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An Entitlement Buffet

, , , , , | Right | April 21, 2020

I’m working the breakfast shift at a hotel restaurant. As host, my job is to show people to tables and explain to them that it is a serve-yourself, all-you-can-eat buffet. I do this with a man and his family before leaving them to attend to other customers. After ten minutes, the man storms up to me angrily as I am speaking to another guest.

Male Guest: “Excuse me! This is terrible service. You’ve just ignored me and my family to talk to other people! I’m a guest in this hotel. I’m staying here for another fortnight. Show me some respect!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, what seems to be the problem?”

Male Guest: “We’ve been ready to order for ten minutes and you haven’t been back!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but perhaps you misheard me before. This is a self-service buffet, which means you can go up and help yourself to the food and drink at the counter. There are a few specialty items available to order from the kitchen, such as vegetarian sausages and omelettes.”

Male Guest: *Huffs* “We want two Full English breakfasts, some cornflakes for the kids, two coffees and some orange juice.”

Me: “Sir, I don’t think you quite understand. I can place an order for specialty items that we don’t cook a large amount of or those that take time to prepare, but normal items such as drinks, cereals, and those found in an English breakfast are over there, on the buffet.”

I gesture to the buffet.

Male Guest: “How was I supposed to know that?!”

Even without my two explanations and the fact that this is outlined in the breakfast menu, during all this time, other people have been getting up and walking over to help themselves and returning to their tables with plates of food.

Male Guest: “This is outrageous! I have to walk to get my own food? I might as well be at home! You—” *points to me* “—get me and my wife two coffees; I’m not standing for this level of service!”

Exasperated, and seeing that several other families are waiting for me to seat them, I open my mouth to explain to him that it is not my job to make his coffee, when the guest I was seating before the interruption pipes up.

Female Guest: “Hey, fat-a**! Leave the poor girl alone and get your own food! You could do with the exercise, you pompous a**! Why don’t you try looking after 200 people by yourself and see if you have time to pour coffee for all of them, as well?”

Around us, people started to chuckle, and the man’s family looked embarrassed. He turned away from me and sat down, and I thanked the woman discreetly. The man and his family sat for a few minutes and then left without going to the buffet once, even though they’d paid for the breakfast. After they’d left, I made a second coffee for the woman who stood up for me and brought it over to her table anyway, as a thank-you!