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    | Ryebrook, NY, USA |

    (Within a few minutes of a family of four sitting down, the fire alarm went off at our restaurant.)

    Me: “Hello folks, sorry for the terrible inconvenience. I’m sure everything will be cleared up here very soon.”

    Customer: “Is this a joke?”

    Me: “I assure you this isn’t a joke, unless you find it funny!” *laughs*

    Customer: *deafening silence*

    Me: “… but I also assure that there is no fire.”

    Customer: “I’d like to speak with a manager, please.”

    Me: “Sorry, but my manager is very busy at the moment dealing with the fire department. The drinks are on the house. If you could just sit tight, we’ll be with you shortly.”

    Customer: “You know it’s my son’s birthday, right?”

    Me, to son: “Oh! Happy birthday buddy!”

    (I jokingly slide the beer towards the son, which sets the customer off even more.)

    Customer: “Get a manager over here, right now!”

    (My manager tells me that there is a problem with the ovens that the fire department has to figure out, and that we have to evacuate the building.)

    Me: “I’m sorry to inform you that the grills have been turned off and–”

    Customer: “How can we order our food then?”

    Me: “Well… yeah, that’s the thing. We have to get everyone out of the building.”

    Customer: “Excuse me? We don’t get to eat? It’s my son’s birthday. Is there anything you can do? We are very unhappy with this!”

    Me: “Well, the fire department has ordered the evacuation, so I also have to leave the building.”

    Customer: “It is my son’s birthday. He is turning 13. How often do people turn 13? Once! You have ruined my son’s only 13th birthday!”

    Me: “Sorry buddy, I hope you get everything you want for your birthday!”

    Customer’s son: “This was my birthday present and you ruined it!”

    Customer: “What did you do on your 13th birthday?!”

    Me: “…”

    Customer: “NOTHING! BECAUSE YOU RUINED MY SON’S BIRTHDAY!”

    Me: “My 13th birthday was 8 years ago exactly.”

    Customer: *confused*

    Me: “How many times to you turn 21? Is this how you spent YOUR 21st birthday? GET OUT BEFORE I SET YOU ON FIRE!”

    (It’s was a bitter-sweet birthday present: Leaving work 5 hours early, but with no money.)

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