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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dinner Out

Dinner Out

Saturday, we went out to dinner with friends.  We went to a local “Highway” restaurant chain known for a nice salad bar, decent food and reasonable prices.  It was not particularly crowded for a Saturday night.

Getting old sucks, but one benefit is you no longer feel compelled to play nice.

We were seated after a short wait by a surly teenage snotty receptionist.  Why is it so hard to be pleasant?  Believe it or not I am pleasant to servers.  When I was on the other side of the service business I found it was easier to be pleasant than surly.

Anyway, I gave the surly teenage snotty receptionist a pass and followed a surly snotty teenage waitress.  I gave the surly teenage snotty waitress a pass and settled into the table she directed us to.  I was to be seated next to a table full of young children and about two feet from an antsy three-year-old with flailing arms and whiny voice. 

I gave the three-year-old with flailing arms and whiny voice a pass, it was not his fault he was three, but I was a little miffed as there were several booths available that were not on top of little children.  When I sat down my chair was wobbly and clearly not glued together properly and bordering on collapse.


"We’re taking a booth about five yards away."  I told the waitress that the chair was falling apart and we were taking a booth.  The waitress said she would get a new chair.  I said that is fine, but we will be sitting in the booth.  The waitress said she would check if that was ok.  I said it was either the booth or a different restaurant…I said it very nicely.

We sat at a booth for four with service for three.  We asked the waiter several times for an additional service, when none was delivered we took one from an unoccupied table behind us.

Years ago, when I was a young man, I would have accepted seating next to a rug rat, balanced myself on a busted chair, been uncomfortable for the whole meal and would have had a miserable time.  As a cranky old man, I got what I wanted without a fuss and without permission and we enjoyed a very nice meal and conversation that had nothing to do with a three-year-old, a crappy chair or surly teenage snotty service.

I suspect the surly teenage receptionist and waitress had some things to say about the rude presumptuous old fart patron.


To my fellow diners this night: Some of this recollection may have been exaggerated or only actually happened in my head…get over it, real life does not always make a good post.  


  1. Depending on my mood depends on how picky I am about where I sit. What I don't give any of them a pass on is customer service. You're absolutely right, is it that difficult to pleasant? I come from a family of restaurant/pub owners so I know what's expected from the flip side. Those servers feel my surliness in their tip, or lack thereof... Good for you. I'm glad everything worked out the way you wanted it to. And seriously. You've earned peace n' quiet and no wobbly chair at dinner! :)

  2. I think I would have left a review of their website. I can handle "bad" service from one person involved in my dining out experience, but not everyone involved. I would imagine a less than usual tip was left for the evening's dining pleasures?


  3. Sometimes you have to take it upon yourself to get what you want. Sounds like the evening went well enough. I hope the food was good!

  4. Good for you taking matters int your own hands, a comfortable seat away from whiny youngsters is what most of us want now we're older.
    Possibly the teenagers were surly because they' would have preferred being out on dates themselves or perhaps mum&dad told them to work if they wanted to borrow the car or something.

  5. I feel the same way every time I am "trapped" to eat out. And when I do eat out, that is exactly what I feel......trapped.

  6. You know, you're right. That is the last time I am going to sit on a wobbly chair. I'm too old for this crap.

  7. Welcome to Old Fartville. We don't give a monkey's fart what the kids think of us. I think we're doing them a service, as all of life is a learning experience. We're giving them something the reflect on. Or not.

  8. The lack of customer service is what's bringing down America. Seriously, I cannot believe how bad it is.

  9. I would have moved to the booth too. Kids can ruin a good meal most of the time. Not always, but most of the time.

    I'm not going to sit in a chair that might fall apart any minute. I'm too old to get up from the floor after the chair gives its all.

    I guess I'm just as cranky as you then.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ☺

  10. I try to refrain from being too picky about where I sit cause it reminds me of my mother. Never near the kitchen, not near the bathroom, too close to front door. The list goes on...

  11. You're right' real life often doesn't make for a good post. You might find this hard to believe, but in my younger years I was quite passive. I would have accepted a table in a restaurant near a table of hyenas, but not anymore.

    1. Hyenas have better table manners than some people these days!!

  12. I admire your boldness. I usually just accept meekly. I do cross the restaurant off my list while I mentally compose my next post about the experience. Ain't blogging wonderful?

  13. My favorite gambling aunt complained to the waitress at Pizza Hut that the chairs were wobbly. The waitress said they keep telling the manager, but he won't buy new furniture. (Probably not the manager's call, anyway.)

    AND at the same place, the table was sticky, and the waitress said the coating was worn off and nothing helped. In fact, she wiped it TWICE at my aunt's request, and it was still sticky.

    She tried, so she got a good tip.

  14. Hey Joe, I never let the truth get in the way of a good story :)

  15. We used to have a restaurant in town that was known for its rude staff. Note the "used to."

  16. One of the benefits of getting have a lot more guts. We've walked out of a restaurant about 20 minutes after getting seated and having only our drinks on the table, but nobody came to take our order. I wouldn't put up with a wobbly chair, either.

  17. The booth thing remind me of the sleazy booths that some theaters / hotels had long ago. (they no more exist here now)
    By the way is that a picture you clicked? Looks like its taken from a drone.

  18. Don't blame you a bit, Joe. Life is too short to put up with that kind of poor service / rudeness. Like you (might have) said, accommodate my reasonable request, or I'll take my party down the road. 'Merica!

  19. Most of the time, we've had good service but one time, we walked out because the waitress ignored us, then we went across the street and couldn't find a place to park, drove down the street and there was a line out the door. We almost gave up on eating out - we persevered and finally got the parking space and the service we wanted. It's hard work, being cranky!


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