Something horrible happened at Olive Garden last week and it’s surely traumatizing for all involved. According to a post on the Olive Garden Facebook page, a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas found an earring in her Toscana soup. The woman was disgusted by this event, but she was able to generously accept an apology. When the bill came, she was shocked and dismayed to discover that the only thing that had been comped for this tragedy was the soup. The rest of the food remained on the bill and she was expected to pay for it still. Naomi wants to know: “What kind of service is that?”
Well, Naomi, it’s pretty standard service, if you ask me. (And I totally know that you didn’t ask me, but I’m going to give my opinion anyway because if you post something on a public page you have to expect that strangers might pipe in.) Mistakes happen in restaurants just like they do in every other aspect of life. Of course no one wanted to have their earring fall off in to your soup, it was an accident. The cook didn’t put her earrings on that morning before work and specifically chose a pair that would look great floating among spicy sausage, fresh kale and russet potatoes. Somewhere in the course of her day, the earring fell off and it ended up in your bowl of soup. The manager was apologetic and did not expect you to pay for that bowl of soup, but why would you expect anything else to be comped? Did you find a bracelet in your bruschetta, a necklace in your gnocchi or a ring in your rigatoni? No, you didn’t. You worry that your 13-year old daughter could have swallowed that earring and yes that is a valid concern. Here’s the thing though: she didn’t. And neither did you. So you can’t expect things to be compensated based on “what if.”
You also wonder why no one explained why it had happened. My guess is that the manager gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed that you understood what an accident is. There was no good reason an earring was in your soup just like there was no good reason you were at Olive Garden in the first place. (Unless of course you were celebrating an anniversary or birthday because then of course you would be at Olive Garden because duh.) You want a reason? I will give you one:
Marta the cook was wearing her special earrings that day, the ones she loves so much, because they make her feel good. They brighten her day and when she catches a glimpse of her reflection in a stainless steel reach-in, she is able to momentarily forget that she works at Olive Garden. The earrings were given to her by her sister and she lost one of the backs a few months ago. She still likes to wear them though, so instead of an earring back, she uses a piece of pencil eraser to secure it to her lobe. Well, gravity got the best of her that day and when she was portioning out your precious bowl of fucking Toscana soup, the pencil eraser failed her and the earring slipped into your food. Marta didn’t even realize the earring was gone until much much later and she was heartbroken to realize that one of her favorite earrings was gone. Yes, you got the earring, Naomi, but you should be grateful you didn’t get the pencil eraser.
It seems these days that people who go into restaurants expect so much more than what they deserve. You don’t get a free meal for your whole family because of some silly little mistake. Most people would find the earring and be a little surprised and then be grateful to not have to pay for the soup, even though I’m sure they gave her another earring-free bowl of it. However, today no one is satisfied with a little and they always want more which is why Naomi posted this complaint on the Facebook page to begin with. She wants more. And you know what? Olive Garden will give her more. They will read the complaint and then send her a coupon for a free meal and that will teach Naomi to always be on the lookout for something else she can complain about, because maybe next time the complaint will get her even more. It’s a vicious vicious circle.
I leave you with these questions: What about Marta? Did she get her jewelry back? When does her Go Fund Me campaign begin so we can all pitch in to buy her a new earring back? And what the fuck does “I just felt customers should be aware and cautious of their there” mean?