Got a free meal, accidentally…

Took my coursework down to a cafe I discovered the other day that actually had more than one vegetarian choice on the menu. Bliss, thought I, and happily went back to try something else on the list. Sitting down with my coursework after I placed my order, I had the idle thought that I hoped I would have time to finish off the exercises I was doing before the meal arrived, then got straight down to it.

Half an hour later, I looked up to see the manager running around looking for what had happened to the slip with my order on it. Somehow it got stuck in with a pile that had already been done, so it hadn’t even been started, but he raced over (most apologetic) to assure me that it was coming in just a minute. I asked if my drink (a skim coffee milkshake which they do really nicely) had been started, because if it hadn’t I wouldn’t worry about it, since it took me most of 30 minutes to drink it last time. He told me no, but he could put it into a take away container for me and it would be on the house. I declined and said no, I was fine, not to worry.

The meal arrived and I started into it, but the food was really too good to hoe into like I was at a pie eating competition (not that they have vegetarian versions of that, as far as I know). Then the drink arrived and he insisted I take it, no charge, and he wasn’t going to charge me for the meal either – he was so sorry about the mixup. Meanwhile I was thinking that I had to get back to work, had lost the edge off my hunger and would much rather savour it later, so I asked if I could get my chickpea curry take away as well. No problems, it was packaged up for me.

Now I know that cafe owners have plenty of costs, and usually not much of a profit margin – I’ve had a few friends that went that route, so while it was being packaged I went up to the checkout. No good, the lady there had been told I was not to be charged and insisted there was nothing for her to charge me from. OK, I know when I’m beat, so I grabbed all the dollar coins I had in my purse and dropped them into the tip jar.

Walking out the door with my lunch and drink in hand, I thought to myself “at least I got through all my coursework” – and then I realised that I’d got exactly what I’d asked for, and a free meal besides! (Thanks to the PTBs for that one…)

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