life that have differing views from me...phew! In my family alone!

Naomi said...

This is the one place that I vote a straight-party ticket and feel no guilt about it because once the vote is open to more than downtown SLC, we all know who will anyway.

dmarie said...

living in arizona is absolute torture...the politics are ridiculous. that said...incompetent service irks me. i used to wait tables, and it's physically demanding and sometimes busy, but being stupid isn't helpful.

AzĂșcar said...

dmarie-- that's what had me so annoyed at this fellow! I've waited tables and I know how hard it can be. But I never would have dreamed of telling a customer they were wrong. I would have gone to the kitchen or the manager and found out an answer rather than telling a customer I didn't know or telling them they were wrong. It's not hard to remember who has what, you just have to think about it--or write it down in a circle so you can remember what goes where. AND if you make a mistake, you fix it, rather than asking the customer to fix it for you.

Crazy pants!

Amy Jones said...

I like you.

No, really...I do.

fijiangirl said...

please tell me that he didn't get a tip. As much as i have sympathy for people who are servers, after that horrible service my tip would have been handwritten on his receipt "Do Better Next Time!"

As for the election... two words, mixed feelings!

Sell...Party Of 4 said...

why did that receipt make me giggle?

rich said...

Carina! I was so bummed to hear that people upon reading about your political preferences decided to unfollow you. Can I share a story I thought was just horribly wrong.

My brother was at a small meeting with Stake Leaders up at BYU-I. In the meeting, a high councilman said "I hope you all are voting this week. It's an important election." And then he started talking about "socialism" and the threat of homosexuality. Then my brother said something like, "I hope Mitt Romney runs in the next presidential race. I really liked him."

Then the high councilman said something that shocked my brother, "Mitt Romney should be EXCOMMUNICATED! And Harry Reid is the WORST! They should both be kicked out of the church! Now Glenn Beck, he knows what he's talking about"

So it has come to this. So many Mormons have started to dig in their heels and refuse to even tolerate, nay UNDERSTAND, other political views.

What is happening to our country?

lisa said...

Aaaahhhh...elections in Utah. Proving once more, that a vote from me in this state is the kiss of death for any candidate.

Natalia said...

I officially hate elections. Unfortunately, they are a necessary evil. I also can't stand it when people who profess their hatred of Harry Reid (I live in Nevada), yet are unable to articulate why they hate him and simply respond by saying, "Well, do you like Obama? Because Harry Reid does everything Obama says."

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, there are people living in other parts of the land who are represented by people that do not represent one shred of what they believe in. So even if you think the your reps don't represent you, there is someone in that whackadoodle congress that does.

Jennifer said...

Well, I wish you great temperance with which to deal with them all! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Have compassion on the poor server. Sounds like he's pretty new at his job.

AzĂșcar said...

Here's what you say: "Hi, I'm new here, so please bear with me." I know, I've been a server. People will give you latitude, you just need to give them a reason. If he really is new he needs comprehensive training that he didn't get, in which case the restaurant is at fault. But he didn't seem new, he was the lead server, and he was incompetent.

His attitude was the core problem: I can't be bothered to help you, I couldn't be bothered to learn the menu, I will ask you to do my job, and I won't ask for help when I need it. This is a problem in a service profession.

Conversely, he acted with a lack of compassion when he made Tiffany FORTY MINUTES LATE to get her children because he couldn't follow a simple request.

I think not telling you his name or the name of the restaurant is compassionate. I'm not out to get him, or the place, I'm telling you a story.

I didn't tell you that I looked around the restaurant, trying to figure out if he had more tables; if he'd been double or triple sat; if there's space in the restaurant that I can't see where he has other tables. That's what you do if you're given what appears to be bad service in a restaurant, you look around to see what else they're dealing with. I saw nothing.


Holly said...

Just send a note with Guille to give to Inez with the name of the restaurant in it. I'm so curious...