Update: 8/16/09 (original post 7/12/09) – Please see the corresponding Errata Page for a correction on the location this event occurred at – note, it was NOT AppleDees but rather Chedduhs. – My apologies for this incorrect identification.
My family recently lost a relative (Father’s brother). Strangely, this side of the family does not keep in touch that frequently and it is actually somewhat rare when we are in the same place . Unfortunately, visitations and funerals are one of these times when relatives gather. Although I expected more, I did get to catch up with some of them and find out what has been happening in their world as of late. After the visitation was over some of my family went out for dinner. There were eight of us to be exact and after some discussion came to the consensus to head over to Applebees. After some navigation problems (I will not go into that to spare the guilty), we arrived at the restaurant and were seated pretty quick. Our orders were taken by a waiter who was desperately trying to revolutionize the use of the word “absolutely”. I swear that was every other word out of the kids mouth to the point everyone was responding to his questions with the same word. Shockingly, he did not seem to catch on to that little tidbit. After what seemed a very long time, the food arrived and based on the comments around the table everyone was pleased with their orders.
When it came time to pay is when things became interesting. My father insisted on paying for everyone (wish he would not do that, it’s our turn to take them out for all they have done for us). Turns out, they had a $25 gift card which they handed to the waiter along with their credit card. A little while longer, the waiter returned claiming the gift card was empty and had scanned it twice trying to get it to go through. This was questioned and he indicated the manager was going to come out and discuss the problem. In the meantime, my niece used her cell phone to call the validation number on the back of the card. In less than 2 minutes she had confirmed through the Applebee’s hotline that the card was indeed valid and had a $25 credit on it (exactly as stated to the waiter). The manager comes out, we explain the problem again and he proceeds to leave with the card to check it again. 10 Minutes later, he returns and states “I have good news and bad news”. My interest peaked. “I’ll start with the bad news, our systems are down and we cannot check the card” was the next line. This is odd since we did it on our own at the table without any problems at all. Surely, they had a working phone in the place if not an employee cell phone. Then the kicker comes “but I am going to accept the $25 and try somehow to get the money back later” Back the bus up. Did I just hear that correctly. Is that the way you would have handled the situation given a table of 8, well dressed people who are simply trying to use a valid gift card? My translation, you are trying to screw us but I’ll do your lying cheats a favor and take the money off your bill. The more we discussed this, the more angered I became. Since the parents were taking care of the bill and the outcome was the same we let this go. I seriously doubt this Applebees will be getting any of my hard earned cash in the future – there are likely many other restaurants that would appreciate the revenue. At this point in time, the consensus is Applebees gets a grade of ‘D’ for this outing.
Some day I might comment on a pretty funny (if not surreal) episode that happened with a bouquet of flowers at the visitation. Like the wedding topic previously, this one is staying between the family for now.