It had started out innocently enough.
But somewhere between the kitchen and the table, the plan had fell apart – and with the customer running away from her seat with tears in her eyes. It was probably the worst possible outcome. She just prayed she could fix it … and not get fired.
As far as restaurant jobs went, Lily considered herself pretty lucky.
The pristine, white tables and posh wicker accents were so much better than the grease-stained counters she had had to endure in throughout college. It was also a place that encouraged creativity and going above and beyond for the clientele.
So, when two women came into the Italian-inspired restaurant, Lilly immediately noticed something was different about one of them.
She carefully moved along the row of tables with the help of her friend and felt her way to the turquoise bench. But it was the white cane that told Lily everything she needed to know.
This customer was blind.
Lily put on a bright smile and went to take their drink order. Little did she know there was another important fact about the women that would shift the entire plan to something new. It was going to be a chance to make their dining experience extra special but end up in disaster.
“Welcome. Can I get you something to drink?” Lily asked the women.
They returned the smile. The sighted friend said, “Go on, Natalie. It’s your birthday. Go crazy!” Birthdays were very important in their establishment, and a brilliant lightbulb went off in Lily’s brain. She knew exactly what to do.
After taking their drink and food order, Lily rushed to the back room, pulled out her phone and found a translation tool.
It was simple – write happy birthday in braille in chocolate for the blind patron. She scribbled the dots down on the paper and then rushed back to the kitchen. This is where the first disastrous domino fell.
Fridays were always busy – she was prepared for that.
But the dining chaos that even was extra-rushed. She had no choice but to get to the other tables, and trust that the kitchen would follow her instructions to the letter. Things got so crazy that she wasn’t even able to take the special desert to the two women. This would be the biggest mistake.
Lily did her best to keep an eye on the situation while scurrying from table to table.
She spotted the intended plate being taken to the blind woman. Perfect – everything was going according to plan. She had only turned her back for a few second, then suddenly, she saw the blind woman scramble with her friend out of the dining room.
The blind woman was covered in chocolate!
No, no, no! What happened?! Lily rushed to the table and saw the smear of dark sweet liquid across the plate. She felt her stomach twisted into a hard pit and her entire body turn ice-cold. What was going on?! She grabbed the other waiter and pulled him back to the kitchen.
“What did you do?!” The cook looked at her, beyond confused.
“I did what you asked!” he answered. It was a good five minutes of arguing. She prayed the manager wouldn’t come in. It wasn’t until she pushed away one of the orders did her fingers reveal the answer.
The plate was warm!
The chef had indeed written the message as instructed. But between the kitchen and the table, the dots had melted. So, when the blind woman ran her finders along it, even though they looked solid, she ended up a sticky mess. Lily immediately went into crisis-management-mode and rushed out to the table.
The two women were packing up their things, one looking furious and the other in tears.
Lily fought back the embarrassed blush in her cheeks and explained what had happened. It wasn’t a cruel joke. The staff had the best intentions. She begged them to let her fix it.
The blind friend let out a sigh and a chuckle – she understood the booboo.
She also appreciated the effort. So, aside from having the entire meal on the house plus a bottle of nice wine, Lily asked them if they could have another go at it. She watched the plate like a hawk all the way back to the table. The woman gingerly ran her fingers over the sweet bumps.
A bright smile crept along her face.
“This is very nice, thank you. No place has done this for me before.” Lily beathed a secret sigh of relief. “I really am sorry, ma’am.” The two women promised they understood. There were no hard feelings. But it wasn’t until the sighted friend whipped out her phone did Lily knew things were okay.
The friend snapped a photo of her friend holding the plate and posted it on social media.
It was an “all’s well that end’s well” moment. However, Lily was going to make sure that if anything like this happened again, she would stand right next to the chef and make sure the plates were chilled.