I told the teen we could go to Red Lobster for the Endless Shrimp special, as he LOVES shrimp and everyone has to splurge sometime and he's a GOOD kid. He deserves to eat endless shrimp. So he didn't eat all morning and we headed over there about 4pm, ready to experience something as wonderful as Disneyland-plates and plates of little shrimp, all curled up, still in their natural state, just without their skin...or their ability to breathe, swimming in a garlic butter sauce of some sort.
It started out really well. He selected two of the five choices, received his 20 shrimp and then we waited five minutes for the waitress to come back and ask what type he wanted for his next serving. This is where it started going downhill.
We were under the impression that we could get two new plates at a time. We talked about it with Lizzie the Waitress when we were getting ready to order. She told us that we can pick two to start and then the next two can be different choices. So then when Lizzie comes back, the kid orders two more. Lizzie leaves, he's happy, we're chit-chatting, life is grand.
Until Lizzie returns to say that she can only enter one order at a time, which would we prefer.
Hmm...are you sure Lizzie? Right, go check with someone.
Five more minutes goes by....the kid has now started eating my soup while he waits. Lizzie returns to say, yeah, it has to be one plate at a time.
Really Lizzie? Can you order them back to back for us then? Okay great, thanks. TEN minutes later (now it's been 15 minutes since he finished his first plate), the next plate of TEN shrimp arrive. Ten shrimp will last a 14-yr old teenager who loves shrimp approximately 96 seconds.
And then.....we must wait ten more minutes for Lizzie.
sigh. Really Lizzie....is this a joke??
My actual words to her were "I don't think this endless shrimp is going to work out for us." As if I was breaking up with her....it's not me, it's you, Lizzie.
After explaining to her that at the rate we are going it will take approximately 3.5 hrs for him to fill up with shrimp, I told her that yes, I would like her to go talk to her manager. She returned to explain that the endless shrimp is set up that way and that she can special order two dishes at a time for us if I'd like. I again explained the 96 second rule and that if we had two, it would still be approximately 5 minutes to eat 20 shrimp and THEN we have to wait until she has a chance to come back to us and THEN we have to wait for our order to go through the kitchen and THEN wait for it to be brought to our table. So now the deal on the table is 2 plates of shrimp every 15-20 minutes.
This Endless Shrimp thing would be great under the following circumstances: A) You like to have a series of 15 minute breaks in the middle of your meal. B) You don't like shrimp much and can only eat it in small quantities. C) You have nothing at all to do all day and you're interested in grazing on your meal, not eating it. D) You are not really hungry and have money to waste.
We are none of the above, and as such, asked to speak to her manager (to which the kid said I was the angry mother yelling at the principal).
Our ever-so-friendly manager John came to the table and said his name two times in 1 minute and then asked me what was wrong, as if Lizzie hadn't spoken to him five minutes earlier....
I repeated the whole thing and let him know that I am not interested in paying for the cost of Endless Shrimp if it means I have to wait 15 minutes between plates. John listened intently and sympathetically and offered me NOTHING to make me happy so I continued to talk and ended with, I will pay for what he's eaten and we will just go. John's response was to say his name again and go get our bill and then say his name again and thank us for coming.
Where is the managerial response of "let me make it up to you" or "how can i fix this to make your visit a success" or "let me comp your meal for you, sorry about the misunderstanding."??? John said NOTHING like that.
He actually charged us for every single bite my son ingested..which came out to $2 off the price of Endless Shrimp. Wonderful. Great lesson in how to be an incompetent manager.
Just another lesson in how I have expectations of people that are not unrealistic, yet are not fulfilled.
I EXPECT that the manager will not let a customer leave a restaurant feeling as if they never want to come back to this place. I EXPECT that if someone tells me something that turns out to be wrong and we all find out later-that she will try hard to make sure that person is happy. Right, Lizzie??? Why didn't you come back every 2 minutes and take another order of 10 shrimp?? I EXPECT that an advertisement that says something is endless will be made non-stop in the kitchen so that when an order is placed, it is ready nearly immediately....the Olive Garden does it with pasta-on the endless pasta days, you never have an empty pasta bowl. It's not a hard concept.
sigh....I hate Red Lobster. Add them to the list of places we are boycotting.
Everybody can be great...Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace - A soul generated by love.