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Marilee J. Layman

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09:08 pm: Difficult Day
Still lots of pain so I'm just going to post these two and then take narcotics and drool in the recliner. I see the primary doctor about some of it on Tuesday; I'm glad for that.

We had 14 adults and a baby at the bookgroup and 13+baby went out to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse where they were amazingly incompetent. I've been there before with fewer people and without this kind of problems, but you do think they would be able to ramp up to that number. We eat at other restaurants with around a dozen people without so many problems.

First, they made us a stuck-together table with 13 chairs and no babyseat thing. They said we could wait longer or break up. Then a very nice couple (where the man was on a scooter and had a partial left hand) offered to move to the next empty table so we could have theirs, and it was us who did most of the moving and setting up (and vigorous thanking). Then they had problems with the idea of separate checks (actually five, total). It took 30 minutes to bring drinks and another 30 minutes to bring food. We had two waiters, one for each side of the table, and one was about 10-15 minutes earlier on most things than the others.

Then the manager showed up and told us that the computer had crashed and didn't have our orders. She did distribute large plates of desserts on the house, which ameliorated the problems a bit, but then it took another 30 minutes for the checks. So we were there 2.5 hours and had exceeding bad service.

Now, the good thing now is that my friend AJ is having a fabulous jewely clearance on her site!

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Comments

From:ext_132637
Date:May 17th, 2009 09:06 am (UTC)

Thank you :)

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Thank you for sharing the link to my sale!

We went out to our favorite dessert place with a friend tonight, and there was a huge group there, probably even bigger than your 13+baby, though I didn't stop to count. They split their checks so much that it took at least 15 minutes for them all to pay (they bring your check to the table, but then you pay at a register).
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From:mjlayman
Date:May 17th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)

Re: Thank you :)

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A restaurant computer should be able to split checks automatically (each seat should have an ID), so we were surprised that they had to do it by hand.
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From:capemaynuts
Date:May 17th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
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Jeesh, I hate when resturants can't handle simple things. It wasn't the computer's fault, it was the waitstaff not having any sort of system of keeping track of what is going on. Sounds like they might need more training.
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From:mjlayman
Date:May 18th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
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I got email from someone who works for the VP of the chain, asking to talk to me about it, so either they're googling and came up here or were alerted. I forwarded it to the group to see what other people thought before I call.
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From:xpovos
Date:May 18th, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
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It wasn't a great restaurant experience, but it's really hard to handle a party of our size. Could they have done better? Absolutely. The confusion started with the seating arrangements, which was a disaster, but I think we instigated it. I'm not sure the people who put in name and number of party had an accurate count. I can't fault them for an error that could very reasonably be ours.

Again, seatings of our size take special needs, and I this is where they started to fall apart on us. A 13+ baby dinner party is going to take longer, so I didn't mind the waits, we were there for each other's company as well. The problem was a partially inexperienced wait-staff (parties that size need experience at the least, preferably the best on duty) and a poor server to guest ratio. Even the largest parties for a single server rarely exceed 6:1, we were over that with only two servers. They also didn't seem to communicate well with each other, which exacerbated the problems.

I don't grudge the steakhouse anything, the manager did attempt to ameliorate with the complimentary deserts, which I was fond of. I would have preferred better all around, but I'd expect to get better all around if I went back with a normal sized party on a later date.

Re: the book. Mary Sue is going to pop up most in a first novel, which this was. Have you read her later stuff (I certainly haven't); and if so, does it persist, or does she mature as an author?
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From:mjlayman
Date:May 18th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
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But other restaurants have handled this many without problems or early notifications. Uno's, Kobi, Carabbas, and Olive Garden come to mind. We kind of handle ourselves at Tony's. And Matthew told them 13 adults and a baby.

As to Mary Sue, yes, I'm on my seventh book of hers (I own the eighth & ninth but may not read those) and this book has a strong element of it. Plus hair. Boy, is she stuck on hair. And this book not only has titles of classic SF stuck in as text, the real name of the spy/operative who pretends to be a diplomat is Trojanowski. Ow, indeed.
From:ext_132637
Date:May 18th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
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Stuck on hair? Does she go over the top describing it, or does everyone have unrealistic hair colors, or what?
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From:mjlayman
Date:May 18th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
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Well, in the trilogy that this book is from, when the telepathic women become fertile, their hair not only becomes full and beautiful and long, but it becomes somewhat prehensile and self-thinking. In the second trilogy, all the hair is fixed up all the time.

In the trilogy where I'm reading the first book, the protagonist has hair long enough to braid and go to the ground and so far has had at least five long pages of description, including one African-American arrangement by an operative while they're being flung to orbit in a box.

If that ain't stuck on hair, I don't know what is.
From:ext_132637
Date:May 23rd, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
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Well, I sure hope that their telepathic men raise the kids, because I imagine it would be pretty hard to wrangle children *and* prehensile hair with a mind of its own.

(and yes, that's stuck on hair!)
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