An Unwelcome Guest

I was lunching at a favorite cheap sushi bar recently, when I noticed a serious-looking woman sitting at the end of the bar with a binder open, jotting notes. She was not eating. The restaurant’s owner sat beside her, looking uncomfortable. A short time later a man with a walrusy mustache and suspenders came in the door, his own shiny clipboard and notepad in hand. “Is there a health inspector here?” he said cheerfully, then noticed his colleague in the corner, waved, and joined her.

Inspectors comparing notes at the sushi bar

If you’re a restaurant owner, there’s nothing cheerful about a visit from the health department. Even if your establishment is spotless, they are the adversary. (I am reminded of the feeling of being a teenager and feeling nervous whenever I saw a policeman, even though I had done nothing wrong.) More