So I went to a buffet restaurant, a regional chain named for a desert plant and a British prince, HA, around 2 p.m. today. The place is usually empty this time of day, but today were about fifteen people in front of me, and I soon found out why: the only open register was throwing a new tantrum every time it processed a debit and the woman working the register was apparently clueless. So everyone was happy to see another woman open the second register, take cash from one next person on line--and not happy to see her then walk away. Hmm...the line's getting longer, my stomach is matching the "grr" in my heart, and the line is absolutely stationary. I'm debating whether to leave but I'm fast-fooded out for the week and nothing else is available in the mall we're in. So...we wait. And wait. Babies are born, people get married, other people grow old and die. Another guy eventually shows up, takes another person at the other register, then, uh, walks away. I've never seen this type of hit-and-run cashiering, evah. Finally, around 2:25, I get up to the register where the guy has finally decided to stay and is taking cash purchases. Ola (yes, his name, like that girl in the Thriller video years ago) takes my money, focuses oddly on something on the screen, gives me my change and receipt. But then, before I can get away, he holds out his hand, then he motions for me to hand over receipt and money. "I'm getting ahead of myself," he says. "You haven't paid yet." WTF? "I JUST gave you a twenty," says I over the growling of my stomach. Never mind the fact that he'd opened the register drawer, put something in, taken something else out, and closed it again. "Oh!" he says with a little chuckle and still hands me the wrong receipt (one's marked customer copy, amazingly enough, and he still wasn't sure). The kicker? He was the manager on duty.
To top it all off, the waitress gave me her cute lil' speech, asked me about my drink, then walked off to bus tables, having forgotten about the drink THAT FAST.
It made me wonder what happens when the place really is busy. There are lots o' people (well, at least 3, counting the woman who kept trying to process the cards on a screwed-up machine) working there with apparent short-term memory deficits.