DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

A customer service moment...

I met Billy to play tennis at Pullen Park. It turned out to be much hotter than it looked out there playing. We had no shade.

We didn't play any games, just hit the balls some. Too many times, at the beginning, our balls went onto the court of the guys playing next to us. One of them was a total stud.

My friend Steve came over at around 5:00, and we tried to plan a short, four-day visit to NYC in October. He wants to see Wicked, which I've already seen, and we both want to see Hairspray.

Not that anyone will feel sorry for us, but it's arduous planning trips that involve coordinating two people's schedules, flights, hotels, and Broadway ticket availability. Let's just say it wasn't fun. And we didn't finish the task either, but we got a good start.

Steve's birthday was Wednesday, and I gave him his card, the postage stamps with our Tijuana picture on them, and took him to Red Lobster for dinner, to which he'd never before been.

So, it's a Sunday night, 6PM-ish, no waiting. The hostess asks, "How many?"


"Do you have a smoking preference?"

"Non, please. And we'd like a booth, if possible."

"Right this way," then, and as we're walking she asks, "Where are the ladies tonight?"

Since I'm closest to her, I respond, "There are no ladies in our life."

"Oh? Why not?"

Once I caught my breath and gulped, I said, "Because we're together."

Though we're not a couple, I think that she needed something as blatant as that to get out of her the-world-contains-only-heterosexuals mindset.

Needless to say, I was steaming by this point, and Steve calmed me down. :)

Okay, next this blond girl, Casey, comes to our table. "I'm Casey, and I'll be your server tonight. Can I get you something to drink?"

"I'll have water with lemon, please," I said, and Steve said, "I'll have a Diet Coke."

She disappears, and after about five minutes, literally, we still have no drinks. A server tending to a table in our vicinity said, "Has anybody been to help you yet?"

I responded, "Well, we did order a water and a Diet Coke about five minutes ago, but we still don't have them. And we haven't ordered."

"Let me check on that for you," she said.

About two minutes later, Casey returns with a Diet Coke in one hand and her other hand behind her back. She just stands there in front of our table, holding the coke. She's not attempting to put it down or hand it to us or anything, and she's sort of moving her head side to side with this stupid look on her face.

Ok, now Steve and I are thinking, "Is this woman on crack, or what?"

She keeps standing there, and then finally says, looking at me, "I have the Diet Coke. Did you have the water?"

She is still not giving the glass of coke to Steve.

"Yes, I did," I said about the water.

She rocks her head back and forth a little, then shrugs her shoulders up a little toward her ears, and she says trying to be coy, or shy, or something, "I spilled the water all over in the back."


She finally puts the coke down in front of Steve, and just walks away.

I said to Steve, "Oh no. This isn't working for me. I'm going to find a manager. I'll be back."

He cautioned me to be polite as I walked away.

On the way back to the hostess station in the lobby, a server walked by me, and I said, "Excuse me. Is there some member of management that I may speak to, please?"

"Right there," she said, as this short, cute, black woman walked toward me with a smile. I liked her immediately.

"How's it going?" she asked with a big smile.

"Actually, it's not going too well," I replied, and her smile quickly turned into a look of concern.

I pulled her over to the side, out of the traffic of the servers and the hostesses, and I said, "First of all, on our way to be seated, the hostess said..." and I recanted the conversation.

I continued, "Even if I were straight, I wouldn't appreciate being asked 'Why not?' if I'd said there wasn't a lady in my life. It's just not appropriate."

"It certainly isn't," she said.

I then told her about space cadet who had only managed to take our drink order to this point, and couldn't seem to complete the task.

I also explained to her that this was my friend's first visit to a Red Lobster ever, and that it really wasn't making a very good impression on him.

"I'd like you guys to please move to this table," she said while pointing to one right near us, "And I'm going to take care of you personally. You sit down, and I'll go get your friend."

We moved, and she did indeed take our order, and then hooked us up with a waiter to take care of us once our meals arrived. She also kept checking in with us during the entire meal to make sure everything went well, which it did.

At the end of our dinner, she actually came and sat down with us, and when the waiter put the bill on the table, she said, "I've taken care of this."

I glanced at the total at the bottom of the receipt, which said, "$0.00." She had comped the entire bill, which must have been somewhere around $40!

I figured she was going to do something, but I thought maybe give us one of our meals free, or offer free dessert or something. We were both stunned, and I was the most pleased, as dinner was to be my treat for Steve's birthday. :-)

While sitting there, she said, "I spoke to the hostess; well, in fact, she came up to me, and told me what had happened, and she was very embarrassed about it. She said that she just didn't know what to say when you responded the way you did. I told her, 'Sometimes it's best to not say anything at all.'"

Steve asked her what her name was, which was Latilda, and during the course of her little chat with us at the table, she outed herself as straight by saying she was getting married on October 15th in Greensboro. Not that gay people don't get married, but she seemed mature enough to not be doing the beard thing.

We noted her name, and I'm going to call her manager tomorrow to make sure she is recognized for taking care of us and the situation as she did.

We never did see Casey the rest of the night. Perhaps she was sent home to "come down."

Steve and I stopped back by the house, and we drove separately to Flex. Ben, Dale, Daddy Bill, Brian, Robert, and Rick were there. Brian and I spent a lot of the night talking to Les, after all of the others had left.

Tula Boxx was hysterical to us tonight. Brian and I are both very entertained by her. At one point in the evening, Brian and I went into the bathroom (where the cell phone reception actually has a chance of working), and we tried to reach bratman, but were unsuccessful. We left obnoxious voice mail messages for him over the course of the evening.

The last time we were in there, someone had taken a dump in room #2 (how appropriate), and yes the three stalls in the bathroom actually have doors with numbers on them, doors number one, two, and three. Three is the "big one," affectionately known as "the honeymoon suite."

Oh, did I mentioned we knew they'd taken a dump because they hadn't flushed the toilet, or flushed it enough. We both left grossed out, and outside mentioned it to Tula Boxx, who happened to be walking by. She went in there, and "took care of it." LOL

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