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Call Their Bluff And Watch Them Fold

, , | Right | CREDIT: spacecoyote00 | July 11, 2021

This happened in the last few months of the lockdown in Australia last year, when people were able to dine in at restaurants, provided they gave names and contact details for contact tracing purposes in the event of a case arising; this information was destroyed after twenty-eight days. For the most part, everyone was compliant, but we’d occasionally have a family or person who did have a problem. I was a front-of-house manager and had just handed in my two weeks’ notice. It was two days from my last day, so my care level was below the ground.

Me: “Are we dining in or taking away?”

Customer: “Dining in, please.”

Me: “Excellent. I’ll just have to get you to sign the government-mandated [illness] tracing form before you sit down.”

Customer: “Can I refuse to sign that?”

Me: “You can, but unfortunately, you can’t dine in our restaurant as it’s a liability and we can get fined. You’ll have to take it back home or to a park or something.”

Her family was already setting up on a table outside

Customer: “Well, you know this [health crisis] thing isn’t even real, and this isn’t the law.”

Me: “I respect your beliefs, but this is the law, unfortunately, and we have to oblige to it.”

Customer: “Fine. We’ll get takeaway.”

She pays for her food.

Me: “Excellent. I’m going to have to ask you and your family to remove your belongings from our table and wait in our designated takeaway spot.”

Customer: “Sure.”

She goes and sits down at the table. I wait a couple of minutes because maybe they’re packing up, but then everyone else sits down, so I go out to talk to them.

Me: “Sorry, guys, because you’ve refused to sign in, you have to remove yourself from our dining area.”

Customer: “We are, though. Give us some time.”

Me: “Okay, well, you’ve been sitting down here for a bit now, and I told you before you sat down, so please get up so I can seat some other people.”

Customer: “This is absolutely ridiculous! There is no need to be so rude.”

Me: “I’m not being rude; I’m asking you to oblige to our store’s rules due to [the health crisis].”

Customer: “You’re being so rude right now. Do you want me to take my business somewhere else? Do you want us to leave?”

Me: “Yeah, sure. I’ll refund you right now.”

I step to toward the POS system with the full intent of refunding her.

Customer: “What? No! My kids are hungry. Don’t.”

I shrugged at her, and I think she got the hint because almost immediately, they moved into the takeaway area.

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