Anyone for Water, Tea or Salsa?
by Katharine Branham - Archive of Katharine’s Articles
Recently out on a Saturday afternoon shopping with a group of friends, we came upon a Mexican restaurant that looked pretty good. It is a small chain here in Houston called Escalante’s. We sat by the window. The view was really sweet. It had Mexican pottery placed in the landscape, which gave it a real authentic feel. There were only five tables occupied throughout the dining room and no one at the bar.
The waiter came by, took our drink orders, and left. I got the feeling he just did not want to be there. The salsa and chips arrived with our drinks. The waiter again walked away rather quickly. I guess to leave us to decide on the entrees. He came back after 20 minutes and took our order.
Our food was delivered by two different waiters. Everything seemed to be right with the orders. But there were a few empty glasses on the table, and we were out of salsa. I noticed our waiter come out of and hurry back into the restroom. Oh no, he must have taken a superlaxative before work. Didn’t another employee notice he had tables that needed to be attended to? Nope no other employee noticed -- nor could I get anyone’s attention.
I watched the other staff members go to a waitstand set-up with salsa, tea, and water pitchers for quick refills. So I did what any other ex-waitress would do who needed more water and did not want to make a fuss. I refilled the salsa, tea, and water for everyone at my table. There was a table near mine that gave me a look as if they needed a refill too. It might have appeared odd to anyone who worked for the restaurant to have seen me refill another table. My table is one thing -- but to cruise through the restaurant refilling glasses and salsa might have been a bit much.
We finished our lunch and sat for several more minutes waiting for the tab. Still with no sign of the waiter and after a few employees passed by, I finally stopped one of them and asked for the tab. The waiter did finally make it back to our table with the ticket in hand. And we left in agreement never to eat there again.