...the following true experience would have made me mad.
A couple of weeks ago, B and I decided to eat dinner at a restaurant downtown that we have not much frequented lately. After the experience we had, which is not exceptional for this place, I doubt that we will be going back anytime soon. It is a restaurant famous for its' background music of 50's-60's rock and roll and for having waitresses in very short skirts.
The first thing we noticed when we sat down was that the three waitresses working were all new. To us anyway. And that the owner and his wife were not present that night.
We waited patiently as two of the waitresses stood on the street a few feet from our table and carried on their private conversation. Oblivious to the fact that we had even sat down. After what seemed like a few long minutes, one came to our table. The other went to the bar area to further gossip with the other waitress. It should be noted that the place was not crowded. In fact, there was one other table with two people. It should also be noted, and those of you who live in Mexico know this, wait staff in restaurants are always, always super polite. I guess our waitress had yet to learn this. The following conversation took place in Spanish.
Us: Yes. He'll have a Margarita on the Rocks. I'll have the house special beer.
W: What house special beer?
Us: The one that is on special for 10 pesos.
W: We don't have anything like that.
Whereupon I turned in my chair, pointed to the sign that clearly said Victoria beer was 10 pesos tonight and translated it from English to Spanish for her. (This restaurant is a favorite of expats and I am sure all the waitresses are required to speak some English)
W: Oh. I will check if we have that.
Us: If not, I will accept any other beer for 10 pesos.
W: I don't have a paper and pen.
She then strolls back to the bar and engages the other two waitresses in conversation. A few moments later she returns.
Us: The same as we just told you.
W: What did you order?
I'm pretty sure that I responded with our original drink order with no hint of sarcasm or iciness in my voice. I can't be sure though. She left to get the drinks.
She returned, plopped the drinks down in front of the wrong person and promptly left to rejoin the conversation already in progress at the bar. I waved her back.
Us: We would like to order dinner.
Us: Do you have paper and pen with you?
Back in a few moments with paper and pen in hand, she asked for our order. We each gave her our order. In Spanish. She just looked at us, wrote nothing down and walked away. I told B that I had a bad feeling about our food. After some discussion back at the bar, she returned with another waitress in tow.
New W: Did you want to order food?
New W: What would you like?
Us: The same thing we told her. (pointing to old waitress who had written nothing down)
New W: She did not understand you. She thinks you have bad accents. Could you tell me please?
Whereupon we repeated our orders in Spanish, refusing to speak English. The new waitress then said something in very rapid Spanish to old waitress, who busily scribbled on her pad.
Us: Did you understand our order?
New W: Yes
Us: Please repeat it to us in English.
Whereupon new waitress repeated it in perfect English and got everything right. Remembering that there were only two other people in the restaurant, who already were eating when we sat down, it took 45 minutes for us to get our food. B had a hamburger (so difficult to understand in Spanish) and I had a fish fillet.
Like I said, we won't be going back anytime soon.