Bad Customers Are A Sign Of The End Times

, , , , , , | Right | July 8, 2019

(I work in a relatively pricey restaurant popular with foreigners and expats. We are a street-level venue in a very tall building with a five-star hotel occupying the top floors. I am serving a regular woman who is well-known among the staff for being demanding.)

Customer: “Yes, I will have my usual lunch plate, with—“

(Suddenly, the whole room starts shaking. Manila is being rocked by what I will later discover is a 7.1 earthquake. Earthquakes aren’t entirely uncommon in The Philippines, but this is the strongest Manila has had in a long while. The lights are shaking, some people are screaming, and some plates and cutlery fall to the ground, some smashing. Astonishingly, while I am holding on to the table to stop from falling over, this customer is continuing her order as if nothing is happening.)

Customer: “—with orange juice, and an extra side of ham.”

(She notices my blank look.)

Customer: “Well? Aren’t you going to get my order?”

Me: “Ma’am, we are experiencing a severe earthquake! In these circumstances, we will have to evacuate the building.”

(The customer looks around with disinterest and only then seems to notice the ensuing chaos. She sniffs.)

Customer: “Hmm, yes. Anyway, my lunch?”

Me: *noticing that an evacuation of the restaurant has started in earnest* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we will all have to evacuate the building.”

Customer: “Why?!”

Me: “Because of the earthquake!”

Customer: “Oh, it’ll stop in a minute! Stop fussing.” *shows off her crucifix necklace* “Earthquakes are the last sign of the apocalypse, not the first. Let me know when there’s a great flood, and then you can skip my lunch!”

(At that exact moment, with God-given perfect timing — pun intended — the earthquake has shaken the rooftop infinity pool on the luxury hotel so much that a dramatic amount of the water had cascaded over the side of the building. With what can only be described as a cacophonous splash, we both look outside to see Noah’s Flood in miniature playing out on the street outside while bystanders run away in a panic. I stare pointedly at the woman.)

Customer: “Fine. I’ll take it to go.”

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