Dining And Dashing To Conclusions

, , , , , , | Working | September 9, 2019

(I am an off-duty police officer, treating a friend to lunch at a place owned by a famous local chef with amazing reviews that has the best burgers I’ve had in a long time. It isn’t busy so we have our waitress’s full attention. She is talkative, she makes jokes, she’s quick with our drinks and taking our order, and she brings our order as soon as it is sent out; all around she’s the PERFECT waitress. She comes around a few times to check on us, but then she just stops coming by our section after a group of young college guys walks in. I don’t know if she knows them or what but she never leaves their side, laughing and carrying on with them. After waiting fifteen minutes for her to bring our bill, we ask another server:)

Other Server: “As I am not your waitress I can’t, but I’ll tell your waitress.”

(Another ten minutes pass by and still no waitress; it is now getting close to 2:30 pm and I need to be home by three to greet my daughters after they get off the school bus.)

Me: “Let’s just leave the money on the table.”

(We look up the menu online and total up our order, including drinks, taxes, and even a tip, writing everything down on a piece of paper with a note explaining our situation. We even leave a little extra to cover anything we forgot, and my official LEO business card which says my police department, full name and badge number, phone number, and email. For some reason, and I’m glad he does, my friend decides to record a video; he turns the camera to the table taking a video of the note, our makeshift bill, and the full money amount. We walk out the door towards our vehicle with him still recording. As we are walking out the door, the waitress and the owner/chef come running out the door screaming.)

Waitress: “STOP! WE’VE CALLED THE POLICE ON YOU! STAY HERE UNTIL THEY GET HERE! NOBODY DINES AND DASHES ON MY WATCH! IT COMES OUT OF MY PAY!”

Me: “But we have paid.”

Owner: “With who?”

Me: “We left payment on the table.”

(We all walk back inside to the still-cluttered table to show him the $60 cash with the note showing our $42 tally and then what we left.)

Owner: “Why didn’t you wait for your waitress to bring you an official bill?”

(Before I can say anything, my friend, who doesn’t like confrontation but has had enough with being made to wait, speaks up.)

Friend: “We waited for over twenty minutes for her to bring our bill. We even told another waitress—” *points towards the waitress cleaning a nearby table* “—that we wanted our bill.”

(The other server confirms this and says she told our waitress we were waiting for it and that our waitress said she’d take it over in a minute.)

Friend: “But instead of bringing us our bill your waitress decided she would continue to flirt with that group—” *points to group of six guys at a table nearby* “—and refill their drinks twice. As soon as they walked in, she completely ignored us, never offered to refill our drinks, asked if were done to clear the table, or gave us our bill, so we took it upon ourselves to look up your menu online and tally our total and just leave it on the table with the handwritten bill with an $18 tip. He even left his LEO card with his information! I don’t know about those guys, but he needs to get home to his daughters and I need to pick up my wife, so we don’t have all day to just sit around waiting for her to decide which guy she wanted to sleep with.”

(The owner’s mouth is open, slowly gulping like a fish, and turns to look towards the waitress, who looks like she wants to be anywhere else but there at that very moment.)

Owner: “This is the third time you’ve been accused of ignoring customers to hang out with guys from your school, and then you took it a step further and accused them of stealing without even checking the table first!” *turns back to us* “Gentlemen, I am sorry for any inconvenience my former server has caused you. I promise you that this will never ever happen again as she will no longer be working here. Please accept my most sincere apology and accept a $20 gift card for each of you for a future visit and take your money back as the meal is on the house.”

Me: “Thank you, but that is not necessary. The burgers and fries were amazing and we ate them, so we want to pay.”

(I don’t fault the restaurant, just the waitress! We will still go back!)

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