Hubby and me are at a casual pizza/Italian restaurant. I am dying for my favorite - an eggplant parmesan sandwich. I notice that they do not have this item on the menu, however, they do have an eggplant parmesan dinner which is basically the same thing, but on a plate with a side of spaghetti, instead of on a roll.
The waitress comes to the table to take our order. I ask her if the cook will make me an eggplant parmesan sandwich, pointing out that while it's not on the menu, they do have eggplant parmesan as a platter so it would be easy to make it into a sandwich. She quickly replies, "Oh, no. Sorry but they will not do subsitutions or special orders of any kind - only exactly what's on the menu." She rolls her eyes, suggesting that she disagrees with the policy, but they are Nazis about it.
Okay, so I am disappointed but if that's their policy, I'll just get something else. So I order a couple slices of pizza and some onion rings.
A short while later, as I am eating my pizza, I overhear our waitress talking with the people 2 tables down. It is a couple with a baby (who looks to be about a year old). The man is asking the waitress for a special meal, presumably for the baby - something soft and relatively flavorless. The waitress doesn't have any suggestions as there is nothing on the menu like that, so the customer starts giving her directions, "okay, listen - this is what I want. Ask the cook to give me some pasta - plain - no sauce and put some chicken on the top, cut up in small pieces." So at this point I am waiting to hear her tell the guy she's sorry but no special orders or substitutions are allowed. Nope. She is listening intently. He continues: "do you have any vegetables you can also serve with it?" The waitress shakes her head no. "You have tomatoes, right?...Have them also put some tomatoes on it and make sure they are chopped up small too."
She nods obediently as she writes all this down and trots off to the kitchen with their special order.
So I look at hubby and say, "another story for the blog."
I debated whether to say something to her about it. I came this.close to confronting her, but we were out on a date night and I was in a great mood. I did not want to spoil my mood with a confrontation. So I decided to handle it this way. I gave her a very small tip and next to the tip I drew an arrow indicating to turn the check over. On the back of the check I wrote a note explaining that the tip was low because she told me "no substitutions or special orders" but readily took one from the customers 2 tables from us.
Obviously the line about the restaurant having a "no substitutions or special orders" policy was a crock of horse doo, since if there was such a policy, she wouldn't have so readily accommodated the other table with their special order. The fact is, she just didn't feel like making an extra trip to the kitchen for me. I wasn't worth the trouble, but our neighbors 2 tables down were. And why? Why else. They have a baby. Roll out the red carpet.
(I swear, stuff like this gives me worse indigestion than a greasy eggplant parm sandwich).