Lack of Knowledge Completely Ruined Your Confidence?

(For the Horde!) #1

Do you think a knowledgeable sale staff or waiter is important?

Today, I went to a store and I immediately walked out after talking to the staff. I will try not to directly reveal the store name and will change one specific object. It is a new store with a store name similar to “Diamond and Tea”. The name is unusual. I have never seen a store which specializes in selling diamond and tea, but I thought maybe it is a good thing that they are trying to sell diamond and high quality tea together. I like good Chinese tea and interested in seeing what they have offer.

I walked in and noticed mostly diamonds, but there were ~10 tea cakes in display (not many). Within seconds, the sale manager introduced herself and told me that all their teas are high quality Pu-Erh tea. I immediate said but the labels state these ones I am looking at are white tea. She replied “Pu-Erh tea have different varieties. There are white, green, red, cyan, and black Pu Erh tea. The five tea represents the five elements and essence…” I immediately thanked her and walked out. In summary, the information was full of factual errors from the beginning. The teas actually could be ok (but probably not), yet erroneous statements one after another showed me that they have no idea in the subject matters and therefore I have lost confidence in them and consequently the tea. I have a few other experience, but this is by far the worst.

Have you ever had an experience which the sale staff or the waiting staff have displayed significant ignorance that you have lost confidence of the products or dishes or wine…etc?


The lack of knowledge most waiters and staff have about the dishes serves is amazing.

I have to ask if there is dairy in a preparation. It is all too common to either hear “oh this dish is gluten free!” (Bravo, but I didn’t ask about gluten) or they assure me that there’s no dairy and the dish arrives swimming in cheese and/or cream sauce. Then I have to send it back, which screws up the group dinner, and they think I’m being a diva.


You’re right on time with this question. I ordered a martini last night and got some concoction made with equal parts Old Tom gin and sweet vermouth. It cost $16, at a restaurant where the rest of the drink menu tops out at $12. So it wasn’t my confidence that was ruined. It was MY WHOLE ENTIRE EVENING. (Just kidding. I switched to beer, and things got better.)

(For the Horde!) #4

Oh yeah. Were you the one who also said that one waiter/waitress confused and suggested that cheese not dairy. Something like: this dish is dairy free, we only use cheese. Or it could have been someone else.

(For the Horde!) #5

:joy: That is funny. Good to know that at least beer (bottled?) saved the day.


No, it happens.

I don’t expect a server to be an allergist…Just to have some vague idea of what’s in the dish.


Pints of the house amber ale were $3 for happy hour, so I spent the “right” amount on drinks, all things considered. And it’s hard (although not impossible) to screw up a pint of beer.

(For the Horde!) #8

Yeah. I kind of feel bad for some wait staffs though. Some restaurants have ~10 dishes, but some have 100+ dishes. Cheese cake factory has over 250 dishes – it claims.
Understanding a large menu can be very difficult. I think if they don’t know, they should simply check with the kitchen.


Yet another reason why I do my best to stick to restaurants with a manageable menu


You know at this point after suffering too many aftermaths of unintentional dairy i ask “is this dish made with any butter, or dairy milk…?” Or whatever and then hopefully if they don’t know the answer they at least check with the kitchen.


Daily. Absolutely literally daily. For example today i was in the drug store in my neighborhood and watched another customer ask someone who clearly worked there which aisle was tylenol. He gave an apathetic shrug said I don’t know and turned back to stocking. I stepped over and told her which aisle it was in.
Because i am that pain in the ass lactose intolerant vegetarian i try very hard to go to restaurants where they label the menu for vegetarian or vegan, or to ethnic restaurants that i know offer dishes that just are unintentionally vegan. I’ve certainly been served dishes that had visible meat in them after reassurance from the server it was vegetarian or could be made as such (yes, that includes garnishes!)

Quite frankly i am pleasantly surprised when i do encounter actually helpful and knowledgeable staff- and i make a point to return.

(For the Horde!) #12

At least the guy said he doesn’t know and admitted that he doesn’t. What is worse is like you said, you ordered a dish (which promised to be vegan) and found out that it isn’t.


Oh yes. I’ve learned to ask specifically if there is milk/cheese/cream in the dish.
It’s sometimes as easy as just asking them to leave the sauce off, and sometimes it’s lovely with less gilding. A local place left the cream out of the heavy sauce for me, and it was bright and delicious…and the chef is considering changing the prep for the menu!


I’ve begun taking lactase pills before lunch all the time, because of the doubt factor.

(For the Horde!) #15

Is there any risk for taking extra lactase pills?


From WebMD: A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

I’ve never experienced any side effects, in around 40 years of using them. But you do have to remember to take them before eating the dairy. Even taking them 15 minutes after an ice-cream cone
decreases their effect.

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unfortunately, the tablets don’t fix it all for me – Lactaid fixes some of the issues, A2 milk solves some, but the only sure way for me is to just not have dairy at all.

The curious thing is that milk and cheese from other animals has no effect on me at all – so I make my own goat-milk yogurt, and splurge on goat, sheep, and even buffalo cheeses.

THAT part I can’t expect anyone else to understand – it’s taken me a couple of years to sort out the nuances!


Same here! The pills don’t help me. And unfortunately after way too many tries i have come to terms with the fact i hate goatsmilk products of all kinds

I am so greatful that it is not an allergy or that i have a severe reaction, I have had so many instances in restaurants. (My favorite may have been the “special vegetarian” soondubu i ordered in Seoul at a work lunch. There were tiny clams in the bottom of the bowl!! :joy: I certainly could not send it back under the circumstances, so i left them hiding in the bottom and ate a bit of the tofu and veggies I rescued from the fishy broth with my rice! )


I’ve also seen “vegetarian” salads in Paris arrive with a huge layer of bacon on the top…