Juno (juno_chan) wrote in bad_service,

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Bad service at Friendly's--shocking, right?

I was meeting three friends at Friendly's (for simplicity's sake, we'll call them J, M, and B). M and B were both running late, which wasn't a problem because they had already eaten dinner and just wanted dessert, so J and I had a seat and ordered our food but let our waitress know that two more would be joining us for dessert.

Our drinks came very quickly, which was awesome, but the waitress seemed veeeeeery eager to take our order, coming over about once a minute and interrupting our conversation (I hadn't seen J for some time), but we figure, hey, a waitress who's going to take care of us, cool! So with her hovering, we decide what we want.

She comes over several times before our meal comes and asks if our friends are here yet or on their way. She HOVERS over the table when J gets a call from them, listening in on her conversation. "So, are they coming soon?" We're baffled why she cares so much as to when our friends get here. She continues to demand this of us everytime she passes our table until finally, yes, M and B arrive.

She appears as soon as they come in, before they've sat down. "Are you guys ready to order your dessert?" (Note: J and I are still eating our dinner at this point.) Um, no, we're not. She seems put off by this, but we brush it off--until she comes back as soon as she sees the dessert menu open. "Ready NOW?" Even though we aren't, we feel bad sending her away again so we quickly make a selection. She brings our desserts and the check, and as soon as we've started eating the ice cream, she reappears and asks if we've had a chance to look at the check yet. We say no, she says, "Okay, well then I'll just give you a minute to do that." So, we STOP eating, and work on trying to put the check together. As soon as she sees the money, she comes over. "Want me to take it now?" We say no, not yet, we're still splitting it between us. "Okay, do you want me to wait here or are you going to be like, another minute or so?" ...???

We tell her she can come back for it, and as soon as we close the book, she does, and whisks it away. At this point, I'm pretty annoyed--I'm tired of feeling like we're being shoved out the door! However, I rationalize that maybe this Friendly's closes early, and maybe WE'RE being sucky and holding her up when the restaurant is technically closed. I look at the clock--it's ten after 9. We've been here since 8, so nothing outrageous. But hmmm. Maybe they stop seating at 9!

So, I ask her when she comes back. "Are you guys closing soon?" She gives me a confused look, says "oh, no, we don't close until 11!" So, I come clean. "Okay. Just because I feel like you're hurrying us along."

"Oh, I always take the check really fast because it's safer than leaving the money on the table."

"No, I mean I've felt like that all meal..."

She apologizes, but "I have to leave by 10."

At this, I'm so confused/struck that all I can say is "Um. Okay." And that's the end of that exchange. But upon leaving, I got mad. I work in a restaurant, and that would have never flown there--why is when YOU have to leave MY problem? There were a ton of other solutions rather than making us feel rushed/unwanted/uncomfortable for the entire meal, such as asking another server to take our table, not working that particular shift (switching with another server or requesting off/calling out). Or, for example, asking me and J to pay our meal bill separately from dessert, and have another waitress take our dessert order. I would have been completely fine with that. I'm really flexible.

I hadn't seen J, B, or M for quite some time. We all go to different colleges. And I didn't even really get a chance to talk to them, because the waitress was SO worried about getting us out the door before 10 that we didn't get a moment to ourselves.
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