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Ruined some little girl's life tonight

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by totalburnout, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

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    Alright, well I'm not normally one to be all mellow depressant online or in person but tonight sent me into a serious state of depression. I haven't not been happy in I don't know how long and one small incident seemed to shatter the world tonight. ...I bet most will laugh whats its over.


    I'm a server at an italian restaurant. Tonight I had a very nice family walk in. I wasn't busy with tables, so I was up front and helping everything along smoothly when they walked in and I took care of them, from the start. Although its unusual, I greeted the family as they walked in, sat them, and then waited on them. I came to find out that they were very nice, polite, respect people who were also vegetarians.

    They had many special requests to insure that their food would be prepared accordingly and had explicitly specified, to a painful degree, how they could not eat any meat or to a greater degree, food that was prepared in any way, shape, or form through the use of animal products. i.e., no chicken broth, etc.

    Their little girl, probably around 12 or so, inquired whether or not the eggplant parm. was in more or less terms "vegetarian friendly." I assured her that it was and assured the parents that everything would be taken care of accordingly.


    Fast forward this dramatically long story about 10 minutes. Its late at night and the restaurant is dying down. The expo went home for the night, and all the chefs took the tickets directly to prepare the meals. My friend, who is also a server, had a ticket for a veal parm. In the confusion he accidentally took my eggplant parm out to his table, without knowing he did so. His table was none the wiser and didn't say a peep.

    My tables entrees came up and they were placed next to each other. I hurried along, after taking such special requests for drinks and so on and so forth from these people that I was now rushed, and grabbed the entrees.

    Unfortunately this little girl received a veal parm. She had never before eaten meat. I dropped the entrees off, and came back less than a minute later to a horrified family. The father who had been a nice gentleman, suddenly turned crazed. The girl went from tan to a pale ghost white and was fairly hysterical. I'll never forget the look on her face.

    The table wound up leaving because the daughter was so upset. Normally I roll with the punches and joke quite a bit. I didn't want to talk to anyone for about two hours afterwards, no one seemed to understand the extent of the issue.

    Heres this young girl, strict vegetarian, never eaten meat before, and was served just about the anti-christ food of any vegetarian. It wasn't just a mix up in food, but a horrified girl that probably will be emotionally scarred from the event.

    Long story short, i feel terrible for the first time in I don't know how long. Thats my sob story of the night.
     
  2. B16RacerN2NR

    B16RacerN2NR Working Hard VIP

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    oh well, you never know, that face could of been the look of joy, maybe she enjoyed and it scared her [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

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    In the grand scheme of things this may seem petty, but in my eyes its huge.

    I rationalize that this little girls vegetarian beliefs are akin to that of religious beliefs and thus nothing to be toyed with. She spent her entire life avoiding animal products and subsequently I was the first person to inadvertently cause her to stray from her beliefs, having that on my conscious is extremely difficult to cope with, personally.
     
  4. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    Sounds like a pretty simple mistake. From what I read, it's not really so much your fault directly. Who knows? Maybe she's reconsidering being a vegetarian now? :p

    I don't think I could personally live without meat.
     
  5. EGProject

    EGProject YEEEEAAHHHHH

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    Mmmm... Veal parm. You're making me hungry.


    Anywho, don't take it personally. If it was a simple screw-up then that's all it is. No one was hurt, and no one died. It'd be another thing to get mad about it if the girl was alergic to a certain ingredient - but no physical harm had been incured. Shrug it off dude. I once had a lady and her child go ripshit on me because we didn't have any carvable watermelons. Apparently it was the childs wish to carve a watermelon into a bowl as part of her birthday.


    As I always say, we have sharp teeth for a reason. I respect ones choice to be a vegetarian, but for a parents belief to cause a child that much trauma from eating meat is not very considerate, or tactful. It should be a personal choice, not a forced one.
     
  6. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

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    Some people eluded to this fact and that she just experienced something she never had before, so they viewed it in a more positive light but I still don't want to press that upon someone.
     
  7. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

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    I appreciate the advice, and I surely should have been more mature about the situation and not allowed it to have such a profound effect on myself mentally. Emotions are a very touchy subject for myself and I never want to be the one to cause anyone heart ache or pain.

    She may not have been hurt physically but emotionally she was horrified and will never forget.


    Its not my place to say whether its right or wrong for a parent to raise their child as a vegetarian. There were three daughters with the husband and wife, and two of the daughters were vegetarians whilst the other was not.
     
  8. VTECin5th

    VTECin5th Administrator

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    Dude, don't worry, im sure she already has had meat, and will eat it again.
    Whether or not the parents think so.
    My muslim buddy can't eat pork, but he does all the time, and he had before he started.
    Alot of people are pretty gay about vegetarianism, as in taking it too far.
    How do they know it's meat if they've never had it?
    You shoulda said it was friend lettuce.
     
  9. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

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    Her parents hadn't forced this upon her. Her parents were the ones that knew it was meat. This girl definately was not the kind of girl that would sneak behind her parents back and have meat, she was terrified, absolutely terrified.
     
  10. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Thank you for bringing that up.
     
  11. dveit

    dveit Well-Known Member VIP

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    It's okay man, don't feel bad. I served a table once and the girl was allergic to all kinds of nuts. Well of course she HAD to order the pecan crusted salad without pecans. Well, long story short, a normal ingredient salad one went out insted of my 86'd one. Had to call the ambulance, she started breaking out in hive, it was pretty bad.

    Worst of all, no tip for me. All cause fuckin' cooks who can't read SI's.
     
  12. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

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    No they weren't. Still, it was against their beliefs.

    As far as hurting people's feelings, I may say controversial things, but I don't believe that I ever truly hurt someones feelings to the extent that they're scarred. I joke, I jest, I mess around, but I would never intentionally hurt someone, I just don't have the capacity to knowingly do so.
     
  13. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    when you have a strict-ass diet, you really can't eat out. i'm lactose intollerant, and butter is the worst for me... so i always ask for no butter. what in a restaurant DOESNT have butter on it? i don't even like the taste on top of the fact that it tears me a new one...

    and how do i know if the mashed potatoes don't have butter in it? sometimes you can see it (gross!) but sometimes you can't tell unitl you taste it.

    I've pretty much dealt with it. i rarely get breakfast food at the diner, because all the eggs and home fries are fried with butter, toast is buttered, hell, the pancakes are butter milk...

    I also waited tables in a country club for 6 years.... and i've done a LOT worse (yeah, like spill tomato juice on the mayor's white shirt (whole glass fell off my tray and broke on his back) right before he was about to give a speech)

    So, i guess while i understand the situation, i don't think its that big of a deal. shit happens, people make mistakes, chefs are assholes who dont give a fuck about the customer like you do becuase they don't have to deal with them, and you look like the asshole when they fuck up... or in your case, your co-worker fucks up. but no, i'd blame the chefs.
    any good line cook, when putting up plates wth similar orders, shoudl put a toothpick or something in one to mark it properly.

    don't feel like shit man. chances are, they just won't be coming back to your restaurant.... and you may have helped save that little girl from a sheltered life that was spoon-fed to her instead of self-chosen.
     
  14. IceBolt

    IceBolt Senior Member

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    aw man, i feel your pain man.

    my buddy's like that too. and you can't have cheese on your pizza either eh?

    My buddy and I shared a pizza one, half cheese half no cheese, and there was a grain of cheese and he threw it up.

    poor guy.

    i feel bad for making that pizza, even though i tripple checked :S

    damn, you spilled tomato juice on the mayor? shit... that was like out of a movie or something
     
  15. jeffie7

    jeffie7 Wrong Whole! VIP

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    I manage and wait in the food biz.

    Bottom line, you should have checked any type of parm style food becuase the cheese will keep you from seeing the type of meat/veggies that are under it. veal, chicken, or eggplant, when covered with sauce and cheese you can't tell with out diggin somewhat into it (lifting the cheese) or asking the cook. So you "should" have cought that way before it made it to the table.

    If that happened on my shift I would have cought the table before they left and did the normal sorry blah blah blah not that there's anything we can do for you but mistakes happen we're all only humen.

    I wouldnt even think about firing you. shit happens. I put money on it that you will never EVER let food like that go to a table with out checking it first =)

    being a manager I catch 2938098243 wrong things a day I have to fix before it makes it out to the tables or cars.

    shit happens, get over the fact that you screwed up and move on. I'm sure the family also feels bad for you. (of course after they cooled off)
     
  16. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

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    I never said it wasn't partly my fault. Veal parm is laid out in two pieces in the shape of a V, eggplant parm is laid out in three pieces. My ticket was pushed together and it looked like three pieces with the cheese and sauce over top of it.

    Its not an issue of being fired, hell I'm one of the top servers at the restaurant and have never received a guest complaint on my service. I was supposed to be getting some kickbacks just the other week because someone called into corporate and left such positive feedback about myself. The GM almost shit himself when he saw me sit down with one of the managers the other day, when pressumabley he thought that I was putting my two weeks in because he immediately came over and sat in and he's the furthest thing from a social manager. I'm good at what I do, but I always told myself I would stop doing it when it stopped being fun. Lately, I haven't been looking forward about going into work, like I used to and this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    I handled the situation, as I normally do (managers trust me to make the judgement calls and fix any problems that I have with a table, as well as any problems that my co-workers have). The manager comped the entire meal and even gave BOG's (be our guests) for the patrons to come back. The experience may have left a sour taste in the guests' mouths but they come on a semi regular basis. I had never waited on them before, but they were delighted and in the end still praised the service saying it was great but that they had to leave because their daughter was too upset.

    I was very apologetic towards the table and I'm sure they realized how awful I felt. The husband verbalized that he too works in the restaurant business and understands.

    Its just shitty that there was no ticket on the board to go with the food and I had no idea that my co-worker had a ticket out. The expo wasn't there to make sure everything went smoothly and I was in too much of a hurry to even think to check the food.

    I'll be over it eventually but I still feel terrible that I was the first one to break this girls vow to herself and her beliefs.

    I'll go back tomorrow, hopefully, with a renewed passion and work my magic. A slumping economy, increasing gas prices, and an all around terrible time for the restaurant business has taken its toll as of late, but I'm ready to suck it up or more on elsewhere.

    Thanks for the advice from anyone who provided it, it is appreciated.

    B, thanks for the kind words. I agree with what you said, even though I'm still depressed about the whole incident.
     
  17. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

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    I believe I have, but experience does not come without effect.
     
  18. Dustin_m

    Dustin_m Active Member

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    ehh, don't worry about it. i'm a server too, so i can understand that you might feel bad about it. either way, the way i see it is, people that have such strict standards on their diet should go somewhere that either caters to that specific diet, or just cook their own meals. i don't particularly have any problem with vegans/vegetarians, but it's a hassle. i get annoyed when people come into a restaraunt and expect us to change the whole meal to suit their needs. yea one or two special requests is fine, but not changing the whole food. I always have to deal with elderly people who come in and want everything changed, then they lose their temper when i say one of the things is not possible to do. I got over bending backwards for the customer a few years ago. i finally realized that usually people who are going to tip good, or be thankful for you doing their special requests are also aware that it is a hassle to ask for too much. so now when someone just goes way overboard i jsut won't do it if we are not supposed too.

    either way dude, don't worry too much, like someone else already said, she wasn't allergic. to me that was just like when people tell me they want us to pick out the cauliflower out of our vegetable mix, and i don't do it (I had someone tell me to do that yesterday). oh well they don't like it, its not gonna kill em.
     
  19. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator VIP

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    as many others have said already... fuck it
    i understand that you feel bad
    and you should, you fed a young vegitarian BABY COW!!!!!1!! (just fucking with ya)
    if this scars the girl for life, then real life is going to hit her like a truck
    but seriously
    shit happens
    dont worry about it, she will get over it

    as others have said, if you have a rediculously strict diet you should just either eat at home or go to resturants that cater to your specific needs
    i have worked in just about every position in a resturant and it sucks balls when customers want to change up the whole fucking menue
     
  20. VTECin5th

    VTECin5th Administrator

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    Lactose intolerism sucks :cry2:
    I don't throw up from it....
    :cry2:
     
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