Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Showdown at Applebee's

Here's how it went down. Two years ago my friend Tyler and I went to the restaurant after watching Arizona get beat down against Washington State at home. I just wanted to go home but Tyler wanted to get something to eat and he was my ride so it was out of my hands.

We were seated at a corner table and Tyler ordered some wings. The waiter asked what sort of sauce he'd like, and Tyler ordered mild, which spurred the waiter to comment that mild wings are for girls.

I laughed, but insulting the person who's eating and obviously paying just to get a laugh out of the idiot who's just along for the ride is not a smart pathway to a great tip. Things only got worse from there.

The wings didn't come for a long time, and our drinks sat empty while the waiter stood in the corner trying to flirt with his coworkers.

Tyler gave up on waiter No. 1 and flagged some other guy down to refill the drinks. Eventually waiter No. 1 circled back around to check on things, and he said he'd get us refills, seizing both of our half-full glasses and never returning with replacements. Tyler flagged yet another waiter to get us our drinks, and at long last waiter No. 1 returned with the check.

Tyler asked if he should tip the guy and I told him of course not. So he marked a zero on the tip line and below that wrote "Here's your tip: Stop flirting with girls and actually bring your customers drinks."

We left the restaurant and walked toward Tyler's car, when the waiter popped out from the back entrance like 21 Jump Street and stood between us and the vehicle.

"There was no need to be a dick about it," he said.

Then the three of us got into a shouting match that came to nothing. The next day I called the manager and told on him.

Two weeks later I went to Chili's with my wife and kid, and the waiter was standing outside as the hostess. He either didn't recognize me or pretended that was the case.

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