Happy (expletive deleted) job hunting!

Well, I'm off to a good birthday weekend. Bekah treated me out to a surprise dinner and movie, and our waiter also gave me a peculiar b-day surprise.

We've eaten at MacKenzie River Pizza before, and our previous visit was impressive: great food, boisterous atmosphere, stellar service, and reasonable prices. We figured it would be a great spot to return for my birthday dinner. We got most of what we expected - the food was still delicious, the atmosphere was just as casual, and it fit our budget. The service however was questionable.

Our waiter was (as Bekah described) a tool. College age kid with a frat-boy attitude who makes up for his lack of charm and good looks with swagger. I knew we got a dud from the moment he asked what we'd be drinking. He placed one hand on each corner of the table hovering over us - but significantly leaning toward Bekah. I figured he was trying to flirt (yet failing miserably).

Bekah: I'll have a Coke or Pepsi
Giant Tool: It's Coke.
Bekah: I'll take a Coke.
Giant Tool: K... (to me) And you?
Me: Thomas Kemper Cream Soda.
Giant Tool: I'll get those right out.
Bekah: I think we're ready to order, actually.
Giant Tool: (to Bekah) Great! What will you be drinking?
Bekah: (bewildered) Coke... we know what we want for food.
Giant Tool: Oh.

He takes our order and the food came out quicker than I expected. We talked and enjoyed the food. **I've now had the Hot Hawaiian and the BBQ Chicken pizzas and both are phenomenal.** The waiter stopped by a couple times to check how things were going.The last time he checked in he asked if there's anything else he could get us and Bekah told him that it was my birthday. The waiter dropped a dessert menu down on the table and told me I got a free dessert. Aside from the rough start (Bekah and I are sure he was trying to look down her shirt) things were going predictably superb. That is until the waiter delivered our check.

Bekah opened the black folder and scrunched her face in an unsettled look. "I don't think that's OK." she said. I asked what it was and she shook her head but then handed me the bill.

At the top of the receipt, the waiter chicken scratched "Happy mother effin' birthday."

No joking. I wish I was kidding.

Now, I have thick skin... so it takes a lot to offend me. And since my opinion of this dirt bag was low before he handed us our bill... his effin' well wishes weren't doing him any favors. I wasn't offended - just a tad surprised that anyone in the realm of customer service would ever speak to their customer like that.

We paid, and started to leave when Bekah started to think What if he did that to someone who would be highly offended by that stunt? She mentioned that we should have shown the receipt to the manager.


I couldn't resist. After all, I have a wicked vindictive streak. I walked back to our table and grabbed the receipt. I asked the girl at the front if a manager was available. She was cheerful and complied, gave me the manager's name and led me to him. I waited for him to finish talking to one of his employees.

Me: Hi, it's my birthday... actually, it's tomorrow. We just finished our dinner, and here is what our server wrote on our receipt.
Manager: (eyes widen as he reads the note) Wow... I am so sorry.

Bekah explained that it was a little offensive (to which he replied it was incredibly offensive) and that we would hate for him to do that to someone else. The manager - who had a weight lifter's build and looked like a bouncer - thanked us for not being angry. We weren't angry, but he was... I could see his bald head turning red.

He said he would take care of it and told us it would never happen again. Bekah tipped out of courtesy, but I have a feeling our former waiter got a stern tip from his boss... perhaps something along the lines of "go home."

Yes, we will return to MacKenzie River. The food is great. Better price and quality than it's neighbor Olive Garden. I won't let the one bad server ruin the restaurant for me.


  1. I dropped over to read your story after you mentioned it at HBO. You know, I sometimes think I've seen or heard it all, but this story is beyond anything I've heard regarding numb skull waiter behavior. Thanks for leading me here.


  2. We've dealt with the McKenzie River manager before (the bald-headed guy) going back to when he managed the Butte franchise. He's one of the most attentive, no-nonsense managers you'd ever want to meet.

    You can bet that waiter was told to never come back.

  3. Read about this in Huckleberries. Funny, and not funny!