Here's what happened...
I went to a new Chinese restaurant. (Well, not really new, I just hadn't gone there before.)
I got off the bus at 2:10 pm. I cross the street, cross the parking lot, opened the doors and went inside. I pulled my headphones down around my neck, told the hostess I'd be by myself, she sat me down, asked what I wanted to drink and I ordered a Pepsi.
A moment later the waitress appeared with my soda. She asked if I'd be having one of the lunch specials, I thought to myself, 'Hey self, I like lunch and I like specials, so...' I said I would be. She asked if I would like eggdrop or hot & sour soup. I ordered hot & sour.
I pulled my headphones back on and started looking at the specials. The waitress returned with my soup, I pulled my headphones off and ordered the MaPo Dofu with steamed rice (not fried). She left.
I pulled my headphones back on and took a book out of my purse. I started to eat my soup with one hand and read my book. (David Drake FTW!)
About 5-ish minutes later, .the waitress returns with my entree. I pull off my headphones and set my book on my lap. She set down my plate and asked if I needed more soda. I said, "Yes please."
She left, I pulled my headphones back on and resumed reading and eating. A moment later she returned with the new soda and the little bill fold thing, she set them both on the table and left. I kept eating and reading.
I read. Read-read-read. (Ilna is so awesome.)
I ate. Nom-nom-nom. (Water chestnusts? ...interesting.)
I listened to my music. Hum-hum-hum. (Ne-Yo is a funny name.)
When I was done eating, I put my book in my purse and pulled out my wallet. I put my credit card and tip in the billfold and started looking around for the waitress. That when I noticed that I was the only person in the room.
"Hmmm...?" I thought. "No one's at the register. No one's at any of the other tables. No one's in the kitchen. (This restaurant has windows into the kitchen.) What do I do?"
Now if I'd had the cash I would have just left the money + tip and left. But I only had $5.00 cash and my bill was $11.00. So I started looking around some more. No one in the back dining room, no one answers when I called into the kitchen.
After about 2-3 minutes I'm seriously starting to get freaked out. ''Where is everyone? Is it the rapture? What to do?' Then I thought, 'Ah-ha! I'll call the restaurant and see what happens.' I started looking for a phone number.Not on the menu, not posted anywhere, I don't want to leave in case someone does show up. Ah, there on the chopstick sleeve.'
So I called the number and got the other restaurant, but they gave me the right phone number and I called that.
"Hello? XXX Chinese Restaurant."
"Hi, I'm at the register and need to pay. Could you come help me?"
"Oh, I almost forgot about you. I'll be right there."
And she came. The hostess came, rang me up, I asked where everyone had gone and she told me that they close from 3:00p to 5:00p. I check my watch and it was now 3:20p, I apologised and left. As I was leaving I checked the door, and there it was, "Open: Mon-Fri, 11:00p to 3:00p & 5:00p to 11:00p."
So, again, I entirely should have check they're hours before I went in. But... couldn't the waitress have said something? Or the hostress when she was seating me? Or anyone when they were flipping on the "Closed" sign? I know I was distracted, but I set my book down and took of my headphones whenever someone approached me. And even if I hadn't, they couldn't tap me on the shoulder to say they were closing?
I know some places don't allow employees to ask people to leave but, even if that were the case, why would they leave me completely alone? I told this story to my brother and he says I should have just left, "Free lunch, Roo."
What do you guys think? I'm willing to admit I'm partially at fault but really? WTF?