A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Being Kind? Not Spouting Off . . .
I will drink most kinds of coffee. It does need to be decaffeinated, but other than that, pretty much any kind of coffee will do. Ask my youngest daughter, who is getting ready to go away to college this week. She’ll tell you I drink good coffee, mediocre coffee, even wretched coffee, if necessary.
My daughter and I went to a big box store today to get her some last things. Before move-in day on Friday. About a block away, we saw a chain restaurant. My daughter mentioned (wistfully) that she hadn’t been to that particular restaurant for a number of years. Thinking suddenly, she amended that, since she and her friends had been there for a festive occasion about two years ago. We both laughed. I asked her whether she would like to eat there this afternoon. Special, festive occasion, and all. After all, it isn’t every day that one’s youngest daughter prepares to go off to college.
We went in, sat down, and checked out the menus. I noticed the service was slow. Even after the waitress came to take our order, she disappeared in the back for quite a while. I ordered decaf coffee. (As my daughter will verify, I do this all the time, and just about every restaurant.) When she finally brought the coffee, it was cool. She disappeared before I could mention the tepid coffee to her. I really don’t mind tepid coffee, but I needed to add a good deal of milk to it. (It has to be the proper color, after all! A nice, lighter mocha. Or café au lait, if you like.) Five little cream containers were on the side of the cup. I put them all in. All of them. And the color of the coffee hardly changed, at all.
That was strong coffee, believe me. Strong, and really rotten tasting. I kid you not. I will drink most kinds of poor and even wretched coffee, but this coffee, today? I do believe this was the worst coffee I have ever drunk in my whole life. And, that’s saying something.
I didn’t see the waitress again for some time, except far away across the room. She delivered some plates to another table, a good distance away. Since my oldest daughter is the general manager of a superb breakfast/brunch restaurant in Chicago, I have some elementary idea of how restaurants operate.
And this one? This restaurant my daughter and I were sitting in this afternoon? The service rated a 3 out of 10. My coffee was a 1 out of 10 (and I thought that was generous, even charitable). The only saving grace was the food. Absolutely marvelous. Really and truly.
My daughter mentioned my showing disapproval in the tip. Or, lack of tip. I said it might not be the waitress’s fault. (Of course, as time passed, I do tend to think her lackadaisical attitude might have affected her service. But the coffee? To complain about that, I asked for the manager. And even then? I expressed myself in a courteous manner.
In retrospect, I think I was courteous when dealing with the restaurant staff today. I wonder how I might have acted and spoken if the situation had been different? If I had been in a bad mood, or had a headache, or any one of a number of other things? I can thank God that I was able to be kind. (Thanks, God!)
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