Monday, May 23, 2005

Tales from the Dysfunctional Dennys

Yes, Dennys - the restaurant. Oh sure, the chain itself has had more than it's share of drama and infamy, but the Dennys herein cited is the Dennys by my house. Technically, I suppose I could walk to it if I were so inclined. It's just a little old Dennys, in a small shopping center right off the main road through town.

For a while, it seemed as if they had signed on to a "help hire the handicapped" program. Not that such a program is a bad thing! But it seemed as if this Dennys, instead of just taking all kinds of handicapped individuals - chose to pick and choose only the terminally stupid.

Now, listing all of the stupid things that happened there would take pages, pages and more pages - and I'm not in the mood. But the one that stands out the most is the night our waiter decided to quit during our order.

My (at the time) roommate Jon and I had gone for dinner. We decided to be "bold" and do a full dinner thing - appetizers, salads, actual entrees' and dessert. We also had a tendancy to be a bit filppant and silly when we would go out. Our young waiter came to the table and asked if we were ready - and we asked for JUST a bit more time - and some iced tea while we perused the menu.

The kid brought the drinks, tossed some straws on the table and asked if we were ready. We were. We placed our order, then Jon handed him back the straws. (We don't use straws if we don't have to - not real fond of them.) The kid gave him a funny look and asked why we didn't want the straws, to which I replied "Because we don't suck".

Hey - I thought it was clever.

About 1/2 an hour later, Jon flagged down a busboy and asked where our food was. The guy didn't speak english too well, but he was kind enough to refill our tea and went to find out something. He disappeared too.

Now, Jon and I were the only 2 customers in the back section of the restaurant. Something wasn't right, and Jon went to talk to a manager. Shortly thereafter we got our salads. Ok, this is better. Again we waited. This time when Jon went up, he was loaded for bear and ready to rock. Jon was an incredible person - he could bitch you up one side and down the other without ever raising his voice a single decibel. I never heard what transpired, but Jon came back and told me that our food would be up shortly.

The manager himself came with the food - and outrageous apologies. Seems.. our waiter just up and quit - walked out the back door and never returned. Of course, we got the dinners for free - but we made sure to find that bus-boy. He was embarassed - he didn't want to take the money - but we felt that the tip belonged to him - he was the only one who gave us any service without being hounded into it.

It was.... amazing. This comes to mind because of last Saturday's lunch. Yes, I still do go to the Dysfunctional Dennys. Now that I know it is - it's more of an entertainment to see where the dysfunctional will manifest itself, than any form of annoyance. This time everything was almost eerily "normal" - until checkout when it took 8 staff members to ring up my order. *smile*

Made my day.

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