Delve (delve) wrote in bad_service,

I've Wished I Could Do This at My Job, But...

First of all, I want to say that the restaurant that my boyfriend and I ate at the other weekend is something of a hole in the wall. The decor probably hasn't been updated for thirty years, it's small, and pretty much everything on the menu is terrible for you. That's why we normally love it. It's sort of infamous in our city. We've even been there on anniversaries. So although we weren't expecting anything great, we were in the mood for some good, greasy food.

Add this place to my list of places where you go for the food, not the service. I'm really tired of getting shitty service everywhere I go. I'm pretty easy going when I go out to eat, because I'm a server, too, so I know what it's like.

Anyway, once we sat down, it took almost five minutes for our server to come over and ask what we wanted to drink. We ordered drinks and our food, since we'd been waiting a while and had already looked over the menu. After a few minutes of chatting, I realized we'd never gotten our drinks. It wasn't a big deal, we were in no hurry. Our server finally brought us our drinks (almost ten minutes later) and then stood talking to the two girls in the booth behind ours. We had ordered an appetizer and a salad to start with, and the minutes stretched on with no sign of either. The place can be slow sometimes, so again, it wasn't a big deal. Finally our server stopped talking to the girls and disappeared. He eventually came out of the kitchen with.. our entrees and my salad. My boyfriend asked about his appetizer, and our server said it would be out in a few minutes. We shrugged and started eating. I was about halfway through my meal when someone else brought out the appetizer, set it down, and then disappeared without a word. Our drinks were empty, and we started to look around, but no one was in sight. We figured our server would come check on us soon.

At about this time, a party of five got seated near us. Their server came out and started talking to them; I'll come back to them in a minute. My boyfriend and I finished our meal, still with no drink refills, and waited. He also wanted a box to take home leftovers. We were talking, and were very patiently passing the time, all the while looking around for our server. The woman waiting on the five top was also now out of sight, so we couldn't flag her down to ask her to get our server.

Finally I said I would take care of it, and went up front (at most places you pay your server, but at this place, he/she drops the check and then you pay up front). I intended to ask for the check and a box, but as soon as I said we needed our check, the woman at the register asked where we were sitting - and when I told her, she carelessly said, "Oh, he's gone. He left for the day, he went home."

Oh my GOD. He did what?!? I said, not rudely but sorta in amazement, "So how long would we have sat there before anyone came to tell us that?" and she just gaped at me and didn't answer. Someone else who was standing there told me that if I told them what we'd had, they could ring us up. I started to tell her, but then realized I had no idea what, exactly, my boyfriend had ordered. So I walked back to the dining room and told him, "Our server went home, so we have to go tell them what we had."

At this point, the woman who was waiting on the five top came up behind me. She had heard the exchange up front, and she didn't seem pleased that I had announced this information where other guests could hear me. But then she did something really bizarre: She walked up to her table and addressed them, saying, "If you guys just go up to the register and tell them what you had, they can ring you up." Yeah... to her own table. That she's been waiting on. Which I am obviously not a part of, and they obviously didn't have their server just leave, because, you know, that's HER table. They just stared up at her in confusion.

When we went up to pay, my boyfriend started to tell them what he'd had. He only had a water to drink, so he didn't mention that, but the woman at the register was somewhat sarcastic as she asked, "Oh, so you had nothing to drink?" He was taken aback and responded that he'd had a water. It's hard to convey in words, but her tone implied that he was leaving out the drink info in order to get a cheaper bill.

They could see we were upset, and I think at least one of the people standing up there was a manager (boyfriend thinks it's one of the owners, wtf?), but no one apologized or anything. I don't mind slow service or a late appetizer (our server also pretty much refused to engage with us anytime I tried to chat with him), but to LEAVE? I absolutely cannot believe it. If he had to leave, there's a number of things he could have done: he could have transferred us to another server, he could have dropped the check while asking if we needed anything else before he left, he could have told us that something came up... But nothing. He just fucking walked out on his customers. At my job, I can't leave until all my tables are gone and I've cleaned my section (and done a fuckton of other work), but hey, it's not like that everywhere. That's fine. But he fucking left.

That, combined with everything else, made it really bad service for us. And I love that place, but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to go back there. They don't seem to care.
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