Many years ago I had my first experience involving a “fine dining” establishment. I took my college sweetheart to a high-priced restaurant in Sarasota, Florida for her birthday. We dressed in the best clothing that we could afford at that time with our limited incomes. She wore a nice dress, and I had on a sports jacket and tie. They weren’t fashion designer clothing that the restaurant was used to seeing such as Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani. We probably wore JC Penney discounts, but it was the best that we could do.
When I was presented with the menu my eyes bulged in shock at the meal prices. I was expecting expensive, but not exorbitant. I’m sure it was pricey even for those with decent jobs; for a college kid it was a fortune. Fortunately I brought along some extra cash.
I decided to order the duck; I can’t remember what my girlfriend ordered. The waiter seemed aloof; I wasn’t sure if it was because he was trying to be efficient or had marked us as amateurs. I was stunned when my plate was brought to the table. On the large plate was a tiny piece of meat that was, at most, the size of an infant’s hand. My girlfriend couldn’t believe it either. To make matters worse, I had better tasting duck elsewhere at a much more economical restaurant.
When the waiter came back to ask how we enjoyed our meals, I asked him if that was the typical size of their duck. The waiter sneered at me and said “Yes” in a haughty tone as if to say “Why of course it is you lowly trailer park trash JC Penney-wearing peons.” I can’t understand why Mr. Snooty Snoot had to put on airs and take on such a contemptuous demeanor simply because I inquired about my food portion. Didn’t he realize that if he was ever personally hired by those that he served they’d have him pruning their rose bushes, cleaning their toilets, and picking up their dog’s poop? I thought about complaining to management, but I didn’t want to make a scene and ruin my girlfriend’s dinner.
The waiter made no pretense of paying attention to us for the rest of the evening. He probably figured that such young lowlifes weren’t going to tip anyway. Such an assumption is wrong of course. I would have given him a decent tip for decent service, instead of a fair tip for awful service.
Before we left I used the restroom since we had a long drive home. I couldn’t believe it when I saw a guy in there that was stationed as an attendant, I guess to powder men’s bottoms when they were finished doing their business.
Unfortunately the experience left a bad taste in my mouth for fancy pretentious places. Even to this day it’s a rare occasion when I visit a hoity toity restaurant; the fanciest it gets for me is Bonefish. I like to stick to tried and true chain restaurants like Red Lobster and Outback where I know that I’ll be treated decently and will receive consistently good food.
– Fed up with foo-foo restaurants