Saturday, April 23, 2011

Guest post: From the other side of the table.

This guest post comes to us from an anonymous reader. If you have a story for a guest post, please email me at slightlycranky at hotmail.com. L, I'm looking at you, because I know you have as many stories as I do! :)

I recently went out with a group of friends on a Saturday night and it turned out to be quite a few more of us than expected.  After calling around we managed to find a place that could seat us all and we went there.

I ended up sitting opposite a newer person to the group who was diabetic.  Each time the waitress brought drinks and refills this person would ask the waitress if this was definitely diet because otherwise she could end up in hospital due to the diabetes.  Each time the waitress assured her it was.  Even after this, whilst the waitress was still in earshot, she would push the glass over to her boyfriend and ask him to taste it saying "I just can't take the risk..." (Now as it turns out this place uses a system for the drinks - Diet comes in a specific glass type with the product name on it and normal comes in a straight glass with no markings.  It was an obvious system.)  We tried pointing out to her the type of glasses and that it showed they had a system to avoid such mistakes but this only resulted in louder protestations.  When we got to the time for dessert... she ordered what must have been the most sugary dessert on the menu. 

Whilst I appreciate that its risky for her I really didn't like that this was going on.  Firstly we were seated next to the host stand.  The rest of the servers most have overheard this conversation more than once during the evening. Secondly there was no attempt to be polite and respectful to the waitress and be quiet about it or wait until she was out of earshot.  Thirdly this continued even though we pointed out the system they used.  Fourthly (and this one might get me into trouble since I don't know too much about managing diabetes) she ordered the most sugary dessert on the menu which must have been far more loaded than a few sodas. 

I know a couple of us were feeling a bit awkward about the whole thing by the time we ended the meal.  I know I certainly was being over the top nice to the waitress and constantly thanking her to make up for this persons actions (and I wonder if it was almost to the point of being too OTT about it).  I certainly made sure we added a bit more tip to the bill thank usual to make up for this persons actions.  The manager thanked us for being such a nice group to deal with as we were leaving but it still felt very awkward.   

I do dislike eating with people that make too much of a fuss and I have dealt with eating out with food allergies before (thankfully not life threatening consequences though).  A polite one time mention is all it usually takes unless you get a change of server.  Am I being over sensitive to the persons actions? 

13 comments:

Eli. said...

I have a serious food allergy- anything with wheat in, and I collapse and throw up everywhere. It's the grossest thing you could imagine. Whenever I go out with my family, they make a point of announcing loudly to the restaurant that I'm 'an intolerant person' and ask to talk to the chef personally to make sure there's no gluten in any of the food, and I just hate it. This one time, the chef asked

"Can you have tortilla chips?" And Daddy in his infinite wisdom answered back,

"Are you an idiot? She could die if she eats that stuff!"

I'm not allergic to tortilla chips at all, some people just like to make fusses about nothing. Food allergies when going out is the most embarrassing thing I've ever encountered- It's unfortunate when the waitress is forced into knowing all the details of what goes on my stomach, it's more than offputting for the both of us. However, asking politely if a dish has flour in it has proven to be the best thing for everyone.

Kari said...

Maybe she should've stuck with water. While being sympathetic to her diabetes I think it sounds more like a call for attention. Some people just always want to feel special I guess.

SkippyMom said...

As Kari said definitely a call for attention because ONE sip of a regular coke was not going to ramp up her diabetes if she had been given the wrong drink. It isn't akin to a peanut allergy or any thing else that causes anaphylatic shock. I can guarantee you though that the staff had a good eye roll at her expense when she finally ordered the sugary dessert. They know her kind.

To make such a big deal out of something that was obviously being taken care of [glass/logo for diet] and was explained to her makes people with true allergies and limitations all look bad.

So, no...you aren't being overly sensitive to lil' miss drama queen.

Thanks for the guest post. It was a great read :) And BRAVO on the good tip for the waitress. She truly appreciated it.

Bouncin' Barb said...

While any food allergy is and can become very serious, you need not be a drama queen about it. My mother who isn't allergic to anything but is fussy as hell will give an attitude while she's just ordering it. I don't like to eat out with her but when she pulls that crap I look at the server and say, just make sure you bring it out her way or else we'll both be miserable. That always gets a laugh. And I too tip way over. You are not making something out of nothing. Great post.

Amanda said...

I have two cousins who both have juvenile onset diabetes and have several relatives with adult onset diabetes. The two cousins handle their illnesses differently. the one is very vigilant about consuming too much sugar and the other just quietly self administers her insulin and order what ever she wants. as for the adult onset relatives most of them are dead but the living ones are vigilant but occasionally treat themselves. this woman was defiantly over reacting You are not going to die of you consume sugar as long as you administer enough insulin to balance it out.

john said...

that woman was a self absorbed jerk - i find believe that this kind of behavior all about the need for attention, the need to feel special or looked-after. obviously she's either not diabetic or doesn't know her ass from her elbow when it comes to a proper diabetic diet

The Restaurant Manager said...

I hate eating with Fussy eaters as much as I hate dealing with them when they come in to eat!! Really enoyed the post!

dirtydisher said...

I am diabetic. I can drink a Coke. She was an attention whore. Big time.

fuckmytable said...

She was acting like a 5-year-old. Can you say attention whore? She is the reason that people with genuine dietary restrictions aren't taken seriously. I'm sick of dealing with bitches like her. I'd love to waterboard her with regular Coke and watch her scream for Diet. Or air, whatever.

cakefaerie said...

Hi, I run a small home baking business (so small that I am the only employee!!lol) and a friend of mine who is diabetic loves my brownies and she can have three of those or a couple of small pecan pies (talking of sugary stuff) and then takes her insuline to balance it so it is possible.
This woman in the restaurant acts just like the vegetarians who go on and on about making sure that the soup hasnt got anything non vegetable in making you check even the stock pack and then orders a tuna sandwich with it...Never seen tuna trees in my life... BIG EYE ROLL

fuckmytable said...

Tuna trees....oh my god....I laughed so hard I choked on my own spit. :)

nativenapkin said...

I guarantee you there was not a dime more than a 12% tip on her part of the check.

SarcasticServer said...

It's stuff like that that pisses me off royally when I serve or eat out with people. There are a lot of people in my family who have diabetes and they never act like that.

I think the thing that pisses me off is "Vegetarians" who eat fish. I hate hearing "Oh, I'm vegetarian but I eat fish." Then you're not a vegetarian bitch. My friend classifies himself as a pescadarian which he says means he only eats fish. I think it sounds like a wonky religion but at least he's honest.