Wednesday, February 07, 2007

An evening at CCD!

An evening at CCD (Cafe Coffee Day for the uninitiated!) yesterday turned rather interesting than expected! Being as jobless as I am, I was driving around the city on my bike and taking in the sun, when I had the sudden brainwave to meet a couple of friends at CCD in Ispahani Centre. For the sake of brevity we shall refer to them as A and N.

We were comfortably seated in the couches when the menu cards, one pink and the other maroon, were made available to us. Soon it was time for us to order and N began by asking for Iced Caramel in the maroon card, but the waiter (don’t know if its appropriate to call them waiters!) pointed out that he can only give her a Caribbean Caramel on the pink card! The only difference between the two was the price, the one N wanted was priced at Rs.45 and the one he offered to get was priced at Rs.75!! N tried pointing out that both drinks were the same and how there could be any differential pricing but the waiter stood his ground and said he could only get the higher priced one. Not wanting to shell out a higher price, N grudgingly had to settle for a less palatable drink :-)

In the meanwhile A, who had been studiously going over the menu card(s), came up with her order – a samosa and a chocolate crumble! Hearing this, both N and I tried convincing A about the inadvisability of ordering samosa in a place like CCD but in vain. In due course, the samosa arrived, infact there were two on the plate and A began eating one. N who was looking rather wistfully at the other samosa decided to have it herself and that’s when the trouble began. After a couple of bites, N began making a close examination of the contents of the samosa and came to the conclusion that the samosa was burnt! A careful comparison with the other samosa (a small sample of which was made available by A) proved that she was infact right and the samosa was, indeed, burnt!

Having concluded thus, N then called for the waiter and brought the matter to his notice. And the immediate response she got from him, left us all rather stunned for a moment! “We don’t make the samosas ma’am, we get them from outside”, was his reply! But N was not one to be cowed down by such replies and argued that whether they made the samosas or got them from outside, they can’t sell burnt samosas to customers. A chipped in by showing her samosa and pointed out the difference in colour between the stuffings in the two samosas to prove the point. The waiter who had become quite jittery by then took the samosa back with him for an inspection by his higher authorities. After prolonged discussions with his colleagues he came back with the samosa and his verdict, that the samosa was not burnt! This led to more arguments from A and N but he once again stood his ground and pointed out that it was peas stuffing and its appearance is as it should be! However, he couldn’t come up with any satisfactory answer when we pointed out that the stuffing in A’s samosa didn’t look the same. He suggested that the stuffing in A’s samosa was aloo and hence looked different! N then came up with the brilliant suggestion that he should get her an aloo stuffed samosa as well, which left him quite baffled! In the end, however, N got no replacement for the burnt samosa which left her rather miffed and rightfully too.

Feeling rather shortchanged by the attitude of the waiter, A and N decided to vent their anger through a feedback form! The waiter attending to our table was quite helpful in pointing out that the feedback form was available along with the bill, thus subtly hinting that the bill was, as yet, unpaid! A promptly filled up the same and pointed out the “defects” in the samosa that was served and the general attitude of the staff. N, in the meanwhile, decided that she should add her five paisa worth in the feedback and asked for another feedback form. Apparently this was the first time that two feedback forms were requested by people in the same table and the staff seemed to be quite ill equipped to deal with such an emergency!! Hectic parleys seemed to be happening between them regarding the same with no solution in sight! Frantic waving of hands by the three of us and polite “excuse mes” to passing waiters didn’t produce the required form either and at one point of time, no waiter was willing to look anywhere in the direction of our table! After a lapse of almost 10 minutes, the feedback form was finally furnished and N had quite a bit to write on that rather small piece of paper. Having done that we decided that it was time for us to leave, which view, the staff in CCD seemed to endorse as well. On our way out, we passed an elderly gentleman looking rather intently at the samosas and puffs on display and said a silent prayer for him :-)

P.S: The whole episode was quite amusing when you look at it as a spectator, as I was :-)