The lesson my grandma gave to a rude waiter is in the

When Nate’s grandparents want to celebrate their anniversary with a fancy dinner at a local restaurant, his grandmother goes in to choose which items she’d like from the table. But one thing leads to another when she knocks over a plate — causing her to be kicked out. But Nate plots his revenge. It was supposed to be a simple visit — a grandmother checking on the quality of meals at a local restaurant for her upcoming 50th wedding anniversary dinner with her husband and their immediate family. Yet, what unfolded for my grandmother was nothing short of disrespectful and heartbreaking. My grandparents were set to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in a week. My grandmother wanted to have a grand family dinner, and wanting everything to be perfect, she decided to visit the restaurant alone to finalize the menu and taste a few dishes for the dinner, including a special request for meatloaf. “Meatloaf?” my mother asked her. “Why would you want meatloaf for your fancy dinner? “Because it’s sentimental, Penny,” my grandmother said, smiling. “Your father and I had meatloaf on our first date, and it’s been one of the constant things in our marriage. “Meatloaf Mondays,” my mother chuckled. “It’s been there throughout my childhood. “Do you want me to come with you, Gran?” I asked her, because I wasn’t sure about my 72-year-old grandmother tackling the world by herself. As much as my grandmother prided herself on her good health, sometimes she needed help balancing herself. “No, Nate,” she said. “I’ll be fine! And this way, during the dinner you can be surprised, too.

”On the day that my grandmother was ready to go on her sampling tour of the restaurant, I dropped her off and went back home to work. “You tell the restaurant to call me when you’re ready, okay?” I said, closing the passenger door for her. I went about my day, only to receive a call from my grandmother about two hours later. She was in tears and completely devastated. I drove to the restaurant immediately. It turned out that when she went into the restaurant and ordered the items that she wanted to try — the table, naturally, became quite full. As Gran was trying to position herself, her elbow hit the table, causing one of the plates to fall off and crash to the ground, shattering. Instead of assisting, the waiter on duty let frustration get the better of him and he lashed out. He berated my grandmother and called her an “old hag”. “Who let an old hag like you into this restaurant?” he asked, while picking up the larger pieces of the shattered plate. “Look at this mess. And the lunch rush will be here soon, too.” When my grandmother got to the car, she was shaking, tears running down her face as she tried to tell me what had happened. “I’ve never felt worse,” she mumbled. “It was just a mistake, Nate. I asked if they needed to charge me for the plate, but the waiter just laughed. And he told me to leave. ”As I drove, I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say, or how to comfort my grandmother. All she had wanted to do was plan a big anniversary dinner for my grandfather and have the rest of the family there, too. She wanted to spoil us, and be spoiled in return with family stories and laughter around the table. My ears grew hot as I tried to process my anger. But I didn’t want to lash out in front of my grandmother. She had already seen more than enough anger for the day. We got home and I made my grandmother a cup of tea, to help settle her nerves. I was furious but composed — I had a tie to the restaurant, something that I hadn’t revealed to my family yet. But I could use the anonymity for my own benefit. The waiter needed to learn a lesson in humility and respect. A few days before the anniversary dinner, my grandmother came to me while I was sitting at my laptop, and tried to cancel it. “Maybe we should do something at home,” she said. “Maybe a home dinner is the way to go because we’ll all be comfortable and more carefree. “But you’ve been looking forward to this for such a long time,” I said. “Yes, but I don’t want to go back there, Nate,” she said sadly. “That waiter was a real piece of work. His mother would be so disappointed. ”For my plan to work, we needed to be at the restaurant. So, I kept pushing my grandmother to just settle on the dinner as she had planned. “You’re a chef!” she exclaimed. “Nate, you can cook. “It’s too late, Gran,” I said somberly. “Let’s do this, I promise that you won’t have to put up with the waiter. ”Days later, as our family gathered at the restaurant for the celebration, the same waiter served us — I saw my grandmother’s face fall when she realized who it was. She tried to make herself smaller, hiding behind the bouquet of flowers that I had bought for her. Recognizable confusion crossed the waiter’s face when he saw my grandparents proudly sitting beside me. He paled and tried to compose himself. I ordered the meals that my grandmother wanted for the table and refused to acknowledge him any further. “Good evening, I hope you’ll enjoy your meal,” he said with a cautious glance at my grandmother after all our meals were placed in front of us. I wanted to wait until late to address the elephant in the room. The truth is — for the past few weeks, I had been busy securing my ownership of the restaurant. I had spent years in the culinary industry, starting from washing dishes at diners after school, to progressing all the way until I became a head chef. My grandparents helped my mother pay for culinary school, so my announcement — was that I was, now, the new owner of the restaurant that we were sitting in. When I discovered that the place was for sale, I wanted to buy it immediately and turn it into a place that would uphold our family legacy. With special recipes that had been handed down from my grandmother. After dessert, an array of tiny portions that awoke the senses, I stood up to speak. The service had been exemplary the entire evening because the staff knew exactly who I was. So, when the waiter came over to bring my grandfather’s coffee, I asked him to share his thoughts on customer service. Flustered, he wiped his hands on his apron and stuttered about respect and courtesy. “You have to care for everyone that walks into the restaurant, Sir,” he said. “You told us to treat them like they are a guest in our own homes. ”I nodded, hoping that my family had missed the fact that the waiter knew me. I then turned the floor over to my grandmother, who eloquently spoke not of her pain, but of the importance of kindness and the memories tied to the meatloaf and other elements found in the dishes she had picked for this dinner. “I wanted to try and find something that my husband and I could relate to our lives. Like the chicken — we had a similar lemon chicken dish for our wedding reception. ”With the room hanging on her every word, the waiter’s remorse was palpable. He apologized sincerely, his shame evident to all. That’s when I revealed the truth to my family — telling them I was the new owner of the restaurant and that I planned on making big changes. My grandmother beamed at me, finally seeing that I was where I needed to be — building my own culinary niche in the world. As for the waiter, I presented him with two choices: “You can leave with a month’s salary or you can stay and undergo a comprehensive customer service training program. ”To his credit, and our collective surprise, he chose to stay and learn. Months later, his transformation became a cornerstone of our restaurant’s reputation. He exemplified the power of second chances, becoming a favorite among our patrons. But more than that — whenever my grandmother came over to the restaurant to help me work on a recipe, he was the first one to make sure that she was taken care of. He would bring her cups of tea and baskets of breadsticks. Now, when I think about the restaurant and the fact that my grandmother had gone from being disrespected to being idolized, all I want is to know that she will be valued — and that all the lessons she teaches inside my kitchen are taken to heart.