Quite Rightly, Waiting Impolitely Is Unsightly

| Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | Top

(The restaurant is very busy, so food wait time is longer than usual.)

Table 1: “When is our food coming out? This is ridiculous; we’ve been waiting 20 minutes!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We are very busy right now, but I’ll be bringing out your food very shortly.”

Table 1: “Well, I hope so! You’re the worst server we’ve ever had!”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. Like I said, it’ll be out shortly.”

(I move to another table.)

Me: “I’m really sorry about the wait, I’ve checked on your food and it will be out shortly. I’m so sorry. I realize you’ve been waiting 40 minutes.”

Table 2: “That’s not a problem at all…don’t worry about it.”

Me: “I’d like to offer you your meals on the house, and thank you again for your patience.”

Table 1: *overhearing* “How come WE don’t get our meals on the house?”

Table 2: *to table 1* “Because WE’VE been waiting POLITELY!”

A Burning Question

| Missoula, MT, USA | Uncategorized

(Our restaurant is having work done to the roof. A construction worker accidentally sets the insulation on fire, pouring smoke into the building. As the fire trucks are fighting the fire, a lady pulls up in a car.)

Customer: “Do you sell gift certificates?”

Me: “Why yes, but I can’t sell you any right now.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: *points at the fire and the firemen* “The store is currently on fire.”

Customer: “Can’t you just run in and grab some for me?”

Cost In The Translation, Part 2

| Cambridge, UK | Uncategorized

Customer: “This food is terrible. I want a refund!”

(Turns to her daughter and starts speaking in Spanish.)

Customer: “The food was amazing, actually!”

Me: *also in Spanish* “I’ll send my compliments to the chef, then.”

Related:
Cost In The Translation

Fishing For The Truth

| New Orleans, LA, USA | Uncategorized

(A tourist couple comes in at lunchtime. The woman orders crawfish bisque, a rich dish served with stuffed crawfish. I bring the food to their table, but she lets out a scream, pointing frantically at her plate.)

Customer: “What’s that!”

Me: “It’s crawfish, ma’am. It’s what you ordered.”

Customer: “That’s not a fish, that’s a bug! Get it away from me, that’s horrible!”

Me: “Ma’am, I promise you, that’s a crawfish. They’re not actually fish, they’re like little lobsters. Would you like me to show you how to break one open?”

Customer: “Do you think I’m stupid? I know what a fish looks like! I’m calling the Health Department!”

(She asks the manager for a phone book and uses the restaurant phone. The manager asks me to pick up the extension so I can help explain the situation.)

Customer: “I am at [restaurant] and they just served me food with giant bugs in it!”

Health Officer: “What did you order?”

Me: *on the extension* “This is the waitress. She ordered Crawfish Bisque.”

Health Officer: “Ma’am, what kind of bugs are in your food? Roaches?”

Customer: “No, they’re not roaches, they’re huge! And there’s a whole bunch of them!”

Me: “I tried to show her how to open the shell, but I think she got confused and was expecting crawfish to be regular…you know…fish.”

Health Officer: “Ma’am, are these giant bugs on top of a plate full of rice and sauce?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Health Officer: “Do they have a dark red shell?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Health Officer: “Ma’am, you’re supposed to eat those!”

Customer: *drops the phone and runs out of the restaurant*

Random Encounters

| Bay Area, CA, USA | Top

(A girl orders a cheeseburger and fries.)

Me: “All right, you want that for here or to go?”

(There is a long pause as she very loudly ‘hmms’ and ‘haws’ about this question, until finally:)

Customer: “…sweatshirts.”

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