In Which Google is a Big Fat Liar, I Get Hungry, & I Win Something

I had plans for today. My plans involved driving to Dallas to attend a free seminar put on by the writers’ group that will be hosting the DFW Writers Conference next month. I didn’t have to go to Walmart this morning (oh happy day!) because I went yesterday, so I slept in a little and then after breakfast I worked on editing one of my stories that I hope to enter into a contest.

I had Googled directions to the restaurant where the seminar would be held, and Google said it would take about two hours to get there. Knowing how optimistic Google can be, I actually left by 11:15 for an event that started at 2:00. For backup I had Nigel, my phone’s GPS.

By the time I reached the Dallas area, it was clear that I’d be at least a few minutes late. By then I was very hungry and I hoped I would still be able to get food once I arrived. I faithfully followed my Google directions (backed up by Nigel) to the address of the restaurant. There was a Mexican restaurant there all right, but it was shifty in the extreme and there was only one car parked in front. No way was there a sold-out seminar going on there.

So I had a little talk with Nigel and this time instead of asking him to find the address, I asked him to find the actual restaurant. He led me back in the direction from which I’d come a good 15 miles. Sure enough, there was a restaurant there, but it is part of a chain and I was quite sure it was not the right restaurant since it was so far away from the address given on the website.

By the time I pulled into the very full parking lot at 2:30 I was both ravenous and lachrymose, but I figured I might as well go in and have lunch before going home in disgrace. When I walked in, I asked the hostess if there was a writers group meeting there, and guess what? There was! And they hadn’t started the seminar yet! And I knew it was the right group because they had my name on their list. Whew!

The meeting room was packed with forty eager writers plus the presenters and organizers. I ended up at the very back with two ladies named Stephanie and Isabella. Everyone else had already ordered their food. There was only one waiter working the entire room. When he brought everyone’s drink orders around, I asked for water and he soon brought it, saying he would return to get my meal order.

Then the class started and it was very engrossing. It was almost 4:00 before we took a break and the waiter started bringing in everyone’s food. Except mine, of course, because I hadn’t had a chance to order. Stephanie was very concerned about this and made sure the waiter came my way and took my order. He assured me he’d bring it to me as soon as it was ready.

We plunged into the second workshop while everyone (except me) ate their very late lunch. This one was all review for me, so I had plenty of time to sit there and think about how hungry I was. By the time that class wound down, it was 4:45 and the waiter came to me and said he was so sorry my food was late. They were making it as we spoke, and the manager would be the one to bring it to me because it was so late.

The next (and last) thing on the agenda was an activity during which we pitched our books to each other for practice.  I thought if my food came I just would not participate in that activity, but my food did NOT come so I went ahead and did the activity. (More about that on my writer’s blog.) At 5:20 we put our filled-out forms in a bowl and the organizers pulled out three at random for a coveted prize–an extra free pitch session at next month’s conference. Believe it or not, mine was one of the three chosen!

During the pitching activity, Stephanie had sought out the waiter and told him I still didn’t have food. She had offered to go to bat for me since, as she said, she is a naturally bossy person! Soon afterwards a very apologetic manager showed up. My food was being made, she said, and it would be on the house since it was so late.

So I waited. The pitching activity ended and most people left. My food finally arrived a few minutes before 6:00, delivered by the manager herself. I sat all alone in that big room that had held 40 people and ate my free lunch/supper while the lone waiter patiently cleared all the dishes the others had left behind. I felt pretty sorry for him. He had been run off his feet all afternoon trying to take care of 40 people and I have a feeling he got in trouble for letting my meal slip through the cracks, as it were. So yes, I tipped him and wished him a happy Easter!

It was a long, tiring drive home and I still had to stop at Walmart for a few last-minute items before getting home and cutting Walter’s hair! Then I still had to figure out what hymns we are singing in church tomorrow and practice them. It’s been a long day . . .


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