March 7, 2008

They Made Me Eat Foie Gras!

Last fall, I was thrilled to be offered a chance to review restaurants once a week for a local online news publication. The editor said he wouldn't be able to pay me, but it would be a free dinner for me and my husband once a week at new and trendy restaurants in exchange for my write up. Our first dinner out was to a local French bistro where we were subjected to mushy figs, foie gras and pistachio pate. We were game, if not a little grossed out by the cold, organy taste of the goose liver. However, at the end of the meal I got stuck with a $110 bill. I called the editor on the spot but unable to get a hold of him, I simply paid the bill and planned to have the editor reimburse me. I called him the next morning. He was furious with the restaurant manager and promised to send me a check immediately. He asked me to email him my mailing address so I wouldn't have to eat the cost. I've copied our string of correspondence below:

Sept 21, 2007

I'm sorry to have to pass this on to you, James. Is there a way you can still get the restaurant to pay for it? The total for our two meals (my husband and I) was $110.42. Let me know if you'd like the receipt. My address is ******. Thanks again. Let's try again for this Thursday - we are happy to review anywhere you can think of. I'll keep my ears open for new restaurants in the area as well. Take care, Hollywood



September 24, 2007

Dear Sarah: Thank you, many apologies for this -- FIRST TIME this has ever happened, which I attribute to 750 ml management's arrogance and/or ignorance. I'll send payment by check and scout out a reasonable venue for you! Best regards, James


October 2, 2007

Hi James, I'm wondering if I should plan on doing a review this Thursday. Please let me know either way so I can let the babysitter know. Thanks, Hollywood



October 7, 2007

FYI, I'll be out of town from Monday to Friday this week but would love to do a review when I get back the week of October 15th. Also, could you let me know when I should expect to receive the reimbursement from 750 ML? I hope you were able to get a hold of the manager and get him to reimburse you! Take care, Hollywood



November 5, 2007

Dear James, I am still very much interested in doing food reviews for Pasadena Now. I haven't heard from you or received reimbursement for my 750 ML bill. Are you still interested in my services as a reviewer? If not, please just send the reimbursement for the dinner and consider me in the future. I would love to contribute to Pasadena Now in some way. Thank you, Hollywood


November 5, 2007

Holy cow! Did I mess up? Too crazy I am.... Hollywood(et al) please accept red-faced apologies... I will get that too you toute suite and mais oui! we would love to work with you on reviews... I will get back to you on that soon, I promise James


November 5, 2007

LOL! Apologies accepted. I'm glad I'm still on your radar for the food critic gig. Hollywood


Feb 26, 2008

Hi James. So my bill at 750 ml - what's the plan there? I had really thought from your previous emails that you were fully planning on reimbursing me for my mixed up meal. I'd love to resolve this. Thanks, Hollywood


[crickets chirping, James cleaning his ears with my hundred dollar bill, me vowing to get vengeance on my blog, etc.]


So for those of you who though the food critic gig was too good to be true, you were right. James, you messed with the wrong girl. If I were you, I'd be checking my loafers for foie gras before putting them on tomorrow. You thought goose liver was nasty to eat? Try sinking your toes into it.

17 comments:

Jill Davis Doughtie said...

Oh no! Bummer. I'm sorry.

Dawn said...

Terrible! That sucks!

Few ox said...

Sounds like a stand-up guy to me. (meant to be completely sarcastic)

Jamie J said...

Wow, any way you can go into his office and not leave until you get paid?

The Wiz said...

I was just wondering what happened to the food critic gig!

Sorry it was such a bummer. I will never eat there or get that magazine, if it makes you feel better.

(Of course, I wouldn't anyway, not living anywhere near there, but NOW it's a matter of principle.)

Susan M said...

Now I'm hungry.

annahannah said...

Perhaps you could sneak into his office and leave foie gras under his desk. Cleaners never really clean under there, and in a month or so, he'll be dying from the stink. Wait. That still doesn't get you your $110

Shiloh said...

I'm cancelling my subscription to Pasadena Now immediately. If I ever see a copy lying around or in a hotel, I will immediately tear it to shreds in front of as many people as possible.

compulsive writer said...

I think you should write a letter to the editor to another paper. Or something. Or the publisher or owner or someone. Small claims court? Something. That's just wrong!

Colleen said...

Oh wow. I wish you a speedy vengeance. Nice work staying civil for so long, by the way. I wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as you did.

Nikki said...

Oh yuck. The whole thing.

Calidaho said...

Darn it, now I want to go look at the spineless online magazine to see what kind of hacks they are magazine but that would just make them think someone was interested in reading their trash!

Jerks. You should take the brood to their offices sometime when the girls are throwing up. That is almost as gross as diseased goose liver.

Calidaho said...

I hate it when I change my sentence around and leave an extra "magazine" in a senseless place. :)

JLJ said...

Ho boy. I'm sure you'll hear from him soon with a sad story about how his wife or daughter has been really sick, then their house burned down, and he had to have his legs amputated. And then you'll still not get the money. Good luck!

Maybe your readers could stage an online protest or something on his website?

Anonymous said...

Your husband is an attorney? Why not have HIM call and have a chat with the offender? Why doesn't he get involved in this and end it for good. All he has to do is tell the guy he's a lawyer and wonders if they could settle this the nice way...

Jessica G. said...

Has he responded yet?
Maybe we should fill his office with reject version of the Flaky Friends...

Hollywood said...

I love the way you think, Jessica!