myhonorarylife (myhonorarylife) wrote in bad_service,

"Would you like a box?"

I have stopped by this community every now and then to avoid an overly boring day at work.  So I've finally decided to post, after some bad/wtf service last night.  As some background information:  I have worked as a waitress or in the food service industry for about 5 years, so when I go out to eat, I try to be extra friendly with our server, as I know how much the job can suck.  Last night my boyfriend and I went out for a nice dinner (at Macaroni Grill) to celebrate 4 years together.  We don't go there often (we are poor college kids), so it was a nice treat.  The evening started out alright, though our waitress seemed a little bit checked out.  It was towards the end of the meal where things started to go wrong.

When we arrived at the restaurant the hosts/hostess were all quite pleasant and we were seated promptly.  Our waitress, as mentioned, was a bit checked out, but seemingly competent and polite.  We ordered an appetizer (we had a coupon for a free one!) and two entrees, plus they have that delicious bread to start out with. 

The food all came out correctly and everything was great.  I had ordered a create-your-own pasta, but ate only half of it as I was quite full.  I set it to the side so that I wouldn't continue to pick at it while my boyfriend continued to eat.  He also left a sizable portion of his entree, but left it sitting in front of him as though he was still eating. 

The waitress came over to check on us.

Waitress:  Are you interested in having any dessert?

Me:  No thanks, I've already eaten too much.

Waitress:  Okay, are you ready for a box?

Me:  Yeah, that would be great.

The waitress leaves with my plate of food.  Which was normal, because the last time we were here, they box up your left overs for you.  We thought that is was weird that she didn't offer to box up my boyfriends left overs,  though he had been quiet during our exchange and perhaps she thought he was still eating.  Really though, it just means she will have to make an extra trip.  Inconvienent, yes.  End of the world, no. 

A few moments later the waitress returns with the check, only to realize that she forgot to apply the coupon for a free appetizer that we had.  So she leaves to correct that.  Comes back again, this time with a to-go container for my boyfriend and the check.

So I have to ask: Um...where is my to-go container with my leftovers?

Waitress, in an accusatory tone: You didn't want your food to-go.

Me, a little bit flabbergasted: Yes I did.  You asked if I wanted a box.  I said yes.  Then you took my plate of food.  What else could that have meant?

Waitress: --heavy sigh-- just a minute

She leaves and takes our check with our credit card.  My boyfriend and I are just completely shocked that she some how got out of our exchange that I didn't want to take my food, even though I was the one talking to her about getting a box...

Waitress, returns the check with our credit cards and the receipt to sign, "Krissy will be bringing you a side of pasta as soon as it is ready.  Thanks for joining us this evening, have a great night." 

I assume that she is quite annoyed with our table at this point and has delegated a different waitress the task of bringing me my food.  I am also wondering if I will be getting just pasta and sauce, or actually a small portion of what I actually ordered (with vegetables, etc).  Krissy turned out to be a manager, who was actually pleasant about the situation, and my pasta was a miniature version of my dinner.  So that worked out well.

We ended up leaving our server an okay tip (15% off of the original bill, before the price of the appetizer was removed).  I didn't want to leave a bad tip, as the problem was corrected.  But her attitude about the situation kept her from getting a good tip (at least 20%).  Seriously, all the server had to do was say "I am sorry about that.  I misunderstood what your were saying.  Let me go check with my manager about how we can best resolve this."  Then when she came back, just let me know that she is having a replacement made for me and that the manager will be bringing it by as soon as it is ready.  It is not that difficult to be polite while you work,  it is actually pretty much a requirement if you work as a server..

Tags: *restaurant, no one cares it's your first time, yay for unrelated details
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