Monday, October 27, 2008

Macaroni Grill and Ouija Board Pasta

I had been complaining about my trip itinerary back to Perth. I left São Paulo 4 hours after Dan and Jack and would have arrived in Perth a full day after they do. My trip travel time is 53.5 hours and that doesn't count that we arrived at the São Paulo airport at 3:00 PM, which was an additional 8 hours before my departure at 11:00 PM.

But now as I camp out in the Chicago airport Macaroni Grill, during my 10 hour layover here, enjoying a nice bowtie pasta, I learn that Dan and Jack's flight out of Chili to Sydney was canceled and they are currently stuck with no idea when another flight will be available. I guess I can't complain about my long trip anymore... but I can giggle quietly to myself.

The guy next to me was reading a Johnathan Kellerman novel and we talked briefly. He was an older guy and was wearing an X-Box Live sweatshirt, small conversation ensued. I know I've read some Kellerman novels, but am horrible with names. I asked if he was the guy who wrote the Navajo Tribal Police mysteries, but that was Tony Hillerman... who I just learned passed away today! His books were another series I listened to when I first discovered audio books in the library way back when.

When I first sat down here at Macaroni Grill, I was also thinking about how a bunch of us phoned up and ordered take-away from a Macaroni Grill in Vegas one afternoon while playing a table top role-playing game. My friend Kelly convinced me that you didn't have to tip the bartender when you picked up the order; because, really what did he do besides take the food from the kitchen and hand it to you all boxed up. The bartender, however though he deserved a little more and made quite a show of the fact that I wasn't tipping him, at the top of his voice, as I was walking away.

The point of that is that I got a Facebook invite from Kelly while sitting there. Now granted, finally getting onto Facebook isn't the same as passing away, but that's two out of three Macaroni Grill coincidences.

The third was that I was also thinking about this girl I went on a date with years ago where we ate at Macaroni Grill. There was a memorable incident involving a reproduction of one of the paintings that I drew on the paper tablecloth with the crayons they give you. Nothing became of the date and we went our separate ways, but now I'm just waiting for something related to her to pop up.


BugHunter said...

I love Macaroni Grill! Not a valuable comment, I know, but still...penne rustica, or tuscan chicken calzonett FTW!

Capn John said...

I don't tip for Take Out either, even if it's Take Out from more than just a Fast Food Restaurant.
CPK, TGIF, Chili's, the local Thai restaurant, it doesn't matter. If I order Take-Out and all you do is bring me the boxed food from the kitchen, you're not getting a Tip.

It could be argued that the same logic should apply if I sat down and ate there. Why should I tip you for just bringing me my food? But now there's a little more to it. Now we're throwing actual Customer Service into the recipe. You're bringing me bread prior to my meal, you're getting me my drink. You're checking if I want anything else. When my drink is empty you're refilling it (if it comes with refills) or asking if I want another if it doesn't.

But if the Chef cooks & boxes my food, and you bring me my boxed food, neither you nor the Chef have done anything more than required or expected; you're not getting a tip because you haven't earned it.