When I heard one of my best friends changed the venue for her 21st to a Viaduct restaurant – a Thai one, no less – I was wary.
We all know what kind of, uh, patrons the Viaduct clubs are famous for. As for restaurants, they’re all overpriced and usually get mediocre reviews at best. Especially “ethnic” ones.
It was a Friday evening. I’d left the house at 8am, been to classes, been to work, slashed on a bit of makeup and flipped my head upside down to try entice a bit of body into my pancake-flat hair. I was on time. No, make that seven minutes early. She’s notorious for being late to everything, and this time was no different. The six or so of us who got there on time waited 40 minutes for her. I was tired, hungry and grumpy. And stressed, of course, I’m always stressed. Did I mention stressed? This has seriously been the most stressful year of my life. Moneywise. Uni-wise. Flatmate, landlord, house, car, neighbourhood…you name it, it’s gone sour-wise. Except very, very few of my friends live in the real world. They live in the comfort of family homes, and as much as I love them, uni and family problems are the extent of their stress. They don’t understand what it’s like to actually be a grown up, for lack of a better expression. So I just try to smile, shrug and say I’m fine, because it’s a celebration and all. It’s not the place or time to launch into my woes, even if I wanted to. I don’t want to burst into tears or anything, so I keep quiet.
Our table was long and thin and there must have been about thirty or so of us. I was the third to order. And I was, for some reason, second to last to receive my food. All I can think of is that soups must take a hell of a lot longer to make than other dishes. At least it was good, I’ll give em that.
And then it came time to pay. She’d told us to bring cash, so I got out a $20 note and made sure I kept under my limit.
Except that someone, somewhere had made the decision to split the bill EQUALLY.
Fine. $20.43 is not that much more than $20, and my dish was (I think) $18 or $19.
One of my dear friends duly paid her $20.40 in cash, and another kindly pitched in 40c for me.
The waitress then pointed out that we were short and insisted on extracting a further 10c (no more 5c coins here) from BOTH of us.
Never mind the fact that ONE SINGLE 10c would have covered BOTH of us for our 3c shortfall.
No, they HAD to have that extra 7c from us both.
It was seriously the last straw for me that day, and I had to walk away to take a brief timeout. Thanks to my friends who stumped up a further 10c on my behalf.
Sorry, I know this is incredibly petty to whine about. But so were they for doing what they did. It’s really not the amount, it’s the principle of the matter, and that that was blatant overcharging for no reason. No two ways about it.
Wasn’t planning on returning anyway, and definitely won’t again.
Sorry, WangThai. You FAIL.