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In my young age, I have already become the manager-in-charge and a ‘partner’ of a western cuisine at international
city Dubai with the help of some local Arabic friends.
Here’s a horrifying experience with one customer. Customers are not always right.
The angry, red-faced woman looks frantically around the dining room from her perch on table 61 like a blond bird trapped to its ass in quick sand. I noticed because I’m in charge and that’s part of what I do, I notice things. My body tensed because I know that I’m about to be subjected to a little of this nasty woman’s outrage, I’m just not yet sure why. One of my waiters, a pleasant young guy named Ahmed is leaning sheepishly over the table a look of apologetic sadness written across his face.
“I want to see a manager. RIGHT NOW!” The woman demands in a shrill voice.
I paste a professional smile onto my face and amble reluctantly over.
“Is everything okay?” I ask her.
“No, everything is not okay.” She states and looks across at her husband. I spare him a cautious glance to see if he is friend or foe and am rewarded with a hairy eyeball.
“Oh?” I say.
“Look at this!”
I looked down at the 25 dirhams side Caesar salad in front of her, and there hanging over a lettuce leaf next to her fork is a long strand of blond hair. I take it all in and look back at her. she has a full head of long blond hair. I close my eyes and think about the cooks in my kitchen the guys who made her salad. They’re all African-Americans and Arabic (not local) with short Afros. The only other guy who would have touched her plate was a Mexican food runner with a shaved head.
My imagination was interrupted by the shrill voice again, “What are you going to do about this?”
It’s her hair, I know it is. “I’m so sorry,” I hear myself say, “I’ll get you a fresh salad and take it off the bill.”
“Is that it?” She demands.
“You ought to pick up the whole check, that’s disgusting.” Her husband chimes in.
I want to say to him that he should know, that he sleeps next to it every night and wakes up next to it every morning, but I’m no longer who I once was. Now I’m afraid they’ll complain to corporate so I say:
“How about I buy you guys a couple of beers?”
The wife agreed, letting me know it’s not perfect but she’ll take it.