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It’s not funny anymore.

10 Jul

July 10, 2014

No, the title does not refer to this blog.

Last time I went to Tangra Masala in Queens, which is its real name, there were a few strange characters there and I wrote about them in the post called Mumbles Mumbai Meets Sleepy Bhopal. I intended it to be semi-humorous (your humor mileage may very) but everything I wrote was true. However, I’d been there about a dozen times before with generally good experiences and was prepared to go back, which I did last week.

Never again.

Let’s recap what happened last time.

- There was a waiter sleeping in full view of the entire restaurant in our favorite booth.
- After he was awakened by some customers, he started serving us, replacing our mumbling waiter, whose every third word was incomprehensible, and who was incapable of getting us lime.
– Sleepy argued with us over which sauce we wanted to take home, despite my pointing directly to it, trying to get us to take a sauce for a dish we did not even have, accused us of not listening to him, and started mumbling and complaining about us to the rest of the staff- while he was still at our table.
– We were visibly upset and did not leave a tip. When I left the money for our check, the waitress (who was usually pretty good) ran over, grabbed the money, and ran back, never thanking us and making us feel like she was afraid we were running off without paying.

Despite all this, we had dozens of good meals there in the past and, despite the occasional hard to understand accent, the food was always good. So we decided to go back and give it another try.

We arrived at about 6:30 and the place was empty, which is never a good sign. The entire staff was seated at a table and stared at us when we walked in. We gestured to our favorite table and one of them nodded. After a few minutes of waiting, during which time Saarah told me “They’re staring at us” (my back was to them) one of them came over with menus. This was a waiter we had never seen before, and he spoke perfect, and perfectly polite, unaccented English. It struck me as odd that of all the waiters they’d made sure to give us that one, but I chalked it to them remembering us and giving us good service. Was I wrong.

While the service was good, and the food as usual good too, when the bill came I saw that there was a 15% mandatory service charge added to the bill. I had never seen that before and assumed it was new, and idly thought that, ha ha, they must have started adding it because of us not tipping last time. Yeah, as if we were that important, ha ha.

yelp-bad-reviews

Turns out I was almost right.

While restaurants have the right to add mandatory tips (that’s what the service charge is), I hate it because it takes away my right to tip whatever I feel is deserved. Sure, I can add more, but I can’t take anything away. What pissed me off right there was that if it were added because of us (more on that later) it meant that the lack of tip last time was in their eyes a reflection of my cheapness and not their awful service. In other words, I was the problem, not the lousy staff.

Saarah called her sister, who often also went to that restaurant, and asked if she had ever seen a service charge. She wasn’t sure but believed that it was on her bill the last time she was there. When was that? Coincidently, it was just a couple of days after our bad experience, adding fuel to my theory that it had been added just because of me.

Anyway, I was still not egotistical enough to think that I had affected the whole billing structure of an entire restaurant, so I went on Yelp and read some reviews. I found one, back in 2013, complaining that they had added a service charge for a small party of two. So I was wrong that the policy was created just for me, but it was clearly added to my bill just for me in response to my last meal there. I’d been there dozens of times, always tipped, and probably tipped a little higher than most patrons there. (I found out that rarely do those customers reach 10%, let alone 15%.) But because one time their staff has a meltdown, suddenly I’m viewed as a threat to not tip. But while that’s offensive, what really pisses me off is that, as I said, they see me as the problem, not their staff. I deserved an apology, not a service charge!

I’m the one who received bad service. I was the one whom a waiter argued with. I’m the one who was insulted.

I did not get an “I’m sorry.” I did not even get a “what’s the problem?”  I got treated like I caused a problem and when I returned, I was treated like they didn’t trust me.

I left the money on the table, service charge and all, and stood up to leave. The waitress, who had not served us at all, rushed over to grab the money before I was even halfway to my feet. She took the money and ran off- not even a thank you. Obviously she wanted to make sure I wasn’t stiffing them. In the past, the staff was so lazy that try as I might, I often could not find anyone to take the money, now the female flash was spiriting it away under my very nose.

Worried I’m not going to tip after years of my leaving perfectly good tips? How about asking yourselves- or better yet, ask me- why I didn’t tip that one time. Don’t assume I’m a cheapskate, look at your sleepy, mumbling, combative staff and figure it out. Don’t look at me with suspicion and make me feel like a crook when I’m going to your restaurant with the intention of spending money, tipping, and coming back again! YOU screwed up last time, not me!

Meanwhile, you lost me as a customer. For good, this time.

And the picture of the sleeping waiter is gracing my Yelp review.

This guy deserves a tip?

This guy deserves a tip?

About these ads

Not-So-Imponderable #1: The [CENSORED] From China

29 Jun

June 29, 2014

Before we begin, a notice from The Editors and Staff of Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride:

nsfw

I often get on Japan for being, let’s face it, totally weird. Sexbots, sexbots, sexbots everywhere! Now before you hop on a jet to the Land of The Rising C-, no, no I won’t go there, beware! The following product was invented across the sea in China.

TADA!

Hey, baby. Come here often?

Hey, baby. Come here often?

This, ladies and gentlemen (but mostly gentlemen), is the world’s first fully automatic hands free sperm extractor.

Or as I call it, the Roboblow. And yes, it does just what you think it does.

The effortless machine features a massage pipe that can be adjusted to suit the height of the user. All the gentleman has to do is plug in the frequency, amplitude and temperature and off they go. It’s also fitted with a small screen for those feeling uninspired.
The reason this is not an Imponderable is that this was inevitable. Sure so far it is only installed in hospitals, but can you think of a better machine to put in a bar? This will totally change the dating scene forever.

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Space Drama!

20 May

May 20, 2014

Space Drama!

A stage play of Space Suspense and Space Action! Set in Space!

The place: Spaceship XR-17, somewhere out in Space!

The time: The future, but not so far in the future that people have stopped wearing pants.

The characters:
Duke Spaceace, captain of the XR-17
Larry “The Cable Guy” Sputnik, a crewman
Robot the Robot, a robot that pretends he is not a robot. He isn’t fooling anyone
Commander Louie Mazola, an alien from the planet Merkin

space patrol 02

ACT ONE: On The Bridge

CAPTAIN SPACEACE is sitting in the captain’s chair. ROBOT is plugged into an outlet next to the refrigerator. Enter LARRY “THE CABLE GUY” SPUTNIK.

LARRY: Captain, I’ve fixed the space engine. The spaceship should be working A-Okay.

CAPTAIN: Good work, Larry. Hey, that’s a nice pair of pants.

LARRY: Thanks. I read somewhere that in the future people will stop wearing pants.

CAPTAIN: Get on the space phone and call Space Command. Tell then that the space engine is fixed and we’re ready to resume our space mission.

LARRY: I’ve been trying to call them for the last 15 space minutes but all I get is their space answering machine.

CAPTAIN: Flarking spleeznuts! Robot! Hey, Robot, get over here!

The ROBOT unplugs himself and walks over.

ROBOT: I keep telling you, I’m not a robot.

CAPTAIN: And I keep telling you, you have a zircon hyperzoid space computer where your liver should be. That’s a dead giveaway.

LARRY: Plus you’re made of plastic.

ROBOT: That’s a skin condition!

CAPTAIN: Whatever. Look, keep trying to call Space Command. If you get through, tell them we’re continuing on our space vector to planet Ernest Borgnine 9. If you can’t get through to an operator, press seven and just leave a message.

LARRY: I think their tape is full.

CAPTAIN: This is the 83rd century and they don’t even have a digital answering machine?

 police_zero

ACT TWO: In Deep Space

CAPTAIN: Space is sooo boring. Are we there yet?

LARRY: How do I know? Whenever I try to look out the window all I see is my own reflection.

CAPTAIN: I keep telling you, turn out the light and then look out the window. You’ll see fine. Hey, Robot!

LARRY: Captain, we really don’t-

CAPTAIN: Robot! Get over here. When are we getting to Ernest Borgnine 9?

ROBOT:  In about 8.129477476930 space hours, give or take .67838090 space minutes. (To himself): I’m not a robot, I’m just precise.

CAPTAIN: (To LARRY) See? That wasn’t so bad.

ROBOT: However, there are many variables to consider.

LARRY (shoots a nasty look at the Captain): Wanna bet?

ROBOT: First, this area of space is noted for its variable gravity fields, which could throw my calculation off by as much as .23%

CAPTAIN: Well, hey, that’s no big deal, why don’t we-

ROBOT: But also consider the third moon of the local binary star. It has been known to emit zeton radiation, which acts as a repelling force to our space engines.

CAPTAIN: I really don’t think-

ROBOT: There are also more local concerns, such as the mass of our cargo, which has shifted downwards .09% since the start of our journey, which can act to increase our speed.

CAPTAIN: So I say that-

ROBOT: But our biggest concern should be the fact that we are being held in a tractor beam emitted by the Merkin warship off our starboard bow.

CAPTAIN: Merkins! I have no use for them.

 o_space-patrol-dvd-ed-kemmer-70-episodes-set-c8a0

ACT THREE: In Communication With The Merkin Commander.

CAPTAIN DUKE SPACEACE is arguing with Merkin Commander Louie Mazola over the space video phone. The Merkin is very hairy.

MERKIN: You’ve got 10 space minutes to get your space junk out of Merkin space or we’ll blow you into little itty bitty space pieces.

CAPTAIN: Stop calling my ship space junk! I bought her new and she’s almost paid off.

MERKIN: Nah nah! XR-17 is a comet’s tail! Nah nah!

CAPTAIN: I’ve had enough. Say what you want about me but leave the XR-17 out of this. I named her after my girlfriend and I’m very sensitive about her.

LARRY: Your girlfriend is named XR-17?

CAPTAIN: Yes. You’ve never met her. She’s a model. And she’s rich. We’re going to get married.

MERKIN: Enough of this nonsense. Get out of here already!

ROBOT: Captain, I’ve finally gotten through to an operator at Space Command. It cost us 99 space cents per space minute, but I have new orders for us.

CAPTAIN: Talk to you later, Louie. (Shuts off the space video phone.)

MERKIN: Hey, wait a- (cut off as screen goes dark.)

CAPTAIN: What did they say?

ROBOT: Space Admiral Bobo wants us to reverse course and return to Earth. He says that there’s a problem with our warranty.

CAPTAIN: What warranty?

LARRY: When you upgraded the robot to Windows 72 you used a bootleg copy.

CAPTAIN: It was cheaper!

ROBOT: So that’s why I can’t download any updates!

LARRY: I thought you said you’re not a robot.

ROBOT: Yeah, yeah, whatever. (Storms off the bridge.)

CAPTAIN: Larry, tell the Merkin commander he wins. I didn’t want to go through his stupid space anyway.

 5551730553_28d993c9b9_z

EPILOGUE: (Just Like A Quinn Martin Production)

LARRY: We never did get to Ernest Borgnine 9.

CAPTAIN: No, but we got something better.

LARRY: What?

CAPTAIN: We got rid of the stupid robot. I sold him for scrap and bought some really cool decals for the ship. Look, this one’s an eagle!

LARRY: You know, these pants really are nice.

THE SPACE END!

 

 

 

 

 

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