Chocolate and Brandy. Chocolate and Brandy.
Bullfrog Creek- Day Camping with J / 5 picture Panorama
“I’m sorry Birgy,” Josh says. “I will not play any more ‘Hotel California’ on your guitar.”
“That’s alright,” says I. (I’m lying.)
He switches over to Cold Play and I give him an approving sound. Until, that is, he starts speaking in a pseudo-British accent, and badly. He’s not even drinking, and so that makes it even weirder.
“How do you spell weird?” I ask nobody in particular.
My son, Brian (“Bob”, he says with a stern look), says, “Mom…it’s w-e-i-r-d…” adding a slight roll of the eyes.
There’s clearly a celabratory vibe in the air.
Josh switches over to “Rolling on the River” -careful to curl his R’s for words like “turning” and “burning”.
Something peculiar happened the other day.
My daughter, Brianna, took J and I out to Ihop. Naturally, I felt really awful because she was paying for it and adamant that we accept, so, we reluctantly obliged. Now I’m not one to go around making trouble with waiters- I swear it. But ask those that know me best and they’ll say otherwise. It’s not that I’m looking for it, it’s just that I appreciate attention to detail and good customer service.
The last time we were at Ihop, we were turned away. They said their machines were down and so we were unable to order, but were “more than welcome to have a seat anyway”. (Isn’t that nice.) Naturally, I said to my posse, “Let’s blow this joint.”
Upon our return, we settled in (weeks later) lusting over the idea that we would be served a hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows. I asked our server to bring us a round.
“Um, we’re out of hot chocolate,” she said.
“Hmm…,” says I. “Do you think you could bring me a cup of coffee on the house in that case?”
She laughed a nervous laugh, and realizing I was serious, gave me an even quicker laugh with a muffled “Um, I can ask…” (etc.)
I asked for water also to which I was given, “I always bring water,” abruptly.
Oh boy- here we go.
(Josh switches over to “System of a Down”.)
She rushed off saying, “It is what it is…” -my daughter agreeing.
“It is not “what it is” – what it is is unprofessional because they should have been on top of this! Regardless, they should compensate their customers when the person is inconvenienced twice in a row in an establishnment. It’s just “good business.”
I receive “the look” from the family.
The waitress had said that she would see what she could do before racing off. I doubted that highly.
When she returned, I wasn’t surprised that she said, “Um, about the free coffee…yeah, I’m just not able to do that.”
No doubt. She’s not. But I doubted that she’d even tried. And that’s what pissed me off. I figured she went into the back room, moved a few cups around, and came back with the news. No, I don’t have proof, but I could tell by her demeanor that she was not liking me. At all.
I asked to be excused and went to “the bathroom”.
(Actually, I went to the front desk to ask for a manager.)
The manager came out and was very polite and such. I explained the situation to him, mentioning that this was the second time we were put off by his establishment.
Now you may think at this point that I’m a complete nag. But no. It’s the principal of the matter- and I’m driven by principal and integrity in life. I just want people to give a damn.
He said that free coffee was no problem and absolutely he could understand what I meant.
THAT is my kind of service.
I went back to my table to find a pitcher of coffee sitting there. The waitress came to the table and I said, “By the way, the coffee IS on the house. I talked to your manager.”
She seemed slightly embarrassed and I was taken aback by her response.
“Well, in that case, ALL of the coffees are on the house.”
We had ordered some fancy coffees (cappucinos with cream, etc.) totalling about $11.
I was caught off guard by her grace and devotion. She totally didn’t have to do that and I was perplexed.
When we were preparing to go, I got my checkbook, and wrote out a personal post-dated check for $15. I wanted her to know that I thought she was absolutely awesome for what she did. Handing it to her I said,
“I want you to have this, for going above and beyond your job and doing this for us. We think you’re awesome.“
The look on her face said everything.
“Come here,” she said, grabbing me into a full bear hug, tears in her eyes.
She hugged my daughter too, and myself again. We smiled at each other and gave each other another hug before we left.
I was so humbled by this experience.
Life is funny.
It has a way of kicking your butt and making you realize that you’re not the big hotshot you think you are.
And thank God for that…