Friday, June 15, 2012
Non-Fiction Friday: Bad Bar Design = A Downer
I sat down at the corner of the bar and scanned the menu for a Caesar salad. It didn't exist. But because it was a four-star hotel known for its outstanding service, I thought I'd ask the host who was standing right behind me if he could work some magic (don't call me high-maintenance...it's romaine and croutons people). Turns out the host was the manager and magic was his job. "Just ask the bartender to order one for you. It won't be a problem."
Well, it was. I waited patiently on my bar stool to place my salad-to-go order and of course order some bourbon. Did I say patiently waited? Well that was nice of me because when a bar is practically empty, 5 minutes is a long time to wait to even be acknowledged. But then again, when you have to navigate around a 4-sided liquor display to make each drink and greet each customer, it takes time. Hell, I may have even been in his blind spot.
When the bartender finally did come over to ask what I wanted (as if it was the most painful thing he had ever done in his life) I did what the manager told me to do and ordered the salad.
Me: "I'd like to order a little Caesar salad please?"
Bartender: "We can't do that."
Me: (super nicely) "Oh, well the manager said you could? And could I get a bourbon neat please?"
Bartender: "Well we don't have a button for that."
Me: "A...I'm sorry, did you say a button?"
Bartender: "On the computer."
Me: "Oh. You don't have a button to order the salad. (not so super nicely) Did I mention that the manager said you could?"
If the rubber floor mats weren't two inches thick I surely would have heard stomping as he stormed out of the bar and over to the manager. The conversation that I was straining my neck to hear was brief but loaded with angry gesticulation. Within seconds the bartender was back in the bar, standing over the computer with the manager and I could swear I heard button every other word.
Moments later the manager announced to no one in particular, "I made you a button and put the order in." I don't think Mr. Bartender liked that or maybe I was just reading into his decision to give me my check before my bourbon. A first.
Eventually I got my stupid Caesar salad which was one of the worst I've ever had which is either what I deserved for ordering a non-button item or proof of the pull the bartender had with the kitchen.
But I really don't blame the bartender. I'm blame his working conditions. I mean, seriously. I'd be upset too.
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