So now it's Red Lobster 3, Me 0 and that's game, set, match as far as I'm concerned. No more. I give up.
Three times I've sat in the waiting area at Red Lobster and three times I've wound up angry, anxious and fed up (though never fed). I have yet to take a bite of food at that lousy restaurant with the marvelous TV commercials, which have kept me coming back in spite of what is--at best--truly awful non-service from people who simply should not be working service.
Tonight my wife wanted to treat my son's family and me to a lobster dinner as an end-of-2008 treat and we were pumped, thinking of all those grilled lobsters, shrimp and scallops. But it wasn't to be. We arrived at the restaurant at 6:15 p.m., signed in to the waiting list (no smoking, please, I said, adding, "If I smell smoke, I projectile vomit" which always gets their attention) and sat down for a long winter's night.
The room cleared three times before I finally got up, went over to the desk and asked what was going on. The lady says, "You're a party of five and that's an odd size," which implied that we'd get seated when a five-seat table in the non-smoking area was open. That would roughly equate in raw likely-hood to George Bush being elected to something again.
The room cleared two more times (fill up, empty out, we're sitting) and my daughter-in-law, who's pretty aggressive, stormed over to the lady at the desk again and was told all those people--must have been 30--went to the smoking section. All of them. No further explanation. No ETA. No, "I'm sorry, but ..."
When Kara got back to the table, I said, "Let's just go. If we stay we've told them their behavior is OK and I don't want to do that" (I didn't sound as calm and reasonable as that simple quote implies, but simmering anger translates badly). So we left, and on the way out Kara said something smart to the lady, who replied with something smarter, to which Kara replied with a Bronx cheer. Not a happy experience, but when we got to Awful Arthur's, there was this bright, cheerful waitress waiting to make our evening shine again ...