Thanksgiving Wonder

My first call of the morning:

“Hi, are you open on Thanksgiving?”

“Yes, we are.”

“Oh, can I order a cooked turkey–whole please–to pick up, and with all the sides?”

You mean, like we are the local grocery store?

“No ma’am, we don’t provide that kind of service on Thanksgiving, but I am sure Whole Foods or one of the other…”

“Don’t you think it is better to eat Thanksgiving dinner at home? I mean, really!”

Don’t you think it is better to leave me alone, now?

“So, can I get a whole turkey from you? There’s ten of us. We’ll come in to eat another time. Everyone raves about you.”

“No, ma’am, I am sorry. We are not set up to provide to-go service on the holiday.”

“Why not? I mean, maybe you could make an exception for once, you know?”

Maybe not in a million years.

“Ma’am, I am sorry. Thank you for considering us.”

“No, don’t hang up! Get a manager, ask someone else. I will ask for someone else!”

Oh crap.

“Ma’am, I am a manager.” Oh God, finally, a good reason to say that. “And I am the person in charge of Thanksgiving here (with apologies to my GM and my owners). Pause. “But, because I can understand how you feel,” Gag, “I will run this by my GM.”

If I remember this ridiculous request, that is, in between daily accounting paperwork, weekly deposit reconciliation, opening and closing lunch, booking private dinners, following up on private dinners, and ANSWERING THE INCESSANT PHONES!

“You are SO nice to do that. I am sure they will do this for me.”

I am equally sure “they” will not.

I may be many things, but I am not a liar. I have found, however, I am starting more and more conversations with my GM with the following command: “Say no to what I am about to ask, but I have to ask it so I am not lying when I say I asked.”

This amuses my GM.

“No,” he always smiles when I say this.

“No, let me ask, then say no,” I always say when he says this before I ask.


“A guest wants a whole turkey to take out, and the sides.”


“Just want to understand each other. Thank you.”

And, yes, I actually called the guest back, as tempted as I was to throw her number away. Because I am a gal of my word, even when…well, even when.

“I am so sorry, ma’am,” I said after I identified myself. “As I suspected, we are just not equipped to handle such a carryout order on Thanksgiving. Please try Whole Foods or…”



Thank you.






17 responses to “Thanksgiving Wonder”

  1. Lethe Avatar

    Sounds oddly familiar.

    I work in a jewellery store, so it’s more along the lines of “Are you sure I can’t get a discount? Go ask your manager.”

    My manager and I laugh about it in her office.

  2. Don Avatar

    Again the ignorant strikes with equal stupidity and self-centered flare. Only the best for the holidays……sucks your open….have a happy turkey day RG


  3. Dennis Avatar

    Nicely handled, RG. And people say the restaurant industry lacks integrity (I hear that a lot, BTW).

    Better be careful, RG. You may be too good at your managerial duties for them to ever let you out. You know, vicious circle, and all that. It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing — you seem to be a person who is compelled to finish the job and do it right — long hours and added responsibilities, and the next thing you know, you are 55 and trying to figure out how and when you got sucked in.

    As long as you keep writing about these experiences, though, I believe you can keep things in perspective and remain open to your many other opportunities. I say this because I almost became a restaurant “lifer” completely by accident — I wasn’t paying attention — and this doesn’t seem to be your goal.


    – Dennis

  4. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Lethe–I am all about how it is okay to ask for anything. But, I am crazed by people who don’t let it go!

    Don–It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

    Dennis–I can assure you, there is not a chance in hell that my current status will last longer than a few months. It may only be weeks if I manage to screw up paperwork or simply not ever get it done on time. I don’t know what you’ve read in my blog, but I spent most of my professional life NOT in the industry. I am actually really pleased to be in it again, and to have made the progress I have. However, I am all about being on the floor and interacting with staff and guests. I despise, loathe, truly hate the daytime office part of what I am doing now. I am a good worker, don’t misunderstand, but my current position utilizes none of what I do best and all of what I have zero talent for. So actually, my goal is to love my job in a restaurant, which I did, for a while. My goal is to get back to some combination of responsibilities in that job, because I do love this current restaurant. And 55 does not sound so old, by the way 😉

  5. Augs Avatar

    Is it bad to say that people never cease to amaze me? Well done on your handling of the turkey request. Now if you can sneak a plate or two if the turkey dinners you’ll be serving and maybe out them in a Ta-Go bag?? HA HA HA

  6. Pohlito Avatar

    If they bring all their family photos to display on the wall, and their own fine china…eating at the restaurant could almost be as pleasant as eating at home…minus the dishes…the leftovers that last for days…and pumpkin pie for breakfast the next morning.

  7. jali Avatar

    You are a master of the diplomacy. I say THE to add that extra cache the word requires in this circumstance.

    You made a push goofball feel special by calling her back. Outstanding.

    Hugs right back atcha!

  8. jali Avatar

    push – Y .-
    pushy goofball.

    My typos are annoying!

  9. Katie Avatar

    I used to do that with my parents when I didn’t want to do something when I was younger.

  10. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Tampa–Hello Creative Loafing!

    Augs–No sneaking. Staff dinner after work. And people are just people, albeit nervy!

    Pohlito–Why didn’t I suggest that to her?

    Jali–Happy TG, my friend. Thinking of you in Dallas, when I can’t be there. Show everyone my photo! 😉

    Katie–Isn’t that funny? I love the power of that course of action. Not sure what my GM thinks, but he goes along with it.

  11. Kim Ayres Avatar

    Well if you can’t give me a turkey to go on Thanksgiving, I’ll just have to call back on Christmas Day…

  12. SassyBelle Avatar

    Well, oh my goodness…. Can I phone in an order for a turkey, and then another order for a side of mashed potatoes, and another for the stuffing? Maybe management would do it for me that way….

    What? No…

    Oh. Okay…

    Ha. The audacity of some people….



    PS: Love this blog, RG!

  13. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Kim–Wonderful! Oh, right, we’re closed.

    SassyBelle–People, people, people. Mostly, just clueless. Thanks for checking in!

  14. m Avatar

    The crazy part is that so many places offer entire holiday dinners – whole turkeys, hams, roasts, whatever, plus all the sides and dessert. All you have to do is haul it home and heat it up, which is precisely what she seemed to want from you. Your clever approach of your GM (“Say no to what I”m about to ask…”) is genius.

    Hope your holiday was all that you wanted it to be, minus the occasional nutcases!

  15. upset waitress Avatar

    Hahahe. What a lazy person, not wanting to cook for the family themself. She probably waited last minute and Publix ran out. Hah!

  16. Joey Avatar

    You don’t have an owner, you are a person. I don’t get it when people in the restaurant industry, subconsiously or not, put themselves in a place where “ownership” seems to be placed on them.

    I think it is jsut a pet peeve of mine when a statement like that is made, you can own a business, you can own a restaurant. But certainly not the people who make it a sucess with you.