A Day In The Life

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Concert
October 15, 2007, 9:38 pm
Filed under: My Life

First, some great news!  I ended up with only fourteen students auditioning for all region honors choir last Saturday.   One girl got sick and couldn’t make the auditions.  Wait a minute….that isn’t my great news…..the great news is that nine of my fourteen students scored high enough to become members of the prestigious Southwest Region All Region Honors Choir!!  Yipee!!  Out of my nine all region choir members, four scored in the top thirteen of their voice classifications which makes them eligible for all state choir auditions in February.  Check out the ‘My Choirs’ link on my blogroll for more information.

I mentioned in a post or two ago that my brother purchased tickets for my sister and I to attend the Eagles Hell Freezes Over concert tour when it hit Little Rock in the late 90’s.  There were actually ten of us who got our tickets together.  We made plans to meet in Little Rock and eat at Olive Garden before moving on to War Memorial Stadium for the big evening’s entertainment.  My sister and I went one step further.  Since we didn’t have to pay for our tickets, we decided to spend the day before the concert shopping in Hot Springs.  We would spend the night in Hot Springs then drive to Little Rock the next morning for even more shopping and meet up with our brother and the rest of the group at Olive Garden. 

We all rolled into the Olive Garden late in the afternoon on the day of the concert.  We had called the restaurant and told them that a group of ten would be arriving to dine at 5:00PM.  They had a large table tucked in an alcove all set up and ready for us.  We were seated upon arrival and the evening was getting off to a great start.  Now let me take a moment to let you know that my sister was a waitress at the time.  She worked as a waitress for 5 or 6 years while finishing her college degree and was very good at what she did.  My cousin the professional waiter was also a member of the group.  Now back to the story……

For some crazy reason, whoever was in charge at Olive Garden that evening decided to assign a brand new waiter to be our server for the evening.  The poor guy told us that it was his first night to work without his trainer.  The waiter came to our table and took our drink orders.  Part of the group ordered alcoholic beverages and some of us, like me, simply ordered iced tea.  The waiter turned in the drink order then came back to our table and began to take our food orders.  It took him awhile, but he finally got all our dinner choices written down and he left to go turn those in.  About fifteen minutes passed before the waiter returned with several bowls of the Olive Garden salad and several baskets of bread sticks.  We hadn’t gotten our drinks yet and we mentioned this to the waiter who was beginning to look very harrassed.  Honestly, we were being very nice.  We knew the guy was new so we were patient.  Maybe ten more minutes passed before he returned with a large tray of drinks.  He sat the various drinks down in front of the people at the table then hustled off to bring more salad and bread sticks and to check on our food order.  Those of us at the table immediately began to switch the drinks around to the persons who had actually ordered them and when all was said and done, I didn’t have a drink.  More time passed.  The waiter returned with additional salad and bread sticks.  We told him that I didn’t have my iced tea.  He left.  More time passed.  We started getting antsy.  The concert was slated to begin at 8PM.  It was nearing 6:30PM.  We didn’t have food and I didn’t have a drink.  The waiter returned with a large tray of food.  There was no one helping this poor guy.  It was really sad so my cousin and sister jumped up and started helping him hand out the food.  The waiter left to bring out another tray of food orders to our table while my sister and cousin were trying to distribute the contents of the first tray.  There were some dishes on that first tray that no one had ordered and when the Olive Garden waiter returned with the rest of our food, many of those orders were incorrect, too.  We knew we didn’t have time to re-order so we simply began dividing up what he brought out.  Neither my sister nor I got the lasagne we ordered.  I took some shrimp dish that no one had ordered and I can’t remember what my sister finally ended up with.  I still didn’t have anything to drink.  By this time, the poor waiter was so flustered that he just left and never came back to our table.  Not a single person in our group was unkind to the waiter.  He was just overwhelmed and probably very embarrassed.  My cousin finally went to one of the wait stations and poured me a glass of iced water to drink. 

When we finished our meal, my cousin flagged down a random waiter and told him to bring the manager to our table.  The manager came out and my cousin and sister recounted our dining experience.  They told the manager that our waiter had done the best he could under the circumstances, but that it had been a seriously poor decision to assign such an inexperienced wait person ALONE to such a large group of diners.  The manager was very professional.  He listened to everything they had to say, apologized profusely then left to go get our meal receipts.  When he returned, he had one huge long receipt even though we had specifically told the waiter to separate the orders.  Then the manager began the task of trying to figure out what was on the receipt compared to what we had actually received to drink and to eat.  After about five minutes, he gave up and told us the meal and drinks were on the house. 

My sister and I have often laughed about that evening.  If only we hadn’t spent the night in Hot Springs and shopped for two days, we would have had a cost-free concert experience.  We have also wondered whatever became of that poor waiter.  Did he just walk out the door never to return?  Was he hiding out in a back corner of the kitchen?  We certainly didn’t mean to traumatize him, but I guess we were scarier than we thought!


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I am so proud of YOU and your students – but I know the hard work of the director doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

Can’t wait to see how they do at all-state!

(And I can’t wait to get that dang “Walk-a-like John” stuff OUT. OF. MY. HEAD. GOSH!)

Comment by Tiggerlane

I went to the Hell Freezes Over tour in Sydney. Only I had to pay a small fortune 🙂

Good on you and your students!

Comment by theotherbear

Congrats to you and your students.

The waiter story? Priceless.

Comment by Sandy

How excited and proud you must feel about your students. Awesome!

I think we all have a waiter story like that!

Comment by Karmyn R

Congratulations to you and your students!

The waiter story…I was a waitress for a short time in college – I mostly did catered events, but I hated it. I feel for that poor guy. It sounds like you were all nice enough – it was just too much for him too soon.

Comment by giveitatry

my brother and his family had a horrible waitress. After she walked away he leaned in and his wife and two kids leaned in to hear what he was going to say.

“The waitress is a gookus” he said very quietly. His family all looked horrified.
Then he turned and saw that the waitress had returned and had leaned in with the family to hear his pronouncement. (:

congrats on your students!!!!

Comment by Pamela

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