Fino is now Fin. As in, the end. No more. Never again.
I arrived at Fino ready to get my drink ON. I plugged in the laptop, whipped out the glasses, and got ready to write. Only, first, come on. Drinks. My bee sting, please. “Sorry, uh, that bartender no longer works here, so we don’t have that drink.” Or any other drink that doesn’t taste of rubbing alcohol.
Fino, you try hard to be a cocktail-savvy bar, but you’re not. I’m sorry, but it’s true. The “Brotherly Love” cocktail composed of bluecoat American gin, cocchi americano, st. germain elderflower, canton ginger and orange bitters smells like a freshly squeezed tangerine. Bright. Promising. New Year’s Day. But it tastes like bathtub gin that maybe got to rub up against a cutie orange as she made her way past you in line for the loo. “It’s a real favorite,” isn’t the line you should be pitching to patrons. But, hey, you were really good sports when I let you know, as hard as it was for me, that it really hadn’t grown on me, and that I would, indeed, try something else instead. Good sports.
I ordered up a lovely Muscadet 09 Luneau-Papin, Clos des Allees because I saw the word “Bourgogne” for $10. And it was just that, lovely. Perfect temperature. So ideal. I’m in a good mood now, the air singing of spring, pink in the night. I ask about happy hour specials. Happy hour begins at 5pm. It’s 4:45. I peck at my Bourgogne and wait it out. At 4:58 (I looked at my laptop), (let’s call her) Rachel, my waitress, asks if I’d like to order any appetizers.
I go ahead and order FROM THE HAPPY HOUR MENU, holding it up, asking about different offerings. I order the blistered peppers and pork skewers, both sans carbs, sans sugar. Good girl.
Then, the everloving check arrives, where my wine is the expected ten-spot. But the appetizers are not at all happy, itemized as full-price. Ugh. Must I really dispute the $2 per order? I was just gypped four beans. Does it matter? Principle, good friends, principle. I say so, sheepishly, to a waitress passing by. She’ll tell my waitress. And tell her she did, or so I must assume, when Rachel returns with a revised check and all but smacks my face with it.
“Here,” she says, simply leaving it on my table, doing “the walkaway.” Mind you the place is as dead as it’ll ever be. So, she’s in no rush. No sweet words, no, “Gosh, my mistake,” no nothing. My point isn’t to berate Rachel or the people who trained her, but to say this:
GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO POINT OUT YOUR OWN MISTAKES.
People appreciate it. We are human, too. We make more and don’t always fess up to them, so go ahead and be the person to say, “I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m so sorry about the slip up. I really hope you enjoyed everything, and please let me know if there’s anything else you need.” Kill me with kindness, and I’ll be back. Slap the check down, admit nothing, do “the walkaway” and that’s what you’ll get… potential business walking away.
I think we could change lives just by doing this simple thing. I’m going to go home right now and admit all my mistakes. Not to humble, not to hear how silly I am, but to come clean. Because good luck at being angry with anyone who comes to you without expectation, without ego, and just lays it out there. I’m not perfect. I mess up. I mess up a lot. And you still manage to love me. Thank you.
Know what else I’m thinking, just a little bit? You mess up too, motherfcuker, and I still manage to love you. So why don’t you take a page out of THIS BOOK and fess up and admit all the things you get terribly wrong with every right intention there is. I guarantee, you’ll get more from me than a 20% tip.