Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Lunch Out: Bad Beginning, Good Ending

I combined lunch with a trip to pick up a package at the post office which is at 91st and Third. I had my orange slip which was just from yesterday. The clerk was so angry, so horrible, just grunted at me and it really pissed me off. I was thinking later that I  approach everyone respectfully. I always say hello and smile and don't just shove the slip their way. This guy ("Ronald") didn't acknowledge my greeting; I handed him the slip and he grunted "ID". He then disappeared, came back gnawing on a piece of candy. I said (passive aggressively), "Oh good, you could use some sweetening." He was silent. Found my box and just shoved it toward me. You'd have to work on not saying, "here you go" or   something. As I was putting away my driver's license, this old frail lady came up to the window, upset, that she had lost her keys. She asked him if he had found them and he barely summoned the energy to open a drawer, glances in it, closes it and then shakes his head once, meaning no.

Not back, forth, back, forth, back forth shake of the head NO, but just one solitary shake. Neither that lady or I deserved that treatment. As I left, I asked for a supervisor. I always have the "you get the service you're willing to settle for" ringing in my head. I described his behavior to an uncaring supervisor who then said to me, "Was he rude to you?" like "you gotta give me something more than this" and I said Yes.  So she said she'd speak to him. Which I doubt, but I said my piece.

Later thinking about it -- I know, I can chew on something for hours, I was thinking that he actively sent bad vibes at me. I don't need my ass kissed. I don't need smily face yes mam, no mam, I really don't. But Ronald was angry, pissed off, hated his job -- well, join the effing club, Ronald.  I felt assaulted by him. I really did.  I know this might sound minor, but I think his attitude just took me by surprise. I walk in dum-dee-dee-dum-dum, and the guy snarls at me. What the heck.

Ok, so then it was time for lunch. I saw this place -- Parlor Steak House -- across the street and saw it was open and had a menu outside. When I got there, the menu showed a prix fixe lunch for $25 which seemed a bit out of my budget, but I saw they had other things so I went in.

Very pretty interior. I realized I'd been in this place before in another of its incarnations a few years ago. Can't remember the name of the place then, but I remember I went in on a Saturday afternoon, also having picked up a package at the post office.

This is the view from my table, sitting on a banquette. There were people in the bar. Me and one other man in the dining room. The interior almost immediately calmed me from the post office.

After I ordered, another waiter brought this. It was described to me as "red onion foccacia and white bean puree." He said he is only supposed to give one piece, but gave me two. Said he was feeling "generous." The white bean puree didn't have much taste, but the foccacia was absolutely delicious. Very soft, very fresh.

I knew my day was looking up when I saw one of my favorite things on the menu: LOBSTER ROLL.

I would rate this one a B. What it lacked was the icy coolness of the lobster with the warmth of the roll. This was all one temperature. Also, the lobster mixture was just placed on top of the bread. There was really no "roll" to speak of so I ate it with a knife and fork.

The menu said it came with french fries, but I wasn't expecting this. There was a bowl of good fries, with those frizzy fried onions on top. The little cups had ketchup and aioli mayo in them. Really good.

And then, to finish off my good lunch, I had a cup of cappucino. This one went over budget, not that I have one, but the total (oh, with a soda which was $2.75) was $28.53 plus tip. But I really enjoyed it.

Back home again where the leaves are turning. The guy in the photo on the cellphone is Jeffrey, the super in my building whom I really like. He and his family are from Malta. Really a lovely family.


Anonymous said...

I have had the same experience at my Post Office on 85th Street between 1st & 2nd. They seem to be the rudest people in N.Y. They must all hate the Post Office. I guess the benefits and the decent pay (I have heard) are not enough to keep them cordial. I am glad you reported him for whatever it's worth!


Pat said...

I have to say I bristle when people say New Yorkers are rude -- but in this case, I think you're right: these post office people are the rare consistently rude people here. I typically go to your post office if I need to buy something or mail a package, but I have to go to the 90th Street one to pick up a package so I've sampled the rudeness in both places.

My experience with the actual letter carriers is the opposite -- cheerful, friendly, say hello when you pass them on the street, willing to take letters to be mailed with a smile -- maybe the inside clerks need more oxygen to their brains like their outdoor counterparts get walking their routes.

Anonymous said...

Two mistakes..
My P.O. is between 2nd & 3rd.
I also meant the in house workers are the rude ones. I love my letter carrier...Lester. He is more like family. He has my cell # in case we had a problem with my Dad. He once called me at work when my Dad fell in the street. He even came to my mother's wake. He is a gem!