Independence roadtrip - Friday July 1st part four
Published on July 13th, 2011 @ 08:05:00 am , using 768 words, 38347 views
We head out to The Place Which Will Not Be Named.
And this is where the entry gets a bit reflective.
To malaprop-paraphrase the late great Bill Hicks - if you're here for beer chat, we're getting to that. I got a *lot* of that. But this is good too, so hang in there.
We get to the dining establishment and are seated.
This is a non-chain establishment, and it's around late-lunchtime. I've checked reviews on Yelp and the majority of reviews are that the food is a bit overpriced for what it is, but generally good. I'm sharing this so you know where maybe my expectations are when we enter.
We're seated by the window. The sun has finally come out, a relief as we were ducking absolutely pouring rain going into Hopcat (karma for the giggling at the rained on club girls the night before? Probably!).
The server comes up. Young, attractive, no body art, 1 unusual adornment. Over-made up for the weather outside. Over-made up compared to all the places we have been in Grand Rapids.
(We all profile by appearance, even when we try not to, so no judging for me trying to describe her so you get the mood of the thing. If it makes you feel better, she probably profiled us too.)
We study the menu. We order 2 things that seem rather proteiny and filling to people who are used to splitting entrees. They're appetizers, but sound promising. We're pretty excited at this point!
At our usual places in Lafayette/in Indiana, the staff knows us and I know that all waitstaff has their mask/barrier up. It's part of survival. They're not acting, they're not being fake - they're being who they are while in the role of service-industry. I respect that, I have to do that in my business too to a certain extent.
Some people are more willing to share their selves with you than others are. This is true within a service industry/customer relationship and out of it. Everyone has a different set of social barriers. Things one person shares readily, another may never share except with their most intimate friends.
This server felt very.. angry. Her body language and the way she moved wasn't just matter of factly, it was as if she was angry at the water. Angry at the floor that she had to walk on. Angry at the staff, angry at the customers.
This was swimming under a very lovely but very 'over produced' facade. She's conventionally lovely and the role she chose is a 'cute wait staff that dots her I's with flowers' kind of person. But her entire being doesn't match it.
My lower, middle and upper systems of interpreting emotions are a little overloaded. The lizard, child and higher being are trying to figure this stuff out and it's a little too much for my brain to deal with.
Did we do something wrong? Is she angry at us? Is she angry that she's working?
Jon and I dig into the food, which is a *lot less food* than expected in all cases. The first course was good, but not exceptional. I don't usually mind restaurant tricks to make things look larger than they are, but today I resent what they've done.
The 'main' meat course comes out and is smaller than expected. It was good, but Jon and I have done similar things to both courses at home and been much happier with it. I've now had maybe 3 oz of protein total and I'm not a happy woman.
I believe people probably like this eating establishment, but the wait staff is really confusing me, and I'm not happy with the food.
I have no unrealistic expectation that wait staff be thrilled with their job or with serving me.
I do my best to make the experience generally pleasant, as I don't view staff as machine-like things that are meant to serve me. I view them as people, and I try to treat everyone well.
I don't feel like we were treated well. We were treated as 'things' not as people. Since I do my best to not treat people as machines or things, I felt a bit put off and slightly offended.
We pay, and leave. I'm really bummed out at this point.
I won't tell you about my mini breakdown, but it involved cheese, and a nice but confused person who wanted to make my day brighter, but could see that probably the best thing to do was disengage.
We decide to go to a place that may or may not feel like home.