April 11th, 2009

Mexican Restaurant Experience

First time poster, ya da ya da ya da.

I've been fortunate that I haven't had a lot of bad experiences that really stick out, but this happened a couple of months ago, and just felt like sharing.

I was in Illinois for an audition at a small university. My father lives in the town where the school is, and after the audition, he, my older sister who also lives in the area, and I went to a newish Mexican Restaurant by his house (I had been there once before on a previous visit). I love Mexican food, but I'm a fairly picky eater, and don't usually go much beyond ordering Cheese Enchiladas or Tacos, with the occasional taco salad or nachos in restaurants.

We order, and I get my usual Cheese Enchiladas. A little while later, the waiter brings out our orders, and he brings me Chicken Enchiladas. Okay, no big deal. Mistakes happen. I'm usually pretty easy going about it, as long as I get what I actually ordered. When we informed him of the mistake he almost seemed to deny that it was wrong, which of course it was, my sister and father had heard what I said.

A little while later he brings me out another plate, plops the thing on the table (not exactly gently, either) and leaves.

On it are the three cheese enchiladas, covered in ranchera sauce and cheese, and the outer edges are burned and GLUED to the plate. It was nearly impossible to get the bottom part of the enchilada up off the plate, and the only part at all that was really edible was part of the middle enchilada that was in the middle of the plate.

My father said that that had happened before, and it was on purpose. They were just lucky that I wasn't paying and wasn't in charge of the tip... and they were the ones that got stuck trying to pry that off the plate.

I'm really going to miss the Mexican/ Tex Mex down here in Texas when I move back up there.

LOOK, there's an emergency, I'm busy staring into space.

I was at a drugstore earlier today and couldn't locate their stock of contact lens solution (no eyecare sign!). I was looking for an employee to ask, and there was a till at the back of the shop where a cashier was ringing out one customer, so I got in line.

Just as I got to the front of the queue, a young lady came up and quietly told the cashier that there was "a girl down that aisle, clearly shoplifting." She gestured towards an aisle the entire length of which the cashier happened to have a very clear view of from where she was standing, if she turned 90 degrees to her left.

So the cashier thanked the young lady, and the witness left without divulging any further information. I mean, there were at least three girls milling about at the alleged scene of the crime, and by the time the cashier had been alerted, it was really hard to tell which of them could have been the culprit. In the meantime the line had grown, but we'd all heard the problem, and so were waiting patiently.

And what did the cashier do next?

She stared blankly at us. Or somewhere roughly at eye-level in our direction. For about 15 very still, very quiet seconds. In writing it sounds like no time wasted out of my life, but that's not the point. Try sitting very still and not blinking for 15 real seconds when you're with someone else, they'll think you've entered some special zone or something.

Finally I thought she'd just given up. "Excuse me, I'm looking for contact lens solution?" I asked.

She looked at me like I had no sense whatsoever in that head of mine and huffily said, and I quote: "LOOK, it's over there, I'm busy, I have to deal with this first."

Then she left the counter. I happened to glance down the aisle and there was just an old guy there by that time, and she hadn't even pointed to where the damn bottles were. I eventually found them between the vitamins and the shampoo.