April 2, 2016

‘minimum bbq two orders’

So I was at this Korean restaurant with my wife and daughter. Just the 3 of us. We took our time with the menu and waved the server over when we’re ready. A short fair skinned Bangladeshi server came to take our order.

Me: “I’d like this set of BBQ Pork here, and…”

Before I could continue, the short Bangla (SB) replied with an incomplete sentence in English:

SB: “Two orders.” *points at other BBQ selections on the menu*

Me: *confused* “No, no… I don’t want two. Just this one.”

SB: “No…no… two. Minimum two orders.” *repeatedly points at other BBQ selections on the menu*

I hadn’t got around to order the main course just yet so, I was thinking, maybe he was hinting at me that we’re not ordering enough or something. So I flipped the menu to the ala carte page and placed order for the main course first, and came back to this BBQ pork order – and gave him this ‘Is everything ok now?’ look.

SB: “No…no… two orders. Minimum BBQ two orders.” *repeatedly points at other BBQ selections on the menu*

My patience was wearing thin. My wife Emily then asked me to check the small prints in the menu, but there was nothing mentioned about minimum orders. I tried to ask SB about what did he mean by ‘minimum two orders’ and why aren’t we allow to order just 1 BBQ pork, but all he could reciprocate was this blank look while muttering ‘minimum BBQ two orders’. Since we’re about as productive as a chicken and a duck trying to have a conversation, I asked for the manager. A chubby Korean teen (must be the owner’s son) came and explained:

Chubby Korean kid: “It’s very hard to explain… uhh… very hard to scrub. If one order, need to… err… wait.”

Then he called out in Korean to another middle aged lady who was at another aisle, whom I reckoned must be his mother. His mother went all Korean back to him and he then said:

Chubby Korean kid: “The pan, very hard to scrub. Need 2 orders. One order, a lot of work!”

I was thinking, two orders aren’t going to make it any easier, are they? Fucking dumbass Koreans. I was ready to lose that BBQ-fucking-minimum-two-orders-pork there and then. If these guys couldn’t figure out that losing an order is a worse trade off than scrubbing the goddamn skillet, then they’re probably better off to have their asses dictator-ed by Kim Jong-Un instead of hitting a boner like this. Anyway, after a few loud exchange of Koreans between the mother and son, chubby kid proposed a workaround,

Chubby Korean kid: “One order, can! But need to cook inside kitchen! Ok?”

I was like, who the fuck cares? I just want to eat the pork and I do not really care if the Bangla grills the pork on the table skillet or in the kitchen skillet.

Me: “No problem, just do what you must.” And the order was finally placed.

We could hear a commotion right after our order was placed, right around the kitchen area. Probably still couldn’t agree if 1 order is worth to scrub the goddamn kitchen skillet.

Anyway, my gripe about the whole thing was – communication. I have nothing against Banglas (except their body odor), but more often than not, we get people like them fucking up our dining experiences by not being able to communicate properly. For this, I can only blame the restaurant owners/managers, for putting the wrong labor to the wrong tasks. In this scenario, things would have been simpler if they have gotten some locals to be the hostess and take orders, and get the Banglas to scrub the skillet instead. But they had to save that wee bit of labor cost to go for Banglas, and had to devise this stupid plan of minimum 2 BBQ orders to justify the return of investment for spending time scrubbing the goddamn skillet.

michaelooi  | experiences  | 

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