After a bad morning and a row with mom, I marched out of the house. The weather was gorgeous, with clouds and drizzle on the horizon. Sadly, it wasn’t gorgeous enough to push away the sad clouds.
After reaching the office, I went through breakfast’s menu. Eggs, all types and sizes, dominated the list. I wanted something nice (emotional eater, yes I am)…so thought of Halwa Puri at a nearby Dhabba. I thought I will drive myself there, get it parceled for everyone and myself, and we will all have it in our own cafeteria. Once I shared the idea with my colleagues, they all wanted to go along to pick it up. I said Amen.
While waiting for the driver to bring my car, Anum (a colleague) suggested that we go to boat basin as the weather was, surprisingly, amazing. I didn’t care much about anything at that time and agreed. With 5 other girls, a guy and myself, we drove to Boat Basin. Deciding upon the place most populated (we couldn’t decide where to go, so had to resort to this selection criteria), parked and took places around a plastic table (with at least 3 dozen mosquitoes whizzing around us) on white, plastic chair.
A kid, of about 13, was going to serve us. He had an innocent face with sharp, calculating eyes. We inquired as to what was available for breakfast and he listed down a few types of parathas, halwa puri, lassi, tea and soft drinks. We decided upon the following:
· 12 puris
· 2 plates of Halwa
· 3 Aloo ke parathe
· 2 glasses of Lassi
· 3 cups of tea
In a matter of 5 minutes, we were served. We dug into it, while hushing the buzzing mosquitoes away. Food was pretty okay, however, the tea could use some work upon. Aloo ke parathe lacked spices and salt. Lassi was most liked and appreciated amongst all. Anyway, after asking the kid to pack the remaining food, we asked him to bring the bill along. And he said ‘baji, saare nau soo’!! At that, I was like, seriously?
Our pseudo accountant for the moment took matters in her hand and asked the kid to elaborate. He had double charged us, was exaggerating the cost at a few places and wouldn’t give us a straight answer. Mid interrogation, he excused himself to serve another table. We were waiting for him to return, but he
continued dodging us away. I decided to go up to the counter and get this resolved. We were out for over an hour, apparently on a breakfast break.
An elderly man behind the counter was at service immediately on my arrival. I asked him to bill me, and that we have been charged Rs.950 and would like a receipt against it. He asked me what did we order, and while I was telling the sweet, old man about it, the kid who had served us sneaked behind from somewhere. As it happens, our total order was for Rs.630…and we were being charged Rd.320 extra! I raised an eyebrow while looking at the kid, and he dodged away my stare, as usual. The man behind the counter was apologetic for the blunder and appreciative that we bothered to ask for a receipt.
Hesitantly, we tipped him 11% of the total bill, and walked out muttering all kinds of gibberish.
Purpose of narrating this incident is that being cautious, asking for a receipt/menu and double checking the change you get doesn’t make you look like a fool. It only makes the server know that he cannot fool people so easily, and needs to get his act together.