I had some errands to run this evening in a part of town that’s 45-50 minutes away from my house, if traffic is good. I went to a different location of one of the restaurants (who shall remain nameless in this post) I like that I’ve had success with. I ordered my “sandwich” to be put on lettuce so it would be gluten-free, and a soda. It was $12 total. I drove home, and 50 minutes later excitedly opened the box to find….BREAD. I was not happy about that. I gave my husband the sandwich so that he could have it, because I didn’t want the money to go to waste.
I don’t really blame the staff. That may seem like a very weird statement, but hear me out. Here’s why: I made mistakes on my end. I just can’t feel good blaming the staff when I know that there were things I should have done first that I didn’t.
Cristina Mistake #1 – Not specifically asking to see the gluten-free menu.
Gluten and my food allergies consume a very high percentage of my daily thoughts. I’m so used to it now that I sometimes forget that it’s not so crucial to other people. It’s good to call attention to the gluten-free aspect of my request for the restaurant staff, so they’re really thinking about it. It’s a completely different mindset, and I need to let them take care of me by helping them get into that mindset.
Cristina Mistake #2 – Not checking inside the box before I left.
I hate being “that person.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go watch any restaurant scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally. I hate being micromanaged, and so I hate feeling like I’m micromanaging people who are trying to take care of me. I want to trust people, so I didn’t look inside the box. I should have.
If I know I’ve done everything I can on my end but my order still gets messed up? Then I’m going to consider whether I have had enough positive experiences at that restaurant to continue my patronage despite the mistake. If I notice it becoming a habit, then I call it quits. I’m not to that point yet.
I’m writing this post for a couple of reasons:
A – To remind us that no matter how used to our conditions we get that we still need to be vigilant in taking care of ourselves.
B – To remind the gluten-free and food allergy communities that more and more restaurants are getting on the bandwagon. They want to learn, they want to be of service, and we need to be willing to help them understand, and forgive the occasional mistake. We’re all human, and we’re all in this together.
I’ve had a wonderful e-mail exchange today with the General Manager, and it’s going to be okay. I’m going to continue going to this restaurant, because they are trying very hard.
May we all be kinder to ourselves, each other, and those we work with.