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Debugging Your Life and Your Salad

by | Sep 9, 2011

By Arin Forstenzer


My  mother lifted a piece of lettuce on her plate and we discovered she had been given a bit of extra protein with her steak, in the form of a very well done cockroach.

After my initial reaction of pure horror, my mother waved to the maître’D. She showed him the cockroach. The management apologized profusely, and made it clear the restaurant would take care of it.

By this point my mother and I were laughing at the situation—the restaurant staff was visibly more upset by the cockroach than we were.

In addition to covering our entire meal and drinks, the chef sent out a free order of the restaurant’s signature dessert (which I have to say was worth the cockroach on the plate).

When the chef came over a second time to check on us, my mother responded saying, “Really, don’t worry. These things happen.” And before we left we actually walked up to the chef to tell her that despite the cockroach, the meal had really been delicious, and was a restaurant we would love to come back to.

When I told my friends the story, they had the kind of reaction I can only assume the restaurant was expecting, saying things like “they could be shut down for that.” Throughout my life, despite a tendency to overreact initially, I have always found that being gracious and understanding tends to have the best results when it comes to customer service.

How to debug your life and your salad:

  1. Stay calm and courteous
  2. Find the humor
  3. Sautee your cockroaches with a bit of butter and garlic


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