Okay, let's face it, restaurants have the most god-awful jobs in the industry. They could sign up for draining Port-A-Pottys and not notice a change in the quality of their job. No matter which job they happen to have, they catch crap all day.
Now, with that being said, when your business has a nice dose of D-GAS (Don't Give A Shit) there really is very little that a waitress can do to liven the place up. I wish to issue this warning. If you are eating, or plan to eat soon after reading this story, I strongly recommend you get that done and over with before continuing this story. Now that I mention it, wait an hour before diving in...
My family and I head to what turned out to be a hole-in-the-wall diner that goes by a name that rhymes with Narrows. Now I have always had horrible experiences at this restaurant chain, no matter which one I've ever been to. However, my family firmly overrules me with the glowing praise of "Cheap steaks, hells yeahs."
*Facepalm* Ladies and gentlemen, if your steak dinner is cheap, the taste isn't going to match anything remotely edible. Come on now, do you know why places like Cattleman's, Black Angus and Texas Roadhouse are so goddamn expensive? It's because their meat is the best quality they can acquire and when you pay $100 on your bill, you walk out going "Goddamn, that was expensive, but goddamn was it good too!"
We enter the building and I'm hit by a stench that is like walking face first into a wall. It's the combination of high humidity in a building that doesn't have air circulation coupled by filthy and moldering carpets and that just-a-touch of piss-poor-food-cooking. I mean, that's a special kind of Yuck right there. I couldn't believe that everyone sat down in the booth we were given and picked up their menus.
With somewhat trembling fingers I tried to find something worthwhile on the menu. As my GI Tract has a long history of doing incredibly unpleasant things with some types of food, I was leery of anything remotely capable of being greasy. Naturally, I can find nothing worth the risk and under pressure from the family, I am forced to order what my mom ordered, praying that it would work in my favor.
I stabbed it with a fork and it began to bleed. Heavily. I uttered a yelp of horror, expecting it to "Moo" angrily at me and try to graze on my napkin. I had to send it back. Apologetically. Politely. But it had to go back.
The vegetables on the second plate were limp and the edges of their cuts had been turning brown BEFORE they had been cooked. The potatoes tasted like someone had mixed flour and water, molded it into a lumpy paste and then added a few spices to it in order to pass it off as potatoes. My second "steak" was medium well, but incredibly fatty. I carved off enough fat to total 80% of the "steak's" weight. I stared in disgust at the coin shaped piece of meat, then picked it up by both ends and gave it a twist: wringing it out as though it were a towel. Globules of fat popped out of the meat like a series of popping pimples, which oozed along the meat in a stream of grease until they pattered gently onto my plate. In silent horror I put it down and shoved my plate away from me.
It probably doesn't need to be said that I spent the rest of the "meal" with my arms crossed in sullen resentment that my warnings about the quality of the food had been ignored. Family members tried offering me bites from their own plates in an attempt to get me to eat, but I refused. NONE of it was edible in my mind. Only my grandma did the smart thing, which was to ask that the food that I could not eat be taken off the tab.
A prissy snob may ask; "Well why didn't you FORCE yourself to eat it? You need to learn some MANNERS!"
To which I reply: "Because 'manners' shouldn't require me to puke out of BOTH ends ten minutes later!"
Once we walked out of the restaurant, I snarled that the next time some idiot in the family suggested Narrows, I would hop in my own car and eat at the much healthier and much more edible Golden Arches and meet them later.
Was it the Server's fault? No. She only brought the food to us. Was it the chef's fault? Mmph. No, I can't really blame them either. When you start out with shit quality food, you really cannot do anything to make it palatable. No, I lay the blame on the stupid fuck who bought into the franchise, with a healthy dollop of blame on the franchise itself.
When you buy into a franchise, you take sole responsibility for the upkeep of the business. You have to buy THEIR equipment, use THEIR layout, cook food according to THEIR recipes and obtain food from THEIR distributers. However it's on YOUR head to make the business attractive to customers. The franchise name may attract customers but YOU have to work to keep them. AKA CLEAN THE GODDAMN BUILDING!
The carpet, which is supposed to have a design with a green border, was too grimy to see the pattern and the green was nearly black. Everything from the walls, to the table to the chairs, were sticky. I touched a wall and almost needed to borrow a butter knife in order to scrape my fingers back off.
This particular location had a small, walled-in courtyard with a large window situated behind our booth. At one time it may have been pretty, with a fountain and lush greenery. Now the fountain was cracked where it wasn't simply broken. Fossilized remains of plants formed a carpet of ugly, decayed vegetation on the floor and up the walls of this courtyard. And I was pretty certain I saw something create ripples in the sludgy brown mess at the bottom of the fountain.
Uuuugh. Never. Ever. Again.
May all your customers be nice,