Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Stormy Night Behind Us

A few years back Peggy and I were heading “Up North” to my parent’s cabin in Three Lakes, WI. We were getting hungry and decided to stop in at an truck stop somewhere in Wisconsin which name will remain anonymous to protect the innocent. I am not a truck stop aficionado, but I would say this place was decent by truck stop standards. When thinking of comparable restaurants Denny's, Perkins, and IHOP come to mind. Unfortunately, as we found that night, looks can often be deceiving.

As we entered the hostess seated us promptly. Looking around the dining room I would say it was a slow night with ¼ of the tables occupied at best. A short time later we were approached by our server, a young woman, 20ish in age, skinny yet with a pregnant belly, chewing and snapping gum as she asked “Can I get you something to drink”. Peggy ordered water, and I ordered a Coke. As she walked away Peggy and I smiled at each other as if we knew we were in for an interesting dining experience.

Our server returned, prefaced by several snaps of her gum, and brought us our beverages. As she haphazardly set my Coke on the table the liquid was sloshing back and forth over the edge of the glass. “Sorry I slopped on your table, can I take your order?” she said while coughing and wiping her runny nose with her finger. After placing our order we watched our server walk away…and she was never heard from again…at least at our table.

From that point on we waited…and waited…and then waited some more. We could see her, behind the counter in the back by the kitchen door talking to the cook and the dishwasher. Then a new group of people were seated in her section. She approached, gave them menus, took their drink orders and did not even look our way. At this point we were so amazed by the lack of service and incompetent treatment that we decided sit quietly and wait to see how bad it could get.

The server came back to the other table gave them their drinks and took their dinner order. Again, not even looking at us which was a feat in itself since we were right next to the table she was serving. Meanwhile, another table came in and same story, drinks were brought, order taken, etc. She brought food to the table that came in five minuets after us and then to the table that came in ten minuets after us. At this point, most people would have demanded to see the manager, but not us. We were determined to see how bad it could get. But to what extent? How long would we stay? Until the end of her shift? Overnight? No, we decided not to be that extreme, but we would wait until the table that came in after us had finished and left. That is exactly what happened. They finished their meals paid and were on their way. All this time the ne’er-do-well we formerly referred to as our server never even made eye contact with us.

After enduring the hell of being hungry and having no service at all we got up and went to the cashier to report our awful experience. When asked who our server was we told her the skinny brown haired pregnant girl. The cashier immediately rolled her eyes and said “Oh, that’s Stormy” giving us the impression that this has happened before. Unfortunately that did not seem to make a difference because the cashier did not even apologize for the service and proceeded to charge us for the coke that I had purchased 45 minutes earlier. I looked at Peggy in disbelief and suggested we pay thus putting the icing on the cake to the worst dining experience (or lack their of) ever!

1 comment:

andyandpeggy said...

I updated this post and left out the name of the truck stop and city because I did not want to get anyone in trouble for an incident that happened a few years back. This is water under the bridge but I have been asked by several individuals to post this story so others can enjoy.