Monday, April 30, 2012

Photoshoot with 'that loud redhead'

What a weekend! Normally, my weekends are totally uneventful. Friday night was really fun--I went out with a bunch of runner friends for dinner to celebrate Jessica's and my 20-mile run that morning. (Yes, it was worth celebrating--we were THRILLED to get it done with!)

We went to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Dolce Vita. I ordered an "Almond Joy martini". It sounds much better than it tasted, however ;)  I ordered gnocchi for dinner and ate almost all of it. I really wanted dessert, too, even though nobody else did--so I ordered a "peanut butter cheesecake". Sounds amazing, right? Well, when I got it, I took one small bite and it was gross--it tasted like pure whipped butter--not even a hint of peanut butter.

I was really disappointed, so I politely told the server that I didn't like it. I assumed she would take it off the bill, since I only had one small bite and I sent it back. But she said the manager told her that she couldn't take it off, because it was a matter of "personal preference". I was really blown away by that! I don't send food back very often in restaurants, but when I don't like something, I will send it back and the manager never has a problem taking it off the bill.

So I asked to talk to the manager, and the manager told me that other people ordered it and didn't complain; and since there was nothing wrong with it, she couldn't take it off the bill. I was so shocked I didn't even know what to say! I could completely understand that if I had eaten the whole dessert, but I literally had one bite. So I told her that I wouldn't be going back there, and it was a shame to lose a customer over a $5 dessert, especially when my friends and I all ordered drinks and dinner and spent quite a bit of money there. She finally agreed to take it off the bill. But I still won't go back there. Am I out-of-line on this? Is this typical at a restaurant? Just curious. When I worked at Lonestar steakhouse, I had customers would eat their entire steak and then complain, and we STILL took it off the bill--because "the customer is always right".

But despite that little scenario, I loved going out with everyone and I hope we do it again soon. Maybe after the actual marathon?



Yesterday, I had a date with my friend Stephanie to take some "after photos" for a project I will share soon. Stephanie is a photographer by hobby, and her photos from our Winers meetings always look great, so I asked her to take some pictures for me. I paid her with a bottle of Chardonnay ;)

We went to the Metropark where Jessica and I run, because it's gorgeous there. I needed a good head shot, and I'm really impressed with how they turned out--I actually look pretty good! Here are a few of my favorites:



A couple of running photos:

And a couple of photos with my old jeans:

I actually look like I have nice biceps in those last two pics... not sure where that came from! It's so strange to wear a tank top, let alone allow someone to take pictures of me in one. My very first time wearing a tank top was exactly two years ago, and I was SO self-conscious.

Stephanie was awesome and I didn't feel self-conscious around her at all. She actually just celebrated hitting her goal weight at Weight Watchers! She writes a blog called That Loud Redhead, so be sure to check it out if you'd like :)



I had five easy miles on the schedule today. It was raining this morning, so Jessica and I agreed to do it on our own sometime during the day. Knowing that I didn't have to meet her for a run just made me procrastinate all day long, until I finally decided at about 1:30 that procrastinating wasn't going to make it go away.

I forgot to set my Garmin up for the 9:1 intervals we've been doing, and I realized it right after I started running. Instead of stopping and setting the interval workout, I decided to just run the whole five miles straight through and see how my knee was doing. I was running at a slightly-faster-than-easy pace, and I guessed it was about a 10:00/mi pace.

After a mile, I saw that I actually ran it in 9:35, so I decided to just go with it as long as it was comfortable. My knee felt 100% normal until about mile 4, and even then I barely felt a couple of twinges. No pain though. So I finished out the run in 47:34, a 9:30/mi pace. I felt good knowing that I haven't somehow lost the ability to run straight through rather than do the 9:1 run/walk.

My splits:
I felt really good after that run. It was overcast and on the verge of raining, which is my favorite running weather. Tomorrow I have eight miles scheduled, then Wednesday I'll do four. Rest Thursday. I leave for Indy on Friday, and the half-marathon is on Saturday.

I'm really excited about the half-marathon this year. The first two years, I was really worried I wasn't going to finish in time (they have a 4-hr time limit); the third year, I wanted to finish faster than 3:30; and last year, it was my first half-marathon that I actually RAN. I always thought it would be really cool to do it without a time goal and bring my camera along, taking pics along the way to show off what a fun course it is. So that is my plan for Saturday. Run, walk, stop for pictures, chat with people, totally ENJOY the race without a care in the world what my time is. (So if you're there and you see me with my sparkle skirt--I think I'm wearing the blue one--make sure you say hi!)

After I finish, I am going to stand at the finish line and cheer until the very last person crosses--my Ragnar teammate John inspired me to do this. Then I'll have my finish line beer and enjoy the rest of the afternoon with more beer. Can't wait!



51 comments:

  1. You are doing so great! 4 is 2% of your body weight. Keep going sister!

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  2. Love the photos. My favorite is the third headshot. You're glowing! And I agree with you, I've never heard of a restaurant not wanting to take something off a bill because of personal preference. I would have said the same thing you did.

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  3. Love the "wind in the hair" headshot! That restaurant is nonsense. But you handled it perfectly and I'm so glad they finally took it off the bill. At that point, it's more a matter of principle than the $5.

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  5. I'm quite surprised the "manager" acted the way she did - terrible customer service. I've only complained at a restaurant once (at least that I can distinctly remember) - there were ants on our table, the waitress dropped the napkins on the floor and then proceeded to pick them up and put them on our table (seriously) and the drinks (this was long before I became Muslim) were virtually virgin - that's how little alcohol was involved. They ended up offering to cover the entire bill - despite my insistence on at least paying for the food - because the food was good.

    If the dessert was not up to standards (and as you openly admit to being a dessert junkie - you would definitely know) then you shouldn't be forced to pay for it considering you had one measly bite. I wouldn't return their either...

    Now, on to your pictures... I especially love the picture where your hair is blowing (with the natural/tan background) and the picture of you wearing your jeans and tank holding up your old jeans - LOVE IT!

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  6. I am shocked by the manager... wow.

    I love the second pic of you holding up your pants... freaking AWESOME!!!

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  7. Love the third head shot!

    Sarah

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  8. I love the photo where your hair is blowing in the wind. You look stunning.

    As for the restaurant. That's rediculous. Shouldn't have even been an issue

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  9. That restaurant = Ridiculous.

    Your running is awesome, so glad your knee held up. All of those pictures are fantastic. You're very photogenic. My favorite headshot is the the third and you look great in both of the running ones and 'old jeans' ones.

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  10. You look great, Katie! So beautiful and inspiring! As for the restaurant ordeal, you were 100% justified in politely sending it back - and I don't blame you one bit for not wanting to patronize that place again. I put myself through college working retail and I will say that in this day and age especially, customer service is an art form that seems to be going extinct! I wish people would see "the forest through the trees" sometimes. If that server (or manager) had treated you better, you probably would have told us all about it and they in turn may have seen a boost in word-of-mouth business! Unfortunately, their poor decision will likely have the opposite ripple effect. Their loss for sure!

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  11. Ok I don't comment much on blogs but I have to say it....I love you blog! I love the pic with your hair blowing. Gorgeous!

    I love the idea of you cheering the last runner. I ran my first half in December (my time was terrible and felt like the last person crossing the finish line). I so appreciated everyone that was cheering on the slowpokes!

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  12. You pictures are gorgeous! I love the 2nd and 3rd head shots :)

    I think waiting for the last person during the half marathon is a great idea! I bet it makes those people feel really good about themselves for finishing. :)

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  13. Yes, I agree, the third one is my favorite!

    Last Saturday I ordered sirloin rare and it came barely medium rare. There was a bit of rare area around the bone, so I asked the server to take it to the cook and show him the difference. I figured it was a public service for the next person ordering a rare steak. :D I mean, if people order a rare steak, they want it RARE, not just a little pink. I don't eat out often, and I don't eat a ton when I go, so i don't think it's too much to ask to get the food I do order and eat prepared correctly. So I don't blame you for sending your dessert back.

    The steak was a "sirloin for two," so since Reed ate his and the meat was not a bad cut, we didn't ask for another one or money off the bill. I ate some of it and was okay. Oh, and I only ate half the sweet potato because I had asked for butter on the side and it was slathered in butter when it arrived. I still have 33 pounds to lose, and I'm trying not to ruin my efforts when we eat out. But overall, the important thing was that we had a good time on our date night. : )

    Joan

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  14. Just wanted to comment on the restaurant thing....it all depends on the type of restaurant. In chain restaurants, it's common practice to take anything and everything off the bill if there is a complaint. I have worked at some chain restaurants where they don't do that, but from my experience, most of them will take it off. I've also had some experience with independent restaurants, and they aren't always so quick to take things off the bill. My husband works at an independent restaurant, and at their restaurant, they don't take things off, but they will offer an exchange. If you didn't like your dessert at his restaurant, he wouldn't take it off the bill; instead, he'd offer you another dessert in place of that one. The restaurant you went to could have handled the situation much more professional than what they did, and handled the situation in a way where they didn't take it off the bill, and still were able to fix the problem, and in the end, kept you as a customer.

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  15. I like the third head shot (the one with your hair blowing in the breeze) the best! I wonder what they're for!!!!! You know you're killing me here!

    I cried reading John's post about cheering on the last runner. It really does make a difference having someone cheer you on.

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  16. I'm surprised by the restaurant attitude too! Although I had a crappy experience at a restaurant this weekend too. I was at Outback and started to grind pepper onto my broccoli when the top of the pepper grinder bottle literally shattered in my hand, cutting my palm and showering my food and the table with shards of glass. It was no wussy cut either, it bled like crazy and still hurts. They brought me a replacement meal of course, cleaned the table and brought me first aid cream and a bandaid. The manager peppered my broccoli for me (LOL) but not even a mention of comping the meal. I was too shocked to even say anything. It's not like I did something wrong, it was a faulty/defective pepper grinder or something and I was INJURED by it, yet they didn't even try to ensure I wasn't some litigious loon. I was stunned. It left me feeling a little meh about returning to that location at least.

    LOVE your new pics. That last shot is especially impressive in my opinion!!

    PS Thanks for your email this weekend. I really appreciated your response!

    ~Ang
    www.droppingtheplus.blogspot.com

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  17. LOVE the pictures! I particularly love the one where your hair is blowing - it's fantastic!

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    1. I totally agree with you! Katie, you look amazing!

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  18. teachpsychsoc - KimberlyApril 30, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    YES !!! I'd be totaly ticked and disappointed about the whole cheesecake issue. Find a new resturant for the "after race" party.

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the photos ..... super job! Now.... which one(s) to pick !?

    Our semester is wrapping up this week so if I don't get a chance to respond again before Saturday know that I'll be with you in spirit and cheering for you every step of the way !!!

    Go through NOT to it Katie :)

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    1. Sorry ..... should read:

      Go through it, NOT to it Katie :)

      Kimberly

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  19. the pictures turned out great!!! As for the food, personally I'd consider writing a letter or an email to the corporate office. We had an issue once at Cheesecake Factory so I wrote an email and to my surprise they sent us a gift card! (BTW I like to send emails when I get outstanding service as well)

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  20. I love your blog and have been reading it for a while now, but never comment. I just have to say how great your pictures are. You are a beautiful person inside and out, I think these pics really show that special glow you have.

    I've had a restaurant experience like your's. They told me that I should have been sure I'd like it before I ordered. Um, hello? How would I know that?

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  21. i'm doing the mini in Indy this weekend also. I'm in the same boat that you were the first two years. I HOPE I can finish it in the time alloted. When I initially signed up I was hoping to actually RUN it. I signed up in October. But I wasn't running at ALL at that point. My running progress has been INCREDIBLY slow. So I'll be walking WAY more than running. (I've also been sick almost the entire month of April which definitely isn't helping things.)

    So I'll definitely appreciate you cheering me on since I'll be at the tail end. I start in corral Y which isn't going to help me at all! lol

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  22. Good luck in Indy! As a Hoosier, I love that you love coming here for this race. My husband will be running in this first mini and he is so excited. I'm planning to do it with him next year. I'm excited for him and all my friends that are in it. I can't wait to read about your adventures in Indy.

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  23. Love the pics, you look amazing! I love the pics with your old jeans. That is an amazing transformation. You are truly an inspiration!

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  24. Beautiful pictures!!! I wouldn't go back to the restaurant either! I've NEVER heard such a thing. Who cares if everyone else liked it?? Crazy.

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  25. Those photos are GREAT! The third one down is my favorite head shot hands down. :)

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  26. Number One: NO, you were not out of line. Even if it was personal preference, it should have been removed from the bill. Sounds like the manager was in the mood for an encounter.
    Second, you look stunning in those photos. The one where your hair is blowing back looks like it belongs in Allure! You're a beauty anyway, but your friend takes awesome photos. Glad to hear you had a great weekend, overall.

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  27. The pictures look great! I definitely do not think you were out of line at the restaurant. I agree with kwrecks that they should have at least replaced the dessert or offered to do something else. I would never go back there just on principle!

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  28. Great Pictures!!!! I love the third one, especially. =-)

    BTW - How's Eli doing?

    Cheers- Bridget

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  29. So hard to pick a favorite photo!!! I think I will go with the wind blown photo and the last one with you jeans. But I really love them all!!

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  30. I have to agree with everyone else--they ARE great pictures, but that's only because the photographer had such a beautiful subject! ;) Thank you for making my first-ever "photo shoot" so incredibly easy. :) You are stunning and photographing you was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done--and the most fun! (The chardonnay was just a nice bonus, lol!)

    PS: I have been to that restaurant twice and had a terrible dessert BOTH times. Since my main focus of going out to eat is dessert, I have not gone back. Your experience just solidifies my decision!!

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  31. I love headshot #3 the best but you are beautiful in all of them! So inspiring! And now I'm super excited to do my first half marathon on Saturday and know you will be at the end to cheer me on. I've lives in a suburb outside of Indy my whole life and finally am doing the mini. I'm not at my goal weight but I've amazed myself so far in my training. I'm not a runner...yet! I plan to jog half a mile and walk half. I'm so nervous!

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  32. Your blog makes me feel like I can keep going. Every time I see your posts you have just completed a run. That was really messed up about the restaurant. They were for sure in the wrong. Especially if you just had one bite! I would be really annoyed too! Your arms look great! I am currently working on toning my arms right now and I have to admit I am a little jealous of your arms. Keep up the fantastic work!

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  33. not out of line.

    you look GREAT!

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  34. Great Pics Katie,,, cant wait to hear the reason behind them,, Your enthusiasim is amazing <3

    Tammy

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  35. Beautiful pics! I agree the restaurant should have taken it off the bill first request! Personal preferance or not! Is it a privatley owned restaurant? Maybe call the owner and just let them know their manager's behavior? Either way I don't think you are out of line at all!

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  36. Your head shots look GREAT! And I cant believe that restaurant gave such bad service - I would never go there again!

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  37. The pictures came out great. I can't wait to hear about the project they are for.

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  38. You look beautiful!!!! About the restaurant thing... "the customer is always right" attitude is changing... I see more and more as our economy is changing, the customer service is also slowly going away. Some restaurants are better than others, but I agree that private, small restaurants might be less likely to take things off the bill as food is getting VERY expensive these days!! ~Veronika Smith

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  39. The pictures turned out great! And I'm shocked that the restaurant acted so put out about the little dessert! What awful customer service.

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  40. I will be walking my first 500 Festival Mini Marathon this weekend (actually, this will be my first race EVER.) As a non-athlete, I find your attitude toward running is completely inspirational. Here's hoping I see you at the finish line... in under 4 hours! :)

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  41. In my restaurant we probably would have pulled it off the bill - and as a server, that's what I would have asked my manager to do. That manager definitely was unprofessional. However, if you don't like a dessert, it's not our (or the manager's fault). If your food is cooked wrong (medium rare instead of rare, like mentioned in a previous comment) or you get the complete wrong order, ABSOLUTELY we would take it off. But just because you didn't like it? I would do it (especially if you were polite!), but it should not be expected. Food is expensive, and losing out on tips because someone wants something taken off the bill is not fun.

    lovely headshots, btw. And your arms look fantastic, I'd kill for those!

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  42. I am so excited to hear you say that you're going to cheer until the end! I started reading your blog in January and came up with the goal to participate in one competitive race per month in 2012. I have been a part of three 5k's a 4 miler and a 5k trail run so far in 2012 and the Mini is my next big race. My only goal is to not get picked up by the bus! Hopefully I'll get a chance to meet you after the race! Good luck on Saturday and thanks for the continued inspiration!

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  43. That is a GREAT idea to cheer everyone on after you finish the race!!!
    I agree with a lot of the people that like the wind-blown picture the best!!!!
    Good luck on Saturday!!!
    I am doing another 20 mile training run on Sunday, and I am going to try it steady pace, to compare it to the 0.9 mile run/0.1 mile walk that I did on my last 20 mile run!!!
    ~Laura

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  44. If you order something at a restaurant and they bring it out to you as advertised, they've done their job. If you don't like it, it's your fault for ordering it. If they are kind enough to take it off the bill because you screwed up, they're doing you a favor. I think it was wrong just to expect them to take it off for you. No, they didn't do you a courtesy, but they weren't in the wrong either.

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  45. Great run! Way to go. I agree with everyone else: beautiful photos!

    I was a server for years and the polite thing to do (for good customer service) IS to at least discount the ticket. We went out to eat last night for a benefit and the beans tasted spoiled or something. I normally only take one or two bites of the beans so it wasn't a big deal, but we wanted to let the manager know in case the batch was bad. The manager offered to get me something else to replace them and I said, "No thanks, I don't usually eat much of the beans anyway." He left. Then he came back to our table and said he took a few bucks off our ticket for the bad beans and appreciated us telling him. It turns out that the cook(s) hadn't prepared the beans correctly and had left out an ingredient!

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  46. The pictures are GORGEOUS!

    The manager was out of line. They should've taken it off the bill - you could write a YELP review about how much you enjoyed the food but was disappointed by the dessert and decision. Recently a friend did that for a place we went to and they offered her a free meal to remedy the situation! Just a thought.

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  47. Yup, the manager was an airhead, and really shouldn't be the manager. You were 100% justified, and you are so awesome for handling it the way you did.

    I love all the head shots (geez, you take great face pictures!), but the third one pops out the most for me. For the running shots, I would say the second edges the first one out, but only because there is less shadowing on your face. Both of the last ones are super awesome :o}

    And fantastic 5-mile run!!! That is such an amazing pace. And without knee pain? Super cool.

    (finally coming out and stopping the whole "lurking" thing here)

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  48. Love the 4th pic of you, as many others seem to as well :) & the pics of you running are awesome!!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)