Earlier this month, I decided to reign in my temper. I’m not saying that I have anger management issues or anything like that. In fact, it usually takes a lot of prodding before I lose my cool. I want to remain calm, no matter what the situation. Tonight, my resolve was tested, and I think I’m making progress.
Full disclosure: I’m a pain in the ass when it comes to steak. I like it cooked well-done. I know, I know. People who love steak just cringed. I’m sorry, but I like what I like.
This evening, I ordered a NY strip, well-done. When it was set down in front of me, I saw that it wasn’t cooked to my liking. Still, I cut into it to confirm. Yep, rare. I pointed it out to my server, and she took it away.
After the other people in my party were finished eating, my steak came out. It was the same steak I had sent back, cut in the same spot.
Most decent steakhouses don’t bring out the same piece of meat. I think that’s wasteful, so I didn’t mind that it was the same piece. I did laugh and point it out to my dinner companions.
I cut into the meat, and it was well-done. Woohoo!
Unfortunately, the sides were cold. This was disappointing, as I love asparagus, and fries are meant to be hot and crisp, not cold and wet. As my waitress didn’t bother waiting to see if everything was OK and everyone was now waiting on me, I shrugged and ate some of the steak.
When the waitress finally returned and asked how everything was, I mentioned the veggie situation. She said she’d tell the manager, and asked if we wanted dessert. We told her we didn’t need to see the manager, passed on the dessert, and asked for the check.
She walked away and came back (from the front of the restaurant, the opposite direction from the kitchen) with the manager.
T: Hi, I’m Terrance, the manager. I understand you had a problem with your dinner.
Me: Not a problem, really. My steak had to be cooked a little longer. When it was sent back out, the vegetables were cold. New sides should have been served, or they should have been kept warm.
T: There seems to be a misunderstanding. That’s a completely new dish.
Me: Excuse me?
T: You were served a new dish. When your waitress told me there was a problem, I went into the kitchen and saw your plate. It has the steak and sides on it.
Me (as my husband shakes his head and my daughter turns in her seat to get a better look at him not believing anyone could be that stupid, I check to see if his pants burst into flames): That’s not true, Terrance. I cut my steak down the middle. They served me the exact same piece of meat.
T (stares at me for a minute without blinking, as my daughter laughs): How about some dessert, on the house.
Me: No, thank you. We don’t want dessert.
T: Are you sure? We have a great dessert menu.
Me: You lied to me. I don’t appreciate being lied to.
T: Is there anything I can do for you?
Me: Yes, don’t lie to me.
T: I’m going to take the steak off your bill.
Me: It would be a lot cheaper if you don’t lie to customers.
T: Consider it taken care of. I hope to see you again soon.
Me: Not if you lie to me.
Terrance (not his real name) walked away as quickly as he could. I would feel bad for him, but he looked me in the eye and lied to me, as if I couldn’t tell they served me the same dish. I wonder how many times he tries that with customers?
Regardless, I kept my cool, and am still laughing about the situation. I’m counting it as a win!