Elysha and I decided to share a shake at dinner tonight. “Would you like one glass and two straws?” the waitress asked.
“No,” Elysha said. “We don’t need to do that. We’re already married. Two glasses is fine.”
I was upset, having already envisioned our two smiling faces converging on the two straws in the center of the table. It got worse when the waitress sided with Elysha, informing me that it is not the 1950s and I needed to get over my disappointment.
This was not the first time I was the victim of the wife-and-waitress double-team, but it’s hardly my biggest restaurant complaint.
Two of my more prominent restaurant complaints include:
1. The singing that takes place when a guest is celebrating a birthday has gotten completely out of hand. Last month Elysha and I went to Red Robin for a quick bite to eat and were forced to listen to four renditions of Happy Birthday, sung to various customers throughout the restaurant. It seems like I can’t enjoy a single meal without having to listen to a bunch of off-key waiters and waitresses sing to someone who just wants them to go away. The proliferation of this tradition is frightening. At Texas Roadhouse, the restaurant staff actually hoists the guest atop a saddle that is mounted on a rolling sawhorse as they sing.
That said, I have twice told waitresses that it was a friend’s birthday when it was not. It’s always amusing to watch their surprise as the cake is placed in front of them and the singing begins.
And once, I told the good folks at the Texas Roadhouse that it was a friend’s birthday, forcing him atop the saddle.
As far as I can tell, humiliations like these are the only good use of this otherwise ridiculous practice of singing.
2. The expediter also irritates me a great deal. Expediters are restaurant staff members who bring your meal to the table when your overworked waiter or waitress can’t get to it fast enough. Though I appreciate the idea behind the expediter, I don’t want a stranger delivering my food. It’s my waiter or waitress with whom I have established a relationship. She knows what I ordered and how I wanted it cooked. She knows that I’m drinking Diet Coke and not Coke. She is the one whose tip is dependent upon the service I receive. Asking an expediter for another drink, an extra napkin, or for a correction in your order is always a crap shoot.
I’d rather wait three minutes and have my waitress deliver my meal herself.
Admittedly, when your waitress has joined forces with your wife for less-than-noble intents, the expediter can sometimes be a welcomed change of pace.