Unfiltered Story #159881

, , , | Unfiltered | August 4, 2019

So to set the scene. The pub I work at is in a very affluent and rich area of London that sits on the River Thames. We have a terrace and below that benches where could dip your toes into the water if you chose to. If it rains then we’re dead, if the suns out then we’re as alive as newborn baby. The weather had been s**t all week but the so called ‘Spanish Ploom’ blew up and it’s all of a sudden 30 degrees on a Saturday.

Bear in mind that customers at this pub are great at handling particular things not being available and understand that the bar staff is not responsible.

At the point of my story we had 30+ people at our ‘island’ bar and hundreds more enjoying beer, food and sunshine. Good for business but bad for the three bar staff trying to get around to each customer whilst using our photographic memories to know who came first. Couple this with a menu exhausted of most items and a soda water gun that has just broken down under the pressure.

Me: Hi, what can I get you?

Lady: Hmmm could I get a Peroni, a large malbec and a white wine spritzer please?

Me: I’m really sorry but the gun that supplies the soda water is broken so don’t have any.

Lady: What’s the difference between soda water and sparkling water?

Me: (No idea at the time. Since researched it for future ammo) I’m not sure. Would you like a bottle of sparking water?

Lady: You’re going to charge me for it? It’s not my fault you have no soda water.

Me: I understand that but they cost £2.50 per bottle and we can’t just give those out for free. I’m sorry.

This is when she storms off to her table and I serve the next customer. She comes back over and I finish up and go straight back her, avoiding the gaze of dozens of other customers already p***ed at waiting.

Me: Hi again

Lady: Hi.Thanks for waiting for me (sarcastic).

Me: (Urgh but ignored, although I getting really annoyed now. I hate rude customers). Have you decided what you would like?

She pulls up the menu and points to two of the things we do not have on the menu.

Me: I’m really sorry but we don’t have those. It’s been really busy today. I can tell you what we do h…

She now screams to a table across the pub where I see an older woman, an older man and somebody I’m assuming is her husband.

Lady: Mum! They don’t have the mussels either. Jesus Christ.

The Mother now storms over to the bar and takes her place next to her daughter. She is very angry.

Mother: So you’re telling me that you don’t have soda water and you don’t have anything on the menu. What’s the point? What do you have?

Me: I was just going to…

Lady: Well go on then.

They were already rude to begin with but they had just punched through my ceiling of suffer-ability.

Me: (Calmly). Listen. Can we just stop this right here please? I know it’s annoying but it’s not my fault this has happened. I can only serve you what we have and you’re being incredibly rude to me. I’m a human like you are and there is no need for you to talk to me like this.

Lady: You’ve been rude to me since the beginning! When I went back over to the table I told them that the server (me) is being really passive aggressive to me (she means polite but firm, we have 30 customers and three bar staff. No time to dilly dally).

Mother: Why are you even doing this job?

I could have explained that I was doing this to support myself through University but wanted this interaction over with. It’s the point in customer service that you would love to continue and perhaps turn them to your way of thinking but not in front of other customers. Who are now enjoying the show with your manager in the corner making customers coffee.

Me to Mother: This is the first interaction we’ve had and the first thing you did was shout at me.

Mother: Well if you can’t handle that then you’re in the wrong profession.

Here is when I turn to a colleague on the other side of the bar and call out to her. I wanted to swap customer but it wasn’t possible. It seemed the right thing to do but in hindsight it’s like sending your friend to Bali with a bag of drugs so you could get high whilst they get the firing squad.

Welcome the five seconds of awkward silence.

Mother: Oh I don’t to stay here now anyway.

They storm off and I see every customer on my side of the bar staring wide-eyed at me. I’m not sure if it was sympathetic as I kept my voice down and they couldn’t here me.

Then I hear a shout:

Mother: Where is your manager? I want to see your manager

I’m not sure if I was bothered here but it couldn’t be a great thing for me. Having to explain myself in front of angry customers without being rude and then having to walk away knowing they’d give their deranged view of what happened would be unpleasant. I pointed to the coffee machine and said over there and carried on serving other customers with a smile as though nothing had happened. After ten seconds I had a look around and noticed the manager still working away and the ‘angered’ customers nowhere in sight.

For the sake of this story it would have been great for that next step to have been taken. It shows how messed up it can be in customer service that you would be worried for your job because you were mistreated by others.