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    Tipping The Scale

    | AB, Canada | Awesome Customers, Money, Top

    (I am in a horrible mood because I have discovered during the previous night’s shift that someone had stolen my wallet from my purse in our back hallway while I was working. Along with all my ID and bank cards, I lost $140 in tips from the night before. I needed that money to pay bills. However, I try to put my best foot forward during the shift. I serve a young customer and his girlfriend. They are friendly, funny, complimentary about my service, and just make me smile.)

    Me: *as I walk up with their check* “You know, I’m having a really bad weekend, so for putting a smile on my face today, I only charged you for the teen brunch instead of the full priced brunch.”

    Customer #1: “Oh! Well, thank you! Why are you having a bad weekend?”

    Me: “Well… my wallet was stolen while I was working last night.”

    Customer #1: “I’m really sorry to hear that! Can I pay with credit card?”

    (I put his bill price into the portable machine and hand it to him, and he begins to enter in the tip.)

    Customer #2: *eyes widen, whispers* “Really?!”

    Customer #1: *whispers* “She’s having a bad day.”

    Customer #2: “Yeah. Fair enough.”

    (They hand the machine back to me, and I print off the receipt. They tipped me $100 on a $48 tab.)

    Me: “Are you sure?!”

    Customer #1: “I hope you have a better day.”

    (I began to cry, and each of them hugged me before they left. I smiled for the rest of the day. Faith in humanity: restored.)

    Loco Nuts

    | AR, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (A customer sits down at the bar and proceeds to wave her arms at me as if I cannot see her.)

    Customer: “Um, hi! Bartenderrrr! Hi! I need to order a drink!”

    Me: “Okay. Let me finish taking this order and I’ll be right with you.”

    Customer: “Okayyy, but I’m really thirstyyy!”

    (The customer and her friends giggle as if it’s the first time I’ve heard anyone say this. I finish with the order and walk over to her.)

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. What can I get for you?”

    Customer: “I really, really, really want something fun and fruity. How about a Malibu and pineapple? Ooooh, and do you have cherry juice? I love cherry juice!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. We have grenadine. Give me one moment and I’ll get that for you.”

    (I go to make her drink. It’s one and a quarter ounce of Malibu, which is a coconut rum, three ounces of pineapple juice, and a splash of grenadine. I hand her the drink. She squeals when she sees that I’ve poked the straw through a cherry.)

    Customer: “That’s just adorrrable!”

    (I walk over to aid another customer, but the original customer calls me back.)

    Customer: “Oh, my god! UGH! Bartender! BarrrrrTENDER!”

    Me: “Yes? Is something wrong?”

    Customer: “Oh my GODDDD! I cannot drink this. You put coconut in this! I hate coconut! I didn’t ask for coconut!”

    Me: “Wait. I thought you said Malibu?”

    Customer: “I DID. But you put something with coconut in it. Do you even know what you’re doing?”

    (I try to explain that Malibu is a coconut rum, but the customer isn’t listening.)

    Customer: “I want a new drink… Now! Remake this without the coconut!”

    Me: “If you want, I can make that drink with white rum instead of coconut rum.”

    Customer: “Yes! Just a Malibu and Pineapple with the cherry juice. But no coconut! I hate coconut! Just Malibu, pineapple juice, and cherries! NO COCONUT!”

    (I ignore the fact that she’s talking to me as if I’m five. I make the drink with white rum and hand it to her.)

    Customer: “Oh, my God. This is so much better. You should have just made it like this the first time. I don’t blame you, though. Don’t worry, honey. I can tell you’re new with drinks.”

    (The customer drinks a few, and pays her bill.)

    Customer: “You really should be careful. People could be allergic to things, you know. Imagine if I had a coconut allergy! Oh, you just need to pay ATTENTION. You could save somebody’s life!”

    (I smiled through gritted teeth and watched her walk out the door. When she finally left, the remaining bar guests gave me a round of applause. I bowed.)

    Giving Him A Good Dressing Down

    | Chicago, IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Health & Body, One-Liners

    (I am bartending. A nicely dressed couple in their 20s comes in and order drinks at the bar. They’ve been polite and quiet. The woman is on the heavier side, but still quite cute in her skirt. When the woman’s boyfriend goes to the restroom, a rowdy customer in a polo shirt, who has been obnoxious all night, approaches the bar.)

    Rowdy Customer: “Hey! Hey! I need another gin and tonic! Hey!”

    Me: “I’ll be right with you. Just let me fill this order.”

    (As I’m filling the other order, I look up and see the rowdy customer eyeing the woman. He leans onto the bar while staring at her.)

    Rowdy Customer: “Hey, you.”

    (The woman ignores him, and turns slightly away.)

    Rowdy Customer: “You know, a pig in a dress is still just a pig in a dress!”

    (At this point, I’m speechless. I see the woman’s face turn from a smile into an extremely angry frown. Before I can say anything, the woman turns towards him.)

    Woman: “Yeah, and you know, an a**hole in a polo is still just an a**hole in a polo!”

    Rowdy Customer: “I… what?”

    Me: “You can pay up and get out of here for harassing other customers. That’s what!”

    Rowdy Customer: “This is bull-s***!”

    (The rowdy customer leaves some money on the counter and storms out. I turn to the woman.)

    Me: “Hey, that was the best thing I’ve heard all night! Can I get you and your boyfriend the next round?”

    (She smiles and accepts, ordering a drink for herself and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend comes back after everything has quieted down.)

    Me: “Here’s your free round. Really, that was a great come back! It made my day!”

    Woman: “Thanks!”

    Acting Cuckoo

    , | Scotland, UK | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (Our hotel is in a pretty popular tourist area and we frequently get customers who struggle with English, especially with the bar food menu. My colleagues have already had some trouble making themselves understood when I go over to take one table’s order.)

    Me: “Hi, would you like to order some food?”

    Customer: “Yes, we would like food please.”

    (There is a long awkward pause, until I realise they are not going to order on their own.)

    Me: “So… what food would you like?”

    Customer: “Oh! I would like this. This is steak, yes?”

    (The customer is pointing to lamb shank on the menu.)

    Me: “Oh, no, that’s lamb. Lamb shank, it’s like a small leg. We have a steak just here, if you like?”

    (The customer remains pointing at the lamb shank.)

    Customer: “So this… this is steak?”

    Me: “No, no, this is steak…” *I point* “…and that is lamb.”

    Customer: “So this… what animal?”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “What animal this?”

    Me: “Oh! Sorry! That’s lamb. Uh, sheep.”

    Customer: “Sheep?”

    Me: “Yes, sheep. Erm…”

    Customer:Maaaaaaaa?”

    (I am puzzled for a second, and then realise he is making a sheep noise!)

    Me: “Yes, baaaaa!”

    Customer: “Oh! Yes! And this?”

    (The customer points to the steak.)

    Me: “Steak. Cow.”

    Customer:Moooo?”

    Me: “Yes, mooooo!”

    (The customer points to each successive meat dish in turn, and eventually I begin to make the animal noises before he does, to save time. I manage to keep a straight face, because I don’t want him to feel patronised, but his impressions are very funny.)

    Customer: “And this?”

    (The customer points at the last menu item, which is a venison dish.)

    Customer: “What animal, this?”

    Me: “That’s venison, which means deer.”

    Customer: “Deer? What is deer?”

    Me: “Erm…”

    (I stop dead as I realise that I haven’t the faintest idea what noise a deer makes, and am certainly not capable of reproducing it.)

    Me: “It’s… ah… deer… well, it’s… stag. You know, stag?”

    (In desperation, I hold my hands above my head in the shape of antlers. The man looks puzzled for a moment, then seemingly has an epiphany.)

    Customer: “Ah! STAG! Stag…”

    (The customer looks questioningly at his wife, and then at me, seemingly without getting the help he needs.)

    Customer: “I… like… stag?”

    (The customer did end up getting the venison dish, and was very pleased with it. His wife had ‘chicken cluck cluck’ and was likewise satisfied.)

    Tip Top Service

    , | Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

    (Our card readers are set up to offer an option to add a tip to the total. This isn’t typical for card readers in our location, and it gives some customers a lot of problems, especially if they need reading glasses or don’t look at the screen.)

    Me: “Okay, sir, I just need to you to follow the instructions on the card reader now while it asks a few questions. The green button is yes, and the yellow button is no.”

    Customer: “Fine, fine, okay.”

    Me: “So, first it just asks if that’s the correct total, then it’ll give an option to add a tip if you’d like. Just press the yellow button if you’d prefer to skip it.”

    (I don’t usually spell it out quite this much, but I have the feeling that this man isn’t really listening.)

    Customer: “Yeah, fine, fine.”

    (The customer presses the buttons worryingly fast, then swears.)

    Customer: “Hey, why is it asking for my PIN again? I just entered that! Stupid machine.”

    Me: “Oh dear, I’m sorry but I think you may have entered your PIN as a tip. I’d better cancel the transaction to make sure it—”

    Customer: “No, no, it’s fine. I didn’t put in a tip.”

    Me: “Are you sure you definitely pressed ‘no’? The only way it’d ask for your PIN again is if the first time was the tip prompt, not the PIN prompt. It’s easily done. It’s happened before—”

    Customer: “Are you calling me stupid? Are you trying to suggest I can’t follow simple instructions? I’m a high-level manager at [Department Store Chain]. Do you think I can’t work a simple machine?”

    Me: “Really sir, I think it would be safer if I redo the transaction just in case.”

    (The customer sighs theatrically.)

    Customer: “Fine, then, just to prove to you that I’m not a moron.”

    (I cancel the transaction and the receipts print out. I see a tip had been added, and I only have to glance at the first digit to see that it could not have been intentional. I quickly hand the receipt over to protect the customer’s PIN privacy, without looking at the full number.)

    Me: “Here’s the cancellation receipts, sir, and I’m giving you both copies so that you can keep your PIN private.”

    (The customer takes the receipts and his eyes go wide. He seems to swell up, and for a moment I think he’s going to start screaming at me, before he suddenly deflates.)

    Customer: “Oh god, I’m so sorry. Thank you, you just saved me from a serious talking-to by accounts.”

    Me: “I’m sure your credit card company wouldn’t have authorised it anyway, sir, so it would’ve been fine. As I said, don’t worry. It’s happened before.”

    Customer: “No, you don’t understand. This company card has a £15,000 credit limit.”

    (I’m still not sure if the credit card would have authorised that size of transaction, but we still joke about the ’1000 per cent tip.’ Just for comparison, that first digit was a 6…)


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