Gemma (xbrokendoll) wrote in bad_service,

Poor Form at Italian Restaurant

There's a nice little Italian place down the road from where I'm currently residing - Enzo's. Decent food at a good price. Service has usually been good. Until a group of us went out on Wednesday night.

Five of us wanted to go out for dinner - somewhere cheap, somewhere close. Enzo's fulfills those categories. We got there and there was a birthday party just finishing up, so there weren't many tables. We got seated near the door, which meant it was drafty, but as we didn't have a booking we just had to go with it. No big deal.

No qualms with the service before the big incident - it was a little spasmodic, but two people took FOREVER to decide what to eat so we grin and bear it. Then a couple is seated at a table just behind ours. All is well. The woman leaves the table to speak with the manager and I notice the man going into a trance-like state. My spidey-sense tingles but I have no idea what's about to happen. The woman comes back and he is now staring at a wall. Not ten seconds later, he's on the floor having an epileptic seizure. The staff just stop and stare. An older man jumps up from the table next to us, helps the woman position the man on the floor and asks the closest staff member for a pillow for his head. The girl ("girl" being no younger than 18) just stares open-mouthed. We've all jumped up and moved our tables back so he doesn't hit them, and one of the girls in the party offers her coat instead. The staff members are still just standing around. The request for a pillow is repeated three more times before they finally do something about it.

The pillow arrives a few minute later ... along with the first plate of our food. We stare at her for a few moments before asking if they'd mind holding the food until we know the man is going to be alright. We can't eat because a) that would be extremely rude and heartless, b) we were all more concerned with the man's health, and c) our tables were moved back against the wall anyway. The waitress asks if we want a hold on the other plates as well. "Err, YEAH, thanks." [There was probably a bit of c_s in there as well, as one of the party made a nasty comment about the staff as they were walking away].

So his seizure stops. A few minutes later the manager walked over with a phone in her hand - she was calling an ambulance. Good move. The rest of the restaurant moves on and the level of chatter rises again. We wait for a while and the man wakes up. His partner tries to keep him led down, except he's disorientated and whatnot, so he gets up. The older man jumps up again. The man is stumbling and can't stand (understandably) and looking for his shoes. He reaches out for a close object, thinking it might be his shoe, and it turned out to be the handbag of another patron. (luckily on the same table of the older man helping out, so she just scooped it up, no worries). One of the girls I was dinning with has apparently done quite a few first-aid courses and she jumps in to help. The man almost hit her, but thankfully the helper caught his arm in time. Whilst they're trying to get him to calm down and just lie back down, the manager comes over and asks the partner if she could "calm the man down and be quiet". o.O The woman looked like she was about to burst into tears - she was doing everything in her power to do that and it wasn't working.

Eventually, he led back down. The waitresses are walking back to the waiters station one at a time with a single menu in their hands - just so they can stop and stare for a few moments. Rudeness. The manager kept walking up and asking if she could do anything. Once the older man and his party left, she even sat down and spoke with the woman to keep her company, which was nice.

Finally the ambulance turned up. When the paramedics took him outside and we knew he would be okay, we moved to a free table (in case they wanted to clean up around the area (they didn't, by the bye)). We'd been waiting another ten minutes before someone came over and asked if we wanted our food now, and if we wanted more drinks. They remade our food, which was nice of them (considering it had been about 30 minutes since the incident). We did then have three waitresses come up to us in the space of five minutes and ask if we were alright for drinks - which wasn't due to us playing with rostered sections (no one seemed to have a specific section to look after).

Oh, and they gave us the wrong bill. When we told them it was wrong they snapped at us and said they gave us the right one. We offered to pay it instead of our own, because it was $50 less than what ours should be (a table of 2 instead of 5). She grumpily took it back. Nice scowl, love, the lines will look nice when you're older.

In summary: a man has an epileptic fit and staff stand around open-mouthed, then try to serve us food, and finally screw up the bill.

EDIT: My problem wasn't with staff not knowing what to do in the situation - obviously not everyone has first-aid training and it was a scary situation; it was with them bringing over the food with no regard for the man, obviously walking over with the sole purpose of staring, and the manager asking the woman to get her partner to "calm down and be quiet" when she was already trying her hardest.
Tags: *restaurant, it's only bad service if you die
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