Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bluntness is the only way to get your point across

I recently went out to dinner with friends: Italian place, right smack in downtown centre, huge portions, a bit pricey but that is to be expected at Italian restaurants. I don't have a problem loosening up my wallet strings for good food. In fact, I dedicate half of my paycheck to selecting top-tier foodstuff that is worthy of a magical journey through my intestines. This being said, if I'm paying 25 euros for a meal, I better get 25 euros worth of quality.

Sadly, it wasn't the case that night. In fact, it was the worst restaurant experience I've had in a long time, Italian or otherwise. The waitress had this default pissed-off look like someone just stole her last tampon. We even had a competition going on where we tried to be the first person to make her crack a smile (spoiler alert: I won). And the food was beyond awful. They somehow managed to overcook my pasta to the point where it became so limp, even Viagra didn't want anything to do with that shit. And the cream sauce was basically water with a hint of cream and maybe pepper. The only okay part of the meal was the salmon carpaccio I had for appetizer, but that was only because carpaccio doesn't require any actual cooking.

After pushing the rest of my pasta around the plate (I could only bring myself to eat half of it eventhough I was hungry as fock) trying my best not to look pissed and spoil the ambiance, I decided I was going to give the tamponless waitress a piece of my mind. The waitress, sensing this, just walked frivolously in our general direction as if she was daring me to piss her off with my impending commentary. Come at me, biyatch, I uttered under my breath.

"Any dessert order?" she asked us with one arched brow upon realizing no one was eating anymore.

"Is the dessert as good as the pasta?" I asked her. She nodded, beaming with pride, but somehow still not smiling.

"In that case, I'm not going to have any because my pasta was easily the worst I've ever tasted in my whole life, and I wish I was exaggerating," I said without missing a beat. That was when she cracked a nervous smile and I won the aforementioned competition. "Sir, if the pasta was not up to your expectations, you should have not eaten it," she replied, notwithstanding my obviously unfinished plate. "I ate half of the plate because I was super hungry, and even if I return the meal it's not like you're going to comp it," I said, raising my voice just a tad.

Cue audible gasps all around. Yes, the French can be so dramatic sometimes. I just shot them a look that said "Calm your gonads, people. It's not like I just bombed Hiroshima. All I did was complain about my food". And you can only dream of having a meal comped in France even if there was a giant dung beetle sticking out of it.

The waitress just shrugged and left with our plates.

"Um... You know.. We don't really do that in France. Usually if we dislike the meal or the service at a restaurant, we just don't come back," said a friend. It was cute, because he thought I was a Chinaman fresh off the boat who was unaware of the local customs.

"I appreciate the French Culture 101 lesson, but I've been here long enough to know the do's and the don'ts, thank you very much. Truth be told, I've never even done such a thing in my life. It's just that the food was so bad, I just had to let it be known," I explained. 

On further analysis, I think I should have let it slide and not said anything. For some reason I let my alpha side prevail, and that's not a good side of me.

One of the hardest things I've always had to do is not speaking out my mind. Oftentimes I'm convinced I have Asperger's by the way I'm completely oblivious about how my verbalized opinions might affect people's well-being. It's not all bad though, since I like the fact that I'm the go-to person for a lot of people around me to get advice because they know they can count on my "no sugarcoating, no beating about the bush" nature.

Some people find my bluntness rude, but these same people appreciate it more when I compliment them because they know I give out compliments as often as the Malaysian government fulfills its promises.

I've learned to control what I call my 'honest impulses' where I get a sudden urge to speak my mind, usually negatively, about something. I've learned to let little things slide. I've even learned to lie through my teeth about how pleasant something is, even when it's clearly not.

But if my lying about something is going to perpetuate mediocrity, then it's safe to say I'd prefer letting my honest impulses run wild.

1 comment:

Dottie With Dots said...

one has to be cruel to be kind