The Hired Help
by Wayne Flaherty
With 2016 firmly settled in it is time for my annual review of the hired help I have encountered during the last year. These are mostly employees of restaurants in which I have eaten. They all have one thing in common. Their IQs are about the same as their shoe size. It is not so much a case of not following their manager's orders as it is a total lack of common sense.
One late morning I was in a hurry to get to an appointment so I stopped at the McDonald's on Metcalf just south of 75th street (Overland Park, Kansas). I ordered a cheeseburger with nothing on it. I got in my car and started to eat my burger when I realized it had no cheese on it. Furious, I made a quick U-turn and went back to the restaurant. When I informed the clerk who had waited on me that my cheeseburger had no cheese on it, she replied, "You said you didn't want anything on it." I tried to tell her that when you take the cheese off a cheeseburger it is no longer a cheeseburger - it is now a hamburger.
Sensing that any discussion with this mental midget was useless, I asked to see the manager. Soon, the manager appeared. I explained the problem to her and was greeted with a blank stare. When she said nothing I asked, "If you take the cheese off a cheeseburger what do you get?" Again, a blank stare and then a response something along the lines of "abba abba abba" and then silence. At that point I knew what the problem was - a manager dumber than that stupid employee. I took my cheeseburger with no cheese and went on my way. I have found that when dealing with graduates of the American education system you had better know when to leave the battlefield with some shred of dignity still intact. I still go to McDonald's - just not the one on Metcalf.
On the first Tuesday of the month four couples (friends and former co workers) meet for breakfast. For several years the restaurant was selected by a different couple each month. After discovering that the IHOP at 93rd and Metcalf had a special room just big enough for eight people we began to go there. That all ended on the day I arrived first. The waitress came in and took my order which I asked her to hold until the rest of the party arrived and ordered. The couples soon trickled in and when we were all seated the waitress took the orders. After a while the orders arrived - that is all except mine. I had ordered 2 biscuits and gravy. To make 2 biscuits and gravy you take one plate, break open 2 biscuits, and ladle gravy over the whole thing. The entire process can be done in less than 60 seconds. Instead, I sat staring at an empty table. After a total of 25 minutes I had to ask my waitress where my food was. She came with my food and for a moment I contemplated throwing the biscuits and gravy in her face but decided against it.
I got up and walked out. I wrote a letter to the IHOP headquarters but never received a reply. I took a copy of the letter back to the restaurant and presented it to the manager who was unavailable when the incident occurred. He was properly apologetic and said he would take it up with the waitress. At that point I informed him that the real problem was not the employee. It was him. I assured him I would never again visit his restaurant. I still eat at the IHOP at Antioch and Shawnee Mission Parkway. In 12 years I have had nothing but excellent service from the people there. They care about their customers.
After 12 years in Pegah's Restaurant in Shawnee, Kansas, I have called it quits forever and informed the owner of that decision. I had problems before but this one was the last straw. Previously, my waitress brought my supper, but no roll (as advertised on the menu). When I asked for my roll she turned and disappeared - never to return. I had to beg the cashier for my roll.
This time my problem was different. My wife and I found a table and ordered 2 decaf coffees. When the coffee arrived it was not hot. In fact, it wasn't even warm. It was just room temperature. We settled for regular coffee and ate our meal. I asked the cashier, who is also the floor manager, why they turned off the coffee hot plates. She informed me that they "never turn of the coffee hot plates." Now I make no claim to superior intelligence but I can only see 2 ways to make room temperature coffee - either you have to turn off the burner or remove the pot from the burner. If Pegah's employees are perfectly happy to bring a cup of room temperature coffee to a customer then I can find some other place to eat. I sent a letter to the owner along with a Pegah's menu I kept in my home saying I would no longer need it as I was never going to enter his restaurant again. I can't believe I am the only customer who has had these problems. Maybe they don't get fixed because nobody else calls it to the attention of management.
I hope I am not the only voice in the wilderness.