Sunday, June 21, 2009

The customer isn't always right in Scotland

After many wonderful and meaningful experiences in my visit to the U.K., I have chosen to blog about something insignificant and irritating. I don't know why I do that. It's just more fun, I guess.

This is my first night in Scotland. Richie and Mom and I were hungry and found an Italian place to eat since the pubs weren't serving food anymore. The restaurant was advertised as having 2 famous Italian chefs, but I didn't recognize their names. We ordered pizza. When the server brought our pizza, he asked if there was anything else we needed. In a moment of rare selflessness, I remembered that Richie likes parmesan cheese on his pizza. (I myself only sprinkle crushed red peppers, if anything.) So I said, "Parmesan cheese." The server stared at me like I had sprouted gills, and Richie looked embarrassed and said quietly, "They don't do that." It was obvious I had committed some horrendous faux pas -- probably like asking for A1 on a gourmet steak or something.

Anyone that knows me will understand how I was feeling right then. I absolutely despise being made to feel like a fool. I was only trying to help my husband. But the server, after his gaze of disgust, returned with the cheese.

"This --" he began, sternly, pointing to my pizza, "Has melted cheese on it!" My humiliation was now turning to anger. "This is dry cheese!" he said, pointing to the parmesan. Then he launched into a lecture, completely ignoring my attempts to defend myself. My attempts consisted of pointing repeatedly at Richie and insisting it was for him and that I -- and here I would point to myself and shake my head -- did not put parmesan cheese on my pizza. He never heard me. He finished his lecture, set the cheese in front of me, then said, "But go ahead!" And walked off.

I was furious now. I wanted to empty the bowl of parmesan cheese over his head. My mom made me feel better by reminding me that I was a the customer and who was paying, me or him? I felt better. And deciding I did not like the man made me feel better too, somehow.

About 10 minutes later, Richie decided he was angry too, so he put a bunch of the parmesan cheese on his pizza. We could only hope the server noticed and was chagrined.

And that's the story of how I got yelled at by an Italian my first night in Scotland.


Dana said...

well, that was just rude. No matter what the chef, server, bus boy or anyone was your pizza and if you wanted them to put cheese (dry or melted), jalapeno's, anchovies, or anything else on said pizza it should be your choice......

I hate snooty people! Glad you are back!!!

Naomi said...

OH, I'm not. lol. I'm in Scotland. But we couldn't find free wi-fi until we hit Wales.