Monday, April 7, 2014

Did He Really Say That?

It's a beautiful sunny day here in Washington
But I'm still sniffling, snuffling, coughing, clearing my throat and generally hating life
Thankfully the full on optical migraine I had last night has left me
I literally fall to my knees in thanks to God when they go away
That is how badly I suffer through them
They are worse than child labor
They are paralyzing and make the days that I have them pure hell

So, the other day (Saturday)
We were going to celebrate my Uncle's 45th birthday 
by eating dinner at The Olive Garden
Now, where we live we have the 'good Olive garden'
and the 'crappy Olive Garden'
The good one is about 20 miles away
The crappy one is only 12 miles away

Being that the chairs at any Olive Garden restaurant usually have arms
And I fit
But uncomfortably
I was going to call ahead and ask to have a armless chair at our table
I spoke with a manager who we will just call Manager for the sake of understanding
And this was our conversation:

Me: Hi, my name is Kristen and my family and I will be having a birthday party at your restaurant around 5:30. Do you have a reservation for 13 under 'J' or 'E' ?

Manager: We don't take reservations

Me: Oh, ok well I was hoping that when we come to eat that whatever table we get I could get an armless chair at the table.

Manager: Today is Saturday and we expect at least a 2 hour wait if you arrive at 5:30.

Me: Ok. So, regardless of the wait can I get an armless chair?

Manager: Like I said it will be extremely busy and we have limited armless chairs so they will probably be occupied.

Me: But if they aren't, can you make sure one is at our table?
Manager: I can't make any promises.

Me: I see.

Manager: Is that all?

Me: Yes, and what was your name again?"

Manager: (told me his name)

Me: Thank you.

Click

The entire conversation was in an entirely too sweet tone
Completely condescending and uninterested
Then there was no goodbye. 
No 'hope to see you at 5:30.' 
No, I'm sorry I can't be more helpful
No Nothing

So, I called my aunt to let her know that there may be a 2 hour wait
Which is when she let me know she had a similar conversation 
with one of the hostesses only days prior
It's as if they couldn't care less if they had our business
As if they're boasting their 2 hour wait
like they don't need or want any more customers
Or as if they need not provide good customer service to EVERYONE

We hung up and not 10 minutes later my uncle called me back
He apologized profusely for the managers ridiculous attitude 
(as if it were his fault - silly man)
And then told me they had made reservations at our local Chinese restaurant 
that we all love
I made sure that he was really sure about that
And he told me he wasn't going to give money to a company 
who made two of his family members feel so uncomfortable and unwelcome

I then called the Olive Garden back
And asked to speak with the general manager 
Who to my great satisfaction was actually speechless 
for several moments after I explained the situation
He even stuttered in frustration 
He said he couldn't even think of a word to describe that kind of behavior 
but it was certainly more than rude and uncalled for
He then offered to comp all 13 of us for the evening
I explained the choice of restaurant was not my decision 
and that my aunt and uncle had already chosen to eat elsewhere
He was extremely apologetic and told me he would send me a gift card

That was all great and everything 
but I did tell him that my intent in complaining was not to get a free visit
But to make sure the manager I spoke to before
(Who come to find out deals with ALL of the large parties that The Olive Garden hosts)
did not treat another customer the way he treated me
To make sure that even if something cannot be accomplished that the customer feels as though their request was taken seriously
and that measures were taken to try to accomplish it
He agreed and continued to apologize and promised he would speak to the manager
Now I don't know if he will
But when I receive that gift card 
you can bet we will be using it at 'the good Olive Garden'
Why put ourselves through undue torture at a restaurant
that repeatedly shows poor customer service?
and at times even poorly prepared food

On a SlimPlates note I am actually very relieved to announce
that the representative of the company who initially contacted me
contacted me again after reading my prior post 
AND
the meal plans are not required to reap the benefits of the system
YAY!
This makes my life much easier and after only using them for a few days
I am already feeling the good effects
My ankles have shrunk
My water retention has gone down significantly
Other than my cold I have more energy
And I don't feel hungry or overly full after I eat
I am definitely enjoying this system
ESPECIALLY THE CUTTERS
I cannot say enough good stuff about the cutters

*Breezy squealed in 4 year old delight 
when I cut her turkey sandwich 
into 3 small circles using the muffin cutter

So my self  prepared meal plan looks kinda like this:

Emphasis on lean proteins like chicken and white fish and some cuts of beef
Emphasis on fresh uncooked vegetables and fruits
a bit lesser emphasis on cooked veggies but still consuming great quantities of these
Lesser emphasis on some healthy fats like olive oil, raw butter
and natural nut butters that don't contain added sugars
I am trying to avoid flours including wheat and white 
which means I am not eating bread, crackers, pasta, or any baked goods
I am eating oats, corn based products and processed fats 
(such as salad dressing) 
in severe moderation

And with all that in mind I am using the SlimPlatesSystem 
to make sure my portions stay in control
The one indulgence I do have each and every day is my coffee with cream and sugar
(24oz coffee with 1/4 cup of half and half and 2 TBSP raw sugar)
*I am trying to lower the amount of sugar and then eliminate it completely
Once upon a time I used to put over 12 Splenda 
(YES, TWELVE! Can you believe that... bleck!
in one 24oz cup of coffee
So, now that I am down to 2 TBSP of natural sugar
I consider that quite an improvement
Of course completely eliminating the sugar would be best
I'm working on that though

And I will leave you with some silly photos


Again, I feel just so pretty
Seriously, I cannot wait to feel better again




The girls are planting a fruit and veggie garden
Breezy is all too happy to show it off even though it is just in its beginning stages
While, as you can see from her cheery expression, 
Sassy didn't really want to be part of the garden photograph experience



Mr P and Miss Emms wondering just what it is we humans are doing outside
and why they can't come out too

Until later . . .

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