To give you some brief background, at work we tend to "do something" or "go somewhere" for lunch on Friday. One of the chaps who works with us is Sri Lankan and a Sri Lankan restaurant opened not far from work so we started going there for lunch. Sri Lankan service concepts such as taking food orders, delivering food then taking drink orders and making you wait until your spicy curry is burning its way out of your mouth before finally getting around to serving you a drink isn't quite what we're used to…but we let it slide.
One fateful day we each got what we usually do, however all patrons of a certain dish came down with food poisoning. Now I wasn't so bad cos I'm made of stronger stuff, but one guy was ill for a few days and one guy was off work for a week. Needless to say we stopped going to that restaurant, but after the food poisoning was over with I couldn't help but laugh when my Sri Lankan work colleague lamented that "I won't be going back there for a while". For a while?
I did sometimes wonder that maybe we should have done something about it like inform the local environmental health or something, but instead I just settled into the British way of not wanting to cause a fuss.
Fast forward to today and I'm walking back to the office after collecting my sans poison lunch and the manager from the Sri Lankan place spots me and runs across the road to speak with me. He commented that we haven't been to his restaurant in a while. I lie and tell him that we tend to rotate what we do for lunch and are currently going to a place "over there" and I gesture vaguely with my hand to somewhere I become conscious does not actually contain any restaurants. The manager says he knows sometimes the service wasn't great and he has always apologised and that things are improving and he wants to offer us a free meal and yadda yadda.
Now….I've been watching a lot of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" lately which is something you should check out. The humour is very Asperger's related (in my mind) with the protagonist, Larry David, struggling with his interpretations of social norms. All of a sudden I felt the spirit of Larry descend into me. I wondered to myself…."What would Larry do?"
So I cut the manager short in his stride…."You know…if you want me to be honest…you gave us all food poisoning and that's why we don't go to your restaurant any more. So there you go."
Doing it actually felt pretty…pretty…pretty…pretty good. We just don't complain enough in this country and we're always so willing to just lie down and get shafted and accept poor service with never a cross word. I'm sure in future I shall revert to type and never complain about bad service again, but at least today I did something…I fought back.