(It’s been a long shift, late at night. Just before I’m scheduled to go on my break, a pair of obviously drunk university students walks up. Neither are slurring, but they’re far too happy for this time of night. I greet them. The first one orders without incident, but the second one poses a problem…)
Customer: Hey, man, I’d like a [sandwich]. And could you give me as much cheese as you can squeeze on there, without paying for it?
Me: Ahhh… sorry, sir. I can’t give you extra cheese without charging you for it. I’d get in trouble if I did.
Customer: Come on. Can’t you give me, like, an extra half-slice? It’s for the boys. Just has to be between us.
Me: No, sorry. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I’d get fired if I did.
Customer: *laughs* Wow, you’re a really upstanding guy! Okay, nevermind.
(He proceeds through the till, laughing and joking all the way. I make my employee sandwich and go to sit down. At that point the customer is on the phone with someone, asking for them to call him a cab. Inexplicably, he comes and sits at my table.)
Customer: *on phone* Yeah, I’m waiting here with… *to me* What’s your name, bud?
Me: *stunned* Uh… [Name].
Customer: I’m waiting here with [name]. Yeah, can you call me a cab to… what’s the address?
Me: [Address]. Or you can say [Nearby park].
Customer: Awesome, man. Thanks. *hangs up* So, you a student?
Me: *blinks* No.
(It’s worth noting at this point that there’s a homeless woman sleeping in the corner of the restaraunt. We haven’t bothered her as our restaraunt is one of the only 24 hour places with good cameras in our area.)
Customer: *suddenly* Hey, there’s a homeless lady passed out over there. Let’s go wake her.
Me: *blinks again* Sir, please don’t do that. She’s homeless. Please let her rest.
Customer: Nah, I’m gonna do it! Watch!
(The customer gets up and heads over, poking the homeless person repeatedly. Still a bit stunned, I come over, mostly to make sure I can see what’s happening.)
Customer: Hey. Hey. Lady. I don’t like watching you sitting here all uncomfortable. How about you come back to my place? It’s safe and clean, it’s on a university campus.
Homeless Woman: *blinking groggily* Ah… where is it?
Customer: [Address]. It’s really safe and clean and…
(The customer goes on and on about how it’s the best student apartment ever.)
Homeless Woman: *blinking again* … No, thank you. *rolls over and goes back to sleep*
Customer: Hey! Lady! I’m talking to you! Listen, I’m taking a picture of you now. You’re a vagrant! *leans over, brandishing his phone, trying to get a good picture of her face* Turn around and look at me!
Me: *getting angry* Sir, you have to leave, now.
Customer: Hey! Hey, lady-!”
(I grab the Customer by the shoulder and turn him to face me.)
Me: You need to leave. Now.
(I gently push him towards the door, placing myself between him and the homeless lady.)
Customer: *angry* What the hell is your problem? Chill out! I’m trying to help!
Me: You need to leave now, or I’m calling the police. *gently but firmly pushes him towards the door again*
Customer: What the !@#$ is your problem, apron?
Me: *losing patience* Get out.
(I manage to get him to the door without manhandling him any further. He’s about to leave when he rounds upon me.)
Customer: I should knock you out.
Me: *staring intently* You’re welcome to TRY.
(The customer stands still for a moment, before pretending to jump forward and rush me. My hands instinctively come up into a combat stance, from my martial arts training. He clearly doesn’t recognize it.)
Customer: Hah! Wuss. *beckons* Come on.
Me: *sardonically* Bye. *waves using now upraised hand*
Customer: I could kick your ass any day of the week!
Customer: You know what, [sandwich shop] !@#$ing sucks. *turns and leaves*
(The customer had little idea of how close he came from a broken elbow. Nobody messes with homeless people around me.)