As I’ve entered a new age, I decided to complain about young people just a little.

A few months ago we were at brunch. It was raining so we were seated indoors: 25% capacity, everyone wearing masks except when eating. You know the drill by now.

The waiter came to take our order. With my mask on, as per protocol, I stated that I wanted an omelet with swiss cheese, tomato and mushrooms. All of these things were listed in available ingredients list in the “make your own” omelet section. The waiter did not repeat the order back to me, nor write it down.

You know what happened.

Spinach instead of swiss cheese. FYI- I love spinach. I don’t love spinach in my omelet.

I told the waiter that my order was wrong. He argued with me. Yes. He argued with me as to what I ordered.

I repeated “Swiss” not “Spinach”

He did not repeat it back to me nor write it down.

When it came out again: cheddar cheese.


Twice the order was wrong.

I did not send it back a second time. My daughter was waiting to eat, even though I told her to start. I ate the cheddar omelet.

However, I gave the waiter a lousy tip.

So the old curmudgeon in me asks: In a world where we are wearing masks and it makes it more difficult to hear, and there is loud music playing, how do you not repeat the order back? How do you not write it down?

How do you get it wrong twice?

I get that being a restaurant worker during pandemic has not been easy. I get that nothing has been easy. But shouldn’t you still take pride in your job? Shouldn’t you still be doing the best that you can? Shouldn’t you be happy that you still are employed?

Back in my day…

78 thoughts on “The One Where I Become a Curmudgeon

  1. Irritating!!!! I can say in my line of work, many want to be promoted within months of starting their job. It’s super interesting to me. “Back in my day”, I knew I had to work my butt off and take my lumps. We also have to do a lot of stroking so they don’t jump ship. I asked one of my colleagues why that is….they brought up a good point….said they had seen their parents get laid off and feel employers aren’t dedicated to employees, so why not follow the money? I could actually see why that might be a thing for them. Interesting perspective.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I see both sides if this. I get that there’s no loyalty anymore. But there’s also no work ethic. I’m showing my age when I say “that’s why it’s called going to work and not going to fun”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I get alot of anxiety when the server doesn’t write things down. It’s a level of showmanship that I find wholly unnecessary. (Side note, I’ve worked in restaurants for 20+ years… No curmudgeons here😉)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. In this age of face ‘masking’ I have a slight sympathy with your waiter………..just saying lol. (Now I’ve tried buying a bus pass with both myself and the driver wearing masks, with a clear polycarbonate screen dividing us and a queue behind! It’s a nightmare.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. He lost me when he argued with you.

    I agree with you, he should have repeated your order back to you, especially because of the mask wearing. And by the way, not everyone is courteous enough to wear their masks when the server comes to a table. That you did shows respect for your server out of the gate.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It was the arguing that got me too! Don’t argue. Just get me sort of what I ordered…😆and yes…good point…I was trying to be as courteous as possible

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Never leave a bad tip. Either tip, or don’t tip. If you’ve gotten service that bad, leave three pennies. Just leaving a not-good tip lets the server assume you just don’t know how to tip. Or are just cheap. I know this. I also was a server for the first half of my adult life and I’ve heard the complaints servers make about tips customers leave. They never assume that a less than stellar tip correlates to less than stellar service. They always just write the customer off as a bad tipper.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t know that. But then I feel bad for the busser who was fine. He was great with his job and refilled my water, so I at least want him to get something…I hope…


  6. I find the “no note pad” act so fascinating..esp if you are sitting at a table with 6 people.. I mean what’s the point here? Is this to keep things interesting for the server, like a mental work-out? Why not balance on one foot while taking my order? Come back with the tray of food on your head? Juggle the rolls? Guess our ages? names? weight? Let’s go full carnival..why not?? Truthfully, I don’t like it at all.. why? Because either the order gets screwed up or we all get each others food and the great plate switcheroo begins.. (Yes, I’m over it..and over 55)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s just it! No one has that good a memory! Are you trying to be like…I’m an actor and I get paid to memorize lines? Well guess what…I hope you memorize for lines better than doing this order!.,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup..and like you, I have heard myself saying “oh, that’s OK” eating what I didn’t order, taking one for the team so that everyone doesn’t feel awkward eating while I’m waiting for another attempt to get my entree right. Super annoying..and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m saying things like “I’m deathly allergic to olives so please leave them off..” The term “deathly allergic” usually helps them focus on what I’m ordering.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. 😢 This makes me nuts. I think it’s arrogance, no matter the age of the person, that not only are they overly confident in their abilities – showing off maybe in this instance that they don’t need to write anything down given their exceptional intellectual gifts 😐 – but that they know better than you. Men do this to women routinely…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As someone who is an extremely picky eater and has issues with way too many ingredients, I always struggle with ordering as it is way too common to get my order wrong, wrong to the point that what I get is inedible. Sadly, I’ve learned to stick with things I don’t have to modify or restaurants that are good at not messing up my order because it is such a common thing for those kinds of mistakes to get made. I’ve also heard one too many horror stories of vengeful restaurant workers (some first hand stories) that I will never send a mistake back. I hate that I’m so picky and that there are so many things I really hate to eat (some actually make me physically ill if I eat them) because it does really limit my dining options. All that said, the places I know I can trust get my business and my generous tips because they have more than earned them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always order things the way they appear in a menu…I’m not a substitution type. However…in the make your own omelet category…when I’ve done as instructed and picked my three ingredients from the list…I expect to get it right!! But yeah…it’s frustrating to not get what you want

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, I’ve gotten things served incorrectly even without mask wearing. I don’t understand how the waiters think they can get it all without writing it down. I have had some come back to verify the order, but that is kind of infuriating too, like why didn’t you write it down in the first place?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think it is a “look at how smart I am” style to not write things down. I was a waitress in college and I had a little notebook and pencil on my tray, where I had the option to jot things down and did.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. He definitely should have repeated it back, I know there are restaurants that do not want the wait staff to write orders done. I used to work at one like that and I would have to practically run back to the order terminal to enter the table’s order in before I forgot. Stupid practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I always wrote down orders when I worked in a restaurant. When a server doesn’t write down orders and there is more than one person or more than a few special requests – I am uncomfortable. It’s an automatic thing to do to get it right – notebooks that fit in a pocket are CHEAP, unhappy orders and wasted food costs customers money. You were right to not tip but I think it may have been more effective to send an email to the restaurant or talking to the manager directly. I have spoken to the manager at a local restaurant and the manager gave me the meal free plus a gift card for the next visit. Guess which restaurant knows how to keep regulars?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I still would like you to write them. After the passage of time it would have even more effect. I have written to government health bureaucracy and was surprised at the positive reply, they appreciated a patient viewpoint especially as mine with 30 years of monthly visits.


  13. My youngest daughter is a server in a busy restaurant and she would be taking this server of yours out back and kicking the crap out of him. That’s simply not how you do!
    I’m sorry your brekkie was yuck, but at least you got to stretch your curmudgeon legs…?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am always amazed at servers that are able to take orders without writing the orders down. Back in the day…when I served, I had to write everything down. Mandatory. If I’m the restaurant owner, writing down orders for all servers is mandatory….period. That was fun. Makes me look forward to eating in more restaurants this next year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What? He argued with you? No! No! No! Unacceptable, rude, and you still ate cheddar! Does he know it’s your birthday month? If you believe in Karma let’s hope the universe was swift (Swiss) and in her bitch mode! C

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is a tough one… he either didn’t get it or they didn’t have the ingredients and didn’t want to update the menu. I went to a pancake house and ordered 49er pancakes. There were not that many people in the restaurant. My first thought was, how do you buy fresh ingredients if you don’t know you will have enough customers. Anyhow, pancakes came and something was not right. I was deciding… was it me or the pancakes. FINALLY, I mentioned something. Turns out the batter was from the day before? It seems to me they had used a spoiled ingredient. I felt bad complaining, restaurants have had a tough time, at the same time… AS YOU MENTION, we are paying for the meal.

    For me, they took the pancakes off my bill. Again, I felt bad about that. The waitress was nice, so I gave her a tip, which was the cost of the pancakes (a nice tip).

    I understand your frustration… HARD to know what was the real issue. Seems to me they were using ingredients they had rather than saying, “we don’t have SWISS, etc.”
    I certainly could be wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I would have sent it back again pointing at the menu and asked for another meal to be brought out for your daughter and made it very clear you were not going to pay for the extra meal

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sounds like the way of the younger generation workers. They are always right and no one can/should tell them different. Also, they want all the benefits without putting in a stitch of work. Now, of course I’m generalizing here and we have found some of the few hidden gems, but they are few and far between. I make it a point to try and teach because by nature that’s just me, but some days it’s exhausting! I feel like no one wants to hear past their own ego. Stop eating wrong omelets I say! Change can only happen when we stand up to stupidity. Ok I’m done with my old person rant…lol!

    Liked by 1 person

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