marveen silverhand (marveen) wrote in bad_service,
marveen silverhand

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Stay away from Dockside Bistro & Wine Bar in Olympia.

Last night I had a date, whom I was meeting after work and also after the supper hour. We took a walk along the docks in Olympia, and decided on impulse to stop and have something at the wine bar.

Now, I admit that we were not dressed up--I was still in my sneakers & work clothes (very close to scrubs) with a flannel shirt & parka on top for warmth on a cold night's walk. He was wearing jeans, a Harley shirt and a Carhartt jacket with a battered camouflage baseball cap. But if they have a dress code, they should bloody well say so.

The place was not busy, perhaps half-full, so I was surprised when the hostess asked if we had reservations, but when we said we hadn't she quickly seated us. The waitress presented us with menus (2) and a wine list (one copy).

The prices were very high, so it was a good thing we hadn't planned on eating. I had been researching wines recently, though, so I perused the wine list carefully, thinking of perhaps ordering a glass of something I'd been reading about. When the waitress returned, we handed back the menus and said we'd just like something to drink.

She said, "I'm sorry, all we have is wine and beer."

Okay, strike number one, assuming that by "something to drink", we meant a mixed drink or strong liquor rather than, duh, wine or beer. I said that was okay and my date asked what types of beer they had.

She recited a fairly short list--my companion was disappointed that they had no Budweiser, but settled for an Olympia, and I impulsively decided to have a Fish Tail IPA.

She asked me for ID. Since I didn't have mine with me, she said she'd ask the owner.

...Now, yes, this is my fault for leaving my purse across the city. But holy hell, I'm thirty-seven, gray hairs and all. I wear a partial denture. All I can say is that the lighting in there must be flattering as all get out.

We had to flag her down to get the answer. (Strike #2) Since I was sans ID, she said she couldn't bring me my IPA. She suggested dessert instead. (Not at those prices.)

I asked if they had lemonade. No.

Growing a bit annoyed now, I asked for iced tea and she finally allowed as how she could supply THAT. She went off to fetch it and my date and I muttered about how odd it was that he wasn't carded, but I was. (He's in his forties, maybe the gray beard got him by.)

His Olympia was served with a frosted glass to pour into, and my iced tea came with a wedge of lemon and a little silver bowl of sugar cubes & sugar tongs. Very nice, except the waitress never spoke to us again.

Remember the place was half-empty. No "how are things?", no "have you decided to order anything?", no "refill on that?", nothing.

Eventually (after she'd carefully looked the other way walking by us about six times) we flagged down a busboy and asked for the check.

It came with two microscopic TicTac mints, which I eyed suspiciously (I react to some artificial sweeteners.) He fished out a ten and we waited for the change.

And waited. And waited some more.

The same busboy eventually consented to change the ten (we didn't have anything smaller, or we'd have left it and walked out). The bill was $4.34, the busboy returned a five as change.

So not only was the service barely worthy of the name, they also shortchanged us by sixty-six cents.

My date said "Let's just get the hell out of here" rather than stay and make a point of asking for ALL the change back--since it was his money, I went along with his call.

But it will be a LONG time before I darken their doorway again, no matter how I'm dressed or how much money I'm prepared to spend.
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