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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Thursday 23 September 2004 Update

No news on the book as of today. I have sent a couple of emails to the USA for an update and the word is it is still with copyedit.

Last night I took part of my little family out for dinner. It was my granddaughter's 10th Birthday and she wanted to have dinner at Lone Star at Penrith, NSW, Australia. If I ever go back to that particular restaurant I need my head read. In the two hours or less that we were there, six annoying incidents happened to spoil our night including rudeness of staff, incorrect meals turning up, no ice cream for my granddaughter arriving even though it was part of the meal deal for kids, an incorrect account that had to be corrected before I would pay it. I had heard negative stories about this particular restaurant but thought it maybe was a one-off and surely wouldn't happen to our little group.

At the risk of being a bore here are the annoying incidents that occurred during our short stay.

We arrived without a booking which is fine for that restaurant especially in the middle of the week. We were told there was a 15 minute wait, and yet half of the tables were empty. So we moved to the bar area and I went to the bar to buy drinks for us. There were about 6 people at the bar, but as I settled in, most of them left, with just two of us remaining. The guy up the other end from me was being served. One barman. He made a number of cocktails and I waited. By the time he had finished more people were at the bar. He came to the cash register right in front of me, added up the guy's bill, gave him his change and then asked who was next. I put my hand up and said I was. He looked at me and then served the guy standing directly in front of him. I stood there smarting for a couple of minutes and then went and sat down with my family and we decided to have drinks with dinner.

We were eventually shown to our table, which was vacant when we arrived, and my granddaughter opened her presents. We finally had a waitress turn up and we ordered drinks. Then came the dinner order with the same waitress. My daughter was the spokesperson for us all and by the time she got to her order and mine (which were the same) she said "two of the steak and prawns please". The waitress looked at her and said "no, I'll take your order first and then hers", as she nodded across at me. grrrrr I was seeing red by this time. My daughter asked if she could change the chips to sweet potato for my granddaughter and was told NO, emphatically NO. I'm getting angrier here but because it was a special night I kept my tongue inside my mouth.

Our entree turned up (2 of them). We only ordered 1. So 1 had to be taken away. Our meals arrived and the food is always pretty spot on. We had eaten, the table had been cleared and we sat there waiting for my granddaughter's ice cream, and waited, and waited. Eventually I went and found someone and requested it be brought to her. She had been so excited telling me that the waitress would come and ask her what flavour she wanted. Didn't happen, I had to relay the flavour bit for her. So ice cream down the hatch and I ask for the bill. It arrives and we had been charged for the 2 entrees and for my granddaughter's Pepsi, which was part of the kids meal. And so the bill had to be fixed up because no way was I paying for something we didn't have. If it had been any other occasion than the one it was I think I would have walked out when the barman ignored me. I remember saying at the time that I hoped it wasn't going to set the scene for the evening. I should have shut up because that's exactly what it did do.

But, little one was happy; she had her ribs and her ice cream and opened her presents when she wanted to.

I wrote a letter to the restaurant today, to the manager, and I'm sure she/he won't be pleased to receive it. I feel better though for having told her/him exactly what I think of their restaurant and that no way will I ever return.

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