Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Time Flies

So I look at the date of my last post and realize that it has been two months since I last posted. There are reasons, of course; the biggest one being that we've been working our butts off trying to get the place in Michigan ready for winter, then three days on the road driving to Florida only to find that the jungle had taken over down here while we were gone. One of our vines had even tried to eat the house. We've got things about 75% of the way cleared, but there is still a lot of work to do. We have a couple water control projects that we had hoped to get done while we were down here, but I'm not so sure we'll get to them.

Everyone has experienced what I call the Covid-excuse; due to Covid, wait times are longer, some items may not be available, blah, blah, blah. Recently, Covid-excuse has been replaced with other excuses like supply chain problems, labor shortages, etc.

(And just for the record, there is no labor shortage; we are in the first stages of a general strike.)

But on the way down to Florida, we hit the mother-lode at the Kennesaw, Georgia Chili's restaurant. The fun started before we even got in the door. Like many business establishments, the handicap parking spaces were closer to the dumpsters than the front door. We rounded the corner of the building only to be blasted with music so loud, it was pushing us across the parking lot. We looked like four mimes walking in the wind as we struggled our way to the front door.

We at last managed to fight our way inside only to find that the music was even louder. We tried to communicate with the hostess, but it was no use. We finally resorted to ASL to tell her there were four people in our party and that we would prefer a table. The hostess signed back that there would be a 35-40 minute wait. We settled in while Heart screeched at ear-splitting volume about how she was crazy on me. It was so loud, every beat on the kick drum banged our heads against the wall.

We were seated in about 30 minutes, grabbed menus, decided what everyone was having, then we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Twenty minutes later, the only server in sight came sprinting over to our table to take our drink order. We gave her our drink and food order. Our server told my dad that they were out of coffee. We stared at her in disbelief. How does a restaurant run out of coffee? Our server informed us that it was "supply chain problems", a "national coffee shortage". I just laughed, we figured out something else for my dad to drink, then off she sprinted. More waiting.

While all this was going on, in comes The Table of Nine. These were obviously Very Important Persons as their table had two servers plus someone running plates. Meanwhile, our server was literally running flat out trying to serve the rest of the restaurant.

After more waiting, our server comes out with Debbie's and my steaks, but not my parents order. All they had ordered was potato soup, so I was thinking that this had to be good. Sure enough. "Sorry but my manager just informed me that we're out of potato soup." Let me guess: a national potato shortage? And why did it take half an hour to figure out that you were out of soup? And why wasn't it the manager who came out to tell us? So were scrambling trying to figure out something light for my parents when my mom blurts out, "Can you manage a couple grilled cheese sandwiches?" Sure! Would you like some fries with that? Yes, please. And off she goes sprinting for the kitchen. 

Oh, and did I mention that we had no napkins? Debbie finally went out to the van and dug a bunch of Burger King napkins out of the glove box. I suppose there is a national napkin shortage....

So here we set with our food and my parents have nothing. Finally we dig in. We had ordered our steaks medium. What was on our plate was not medium. It was not medium well. It wasn't even well done. We had been served two charcoal briquettes. At this point, we were so tired and hungry we didn't care. We crunched on our steaks. At least our sides were good. 

My parents' grilled cheese sandwiches came out. They looked perfect. We ate the rest of our food and waited some more for the bill. Our server brought it out and was gone in a flash. It was close to $50. We started looking at it more carefully. Debbie and I had ordered one of the $25 for two deals. That included an appetizer, two small steaks with sides, and a dessert. My parents' two grilled cheese sandwiches with a small handful of fries cost nearly the same. Seriously? At this point, we didn't have the energy to argue; we just wanted to get the hell out of there.

Just to be clear; I'm not blaming our server for any of this. This was a management failure pure and simple. At least we were entertained during our interminable waiting watching the Very Important Persons at The Table of Nine being endlessly fawned over by their two servers, table runner and even someone that looked suspiciously like a manager that came over and chatted everyone up while conspicuously NOT looking in our direction. I'm not sure who these people were, but I hope they give Chili's a lot of business, because I am done.