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Doesn’t End Up Liking Them Apples

| Working | October 7, 2014

(I had recently gotten out of the hospital a week earlier. I was admitted due to digestive issues and have been given a strict diet of clear liquid. This night, I was meeting my family to celebrate my nephew’s 14th birthday. After the waiter has taken everyone’s order, he finally gets to me.)

Waiter: “And for you, sir?”

Me: “Oh, can I just have an apple juice?”

Waiter: “Not hungry tonight? There are plenty of smaller dishes on the value menu.”

Me: “No, thanks, I’m good; just the juice, please.”

Waiter: “Are you sure? Our appetizers are pretty cheap.”

Me: “No. Just the juice, please.”

Waiter: “Ohhh-kay… I’ll have your drinks right out.”

(After getting sympathetic looks from my family as the waiter left, we thought nothing of it. When he returned, my apple juice was surprisingly missing and my nephew had a juice box in front of him.)

Me: *to waiter* “Excuse me, but I think there’s been a mistake; I had ordered the apple juice, not him.”

Waiter: “Oh, sorry about that. Are you sure you want apple juice?”

Me: “Yes, I’m sure. Could you just bring me my apple juice?”

Waiter: “Yeah, I guess I can do that. I’m going to have to squeeze some juice boxes into a glass, but I can do that if you want.”

Me: “Sorry for the inconvenience; that’s never seemed to be an issue before. If it’s too much trouble, I’ll just have water then.”

Waiter: “Oh, its no trouble. It’s just going to take a while because I have to squeeze like a dozen juice boxes to have a glass…” *walks away grumbling*

Mom: “What was that all about?”

Me: “I have no idea. I always have apple juice here. Maybe he’s just having a bad night.”

(Now I’m a little wary of this waiter, but I’m determined to not let it affect the night. That is until everyone’s dinner had come, and I still haven’t received my apple juice or a water.)

Me: *flagging down waiter as he’s about to walk away after dropping off our food* “Excuse me, I haven’t gotten my apple juice yet…”

Waiter: *in a very condescending manner* “I’m sorry, but we don’t have any apple juice left. Sorry about that!”

Me: “All right… could I at least get a water, then?”

Waiter: “…” *walks away*

(At this point, the guy has gotten on my nerves. The next time we see him, he’s dropping off our check. Having a fairly large family, the check is well over $200.)

Waiter: “And here you guys go! Who should I stick with the bill? This guy?!” *pointing to me in a bad attempt at a joke at my expense*

Me: “Actually, yes. I am paying tonight. And you’re not getting a tip.”

Waiter: “I’m sorry, SIR, but 18% is our suggested tip on such large groups.”

Me: “All right. If it’s that big a deal, get the manager and we’ll talk it out.”

Waiter: “Sir, you’ll still have to pay, but if you’d like, I’ll get the manager… f*****g a**hole” *he mumbles under his breath as he walks away*

(A few moments later, the manager arrives.)

Manager: “Mr. [My Name], what seems to be the problem? Was everything to your liking?”

Me: “Hey, [Manager]; no, actually. The service tonight hasn’t been all that good.”

Manager: “Oh, I’m so sorry! I hope this doesn’t change your view on the restaurant; we really do appreciate the business you do with us.”

Waiter: *confused look on his face* “What business?”

Manager: “Mr. [My Name] is one of the owners of [Software Company]; you know that place down the street? We cater for their events like once a month. H***, [My Name] is in at least once a week!” *turns to me* “What’d you have tonight?”

Me: “Nothing. I just got out of the hospital and need to go easy for a bit, but apparently I’m not allowed to order apple juice now…”

(I quickly break down the night’s events and my family backs up my telling of events. During this entire conversation, the waiter stands in silence, head down and beet-red. He attempts escape a couple times, but the manager just grabs his sleeve without breaking eye contact with me. Near the end of the recounting of events, the waiter is shaking like a leaf in the wind until he looks up and blurts out…)

Waiter: “How was I supposed to know?! What kind of grown man orders apple juice?! Only people that order just a drink are broke and don’t tip!”

Manager: “[Waiter], you’re kidding right? You were one of the serving staff for his company’s holiday party! He spoke on stage and everything! I’m sure you even have waited on him for lunch!”

(The next time I visited, the manager sat with me and handed me a written apology and offered 25% off the catering for our next event. She also informed me that the waiter was given the option of dishwasher or being fired. He chose fired.)

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