Saturday, January 12, 2019

Feeling a tad depressed

It's odd how one thing going wrong can throw a person off for the rest of the day. I decided yesterday that I felt like going out for lunch, that the S.O. and I should indulge ourselves for a change. We'd have lunch at a restaurant we've gone to many times, enjoy the view of Keweenaw Bay and the Certainteed plant over on the L'Anse side, and relax a bit before going to the museum to do a little work.

Ever have a meal where anything that can go wrong does? From a waitress who was basically just going through the motions of working to a meal that included the world's worst French onion soup and deep-fried fish with batter that was still doughy, things did not go well. My meal was flat-out not edible. Of course, the S.O.'s experience was not much better. He ordered a cheeseburger that arrived sans cheese. He let it slide because it didn't make any difference in the price -- and it could have been worse. At least the meat was there. 

Not a happy experience, in short, but salvageable if -- and this is the big if -- I hadn't had to argue in order to get the charge for the inedible dinner taken off the bill. You know, when you're in a restaurant and food arrives at the table that is not cooked, if the restaurant then tries to tell you "Pay for it anyway" you're not likely to head for Yelp and leave a glowing review. All it would have taken is a server who had brains enough to be apologetic, but, nope, the not-the-sharpest-tool-in-the-shed young woman chose to debate instead.

She really was a terrible waitress. Really bad. Cute, but incompetent. I was reminded of a story the Older Daughter told years ago. She's worked in food service since she was in high school. At the time, she was a server at a family restaurant that had hired several high school students for the summer. One of the students went off on a long rant one afternoon about the incessant demands of the customers. "They want water. They want menus. They want their coffee refilled. They want this. . . .they want that." The O.D. looked at her and said, "You mean they want you to wait on them?" "Exactly!" "What's your job title?" "Waitress." It'd be nice to think a great light then dawned, but probably not.

In any case, the bad meal put me in a miserable mood for the rest of the day. We did manage to accomplish a few things at the museum -- got the trashed case moved out of the way, emptied the rocks out of the box car (no gold, but there is some nice obsidian and specular hematite) -- but probably not as much as I would have felt like doing if I'd actually had something for lunch. Cold, hungry, and annoyed is not a particularly productive combination.

A few of the box car rocks did have labels on them, which suggests they were stashed in there by a now deceased volunteer who slid quietly into dementia a few years before she stopped volunteering. She did some very odd things the last several years she volunteered, but because she'd been so well-organized for so long no one realized she was slipping away until she started becoming aphasic and then told everyone that something was happening to her neurologically.

The museum has had several hard-working volunteers in the past decade or so who succumbed to dementia. I've found some very odd things while cataloging and, to be honest, I worry occasionally about just how weird I'll get before anyone notices. Will there be a place where the information going into the PastPerfect database turns really weird? Will the collections guides end up with sections that look like they were written in Klingon? Just how much will my successors curse me?

More immediately, in a few days we're going to Marquette. Now I'm wondering if I dare suggest lunching at a favorite restaurant there -- what if it turns out to be crap now too? I'll be stuck eating my own cooking indefinitely.


  1. If most past volunteers ended up with dementia perhaps you should find another cause... the place may be cursed, or perhaps there is a malevolent brain eater in one of the occult books!

    Any way, sorry about your meal. You have more guts than me - I usually just pay for the slop and then never go back.

    One of the worst meals I had at a restaurant was in Alaska where a woman with an adult retarded man was a few tables away. He wanted t o leave and she would not go so he kept trying to throw up on the table - she purposely ignored him while the rest of the restaurant was grossed out. We left, but paid...
    Now you have me thinking of all the bad restaurant meals I have ever had...
    Think I'll go make a tun fish sandwich
    the Ol'Buzzard

    1. So far as I know, our archives don't include any deaccessioned textbooks from Miskatonic University.

  2. One thing I have been told is never send it back. You don't want to know what might happen to it in the kitchen

    1. Common sense told me years ago to never send something back into the kitchen to get it fixed or replaced -- I worked in a couple restaurant kitchens right after high school and I saw how the cooks reacted to complaints.


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