Unfiltered Story #163259

, , | Unfiltered | September 16, 2019

(I walk into a fast food restaurant to order some seafood. Near the counter is an old man in a wheelchair, who appears to be talking, loudly, into an object I couldn’t see well, but might have been a phone. Next to him, on the counter, is a large bag of food. As I walk up, he puts the phone away and looks at me.)

Man: (in a voice that sounds slightly unstable) Oh, just a small family emergency. I want to see the show, but they told me to leave! I was just talking to customers, for a feeling of community! Can you believe this?

Me: Uh, okay?

(A few chairs in the dining room have been moved aside, I notice. If you squinted hard, you might maybe be able to mistake them for seating for a small play or something – but obviously, especially given the presence of mops and wet floor signs, they had been moved because the employees had been cleaning in that area earlier. An employee is walking around behind he counter trying to gather items for a previous order. The man tries to flag her down while pulling out a new device, this one apparently a tablet.)

Man: Miss, can you verify something?

Employee: (clearly wanting to keep her distance) What is it?

Man: (almost as much to the tablet as to her) I want you to verify that the reason I was asked to leave was because that man thought I threatened him.

Employee: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Man: That man who was here earlier was making trouble and telling me I shouldn’t talk to the customers. I was just trying to make conversation before the show! I said I’d bite his ankles if he didn’t leave me alone! Does that sound like a threat to you? No, it was a joke!

Employee: I’m sorry?

Man: Can you get your manager? I’m not getting you in trouble, but you guys need to be re-trained.

Employee: Uh, one minute.

(She disappears, while he holds up his tablet as though recording something. She returns a moment later.)

Employee: He’s on the phone.

Man: Well, I don’t appreciate being asked to leave! It’s such a shame! I like this restaurant because it’s one of the only ones I can get into with this chair! But if you’re going to kick me out because I talk to customers and make jokes, then I have to call corporate. Oh, I’m not getting anyone fired! You didn’t do anything wrong; you’re beautiful! But you all need to be re-trained! Thanks for the fish.

(With that, he takes the bag of food and leaves. The employee looks relieved to have him gone, and says she’s ready to take my order.)

Me: What was all that about?

Employee: I don’t know, but he’d been there for a while.

(I think it’s a testament to her patience she was as calm as she was! The manager certainly didn’t look happy when he came out a few minutes later – though by that point, the wheelchair man was long gone. Suffice to say, no shows took place while I was eating there.)