Part of my job is to woo people into spending an exorbitant amount of money now and for years future on something that’s a luxury, not a requirement. This means that we have to, as a staff, put our best foot forward when the prospective client comes in.
I was on a tour and everything was going swimmingly well. We sat down for a delicious lunch and I was informed the man had a severe gluten issue. I went on and on about how we have many others in the same situation, and that we always take good care of them. I see that I’m really reeling him in with this, so the pressure is on a good meal to seal the deal.
My dear waiter comes over and valiantly takes the order, repeating three times that the order is on our special gluten free bread.
Dinner arrives and the conversation ensues:
Me: How’s your meal?
Gluten Guy: *stuffing face furiously* MMMMM. It’s so good! This is the BEST gluten free bread I’ve ever eaten!
Me: Oh yes – only the best for our guests.
GG: Do you make this in house?
Me: Though we make most of our bread here, I’m not sure about the gluten one – let me ask the waiter.
GG: I’ve tried literally every brand on the market and nothing compares. You must make this in house…. and if so, you’ve got a deal. Sign me up today!
Waiter goes to check, I feel very happy. As the waiter declares the brand of the bread used, the poor Gluten Guy pops up looking very uncomfortable and flees the scene.
His guest and I exchange “I dunno” glances.
GG comes back to the table about 20 minutes later. He apologizes and says that he thinks he still has a touch of the bug left from the night before. As I hurry him to the next part of the schedule, I turn around and he’s gone again. I figure he just went to make a phone call, but we are seriously running late! I wait for 20 minutes and he emerges from the bathroom looking worse for the wear.
I get him to the next stop and leave him in the care of the next staffer. I then go to the kitchen to praise them for a job well done. When I enter the kitchen, everyone noticed me and then scurried away. I look around feeling very concerned. Finally, Chef emerges.
Chef: So… that meal you had. I need you to see something.
Me: Oh GOD don’t tell me you fed him gluten.
Chef: I did. But it’s not my fault. Look at the ticket – it’s not rung in that way.
Me: FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!!!
Chef: I’m so sorry! I should have known to check. That waiter is notorious for mixing up gluten orders.
Me: Well that explains why it was the best bread he ever ate….
As if on cue, in walks the waiter. YOU!!! I point and say in my most stern voice. The waiter gives me a chortle and says yea my bad….he’ll just get the trots. It’s not that terrible. Dude could use to lose a few pounds anyway.
And that, kids, is when I lost my mind. I literally blacked out. When I came to, the waiter was slightly quivering. I had to go apologize to his supervisor because I felt I crossed the line… she thought it was funny and congratulated me on finally “getting my mean on”. I’m not sure what’s become of poor GG. I haven’t heard from him but I’m pretty sure I lost that sell.
Lesson learned: I’ll always make the gluten free meals myself.