I'm not sure if this was a farce that we weren't privy to, or else our waitress had pissed off good ol' Murphy and he turned his Law loose. Please note, although we are meeting for lunch and it is 1pm, the restaurant is not bogged down by a massive lunch rush.
Now given my list of druthers, I druther not eat at Olive Garden if I can help it. But druther I do, or druther I don't, this was a lunch stop for members of a club my mom is a part of. and I was along for the ride since I am mom's chauffeur.
We arrive and are seated immediately. No harm, no foul there.
There are only three sets of silverware. There are seven of us altogether.
The waitress arrives to take her drink orders. Apparently she came to work, threw on her apron and got to work. Her apron was inside out so she had to fish for her order book. And she forgot to put on her nametag.
Drink orders taken. We request silverware. She disappears.
We decide on our noms. Among these orders is the chicken and gnocci for the guy who finds tomato way too acidic, and minestrone for some others. I request spaghetti and meat sauce and another lady orders her own pasta request. Mom specifies that she is allergic to peppers, and to please not put any peperoncini in the salad.
We get salad and breadsticks forty minutes later. Guess what got put in with the lettuce? The drinks have yet to arrive. We had to request the silverware again.
Sigh. Some members retrieve the peppers and allow me to carefully snatch salad from the areas where there were no peppers for mom's plate.
Holy shit who dumped the salt shaker on the bread? Seriously, only the ocean competes with this!
Silverware arrives in a handful and is simply plopped at one end for us to distribute. Er... Okay? Thanks for the fucks given?
Soup arrives. Minestrone all the way, plus one extra bowl that gets dumped in front of me.
Me: "Er, I didn't order any soup, and he wanted chicken and gnocci."
Her: "Well you've got some minestrone now."
Wait... what? Do. Not. Want. What about this was hard? And what's with the implied, "Tough shit, it's what you're getting," attitude? What about the gnocci? Not acknowledged. At least not to me.
The guy catches her before she can leave and asks about the gnocci please. It arrives later, no apologies given. His minestrone ends up being given to his wife since it's not being taken back to the kitchen.
One of the members, who is already waiting on her own pasta dish, takes my own unwanted bowl to supplement her order. So two unwanted bowls of soup. The waitress is ignoring our attempts to tell her that we didn't order these extra bowls, and we're left wondering what to do.
We talk and socialize. Twenty minutes pass. We flag her down and ask about the pasta dishes. Still waiting? Yep. How about our drinks please? Oh wow, she's stunned that we don't have them yet. They finally arrive... AFTER THE SOUPS ARRIVE!
The twenty minutes stretches to thirty minutes. (For math lovers we are rolling at: 40 minutes to get the salad, 20 for soup, plus an additional 10 for the pasta. Or, 1 hour, 10 minutes before we're eating the main course.)
Talk and socializing continues. Waters are being topped off, but I see nothing on those sodas being refilled.
The waitress introduces her replacement to us and vanishes into the ether. Our new waitress takes one look at the table and starts gathering up the salad plates that have been sitting there for I don't even know how long.
In the end, we get our bill and for some reason, despite there being seven of us eight people are being charged; namely for the two extra soups and an extra salad order that was never consumed by the invisible guest.
We are trying to remain in good humor, but there's a decided air of annoyance now as we have the extra dishes taken off the final bill.
Thoughts from you RHUers on a better course of action? We didn't order the soups, but we got them; and were duly informed that we were getting them, ordered or not. We didn't want the soups to go to waste so members DID eat them. Is it better to reply "Um, excuse me, no. Take both of these soups back, and get him his gnocci," and ensure they are taken off the bill, or do you try to make the best of the situation since the waitress is mucking everything up from the get-go?
May all your customers be nice,