17. January 2004 13:40
On January 15th, 2004 I lunched at Joe’s.
Many restaurants can only hope to achieve on their best days the level of service that Joe’s gives on an off one. The food was as exceptional as always and the atmosphere provided nothing but creature comfort.
Then, unfortunately, the bill came. Now normally, I would have just stuck out my credit card with little more than a casual glance at the total, but this time, the server left the receipt (see attached) on the table while he took the order of several other patrons. Because in my youth I have taken far too many accounting classes, I saw the subtotal and the tax and before I could stop myself, added them together and got: 40.99. !!! Whoa! This total agreed with every law of arithmetic since ancient Greece and yet did not agree with the computer-generated sub-total. Where did the extra penny come from? Was it a computer glitch? A quantum fluctuation? The same fuzzy math exposed by Al Gore in his 2000 campaign against our President? Let’s just call it the penny-pinch, or PP (PeePee) for short.
Mr. [Manager], I cannot tell you how much this revelation has changed my life. Now that I have been the victim of peepee, I find myself unable to pay a bill without meticulously checking its arithmetic integrity. No matter the size of the group or its respective level of intoxication, there I sit, carefully adding pennies.
Have you any idea as to the long-term economic consequences of peepee? In order to maintain my own arithmetic acuity, I will drink less and turn tables slower. In my newfound sobriety, I will tip more to the tune of 20% instead of the alcohol-induced 80%+. The people I will tell about this will do the same. Employee turn-over at popular restaurants will increase and so will unemployment in the food service industry thus increasing competition for the most desirable server jobs. With decreased supply, demand will overflow into the upscale ranks of career servers preventing working students from funding their educations and decreasing overall achievement in academia. With more aspiring smart people out of work, America will become less competitive over time and the dollar will continue on a never-ending slide against the Euro affecting the balance of trade and eventually doom American prosperity.
I just hope that when asked about what started these horrors you have the courtesy to say: PeePee at Joe’s.
2. January 2004 22:04
Contrary to my (many) previous experiences at Subway, this one was worthy of complaining. I was greeted after no less than a minute of waiting by an extremely unfriendly man who seemed interrupted from his backroom affairs. He took my order and (to compliment him) prepared my sandwich with such speed and accuracy that I could barely see his hands moving. However, when he added hot peppers, he simply dumped a spoonful onto the sandwich. After I had asked him to spread around the peppers, he looked up at me (for the first time) with an expression of amazement at my daring to question his sandwich artistry. Quickly returning his eyes to his work he picked up one pepper threw it onto the other side of the sandwich and wrapped it up. Following the mood, he performed the same toss operation when returning my change to the counter instead of to my open palm.
I find this treatment unacceptable and consequently will never return to this Subway again.