I had a Seinfeld moment this morning. I stopped at Dewey's Diner on Fuller Road in Albany. The food was okay. I had an omelette. It was a little more expensive than I expected, but that's not the issue.
The total was $7. I put two singles on the counter as a tip and was putting the other single in with my cash when I dropped two $50 bills. As they neared the floor they suddenly swooshed under the counter. I got down to look and there was an open duct - no grate over it. The money was gone.
I asked the waitress where the duct goes. She said it doesn't go anywhere. I asked to speak to the owner. She said she is a part-owner and there's nothing that can be done.
The anger started boiling up inside me, but I had the sense to get out of there. I was worried I might be taken over by a Costanza-like rage and do something really stupid.
I did take the $2 tip back.
Dewey's Diner - Not recommended!
Update (8/2/2010): I thought this story was over, but someone named Marty associated with Dewey's Diner called me today. To his credit, he was going to write me a check for $100 to make up for the loss. But he kept tellng me how I rushed to judgment by writing this blog post, and that I should go over to the diner and apologize.
When he first called I was going to delete it, but he kept digging into me telling me how I was wrong and I should apologize. That anger boiled over again - Serenity Now!!!!
My suggestion that they should put grates over the ducts didn't seem worthwhile to him. Also, he kept telling me I'm out of touch with regular working people because I think $7 for an omelette is a bit expensive in a diner that looks like a cheap dive (inside and out). Apparently that's because I'm a lawyer. And he's going to tell people not to vote for me.
I'm not wrong and I'm not out of touch. Regular people get angry when they lose $100 for no good reason. And regular people don't like being told they're wrong when they're not wrong. I'm also a small business owner. I know if you screw up and your customer gets hurt, you don't tell the customer to apologize. Keep your $100 Marty.
By the way, I checked two diners I go to more frequently. An omelette with home fries and toast varies, but most of them are about $5.50. Not only was $107 a lot to pay for an omelette, but even $7 is overpriced.
Since this post is getting so many comments, I checked something else out:
The County inspection record.
There is a persistent "hazard" in their inspection reports:
"Lighting and ventilation inadequate, fixtures not shielded, dirty ventilation hoods, ductwork, filters, exhaust fans"
They've been cited for problems with ventilation and ductwork five times in a row, dating back to January of 2007.
Marty - You might want to do something about the ductwork. Just sayin'.