Today I went to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch. They specialize in Singaporean food and one of my favorites is something they call Basil Chicken. It is sauteed chicken breast, snow peas, onions, and fresh Basil, in a spicy sauce, that’s best served over rice. What can I say? It’s delicious.
The restaurant is run by a friend of mine who is one of the best hosts you will ever meet. He is one of the most professional people I have seen in getting people seated, served, and taken care of. The combination of good food and great service is one of the reasons that I am a very reliable customer. I will go out of my way to take clients there, visitors from out of town, and especially my family.
Our waiter was a nice Asian guy, probably in his early twenties, who was quick, efficient, and very well mannered. He seemed to anticipate our every request as our water glasses were continually full, dirty dishes were quickly whisked away before they ever seemed to be in our way, and all it took was a quick nod to get the check. Seemed like he was going to get a big tip.
We finished our meal and I was getting set to leave. I had a drive back to the office so I decided to stop at the restroom before I left. When I entered I saw our waiter at the far urinal. I nodded. He finished just a moment before me, and left. I expected to see him at the sinks, but he had vanished out the door.
Did he just go to the bathroom and not wash his hands? Was he going out to serve food now?
I couldn’t believe it. Not at one of my favorite restaurants. Not in a place run by a friend of mine. But yes, it seemed that was the case.
So now what? What would you do?
Here’s what I did. I searched for and found my friend who ran the restaurant. I discreetly pointed out the waiter and explained what happened. He was not amused. Far from it, he was angry. Not at me, but at the guy that I had just pointed to.
What did he do? As the professional that I knew he was, he thanked me profusely and said he would take care of it.
So there is probably a waiter that no longer has a job, and in the current economic times that can’t be good. I feel bad about that, but the way that I look at it, if you can’t do a job right you shouldn’t be doing it.