I am once again writing about restaurants in Western North Dakota. Recently I wrote that just about all of the restaurants in Watford City have food that is both bad and overpriced. When most of the restaurants that people try in a town are bad, people are scared to try other restaurants in that town. I believe that many people who have to drive on Highway 85 deliberately do not stop in Watford City because of possibly one or two bad experiences dining in Watford City.
The one good restaurant in Watford City is Taco Johns. The food is good or O.K. The food is served quickly and it is not expensive. The staff are friendly, funny, and polite. I have never seen an employee there have a bad or negative attitude. So this shows me that it is possible to have a good, fast, inexpensive, friendly restaurant in Watford City.
This past Sunday evening in Watford City, I drove into town at about 6:30 p.m. and I noticed that the streets were vacant. I noticed many vehicles in the new hotel parking lots, the new apartment parking lots, and at the homes downtown. It was completely apparent that no one was going out, everyone was staying home. A little bit because of the Watford Police being so strict on DUI enforcement, but mostly because of the whole bad experience of going out in Watford City, people here just realize they need to stay home.
A neighbor here in Watford City who I have known for about five months, said that she and her family went out to eat in Watford City on Father’s Day, and that the waitress was really horrible, and had a very bad attitude about her job, and that this just ruined going out for her family. She said that she told the waitress, “You know, I hope that you find a job that you really like one day.”
The neighbor that was explaining this to me, was complaining that she and her husband together make about $16,000 per month, that they would like to go do things that they enjoy and go out to eat, but there is nothing to do and nowhere to go. I was surprised that my neighbor was telling me this, because I was thinking the exact same thing. I had worked every day from May 1st through June 15, every day. I had had several uncashed paychecks because I didn’t need the money and I didn’t feel like going to the bank. I had been too busy to go to a sit-down restaurant, and I didn’t really want to because they are all so bad. I had been eating mostly frozen dinners and take-out.
The middle of last week I went to a diner in Dickinson that I had been going to since 2011. The food is not very good, but I like visiting with customers that I know and employees that I know. I talked to some long time employees that I know, but the waitress didn’t know me, she was from out of state. At that time, there were not any customers, and I was trying to talk to the waitress, which she did not like, because she said so. So I left, leaving no customers in the diner.
I almost felt like telephoning the owner of the diner who I have known for four years on the following day, and explaining: “You have fewer, and fewer, and fewer customers. Yes it’s true that many workers have moved away, and many people have lost their jobs, a lot of people don’t have money. But, I have money, because I have been working every day for the last six weeks. I come to your diner to socialize, not for the food. Anything that I might order at your diner, I could just as easily make at home. Your waitress let me know that she did not like me, so I left, leaving no one in your diner. Why do you think there was no one in your diner, and you have less and less customers?”
I wrote several previous posts about “Problem Women” moving to North Dakota. I sometimes described these women as hating their job, hating their customers, hating their co-workers, and hating being here. You might think, “If they hate their job and being here so much, why don’t they just go back where they came from?” The answer is, they can’t go back where they came from. Back where they came from, they didn’t get along with their customers, co-workers, employers, and alienated all friends, neighbors, and family members. Restaurant owners must think, “She will learn that being unfriendly to customers will result in fewer customers, and less money for her, so there is no reason for her to be unfriendly.” In Watford City and Dickinson, I don’t know why the bar and restaurant owners have never realized that most of the women that they have hired as waitresses are so mentally messed up, that ruining a restaurant is what they are in the habit of doing, wherever they go.