I saw an article recently, and it made me wonder . . .
A piece called Definitive Proof that People Lie About Food Allergies was posted on July 17 at the website The Bitchy Waiter. The waiter criticized a self-important restaurant guru for recommending that people claim they are allergic to a food, when they really just don't like it. But the server knows that diners are lying when they claim they're allergic to something -- gluten for example -- and then they order a piece of cake for dessert. "It’s annoying and it does a disservice to those who are actually
allergic to something because it makes servers think that allergies
aren’t really that big of a deal."
Many people want to eat healthy when they eat out. And so some of them, it seems, just lie to the server about allergies in order to get what they want. Someone doesn't want butter on their food, for example, so they tell the server they're allergic to butter. In other
words, they lie, and then the server wastes their time typing in all the
modifications into the order which then "goes to the chef to alert the kitchen so they can
make sure to not cross-contaminate any of the pans. The kitchen will go
through all the trouble to make sure no butter gets near your precious
digestive system." But, later on, when the server sees the diner putting butter on a roll, the server will know they made it up. They lied.
Then, when someone comes in to the restaurant who has a
true severe allergy, maybe the waiter won’t take it as
seriously because they saw the other diner lying about their butter allergy. "Allergies are a big deal," the server went on to say. "But you know what isn’t a big deal? Not liking something. It only becomes a big deal when you don’t like something and then you tell your server you’re allergic to it when you’re not."
Other ways to annoy the waiter and waste their time and hold up everyone else in the restaurant: Insist on no iceberg lettuce in your salad; ask to see an ingredient list for the soup; mix and match various items from different entrees, ordering the cod, but asking the kitchen to prepare it the way they prepare the tuna and plate it with the vegetables from the chicken dish; or just ask the chef to create something special for you that's not on the menu.
Some people may not like the bitchy waiter. The waiter's job is to serve the customer; so they should just shut up and do the job.
But I'm with the bitchy waiter. Let them do the job, without harassing them. You want something that the restaurant doesn't have on its menu? Then go to a different restaurant. You want to eat healthy? Don't go to a restaurant at all. Eat at home. It's always healthier to eat at home.
We used to go out to breakfast with a certain couple that were friends of ours. They would bring their own bottle of real Vermont maple syrup, making sure to tell everyone how horrible the restaurant syrup was -- just liquid sugar with food coloring. Yuck! How could anyone stomach that stuff?
Okay, at least this couple didn't cause any extra trouble in the kitchen. But, I mean, come on. They were insulting people who worked there as well as other diners within earshot who were happily slurping up their pancakes with restaurant syrup. Why be an obnoxious food snob? It seems to me that people have plenty of opportunities to eat their own real Vermont maple syrup at home. Loosen up a little bit.
But maybe I'm wrong. The only thing I ever ask at a restaurant is whether there's blue cheese in the salad. I can't stand the taste of blue cheese. But I never claim I have an allergy.
I saw another item, from the New York Times over the weekend, called Hundreds in Detroit Protest Over Move to Shut Off Water. The piece reported that the city of Detroit, in an effort to save money, decided to turn off water to customers who were overdue on their bill (while also offering assistance for customers with "demonstrated financial need."). In March, when about half the city's customers had outstanding balances amounting to $118 million, the department interrupted service to 15,200 customers. More than half of those who were cut off paid their bills within 24 hours, and their service was restored.
Maybe I'm stretching it, but doesn't it seem that the half of the people who paid their bills as soon as the water got turned off are kind of like diners who claim they have a food allergy when they don't? In each case, they are taking advantage of a situation, taking advantage of other people.
The people who didn't pay their bills really could pay -- they just didn't. But the other half, those who still didn't pay their bills, probably have real financial difficulty. They are like the real allergy sufferers who get in real trouble because of the fake allergy sufferers. After all, they're now the ones without water.
At least, that's the way I read it. But maybe you see it differently.