Can I take your order?

I love to people watch, because their actions always surprise me…


My husband, Marc, and I were sitting in our favorite Italian restaurant.  Right after we put in our dinner order, another regular couple entered the restaurant.  This particular restaurant is small and quaint, has a very friendly owner and staff, and tends to be frequented by the same patrons week after week.


Marc and I were sitting, sipping our wine, and chatting as this couple, who was adjacent to us, placed their dinner order.  Moments later, the busboy exited the kitchen carrying two salad plates, which he brought to the other couple.  Marc turned to me and said, “I bet you those are our salads.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” I answered.  “I am sure they will tell him.”  But, they didn’t.  They let the busboy place them in front of them.  The picked up their forks and started rummaging through the dry greens that now sat in front of them.


“Is this mesclun?” I heard the woman ask her husband as she tentatively took a bite.   He shrugged his shoulders in reply as he poked around his plate.  The salad we ordered was tailored to our taste – mesclun greens, shaved parmesan, and candied walnuts with dressing on the side.

“Guess you are wrong,” Marc stated as we watched them pick at their plates.


The waiter glanced at the two tables and spotted the busboy’s error.  “You brought the salad to the wrong table,” he scolded in a hushed whisper, and then walked over to our table to express his apology.


“Don’t worry about it,” Marc told him.  “I saw him do it.  Mistakes happen, but why didn’t they say something and save you guys the effort of having to make another salad.  They know salad doesn’t come with dinner, especially the kind we concocted. I bet you they won’t even eat the salad.  It is just such a waste.”


And sure enough, seconds after Marc uttered those words the couple pushed the uneaten salad away from them into the center of the table.


If you were in a restaurant, and the waiter brought you over something you knew you didn’t order, would you say something or just accept it?  After year of waiting tables, I know what I would do…


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