Alright, I’m about to get all suburban mom on y’all and I apologize in advance. I know I have the privilege, as a relatively average-looking white person, to be treated generally well when I enter customer service situations. But I also worked in service for seven years, including in fine dining. I know how to treat customers, even complete pieces of shit that make you wish voo doo worked. And, more importantly, I know how to treat people in service, and I know the necessity of giving them the benefit of the doubt because they may have just dealt with one of the aforementioned pieces of shit.
But litro, FUCK NEW YORK. Bae and I went to see the documentary Kedi, which, by the way, was cute as hell. I smiled so much during the film, which follows the street cats of Istanbul (like, are you kidding), that my cheeks were sore. The juxtaposition of the experience we had in the theater and the experience we had in the adjoining restaurant – oh sorry, commissary – was so stark that it was funnier than it was infuriating. But only by a little. So I was infuriated.
We made a reservation for 8:30, and the hostess gave us attitude right away. Bae and I were both like, okay, maybe it’s been a rough day for this rude-ass human. But then, we were led to the bar to wait for our table and almost smacked into George Michael Bluth. First sign the night was about to descend into a banana stand on fire.
We were seated after fifteen minutes, despite being right on time for our reservation, and despite the excruciatingly unhurried pace at which all of the staff were walking around the only partially occupied restaurant. Once she told us our table was ready and apologized with as much sincerity as Donald Trump saying, “There’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do,” Bae good-naturely responded with “No worries, it happens.”
She literally responded with “What happens?” Like, did you just start this job within the last hour? Also, are you an actual toddler?
Once she sat us, we remained at our table without menus or water for more than fifteen minutes. We glanced around at the waitstaff, floating about like blackflies inching towards death, but we were aggressively ignored by all. Finally I sheepishly (but overtly) waved at the hard-hearted harpy robot that was the hostess, and she lit-er-al-ly smiled right at me and kept walking only to lean on the hostess stand like a deflating bounce house.
We ended up leaving passive aggressively without looking at or speaking to her and proceeding to New York’s finest dining establishment, Shanghai Cafe Deluxe.
Anyway, protip: don’t eat at a restaurant that calls itself a fucking commissary or everyone will treat you like shit, unless you’re George Michael Bluth.