Harshest Critic

It’s amazing to me to think that my wife has put up with me all of these years.  When I think of how many times she and I have eaten out together, it’s a wonder she still goes out with me at all.

I wouldn’t want to go out with me.  Come to think of it, I wouldn’t even want to play golf with me.  What a crab.  Okay, maybe not a crab, that might be going a bit too far, but surely  hypersensitive to restaurant service shortcomings.  And there are plenty of them in Portland where being cool seems to be just about the only thing that counts or matters. 

Bad Service

I went on a very pleasant bike ride this past weekend with my darling wife and daughter.  (Well. it started as a very pleasant bike ride). We stopped at a couple of different places along the way, to have a drink and something to eat.  I did my best to ignore the attitude we were getting from our servers, determined to not let my problems and frustrations get in the way of a good time with my family, but when I looked across the street, 100 hundred feet away, I saw something annoying.  I just kept it to myself, looked down and shook my head a bit.  My daughter asked what was wrong, and I responded, “Nothing,” but she knows me too well.  “Okay,” I said.  “I just saw an example of very bad service.”

Here I am, trying to relax and enjoy my family time, happened to glance out a window, and saw yet another example of how Portland restaurant employees take their customers for granted.  Not only did I find that we were getting some serious attitude from our server–but when I looked across the street at a neighboring restaurant–I noticed other customers getting much less than the good service and proper attitude they deserved.  Through two windows and a great distance!  I couldn’t even hear the exchange between the employee and the customer, and yet I knew. 

Don’t let me eat out

It’s no wonder that when our family goes out, my kids do all they can to make sure I am facing a wall.  Anywhere where I can’t see anything at all is perfect for them.  I guess that would be the polar opposite of Fengshui.   That would be fine, except for the fact that my culinary students often accuse me of having eyes in the back of my head.

I’m working on it.  This blog is one way.  I guess I think that if I get some of this down in writing, maybe it won’t haunt me quite as much.  Perhaps I should think of it as a practice, like yoga or meditation, instead of trying to solve all of the world’s (or Portland’s) service issues.  Like I said, I am working on it.

But what should I do?  Pretend that I don’t see the terrible service and attitude that is out there?  Ignore the fact that people are being abused by their servers?  I couldn’t do that in a million years.  Am I to become that person–again I am not going to name names–that can’t go anywhere because they have vowed not to return to those places where they received poor service?  I know people who don’t go to that gas station anymore, that bank anymore, that grocery store anymore, that restaurant anymore……I am not, nor will I ever be that guy.

Help me out here.  I need guidance.  I want to stay happily married.


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