The MO took me out to dinner tonight at one of our regular favorite restaurants. This is a place where we usually spend two to three hours working our way through several courses and a couple of bottles of wine. The food is always exceptional and the service is terrific. Until tonight....
We arrived early (as usual) and the new hostess sat us RIGHT NEXT TO the only other couple in the restaurant. This is a major pet peeve, but before we had time to even register this faux pas we were pounced upon by our over-eager waitress. Before long, the MO posited that she was fresh from T.G.I.Friday's or a similar "turn the tables" establishment.
There was not time for a single breath between courses--I don't know how the kitchen kept up (yes, hyperbolic, but you get the point)--exacerbated by a busboy who kept trying to take my plates before I was done (bread--saved twice, only to be snitched during a moment of inattention, salad--waved off once, removed the moment the fork hit the empty plate, main course--eyed covetously whilst hovering after taking the MO's plate indecently quickly, dessert--reached for WAY too early, nearly causing bloodshed). The couple next to us (remember them? they were already drinking their wine when we sat down?) was just ordering dessert when we were being presented with our bill (held out, not put down).
I'm don't remember ever doing the "may I speak to a manager" bit before, but I did it tonight. Said manager of course recognized us (I meant that "regular" at the beginning) and was profusely apologetic, offering recompense (which we refused, that not being the point--the food was fabulous as usual) and promising to discuss the situation with the new waitress. So I suspect someone is having a less than pleasant discussion with a boss, which kind of makes me feel bad, but really. This is a good restaurant, not a fast-food joint. I expect to dine languidly (and in peace!) and leave "fat and happy", not have the food shoved down my throat and get kicked out in search of a Tums.