Thursday, January 13, 2011

Job Opportunity

Travel Story by Lon

I was driving through Mississippi scouting Southern PAC Tour routes for next September.

I stopped at a Waffle House for breakfast. The restaurant was empty except for two waitresses and the cook behind the counter waiting for customers. I took a seat at the booth near the grill and looked at the menu which doubled as a placemat.

After a minute the waitress asked me what I wanted. I always get the All American Combo which includes a waffle, 2 eggs, 2 sausage patties, hash browns and 2 pieces of toast with jelly for $6.39. Coffee is $1.30 extra. I calculated with tax the total was a little over $8.00 and that still left a nice tip for the waitress out of a $10 bill.

I wasn't real hungry so I told the waitress I only wanted the waffle and 2 eggs and 2 sausage and coffee. She could hold the hash browns and the 2 pieces of toast. I asked if I wasn't getting the hash browns and toast if I could add a teaspoon of pecans on the waffle. The waitress said "No problem. I will recalculate your order without the extra items"

While I was waiting I noticed an employment application in a dispenser near the counter. I took a copy and checked out the four simple questions.

1. Are you over 16 years old?

2. Do you have reliable transportation?

3. Have you worked at Waffle House before?

4. List all criminal convictions on the lines below.

I was wondering what kind of people apply to work at Waffle House. I was about to find out.

My breakfast came and I ate everything. The eggs and waffle and sausage were perfect. Even the coffee was good. When I was done the waitress brought my ticket. The total was $10.41 including tax. I double checked the placemat menu for the All American Combo price and it should have been about $8.00.

So I asked the waitress why my breakfast increased over $2.00 when I ordered less food. She said what I ordered individually added up to $10.41. If I had ordered the All American Combo the total of all the items together cost less. This is what happen next.....

LON: Did you ever see the movie "Five Easy Pieces" when Jack Nickolson tried to order wheat toast at a restaurant?

Waitress: Who is Jack Nickolson?

LON: Never mind. Just charge me for the complete All American Combo and I will pay for the items I didn't get.

Waitress: You can't do that because I can only charge you for the items you received....and you ordered pecans in your waffle. Pecans are 45 cents more. If I add up all the items you received the total is $10.41.

(Visions of Jack Nickelson flashed in my mind again as I scratched my head at her logic. Maybe I was missing something so I tried to talk slow and reconsider what I was asking)

LON: Are the Combos pre made? Did I mess up the cook buy NOT having him make something?

Waitress: No. All the orders are cooked fresh.

LON: So I actually saved the cook work and saved food by not ordering hash browns and toast?

Waitress: That's right

LON: Okay. Can I pay $6.39 for the All American Combo, plus $1.30 for coffee, plus 45 cents extra for pecans? That's about $8.60 with tax and you will still have a some extra left over for a tip. (As I held up my $10 bill.)

Waitress: I am sorry. I have to charge you for the food you received.

LON: You mean I should have ordered the Combo and left the hash browns and toast on my plate?

Waitress: Yes. That's right. On the menu 2 eggs are $2.99 and the pecan waffle and sausage are $5.59 and the coffee is $1.30. Your total is $9.88 and with tax is $10.41. I have to charge you for what you ordered. Do you want to talk to the manager?

(The manager is the cook who was still standing next to the grill in the empty restaurant waiting for something to do)

He had heard most of our discussion that had happened up to that point. The manager looked at me like I was a jerk asking for a deal.

Manager: So this is what you want to do. You only want to pay for the Combo even though you didn't get the hash browns and toast?

LON: Yes. Is that okay?

Manager: You didn't get the COMBO then. You got eggs, a waffle, sausage and coffee and that cost more than a COMBO.

(I could see this discussion was going in circles and my logic wasn't making any sense to the manager or the waitress.

Manager: Okay then. If that is what you want. (He said with a glare)

I gave him the $10 bill and said "keep the change".

I don't think I would ever pass the employment application test for Waffle House.



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