Thursday, March 8, 2012

mood: annoyed


i can tell that i'm in a mood.

sometimes, it is good to just acknowledge this upfront.

there is much that i need to get done today.....and i'd also like to stop into moma for the member preview day of the new photography in mexico exhibit. we'll see how much i can get done in the next few hours and perhaps if i can compartmentalize this mood i have found myself in. perhaps stepping away from work for a quick break, having quick nosh of some bread and cheese....




and writing here will help so that i can get my head back into the game.


given my mood, perhaps it is appropriate that i write about something that i have been thinking about for quite some time. yet, i wanted there to enough time between the experience and now....so that folks won't know who or where i am talking about.

typically, i am extraordinarily careful about not saying anything negative about my experiences eating out and about. in over 800 postings, i think i've written something negative about a specific food related experience...perhaps 3 times? yet...there was a particular experience that still bothers me and it is unsurprising that it relates to service of a particular place rather than the food itself.

once upon a time, a group of us went to eat at a place and i was very much looking forward to it. the folks that greeted us were very friendly and welcoming. while there was someone with us that knew folks associated with the restaurant, i have a feeling that the overall management in the kitchen and the owners would still have been friendly even if there wasn't industry among us. i don't know them directly yet, i know folks who always speak incredibly highly of them.

yet, after we were shown to our seats and settled in....there was a rather jarring and unpleasant experience with a server. it was an unusual situation at this place because you didn't just have one server. this particular server, was to be frank, was deliberately rude and surly.

yes, it was totally deliberate, pointed, and obvious.

it made all of us at the table have various reactions to raised eyebrows, to puzzlement, to out right anger.

if the owners of the place didn't know someone at the table, i would have walked out.

i typically don't tolerate that kind of behavior anywhere in my life. if someone on my team had done something like that, i would have tried to soothe the situation, immediately pull aside said person in private, would have reamed them, and may have sent them home...as that kind of attitude has no place in a customer-facing role. i also think i was annoyed that the industry can be such a small world that i felt like i had to stay...because i didn't want my behavior to reflect badly upon people that we know in common. because the industry is so tiny, this is why i am being so incredibly vague right now.

when the server went to help another nearby table, two of the folks at the table proceeded to let their displeasure at what happened be known. i said that the server could hear them. they said that they knew and didn't care. i just wanted to leave but i didn't say anything about wanting to leave because that didn't seem like the right thing to do in the bigger picture of things.

throughout the evening, i tried to focus on the other folks throughout the evening and the food. there was even a moment when one of the owners came by to put down one of their signature dishes and it was so obvious that they had so much pride in their food ...it actually made me kind of sad. i was still too pissed off to enjoy it. i was mad at myself for being so mad that i couldn't enjoy it and felt like it translated me being disrespectful to what the folks in the kitchen were trying to achieve with the food.

this makes no logical sense.

yet, at this point, i have to admit that my reaction to that evening was not logical. it was purely emotional.

i made certain that i was friendly and nice to everyone that came to the table with the exception of that person that pissed me off so much. i have a feeling said person realized just how much they fucked up when they saw and likely heard what their FOH and BOH colleagues said to certain folks at the table and realized what the connections were. i can tell that this person tried to make up for it....but it was too late.

methinks folks reveal a lot about who they are when they think no one is watching and they don't think they will be accountable or responsible for their behavior. WTF? did this person suddenly think that their behavior wasn't ok only because they found out the connection between the table to their bosses? did they really think it was actually ok to treat everyone with that kind of behavior? this actually, ended up making me annoyed even more.

because of that connection, i felt obligated to ensure that i ate everything (especially what was sent out) and the plates were sent back to the kitchen completely clean.

yet, i'm still annoyed by the experience. i'm annoyed at that server. i'm annoyed that i was so annoyed that i couldn't let it go to really appreciate the food....food that i know that i should have appreciated more given the amount of effort and work behind it. i'm annoyed because i feel like i compromised my principles by staying and not leaving. i'm annoyed because i feel like it was still the right decision to stay given the bigger picture. i'm annoyed because i know that i will not be visiting that restaurant ever again. i'm annoyed at myself because i know my reaction is not logical, quite silly, and completely unfair to have that perspective....especially given that a restaurant is a culmination of so many people....and everyone else was so nice.

for better or worse, this is who i am...paradoxical contradictions with epic amounts of prideful stubbornness....and a dash of unusually emotionally driven behavior. for the owners sake, i do hope that the server will modify their behavior or be culled from the team....but i won't be paying any future visits there to find out.

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