Tuesday, November 08, 2005

You Be the Judge

Let me set the scene:

Mexican restaurant known for good food and service, two people dining together (surrounded by a host of others, as this place is nearly always full). I first choose a soft drink for my beverage and when that is gone, I request water. They do not remove the first glass.

Firstly, the waiter comes by the table and asks if I want a refill on the Dr. Pepper. I reply, with a smile........ no, thanks, I'm drinking water now.

Secondly, the bus boy comes by the table and asks if I want a refill on the soda. I reply no, thanks...... I'm drinking water now.

Thirdly: another waiter comes by the table and asks if I want another soft drink. I reply no, thank you.....I only want water now.

Fourthly: the Maitre d' asks if I want a refill. I reply, no gracias, pero agua frio, por favor....with a smile. (my Espanol is very limited)

Fifthly: Our waiter asks once again if I need a new soda. I start to answer no (still smiling) and my dinner companion loses composure. This person tells the waiter, in a rather loud voice, "No, she doesn't want any more soda - now quit asking her if she wants it and take the glass away.

Since none of those servers knew that anyone else had asked about the drink, I was astounded at this person's impatience and anger. I told this person that I would think he/she would be happy that the restaurant personnel (even those who had no responsibility for our table) were aware enough to notice I might need a beverage, and that he/she should have kept his/her mouth shut - since it was my drink and my problem.

I realize if they had taken the empty glass away, there would have been no question about it. Do you agree that my companion should have kept quiet? What would you have done or said? Would you have turned beet red, as I no doubt did?

Because someone is sure to ask: I ate 2 shredded chicken chimichangas, with refried beans and a wonderful white melted cheese, and a lettuce and tomato garnish. I do not eat sour cream, and guacamole does not agree with me, so I left those off. In spite of everything else that happened, I did enjoy the meal. It is one of my favorites.


used*to*be*me* said...

Hmm. I think your companion should have kept quiet. You are a big girl and handled the situation just fine. Some peoples kids!

PS - I'm here from Michele's (I think)

Romani Heart said...

After my three year stint as a waitress/hostess, I probably would have left an extra large tip. I'm a stickler for good service.

srp said...

I'd rather they keep asking about my drink than to see my empty glass and never ask. I've had that happen too. It is hard to enjoy the meal when you are thirsty.

Carmi said...

Methinks your companion was a little too Type A. I'm like you: just let it be. You're absolutely right that, despite the failure to remove the glass, it was comforting that so many staff took the time to ask you about your drink.

You saw the glass as half full; your companion as half empty. There are, alas, more important things to get worked up over, and I think you handled it as well as anyone could have. Good show!

Angie said...

It is a worse offense to never be asked about your dirnk refill.

I always order a beef chimichanga and I love them with all the works -the sour cream and guac slathered on deep. There is a little mom and pop type place here that puts every other mexican restaurant to shame! Sometimes I just want their beans and rice. Nothing else. It is that good.

Inanna said...

I would have been so appalled I would have crawled under the table with my glass. How utterly rude. I've had that happen many times and I've always laughed when the 6th person asks. Also, the wait staff may have been told not to remove any glasses in case you would indeed change your mind and want some more pop or soda or to pop your dinner companion.

Peter said...

Asked and answered Judy, about the refills and your query too.

Paul said...

Having been in the restaurant business for a number of years I would have looked you right in the eye and said, "Ma'am, there are no such words as firstly, secondly, thirdly, etc.ly. You have faux pased by turning an ordinal number into an adverb. So first, may I bring you mas agua fria, mija? And second, may I suggest the chicken chimichangas... Or is it a cardinal number?"

(I have a post ready to post about this very subject.)

dena said...

There's no reason to be rude. It's a common happening a Mexican restaurants. They always want to fill your soda glass. After the second attempt, I've just starting letting them fill this. It's part of the training - keep the soda glasses full.

Suburban Turmoil said...

My question is, what were you doing eating lunch with my mother?!

Kim said...

There is nothing more I can say that hasn't been already said except: I would have taken all the refills offered if they had been Diet Pepsi, and I eat so much guacamole that I swear there is an avocado pit as part of my anatomy, and I think sour cream is the nectar of the gods! LOL!

Oh, and I'd find myself a new lunch partner....

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I understand your companion, but probably I would have told him/her that he/she was having quite an over-reaction, and was there something else bothering him/her today?
I'm with you in that it is quite wonderful to have such attentive waiters and staff in ANY restaurant these days...but yes, maybe if they had taken away your glass...well, now think about that? Why didn't ANYONE take that glass away after each one asked if you wanted more...Hmmmmm.
Maybe the staff isn't as attentive as I first thought! (lol)

Aginoth said...

but did you get your water?

bornfool said...

I think on about the third attempt to fill my glass, I would have politely declined but ask the server to please take the empty glass from the table.

One of my pet peeves is when the servers let my glass get empty so I would never want to discourage them when they are staying on top of that.

colleen said...

Technically the waiter only asked twice...once for soda and once for water...not so bad. I hate when they try to clear you plates away so fast...and when no one asks if you need anything and you do!

Laura said...

I am very upset that you did not eat the sour cream and guacamole. How could you turn down these most delicious condiments of our time?!
J/K...I have decided you shall be forgiven. the entire gastronomical issue is not one to be messed with.

As for the soda glass, sure.. maybe the glass should have been taken away after the second waiter asked about the refill.
If I had been approached by the third time, I would have simply smiled and said no, handed the glass to the waiter and asked that it be taken away.
Sounds like they have great service! Can't really blame the waiters in this case. After all, there were different waiters and probably lots of customers to keep track of.

I suspect your dining companion just might have had other vexing matters on his/her mind, whether he/she mentioned it or not, and maybe this just was the tip of the iceberg. ?

It just dawned on me that it's been a long time since i've been in a Mexican Restaurant, and I've got to remedy that soon. I'll eat the sour cream on your behalf.

Jennifer said...

Your dinner sounds delicious, yet naked without the sour cream and guacamole.
Your companion's reaction sounds like one my husband might have had. I'm sorry he embarrassed you. My husband is in counseling for his abrupt ways. He is working on patience!

Gerbera Daisy said...

I would have been mortified by my companion if he/she blasted the poor waiter. My face indeed would have been beet red. I feel the companion was WAY out of line and he/she should have kept quiet. I think I would have said to the waiter (smiling, of course) no thank you and ask that my glass be removed. As far as your companion, I think I would have said you should be thankful we were being taken care of. And then I would never go out with that person again.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Boy! I never get this many comments on any of MY posts! I'll have to write about rude dining companions and good/poor service and see what happens.

Good tale. If I'd been your companion and was trying to find a quiet moment and work up the courage to propose, I might have been nervous enough to react that way. Otherwise... Nah!


utenzi said...

He was way out of line, Judy. There's a variety of reasons people go off like that.

To me, Judy, the worst would be if he's the sort that unloads emotionally on people that can't respond in kind due to their job. The easiest to understand would be if the two of you were having a serious discussion and the frequent interruptions--for the same thing tho different people asked--were making it difficult for him.

In any case, it was poor behavior.

jennypenny said...

I have to say that I do manage a restaurant and I really had to think about this one. There is definitely a something called "over-service". Granted I am sure it is better than no service at all, but annoying none the less. Being in the industry myself, I find it hard to go out becuase I know that it is really not that hard to make a guest happy and I get really frustrated when that doesn't happen. I have found myself guilty on occasion for speaking my mind to a server while my boyfriend sits by quietly. In this situation it probably wasn't that big of a deal that your companion needed to voice his or her opinion. But, if you aren't happy with something the only way it is going to change is if you tell someone (hopefully the manager) so they know that this is annyoying to you.

Weary Hag said...

Oh God. I'm the only one here who would have been irritated by the repetition. I definitely would have spoken up about it, but in a far more mannerly and (more than likely) joking way. There are ways to get through to people without being obnoxious about it. But I don't think I could have kept my mouth shut.

There is also such a thing as being harrassed while eating. This annoys me ALMOST as much as being neglected. Guess there's a fine line, but good waitstaff know the difference.