Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You Know You Have A Problem When...#6

You Know You Have A Problem When you feel the need to conference call the latest restaurant that you're going to boycott, to inform them that you're going to be boycotting them. ( Need I say more? But you know I will...)

It was two weeks ago that I was feeling a bit like Mommie Dearest where Nicky was concerned. On Monday I took him to the Orthodontist to have his bottom spacer put in and it was not quite what we were expecting. He's had the top spacer for almost a year now, and it's a small piece of plastic (like a MINI retainer) that is affixed to the roof of his mouth and attached by thin wires to two bands on his top, back teeth. I had expected the bottom spacer to be similar, having the plastic sit flush up against the back of his teeth, but this was not the case. Instead, there was no plastic, only a thicker wire, (somewhat like a fat paper clip) in the shape of a U (for lack of a better description) and it backs up to but does not touch his teeth. It just looks like a metal barrier and suffice it to say, I wouldn't want it in my mouth. Nicky was none too happy about it and I apologized profusely but in the long run there was nothing that could be done to make it better; so instead, I made it worse. Nicky's Orthodontic plan for the summer not only included the spacer implementation but also the removal of two permanent teeth and as I had no idea that the spacer would be so unpleasant, I had scheduled his Dentist appointment for Wednesday, FOLLOWING the well checks that I had scheduled at the Pediatrician's for all 3 kids. Thankfully none of the kids needed any vaccinations; so Nicky got a temporary reprieve, but the extractions were unavoidable and my guilt was IMMENSE.
Nicky came through with flying colors and although he was experiencing some discomfort, he did not complain and took it all in stride. Nicky had been given Nitrous Oxide prior to the Novocaine and when I asked him if he had felt the shot, he said "it was just a little pinch." The next day I had an appointment to get a small filling and though I went through my typical anxiety over making a trip to the Dentist; I kept telling myself that I would be brave like Nicky and follow his example, though it may have been a little easier for me if I had Nitrous too. Nonetheless I will admit it was a quick and painless procedure and I think I did Nicky proud.
As all mouths were doing fine, the kids and I went to their swim meet; but we didn't finish until 645pm so I was challenged to find something for dinner that would be both quick and soft, so that Nicky could eat it. I suggested that we get Chinese food from Big Heng because Nicky liked their Lo Mein noodles, no meat, no veggies (which I could order as a side dish) and the girls shared egg rolls and a combo of Terriyaki chicken, and Lo Mein. I didn't order anything for me ( I refer to my list of 100 things #81. Since I try not to eat carbs at dinner, Chinese food has lost it's appeal.)
When I picked up the food I noticed that there were no fortune cookies in the box and since my kids are actually fans of fortune cookies I asked the cashier if I could please have 3. I knew that Nicky wouldn't be able to eat his that night, but I figured with their extensive shelf life he could have it once his mouth had healed. The cashier then informed me that she could only give me two cookies based on what I had ordered. I politely explained that the Lo Mein was for one person and the combo was being shared by two others and the cashier begrudgingly provided me with a third cookie as she was advising me that she would do it this time but her boss would be very upset with her about it. I handed back the third cookie, and told her that she could keep it, but that I wouldn't be coming back. I then proceeded to call Michelle K and say "this is even more shocking than Michael Jackson passing away." I told her the story and then she told me that she had actually ordered food from the same place the night before and that it had been lousy. Then when she took a moment to think about it, she realized that they hadn't been given fortune cookies either, although it didn't bother her at the time. In typical fashion we both agreed to boycott Big Heng; but Michelle really wanted to let them know about it; so we conference called them. I know, I know; WE have a problem; hence the title of this post. Michelle called and asked to speak to the manager which the person who answered the phone claimed to be. Michelle explained that she had ordered $43 worth of food the night before and it wasn't very good AND they weren't given fortune cookies. She then went on to say that her friend had just called and informed her that she had been denied a third fortune cookie with her order. The woman asked what I ordered and I explained. I also informed her that I typically ordered food there once a week and as it so happened I had ordered food twice during this week, but that I would NOT be coming back again. Michelle then asked why the restaurant would give her a free order of Crab Puffs but deny a customer an additional fortune cookie, and that is when we found out about "THE FORTUNE COOKIE POLICY." Yes, you read that right, the "Manager" claimed that I could only have 2 fortune cookies because of the fortune cookie policy, that you receive 2 cookies per entree. The Manager told us that sometimes people received handfuls of cookies and then they didn't eat them, so they installed the fortune cookie policy. I assured her that I wouldn't have asked for the additional cookie if I didn't need it. I asked how I was supposed to get 3 children to share 2 fortune cookies and she told me that she would speak to her boss about changing the policy. I of course told her she could do as she liked, but that I was not going to be coming back, nor was my friend nor whoever else I decided to tell about "The policy." Of course the manager brought up the poor economy, so Michelle suggested that they not give away FREE crab puffs with a $30 order (another unannounced "policy") when cream cheese cost far more than a fortune cookie. I also advised that the effects of losing clientele would be far worse for the restaurants economy than the cost of providing me with one extra cookie. The manager agreed and said that she was going to have a meeting with the boss to discuss the fortune cookie policy. Michelle then asked if it would be an open meeting that we could attend and asked if there was an overcooked Broccoli policy as well. As we laughed like loons, I knew that there was nothing else that needed to be said; and we ended our call.
When I got home the kids immediately asked why there were only 2 fortune cookies and I had to explain to them about the fortune cookie policy. I also explained that we were now going to be boycotting Big Heng and the kids fully understood why (maybe that should be problem # 7 - LOL)

Now do I feel GOOD about the boycott; no not necessarily, but hey it's a matter of principle and I am the Queen of PRINCIPLES. I mean you may read this and think that I am absolutely out of my mind and think that there are far more important things to worry about or focus on, and I don't dispute this; but this "policy" was so ridiculous, and so the type of thing that I encounter all the time, that it just had to be shared because (say it with me) "Who could make this stuff up?"
When Luis called to say he was on his way home, I told him that we were now going to be boycotting Big Heng and he said with a laugh in his voice "Oh I can't wait to hear this one;" and as soon as he walked in the door the kids regaled him with the inane story of the fortune cookie policy. Hmm, Mommie Dearest; maybe not quite but it's going to be an interesting ride for them NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
Till next time...

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Ah...Arizona...that culinary wasteland....if only the residents even KNEW what good Chinese food was (Well, unless they moved here from somewhere else, they would only know food like Big Heng and company, so sad!)But my fellow East Coaster, we shall continue our quest for decent Chinese! Tarry Forth!!