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A Sudden Change

, , | Right | October 7, 2020

I am a waitress at a small restaurant. I have just brought the bill to a customer. He had several special orders, which were all correct, and he has been fairly rude, despite my smile and good attitude. His total is $9, and he pays with a $10 bill.

Me: “Is this all set?”

Customer: *Not paying attention* “Yeah, yeah. Sure.”

I assume that the change is my tip, as usual, since it is ten percent of the bill. However, the customer stays seated at his table.

Me: “Sir, can I get you anything else? A water refill?”

Customer: “Where’s my change?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I wanted change.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. When I asked if you were all set, I thought you said yes. Let me get that for you.”

I reach into my apron pocket where I keep tips and hand him his $1.

Customer: “You pocketed my f****** change?! What the f*** is wrong with you?”

Me: “I’m sorry! I thought it was a tip! That’s what ‘all set’ usually means. The server keeps the change as a tip!”

Customer: “Well, you thought wrong. I want my money back for my meal.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that, sir.”

Customer: “This is bulls***! Let me see your manager!”

My manager has heard the ruckus and comes over.

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Your bimbo waitress tried to steal my change!”

Manager: “[My Name], is that true?”

Me: “He said he was all set when he paid and the change was ten percent of the total bill! I gave him his dollar back!”

Manager: “Sir, you got your change.”

Customer: “I want my meal for free!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. You told her to keep the change but then took it back. It’s customary to tip waitstaff ten to twenty percent, since that’s where most of their pay comes from, and I know that [My Name] does a fantastic job. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Customer: “This is so unfair!”

Manager: “Goodbye and good riddance!”

Customer: “F*** you!”

Me: “What the h*** just happened?”

Manager: “People are idiots. Go take a break. I’ll cover your tables for the next half-hour. And you can keep those tips.”

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