Saturday, February 24, 2018

Guest Post: Restaurant Pet Peeve - By Doug #DougSpeaks

((off topic))
Since this site seems to be the site for my complaints (usually about the dentist, the neurologist or the eye doctor), I thought I'd have Doug take a crack at one of his pet peeves.

Doug is not usually one to complain (shhhh, don't tell him I said that), that is my job. He normally lets things go - too often in my opinion. When something happens over and over again to the point where he actually wants to write about it - it's something, trust me. Especially when it happens more than once during one single weekend trip. Not that this sort of thing has not happened to us for years, but two or three times in as many days put him over the edge.

There was that one Valentine's Day when we actually were able to go out without DC, so we did not have to chose a restaurant that served burgers and or wings. The table for two was half the size of the table pictured above.

We got our drinks and appetizers (table - full). Within 5 minutes time they came out with our entrees (with sides). When we asked where we were supposed to put all of these plates, they offered to wrap our appetizers to go. Seriously.  After removing everything from the table; salt and pepper, oil, candle, wine list - they managed to fit everything on the table. But of course now everything was getting cold. 10 or 15 minutes after that fiasco, they brought out the salad - you know, the salad that is supposed to come out after the app and before the entree. Again, they offered to wrap it so I could take it home. Who wants to take a dinner salad home, really?

(In my option, Doug is being nice with his 25% estimate - I do believe it happens far more often than that)

So here, first in the series I am going to call #DougSpeaks is:

Doug's Restaurant Pet Peeve

HELLO HELLO HELLO, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?
          Hello class and welcome to Basic Restaurant Service 101. Let me start by mentioning that I don’t care much for fine dining. I am much more comfortable in a 3 or 4-star setting. With that being said, I also understand that I am going to get 3 or 4-star service as well and that is just fine with me as most times the service is acceptable.

When I go with V&DC we usually order appetizers. My gripe is that occasionally, I will say 25% of the time (usually in chain restaurants), the entrees are delivered before we are finished with the appetizer.

Now class let’s read from our dictionary –

APPETIZER: A small dish of food consumed before a meal to stimulate one’s appetite.

Most menus list these items as ‘starters’ or ‘appetizers’, but in many cases the headline should say ‘Slam these down as quickly as you can. Your app will be served with a three-minute timer … Ready? GO!!’ 

Basic restaurant service guidelines state that an entree should be served 5 to 7 minutes AFTER the appetizer is finished to give time to clear the table and prepare for the oncoming meal. Does anybody read this stuff? I found that information in less than five minutes. Who trains these people? Maybe I/we have a target on my back and it only happens to me, I don’t know, but it happens often enough to start raising awareness.

Here is a typical scenario and a couple of lines you are welcome to use if this happens to you: [table full of plates and appetizers] [server (or someone from the kitchen) arrives with entrees while apps and plates are still on the table]

Response #1: OH GOOD! Please set those down directly on top of our ummm … APPETIZERS!

Response #2: Excuse our ignorance, we don’t get out to eat much. Which of these items are we supposed to eat cold?

Now a good server would recognize that there is a problem here and make an effort to correct or compensate the issue. This has been done at times, but again not very often. 

If your comment(s) go unnoticed or ignored DO NOT LEAVE A TIP ON THE APP!
It is possible that I am over reacting and it’s possible the way things are done has changed over the years. After all, if I do have dessert I order it AFTER dinner. (Otherwise it may show up half way through the entree and would probably go something like this: [server shows up at the table with dessert in the middle of dinner] ‘Okay, who had the chocolate sundae?’ ‘I did, just dump it on top of my mashed potatoes and gravy please.’

          That brings us to part two of our lesson today which is entitled ‘Taking control of your dining experience’.

As you can probably tell, I am tired of leaving these places feeling rushed and disappointed so they can turn their tables faster. (My apologies to those many servers who got it right)

Here’s a tip that allows you to take the control of the pace of your dining experience and away from them – especially when it’s busy. 

Order your appetizers and drinks and only your appetizers and drinks first NO MATTER WHAT THE SERVER SAYS!!

Once you are about ¾ of the way through your appetizer go ahead and order the entrees. Then wait until you are done with the entree, of course, to order dessert if you are so inclined.

Now I’m not one to complain. That’s not how I want to spend my night. I usually just walk out quietly when I’m/we’re done and do my venting (and laughing a little) in the car. If you should run into an app mishap at any time as described above, feel free to leave a copy of this article on the table before you leave as a protest. I haven’t yet, but I may start soon.  That concludes our lesson today. Thank You for your attention.  ~ Doug     

This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts, for longer Facebook statuses and apparently complaints about dentists and doctors :) . Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The day the doctor decided to explain my 26 year old son's autism to me.....

DC has a standard appointment with his neurologist once every three months. The appointment described below was 6 months ago. I started writing about it at the time but got sidetracked by my many dental issues. He had an appointment in November that was uneventful and another today that we will cover at a later date.

This is the same doctor who for some reason can not seem to get his blood pressure in one, two, three tries - which always serves to aggravate DC to no end. The last time DC was so angry the doctor asked cluelessly "Is he acting that way because he is trying to tell us something?" - UGH!

In preparation for this appointment, in an attempt to avoid a problem, I tried to explain to DC that it is not his fault if the doctor has to keep trying to "squeeze" (get his blood pressure). The doctor just must not very good at it. That made DC laugh and knowing it was someone else's fault made him even happier. I hoped it would also keep his aggravation level from spiking. 

DC has been on seizure medication for two years now. I am supposed to report any change in behavior to the doctor.

I noticed little things when he first started the medication. He had a few crying episodes - all out "ugly face" crying with tears (he never cried, even as a baby - he would scream, but not cry. He almost never has tears.). Both times it happened, it went on for quite a while and both times over the Barney song.

I also noticed, not very long after he began taking the medication that when he got anxious over the things he normally gets anxious about, his anxiety was a little bit higher and it lasted a little bit longer. All of this had been reported to his doctor, previously.

His anxiety and meltdowns began to get even more intense in the months between our appointment in May and this appointment in August (See: Welcome to Monday Meltdowns and Alone).

I explained this to his doctor. He asked when this tended to happen. I explained that it  was not limited to Monday mornings, but Monday did seem to be a pattern. I also said that I realized that Mondays are difficult for many people but.....

(I was cut off)

He laughed at me and said:  "Well nobody likes Mondays".

(I think I just said most of that)

Me: I understand that most people do not like Mondays and it may be that DC does not like or never has liked Mondays, but it had hit a new extreme now. 

Dr: (Still laughing) Everybody hates Mondays.

(So, listen. I am old. I am tired. I am out of patience for many things and many people and this guy was working on my last nerve.)

Me: (without going into the details of his meltdowns here) DOES EVERYBODY DO (THIS) AND (THIS)???? IS THAT WHAT "EVERYBODY" DOES? REALLY?
I am not saying that he never gets anxious, I am not saying that things did not bother him before. What I am trying to tell you is that that things that normally bother him are now bothering him to an extreme.

Dr: Does it happen every day?

Me: No, because he doesn't get anxious everyday.

Dr: Well if it doesn't happen every day then there is no need to worry about it.

(I often repeat back what he has just said to me because his answers do not always seem to make a lot of sense. I think hearing it played back to him word for word with, I admit, a bit of an "are you kidding me?" tone in my voice, helps him to see how ridiculous his responses sound)

Me: So you are saying that if the anxiety and aggression does not happen every single day, there is no nothing to worry about?????

Dr: Well no, not every day, but if something that normally upsets him, seems to upset him more; I need to hear about it.

(Didn't I just say that??)

Dr: So what do you want to do? Do you want to change is medication?

Me: I don't know. You are the doctor. You asked me to report changes in behavior and that is what I am doing. I don't know if a medication change will help or if there is another with less side effects.

Dr: Well you are asking me to change his medication.

Me: No, I am not asking you to change his medication. I am reporting behaviors. I do not know if another medication would make things worse or better. You are the doctor. Do you think this change in behavior would make a medication change necessary or would another med have more side effects? I am just telling you that he seems much more anxious than he was and his anxiety is lasting longer. He doesn't seem to be able to get a grip on it as easily as he used to. I am not asking you to or asking you not to change his medication - I am reporting changes in behavior as I was asked to. 


Dr: Well you know, he has autism and because he cannot communicate well, he could get frustrated at not being able to tell you what is bothering him.


Dr: (looking angry) We will keep an eye on it. We will see him again in 3 months.

Now, DC has been relatively healthy all of his life. Other than the naturopath he saw for a few years due to digestive issues, we really have not had to see a doctor other than for annual physicals or the random run of the mill illness. He had his first seizure when he was 24, so all of this is relatively new to me. He has never been on any long-term medication before. Sure there were antibiotics every once in a while but never anything more than that.

If your child is taking medication for a long term, possibly lifelong issue and you are asked to report changes in behavior or health, wouldn't you do that? Even if the behaviors are not anything you cannot handle; wouldn't you report them so that if somewhere down the road, they should escalate - there is a record of the progression? 

Wouldn't you also report changes because you, as a non-medical professional would not know what changes are important and what changes are not?

Maybe I am stone cold wrong about all of this, as I said - we are new to all of this, but I can't imagine laughing at a parent (who is new to seizures and medication) is not the way to go. 

This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts, for longer Facebook statuses and apparently complaints about dentists and doctors :) . Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time

Thursday, February 8, 2018


We had a snow day this week and I realized just how often I must ask DC (and myself, because usually I am  really just talking to myself while searching) what I did with my coffee. It's not that I did not realize that I am always in search of the cup of coffee that I thought I had, but I noticed that he doesn't even take a beat before answering (or pointing) any more...

FB Video - November 2016

He's finding my 'day long' - looking for my coffee, finding it cold in the microwave, reheating, looking for my coffee, finding it cold in the microwave, reheating, looking for my coffee, finding it cold in the microwave, reheating debacle highly entertaining. #WhereDidILeaveMyCoffee 


Storm Preparedness - Personal FB Page (no lnk)

My coffee thermos only holds 16 cups..... should have gotten an extra, that just won't do...... 


FB Memory - Day 3 of 4 trapped in a blizzard without a snow plow in sight...

Isolation day 3: Coffee rations running perilously low. This could prove to be a dangerous situation. Must. Have.Coffee!

Chocolate rations, depleted. Must stop obsessively looking out the window. TV news reports Zombie watch in effect through 10pm. 
Fortunately we were able to acquire large amounts of snow for protection from the pending attacks. 
I've heard rumors that large vehicles are reported to be stealing the snow barriers in a few locations, but not enough to worry about.
We will be ready to protect ours if any should EVER show up in this area.
The voices in my head are getting louder: "I am very brave" and "happy 'valentimes' day one week" and "mom, stuck here forever". 

What does all of this this mean........?......


FB Status September 2016 - DC knows that coffee is the way to my heart, especially if he is trying to butter me up for something.

And then he came into the living room with coffee for me. He can't make coffee but I thought that maybe it was cold coffee that I'd forgotten (again) in the microwave.
Me: "Where did you get coffee?"
DC: "in the sink"
He found a cup in the sink with coffee (and probably soap, crumbs, dishwater) in it.
I still don't know what he's trying to butter me up for.
To be continued, I guess.....


Signing Priorities - FB Status February 2017

 DC was non-verbal until he was 7. He used sign to communicate (he still uses it even now) - The "Coffee" sign is one that he knows very well...

FB Status in response to a Monday Morning To-Do List 

The last item in the list was:
Re-heat coffee

Next: forget about the re-heated coffee in the microwave, find it again after you've made more coffee and are going to re-heat the new cup of coffee because forgotten that one as well.

FB Status - More "used" coffee - June 2016

Progress... This morning during my uncontrollable allergy/coughing fit (I don't know when I will ever go outside again) - DC tip toed into the room to bring me a cup of coffee. Granted it was old and cold coffee that he found sitting on the counter but he thought of it himself so... Yeah, he gets some points for that one 😃❤️☕️☕️


FB Status February 2017 (I have used this photo without the status in a previous post)

I said "Ooo" when I walked into the kitchen this morning because I remembered that I almost forgot to do something.
DC, hearing that "Ooo" chimes in with "I can't find my coffee"
I guess it happens more than I realize.


FB Status February 2018 

Another snow day and another day filled with DC having to show me where I left my coffee over and over again.☕️☕️


This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time