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Chasing The American Dream

July 08, 2005


Honestly, sometimes I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I wish people would have enough common sense, think outside the box once in a while, and really think about whether or not rules or policies actually make sense. For the past eight days, Andy and I have been eating breakfast at a Western-themed resort restaurant. We’ve gotten to know “Clementine,” our server, very well. And she’s gotten to know us very well, too.

She knows Andy orders pancakes, sausage, and fruit. And she knows I order a plate of fresh pineapple with dry low-fat granola. A couple of days ago, she asked me how the granola was? I told her that it was really good and that I ate it often back home in Florida. She told me she’d try it, but the best granola she ever had was her grandmother’s homemade granola. When she described the granola, it sounded really good. I asked her if she could bring me in a sample, and she happily agreed.

The next day, Clementine forgot the granola and felt horrible about it. I told her not to worry; she promised she’d not forget it again. So this morning I anticipated tasting the yummy granola. Clementine greeted us not with a happy smile, but with a face wretched in disappointment. “You’re gonna kill me, but I didn’t forget it,“ she said. She told me that she indeed brought in her grandma’s granola for me, but her manager wouldn’t let her give it to me. I listened incredulously to the rest of the story. It seemed her manager deemed the granola as a health code violation because hotel management couldn’t guarantee the quality of it and that the hotel would be liable if I got sick. Plus, if other guests saw I got the granola, they might want some too and that wouldn’t be fair to them.

I shook my head in disbelief. I couldn’t believe this manager would not let Clementine give me the granola. I told Clementine to go get her manager, and I would try to see if I could talk some sense into her. A few minutes later “Miss Manager” showed up. “Can I help you?” She knew what I wanted, but I had to explain the whole story to her anyway. I explained to her that I knew all about health code rules having owned my own restaurant. I told her I’d be happy to sign a liability waiver for the hotel and for the health department, and that I really couldn’t see the other guests getting upset over a little granola.

Wow, she told me she’d never come across anything like this, and that she’d have to call her Vice President. I’m thinking, Vice President? You have to call your VP over a little granola? You can’t make a common sense decision yourself? Good grief. Our food arrived and I ate my low-fat granola. Miss Manager showed up while we were halfway through, and apologized to me for not allowing me to have the granola. It seemed the VP agreed with her on the hotel liability and health code violations, and that my signing a waiver wouldn’t truly eliminate the hotel liability. What???

And then things got stranger. Another server showed up and brought me the check. I asked where Clementine was and the new girl said, “she was busy in the back somewhere.” What a line of BS. We waited around for another 15 minutes, but no sign of Clementine anywhere. Jeez, I wondered if this stupid granola got the girl fired? I honestly don’t know at the moment, but I’m going to find out. Shit like this irks me to no end. Miss Manager has no common sense to let a simple thing like this go, then she can’t make a decision on her own, and now she fires the employee over granola? I hope for her sake she didn’t fire Clementine because I’m about to make her life really miserable if she did. More to come.


  • I know what you mean.

    Political correctness irks me, too.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:20 AM, July 08, 2005  

  • Oooh, great story! I can't wait to hear the ending. I'm with you on this one 100%. What a stick in the mud!

    By Blogger Elle, at 9:38 AM, July 08, 2005  

  • Its interesting how you incessantly complain about how your clients make your work life miserable then you do the same to a manager who is just trying to do her job. Sure, it stinks that you can't enjoy the nice gesture offered by Clementine, but if you want that type of service don't stay at a place that has a manager who reports to a VP who reports to a.... Try a B&B.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:41 AM, July 08, 2005  

  • I'd go back and give her your room number. They can't do anything if she's not working - can they? Write it on the check.
    Love the name "Clementine" - Eternal Sunshine is one of my favorites

    By Blogger Sass, at 10:37 AM, July 08, 2005  

  • I say we picket the hotel until they hand over the damned granola *thinking* No, that might get us arrested. I wonder why she couldn't have handed you some in a little baggie or tupperware to take home with you? Why did the manager have to know about it?

    By Anonymous Alexis, at 12:17 PM, July 08, 2005  


    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 1:55 PM, July 08, 2005  

  • I agree with the resort on this one. Sorry, it's the attorney in me.

    By Blogger -J, at 4:22 PM, July 08, 2005  

  • um. why was the restaurant used as the conduit for this transaction anyway? she should have met you after her shift was over as 'a friend' with 'a gift' and not involved her place of work at all. jeeeezus. no need to make life so complicated. i wouldn't expect the hotel to allow her to serve some of her 'moonshine granola' either. but she can do what she wants on her own time. nuff said. really.

    By Blogger JuRiScHiCk, at 6:21 PM, July 08, 2005  

  • I didn't think the lawyers in the audience (and there are many) would agree with me here.

    LX, you gotta lay off the gin, man.

    Ben, I didn't give the lady a hard time. I just said I'd sign a waiver.

    Sass and Lexy, yes, she should have kept her manager out of it. Why she didn't I have no clue. More answers tomorrow.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 2:43 AM, July 09, 2005  

  • I would be upset too. But, in the climate that we live in, I am not surprised. You are very different than probably most people in that you were willing to try the granola. Most people would be like--"OMG, she brought the granola in. [I know you asked her to but bear with me.] No, I'm not going to try someone's granola!!" People are nuts. People can sue for a bump in your sidewalk. Companies get sued for a bug in the water [may be exaggerating but you get my meaning]--mental anguish and all. I hope Clementine still has her job. But, then again, maybe she can sue. After all, she was just going above and beyond the call of duty. Hope it all turns out nicely.

    By Blogger Marel Lecone, at 4:57 PM, July 09, 2005  

  • WHOA. Crazy! So what happened? Shit, I probably won't make the blog rounds for another week or so seeing I'm elbow-deep in buckets of brains all day... hook a girl up with an email with a granola update.

    :) :)

    By Blogger girl from florida, at 12:19 AM, July 10, 2005  

  • I make really good granola.

    It's far too risky to send it to you, of course.

    How 'bout the recipe? Can I get sued for sending it to you?

    By Blogger A, at 4:29 PM, July 10, 2005  

  • I'm not an attorney, but I agree with the one that posted.

    By Blogger M, at 4:50 PM, July 10, 2005  

  • Sadly, I may never know the true ending to the story. Clementine was not at work Saturday. I asked around and found out she called in sick due to sunburn. Unconfirmed. I'll have to call the hotel one of these days to find out.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 1:36 AM, July 11, 2005  

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