Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service

It was a very busy day in Rockaway. Finally, after a long winter where the town was empty of tourists, they have returned. Bob and I were eating a late breakfast at a local restaurant where it was getting close to the end of their business day. One of the waitresses was clearly ready to go home as she was grabbing condiments from all of the patron's tables while we were eating. Okay, that was rude enough, here's what followed:

A young couple walks in the front door and stops, trying to decide if this is a "seat yourself" type of place because there isn't a sign.

Said waitress is nearby clearing a table. She looks up at them and loudly comments, "Oh, when will it ever end?"

The young couple is taken aback, they look at each other and offer to leave.

The waitress huffs and barks, "Just take a seat anywhere." Which they timidly do.

We sat there really quite shocked at the whole exchange. Then we looked at each other and remembered, "Oh yes, we are on coastal time where the customer isn't always right. In fact, they are treated as an annoyance." Just like a few weeks ago when I wanted lunch at 1:00pm at a local restaurant whose menu stated, "lunch served at noon." When I tried to order lunch, I was curtly informed without apology, "No lunch, the kitchen isn't ready and won't be."

I am not saying this doesn't happen in the big city, it does. What surprises me is this attitude is the norm, not the exception, in a town that relies on the three month tourist season for the majority of their livelihood.

Just saying, folks.

PS For a guaranteed big smile and a friendly greeting, walk down the street to the ice cream shop run by Big Al and his wife. The Tillamook Mudslide Ice Cream doesn't hurt either.

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