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Why On Earth Did We Chance It?

My husband and I recently travelled to Cardiff, Wales. Cardiff is a very busy location to visit with an abundance of restaurants to choose from when hunger strikes.

On the third day of our stay, it seemed no restaurant had room for us at supper time. We walked around for over an hour trying to get a seat somewhere. Finally we stumbled upon a restaurant that didn’t have any other patrons. Looking back, this should have been our first clue that things were not right in this spot! We promptly grabbed a seat and gave each other a “High 5” to celebrate finally finding somewhere to eat. We thought we were so lucky!

We were served by a rather rude waitress. Perhaps it was just her first job and she didn’t have a clue what she was doing. Her attitude should have been clue #2 to indicate something was amiss at this restaurant. Her manners were so bad it was laugh-able. But we were so hungry we just accepted it as a humourous experience.

We both quickly found something we wanted to eat and we placed our order.

Soon after placing our order, and witnessing the waitress keying our order into the online order system, I noticed a green sticker in the front window of the restaurant. The sticker had a rating scale of 1 to 5. The number “2” was highlighted. I wondered what the rating was for. I looked closer. That’s when I noticed it said “Food Hygiene Rating”. Yikes! We had just ordered food at a restaurant that scored 2 out of 5 on food hygiene! Anyone who has ever suffered from food poisoning can imagine the worries that raced through my head! I’ll spare you the details of those thoughts!

At first I considered if I should say anything to my husband about it. I truly believe sometimes it is best for people NOT to know certain things – like when a Mother gives their child liver for dinner claiming it is steak! But, before I could fully debate this in my mind, my face was already telling the story. My husband asked me what had caught my attention. I told him. His comment to me… “Why couldn’t you have noticed that before we ordered?”

Together we pondered what we should do. We could depart quickly although I assume this would be considered a “Dine and Dash” because the order had already been placed on their system. We could tell the waitress and her boss that we would pay but we didn’t want the food and explain why. Or, we could chance it by simply eating the food despite the worry.

Knowing that there were so few other restaurant options available, and the fact that we would have to pay regardless of consuming the food or not, we decided to give the food a try. Throughout dinner we tried to convince ourselves everything was fine. Needless to say, this did not make for an enjoyable or appetizing dining experience.

I have pondered why we made the choice to eat the food and take the risk.

I am always curious about what pushes a person to speak up and take action – and what stops people from doing that. For me, my hunger and the loss of money got in the way of common sense.   This experience made me realize that sometimes I judge others for not speaking up and expressing concerns. We never quite know the factors influencing the decisions of others.

What would you do in this situation? Would you communicate your concerns? Would you keep quiet? What factors would influence your decision?

FYI, thankfully we were absolutely fine after our meal. After this incident, we went back to all the other restaurants we had visited during our trip. All of the other restaurants had a 5 out of 5 rating. Oy!

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