Monday, December 2, 2013

This Chick Needs an Attitude Check

I enjoy champagne but I also dine on the occasional McDonald's dinner. I like puttin' on the ritz but I like divin', too. However, I blanketly detest poncy posh places (of which there are zillions in Paris).

Unless someone else is paying.

A few weeks ago I went for a business dinner at Costes. To give you an idea of the type of place Costes is, cocktails are 19€, a friend once thought she saw Sienna Miller there, and they make ugly people sit in the back of the restaurant (not kidding).

I splurged (since I wasn't paying) on a Bellini. Since I'm pregnant I only had a few peach-juice-diluted sips. Meaning each sip cost about 6€. Yowza.

The service was good, the food was fine. But I estimate our total bill for 6 people was over 3,000€. Add 1,000€ if I'd been drinking. I'm not even joking. A bottle of wine + a bottle of champagne could easily cost that much and in my pre-pregnant days I easily downed that much on my own.

Anyway, by midnight I was beat. My usual bedtime these days is 9:30, and when you add 3 sips of champagne to the mix, well, I was about to crash. Everyone else wanted to stay so I thanked the business partner for the meal and said my goodbyes.

As I headed to the front of the restaurant, not one but two waiters bumped into me, sans apology. Thanks. When I finally got to the front I remembered I needed to retrieve my coat from the coat check.

I work at Costes, I am infinity times better than you
"Hi, I'd like to get my coat, please," I said with a smile.

The fake blonde hostess spat out her response. "You need a coat check ticket."

"Oh. Hrm. It's back at the table with my colleagues. Is it possible to get my coat without it?" I peeked around the door and among the sea of trendy black coats, my green plaid number stuck out like a sore thumb. "It's that green one back there."

"You need a ticket," she insisted.

Seriously? My coat had to be the cheapest one in there. Clearly I wasn't trying to steal it. I know there's a policy and I needed the ticket and blah blah but you'd think when someone pays 3,000€ for dinner the hostess could be a little more accomodating. Like perhaps, just give me the damn coat? Or offer to go back to my table and get the ticket for me? I expect this attitude at McDonald's but not at a so-called high-class place like Costes.

"OK, fine, I'll get the damn ticket," I said, hefting my laptop bag over my shoulder and hauling my pregnant booty back to the table.

Not one but two waiters bumped into me on the way.

My colleague with the coat check ticket returned with me to the front, as, believe it or not, two waiters bumped into me again. Do they send waiters down the hall when they see ugly people coming (which I clearly was, since I'd been seated in the back of the restaurant)? My colleague took a quick bathroom break as I geared up to retrieve my coat.

"Here's the ticket, you stupid bitch," I wanted to say. "Here," I said.

She rolled her eyes and got my coat. She held it out like a dirty diaper as I took my jolly old time sliding my arms into it. "Merci," I said. "Oh wait, I had a scarf too. It's green, like the coat."

"Are you sure it's not in the sleeve?" she asked as if I was stupid.

"Yes, I checked. Sorry." What was I sorry for? That SHE hadn't brought the scarf?

She rolled her eyes again and huffed off to get my scarf. Just as I wrapped it around my neck, my colleague returned from the restroom and took the ticket back, saving me from getting bumped four more times by the waiters.

I bounded down the restaurant's marbled front steps, vowing to never return.

Unless someone else was paying.

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Life's short. Laugh more. Buy my books at

Vicki Lesage, Author