Okay, so this happened a while ago, but I'm still shaking my head over it.
As you may have gathered, Gentle Reader, I am in the process of choosing furniture. This has taken me nearly 3 years to date, and I'm not finished. I have a vision in my head of what I want everything to look like, and I've been hunting for just the right pieces to accomplish that. So, I've wandered through countless furniture stores, antique malls, estate sales, and other assorted places where I may find what I'm looking for. *blink* Who knew I was so picky??
When I was home for Thanksgiving, a friend and I went to the Olive Garden in Canton - near Belden Village mall. There, of all places, I found exactly the baker's rack that I've been searching for - pretty, curvey dark metal, wood counter, 2 drawers, and a couple of metal racks. Hooray! And, of all things, it was outside, with planters on it.
So begins the procurement part of my quest.
The waitress and the assistant manager on duty at the time had NO idea where the baker's rack came from. I called later and talked to the store manager, who told me that it had come from an Olive Garden in West Virginia that closed and he had no idea where it had originated.
So, then I emailed the customer service people with my query, and this is the response I got:
"Dear Ericka: Thank you for visiting olivegarden.com. We are honored by the compliment you have given us in asking about our vendor source. However, this is proprietary information. Often we have agreements with our vendors for exclusivity. It is our way of keeping Olive Garden unique and exciting for our guests each time they visit. We trust that you will understand. If Guest Relations can be of further assistance, please write us again through olivegarden.com (www.olivegarden.com/feedback.asp ) or call us at 1-800-331-2729. We look forward to a future opportunity to serve you in our restaurants. With Hospitaliano, Andy Olive Garden Guest Relations"
WHAT?!? Are you freakin' kidding me?? Proprietary information? Unique and exciting? Hello, you are a chain restaurant - you wouldn't know unique if it reared up out of the pasta and bit you in the ass, although that would add quite a bit to the excitement factor... Just tell me that you don't know, or that you're too busy/lazy/apathetic to find out, don't try to feed me this line. Trust all you want - I am not willing to understand, not at all.
Since the baker's rack is in storage for the winter, my new plan will have to wait. But it involves a $99 Walmart baker's rack and a clandestine raid on an Olive Garden... Think they'll notice a difference in their 'unique and exciting' outdoor furnishings?