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Old 08-05-2008, 09:49 AM   #1
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Rude service at a restaurant

So we had a long weekend and decided to travel. Wound up in Scranton PA visiting the Houdini museum and a coal mine tour. We decided to get something for lunch before we made our way to Hershey ( wish i would have known there was construction down to one lane on (81) which killed an hours travel time). Anyway, the kids are kinda picky, and we are vegetarians, so it limits what we eat on the road to Italian/ pizza or chinese. Since we had pizza the night before ( although we dont trust pizza outside of new york ( sorry) we actually ordered hoagies instead), we decided to go for chinese for lunch. And this is how it went.

We got there about 3:30 for a late lunch. It wasnt a fancy place. A little nicer than just a take out place, but not as nice as a true sit down restaurant. We walk in, no one else is in there except a girl behind the counter and a few cooks in the back. We wait there to be seated, and the woman just gives us a blank stare. My wife says, ' should we just sit down anywhere? or do u need to seat us at a specific table? ( remember, literally, no one was there, so there were about 15 or 20 empty tables). The woman told us to take any seat we wanted. We sit down, we are handed the menu's. No water, No chinese noodles, no pickled vegetables, but ok, maybe we are in a different place and things are done differently here. We wait and wait , nothing. After being out all day, i needed to go to the bathroom, so i walked up to the take out counter where the girl was, and said " we are ready to order now", and i proceeded to the bathroom.

I came back, my wife had ordered 4 separate dishes. We were hungry, and away from home, so we figured, whatever was left over, we could eat at the hotel.

This is where it gets interesting

First, vegetable lo mein comes out, relatively quickly. a few mintues later 2 other dishes come out. about 10 minutes later the last dish and spring rolls come out. All there on the original serving dish, but we have mo individual plates. Usually, when we go to chinese around here, we each have our own plate, and take a little from each dish, but whatever. So, my wife calls the woman over again, and asks if we can have plates. The woman, even from the beginning, has that look on her face that she just doesnt want to be there. She brings over 2 plates ( for the 4 of us) and walks away. A minute later, a man/ cook walks by, my wife flags him down and asks for 2 more plates. He brings them, we eat, and the food was pretty good.

We finsih up, with left overs, as expected. And wait, and wait, and wait. I had to go to the bathroom again, but no one was at the counter this time, so while i was in the bathroom, my wife had to go and find the woman ( literally after 10 minutes or more of sitting there waiting for the bill). and the woman said, that we just should come up to the counter to pay. My wife then said we had some leftovers that we would like to take with us. The woman handed her a bunch of take out containers, which my wife brought back to the table and we had to fill them up ourselves( which i dont mind, im just not used to it. usually they clean off the table, take the food in the back, and come back to the table witha little bag full of the left overs).

Now, maybe it was just me ? Or maybe things are just done differently here , then basically everywhere else ive eaten chinese food. But I felt that she just didnt care that we were there or not, made no effort to make us feel welcome, if anything, made us feel uncomfortable. At least smile once in awhile, and ask if everything is ok, or if we need anything ..... but none of this. Ok, if it were busy, i could understand ( a little), But we were literally the only people there from the second we walked in, to the second we walked out ( now i know why ) , 2 people did come in to pick up take out orders, and the phone did ring twice ( probably those 2 take out orders). But, by far, it was the most uncomfortable ive ever been in a sit down restaurant. If it were strictly take out, i wouldnt complain at all, but i would say 2/3 of the space was dedicated to sit down dining.

Anyway, this was the first time i went out to eat , and didnt leave a tip. I feel they made no effort, so why should i.

But, the food was good.

Hope ya all liked my story

The night before we ate at some crappy take out/sit down pizza joint new longwood gardens in PA. The food was fair at best, but at least the guy was nice , asked if everything was ok, and thanked us for coming. Now, i never thought atmosphere made much of a difference to me, but after this experience, I would never ever go back to the chinese place, since i dont need to be treated like that anytime, and especially if it is my vacation time, even if the food was good. And, i would have no problems going back to the place with just ok food, but at least they appreciated my service.
Just venting about my experience.

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Old 08-05-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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Sounds like a pretty lousy experience. You got a real bad waitress, that is for sure. You were right in not tipping her.

The parts about not getting noodles and having to pack your own leftovers are (like you mentioned) because of other things. NY and FL are the only places I have seen noodles put on the table. I wish more places did this because I love those noodles, but it just doesn't happen in many other places that I have seen. Lots of places are now having you box up your own leftovers. I hate this practice, but it is a small thing in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:13 AM   #3
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Larry, sounds like the service you got was pretty bad and you had the good sense not to reward her for bad service by not leaving a tip. Too many people still tip so why should she give good service? However, in defense of the waitress giving you the containers to fill yourself, in many states, Nevada included, the waitress is not allowed to fill your container. According to the health department, the waitress must touch the dish after you've eaten from it and can transfer bacteria from your plate to anything else she touches after that. I can fully understand that and frankly I'm glad that rule is enforced. But the rest of the service needs some real overhauling.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:17 AM   #4
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Sure, and i figured it was more of a location thing, which is why it didnt bother me, it was just 'different'. Its more the other stuff that i thought was rude. And im a pretty reasonable guy, easy going .... I take thins in stride, but when im the only one in a restaurant, and treated poorly, i just see no reason for it. I actually felt bad not tipping her, but im sure ill get over it and hopefully it will be a learning experience for her ( although im sure it wont be).
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:24 AM   #5
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could you tell me what restaurant that was ? My daughter in law used to live in Scranton before she married my son.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DramaQueen View Post
the waitress is not allowed to fill your container. According to the health department, the waitress must touch the dish after you've eaten from it and can transfer bacteria from your plate to anything else she touches after that.
This makes no sense to me. Doesn't the wait staff touch the dishes when they clear the table? What is the difference between touching a plate in which someone has finished eating and touching one where they want the leftovers? Shouldn't the waitstaff have clean hands anyway if they are dealing with food?
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:37 AM   #7
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Word's gotten around the industry about that soy chicken.....
You're doomed to bad service in Chinese restaurants! ;) (joke joke)

Probably another example of "hey lets open a restaurant we can cook"...
with no clue of running the place.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
This makes no sense to me. Doesn't the wait staff touch the dishes when they clear the table? What is the difference between touching a plate in which someone has finished eating and touching one where they want the leftovers? Shouldn't the waitstaff have clean hands anyway if they are dealing with food?
You're right of course, makes no sense to me either but in most restaurants it is the bus person rather than the waitstaff that clears the table. Some thing just don't jive.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:46 AM   #9
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I have never, in my adult life, been to a restaurant where I didn't box/bag my own left overs. NEVER. Personally, I'd rather do it myself than have someone else do it.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:47 AM   #10
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You had an unfortunate experience. Fortunately, it's not your home town.

If I walk into an empty restaurant, I turn around and leave.
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