Sorry; Had to Write a Bad Review

I love writing reviews. When I buy something I just love, I write a good review. When I go out to eat and have a great time, I write a good review. I have written positive reviews for restaurants, stores, online shopping, movies, events, fairs, etc. for years now.

I have always embraced the old ‘if you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything.’ I also like reading reviews, and I do get tired of the negative reviews, especially about restaurants. My feeling is that, if you try a new restaurant and you have a bad experience there, the best revenge is to never go there again.

With the possible exception of carelessness in a restaurant that could hurt or sicken patrons. Up until the other day, the only bad review I wrote was for a popular Italian garden-y type place that often serves endless pasta. My two best friends and I went there once and ordered a special “fonduta” cheese dip appetizer.

We each tried it, and we all agreed that it tasted exactly like PineSol-flavored cheese. The only good thing about it was that it was pine-y fresh, but nothing you want to actually eat. I suggested that perhaps someone had previously used the bowl to PineSol something and didn’t wash it out.

We called our waiter over, told him what happened and asked that he let the chef know about this immediately. Well, the appetizer was taken off our bill, but no one came to our table to explain what happened, apologize; nothing. It was as if nothing had happened. We have never been back there, and don’t plan on going there again. Ever. Because of this, I wrote and published my first bad review.

My second bad review was written and published last night. This was for a popular steakhouse chain I’ve been to many times over the years in many locations. I have never had a bad meal or bad service there—until yesterday.

Here’s an excerpt from it:

“I’ve been going to [popular steakhouse restaurant] for years now, and have always enjoyed great meals and friendly service at every location I’ve visited. Today I stopped in for a quick Caesar salad at the [popular steakhouse restaurant] in and ordered two meals to go (steak tips, a potato and a Caesar salad for the Crankee Yankee, and a grilled chicken dish for me) plus a gift card.

It could just be me, but it seemed to me that, as soon as my waiter saw that he had to wait on the dreaded single older woman; every server’s nightmare, he wanted to get me out of there as soon as possible.

I gave him my order, which he never wrote down, and subsequently had to be reminded about what sides I asked for. While I ate my salad while the two meals were being prepared, there was never any “how are you today?” or “how is your salad?” I also had to remind him that I wanted to buy a gift card as well.

Look, I waitressed my way through high school and college and I know that serving food to people can suck big time. I get it that people can be horrible, fussy and downright rude to servers. Therefore I usually try to be as polite as possible and leave a generous tip, which I did this time. But I left feeling that I had been given the bum’s rush.”

My server could have just been having a bad day or gotten some bad news; who knows? But I do know that, when working in a service industry, you are going to get the whole spectrum of human society, good and bad.

Even the dreaded single older woman.



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